WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth’s basketball team kept its perfect record intact on Thursday, winning the Dick Rago Cup as the boys’ champion at the first Viking Invitational, but it certainly wasn’t easy. The Vikings needed a 1-0 run in the final minute to take care of the Panthers by a 54-49 score.
The Vikings stormed out to a 17-8 lead after one, sparked by Aiden Tobiason’s three three-point shots. Polytech, led by Kyle Gamber and Dorrell Little, chipped away at that lead over the next two quarters until finally taking a 44-43 lead with 3:50 remaining when Xavier Brewington scored on a second-chance bucket.
After Leamond Pearce’s steal and coast-to-coast basket restored the one-point advantage for the Vikings, the Panthers struck again. Gamber saved a ball inbounds to Brewington and headed to the right corner. Brewington fed him a pass, and the triple gave Polytech a 47-45 lead. Little scored a minute later to extend the lead to four.
But in the next 1:15, the Vikings got the plays they needed. Kye Rawls intercepted a Panthers pass and turned that into an old-fashioned three. Pearce then rebounded a missed Panthers free throw and went from one end to the other for a layup and a 50-29 Vikings lead.
An offensive foul on the Panthers put the ball back in the Vikings’ hands, and Rawls made a pair of free throws with 21 seconds to go. He came up with another steal as the Panthers looked to tie, and two more free throws with 1.9 seconds on the clock sealed the win.
Rawls had 15 points to lead the Vikings. Tobiason had 14, and Jayden Lawrence added 12. The Vikings improved to 6-0 and will host Wilmington Charter on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
Little led all scorers with 18. Gamber (13) and Brewington (12) joined him in double figures. The Panthers (4-3) welcome Milford on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
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