WILMINGTON – St. Elizabeth’s girls basketball team dialed up the wrong formula on the night of Dec. 27 in the final game of the day at the Diamond State Classic. The Vikings were plagued by early turnovers, and their opponents from Centerville, Ohio, took relentless advantage. The Elks stormed out to a 47-17 halftime lead on the way to a 77-48 victory at the St. E Center.
The teams met in the tournament’s national bracket, the Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists Cup.
The Vikings won the opening tap, but they committed their first turnover seconds later on an errant pass. Centerville sophomore Cotie McMahon intercepted the pass and drove the length of the court, only to miss her layup. But McMahon would not miss much else. A second miscue by St. Elizabeth on their next possession eventually ended up in McMahon’s hands, and she scored on a layup following a nice spin around a Vikings defender. She continued to punish the Vikings inside and finished with a game-high 19 points.
McMahon scored the first six points of the evening before Arianna Henry knocked down a free throw to get St. E’s on the board. But the Elks continued the offensive assault, with Amy Velasco contributing two three-point bombs in the first quarter. McMahon finished the scoring in the first by blocking a pass, picking up the loose ball and going three-quarters of the court for a runner off the glass. That gave the Elks a 22-9 lead.
The Elks put the game away in the second quarter. McMahon contributed four more points in the stanza, but she had plenty of assistance. Kendal George heated up from distance, tossing in a trio of triples. The Vikings continued to struggle from the field, making just three field goals over the eight minutes.
St. Elizabeth played a more even second half, but the hill was just too high to climb. The third quarter opened on a positive note when Henry found a cutting Julie McCarron for an open layup, but Centerville matched any momentum the Vikings looked to be gaining. McCarron finished with six in the quarter, her final points of the evening.
A positive note for St. Elizabeth was the return of senior forward Ashley Campbell to the rotation. Campbell played her first game action after missing the team’s first four contests with a foot injury. Coming off the bench, Campbell contributed with an immediate rebound; she added a three-pointer in the fourth.
McCarron and Naia Pulliam each scored 10 points for the Vikings, who fell to 2-3. They return to action at the Diamond State Classic on Sunday, when they will meet Roland Park Country School of Maryland at 11:45 a.m.
Velasco had 17 points and George had 16 to join McMahon in double figures. The Elks advance to meet St. Basil (Pa.) on Sunday at 3:15 p.m.