(March 1, 2019) The Worcester Prep boys’ basketball team hung tight with the Delmarva Christian Royals in the first half of last Thursday’s Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game in Georgetown, Delaware, but in the second half the home team’s offense caught fire and the Mallards couldn’t match it.

“We were tied 17-17 at the end of the first and only down by six at halftime,” Prep Coach John Moeser said. “We matched them shot-for-shot in the first half. The two times we played them during the [regular] season, they blew us away.”

After a 17-17 tie in the first quarter, Delmarva outscored Worcester 14-8 in the second to lead 31-25 at halftime.

“Mike Curtis had a big first half,” Moeser said.

Curtis, a senior, hit five three-point shots in the first half. He scored 17 of the team’s 25 first-half points.

“Delmarva Christian got super hot in the second half,” Moeser said.

The Royals tallied 27 points in the third quarter, while the Mallards netted 11. At the end of the quarter, Delmarva held a 58-36 advantage. The Royals won the game, 72-49.

Despite the loss, Moeser was pleased with the Mallards’ performance.

“It was probably our best game of the year,” he said. “The kids didn’t quit. They played them hard throughout the four quarters.”

Curtis led Worcester with 20 points.

Moeser said it was a big accomplishment just to make it to the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game after a slow start to the season.

“We finished [with a] 7-10 [record], but we started out the year 0-5,” Moeser said. “As the season went on, we got better. Whenever you’re better at the end of the season, then it’s an accomplishment. That’s how you measure if you were successful.”

After the game, several players were honored with Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference awards.

Curtis, senior captain Colin Miller and sophomore Mason Brown earned All-Conference accolades. Freshman Brice Richins received an honorable mention distinction.

In his first year as head coach, Moeser said the season was a learning experience for him and the players.

The team relied on its defensive play throughout the season.

“We played defense well, we just had a hard time scoring,” Moeser said.

During the team’s banquet this week, he presented awards to several players. Miller took home the team MVP award, senior captain Cole Berry received the Coaches Award and senior Alec Dembeck was named Most Improved.

The team will graduate eight seniors, most of whom played a large role. Despite losing a huge chunk of the squad, Moeser said a good nucleus is anticipated to return next year.

“[In addition], we have some kids coming up I’m excited about,” he said. “The future looks good.”

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