WILMINGTON — The St. Elizabeth boys basketball team took a two-point lead into the locker room at halftime of its game Jan. 10 vs. Newark Charter. A different group of Vikings came out for the third quarter, however, and they went on to defeat the Patriots, 64-40, at the St. E Center.
Shaun Chandler got the Vikings off and running, literally, in the second half, rebounding a missed Newark Charter layup and taking it coast to coast for a 27-23 lead. Ty-Jonathan Williams answered immediately, but St. Elizabeth outscored the Patriots, 17-2, over the rest of the quarter to take control.
Aiden Tobiason got that stretch started with a baseline layup, and Justin Lawrence followed with a mid-range jumper. Julius Wright scored on a put-back to stretch the lead to eight. The Vikings had a large rebounding edge, and their shots fell in the second half after bouncing out in the first. Their 11-0 run to end the third included two layups for Chandler, one each after a rebound and a steal, another for Lawrence and, finally, one for Wright. The only shot from outside the key during that period was a three-point shot from Tobiason.
The inside assault continued into the fourth. Between forced turnovers and offensive rebounds, all six of the Vikings’ final-quarter field goals came from inside the paint. Tobiason had two of those, as did Jayden Lawrence. Lawrence’s came in quick succession, as he grabbed an offensive rebound and deposited it, then stole the inbounds pass and put it in off the glass.
The second half was in marked contrast to the first, which was a very even affair. Tobiason got things started with a three-pointer, but the Patriots were not fazed. Ty Ciarlo drained his own triple, the beginning of a 9-0 run that staked Newark Charter to a 9-3 lead. A few minutes later, Ciarlo hit a baseline three and was fouled, and his four-point play put the Patriots on top, 13-8. But the Vikings scored the last seven points of the first, taking a 15-13 lead on a Jayden Lawrence transition layup following a steal.
An entertaining back-and-forth second quarter featured six lead changes. The first came on a three from Newark Charter’s Sean Locks, the last one with 1:25 remaining was courtesy of Wright, who hit a three-pointer. In between, the teams took a bunch of free throws, although Jayron Bryant had a stretch where he scored five straight for the Patriots on two field goals.
Tobiason finished with 16 to lead the Vikings, while Chandler joined him in double figures with 12. Ten different players scored for St. Elizabeth, which improved to 6-4 after a third straight win. The Vikings are on the road Saturday for a late-morning start at Conrad. Tipoff is at 11:30.
For the Patriots, Williams had 8, and both Locks and Ciarlo scored 7. Newark Charter (3-4) is off until Tuesday, when A.I. DuPont visits for a 6:15 p.m. start.
All photos by Mike Lang.