Defending division champs 6-0 at winter break
— The race among North division schools is said to be wide open given all the basketball talent that graduated in June, arguably none more so than the eight seniors who led Kent County to its first berth in the state semifinals.
But here we are at the end of December and youthful Kent — there are five sophomores on the modest roster of 12 boys — is atop the division. And unbeaten. The reigning division champion Trojans ran their record to 6-0 last week after winning three games in three days, culminating with a 74-43 beatdown of their hosts from North Dorchester.
Sobaye Scott, who is in his seventh year as head coach at alma mater Kent, said he was “not really” surprised to be undefeated heading into winter break.
“But is it an accomplishment,” he said in a telephone interview on Christmas Eve.
“I thought Easton and Caroline might get us,” Scott said of the close calls, 65-64 and 75-69, respectively.
The largest deficit the Trojans have faced so far was 10 points in the Dec. 5 opener at home against Easton.
Otherwise, “we’ve been down only by four, five or six points, and that’s just a possession or two,” Scott said.
He’s been able to find the silver lining in a year that others projected would be rebuilding for Kent.
“The biggest thing is, knowing that I got a young group, there are no egos, any night anyone can go for 20 (points). Their great- est accomplishment is that they are learning to grasp concepts quickly. They listen down the stretch. That’s why we’ve been successful,” Scott said.
To date, there has been no off-the-court drama, Scott said, no what he calls “pity parties” where guys complain about their lack of playing time.
“It’s a good atmosphere and we’re having fun,” Scott said.
The Trojans are athletic, lightning-quick and excellent shooters from outside the 3-point arc — all of which help to offset their height disadvantage.
“The biggest thing is the firepower I have coming off the bench,” Scott said.
Kent will put its 6-0 record on the line today when it takes on IDEA Public Char- ter School of Washington, D.C. Tip-off is at 10 a.m. at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury.
This is the first of two games that the Trojans are playing in the annual Governor’s Challenge, which has become the largest winter basketball tournament in the country. Their opponent on Friday will depend on the outcome of today’s game.
The Trojans picked up their sixth victory of the year Dec. 20 at North Dorchester. The 31-point margin of victory was their largest of the young season.
Following a closely contested first half — in fact host North Dorchester held a slim 19-18 lead at the end of the opening frame