ALAPOCAS – St. Elizabeth’s boys basketball team trailed Wilmington Friends, 41-37, early in the fourth quarter of the nonconference matchup Feb. 10, but the shorthanded Vikings would not be denied. A three-point shot by Jaden Dickerson sparked a 13-point run that propelled the Vikings to a 53-48 win.
St. Elizabeth played the game without two of its three seniors. Guy DeBonaventura is out with a hand injury, and Nate Thomas was unavailable for personal reasons, but the younger lineup responded against the Quakers, who are enjoying a solid season.
Moments after Dickerson’s triple, Nasir Brown swiped the ball at midcourt and coasted in for a layup, restoring the Vikings’ lead at 42-41 and prompting a Friends timeout with 3:51 remaining. Brown scored again, and Ray Jones hit from in close on a slick backdoor pass. Jordan Brown followed with a steal and went in for a hoop, and he made two free throws shortly thereafter. The lead was 50-41.
The Quakers did not give in, however, trimming the lead to four points on a three-point shot by Tim Farley with fewer than 10 seconds to go. Jordan Brown made one of two free throws after being fouled for the final margin, and the Vikings were able to breathe easy.
The game got off to a run-and-gun start, and Jordan Brown set the tone early with a three-pointer to open the scoring. Friends used its height advantage well, pounding the ball inside repeatedly. Carlin Beskrone was one of the beneficiaries, scoring six points in the first quarter. St. Elizabeth had a one-point lead and the ball as the clock ran down, and Justin Money added two more to that total with a high-flying follow up dunk off a missed shot as the buzzer sounded. Money’s athletics drew oohs and aahs from the large crowd.
The Vikings scored the first five points of the second quarter, increasing their lead to 23-15. The Quakers cut that in half before the Vikings went into a stall offense in an attempt to conserve some energy. Turnovers, however, plagued St. Elizabeth, and Friends tied the score heading into the half.
The teams played an even third quarter, with the biggest lead for each team being three points. Friends took a one-point lead into the final stanza on a free throw by Michael McKenzie, his lone point of the afternoon.
Jordan Brown hit four three-point shots on his way to a game-high 19 points. Dickerson contributed 12 points, and Jones had 10. The Vikings (12-6) play their final road game of the regular season on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. at Archmere.
For Friends, Beskrone led the way with 12 points, while Farley had 10. The Quakers, who fell to 11-6, are at A.I. duPont on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. in their last road contest.