GREENVILLE — St. Elizabeth’s boys basketball team fell behind by six points at the outset of the third quarter in the season opener on Dec. 3 against St. Georges, but the Vikings would score nine of the next 11 points to take control in a 54-40 victory over the Hawks. The game was played at A.I. DuPont High School as part of the annual Tiger Tip-Off Tournament.
St. Georges took a 28-26 lead into halftime on a buzzer-beater, and they scored the first four points in the third on buckets, but the Hawks went about five minutes without scoring after that would manage just three other points the rest of the period.
The Vikings did not light up the scoreboard in the third, but a steal by Jermai Herring and subsequent layup put St. Elizabeth ahead, 35-34. The Hawks tied it on a free throw, and that was how the fourth quarter began.
Herring got the stanza started with a three-point shot, and the Vikings never looked back. The St. Elizabeth defense caused several St. Georges turnovers, and five Vikings scored in the fourth. They got old-fashioned three-point plays from Herring and Kye Rawls, and the team made eight of 10 free throws in the quarter.
Rawls led a balanced first-half scoring attack for the Vikings. He hit a pair of threes in the half, and his slashing attack earned him eight first-half free throws. St. Elizabeth trailed after one by a 13-9 count, but a field goal by Herring brought them to within one at 16-15, and after the Hawks missed four field goal attempts the next time down the court, Rawls put his team ahead with a pair from the line with three minutes remaining in the half.
The Vikings built a three-point lead late in the first half, but the Hawks erased that deficit before going back on top going into the break.
Unofficially, Rawls led the Vikings with 23 points, including 11 of 13 from the free-throw line. Herring finished with 12. St. Elizabeth (1-0) will meet host A.I. DuPont in the championship of the tournament on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
The Hawks (0-1) will meet MOT Charter in the third-place game at 3:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.