NEW CASTLE — Salesianum made a late push at William Penn when the teams met on Jan. 21, but the Colonials hit a bunch of free throws in the closing minutes to maintain their lead and defeat the Sals, 75-63. For the Colonials, it was their fifth straight win.
The Sals scored the first bucket of the day, but William Penn quickly got its high-octane offense going. Jaiden Guy got the Colonials on the board, and after a steal, Guy hit again on a runner off the glass while being fouled. He missed the free throw but got his own rebound, and 10 seconds later found himself open for a three-pointer to give Penn a 7-2 lead.
The Colonials scored 11 straight before Kareem Thomas hit a corner three, but the Sals would have to spend the afternoon trying to come back. Penn’s guards went inside over and over in the first quarter, which ended with the home team on top, 22-13. Elin McCoy scored the final two in transition on a finger roll that just beat the buzzer.
The Sals stuck close, getting to within five at 23-18 on an R.J. Johnson three-pointer, the team’s fourth triple in the first 11 minutes of play. But Emmanuel Vohm scored consecutive baskets after that for Penn, both layups, as the Colonials continued to go underneath. The Colonials closed out the half on an 11-3 run, punctuated by a pair of three-pointers, and took a 38-24 lead into intermission.
Kai Gatson got the scoring started in the third, deking around two defenders for a finger roll that made it 40-24. The Sals were able to cut the deficit to 11 heading into the final quarter, with Kareem Thomas contributing a three and Johnson adding an old-fashioned three-point play along the way.
Vohm took over to begin the fourth, and it looked like William Penn was going to run away with the contest. He scored the first seven points to give the Colonials a 55-37 lead, their biggest of the afternoon.
Brandon Baffone his a corner three for the Sals’ first points of the quarter with 6:25 to go, and they started the slow climb back into contention. A pair of free throws from Thomas, coupled with a Thomas steal and resulting three-pointer, made it 57-45. Another turnover forced by the Sals led to a runner for Thomas, bringing them within nine with 3:46 to go.
Johnson and Justin Hinds fouled out as the Sals tried to get back into the game, but Thomas kept their hopes alive by continuing his torrid scoring to get the Penn lead down to 62-55 with about 2:50 left. He then fouled out, however, and despite two more three-pointers from Hynson down the stretch, they could not complete the comeback. The Colonials scored nine of their final 11 points from the free throw line to seal the win.
Unofficially, Vohm led all scorers with 27, while Guy had 19 — 14 of those in the first — and McCoy 11. The Colonials (7-3) host A.I. DuPont on Thursday at 5 p.m.
For the Sals, Thomas had 22. Johnson had 17, and Hynson went for 11. Salesianum fell to 5-6 and is at home Tuesday against Middletown at 7:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.