Dolphins Start Season 1-0

Jenny Scarborough

Both middle school teams walked off the court with lopsided victories on Thursday.

The girls cruised to a 41-9 victory over the Wanchese Warriors. The boys held off a second half comeback for a 43-23 win.

These kids have grown up with basketballs in their hands, and their poise and confidence shows on the court, said Ocracoke School Athletic Director Charles Temple.

"The girls stepped up with 3 point shots. I couldn't be prouder," said coach Stacie Smith. The team plays an interactive, motion type offense. "I try to run the same offense as the high school so they're ready," said Smith.

Seventh graders Ingrid Contreras and Nayely Jimenez share duties running the point for the team. Ingrid came out strong, scoring all seven of her points in the first quarter. She hustled to step in front of multiple passes by the Warriors, and led the team in steals. Nayely has a quick smooth release on her jump shot and added 12 points to the scoreboard.

Forward Lupita Martinez shared high scoring honors with 12 of her own.

Despite their healthy lead, the girls applied full court pressure throughout the second and third quarters. "It's about getting ready for the next game," said Smith. With eight players on the team, they rarely get to practice playing in 5 on 5 situations, and stiffer competition awaits the Dolphins this season.

The Warriors broke the press repeatedly with long outlet passes, but were unable to make the open lay-ups. Guard Courtney Meekins may have been the best player on the floor, but she didn't have enough ball handling support from her team.

Liam Caswell defends the inbound pass.
Liam Caswell defends the inbound pass.

The Wanchese boys had a clear size advantage over the Dolphins.

"We are short, in case you didn't notice," said coach Jason Wells. "The team is basically six guards and a forward. They're going to be bigger and stronger. We've just got to be faster."

The Dolphins were faster and scrappier in Thursdays 43-23 win, plaguing the Warriors with steals and the pure shooting of Maclain Kalna. Maclain shot 5 of 5 from the floor in the first six minutes, ending the game with 19 points.

Liam Caswell took it coast to coast and dropped in a lay-up, giving the Dolphins a 18-1 lead at the end of the the first quarter. Liam loves to drive the baseline and work the open floor. He scored 10 points.

The Wanchese boys played tighter in the second half. "You're bigger than they are," their coach reminded them from the sidelines. Lakeland Paul was the Warrior high scorer with 7.

It wasn't enough. Eighth grade point guard Darvin Contreras added 9 points, and seventh grader Colby Austin had 6.

Coach Wells said his team will be focusing on defense, as his 5 best defenders from last year are now high school players. He knows a growth spurt will be arriving soon for some of his players, "over Christmas break, hopefully." 


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