By Brennan Waldorf
The Northampton Yellow Jackets basketball program has another addition to the thousand-point club in Maeyanna Delk. The senior hit the thousand-point milestone at home, against Arcadia last Thursday, Jan. 30. Delk joins fellow senior Vonte Coston, who scored his 1,000th point against Franklin at the beginning of the year. With Jada Giddens sidelined due to a knee injury, Delk was given the orders to fire at will. An that’s exactly what she did, racking up 30 points, primarily though the first three quarters on Senior Night.
The Jackets had already beaten the Firebirds twice this year and a home win over them would secure the district title. Arcadia, who has drastically improved through the season, was under-experienced in the matchup but put together a resilient attack. Aracdia’s Julia Rehbeins 3-pointer gave the Firebirds the lead at the beginning of the quarter. Arcadia had the lead the majority of the quarter, but fouls were high and scoring subsequently was low. With 37 seconds remaining, Takaila Stratton had a steal that led to a Maeyanna Delk fast break resulting in a And-1 opportunity with the senior capitalizing and tying the game at 9, ending the quarter.
The second quarter, the Jackets picked up the pace and started knocking down shots building a commanding lead. Senior NaPria Brown was a force to be reckoned with as she drove the lane and went head on with Arcadia defenders, often drawing fouls and getting to the line. Arcadia’s Bella Williams continued to be the floor general for the Firebirds, controlling the ball and pushing the pace. Defensive rebounds turned into fast breaks for the Firebirds, with Williams driving right at the interior of the Jackets, getting to the line and knocking down free throws. The quarter ended with Takaila Stratton recording a big block under the basket and the Jackets ahead 29-19.
The third quarter was Delk time; it took her only two minutes into the quarter to get to 1,000 points. Once she hit the mark, by hitting a 3-pointer, a brief break was taken to celebrate. After the break, the senior got right back to work, recording three steals in a row that resulted in 4 points and an assist. Northampton’s defense only allowed 6 points in the quarter and finished ahead 50-25.
Delk sat the majority of the fourth quarter, only entering for a brief moment at the 3:20 mark for a basket, then exiting. The Firebirds continued their attack and never stopped playing, showing true grit and determination even while being down the majority of the game. They outscored the Jackets 17-7 in the quarter with five players contributing but would fall to the Jackets 57-42.
The conclusion of the game saw a new 1,000-point scorer, a district title, and the celebration and honoring of seniors Maeyanna Delk and NaPria Brown. The seniors combined for 44 of the Jackets’ points. Delk finished with 30 and Brown had 14. The Jackets will be back on their home court Feb. 10, for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff against West Point High.
Arcadia had a more even attack with Bella Williams scoring 15, Julia Rehbein finished with 11, Tiana Bagwell added 7, and Jayda Tull concluded with 6. The Firebirds will finish their regular season with a game on Chincoteague, Feb. 6.