SMYRNA — If a man was open, chances are the Smyrna High basketball team found him on Tuesday night.
The Eagles’ passing led to a bevy of open looks and, paced by nine three-pointers, allowed them to down Concord High 69-47 in a nonconference boys’ basketball contest. Freshman Jaymeir Garnett led Smyrna (10-2) with 17 points, Caleb Matthews had 16 and Ja’vier Worthy chipped in 13.
“Ball movement and teamwork can help win a lot of games,” said Matthews, a sophomore who drained four threes on the night.
“We passed the ball a lot tonight to find the open man,” Garnett said. “We tried to get the easy bucket and we came out on top.”
Smyrna was in control throughout the game, but used a huge spurt in the third quarter to put the Raiders away.
After Concord (8-7) had cut Smyrna’s lead to 35-27, the Eagles scored the next 11 points. Garnett started the run with an easy bucket on the block before Worthy converted a layup and buried a three with 3:32 left, forcing a Concord timeout as Smyrna’s 42-27 advantage was its largest of the game at that point.
The timeout didn’t help to stop the Eagles. Worthy scored his seventh consecutive point of the quarter on a layup on the next possession and Jerry Williams followed with a basket from underneath the hoop to complete the 11-0 run.
Concord ended its scoring drought with a three-pointer after Williams’ hoop, but Matthews responded with one of his own the next time down the court.
“We had three guys (in double figures) tonight and sometimes it’s not always the same three guys,” said Smyrna coach Andrew Mears. “The one characteristic we have is we have a lot of unselfish players. They’re really feeding off each other. Unselfishness gives opportunities to others guys and tonight some of them stepped up.”
Concord had won five of the last six meetings between the teams. Smyrna’s lone win was a one-point overtime victory two seasons ago.
“Concord is always a tough team and has gotten the best of us over the last couple of years,” Mears said. “We just had things going tonight, especially in the second half.”
The Eagles outscored Concord 21-13 in the third quarter.
Garnett and Worthy each made a pair of three-pointers. Dymer’e Richardson also made a three for Smyrna.
Garnett’s 17-point effort comes after the freshman had been battling through an injury over the last few weeks.
“Coming off an injury I had to fight harder and play tougher,” Garnett said.
The nonconference game kicks off a week where the Eagles will play two important Henlopen Conference Northern Division contests. They host Caesar Rodney High on Thursday (7:15 p.m.) and travel to Dover for a noon tipoff on Saturday against the Henlopen North-leading Senators.
The Eagles are aiming for a first-round bye in March’s state tournament.
“If we could get a first-round bye in the tournament, that would be nice,” Matthews said. “Last year we had a first-round game here and William Penn had a bye so they could come down and scout us and knew who we were.”