Home Local Sports Salesianum dials in, makes 15 three-pointers in victory over St. Elizabeth: Photo...

Salesianum dials in, makes 15 three-pointers in victory over St. Elizabeth: Photo gallery

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The Sals' Kareem Thomas, watched by St. Elizabeth defender Shaun Chandler, checks on teammates Justin Molen (left) and Sam Walsh. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — It was Senior Night at Salesianum, and the loudest cheers during the Sals’ win over St. Elizabeth came in the final few minutes. With the outcome long since determined, senior reserves Will Keegan and Sam Dumas got some game action, and their teammates made sure the time counted.

Just after Keegan entered, classmate Justin Molen drove into the lane. A defender moved toward him, and Molen dished to Keegan for a layup, which energized the crows. But Molen and Keegan weren’t done. On the Sals’ next possession, Molen grabbed a rebound and fired a long pass to Keegan, who had a step on the nearest defender. Keegan dribbled a few steps toward the hoop and made another layup.

Dumas was next. He found himself near the top of the circle as time ran down. He saw an opening and drove in, taking the ball up and laying it off the glass for the final points in Salesianum’s 79-52 victory at Father Birkenheuer Gymnasium. It was the first of a three-game homestand to close out the regular season.

Despite Keegan and Dumas hitting from in close, the story of Sallies’ offense was its effectiveness from long distance. Salesianum made 15 three-point shots on the evening, with Isaiah Hynson giving the big crowd a preview by opening the Sals’ scoring with a triple. Another three ended the first-period scoring, this one from Quinn O’Hara.

The Vikings trailed by just three after those initial eight minutes, but their struggles to convert chances into points cost them in the second. An old-fashioned three-point play from Leamond Pearce brought the Vikings to within five at 19-14 before the Sals’ shooting became red-hot.

Brett O’Hara hit a three, and after Aiden Tobiason went back door for the Vikings, Salesianum’s Kareem Thomas added a triple of his own. O’Hara connected from distance on the Sals’ next two trips down the court, and he celebrated right along with the student section in front of him. After a turnover, O’Hara brought the roof down with yet another three. Kareem Thomas scored on a baseline mid-range jumper toward the end of the half to snap the Sals three-point streak at five, but O’Hara drilled a baseline three-point jumper to end the half with his team in front by 15.

The Vikings shot better in the second half, but it was the Sals’ night from the field. Molen went for seven points in the third, and Sallies added two more threes. For St. Elizabeth, Pearce continued a solid offensive effort in the third with five points, and Herring had a pair of field goals, including a dunk.

Seven different Sals scored in the fourth quarter. O’Hara added two more from long distance, his sixth and seventh of the night. Thomas provided the fireworks, breaking free for a one-handed jam that brought the students to their feet.

Brett O’Hara finished with 21 points on those seven three-pointers. Molen added 14, and Thomas had 10. The Sals improved to 10-7 and are right back at it Wednesday night against Delaware Military at 7:30.

Pearce led the Vikings with 20, and Jermai Herring had 10. St. Elizabeth (14-4) has its Senior Night on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. when First State Military visits.

All photos by Mike Lang.