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Pandas ride shooting of Mallon, Julian to win over Milford


Dialog reporter

WILMINGTON – After watching her team come out flat against St. Elizabeth on Saturday, Padua coach Emily Grugan was looking for a bit more jump in the Pandas’ step when they took the court Monday afternoon against Milford. An hour and a half later, the rookie coach was smiling as her team put 20 points on the board in the first quarter and dismantled a good Buccaneers team, 66-41.

“We came out very flat against St. Elizabeth, 23-6 in the first quarter, and that just can’t happen. We really worked on that at practice, starting fresh, starting intense and sharp, and I think the girls did that well. They executed the game plan very well at the beginning,” Grugan said. Read more »

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Hahn’s free throws with 5.4 to go helps Raiders to Classic win


Dialog reporter

WILMINGTON – Adrianna Hahn’s afternoon did not get off to the best start on Tuesday, but all ended well for the Ursuline senior. Hahn converted two free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining to boost the Raiders to a 50-48 win over Lawrence County (Tenn.) in the St. Francis Healthcare Cup third-place game at the Diamond State Classic.

The two-time state player of the year missed several shots in the first half as Ursuline spotted the Wildcats a 10-point halftime lead, which had shrunk to eight at the start of the fourth quarter. But Hahn kept shooting and leading her teammates as they fought back. She scored 12 of her game-high 27 points in the final stanza, including hitting both ends of the one-and-one at the end. Read more »

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Late rally sparks Vikings to Diamond State win


Dialog reporter

WILMINGTON – Alanna Speaks scored 21 points, including the winning bucket with 15 seconds remaining, to lift St. Elizabeth to a 60-57 win over St. Anthony (Long Beach, Calif.) in the seventh-place game of the St. Francis Healthcare Cup at the Diamond State Classic Tuesday morning at the St. E Center. The win ended a two-game losing streak for the Vikings.

Speaks’ field goal helped St. Elizabeth overcome a nine-point deficit as they trailed, 54-45, with about four minutes to go. A jumper by Jordyn Humes cut the lead to 54-51 before the Saints’ Alaja Edwards ended the run, but that would be St. Anthony’s last field goal. St. Elizabeth’s eighth-grader Olivia Tucker then stepped up. She hit a free throw to cut it to one at 56-54, then, after a Saints free throw, tied it with a three-point shot with minute to go. Read more »

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Ohio powerhouse too much for Salesianum at Slam Dunk


Dialog reporter


LEWES – Salesianum fell behind, 21-6, after one quarter and was not able to mount a comeback in a 77-58 loss to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School of Akron, Ohio, on Sunday night at the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament at Cape Henlopen High School. The young Sals, who lost several seniors from last season’s state championship squad, struggled to keep up with SVSM’s dynamic duo of Josh Williams and Jibri Blount, who scored 21 and 22 points, respectively.

The tall, athletic Irish used their height and experience to their advantage, shooting nearly 54 percent from the field. They also reached the foul line 27 times, making 17 free throws, while Salesianum shot 39 percent for the game and attempted just 12 free throws, making eight.

After the first period, the Sals played fairly evenly with the Irish, who are ranked in USA Today’s top 50 nationally. Behind senior Donte DiVincenzo, Salesianum cut the deficit to 11 at the half, 41-30, but shooting woes and turnovers hurt their efforts after the half. Each time Salesianum appeared ready to make a run, St. Vincent-St. Mary had an answer. Terrance Dean, for example, followed a DiVincenzo miss with a short put-back to cut the lead to 48-36, but Irish guard Jayvon Graves responded immediately with a layup to push the lead back to 14.

DiVincenzo scored 28 to lead all scorers on 10-for-26 shooting, including three three-point shots, and he was five of seven from the free-throw line. DiVincenzo, playing in front of his college coach, Villanova’s Jay Wright, scored from outside and inside. He received support from classmate Shane Clark, who added 15 points. He scored six of Salesianum’s points consecutively in the fourth quarter on three layups, including one where he was sent sprawling out of bounds in front of the various college coaches who had descended on Cape Henlopen to watch the talent from all over the country who are in town for the three-day event, which ends Monday.

A bright spot for Salesianum was the play of Jamal Whittlesey. The 6-5, 300-pound freshman scored five points, two on a baby hook shot taken after he backed his defender into the paint. The other three came on a short turnaround layup, also taken after backing his man close to the hoop. He was fouled on that shot and converted the free throw. He added nine rebounds.

The Irish threw in a few highlight-reel plays along the way. Blount, a 6-6 forward who will play college ball at Cleveland State, split the key in the first half and threw down a left-handed dunk that gave his team a 14-point advantage. Late in the fourth quarter, with the outcome not in doubt, Williams – headed to Akron to play hoops – grabbed a steal at halfcourt, drove toward the basket and lobbed the ball off the backboard. His teammate, 6-6 junior forward Henry Baddley, took the ball in stride and dunked it, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Baddley and Graves joined Williams and Blount in double figures with 12 points each. St. Vincent-St. Mary’s plays its final game at Slam Dunk on Monday at 7:30 p.m. vs. Sunrise Christian Academy of Kansas, which defeated nationally ranked Christ the King (N.Y.) Sunday afternoon.

Salesianum, playing an ambitious schedule, lost its fourth straight game and fell to 1-5. The Sals will try to reverse their fortunes Monday at 3 p.m. against Caesar Rodney at Cape Henlopen.

The rest of the schedule for Slam Dunk on Monday is as follows: Christ the King vs. Sanford, noon; Our Savior New American (N.Y.) vs. Haverford School (Pa.), 1:30 p.m.; Roselle (N.J.) Catholic vs. Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.), 6 p.m.; and Mount St. Joseph (Md.) vs. Cape Henlopen, 9 p.m.

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Spartans bounce back to take Diamond State Classic opener


Dialog reporter


WILMINGTON – Kaitlyn Wolff took her spot at the foul line, her St. Mark’s team trailing Howard by a point with 30.9 seconds remaining. She coolly knocked down a pair of free throws, and the Spartans managed a 47-46 comeback win Saturday morning at the St. E Center. The game was the opener of the 24th annual Diamond State Classic, which benefits area charities.

Wolff scored 18 points to lead St. Mark’s, which won its fifth straight and improved to 5-1. She scored eight of those in the final quarter, including a perfect six-for-six from the free-throw line, as St. Mark’s erased a four-point deficit it faced after three quarters.

Ann White of St. Mark's (left) battles Howard's Ronnay Blanch-Huggins during their game Saturday at the Diamond State Classic. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Ann White of St. Mark’s (left) battles Howard’s Ronnay Blanch-Huggins during their game Saturday at the Diamond State Classic. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

“It was nerve-racking, but I just figured I had to do it for the team,” the junior said. “They just kept telling me to drive, drive. That’s how we’re going to get the points. So I just did what they said.”

Senior Ann White got the Spartans going early with a long two-point field goal, and all five starters scored in the stanza as they held a 14-8 lead after one. Howard gave St. Mark’s plenty of opportunities to stretch the lead with a number of turnovers, but the Spartans struggled to convert. Their shooting woes continued into the second, while the Lady Wildcats fought back to tie the game at 16 midway through the period. St. Mark’s regained the lead when Alyssa Simmons rebounded a missed free throw by Wolff and knocked down a short jumper, but the teams stayed close.

Howard took its first lead with a minute to go before halftime on a similar play. Nyasia Gaines missed a free throw, but Deychaun Madric grabbed the rebound and scored on the putback. Howard took the 22-21 lead into the break.

The Lady Wildcats extended the lead in the third behind the play of sophomore Ronnay Blanch-Huggins, a 5-8 forward who was a presence inside the entire game. Blanch-Huggins scored eight of her team-high 18 points in the third. St. Mark’s stayed within striking distance thanks in large part to foul shots, as the Spartans made six of nine attempts. White’s two buckets were the team’s only points from the field in the quarter.

While Wolff was perfect from the line in the fourth, Howard struggled mightily in what likely made the difference. The Lady Wildcats converted just one of five attempts and just three of 10 for the game.

White joined Wolff in double figures with 10 points. The Spartans return to action at the Classic on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. when they play Council Rock South (Pa.) for the championship of the New Castle Insurance Cup. Council Rock South defeated Delaware Military Academy this afternoon.

Blanch-Huggins was the only Lady Wildcat in double figures, although all nine players who appeared scored. Dayshanay Brown had seven. Howard, which lost its first game after opening the season with three consecutive wins, will meet DMA in the New Castle Insurance Cup third-place game Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

The tournament, which goes through Tuesday, features six games on Sunday. After the Howard-DMA contest, Padua takes on Harriton (Pa.) at 12:30 p.m. in the Delaware Cup. Concord will meet Trinity (Pa.) at 2:15 p.m. in the Delaware Cup. St. Mark’s and Council Rock South follow at 4, followed by Sussex Central and Seton Keough (Md.) at 5:45 and Sanford vs. Monsignor Scanlan (N.Y.) at 7:30. Those last two games are in the First State Orthopaedics Cup.

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Student and school news


Knights of Columbus to hold free throw contest

The Knights of Columbus Christopher Council is holding a free throw contest for boys and girls between the ages of 10-14 on Jan. 11 at St. Helena’s Parish gymnasium. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., with the contest at 11.

All participants receive a free breakfast, and one parent or guardian will get a discounted meal. Proof of age is required. For more information, contact Bill Moschelle at (302) 798-2904 or pmanager@hrparish.com.

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St. Mark’s, Archmere seniors named co-winners of football’s DeLucia Award


Dialog reporter


WILMINGTON – John Dougherty of St. Mark’s High School and Matt Gallagher of Archmere Academy have been named the recipients of the 2014 Michael DeLucia Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to a senior football player from a Delaware Catholic high school. The award, which has been given for 43 years, goes to a player “who has exemplified outstanding performance, attitude and character on and off the field.” Read more »

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One loom at a time, Holy Cross Knitting Club makes a difference


Dialog reporter


DOVER – It’s a Friday afternoon in December, and most of the students at Holy Cross School have taken off for the weekend. But in a room in the school’s Early Childhood Center, some 70 first- through eighth-graders have gathered in the season of giving to help those who could really use some.

At tables throughout the large room, students laughed and talked as they knitted winter hats. Atop two desks, a pile of hats in a variety of colors steadily grew; there would be more than 100 by the time the meeting ended. Read more »

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Boys basketball: Third-quarter burst lifts St. Elizabeth past Howard


Dialog reporter


WILMINGTON – Mike Piekarski scored the first six points of the third quarter as St. Elizabeth turned a one-point halftime deficit into a lead, then held off a talented Howard squad in an entertaining 64-54 Vikings win Monday night at the St. E Center. With the victory, the Vikings improved to 4-1 already on the young season as they played their first home game in front of a near-sellout crowd.

Piekarski’s half-dozen points were part of a 13-0 run to begin the second half for St. Elizabeth, which trailed, 27-26, at intermission. He and sophomore Malik Curry scored 15 of their team’s 19 points in the third, giving the Vikings a 45-33 lead heading into the fourth. Piekarski said he wanted to set an example after the half. Read more »

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New coaches seek first wins as girls hoops gets into gear


For The Dialog


Two games tonight lead off the girls’ basketball schedule for the week.


William Penn at St. Mark’s, 7:15 p.m. The Spartans hope to get win No. 1 for new coach Kayla Miller.

St. Elizabeth at Caesar Rodney, 7:15 p.m. Meanwhile, in Kent County, the Vikings open the season and a new era with coach Dan Cooney, a longtime assistant at St. Elizabeth.


St. Thomas More at Salisbury (Md.) School, 5 p.m.

Ursuline at Sussex Central, 6:15 p.m. The Raiders are one of the best teams in Delaware, but the Knights are ranked fifth and are playing at home.


Concord at Padua, 5:15 p.m. Both teams won their openers and are ranked in the top 10.

Archmere at William Penn, 5:15 p.m


Brandywine at St. Mark’s, 1:15 p.m.

Largo (Md.) vs. St. Elizabeth, at the Tina Thompson Classic in Washington, D.C., 2 p.m. Caravel, Sanford and Ursuline are also in this event, which takes place all day in three locations.

Ursuline vs. Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) at the Tina Thompson Classic in Washington, D.C., 5:20 p.m.

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