WILMINGTON – A 16-point run that began with the final basket of the first quarter propelled St. Elizabeth into a lead it would never relinquish in a 51-28 win over Ursuline on March 1 in a second-round DIAA girls tournament matchup. It was the Vikings’ fourth win over the Raiders this season, including a two-point nail-biter in January.
The Raiders, who were the 17th seed in the 24-team field, got off to a positive start against top-seeded St. Elizabeth. Emily Rzucidlo opened the scoring with a field goal off the tip, and her sister Abby added a three-pointer early on. Emily Rzucidlo added a three-point play with 32 seconds in the quarter to end a five-point Raiders run that gave them a 13-7 lead.
The Vikings’ fortunes turned around beginning with the final possession of the first. Ber-Nyah Mayo dribbled the seconds away near the foul line, then found a lane and hit a floater before the buzzer sounded. That was the start of the 16-point run.
Ashley Campbell took a pass from Julie McCarron and drained a three-pointer to cut the Raiders’ lead to one. The Vikings went ahead on two single free throws. Meanwhile, their defense was outstanding, holding the Raiders to single opportunities on most possessions.
The Vikings’ shooting really heated up in the last four minutes of the half; they scored 15 in the final 3:40. Six of those came on back-to-back threes by Arianna Henry and Campbell. Mayo made a twisting scoop shot following a St. Elizabeth block. Lauren Dorsey scored on a layup for the Raiders with 1:55 to go, finally snapping their drought, but the Vikings scored the final seven points of the half. The last three looked similar to those at the end of the first quarter. Mayo grabbed an offensive rebound, scored on a short bank shot and was fouled with 2.3 seconds on the clock. She made the free throw and sent the teams to the locker rooms with St. Elizabeth ahead, 30-15.
The teams played a relatively close third quarter, but the Vikings extended the lead throughout the fourth. They were able to get two more three-pointers, giving them eight for the night, and they held Ursuline to two field goals in the final eight minutes.
Henry led the way with 15 points, including four triples. Joining her in double figures were Mayo, with 12, and Campbell, who had 11. The Vikings are now 18-3 and play Cape Henlopen in a quarterfinal-round matchup on Monday at Dover High School at a time to be announced. St. Elizabeth defeated Cape, 59-50, on Jan. 26.
For Ursuline, Emily Rzucidlo had nine points. The Raiders finished the season at 8-12.
In other second-round action, No. 6 St. Thomas More fell to 11th-seeded Howard, 57-53. The Ravens ended their season with a record of 16-5.
Also, the 18th seed, Archmere, lost at No. 2 Sanford, 75-34. The Auks finished 13-9.