Three Catholic schools remain among the eight still fighting for the girls basketball state championship. Archmere, St. Elizabeth and Padua will all take the court Monday night at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the DIAA tournament. The champion will be crowned before the end of the week. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.
No. 9 Archmere (16-6) at No. 1 Conrad (17-4). The Auks have reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014, and they face a tough task, albeit against a familiar foe. The teams are both members of the Diamond State Athletic Conference, and they met late in the season, a 67-43 Red Wolves win. Conrad comes at opponents with a starting lineup that includes sisters Julie and Stefanie Kulesza, a big presence inside in Ja’Nylah Whittlesey and point guard Alyssa Faville. The Auks counter with a veteran lineup as well, featuring Madison Stewart, Izzy Gioffre, Fiona Teaney, Lauren Kim and Maddie Wallace.
No. 20 Caravel (11-11) at No. 5 St. Elizabeth (15-5). Caravel has defeated two higher seeds to reach this round for the ninth consecutive season, while the Vikings have reached at least the quarterfinals eight of the last nine seasons. Four times in that span, those schools have faced each other. This year, Caravel plays with no seniors and is led by all-state candidate India Johnston. The crafty guard is supported by players such as Taylor Wilkins, Amaya Johnson and Giniah Gale. The veteran Vikings are loaded with seniors, including their own all-stater, Ber’Nyah Mayo. She gets assistance from Julie McCarron, Naia Pulliam, Rory Ciszkowski and others. The teams met at Caravel in late January, and the Vikings left with a decisive win.
No. 6 Padua (14-6) vs. No. 3 Sanford (19-2) at Tatnall School. Unlike the other two matchups, the Pandas and Warriors are not familiar foes. This will be their first meeting since the final game of the regular season in 2016-17. Just two players who appeared in that game will take part in this one — Padua’s Brooke Emmi and Sanford’s Kanisa Tucker. Padua relies on the scoring prowess of Michelle Kozicki and supporters like Emmi, Haley Quickel and Kate MacLennan. The Warriors feature their own big gun in senior Allie Kubek and her classmate Tucker, along with youngsters Zy Kilgoe and Dallas Pierce.
The other quarterfinal pits No. 10 Tatnall at No. 2 Cape Henlopen.
The winners will play in the semifinal round on Wednesday night at the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware, with the first game beginning at 6:30 p.m. The championship takes place on Friday at 7 p.m., also at the Bob.