WILMINGTON – Salesianum drained 10 three-point shots and was in control from the jump in a 66-39 boys basketball win over Appoquinimink in a prime-time matchup on Dec. 15. The Sals, ranked third in the state by 302Sports.com, improved to 3-0.
A full house was on hand for Silent Night, the school’s annual event during which the student section does not cheer until the home team scores its seventh point. Hot-shooting Salesianum made sure their mates did not have to stay quiet for long.
The Jaguars won the opening tap, but that possession ended with Sallies’ Rasheen Caulk stealing a pass. He sent a pass to Darnell Vaughan, who streaked in for a layup just 10 seconds into the contest. After another steal on the very next trip down the court, Vaughan found himself alone outside the three-point arc. His triple was the team’s first of the night.
It took another minute or so, but the student section was released from its silence with 6:15 left in the first. This time, Ethan Hinds pilfered the ball near the Appoquinimink free-throw line and dribbled two steps ahead of the nearest Jaguars defender. His layup made the score 7-0 as the Sals’ student body went crazy.
They weren’t done scoring. Paul Brown nailed a three-pointer, and after Max Ferrante made a jumper, Brown connected from deep once more to give Salesianum a 15-0 lead. Ese Efekodo responded with a one-handed jam to get the Jags on the board, but Caulk ended the quarter with a 12-foot baseline jumper for a 23-7 Sals lead.
Salesianum carried its shooting prowess and tough defense into the second quarter. Caulk opened the stanza with the team’s fourth three-point shot of the night; Tommy Montooth and Sam Walsh would also score threes before halftime. Despite seven points in the second from Avery Richardson – five of those from the free-throw line – Appo fould itself in a 45-20 hole at the break.
The teams played a relatively even second half, but the drama had long since evaporated. The biggest cheer of the second half came late in the fourth quarter, after Sallies coach Taylor Trevisan had removed his starters. Senior Michael Groome took a pass from Sam Walsh and drove the lane, putting up an off-balance shot that went in off the glass as he was fouled. Groome hit the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play, the only one of the night.
Brown led the team with 14 points, including four three-pointers. Six other players had one three-point shot each. Vaughan finished with 12 points and Caulk 11. The Sals are back on the court Thursday at home at 7:30 p.m. against Tatnall before heading to Slam Dunk to the Beach.
For Appoquinimink, Richardson led the way with eight points. The Jaguars slipped to 1-3 and will try to get back into the win column on Wednesday at home against Caesar Rodney. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.