WILMINGTON — Salesianum and Tower Hill were locked in a close boys basketball battle on Jan. 19 as the game moved through the fourth quarter. A drive along the baseline and layup for Joe Montooth pulled the Sals to within a point at 49-48 before things went south for the Sals, who would go on to drop a 66-59 decision.
Hillers senior Ricky Deadwyler drove to the basket for a field goal, and he was fouled on the play. Before he took that free throw, however, the Salesianum bench was called for a technical foul. Deadwyler made all three free throws — two for the technical and one to complete the three-point play — to extend the lead to six.
Tower would add more points, including more technical foul shots after a taunting call on the Sals. The Hillers ran off 12 straight before Rasheen Caulk hit a fadeaway jumper for the Sals. That started a seven-point run, but the Hillers scored five more points from the line to take the win.
Salesianum got off to a fast start, taking an 8-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a bucket by Caulk and a pair of three-pointers from Molen. Tower Hill was able to stay close as the fouls accumulated for Sallies; all six of the Hillers’ first-quarter points came on free throws.
Dean Shepherd scored seven straight points at the outset of the second quarter for Tower Hill to put them ahead, 13-11. Meanwhile, Deadwyler and the Hillers’ other principal weapon, Donoven Mack, were held to three points combined in the first half. Salesianum extended a one-point lead to four at the halftime buzzer when Sam Walsh beat the horn with a three. It was 26-22.
Freshman Isaiah Hynson picked up his first high school field goal for Sallies at the outset of the second half, but Deadwyler answered with a three-point shot. Mack heated up as well, scoring nine in the third, including a step-back three that tied the contest at 34.
The Hillers took a brief one-point lead on a Shepherd free throw, but Salesianum scored six consecutive points. Molen had the first two field goals, and Jackson Conkey fed Brett O’Hara for the final one. Again, the home team responded, evening the score at 40 before the quarter ended.
The Hillers’ run would hit eight points in the early going of the fourth, and the teams would remain close until the parade of foul shots for Tower allowed them to gain some separation.
Caulk led Sallies with 17 points. Molen had 13 and Ethan Hinds added 12. The Sals (1-1) have their home debut on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. against St. Elizabeth.
Deadwyler, Mack and Shepherd each scored 18 for Tower Hill. Shepherd did his damage in the first half, while Deadwyler and Mack did nearly all of theirs after halftime. Jaeden Fitzhugh also reached double figures with 10. The Hillers (1-0) travel to Wilmington Friends on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.