Home Local Sports St. Elizabeth boys give top-ranked Sanford a battle in 76-54 loss

St. Elizabeth boys give top-ranked Sanford a battle in 76-54 loss

(The Dialog/Mike Lang)

WILMINGTON – St. Elizabeth led Sanford by two points after one quarter, and the Vikings were still within six at halftime. But the high-flying Warriors took control in the third quarter, going on to a 76-54 victory in nonconference boys basketball Feb. 7 at a sold-out St. E Center.

Sanford sophomore Nnanna Njoku opened the second-half scoring in noisy fashion, taking an outlet pass and throwing down a two-handed jam to put his team ahead, 38-30. On the next Warriors possession, Corey Perkins found an open spot outside the three-point arc in front of his team’s bench and nailed his fifth triple of the evening. Hassan Perkins took his turn next, drilling a three-pointer from the right elbow, and less than 90 seconds into the third quarter, the lead increased to 44-30.

Ray Jones of St. Elizabeth lets a shot fly as Sanford’s Nnanna Njoku closes in. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Justin Money got the Vikings on the board with two free throws, but Hassan Perkins answered with another triple, this from the baseline. The Vikings persisted, with Jordan Brown hitting a pair of threes of his own, but Sanford’s height and athleticism was very formidable.

Late in the third, Nasir Cowan squeezed through two defenders for a finger-roll and a 54-39 lead. Jaden Dickerson of St. Elizabeth closed out the scoring with a field goal.

The Warriors took advantage of their inside presence throughout the fourth. Ryan McKeon hit two early layups, and Corey Perkins connected with Njoku for an alley-oop. A Dickerson triple cut the Sanford lead to 60-46, but the Warriors would not let the Vikings get any closer.

The Vikings’ Jordan Brown (in white) and Jyare Davis look to see if Brown’s shot attempt is successful. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

As the fourth quarter progressed, the Warriors added a few highlight-reel plays. Corey Perkins and Njoku repeated the alley-oop, and Jyare Davis backed down a defender for a short field goal. McKeon contributed an impressive blocked shot. Cowan ended the scoring with a jam in the final minute.

St. Elizabeth fell behind early, 11-2, but the Vikings roard back with the next 10, the first three of those coming on a long-distance field goal by Nasir Brown and the final two courtesy of Brown on a reverse. Davis ended the run with a nice slashing scoop shot, and he added a dunk shortly thereafter to put Sanford back on top, 18-12. But the Vikings scored the final eight points of the first.

The Warriors scored the first eight points of the second quarter, but the Vikings responded again. They got to within four points at 34-30 on a Nasir Brown dribble-drive.

Davis led all scorers with 20 points, one of four Warriors in double figures. Corey Perkins finished with 19, while Hassan Perkins had 13 and Njoku added 10. Sanford improved to 12-3 – still undefeated against in-state competition – and visits St. Andrew’s on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

For the Vikings, Nasir Brown had 19 points, and Jordan Brown contributed 13. The Vikings (8-9) host Archmere on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.