Javon Gordon had a good shot.
His teammate had a better one.
With the clocking running down at the end of the third quarter, Gordon drove the lane and into position for a contested layup.
Instead, the Delsea junior kicked the ball to Kobey Evans in the left corner, and Evans’ three-pointer splashed through the net as the buzzer sounded in Glassboro’s gym.
“I had a good look,” Gordon said. “Kobey had a great look. I trusted him to make the shot.”
— Philip Anastasia (@PhilAnastasia) January 12, 2018
It was one sequence, but it underscored the secret to Delsea’s imposing 65-38 victory over previously undefeated Glassboro Friday night in a Tri-County Conference Diamond Division game.
The Crusaders dominated the early-season battle for first place with diligent defense and unselfish offense.
“Our defense has been a staple,” Delsea coach Tom Freeman said. “We could tell, early on with this group, that they were going to be able to defend.
“We can ramp it up defensively, and we were able to do that tonight.”
The 5-foot-8 Gordon led the way at both ends of the floor for Delsea (6-3, 3-0 Diamond Division), which won its third in a row.
Gordon scored 13, shot 4-for-4 from the foul line and dished four assists. He also had three steals and applied persistent pressure to Glassboro’s ball-handers.
“Beast,” Freeman said of Gordon. “He’s an elite defender. An elite defender.”
— Philip Anastasia (@PhilAnastasia) January 13, 2018
Senior guard Nate Cox scored 14 and Evans, a junior, bounced off the bench to make a pair of three-pointers and finish with 14 as well for Delsea.
Senior guard Anthony Mitchell scored 11 with nine rebounds for Glassboro (7-1, 1-1), the No. 16 team in the Inquirer Top 25.
“All credit to them,” Glassboro coach Steve Behl said. “They were the better basketball team tonight. I told Tom after the game, ‘Thanks for the butt-whipping. We hate it now but it’s going to help us.’”
This was a game without a turning point as Delsea took command in the first five minutes.
Glassboro scored first, as junior Kyree Myers converted a driving layup on the game’s first possession.
Delsea scored the next 18. Senior Aziz Saud (eight points, seven rebounds) hit a pair of three-pointers for the Crusaders, while Gordon, Cox and senior Kolby Braxton sparked a defensive effort that led to transition basket after transition basket.
“We always say, ‘Our offense comes from our defense,’” Gordon said. “That was our main objective, to come in here and shut them down.”
It was 25-10 after one quarter, and the Crusaders’ lead never dipped below double figures. Delsea’s defense never wavered, either, as the visitors held the Bulldogs to 28 points below their season average of 66.4 points.
For the Crusaders, the game’s best sequence came at the end of the third quarter, when Gordon passed up a good shot for a better one for a teammate.
“We talked about that the other day in practice,” Freeman said. “Drive and kick. Share the ball. Be unselfish. That was just good basketball.”
Delsea 25 13 11 16 – 65
Glassboro 10 11 11 6 – 38
D: Kolby Braxton 4, Nate Cox 14, Kobey Evans 14, Javon Gordon 13, Aziz Saud 8, Will Hawkins 9, Zion Jamison 3.
G: Anthony Mitchell 11, Kwandel Tokley 8, Kyree Myers 5, Nizair Scott 2, John Maldonado 3, Brandon Mills 2, Isom Golden 7.