All Because Of A Missing Bus
Boys Basketball, Seniors, Sports

All Because Of A Missing Bus

By Cameron Deckman

Three more to go.

He gets the ball.

He shoots from downtown.

He makes it.

He runs back to get on defense with a smile, but he has to focus.

One thousand points do not matter if the team does not win.

Senior D’Amare Hood joined a select few boys’ basketball players in Delta High School’s 1,000 point club during the regional matchup against Fort Wayne Concordia on March 9, 2024.

“I had a moment where I was excited, but then I had to lock back into the game,” Hood said.


Hood started playing basketball at an early age.

He went to elementary school at East Washington Academy in Muncie, Ind. 

In second grade he picked up Amateur Athletic Union, or AAU, basketball. Every weekend he and his mother would go to Fort Wayne for tournaments.

After elementary school, Hood was expected to attend Northside Middle School in Muncie. At that time the Muncie schools were in a hard spot. 

He went to the first day of middle school, but on the second day of school, the bus never showed up. The school had shut down due to transportation issues.

Frustrated by this, Hood’s mother decided to reapply for him to attend Delta schools. He was accepted and started sixth grade at Delta Middle School a few days later.

Hood described himself as a “hothead” during his time in middle school.

He had this issue from a young age, growing up at the park. During pickup games at parks, there was constant arguing and fighting. He had to learn how to separate the game from his emotions.

Former middle school basketball coach Joel VanPelt was known for his “not going to take any crap” coaching style. He started shaping Hood’s life by disciplining him during practice.

“I came in 6th grade, and I had a really bad temper…, ” Hood said. “[VanPelt] helped me control that and turn it into a positive during a game.”

In one case, Hood got into a fight in middle school. Instead of getting kicked off the team, he and VanPelt agreed that he would run around the gym after practice for several weeks.

“If he could learn to handle adversity he was going to be a really good player,” VanPelt said. “That was the only thing that could hold him back.”

In this area, VanPelt has seen the most growth for Hood.

VanPelt has been keeping score at DHS home games for several years, so he has seen firsthand how his players have developed.

“I see him hugging [head coach Mark Detweiler] a lot, and I don’t think he would’ve done that in middle school,” VanPelt said. “That’s growth.”

Even with his quick temper at the time, Hood was a key player and main scorer for his team. VanPelt knew that Hood would become a good player, but he also knew Hood had to learn failure is a part of winning.


D’Amare Hood,as a freshman plays in a JV game against the New Palestine Dragons. (Photo Provided)

When Hood came to the high school team, his role changed. As a freshman, he was no longer the main scorer and had to play a selfless role for his team to have success. 

At this time DHS had a different athlete climbing up the 1,000 point club. Former DHS student Brady Hunt was tearing up the court averaging 21.2 points per game.

Hood played JV the whole season and was strictly an outside shooter for his team.

That varsity basketball team ended up losing to the New Castle Trojans in the sectional tournament. 

After Hood’s freshman year, he still had a smaller role than he wanted. However, he was called up to varsity. He averaged 7.9 points per game, and he scored only 182 points for varsity.

The team finished the season with an even record, losing in the sectional tournament.

The following year his role opened up and he became a key player for the team. He shot more threes, racked up more rebounds, and started getting into the paint to shoot. 

The team made it to semi-state, losing in the championship game, and had a record of 19-10. Hood finished the year with 382 points, but he was only a little more than halfway to 1,000 points.


Hood opened up his senior year on Nov. 25 with eight points and five rebounds in the win over the Connersville Spartans. It was a cold start, but that is to be expected for players getting back into season.

Three weeks after his first game he would face the Muncie Central Bearcats. He dropped seven points in the 33-25 win. After this game, Hood never had fewer than 10 points in a game for the rest of the season. 

Going into the regional matchup against Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran, Hood knew he was close to 1,000 points but he wasn’t sure how close. He guessed around 20 points, but he only had 11 points left.

Hood started scoring early. He had cut the remaining amount of points down to three in the second quarter. He had plenty of time, but he decided he wanted it now. He popped a three with one minute and 30 seconds left in the first half.


Hood shooting a three at the regionals game at Lapel High School. (Photo by Abby McElroy)

He was now in the 1,000 point club, but the game was still close.

Hood was held scoreless for the rest of the game, and near the end, he received his fourth technical foul of his high school career.

The game came down to the wire. Senior Jackson Wors, another 1,000 point club member who joined the club earlier in the season, was fouled with the game tied with 0.3 left on the clock. 

He went to the free throw line for two shots.

Wors made both of them.


Hood never celebrated the 1,000-point accomplishment.

Instead, he got right back to work.

The team had a week before they would be right where their season ended the previous year.

The semi-state games were held in Logansport, Ind. The Eagles won their first game against the Fairview Falcons 54-45.

They were moving on to the championship game against the South Bend St. Joseph Huskies. 

If they win they go to state.

Hood celebrates with seniors Jonny Manor (middle) and Caleb Jones (right) at the end of the regional game. (Photo by Abby McElroy)


The game started off with Hood winning the opening tip.

Hood started scoring with about three minutes left in the first. He swung left to right and scored two points with the layup.

He hit one more shot with less than a minute left in the first quarter. At the end of the first St. Joe was up 11-10, but the pace Delta wanted. If they want to win this game they have to keep the scoring down.

Throughout the tightly contested game, there were more than 10 lead changes.

Delta had a chance to win the game in regulation time after Hood stole the ball on an inbounds pass with 50 seconds left in the game. However, St. Joseph’s defense was too strong and Delta had to force a shot.

They went to overtime.

In the chaos of overtime, two Delta players went down, and one St. Joseph’s player went down as well. One of the Delta guys was Hood. He was suffering a calf cramp, but refused to leave the game. 

The score was 37-37 at the end of the first OT.

They had to go into another overtime while Hood received treatment for his cramps.

There was no scoring on both sides during the second overtime, so they went to another one.

Hood returned to the game early in the third OT, but the Eagles fell just short. They lost 41-44.


Hood learned an important lesson from his time in high school.

“Luckily I get to play four more years in college, but basketball is not always guaranteed,” Hood said. “Seeing my teammates playing their last game was really eye opening for me.”

Hood will be going to the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Coach Detweiler has one piece of advice for Hood as he continues to the college level.

“Deal with what’s in front of you, and keep your emotions in check,” he said.

April 23, 2024

About Author

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Cameron Deckman Cameron Deckman is a sophomore at Delta High School. He enjoys running, but always forgets his water bottle. He has crazy shin problems and after every run can be seen limping. He drinks black coffee like an old man. He plays baseball, too, and his favorite team is the Cincinnati Reds. DE LA CRUZ ON TOP!


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