BEAR — When they are healthy, the St. Elizabeth’s girls basketball team is one of the best in Delaware. On the night of Jan. 28 at Caravel, the Vikings showed why they are ranked third by 302Sports.com as they passed, rebounded, shot and defended their way to an 82-46 triumph at No. 6 Caravel.
The Vikings came out seemingly with extra bounce in their step, and they took the play to the Buccaneers immediately. Julie McCarron scored on a layup for St. Elizabeth off the opening tip, and she scored the team’s first seven points before Caravel’s India Johnston hit a runner nearly two minutes into the first quarter.
The Vikings earned some opportunities thanks to a hounding defense that caused several Buccaneers turnovers, and when they weren’t hitting down low, they turned to the long-distance game. McCarron, Ber’Nyah Mayo and Arianna Henry each connected on three-point shots to open up a 21-10 lead after one.
Caravel got to within nine at 23-14 after field goals from Giniah Gale and Laila Glover early in the second, but the Vikings continued their offensive surge, including Mayo’s second triple of the night. The Buccaneers’ comeback bid suffered a blow early in the second when Johnston, their leading scorer, went down with an ankle injury, but she returned after missing about three minutes.
She provided an offensive spark in the second half, but the Bucs simply had no answers for St. Elizabeth. The Vikings dominated the rebounding, particularly on the offensive end, and they took advantage. Naia Pulliam went to the free throw line seven times in the second half, making six, and other Vikings also made their presence known underneath.
Mayo showcased her all-around game, draining shots from the field, ripping down rebounds in the double digits and, on at least two occasions, threading the needle for highlight-reel assists. Johnston stood out for the Buccaneers, showing no effects from her earlier injury while nailing several tough shots from the field.
Four Vikings reached double figures. Mayo led with 17; she was joined by Pulliam (16), Rory Ciszkowski (16) and McCarron (13). St. Elizabeth improved to 7-4 and travels to Saint Mark’s on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
For Caravel, Johnston finished with 25. The Bucs (6-7) visit Archmere next Wednesday for a 6:15 p.m. tip. The Auks defeated the Buccaneers, 70-52, at the Diamond State Classic in December.