Auks’ girls win fifth straight with upset of No. 4 St. Elizabeth

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For The Dialog

 

WILMINGTON — Senior Katelyn Payne scored eight of Archmere’s 10 points in overtime, including a pair of clutch free throws with five seconds left to lead the unranked Auks to a 45-42 win at No. 4 St. Elizabeth on Tuesday night at the St. E Center. It was the Auks’ fifth win in a row and ended St. Elizabeth’s four-game winning streak.

The teams were close all night, with the biggest lead, five points, coming in overtime when Archmere went up, 40-35.

Archmere (11-4) jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but the Vikings responded with a 7-0 run that included the game’s only three-point shot, from senior Macy Robinson. Archmere responded with five straight to reclaim the lead, 9-8. St. Elizabeth senior Sabrina Hackendorn scored the last field goal of the quarter, and the Vikings went into the second with a 10-9 lead.

Defense and turnovers dominated the second quarter.

“We practiced fundamental defense to be ready for the Vikings tonight because we know they play good defense themselves,” said Payne, who scored four of her team’s seven points in the quarter, which ended with the game tied at 16.

It was more defense as the second half started, and Archmere took a 25-24 advantage into the fourth quarter.

The Auks struck quickly on a basket by Amanda Olsen, but Robinson converted an old-fashioned three-point play to tie it again at 27. St. Elizabeth took a 33-31 lead with 2:28 remaining in regulation on two free throws by junior Alex Thomas.

Archmere came up empty on its next possession, and the Auks needed to commit several fouls to start sending St. Elizabeth to the free-throw line. When the Auks reached seven personals, Macy Robinson converted the one-and-one to give the Vikings a 35-31 lead with just 49.8 seconds to go.

Archmere then tied the game in quick order. Senior Rebecca Peet hit the front end of a one-and-one, missed the second but Olsen grabbed the rebound. She hit a short jump shot and was fouled, and the made free throw tied it at 35. St. Elizabeth held for the final shot, but it did not go in, and four more minutes of basketball were needed.

Payne started the extra session by making a jumper. She then grabbed a steal, taking it the other way for a basket on which she was fouled. The free throw made the Archmere lead 40-35.

Tight St. Elizabeth defense resulted in four points for the Vikings, who got back to within one at 40-39. The Auks took a 43-41 lead on a free throw by Payne.

Freshman Alanna Speaks brought the Vikings to within one by hitting one of two free throws, setting the stage for Payne’s free throws with five ticks left on the clock. A desperation shot by St. Elizabeth fell short as the buzzer sounded, and the Auks finally were able to exhale.

“It was a team effort and I am so proud of them,” Payne said.

Payne finished with a game-high 17 points, while Olsen added 16. The road does not get any easier for Archmere as the team hosts third-ranked Caravel Thursday night at 6:15 p.m.

For St. Elizabeth (11-4), Thomas led the way with 15 points; Robinson had 14 before fouling out. The Vikings visit St. Mark’s on Thursday for a 7:15 p.m. start.