MIDDLETOWN — Salesianum’s basketball team continued its stretch of games against some of Delaware’s toughest competition on Jan. 25 at Middletown, and once again the Sals came out on top. The Sals, ranked fifth in the state by Delaware Live/302Sports, jumped out to a 14-point lead after one quarter and fought off the seventh-ranked Cavaliers’ attempts to come back in a 66-58 victory.
The game was tied at 7-7 after Jaden Rogers scored on a baseline jumper with 3:50 left in the first, but those would be the Cavs’ final points until less than a minute remained in the stanza. In the interim, Sallies scored 15 straight, including a trio of three-pointers.
After Rogers equalized, Kareem Thomas answered with a three. Deuce Mutts added a field goal before Isaiah Hynson hit from distance, giving the Sals a 15-7 lead. Mutts struck again, followed 40 seconds later by Brett O’Hara. Finally, O’Hara concluded the run with a triple.
The lead continued to grow into the second as Salesianum used its height advantage to keep Middletown to one shot on most possessions. When Thomas drained another three, the Sals had an 18-point lead at 32-14, but the Cavaliers responded. They caused a few Salesianum miscues and took advantage, going on a 10-1 run over the final 1:45 to cut the halftime deficit to single digits. Nile Ahmad got things going with an inside field goal, and it ended with Amir Cunningham hitting one of two free throws, followed by a steal by Cunningham on the inbounds pass that he turned into a layup.
The Cavaliers hung tough in the second half, getting the Sals’ lead down to eight points on two occasions. Isaiah Hynson gave his team a bit of breathing room as time expired in the period when he hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer, and the Sals took a 47-35 lead into the final quarter.
Two minutes in, Ty’Renne Hynson scored on a field goal plus a free throw, and the Salesianum lead was eight. After a layup by Sam Walsh, Jaiden McGhee capitalized on a Sallies turnover with a triple, giving the loud crowd at Middletown something more to cheer about. But Justin Molen answered quickly with his own three, then he scored on a slashing layup, restoring the 12-point advantage. After a Cavs timeout, Molen ran his own streak to seven points with another bucket.
The Cavaliers put together one last mini-rally, but the Sals sealed the win with six free throws in 10 attempts down the stretch.
Molen had 20 for Salesianum. He was joined in double figures by Isaiah Hynson (13) and Thomas (11). The Sals got points from 10 players. The Sals (4-6), winners of three straight, host No. 10 Smyrna on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Smyrna upset top-ranked Dover on Tuesday.
Ty’Renne Hynson had 16 to pace the Cavaliers. A total of nine players got on the scoreboard. Middletown fell to 7-5 and is on the road against neighboring St. Georges Tech on Friday at 5 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.