Leona White wasn’t about to rip into her team even after it had just suffered a lackluster performance in the Henlopen Conference girls basketball championship game on Friday night.

Leona White wasn’t about to rip into her team even after it had just suffered a lackluster performance in the Henlopen Conference girls basketball championship game on Friday night.
To White, the coach of Milford High, it was a success for her Buccaneers just to reach the title game for the second consecutive season.
However, this turned out to be Sussex Central’s night.
Senior guard Jasmine Hudson netted a game-high 21 points and sank four three-pointers to spark Sussex Central to a 74-32 triumph over Milford to capture the Henlopen Conference girls basketball crown for the first time since 1995.
The Golden Knights (18-3 overall) steamrolled their way to 22 unanswered points between the first and second quarters and that turned out to be plenty enough to set the table for the huge win.
“Our shots weren’t falling, and that’s pretty much what it is,” White said. “Our shots weren’t falling, the defense wasn’t good, and we had a lot of fouls – that hurt us.”
Sussex Central coach Ron Dukes had harbored big plans of winning the Henlopen title ever since this year’s talented group of seniors was freshmen just four years ago. SC defeated Milford 64-40 during the regular season on Jan. 13.
“Twenty years, that’s a long time,” said Dukes, who was named the Henlopen Conference Coach of the Year. “We’re excited. Our defense set the tone, getting into passing the ball and leading to easy opportunities.”
Senior guard Taylor Pritchett chipped in with 19 points and junior forward Lamesha Walker and senior forward Jada Smack added 10 apiece for Northern Division champ Sussex Central, which received a first-round bye to start the DIAA State Basketball Tournament.
“This feels great. All that hard work finally paid off,” Pritchett said. “When all that hard work finally plays off and they finally say ‘champions,’ it’s like no other feeling.”
It’s a feeling that White and her Milford squad would have to watch run right past them this time around inside Dover High’s gym.
The Golden Knights’ Tatyana Jenkins scored six points during the huge 22-0 run as SC raced out to a 28-4 lead on a pair of Jenkins’ free throws with 7:13 remaining in the first half.
Sussex Central led 37-15 at halftime and was never seriously challenged over the final two quarters as the Golden Knights won their eighth-consecutive game.
Junior Kala Fluitt scored 11 points to pace Southern Division champion Milford (15-6), which hosted William Penn in the first round of the DIAA State Tournament on Tuesday, after the Beacon’s deadline.
White was thinking that maybe Friday’s tough defeat would get them ready to take on the state in the DIAA tournament.
“No, that wasn’t the results that I wanted,” White said, of the Sussex Central contest. “I’m just happy that they made it here and maybe they’ll do better in the first round of the [DIAA Tournament]. Maybe they can redeem themselves in that.
“But all-in-all, it’s been an awesome year. There’s really nothing I can complain about.”