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Vikings pull away in fourth, capture A.I. season-opening hoops tournament

By

Dialog reporter

GREENVILLE – St. Elizabeth turned a two-point halftime deficit into a two-point lead during the third quarter, then opened the fourth on a tear on the way to a 57-44 win over A.I. duPont on Dec. 2 to take the Tiger Tip-Off boys basketball tournament. The Vikings improved to 2-0 on the season’s opening weekend.

The score was 36-34 Vikings as the game entered its final eight minutes. That is where St. Elizabeth took control in what had been, to that point, a very close contest.

Ray Jones of St. Elizabeth drives on A.I. duPont’s Kyle Morgan. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

With the Vikings leading, 38-34, sophomore Nasir Brown drilled a baseline three-point shot with 5:20 to go, making it 41-34. Brown followed with a steal and a hoop, then picked up another steal, feeding junior Jordan Brown for a layup and a 45-34 advantage.

The Tigers would cut the lead to nine with about four minutes remaining, but Nasir Brown hit four free throws in four attempts down the stretch, and senior Nate Thomas added a pair from the charity stripe as St. Elizabeth put the hosts away.

Nisir Comeger scored 10 points in the first quarter for A.I., including a three-pointer to open the scoring after a possession lasting a minute and 17 seconds. Thomas answered with back-to-back buckets for the Vikings, and the first quarter proceeded as a back-and-forth affair.

Nate Thomas goes up top for the basket. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

St. Elizabeth opened the second quarter on a seven-point run, taking the biggest lead of the night until the fourth quarter at 18-12. The run included a steal and layup from junior Justin Money, a nice backdoor pass from Thomas to Jordan Brown for a layup, and a baseline three by Thomas. The Tigers responded with four three-pointers, two each from Kyle Morgan and Jamir Dantley. They were able to outscore St. Elizabeth by just a point in the second and went into halftime up by a pair.

Jordan Brown and Thomas each scored 17 to lead the Vikings, and Brown was named the tournament most valuable player. Nasir Brown added 11, all in the second half. St. Elizabeth (2-0) is back in action on Friday at Conestoga (Pa.) at 7 p.m.

Comeger and Jamir Dantley led the Tigers (1-1) with 16 apiece. A.I travels to Newark on Tuesday to meet the Yellow Jackets at 6 p.m.

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