BEAR — Salesianum had to wait a few days to get its 2021 basketball season started, and the Sals made sure it was a memorable one. After coughing up a 15-point third-quarter lead, the Sals rebounded for a wild 57-54 win at Caravel on Jan. 16.
Sallies took a 25-22 lead into the half, aided by the long-distance shooting of Brett O’Hara and numerous Buccaneers turnovers. Two free throws from Miles White cut that lead to a single point, but it would not stay there for long.
Ethan Hinds drained two free throws to begin a 14-point run for Salesianum. Justin Molen intercepted a pass and went the length of the floor for a layup. Hinds took a pass from Molen and hit a three-pointer to make it 32-24. Rasheen Caulk got into the action, poking the ball loose and going the other way for a one-handed jam, prompting a Caravel timeout.
An errant pass gave the ball back to the Sals, and this time it was Molen going baseline for a jam, bringing the Sals bench and junior varsity to their feet. O’Hara’s fourth triple of the evening pushed the lead to 39-24, but the young Buccaneers – playing with just one senior dressed for the game – were not about to give in.
Caravel stopped the run on a bucket by their lone active senior, Josh Morrow, and the Buccaneers would outscore the Sals, 14-4, over the final 3:15 of the third, pulling to within 45-40 headed to the fourth.
The Bucs’ John Clemmons opened the final quarter with a corner triple, cutting the team’s deficit to just two. They took the lead after Clemmons rebounded a missed Salesianum shot, and Jaden Rogers scored on a give-and-go to tie. He was fouled as well, and he hit the free throw to give the Bucs a one-point lead with 7:16 to go. Two more Rogers free throws extended that lead to three.
Caravel’s shooting cooled off, and with 4:47 to go in the game, Jackson Conkey hit two free throws for the Sals’ first points of the stanza, coming after a 22-4 stretch in the Bucs’ favor. Conkey put his team back on top at the 3:38 mark, taking a bounce pass from Caulk and laying it in, and he added a free throw to complete a three-point play.
Caulk saved a ball inbounds, then stepped back under the hoop and took a pass that he turned into two points, extending the Sals’ lead to 52-48 with 2:49 on the clock. Missed free throws by Sallies allowed the Buccaneers to stay close, and Rogers brought Caravel to within 55-54 with 18 seconds remaining when he hit two from the line.
After two more trips to the foul line resulted in a three-point advantage, the Buccaneers had a chance to tie in the closing seconds. Clemmons, however, had a last-second three-point attempt blocked by Conkey, and although Caravel retained possession with .5 seconds to go, the Buccaneers could get off a quality shot.
Official statistics were not available late Saturday. The Sals (1-0) will visit Tower Hill on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Carpenter Field House. Caravel (1-1) is off until Jan. 25, when they visit Archmere for a 6:15 p.m.m start.
All photos by Mike Lang.