Middletown's Amir Hite stood out as a distributor on Saturday. (Photo: Chad Graham/CoBL)
WILMINGTON, Del. — The SL24 Unlocke the Light Foundation hosted their fifth annual classic this weekend at the Chase Field House in honor of Sean Locke, a University of Delaware basketball player who lost his battle with depression in 2018. The event showcases some of the top teams from around the state of Delaware to help raise funds for mental health advocacy and resources throughout the area. Here are some of the standouts from Saturday's Day 2:
Emma Anthony (2026 | Ursuline)
Anthony came off the bench for the Raiders and scored in a hurry in an 82-28 win over Padua. She was almost perfect from deep, knocking down 5 threes. The floor spacer was always shot-ready. With her quick release, Anthony got to her spots on secondary breaks and in scramble situations after offensive rebounds. The freshman guard put up 15 points and a couple assists in the all-round team win.
Jezelle Banks (2027 | Ursuline)
In just three quarters of action against Padua, Banks put the Raiders out-front early with her defense. She used her quick hands to force turnover after turnover as the point-person in their full-court press. “Gigi” racked up 12 steals, 8 in the first quarter, to go along with several deflections. Her generating those sudden-change situations resulted in numerous fast-break opportunities for the team. Banks scored 13 points, mostly in transition, but she facilitated in the halfcourt. Her vision and passing were remarkable. Seeing the whole floor, she threw her teammates open with post-entry and skip passes. The 4 assists she tallied don’t do her point guard skills justice, yet, with four more years of high school ball, her double-doubles will eventually become into triple-doubles.
Haji Bell (2023 | Appoquinimink)
After a fast-paced first quarter, the 5-9 guard got under control in the second and didn’t look back. Bell’s jumper was too much for St. Georges in a 57-49 win. He popped a couple from the mid-range, first on a dribble pullup, then on an elevator screen to the free throw line. In the second half, Bell cashed in a two threes off-the-catch, helping the Jaguars extend their lead to double digits. St. Georges surged back in the fourth quarter, coming within 2 points of tying things up. But Bell answered with clutch free throws to ice the game (6-of-8). He finished with a team-high 16 points.
Amir Hite (2023 | Middletown)
Four or five Cavaliers scored in double figures and Hite was a major part of that in a 77-48 win over Howard. The floor general took command of the floor from start to finish. He grabbed 2 steals, deflected multiple passes, and sped-up Howard with his all-round defensive activity. Likewise, Middletown’s point guard facilitated in the halfcourt and in the full for 7 assists. Contributing 9 points, Hite got his by getting to the paint off-the bounce. Me played through contact on drives, drawing fouls and making all five attempts from the line.
Salesianum's Justin Hinds was an impact defender on Saturday. (Photo: Chad Graham/CoBL)
Justin Hinds (2024 | Salesianum)
A versatile player, Hinds led with his impact on defense. He contested shots out on the perimeter and altered others in the post (3 total). His offense came in later as he scored 8 of his 13 points in the third quarter, helping Sallies take the lead. The 6-6 wing hit his second three, then did rest inside. He used his long strides to attack the rim in a short amount of time, resulting in a foul, a layup, and a dunk. The most dynamic display of athleticism came in the fourth when Anthony “Tookie” Smith threw a lob and Hinds threw it down with one hand.
Matthew McCarthy (2024 | Archmere)
McCarthy didn’t make many attempts from the field versus Tower Hill, but that’s because he was getting to the free throw line. The junior guard repeatedly drew foul calls on strong drives to the basket. Not only did McCarthy make 9-of-10 attempts from the charity stripe, he also put Tower Hill into foul trouble. Defensively, he contested shots and rebounded. McCarthy totalled 14 points, 4 boards, and 2 blocks for the Auks.
Dayon Polk (2023 | Sanford)
Sanford versus Sallies is one of the most important rivalries in the state and Polk made plays when it mattered most in a 49-47 win. The two-way guard started out hot, stripping ball-handlers for 2 steals and putting up 6 points for the Warriors in a low-scoring first quarter. After quiet second and third quarters, Polk closed out the game in the fourth. Salesianum tried to deny him and foul others to extend the game, but he shook free and got the ball anyway. The 6’0 guard sank 8 shots from the charity stripe (10-of-12 total) to secure their marquee victory.
Jaden Rogers (2023 | Middletown)
Rogers let the game versus Howard come to him as he led the Cavaliers with 14 points. He attacked off-the-catch, driving to the rim and getting to his jumper. The scoring guard also created opportunities for himself by taking a steal coast-to-coast for a layup and getting a putback off of an offensive rebound. Rogers skied for five more rebounds on defense to limit Howard’s possessions and get his team into transition offense where they thrived.
Dean Shepherd (2023 | Tower Hill)
The dual-sport athlete and their captain, Shepherd the Hillers’ charge in their 51-43 victory over Archmere. He put the team on his back in the opening quarter, scoring their first 9 points. After a spot-up three, Shepherd had back-to-back-to-back steals for layups. He picked up his man full-court and pestered him up the court. Most of his other points came on hustle plays too. A hyper-athlete, Shepherd grabbed two offensive rebounds for putbacks and, at the end of the third quarter, he pulled down a defensive board and banked a three just inside of halfcourt. His 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals easily made him the unofficial game MVP.
Tommy Vaughn Jr (2024 | Sanford)
A cold start didn’t keep Vaughn Jr from playing hard. He was aggressive getting to the basket and on the defensive and offensive glass, coming away with 8 boards. His second field-goal make came on a tough putback early in the third. Then, he turned things up in the final period. Vaughn Jr splashed two huge catch-and-shoot threes and turned a pass he jumped into a couple free throw makes as the Warriors regained the lead. He finished with 13 points to go along with the rebounds and his effort on defense.
Christian Barksdale (2023 | Appoquinimink), Philip Blessington (2024 | Archmere), Taylor Brown (2027 | Ursuline), Kevin Coleman (2026 | Tower Hill), Amir Cunnningham (2023 | Middletown), Jameer DeSheilds (2024 | Howard), Markus Edmunds (2023 | Middletown), Sean Forrest (2023 | Sanford), Daniel Harvey (2025 | Appoquinimink), Isaiah Hynson (2024 | Salesianum), Ty’renne Hynson (2023 | Middletown), Hannah Kelley (2023 | Ursuline), Rahsaan Matthews Jr. (2024 | Howard), Jaiden McGhee (2023 | Middletown), Aaron Rambert (2023 | St. Georges), Xavier Richards-Powell (2023 | Howard), Dylan Shepherd (2023 | Tower Hill), Anthony Smith (2026 | Salesianum), Daniel Somerville (2024 | Tower Hill), Jordan Spencer (2024 | Sanford), Jordin Tate (2025 | Ursuline)
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