For The Dialog
BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – Salesianum’s basketball team has a potent offense, but on Saturday the defense was the key as the Sals earned a 50-33 win over No. 6 Concord in front of a sold-out crowd.
Senior Joe McCusker lead a defense that forced numerous Raiders turnovers, saying the Sals “practice defensive drills in practice all the time.” The state’s No. 1 team improved to 15-2 and remained unbeated against Delaware teams.
Both teams struggled early offensively until McCusker hit a three-point shot, followed by another by junior Donte DiVincenzo. Salesianum led, 17-11, after the first and put the game away in the second, holding Concord to two points, which came on a tip-in at the halftime buzzer. Shane Clark scored all seven of his points in the second, helping the Sals to a 30-13 advantage.
DiVincenzo was assigned to guard Concord’s top scorer, senior Joe Cooper, and he did the job well. Cooper scored 10 points in the game to lead Concord, but just two of those came in the first half, on a pair of free throws.
The Sals were looking to play a complete game against the Raiders, said senior Brian O’Neill. “We talked in the locker room before the game that we needed to play this game from start to finish since we have not done that this week.”
DiVincenzo and O’Neill each scored 12 for Salesianum, while McCusker added 11. The Sals will be off until Friday, when they travel to St. Mark’s for a 7:30 tip. They also play next Sunday at 6 p.m. at home vs. Archmere on senior night.
Concord (13-5) will finish its regular season this week with a pair of games. The Raiders host 11-6 Newark on Tuesday and William Penn (4-9) on Thursday. Both games are scheduled for a 5:15 p.m. start.