For The Dialog
WILMINGTON – The Salesianum basketball team built a big lead, then held off the visiting Tatnall Hornets, 56-50, on Dec. 17. It was Silent Night. and the home crowd remained quiet until the Sals scored seven points.
That meant the crowd could not cheer a monster two-handed slam dunk by Sallies sophomore Tariq Ingraham with the score tied, 4-4. Ingraham was fouled on the play and made the free throw, and the sold-out student section went nuts since it was the seventh point. The Sals ended the first quarter on an 11-0 run to lead 15-4.
Salesianum stayed hot to open the second quarter as Michael Kempski hit a long two followed by a deep three to start a 12-4 second-quarter run, pushing the lead to 27-8. The Hornets made a late first-half run to cut it to 33-18 at the half.
The Sals got more timely three-point shooting in the third. Kempski hit a deep triple, and Jack Brown hit his third three-pointer of the game as the Sals extended the lead to 44-27. The Hornets got some momentum going into the last quarter by scoring the last four points in the third to cut it to 44-31. Senior Nick Cutrona scored nine straight in the fourth quarter to cut the Sals’ lead to 50-45 with 2:26 left. Sallies senior Joe Novak hit a big three-pointer after a timeout to give the home team an eight-point lead. The Sals hit their free throws down the stretch to improve to 4-0.
Jack Brown led the team with 14 points, while Ingraham added 13, including nine of 12 from the foul line. The Sals play Our Savior New American School from New York in New Jersey on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The Hornets got 20 from Cutrona and play in the Middletown tournament after Christmas.