WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth got ahead of Ursuline early on when the two teams met on the evening of Jan. 8, taking an 11-6 lead after a Sydney Hilliard three-point shot. But the Raiders finished the first quarter on a 9-1 run, and they never looked back 63-44 victory at a crowded and masked Laffey-McHugh Gymnasium.
Ella Gordon began the rally by hitting one of two free throws, and she followed that with one of her five three-point shots for the night. Abigail Grillo took over the scoring after that, picking up the Raiders’ last five points of the quarter, including a three-pointer with three seconds remaining to push the lead to 15-12 after one.
The Raiders built on the lead throughout the second with a combination of tight defense, a big edge in rebounds and getting to loose balls, and some lights-out shooting. The teams traded baskets for a few minutes, with a Rory Ciszkowski three making the score 22-19 at one point.
But it was all Raiders from then until the half. They scored the final 10 points, with consecutive triples from Hannah Kelley, Gordon and Sophia Filipowski, then a single free throw for Filipowski. In addition to the shooting, Ursuline’s press defense caused several problems for the Vikings. When St. Elizabeth did get shots, they just weren’t falling.
The Vikings were able to get to within 10 at 34-24 midway through the third, but Ursuline — as it did several times during the course of the game — broke the St. Elizabeth press with crisp passes that led to a Kelley layup at the 3:40 mark. Gordon nailed two more threes in the closing minutes of the third as the Raiders took a 19-point advantage into the final eight minutes.
The lead grew to 20 when Chamira Marshall-Brothers hit a three before the Vikings went on a 7-0 run, with Farrah White scoring five of those. But Gordon hit her final triple to end that run, and the Raiders enjoyed a victory over one of their fiercest rivals.
Gordon finished with 18 to lead the Raiders. Grillo had 13, and Filipowski added 11. Ursuline connected on 10 three-pointers. The Raiders (5-3) visit Saint Mark’s on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
For the Vikings, Ciszkowski led with 13 points, and Ericka Huggins had 12. St. Elizabeth fell to 4-2 and hosts Newark Charter on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.