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St. Georges builds big lead, holds on to beat Cape, advances to basketball final

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NEWARK – St. Georges used a 12-0 run at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth of Thursday night’s boys basketball semifinal to build a 22-point lead, then watched as Cape Henlopen clawed its way back into the game. The Hawks, however, had enough to hold on, defeating the Vikings, 64-55, to earn the school’s first trip to the state boys basketball finals. The10th-seeded Hawks will meet top-seeded Salesianum, who defeated Concord in the nightcap.

Lamar Hamrick and Zaire Jacobs-Beazer led the way for the Hawks, who improved to 21-4. Hamrick, coming off a 39-point performance in the quarterfinals, scored 22, while Jacbos-Beazer hit for 17.

Cape, which scored just five second-quarter points, had cut the Hawks’ lead to 35-30, but two Hamrick hoops, including a steal and dunk, pushed the advantage back to nine. St. Georges, leading 39-33, went on a 13-0 run, seemingly putting the game away at 52-33 with 6:30 to go and 56-34 – the biggest lead – a minute later. But the Vikings would not go quietly.

Sparked by Toney Floyd, Cape mounted a furious comeback, going on an eight-point run to cut the lead to 59-51. The Vikings began fouling St. Georges on every possession, and the Hawks obliged, making just six of 17 attempts in the final quarter. A layup by Tyreik Burton brought the Vikings to within 61-55, but St. Georges would score the final three points of the evening.

The game started out as a track meet, with both teams shooting for high percentages in the first quarter. St. Georges led, 17-15, after one behind Hamrick (six) and Jordan Eldridge (seven). The Vikings lost their shooting touch in the second and trailed by nine at the half. Cape Henlopen was hurt by turnovers in the half, and the Hawks capitalized, outscoring the Vikings, 15-2, off turnovers.

That set up the third quarter, which was close until the final minutes. Hamrick heated up toward the end of the quarter, which finished with a 40-foot buzzer-beater by Kyson Rawls.

Eldridge was the third St. Georges player in double figures. He scored 12.

Floyd finished with a game-high 23 for the Vikings. Jonathan Warren added 12 and Burton had 11. Cape’s season ends with a 15-9 record.

Tickets for the final, which is Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center, are $8. They are available at diaa.ticketleap.com.

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