IR Sports Report: Indian River Unified team tips off with win

After taking such a huge step in just their first year of existence, the Indian River High School Unified basketball team tipped off Year 2 with a bang, with a 34-19 win over visiting Seaford on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Following up their DIAA state semifinal-reaching season of a year ago, the Indians have added a couple new faces to the mix, but it was one returning player in particular who made his presence known right from the jump.

Gabe “Big Shot” Mouynivong — just a sophomore — scored seven points in the first quarter en route to a game-high 12 for the Indians in the win. Mouynivong picked right up where he left off last season, as he hit a pair of “treys” as part of his scoring output. The long-range shot is what he became known for during last season.

“Gabe played well, with a lot of intensity, and hustled the entire game,” said head coach Steve Kilby. “A new addition to our team, Joseph Snyder, did a great job, working both ends of the court, pulling down rebounds.”

Colby Willey, one of the varsity athletes on the team that was a part of last year’s success, scored seven points for the Indians, while all-conference football player — and first-year Unified hooper — R.J. Rybicki added six for the winners.

“Clara Shepard did a great job finding her position during the game,” Kilby added. “Nariah Showell chipped in with two points and played solid defense.”

Other scorers in the game for the Indians included newcomers Morgan McGee (2), Savannah O’Shields (2), Reece Stone (2) and A.J. Bordeau (1).

IR will get two weeks to prepare for their next game, which will take place at Milford on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m.

Indians battle Sussex Academy tough in pool

The Indian River swimming team has had more than its fair share of adversity to deal with this season. From lack of actual pool time due to sharing a “home” pool, to now having that pool — at the Howard T. Ennis School — closed for repairs, leaving them with nowhere to train except on land.

That is enough to make even the greatest swimmers in the world struggle for success, but not this group of persevering Indians. Despite the hurdles they’ve faced, the Indians boys’ team still battled tough against a Sussex Academy team with a world-class facility, falling 98-72 to the Seahawks on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The girls also put up quite the battle but still fell, 130-38.

Despite the loss, for the boys, the Indians swept the freestyle events, with Declan Burke and Will Douds each winning a pair of individual events in the meet.

Burke took first in the 200 freestyle event for the Indians with his time of 1:54.43, while also touching the wall before all the other swimmers in the 500 freestyle (5:32.84). Douds’ first-place finishes came in the 50 freestyle (24.4) and 100 freestyle (54.69).

Both were on the winning teams in the 200 free relay (1:39.25) with Zach Lingenfelter and Liam O’Leary, and the 400 free relay (3:37.06) with Lingenfelter and Ethan Forrey.

The setback ended a three-meet win streak for the Indians and has their record now at 3-2 overall.

On the girls’ side, Emma Barthelmess won the lone top-finish event for the Indians in the meet, taking first in the 200 freestyle event (2:11.65).

After two straight wins, the Indians’ girls have dropped their last two meets, and now have a 2-3 overall mark for the season.

Blue Jays fly past Indians on court

One of the top teams in the Henlopen Athletic Conference South Division made its way to Indian River on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and made a statement about just how good they are this year, with a convincing 71-39 Seaford High School win over the Indians.

The Blue Jays jumped out to a 22-5 lead after one quarter of play and extended that lead to 41-15 at the halftime intermission. Senior Amir Mollock scored a team-high 16 points, while sophomores Kejuantae Cherry West and Jordan Palmer (four three-pointers) each added 14 markers for the winners. Classmate Tyrese Fortune chipped in with a double-figure night with 10.

For the Indians, junior Gage Spinks recorded a game-high 17 points. No other player reached double-digits, but senior Qui’maine Jacobs did net eight points, with sophomore Carson Barnes six.

By Jason Feather
Staff Reporter