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Local girls basketball teams stayed busy over Christmas break


For The Dialog


As the new year kicks off, here’s a look at the Catholic school girls basketball teams, particularly those that participated in the recent Diamond State Classic at St. Elizabeth High School. The tournament attracted teams from throughout Delaware and from as far away as Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Oregon City, Ore. Read more »

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Vikings’ coach sees Diamond State Classic loss chance to learn, grow


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – Monday afternoon’s game started out so promising for St. Elizabeth’s girls’ basketball team. The Vikings were playing at home in the St. E Center for the St. Francis Healthcare Cup, the main draw of the annual Diamond State Classic. In front of a near-capacity crowd, they jumped out to a 7-2 lead over McDonogh School from Owings Mills, Md., midway through the first period after Jordyn Humes hit a fast-break layup.

But after that, McDonogh turned up the pressure, and the Vikings could never really find their footing. McDonogh recovered for a 9-9 tie after one quarter, then took control in the second, thanks to a suffocating defense and the offense of guard Danielle Edwards, who scored eight points in the quarter to help McDonogh to a 23-14 halftime advantage. Read more »

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Pandas battle, but fall short to Caravel at Diamond State Classic


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – Padua Academy gave Caravel Academy a game on Monday afternoon, but the Buccaneers had too much for the Pandas in the 55-44 Caravel win. The matchup was the consolation game of the First State Orthopaedics Cup in the Diamond State Classic at the St. E Center.

Padua took at 9-8 lead into the second quarter, but Caroline Davis nailed a three-pointer to give Caravel an 11-9 lead. The Pandas’ Megan Mallon got those points right back, but the 12-11 lead was Padua’s last for the game. After Davis tied it with a free throw, the Buccaneers’ Micah Morgan took over. She scored six points on two three-point shots during a 12-point Caravel run and added another eight points before halftime.

Padua was plagued by turnovers and poor shooting in the quarter. Besides Mallon’s three, they could manage just three more points on a trey by Hannah Schlegel that ended the Caravel run. The Bucs took a 30-15 lead into the locker room thanks to another three-pointer from Morgan, this one a buzzer-beater.

Morgan credited her teammates for continuing to feed her the ball after a rough first period. The key, she said, was playing smart basketball.

“In the second quarter, it was more a matter of slowing down the game and making sure we took care of the ball because we had the lead. We just needed to slow down and think about every pass we were making and share the ball,” she said.

Caravel coach Kristen Caldwell like her team’s smart play, finding Morgan when Padua was denying Davis the opportunity to get the ball.

Padua (2-4) trailed by 13 after three quarters and trimmed the deficit to eight points midway through the fourth, but the Pandas could not overcome their opponent. The Pandas scored 10 of their 15 points in the final quarter from the foul line, all from Rachel Liskiewicz and Mallon. Liskiewicz led the Pandas with 16 points, while Mallon had 12.

Morgan finished with a game-high 28 points to lead the Bucs, who improved to 4-1 on the season. Davis added 11.

Morgan said the win against Padua was important for the Buccaneers as they head into a challenging month. They host Concord on Friday at 7:15 p.m., then face a four-game stretch against St. Elizabeth, St. Mark’s, Ursuline and Sanford later in the month.

“We do have a lot of tough games coming up. This is like getting a running head start going into the next part of our season. This is a really big win for us,” she said.

Padua is back in action Friday at 7:15 p.m. at home vs. No. 1 St. Elizabeth. The Pandas will get another shot at Caravel in the regular-season finale Feb. 18 at Padua.

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Short-handed Ravens fall short in Classic opener


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – Freshman Hannah Garbowski scored 17 of her 18 points in the first half to propel Delaware Military Academy to a 44-38 win over St. Thomas More in the opening game of the 2013 Diamond State Classic, the girls’ high school basketball tournament held annually at the St. E Center. The game was part of the New Castle Insurance Cup bracket.
With her team trailing by a 6-2 score halfway through the first quarter, Garbowski set up shop on the left baseline, hitting two three-point shots and another field goal to give the Seahawks the lead at 10-6. They never trailed again, although short-handed St. Thomas More kept the game close throughout. Garbowski added nine points in the second quarter as DMA built a 30-24 halftime lead.
Neither team shot well in the second half, with each scoring just 14 points after the break. Alexa Schimp led the Ravens’ comeback attempt in the half, scoring 11 of her team’s 14 points. She tied Garbowski for scoring honors with 18. St. Thomas More played the game with just six players.
Alena Foley added 11 for DMA (4-1), which will play Harriton (Pa.) High School Saturday at 4 p.m. for the bracket championship. The Ravens (2-3) meet Caesar Rodney at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

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Sals improve to 5-1 after big win over Brandywine


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON – For fans of above-the-rim basketball, Father Birkenheuer Gymnasium at Salesianum School was the place to be Saturday night. The homestanding Sals, ranked second in the state, had six dunks en route to a 66-37 win over Brandywine High School.

Senior Brian O’Neill led the way with 20 points, including three dunks, and seven rebounds, while junior Donte DiVincenzo added 19 points, with the other three dunks. He added four assists.

The Bulldogs’ only lead came early, at 3-2, before the Sals went on a 15-point run. Two of those points came on an alley oop by DiVincenzo, bringing the crowd to its feet. The hosts led, 19-8, after the first quarter, and the rout was on.

Salesianum put the game away after the half, scoring 23 points in the third quarter. DiVincenzo had eight in the third, all in a 50-second span: a three-pointer, a thunderous dunk, jump shot and foul shot. The Sals’ defense forced several turnovers that lead to easy fast-break baskets, and they held Brandywine to six points.

The Sals are now 5-1 and are off until Jan. 4, when they host Smyrna at 7:30 p.m. Brandywine fell to 0-5 and returns to action Jan. 2 at A.I. DuPont. Tipoff for that one is at 5:30 p.m.

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DiVincenzo leads Sals to 55-39 road win at William Penn


NEW CASTLE – For a quarter and a half, it looked like Salesianum’s basketball team had left its game back on North Broom Street on Thursday afternoon. But, trailing by 11 to host William Penn midway through the second, the Sals found an extra gear and cruised to a 55-39 win over the Colonials.

The Sals trailed after the first quarter, 9-6, and scored five points on free throws in the first four minutes of the second. Shane Clark’s layup was their first field goal of the quarter and gave them the lead at 13-12, but William Penn would score the next 12 points for a 24-13 advantage. Read more »

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Ursuline overcomes challenge from Pandas, takes 57-49 hoops win


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – Ursuline Academy has had the better of rival Padua Academy on the basketball court in recent years, but the Raiders know they are always in for a battle when they take on neighboring Pandas. Thursday’s game was no different, as Ursuline held off a spirited challenge from Padua, taking a 57-49 win.

All-state junior guard Adriana Hahn led the Raiders with a quiet 18 points. Ursuline also received key contributions from sophomore Alyssa Irons (nine points), along with junior Courtney Wallace and sophomore Kailyn Kampert, who chipped in with eight each. Read more »

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Sals roll to season-opening hoops victory over Howard


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON – The Salesianum basketball team opened its season Saturday night ready to prove to the state that it has what it takes to compete for – and win – a state championship. The first opponent was defending state champion Howard, which brought its rebuilding project to a sold-out gym.

The Sals (1-0) were without 6-7 center Brian O’Neill, but it didn’t matter as they rolled to a 60-41 win. Junior guard Donte DiVincenzo, who is being recruited by several major Division I universities, led the way with 24 points. Read more »

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Boys high school basketball capsule previews


The high school basketball season gets underway this weekend. Here is a preview of Delaware’s Catholic school teams. Note: Final rosters were not available when this was written.


Archmere Academy

Last year: 8-12

Top returning players: Sean Deely, Conor Furey, Michael Ford

Notable games: At St. Andrew’s, Dec. 12; at St. Mark’s, Dec. 19; vs. St. Elizabeth, Feb. 4; at Salesianum, Feb. 16.

Outlook: This team shoots the ball well and is a very tough opponent. The Auks have some challenging road games early.


St. Mark’s High School

Last year: 9-11

Top returning players: Matthew Williams, Nick Pappas

Notable games: vs. A.I DuPont, Jan. 11; at Sanford, Jan. 21; at Salesianum, Jan. 24; vs. St. Elizabeth, Jan. 27

Outlook: The Spartans graduated several players from last year’s team. They do play seven of their first eight non-tournament games at home, which could be an advantage.


St. Elizabeth High School

Last year: 14-8, lost to Polytech in the second round of the state tournament

Top returning players: Sheldon Sorrell, Joe Schiavoni, Mike Piekarski

Notable games: vs. Concord, Dec. 13; vs. Salesianum, Jan. 10; vs. Archmere, Jan. 23; at Newark, Feb. 18

Outlook: The Vikings lost Andre Patton to graduation, but they return many valuable pieces and should make another tournament appearance. They kick things off this afternoon (Dec. 6) vs. St. Georges in a tournament at A.I. DuPont High School.


Salesianum School

Last year: 19-4, lost to Sanford in the state semifinals

Top returning players: Donte DiVincenzo, Brian O’Neill, Joe McCusker

Notable games: vs. Howard, Dec. 7; vs. Sanford, Jan. 28; at A.I. DuPont, Feb. 1; at Concord, Feb. 8

Outlook: Salesianum looks to advance past last year’s semifinal appearance behind all-state guard Donte DiVincenzo and considerable size in the frontcourt. The Sals once again play a tough schedule, beginning tomorrow with defending state champion Howard.


St. Thomas More Academy

Last year: 2-17

Top returning players: Akhil Patel, Kubilay Tekmen

Notable games: at Archmere, Jan. 7

Outlook: The young Ravens will look to gain experience this year while improving on the won-loss record from last year.

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Raiders capture 14th girls basketball championship


Staff reporter


NEWARK – It’s only been four years, but it seemed like forever since Ursuline won its last state title in girls basketball.

The Raiders (20-4) avenged their only in-state loss with a convincing 49-29 victory over top-seeded Sanford School March 9 at the Bob Carpenter Center. It was the school’s 14th championship, but their first since 2008 and the first for any of this year’s players. It was also a first for their coach, John Noonan.

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