WILMINGTON –St. Elizabeth played two different basketball games Monday night against Damascus (Md.) in the Diamond State Classic. The Vikings shot well in the first and fourth quarters, enough to overcome a sluggish performance in the middle two stanzas in a 54-38 win in the Delaware Cup bracket of the annual tournament at the St. E Center.
The Vikings came out with a hot hand, streaking to a 7-0 lead before some of the spectators had even reached their seats. They extended the lead to 11-2 when Alexis Bromwell connected with Alexis Lee from the backcourt, and Lee knocked down the layup. It was 13-2 until Damascus scored the final three points of the first quarter.
Bromwell began the second with a three-point shot, and St. Elizabeth threatened to make it a quick night as the lead ballooned to 13. Damascus, however, scored after forcing two turnovers late in the quarter, and Vikings coach Dan Cooney called a timeout with 2:13 to go and his team ahead, 20-11. The Hornets went into the locker room down by eight.
The margin remained eight after three quarters, as neither team played particularly well in the third. Damascus stayed close, but junior Dymond Collins nailed a big three-pointer at the end of the third to keep the lead at eight.
The Vikings found their footing again in the fourth, steadily stretching their advantage. The quarter opened with a three-pointer by Ya-kyra Smith-Hines and a two by Collins. Damascus was unable to cut trim the deficit, and St. Elizabeth made five of six free throws down the stretch. Smith-Hines, a sophomore, showed glimpses of her potential with another triple, and Bromwell scored eight of her game-high 15 in the final eight minutes.
Collins had 11, and Smith-Hines and Lee each added eight. With the win, St. Elizabeth stayed unbeaten at 4-0. The Vikings will play Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. against Caesar Rodney for the Delaware Cup championship. The teams met at the St. E Center on Dec. 15; the Vikings took a 53-38 win.
Kalynn Sefcik was impressive in defeat for the Hornets, scoring 13 points. Tori Marella contributed 10. Damascus takes on Howard on Tuesday at 7 p.m.