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Denair pulls away in second to top Delhi
boys basketball
Drew Pritchard of Denair attempts a pass to a teammate during Friday's 75-54 home win over Delhi. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

A second half surge by Denair High boys basketball team led to the Coyotes to a, 75-54, home win over Southern Athletic League foe Delhi High on Friday night after trailing at halftime.

“We got some leadership on the team and coach Marchie had a little bit of an issue, my assistant, so he was in the hospital and I know the kids wanted to play hard for him,” said Denair head coach RJ Henderson. “We got contribution from everybody, in this league and any league, you have to hold down home court and we did that tonight.”

“Give them credit, they shot lights out in the third quarter on, but we also went on a hell of a run in the second quarter to take the lead,” said Delhi head coach Brian de la Porte. “But they hit their open shots, I don’t know how many threes, least half a dozen that broke open the game, it’s their gym they shot well that is what it was.”

Delhi has lost 11 straight and fall to 2-14 overall and remain winless in four SAL games at 0-4.

“Our kids played hard, they are resilient and we got a lot of basketball ahead of us, we have six of eight games at home, which is nice,” said de la Porte. “I know we are 0-4 in league, but believe it or not we are not out of the playoff picture yet, still a lot of basketball left.”

Denair has now won two of three and improve to 6-10 overall and 2-1 in the SAL.

It didn’t come that easy, however.

Delhi battled in the first half after they went down 18-12 to Denair when the first quarter ended.

Then Delhi’s top scorer, Aiden Rocha, who dropped a team-high 20, went on a roll to close out the second.

Rocha outscored Denair alone going 16-0 in the final 3:27 of the second, scoring every point on his own.

Rocha knocked down 6-of-6 from the free throw line, and scored two threes including a buzzer beater that he drained as time expired with just 0.8 left till the half.

Delhi’s 32-31 lead didn’t last long.

Denair came out ready to make all their shots, especially from behind the arc.

In the mix of it all were Steffin Winston (17), Drew Pritchard (17), Ben McGuire (16) and Austin Upfold (19), who each contributed majorly in the second half.

“Terrific game; Steffin Winston was excellent, he has been our best player so far this year, he provides an athleticism I don’t think I have had yet to coach,” said Henderson. “Just a great game from our guys.”

Denair led 55-46 after the third concluded.

They went on to outscore Delhi in the fourth quarter, 20-9, to close out the game. Denair hit seven threes in the second half.

“Brian always gets his team to play hard,” Henderson added.

Delhi will take on Waterford at home at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Denair will host Gustine at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.