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Region boys basketball: Strawberry Crest notches first playoff win

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Thu. February 13, 2014 | Brandon Wright

DOVER — Maybe Strawberry Crest guard Malik Channer best summed up the Chargers’ win Thursday night against Sickles.

“I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss,” he said. “Any day.”

Strawberry Crest used a huge second quarter and fended off a rally as the Chargers won their first-ever postseason game in school history, 50-41 over the visiting Gryphons in a Class 7A region quarterfinal. The Chargers (22-6) will host Freedom next week in a region semifinal.

“We’re making history right now,” Channer said. “We have high expectations.”

Leading by five after the first quarter, the Chargers went on a 15-0 run during the second quarter to take a 31-12 advantage into halftime. Strawberry Crest got the majority of those points in transition off its press.

“We’re a defensive-minded team from Day 1,” Channer said. “And that defense leads to points.”

Neither team shot well from the line. Sickles (16-12) was 4 of 19 from the free-throw line while Strawberry Crest was 6 of 18, including 3 of 9 in the final two minutes to assist the Gryphons’ comeback.

“We’ve been scuffling on free throws all year,” Strawberry Crest coach Andre Lewis said. “But we’re all about defense and rebounding. That’s our key.”

Channer (team-high 12 points) led a balanced scoring attack in which five Chargers finished with at least six points. Isiah Channer and Dominick Trigg each had nine points while Austin Griffin added eight.

The Gryphons’ Bryce Nickels led all scorers with 14 points, and teammate Brian Westwood grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

“That’s how our team is built,” Lewis said. “It can be any guy, any night.”

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