SALISBURY — Coming into the season, Colonel Richardson High boys’ basketball coach Brad Plutschak wasn’t quite sure where his team would stand.
After a 76-67 defeat of Indian River, Del., Saturday afternoon, his team, having swept two Christmas tournament games at the Governors Challenge, hosted by the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, stood at 6-1.
Moreover, as Plutschak put it, “we’re four-tenths of a second from being 7-0, really. That buzzer-beater against Crisfield is the only thing preventing that.”
That 3-point bucket — which gave the Crabbers a 59-58 opening-night win on Dec. 5 at Colonel — “everybody knew was going to fall in,” Plutschak said. “We defended it right, but it was just meant to go in.”
That narrow setback notwithstanding, the Colonels are now in a heated fight with county rival North Caroline for the top spot in the North Bayside standings as the division’s only two squads with a single loss (tournament games are not factored in).
David Dickerson’s 29 points powered the Colonel win, as he and teammate Travis Morgan each had 10 at halftime, at which point the Colonels led the Indians, 34-27.
“I found more openings in the second half,” Dickerson said, “and had a few opportunities to get teammates involved.”
Caroline, on the other hand, suffered more than two losses in its Challenge showing. Senior center Peter Schirmer took a hard fall “when I was setting up for a charge,” he said, in the first quarter Thursday against Great Mills (a 72-52 loss), suffering a severely sprained ankle.
He was in a walking boot Saturday, and could only watch his team as it fell to Delmar (Del.), 63-27.
The Bulldogs were missing two more starters as well, one out sick, and another visiting relatives in Wilmington, Del., Saturday. Kyren Miller’s eight points led the losing effort.
Cambridge-South Dorchester, which fell 57-46 Thursday against Seaford at the Challenge, came out flat Saturday against Christiana (Del.), falling behind 22-7 at one point early in the second period.
“We did not have a good start,” Cambridge-SD coach Bill Horsey said. “But it seemed like, once the lid came off the basket, and we were able to hit shots, we just seemed to feel better and because of that we played better.”
Cambridge-SD picked things up in the second quarter, pulling to within 28-27 at halftime, but couldn’t maintain the momentum after intermission.
“We came out a little slow again after halftime,” said Horsey, whose team fell to 2-4 on the season. “You figure, it was one point at halftime, but then four minutes into the third quarter, they had stretched it to 10 points again. And we just couldn’t close it after that.”
Cambridge-SD eventually fell 56-46 to Christiana — which shares a mascot, the Vikings. Jaquil Harris, who hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions midway through the third period to keep the game within eight points each time, had 22 points, which led the Vikings.
“We’re off all this week,” Plutschak said. “Caroline County schools are closed, so we have a few extra days to scout.”
Caroline visits Kent County at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, while C-SD hosts St. Michaels an hour later. Colonel is off until Jan. 7, when the team visits Kent Island at 6:30 p.m.
Follow me on Twitter: @David_stardem.