Home Local Sports Daniel Skillings scores 30 to lead Roman Catholic basketball past Salesianum: Photo...

Daniel Skillings scores 30 to lead Roman Catholic basketball past Salesianum: Photo gallery

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Roman's Toby Ojukwu (11) faces the Sals' Brandon Baffone at the Chase Fieldhouse. Nick Halliday for The Dialog.

WILMINGTON — Salesianum played a strong middle of the game against Roman Catholic when the teams met Dec. 23 at the Chase Fieldhouse, but the Philadelphia Catholic League opponent used a dominant start and a solid finish to overcome the Sals, 65-50. The game was the finale of the two-day Play by Play Wilmington Classic, which brought an assortment of programs to the riverfront.

Sam Walsh got the Sals off to a good start, scoring on a drive in the game’s first minute, but much of the first quarter belonged to the Cahillites. One player in particular proved to be near impossible to stop. Daniel Skillings torched Salesianum for 11 points in the first, including the visitors’ first bucket. After a Sallies miss, Qadir Brown hit from three to put Roman on top and sent them on their way.

Skillings continued his assault, helping Roman Catholic build a lead of 18-5. The Sals’ defense stiffened after that, causing a few Cahillites turnovers and Kareem Thomas and Justin Molen eventually drained consecutive three-pointers from the left corner to pull the Sals to within seven after a quarter.

Skillings continued his hot shooting in the second quarter, scoring on a follow to a miss to extend the lead to seven. Thomas his another triple for the Sals, but they did much of their damage inside in the second. Hynson scored on a nifty spin move, and Thomas also went down low for two. Molen’s three field goals helped the Sals stay close.

The Cahillites got eight of their second-quarter points from Skillings, who will attend the University of Cincinnati. The other five came from Khalil Farmer, helping Roman maintain a five-point halftime advantage.

The Sals got to within two points on two occasions in the third, the second on a baseline jumper from Walsh with just over two minutes to go that made it 40-38. The Cahillites finished the stanza on a 5-0 run that included a three by Toby Ojukwu and a two by Farmer on a slashing move to the hoop.

Roman took a seven-point lead into the fourth, and as the Sals’ shooting struggled, the Cahillites steadily grew their margin. They scored the first nine points of the quarter before Molen hit a corner three with 3:20 remaining. Roman Catholic hit 12 of 14 free throws in the last quarter, overcoming some hot late shooting by the Sals, which received three more triples before the game’s end.

Skillings finished with 30 points to lead Roman. Farmer had 14 and Ojukwu 11.

For the Sals, Molen led the way with 17 points, while Thomas had 13 and Hynson had 11. Salesianum (1-5) looks to right the ship on Dec. 30 at Bonner and Prendergast (Pa.) at noon.

Photos courtesy of Nick Halliday.