Patterson’s 20 leads Ravens past Panthers in Pat Borowski Classic

Polytech’s Yaa Asantewa Afriyie battles for the ball against St. Thomas More’s Olivia Lynch in the first quarter during the Pat Borowski Holiday Tournament at Lake Forest. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

FELTON — Senior Aniah Patterson led all scorers with 20 points in St. Thomas More Academy’s 46-40 win over Polytech High in Day 1 action of the Pat Borowski Classic at Lake Forest High Thursday afternoon.

The win sets the Ravens (5-0) up with a Bracket B championship showdown against Dover High (4-2) tonight. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

“This was one of our biggest tests so far,” said St. Thomas More coach Crystal Gordon. “We played Hodgson Vo-Tech earlier in the season and that’s usually a tough one for us, but this is one of our biggest ones especially coming off of a break.”

The annual two-day girls’ basketball holiday tournament features eight schools from across Delaware, which includes two brackets and four Henlopen Conference schools this year.

“They challenged us a lot,” Gordon said of Polytech. “We’re playing down a couple players, we just had to get it together, it was one of those games. We were trying to make shots, the shots weren’t falling so we had to adjust for our defense. This game is always back and forth.”

Polytech’s Courtney Turner puts pressure on St. Thomas More’s Jessica Simmons in the second quarter during the Pat Borowski Holiday Tournament at Lake Forest. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

The host Lake Forest squad tipped off its Day 1 action with a tilt against Tatnall Thursday night.

The previously-undefeated Spartans dropped its first game of the season following a 33-26 loss to the Hornets (3-3).

The Spartans (5-1) will play in the Bracket A consolation game against Henlopen South rival Milford High (1-6) at 1:30 p.m. today.

Both games featured low-scoring first quarters, with Polytech leading St. Thomas More just 6-5 and Tatnall leading Lake 6-0 through the game’s first eight minutes.

“We didn’t have a lot of practice over break, so I think we just had to get the cobwebs out and just get our conditioning back and focus back in on basketball after the break. I think we just needed more time to just fall into it,” Gordon said.

Polytech’s Jazmine Kellam battles for a rebound against St. Thomas More’s Marlena Gordon in the first quarter during the Pat Borowski Holiday Tournament at Lake Forest. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

The Ravens started knocking down three-pointers in the second quarter, outscoring the Panthers 17-13 in the quarter to jump ahead 22-19 at halftime. The quarter featured nine lead changes and a trio of three-pointers from Patterson (two) and freshman Glennyce James.

Behind two more Patterson three-pointers, St. Thomas More slowly started to pull away in the third quarter with a 9-4 run in the first four minutes of the quarter.

Polytech put up nine unanswered points to jump back into it and take the slim 32-31 lead with 6:30 remaining in the game.

A quick lay-up at the 5:40 mark of the quarter put the Ravens back in the lead and after shooting 8-of-11 at the free throw line in the final five minutes St. Thomas More escaped with the six-point victory.

Senior Jessica Simmons scored 16 points for the Ravens, eight of which she recorded in the fourth quarter. Senior Courtney Turner led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points.

After being shut out in the opening quarter, Lake Forest out-scored the Hornets 12-8 in the second quarter to pull to within two points, 14-12, at the halftime break.

“We just had to play our brand of basketball,” said Lake coach Aaliyah Davis. “We weren’t being physical, weren’t looking to score, so I just kind of told them you have to be in position to score, we have to run and execute our plays.”

The Spartans came out of the halftime break with a lot more energy, putting up a quick five points behind a bucket from freshman Gabrielle Almonte and a three-pointer from senior Grace Aguilar to hand Lake its first lead, 17-14, with 6:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Another Aguilar three-pointer later in the quarter put the Spartans ahead 23-16 with 3:03 to play in the third.

From there, the wheels slowly began to fall off for Lake Forest.

Tatnall ended the quarter on a 6-0 run and regained the lead for good at the 5:50 mark of the fourth quarter. The Hornets outscored the Spartans 11-3 in the fourth quarter to set themselves up in the Bracket A title game against Red Lion Academy today at 4:30.

“I believe we got comfortable. We got up by seven, we’re used to a lead this year obviously, so I think we got comfortable,” Davis said. “We saw they were playing harder than us, we just didn’t match their energy. We were just letting them come in, get rebounds, we just weren’t doing what we were supposed to be doing.”

Forward Zoe Kashner led all Tatnall scorers with 10 points, while Aguilar’s 14 points led the Lake scoring. Sophomore Natanya Johnson added another five points for Lake.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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