ST. GEORGES — It may not have come in the dominant fashion of their first two wins, but they won’t all be over the course of a high school basketball season. The St. Elizabeth boys had to overcome a shaky middle of the game, putting together a fourth-quarter comeback for a 59-56 win at St. Georges on Dec. 21 in their final game before Christmas.
The Vikings held a 22-21 lead at halftime, with St. Georges having cut their deficit from eight points earlier in the second. The Hawks heated up in the third, and it made for some entertaining basketball.
Aiden Tobiason scored the first field goal of the third, increasing the St. E’s lead to three, but the next two buckets belonged to the Hawks. The second one came after a steal by Dominic Angeloni, who then fed Emory Womack for a layup. St. Georges took a 25-24 lead, their first since it was 2-0.
The teams traded buckets and the lead for a few minutes, but with the score tied, 32-32, Kionne Lang of the Hawks saved a ball inbounds to Shane Davis under the hoop, and his layup began a 12-5 run to end the third. Womack had six points in the third as the Hawks pounded the offensive boards to create second and third chances.
Davis knocked down a floater with two seconds left in the third to give the Hawks a 44-37 advantage heading into the final eight minutes, and they added a free throw in the first 15 seconds of the fourth. But St. Elizabeth struck back with a 7-0 run.
Caden Harris drove the baseline for a layup for the first points. The Hawks blocked a breakaway layup attempt, but the Vikings didn’t let that bother them. They started getting rebounds, which the Hawks had been doing with great success all evening, and took the ball inside over and over, getting to the free throw line. Julius Wright made a free throw, and St. E’s turned an offensive rebound into a short jumper by Tobiason. The next time down the floor, Harris hit a 17-foot jumper, and the Vikings trailed by just one.
St. Elizabeth tied the game at 47 on a Kenneth Hunter Jr. free throw with 3:41 to go, but Davis restored the Hawks’ lead with a transition layup after a steal. That didn’t last long, as Harris drained a corner triple, putting the Vikings on top for good. Tobiason added one more field goal, this one a shortie off the glass, and he made all four free throws he attempted down the stretch. Still, it was interesting.
After Tobiason’s last free throws, the Vikings were ahead, 58-53, but Blair Thomas made an off-balance three-pointer to close the gap to two points with 4.2 seconds left. Tobias Reese made one of two free throws with 1.8 seconds on the clock, enough time for the Hawks to launch a prayer. The shot, however, was off the mark, and the Vikings survived.
Tobiason had 24 to pace the Vikings, who also had Harris (15) and Hunter (10) in double figures. St. Elizabeth (3-0) will host Tower Hill in the Viking Invitational on Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
For the Hawks, Thomas had 19. Two players — Davis and Womack — each scored 10. St. Georges (3-3) will play in the Governor’s Challenge on Dec. 28 at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury, Md., at a time to be determined against Calvert Hall College High School (Md.).
All photos by Mike Lang.