WILMINGTON – St. Elizabeth played an even first half with Neshaminy (Pa.), but the visiting Lady Skins held the host Vikings to just 12 second-half points in a 56-35 win on Dec. 29 at the Diamond State Classic at the St. E Center. The game was part of the opening round of the IAABO Board 11 Cup bracket.
Julie McCarron helped the Vikings get out to an early advantage in the first. The junior opened the scoring with two free throws, and she added a three-pointer a few minutes later as St. Elizabeth built a 10-8 lead. But the Lady Skins answered with a mid-range jumper from Alexis McCoy, and after regaining possession after a Vikings miscue, McCoy snuck behind the defense for an easy two. The Neshaminy lead was 14-12 after one.
The Lady Skins grew that lead to five at the half, with two players doing all their scoring in the second. Before that happened, however, the Vikings recaptured the lead at 15-14. McCarron zipped a pass to a cutting Ber’Nyah Ward-Mayo under the hoop for the basket, and Ward-Mayo completed the three-point play at the free throw line. Emily Tantala provided some long-distance accuracy with a three in addition to put the Lady Skins up, 17-15, and she added a two-point field goal on a second-chance shot a minute later.
Ward-Mayo ended Tantala’s personal scoring run in fine fashion, going nearly the length of the floor before spinning into the lane and tossing in a jumper before falling to the floor. Kristin Curley kept the Lady Skins in front, scoring the other eight points for the team, four of those from the free throw line. They led by five at the half.
The momentum changed at halftime. St. Elizabeth came out cold as the December air in the third, with Rory Ciszkowski hitting the lone field goal in the third. Meanwhile, Brooke Mullin, Neshaminy’s standout who will be playing next season at Bucknell University, returned to the lineup after missing much of the first with foul trouble. She scored seven points in the third, when the Lady Skins outscored the Vikings, 16-5, to give her team at 43-27 lead after three. Allison Harvey was also a key, draining two three-pointers in the quarter.
St. Elizabeth improved slightly from the field in the fourth, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the deficit.
Ward-Mayo scored 11 points before fouling out in the final quarter. St. Elizabeth (3-2) is back on the court at the St. E Center tomorrow morning at 11:45 to meet Ursuline in the consolation round of the IAABO Board 11 Cup bracket at the Diamond State Classic.
For the Lady Skins, Curley was the pace-setter with 14 points. Mullin joined her in double figures with 11. Neshaminy plays St. John’s Catholic Prep (Md.) on Sunday at 6:45 p.m. for the bracket title.