Decatur Splits Pair in Governor’s Challenge

Decatur Splits Pair in Governor’s Challenge
Stephen Decatur’s boys varsity basketball team, pictured above during a timeout at last week’s Governor’s Challenge Holiday Tournament in Salisbury, split its two games in the tourney, falling to Dunbar in its first game, but rallying to beat Dickinson in its second game. Photo by Earl Campbell

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity basketball team held up it end for the most part in the Governor’s Cup Holiday Basketball Tournament in Salisbury last week, winning its only game against a Delaware opponent as the teams from Maryland edged the First State teams in head to head competition by a margin of 11-9.
For years, the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center has hosted a holiday basketball tournament featuring some of the best prep teams from around the region between Christmas and New Year’s, but the stakes have been raised in recent years. Three years ago, for the first time, the tournament was renamed the Governor’s Challenge after Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley issued a challenge to Delaware Gov. Jack Markel with a Maryland Smith Island cake on the line against a Delaware peach pie for the winner in the head-to-head competition between schools from both states.
The tournament was played last week and Maryland won for the first time, beating Delaware, 11-9, in head to head competition between the two states. The two states were tied heading into the final day, but Maryland took care of business. Boys Latin beat Sussex Central to give Maryland a 10-9 advantage with one game remaining. In the last game, Parkside beat Laurel, 57-54, in a tight game to give Maryland its first win in the series.
Decatur provided one of the wins for Maryland, beating Dickinson, 68-66, in its second game. The Seahawks started fast and built a 10 point lead by halftime. Dickinson battled back in the second half, however, fueled by an 8-0 run and actually took a two-point lead late in the game. Decatur was clutch down the stretch, particularly on the free throw line, and pulled out the narrow 68-66 win. Keyon Eley led Decatur with 23 points in the win.
In Decatur’s other game in the Governor’s Challenge, the Seahawks fell to traditional Baltimore powerhouse Dunbar, 48-33. Decatur started hot and led 15-8 in the first quarter. The heavily favored Dunbar battled back steadily and took the lead for good in the third quarter before cruising to the 15-point win. Tyler Hunter led the Seahawks with 10 points and 10 rebounds.