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Balanced scoring attack helps St. Elizabeth past Glasgow and to boys hoops semifinal

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Jordan Brown, who led St. Elizabeth with 18 points, puts up a shot against Glasgow. (The Dialog/Jason Winchell)

For The Dialog
NEWARK – The ninth-seeded St Elizabeth Vikings got balanced scoring and solid defense to beat 17th-seeded Glasgow, 66-49, on March 3 to advance to the semifinals of the boys’ basketball state tournament at the Bob Carpenter Center. The Vikings exploded after a slow start, and a change from man-to-man defense to a zone did the trick.

Jordan Brown, who led St. Elizabeth with 18 points, puts up a shot against Glasgow. (The Dialog/Jason Winchell)

The Vikings were glad to have Jordan Brown in the first quarter as he hit an NBA-range three-pointer, followed by an ankle-breaking drive, but the Vikings trailed 10-9 after the first quarter. The Vikings switched to the zone defense, and the offense heated up. Brown started it with a deep three, and seniors Nate Thomas and Guy DeBonaventura added their own triples to give St. Elizabeth an 18-15 lead. Thomas was just getting started, as he hit a 12-foot jumper and scored on a strong dive to the hoop. Brown connected on a floater to extend the Vikings lead to 24-18. Thomas would add another field goal later in the half to give the Vikings a 30-24 lead at intermission.
The Vikings kept up the pressure in the third quarter, adding free throws to their arsenal after attempting none in the first half. St. Elizabeth shot 11 in the third quarter. It started with Ray Jones getting to the line and converting on three of four on the Vikings’ first two possessions.  Then Thomas scored inside on back-to-back possessions as the Vikings went on a 16-6 run to lead 46-32 at the end of the third quarter.
Nate Thomas drives to the basket while being marked by Glasgow’s David Nichols (10). (The Dialog/Jason Winchell)

The zone defense kept Dragons leading scorer Mark Bradshaw in check, and Jones and Brown were strong in the final stanza. Brown finished with 18 points to lead three Vikings in double figures. Thomas finished with a double-double – 13 points and 10 rebounds – and Jones added 10 points. The Vikings (16-7) advance to face No. 5 seed Caravel on Thursday night at 6:30 at the Bob. It is St. Elizabeth’s first trip to the semifinal round since 2011.
Glasgow (15-8), who upset top-seeded Cape Henlopen on Thursday night, were led by David Nichols with 11 points and Bradshaw with eight.