GREENVILLE — The A.I. DuPont boys basketball team came out on fire against Saint Mark’s on Jan. 12, scoring the first 11 points of the game, but it took a second-half comeback to top the Spartans, 62-51.
The first three field goals for the Tigers were three-pointers, two by Ishmeal Glasgow, the second of which banked in off the glass. Taje’e Jordan then went underneath to make it 11-0 less than four minutes into the contest. Two free throws from Jorden Jones with 3:35 remaining got the Spartans on the board and jump-started their resurgence in the first quarter.
Two more free throws plus a corner three for Jones started the Spartans on a a 10-0 run that ran into the second quarter, pulling them within a point. Saint Mark’s had a few chances to take the lead, but their shots stopped falling for a few minutes. A.I. got its offense going in the middle of the quarter, building the lead back to six at 20-14, but the Spartans had another run in them.
Matt McDonald got things started with a corner three, and Chad Dohl made two technical free throws. Jones scored on a follow shot in the lane with 1:42 to go in the half, lifting Saint Mark’s to its first lead of the afternoon. But they weren’t done. Ryan Smith knocked down a pair of free throws, and Dohl drained a triple with 8.4 seconds to go to give the Spartans a 26-20 halftime advantage.
The Tigers came out and closed the gap in the opening stages of the third quarter, but a Chase Wright three-pointer, followed by a Smith bucket with the assist to Wright, staked the Spartans to their biggest lead of the day, 31-24.
The next scoring run belonged to the hosts. A three-pointer by Antonio Randell, his second on as many possessions, put the Tigers up, 32-31. Randell then scored three the old-fashioned way, on a field goal and free throw, as the Tigers ran their scoring streak to 11 points and their lead to four. A pass to a cutting Jones for a layup got the Spartans back in the scoring mode.
The end of the third quarter was particularly exciting. Dohl connected from three with about 10 seconds remaining to cut the Tigers’ lead to 38-36, but Stephon Stewart answered for A.I. Dohl took the inbounds pass and dribbled to midcourt. His shot from the behind the circle banked through the net as the buzzer sounded, and the Spartans’ deficit was two heading into the final quarter.
Saint Mark’s did not play poorly in the fourth, but they were unable to get any closer to A.I. DuPont. The Tigers offense continued to hum, with Randell scoring seven points in the stanza. The Spartans stayed close with good three-point shooting. Damon Jones’ triple with about three minutes remaining brought them to within 51-48, but the Tigers stretched the lead by scoring the next seven. A.I. was perfect on four free throw attempts in the final minute to seal the victory.
Randell led all scorers with 25. Glasgow (11) and Stewart (10) also reached double figures. The Tigers improved to 7-2 and visit Newark Charter on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.
For Saint Mark’s, Dohl and Jorden Jones each scored 18. The team made nine three-pointers. The Spartans (3-5) head to Georgetown on Saturday for a 2 p.m. matinee at Sussex Central.
All photos by Mike Lang.