WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth’s girls basketball team converted a smothering defense into a fast-paced, opportunistic offense in a 57-44 win over Conrad on Jan. 11. It was the Vikings’ seventh consecutive victory.
The late-afternoon crowd saw the teams get off to a blazing start, with both teams running up and down the court as the points piled up. Conrad’s Eva Walker was hot early, with her three-pointer putting the Red Wolves on top, 11-10 at the 4:30 mark of the opening period, and another field goal contributing to a 16-13 lead.
The Vikings stayed close by forcing several turnovers, but early on they were not converting many of those into points. Trailing by that 16-13 score, St. Elizabeth got an inside hoop from Ericka Huggins, who did it again seconds later after one of her teammates came up with a steal and an outlet to the senior with 40 seconds remaining in the first. Milan Paulin beat the buzzer for a three-pointer to increase the Vikings’ lead to four after a quarter.
Neither team could score in the early stages of the second, but eventually the Vikings resumed their run. Huggins added five more points in the quarter, while ZaMylah Seda-Owens also getting inside for a few high-percentage shots.
By the time Walker hit a layup with 1:25 left in the half, St. Elizabeth had run off 17 consecutive points to open up a considerable lead. It continued to grow throughout the third.
St. Elizabeth held the Red Wolves to just a single field goal in the quarter while they combined some accurate outside shooting with their inside game. Huggins grabbed several offensive rebounds and hit from in close and the mid-range, and Seda-Owens found the range from deep. Taniyah Reese opened the second half with a triple, and she added another later in the stanza.
The Vikings had a sizeable lead heading into the fourth, and the starters cheered on their teammates from the bench. Conrad began chipping away at the lead, gradually getting it down to the final margin. St. Elizabeth scored just six in the fourth, including a bank-shot three-pointer from Giavonna Cutler.
Seda-Owens led the Vikings with 15 points, with Huggins and Reese each going for 13. Huggins had a team-high 12 rebounds. St. Elizabeth (7-1) will visit Tower Hill on Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m.
For Conrad, Walker scored 17, and Aubrey Mundy added 13. The Red Wolves (5-2) are at Odessa on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.