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St. Elizabeth battles but comes up short against Conrad in girls quarterfinals


For The Dialog

NEWARK – Third-seeded Conrad found its offense in the second half to defeat the sixth seed, St. Elizabeth, 60-45 on March 4 at the Bob Carpenter Center in the quarterfinal round of the DIAA girls basketball tournament. Sophomore Julie Kulesza scored 24 points and dished out six assists as the Red Wolves exploded for 39 second-half points.

Julie McCarron of St. Elizabeth drives on Conrad’s Alyssa Faville.

The Vikings fell behind early, 6-2, as Stefanie Kulesza scored off a great feed from her sister, and Julie scored on a layup and two free throws. The Vikings ended the quarter on a 7-2 run thanks to a Lauren Hines three-pointer and a Julie McCarron putback. The Vikings struggled to add to the lead as they missed six of eight free throws in the quarter, and Julie Kulesza hit a deep three and scored on three fast-break layups as the Red Wolves started pushing the ball. Conrad would take a 21-17 lead into intermission.

The game picked up early in the third quarter as Julie Kulesza hit a deep three-pointer only to be answered by a Ber’Nyah Mayo triple. The Vikings trailed, 32-27, when the Red Wolves got two big buckets from junior Jordan Rook. First, she buried a three-pointer and then scored on a neat left-handed scoop shot to extend the lead to 37-27. The lead was 41-32 heading into the final stanza, which was a quarter to remember for Julie Kulesza.

Ber’Nyah Mayo completed a superb sophomore season with 17 points for the Vikings.

She started the quarter finding her sister for a quick hoop, then knocked down four free throws to answer a three-point play by McCarron. Then she hit Alyssa Faville with two great dimes on back-to-back possessions as the Red Wolves led, 53-39. She finished off her great performance with consecutive layups to take the Red Wolves to the semifinals on Wednesday night.

Mayo led the Vikings with 17 points, while McCarron added 10. St. Elizabeth closed the season at 17-4.

The Red Wolves (19-3) got 11 points from Whittlesay, while Stefanie Kulesza and Faville added nine each. They will face seventh-seeded Ursuline on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The Red Wolves defeated the Raiders, 73-62, on Feb. 2.

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