WILMINGTON – The St. Elizabeth girls basketball team didn't look its sharpest early in Friday night's showdown against Caravel, but the second-ranked Vikings turned it up in a decisive third quarter on their way to a 50-38 win over third-ranked Caravel Friday night at the St. E Center.
The Vikings struggled with shooting and ball-handling in the second quarter, but they regained their bearings and found an outside touch in the third. St. Elizabeth outscored the Buccaneers, 19-7, with forwards Sabrina Hackendorn and Alex Thomas especially effective against their smaller Buccaneers. They grabbed rebound after rebound to give their team second and third opportunities. If not for subpar inside shooting, the final margin could have been much bigger.
A field goal by Thomas gave the Vikings a 25-24 lead, their first since the game was 12-11 early in the second. With the game tied at 29 two minutes later, Gabby Julian gave the home team a lead it would not relinquish when she drained a three-pointer for her first points of the game. She added another field goal later in the quarter.
The first two quarters were much more even. The Vikings led, 12-9, after the first, but a strong Caravel defense and numerous St. Elizabeth turnovers factored into a 12-0 Bucs run that gave them their largest lead of the night at 19-12. St. Elizabeth turned the ball over on its first three possessions of the quarter and on seven of its first nine. The home team used its height advantage and aggressive defense to generate offensive opportunities, however, and managed to trail by just two at the half.
Hackendorn led the victors with 13 points, while Macy Robinson added 11 and Thomas reached double figures with 10. Caravel's Micah Morgan was the high scorer for the game, tallying 14.
St. Elizabeth goes on the road next week against two Catholic Conference foes. The Vikings are at Padua on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and at St. Mark's next Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Buccaneers are at Central Bucks West (Pa.) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the Showcase Event before returning home to battle St. Mark's Tuesday at 7:15.