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Papa’s clutch free throw lifts Spartans past Charter, 36-35


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – St. Mark’s and Charter School went toe-to-toe throughout Tuesday afternoon’s game, so it was only fitting that the matchup came down to the final seconds. Nick Papa made sure St. Mark’s went home happy as he hit one of two free throws with 6.1 seconds to lift the Spartans to a 36-35 road win over the Force.

Papa was fouled as St. Mark’s was trying to inbound the ball following a timeout. Since the ball had not yet been put into play, the infraction was called an intentional foul, giving Papa two free throws and possession back to St. Mark’s. Papa missed the first attempt but was true on the second. The game, however, was far from over. Read more »

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Second-half collapse dooms Padua in 59-47 loss to Caravel


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – For one half of Tuesday night’s game against Padua, the Caravel girls basketball team could do little to stop the Pandas. Padua shots were true, its defense stout, and the hosts had a 37-28 lead to show for their effort.

But it was a different story during the final two quarters, particularly in the fourth, as Caravel turned up the pressure, forcing turnover after Padua turnover, blocking shots and denying the Pandas the three-point shot. Padua scored just 10 points in the second half as Caravel managed a 59-47 road win. Only two of those points came in the fourth quarter, as Padua held a 45-40 lead after three. Read more »

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St. Mary Magdalen grad named state’s top athlete


Staff reporter


NEW CASTLE – Paul Worrilow, a graduate of St. Mary Magdalen School who recently completed his first season in the National Football League, was named the John J. Brady Athlete of the Year by the Delaware Sportwriters and Broadcasters Association at the organization’s annual banquet Feb. 17 at the Sheraton Wilmington South hotel.

Worrilow, 23, made the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Delaware. A linebacker, he led the team in tackles with 127 despite not starting until the fifth game of the year. That was 42 more than anyone else on the team, and it tied him for 12th in the league.
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Delayed by snow, high school basketball wraps up regular season this week


For The Dialog


This week’s high school basketball is light as the regular season comes to a close this week. Even with games rescheduled from earlier this season, the Catholic teams are done by Wednesday. First up: the boys’ schedule this week.

Tuesday: St. Elizabeth at Newark, 5:15 p.m. A win for the Vikings against a good Newark team would help their seeding in the state tournament. Newark is 12-6 and has won seven in a row, clinching the Blue Hen Conference Flight A crown. St. Elizabeth will make the tournament thanks to its strong schedule. Read more »

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Sals celebrate Senior Night with 62-50 win over Archmere


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – Salesianum School honored its eight senior basketball players before Sunday night’s game vs. Archmere, then got down to business for a 62-50 win in front of another sellout crowd at Father John Birkenheuer Gymnasium.

The Sals started four seniors against the Auks – along with junior guard Donte DiVincenzo – and reserves Nicholas Palumbo, who drilled a three-pointer, and Casey Morgan, with two points, helped them to a 13-12 lead after one quarter. But an 11-0 run to begin the second quarter paved the way to a 15-point halftime lead and the 17th win for Salesianum against just two losses this season.

Seven Salesianum players scored during the second quarter; senior Joe McCusker led the way with six. One of McCusker’s baskets came on a reverse layup with the assist to DiVincenzo on a no-look backdoor pass after Archmere’s Michael Ford ended the Salesianum scoring run with a free throw. When they weren’t scoring, the Sals were smothering Archmere with a man-to-man defense and using their height inside to block or alter shots and outrebound the visitors by a healthy margin.

The lead continued to grow after halftime as the Sals’ three highest scorers – DiVincenzo, McCusker and Brian O’Neill – put up six apiece in the third, giving the team a 56-33 advantage heading into the fourth. Archmere cut the lead to 13 in the first three and half minutes of the final quarter against a team of Salesianum reserves, prompting Salesianum coach Brendan Haley to get his starters back on the floor to end any thoughts of an Auks comeback.

DiVincenzo led all scorers with 17 points, while McCusker added 15 and O’Neill 10. For Archmere, Christian Conaty was the high man with 15, with Burns going for 14.

The Sals complete the regular season on Tuesday at Wilmington Friends at 5:30 p.m. Archmere, which fell to 15-4, will visit Wilmington Christian on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in its regular-season finale.

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Padua senior, Sallies soccer among honorees at DSBA banquet


Staff reporter


Catholic schools will be represented by two award-winners at the 65th annual banquet of the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association, which will be held Monday at noon at the Sheraton Wilmington South hotel.

Padua Academy senior Erin Wendelburg is a co-winner of the inaugural Buddy Hurlock Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes an athlete who has overcome obstacles to contribute to an athletic team and inspire others. Wendelburg’s mother died from cancer when Erin was 8, her father four years later. Wendelburg then was diagnosed with a brain tumor and missed several months of her junior year. She returned to the dance team this season and is close to finishing her chemotherapy.

Wendelburg was profiled in The Dialog in December.

She will share the award with Mike DeStasio, a Lewes resident who has become a nationally recognized all-wheel bowler despite battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, since 2008.

The Team of the Year is the Salesianum School soccer team, which finished the season with its 10th state championship in 12 years, a No. 2 national ranking, and a win over St. Benedict’s (N.J.), then the top-ranked team in the country.

Other honorees include Lynn Richardson, field hockey and girls lacrosse coach at Polytech High School, the Tubby Raymond Coach of the Year. Richardson led the lacrosse team to its first state tournament in the spring, then took the Panthers to the field hockey semifinals in the fall. She was the coach of the year in both sports and did all this while being treated for cancer.

Tony Defazio is the winner of the Herm Reitzes Award, given to someone for his or her service to the community. Defazio officiates several YMCA sports, and is a baseball and softball umpire. He runs the clock for Cape Henlopen girls basketball games and announces the school’s football games.

The John J. Brady Athlete of the Year will be announced at the banquet.

The Sheraton Wilmington South is located at 365 Airport Road, New Castle. Tickets are $30 and available at www.delasports.org.

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Schools will try again to get their basketball games in


Staff reporter


The latest snowstorm has forced local athletic directors to scramble to find open dates to fit in basketball games that had to be postponed. At least one Catholic school is taking advantage of the decision to push back by one day the end of the regular season to Feb. 20.

Salesianum at St. Mark’s, originally scheduled for tonight, has been moved to Saturday night at 7:30. For the Sals, this means they will finish the season with three games in four days. Read more »

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Ursuline student named one of Delaware’s top volunteers


Natalie Onesi, an eighth-grader at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, has been named one of Delaware’s top two youth volunteers for 2014 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a national organization that honors young people for their acts of volunteerism.

Natalie, 14, devotes a week every summer to repairing homes for people with injuries or disabilities, according to Prudential. She said she was inspired to volunteer by her church. Two years ago, at the suggestion of a family friends, she and her brother joined a religious retreat that designates a city where some 400 students worked on approximately 60 homes whose owners could not afford to make repairs.

According to Prudential, she spends her days during this retreat not only working, but also building a relationship with the people she is helping.

The other state honoree is Julie Murphy, 17, a junior at Newark High School. She played a key role in running a statewide sleeping bag drive that provided bags to more than 1,000 homeless children in Delaware.

The two girls each will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and a trip to Washington, D.C., in early May where they will join the honorees from every state and the District of Columbia. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2014.

Marius Sander, 16, a junior at St. Thomas More Academy in Magnolia, was one of four state finalists. Sander has raised $4,400 for Mom’s House, which provides free childcare to low-income single parents pursuing an education. He raised the money by hosting violin concerts. He started the fundraising concerts in 2010 and also plays violin and saxophone for nursing homes, hospitals and hospice centers.

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Three-pointers, Connolly’s free throws pace Raiders in win over Vikings


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – She might be the youngest player on the Ursuline roster, but Maggie Connolly showed veteran poise during Tuesday’s Catholic Conference showdown against rival St. Elizabeth. The eighth-grader scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, all from the free-throw line, as the top-ranked Raiders scored a 51-42 win at the St. E Center.

Connolly hit those 10 free throws in 12 attempts and was the go-to player after junior guard Adrianna Hahn fouled out in the closing minutes. Her first two free throws came in the midst of an 11-0 run and gave the Raiders the lead at 41-39, and they would not trail again. After a layup by freshman Kryshell Gordy made it 43-39, it was all Connolly, who scored Ursuline’s final eight points from the line while the large crowd – including numerous St. Elizabeth students – shouted encouragement on each attempt. Read more »

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Boys basketball preview: Tournament seedings in mind, and old rivals meet again


For The Dialog


After another exciting week of high school basketball, you might be asking if the action could get any better. This week won’t disappoint as we move into the final two weeks of the regular season. Teams are looking to play their best heading into the state tournament, and this week is important preparation.

Monday: St. Mark’s at St. Elizabeth, 7:15 p.m. St. Mark’s is coming off a huge win vs. Milford on Saturday to improve to 11-5. The Spartans are looking for a season sweep against St. Elizabeth, who upset Archmere for the second time last week but lost to Charter on Saturday. Read more »

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