WILMINGTON – Aiden Tobiason opened St. Elizabeth boys basketball team’s game at Salesianum on Jan. 6 with a long three-pointer to get the Vikings on the board. About an hour and a half later, he stole a Sallies pass and scored on a layup. In between, the Vikings and Sals played an entertaining contest in front of a near full house, with St. Elizabeth putting up a solid defensive effort in a 54-45 win.
The teams were tied at 5-5 before St. Elizabeth went on a 10-0 run, taking a lead they would not relinquish, although the Sals kept the outcome in doubt until late in the fourth. Julius Wright got the run going with a three, and he added a free throw on another trip down the floor. Two minutes passed without either team scoring until Shaun Chandler went in for a layup. Jayden Lawrence hit a jumper fron close range at the end of the first quarter, and Justin Lawrence scored to begin the second.
Sallies found some shooting rhythm in the second. Isaiah Hynson’s three-pointer began a run that saw the Sals close the gap to 17-14 with four minutes remaining in the first half, but Tobiason hit a pair of three-pointers as St. Elizabeth re-established a double-digit lead. They led by nine at the break.
The Vikings didn’t score a whole bunch in the early stages of the second half, but they managed to hold an 11-point advantage thanks to solid rebounding and getting to loose balls all over the court. The Sals made their most serious run of the second half beginning late in the third as Kareem Thomas hit a three that cut the St. E’s lead to 33-25. Hynson followed his own miss for another two, and after a Vikings turnover, Zach Swartout added a pair of free throws. Another turnover caused by the Sals’ press resulted in a dunk for Thomas, and the Vikings’ lead was just 33-31 with 47 seconds to go in the third.
The Vikings withstood the punch, and Jayden Lawrence and Tobiason helped grow the lead early in the fourth. Salesianum shrunk the deficit to three points a few times in the fourth, the final time at 45-42.
St. Elizabeth missed several free throws down the stretch, but that ended up not hurting them. They grabbed a few rebounds off the misses, and the Vikings held off the Sals’ comeback bid.
Tobiason led the way with 21 points, and Jayden Lawrence added 12. The Vikings improved to 5-4 and will host Newark Charter on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
For the Sals, Thomas had 13, and Hynson and Hinds each scored 12. Salesianum (4-5) travels to Delaware Military Academy on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
All photos by Jason Winchell.