Home Local Sports Huge first-half run spurs top-seeded Salesianum basketball past Laurel into DIAA quarters:...

Huge first-half run spurs top-seeded Salesianum basketball past Laurel into DIAA quarters: Photo gallery

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Kareem Thomas drives airborne to the hoop for the Sals. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — The top-seeded Salesianum basketball team hosted 17th-seeded Laurel on March 3 in a packed gym for the second round of the DIAA Tournament, and after a slow start, the Sals turned on the jets and are moving on to the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association quarterfinal round.

The Sals went on a 24-4 run in the first half to advance to the quarterfinals with a 66-55 win. The Bulldogs (17-5) raced out to a quick 10-4 lead before the Sals had an answer. Brett O’Hara started the run by knocking down a pair of free throws, and Justin Molen hit a three-pointer, but Sallies trailed, 12-9, after the opening eight minutes.

The play of the game came on the opening play of the second quarter. William Mutts was guarding the inbounder and used his long arms to deflect the inbound pass to Isaiah Hynson for the basket. Then the Sals started a 17-0 run covering a six-minute span that ended with a Kareem Thomas old-fashioned three point play to give the home team a 28-14 lead. The Bulldogs cut it to 30-22 at halftime after an 8-2 run led by Brock Hill, who had 6 points.

Salesianum got 12 points in the third quarter as six different players scored a basket to take a 42-29 lead into the fourth quarter. Thomas took over in the fourth, going for an old-fashioned three-point play, followed by a triple and another long jumper to give the Sals a 58-40 lead. The Bulldogs fought hard and cut it to 62-53 after a seven-point run by Kylse Wilson, but the Sals knocked down a few free throws to seal the win.

The Sals (13-8) were led by Thomas, who had 17 points, while Molen added 12 points, seven of those coming from the charity stripe. Hynson scored 11 while Mutts added 9. They will host No. 9 Dover on Saturday at 1 p.m.

All photos by Jason Winchell.