WILMINGTON — Caravel bounced back from a seven-point deficit in the third quarter to take a three-point lead over St. Elizabeth when the two met in a highly anticipated girls basketball matchup on Jan. 13. The Vikings, however, held the Bucs to six fourth-quarter points and got some clutch shooting down the stretch from Farrah White in a 60-54 win at the St. E Center.
Rory Ciszkowski put St. Elizabeth ahead, 41-34, with 5:38 remaining in the third when she took a pass from Sydney Hilliard and laid it in, but Caravel standout answered by swishing a three-pointer on the return trip down the court. Taylor Wilkins brought the Bucs to within four at 43-39 a short while later, and Johnston turned a steal into points to make it a two-point game with four and a half minutes left in the third.
Johnston tied the game on a long spot-up field goal, and another Wilkins went coast to coast after yet another steal to give Caravel a two-point lead at the 3:41 mark, prompting a Vikings timeout. A Bucs miss led to a runout, and Ciszkowski got behind the defense for a layup that tied the score at 45 and ended Caravel’s 8-0 run.
Jasiyah Crawford opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a layup for the Bucs, increasing their lead to three. They held a three-point lead as late as the 4:40 mark, when Ciszkowski cut it to 52-51 with a 12-foot baseline jumper. That field goal launched an 11-2 run for the Vikings over the remaining four and a half minutes.
Ericka Huggins tied the game with a free throw with 3:47 to go.
It stayed that way for another minute and 30 seconds until Hilliard fed White for a driving baseline layup. The Vikings could not hit another shot on their next possession, but three offensive rebounds helped run precious seconds off the clock. A Bucs turnover returned possession to St. Elizabeth, and Caravel fouled White to stop the clock. White was perfect on four free throws in the final 38 seconds, and Ciszkowski hit two others as the Vikings sealed the deal.
The close finish followed a spirited first half that saw both teams finding the range. The Vikings, led by a trio of three-pointers from Ciszkowski and great offensive rebounding and a nice touch around the basket from Huggins, opened up a 19-11 lead after a quarter. A balanced second-quarter attack helped St. Elizabeth fight off the Buccaneers’ trio of Wilkins, Johnston and Crawford, each of whom scored six times in the quarter.
Ciszkowski led three players in double figures for St. Elizabeth with 21 points. White finished with 17 and Huggins had 11. The Vikings (6-2) host Odyssey Charter on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
For the Buccaneers, Johnston had 23, Crawford 14 and Wilkins 10. Caravel, which lost to a Delaware opponent for the first time, fell to 6-5 and hosts Archmere on Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.