WILMINGTON — Caravel jumped out to a 10-0 lead, leading wire to wire in a 56-45 win at St. Elizabeth in a matchup of two of the top four girls basketball teams in the state.
The Buccaneers’ Anaya Price got the scoring started with a three-pointer, and their pressure defense and rebounding edge allowed them to quickly add to the lead. Price scored again, and Brycelyn Stryckning added a field goal, and the Bucs — ranked second in the state by Delaware Live — added three free throws, before ZaMylah Seda-Owens got the No. 4 Vikings on the board with a three-pointer.
Seda-Owens hit another triple in the first, but that was the extent of St. Elizabeth’s scoring in the quarter. Caravel made a total of 12 trips to the free throw line in the first as a result of consistent drives to the basket, and led by 10 after one.
The Vikings’ shooting and rebounding improved in the second, and they were able to generate much more scoring. All five starters scored in the second, including three more three-pointers. The Bucs, however, matched St. E’s scoring. Chastity “Speedy” Wilson did not score in the first, but she hit two field goals and made all four free throws she attempted, and Price remained hot. The Bucs led by 11 at the half.
Wilson scored in transition to open the third, stretching the Caravel lead to 13, their biggest to that point. Makayla Sullivan answered with a triple for the Vikings, and they began their comeback attempt. A Sullivan steal a few minutes later led to a layup for Taniyah Reese, cutting Caravel’s lead to single digits.
Shortly after that, Seda-Owens made the first of two free throws, only to have Ericka Huggins rebound the miss and put it in. Seda-Owens then scored on a turnaround jumper, and the Buccaneers’ lead was down to six at 42-36.
Price responded after a timeout with a timely three for the Bucs. That spurred a 7-1 run to end the third, and Caravel led by a dozen heading into the fourth.
It took a while for the offenses to get going in the fourth, as tough defense made it difficult for the players to find open looks. Jasiyah Crawford hit a pair of free throws early on to push Caravel’s lead to 14, their biggest of the night. The Vikings did not score until 4:20 remained when Huggins knocked down a follow shot.
That seemed to ignite the Vikings. Huggins converted on the offensive end after the Bucs missed on consecutive possessions, and the margin was cut to eight. But Cherish Bryant ended that run after getting open for a layup on an inbounds play, and the Buccaneers were able to hold the ball for most of the last few minutes.
Price led the Bucs with 17 points, while Wilson had 12. Caravel (12-2) host No. 5 A.I. DuPont on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
For St. Elizabeth, Huggins had 15 points, and Seda-Owens added 11. The Vikings (11-2) stay home for a matchup with Archmere on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Photos by Mike Lang.