Sals battle Philadelphia hoops power, fall, 62-61


For The Dialog


BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — Salesianum’s basketball team faced Constitution High of Philadelphia on Monday afternoon at the Concord Classic, and the two teams left the spectators in the packed gymnasium something to talk about. In the end, Constitution, ranked 89th in the country by Max Preps, held on for a 62-61 win in a back-and-forth contest.

Constitution jumped out to a 16-6 lead after one quarter, ending the period on an eight-point run. Kimar Williams hit two three-pointers in the first on his way to a 15-point night. The Sals chipped away at their deficit in the second quarter as junior Donte DiVincenzo scored 11 of his game-high 27 points in that stanza. Salesianum also converted eight of nine free throws in the quarter, including three of three from senior Brian O’Neill. The halftime score was 29-27 in favor of Constitution.

After Matt Sgro tied the game at 39 with a free throw, the teams settled in for a high-scoring, topsy-turvy fourth. A DiVincenzo three-pointer — one of five for the junior — and a tip-in gave the Sals a five-point advantage, but a trey by Ahmad Gilbert (20 points) and a field goal for Williams tied it up quickly.

Trailing, 60-57, with 20 seconds remaining, DiVincenzo went to the foul line, making one of two. He then forced a turnover on an inbounds play, but Salesianum committed a turnover of its own while attempting to inbound the ball. Constitution hit a layup, and a three-pointer by Sgro made the final 62-61.

The Sals, who fell to 9-2, made 28 of 33 free throws for the game. O’Neill joined DiVincenzo in double figures with 15 points. They now turn their attention to archrival St. Mark’s, which visits Broom Street on Friday night. St. Mark’s is 8-1. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30; tickets are available at the respective schools.