WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth watched a big lead dwindle through several minutes of the final quarter of its boys basketball game against Saint Mark’s on Jan. 29. The Vikings, however, were too strong and went on to a 63-48 win in front of a big crowd at the St. E Center.
The Spartans opened the scoring on a follow shot by Alassan N’Diaye, but the Vikings turned to their rebounding and running game to take control early. Julius Wright and Kenny Hunter Jr. combined for all 15 first-quarter points for the Vikings, including an 8-0 run after N’Diaye’s bucket.
Chase Wright hit a three-point shot for Saint Mark’s to end the run, and the Spartans climbed back to within two at 12-10 after a Mike Friend three. N’Diaye scored nine points in the first for the Spartans, but he picked up his third foul with 11 seconds remaining and was limited in the middle two quarters.
Both offenses got off to a slow start in the second, but St. E’s got their going soon enough. They scored the first 10 points of the quarter, capped by a conventional three-point play for Aiden Tobiason and a three-pointer from Caden Harris. Damon Jones hit a three for the Spartans, but a three by Tobiason at the buzzer stretched the lead to 15.
Steven Nixon Jr. got the Vikings going in the second half with a runner in traffic, and Tobias Reese drained a triple, followed by an end-to-end layup for Wright. Max Batten scored after an offensive rebound with three and a half minutes left in the third to get Saint Mark’s on the board, but they had their work cut out for them in the fourth.
They went at it with vigor. N’Diaye scored twice underneath and hit a three, and Chad Dohl also connected from distance during a 10-2 run that got the Spartans within 12 with 3:28 to go. They continued to attack, getting as close as 10 on two occasions, the last following a three-pointer from AyoMosiah Odumosu. But five free throws down the stretch kept the Vikings in line for the win.
Wright led three Vikings in double figures with 18. He was joined by Tobiason (16) and Hunter (14). St. Elizabeth (12-0) will travel to Archmere on Thursday for a 6:15 p.m. tip.
For the Spartans, N’Diaye had 22 points, while Friend added 8. Saint Mark’s (12-2) will take on Delaware Military on Friday at 8 p.m. at the SL24 Memorial Classic at the Chase Fieldhouse.
Photos by Mike Lang.