For The Dialog
WILMINGTON – Salesianum, the two-time defending state basketball champions, have a much different look this season, but they are still a good team, and that showed in the season opener on Friday night. The Sals got 21 points and 17 rebounds from 6-8 freshman Tariq Ingraham, and 6-6 sophomore Paul Brown added 14 points in a 59-52 win over Howard.
Both teams struggled early, going almost four minutes before a basket. Ingraham scored the first field goal for the Sals, who then brought in four substitutes. Coach Brendan Haley said it’s a matter of finding out what works.
“With this team, it might take time to find the right combination,” he said.
Salesianum held an 11-6 lead after the first quarter, and that is when Brown went to work. He scored 10 points in the second, including a nice tip-in off a miss. The Wildcats had trouble solving the Sals’ defense in the first half, and they trailed, 25-15, at intermission.
In the third quarter, Salesianum worked the ball into the big freshman Ingraham, who scored six in a row, including a big dunk that upped the Sals’ lead to 40-24. Howard responded with an 11-3 run to end the quarter, including three free throws by Lamar Woody to end the third that cut the Salesianum lead to 43-35.
The Wildcats turned up the pressure early in the final stanza and cut the lead to 46-44, but senior Juwel Campbell scored the Sals’ next eight points to give them a 54-48 advantage. When Howard’s Kineph Turner hit a three-pointer, it looked like the Wildcats were poised to make another comeback, but on Salesianum’s next possession, Ingraham made a spin move and slammed the ball home.
“My teammates needed me to score there as it was a big moment in the game,” the freshman said.
Salesianum used all 12 players and got scoring from nine of them. The Sals (1-0) travel to William Penn on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. for their first road game.