WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth and Saint Mark’s went back and forth in the first half, but the Vikings’ rebounding and variety of offensive weapons allowed them to steadily pull away in the second half in a 47-30 win over the Spartans on Jan. 26 at the St. E Center.
Ericka Huggins had a role in the first two St. E buckets, feeding Olivia Justison for a three-pointer 75 seconds in, then getting a transition layup after a steal as the Vikings took a quick 5-0 lead. But once Sophia Baffone got the Spartans on the board with a three, the tight first half was off and running.
A traditional three-point play for Sophia Karch gave Saint Mark’s a 6-5 lead until Huggins slashed her way through three defenders for a layup. Huggins hit again on a 14-foot stop and pop, but Lauren McDonald tied the score with a three-pointer with 1:18 left in the first. It was tied at 11 after one.
Maleeah Stevens gave St. Elizabeth the lead they would not lose with a second-chance three-pointer to open the second. The Vikings used a 6-0 run to go ahead, 20-13, but after a timeout, Saint Mark’s responded. Baffone hit a long two and then a three to make it 20-18, and each team added two more points before intermission.
With the Vikings ahead, 27-23, Huggins fed Sarah Mazalewski cutting along the baseline for a layup, and Farrah White bounced off a few defenders for a short field goal and an eight-point advantage. Huggins had another big night for St. Elizabeth, and she ended the quarter by backing into the lane and hitting a short turnaround shot to get the margin to 10.
The Vikings’ defense tightened in the fourth, and Ariel Garcia took advantage with the first two buckets of the fourth as the lead grew. When McDonald hit a three-pointer at the midway point of the quarter, it ended a scoring drought of nearly six minutes for the Spartans. Deziree Hayes responded with a layup for the Vikings, and Mazalewski added two more.
St. Elizabeth was led by Huggins, who had 16, and White, who finished with 9. The Vikings (4-5) have a tough one on Saturday when the visit defending state champion Caravel at 1 p.m.
McDonald paced the Spartans with 11, and Baffone added 8. Saint Mark’s (10-4) will try to snap a three-game skid on Tueday at home against Wilmington Friends at 7:15 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.