Appoquinimink hit seven three-pointers in the first half, then held off a late Sussex Central rally for a 53-43 victory, giving the Jags a vital victory for their DIAA Tournament hopes.
Both teams entered perilously close to the .500 mark, and in need of the two playoff points that would go to the winner.
While two points went to the winner, you get three points if you make a shot from beyond the arc, and Appoquinimink took full advantage of that in the opening 16 minutes, with Ashley Campbell, Sha’Nia Davis and Amanda Delia connecting on triples to give the Jags a 16-8 first quarter lead as they ended on an 8-0 run.
Davis started the second quarter with two more long-range shots for the Jags, but Central was finding a counter in centers Baleigh Lambert and Tameeyah Bowden, who helped keep the game reasonably close, although another Campbell three put the Jags up 28-21 at the half.
Appoquinimink’s outside game went away, but Davis, and Delia began attacking the rim, although Davis would pick up her fourth foul with 2.2 seconds to go in the period, as she had to go to the bench with her team’s lead down to 41-35.
Sussex Central took advantage, as Rae Stratton began to work off of screens and find space in the paint for baskets, including one that put them within 43-39 with 6:50 to play.
They would get several chances to make it a one-possession game, but Appoquinimink’s interior defense, led by Jayla Atkins made it tough for the Golden Knights to get a good look, and ultimately Davis would re-enter to hit six free throws in the final 1:35 to lock in the victory.
Davis led all scorers with 24 points, while Campbell added 14 points for Appoquimink (10-7), who continue their big week with a cross-town rivalry battle at Middletown on Tuesday. They’ll face Flight B leader Howard on Thursday.
Lambert’s 14 points, Bowden’s 12 points, and Rae Stratton’s 10 points paced Sussex Central (8-11), who dropped their fourth straight game. They’ll finish their regular season at home Thursday against 15-3 Woodbridge. A victory would give the Golden Knights four playoff points, which may be must-have if they want to return to the tournament.