Early scoring burst, defense key as Vikings advance to quarterfinals


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth turned up the defensive pressure, making it tough for the opponent to get many shots off, and the Vikings cruised to a 60-31 win over Charter School of Wilmington in the second round of the DIAA girls basketball tournament Thursday night at the St. E Center.

The Vikings, seeded fourth in the tournament, started with a press early and built an 8-0 lead in the game’s first two minutes. They extended the lead to 12-0 on a steal and layup by freshman Alanna Speaks, forcing Charter to burn its second timeout in the first four minutes. A Jordyn Humes three-pointer made the score 21-4, and the first quarter ended 25-9.

St. Elizabeth would continue the assault in the second quarter, going on a 7-0 run in the last minute, including another trey by Humes and a field goal by Macy Robinson. Robinson then stole the inbound pass, setting up an Alex Thomas field goal. The halftime lead was 37-17.

Just to make sure there was no doubt about the outcome, the Vikings would score the first 11 points of the second half before Charter junior Megan Waltz ended the run with two free throws. A buzzer-beating three pointer by St. E’s sophomore Gabby Julian made the third-quarter score 51-19.

Thomas and senior Sabrina Hackendorn each scored 13 for St. Elizabeth (15-5), which received balanced scoring. Next up for the Vikings is Catholic Conference foe Padua. The 12th-seeded Pandas (14-8) upset No. 5 Milford on the road, 49-40, to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday at the Bob Carpenter Center. They are slated to tip around 5 p.m.

St. Elizabeth has defeated the Pandas twice this season, 56-39 and 41-26.

Elsewhere on Thursday night, Catholic schools had a good night. No. 1 Ursuline (17-4) defeated No. 17 St. Mark’s, 51-12, and 10th-seeded Archmere (17-5) went to Smyrna and upset the No. 7 Eagles, 47-36.  Ursuline will meet No. 9 Hodgson at approximately 6:30 p.m., while Archmere’s reward is a date with No. 2 Sanford around 3:30 p.m. Those games are both at the Bob Carpenter Center.