Salesianum wins 2023 boys basketball state title

Nick HallidayHeadlines, Sports

Salesianum Boys Basketball team with the trophy after winning the 2023 DIAA boys basketball state championship. photo by Mike Lang

Salesianum and William Penn both had tough roads getting through the bracket since neither team was a top seed. Salesianum came in as the No. 5 seed, while William Penn came in as the No.7 seed. Both teams came into this game battle tested and ready having had to knock off all the higher seeds to get there. 


The game was just what you would have expected with two teams who have played some of the toughest schedules throughout the state. Neither team was going to back down or be intimidated by the other. Penn was able to defeat Sallies earlier in the season at home by a score of 75-63. Sallies would avenge that loss in the biggest game of the season. 


The game was tied after one quarter at 10-10, but the Sals were able to sethreparate with a big second quarter. Sallies doubled the outcome of the Colonials outscoring them 16-8 in the quarter. Isaiah Hynson led the way with 6 points while Kareem Thomas added 5, and Ethan Hinds with 3 as each player connected three pointers. The Colonials went 1-11 from the field in the quarter. 


In the third quarter Salesianm took its largest lead of the game of 11 points when they went up 31-20 with a little more than five minutes on the clock. That lead still did not discourage the battle tested colonials. They went on a 7-0 run to bring the game back within 4 points of the Sals and even had the game down to two points a few minutes later. However the Sals were able to hold off the Colonials taking a 39-32 lead into the fourth quarter. 


In the fourth quarter the Sals again would have to fend off the Colonials. Sallies scored the first two points of the quarter but after that they were outscored 10-4 by William Penn for the next few minutes. Penn was able to bring the score to within one point 43-42 with 1:32 left. Jaiden Guy was the catalyst in that run scoring 6 points in the quarter. 


Salesianum’s defense stepped up after the William Penn run. They only gave up 2 points to the Colonials in the last minute of the game. Penn still had a chance to at least tie the game to force overtime, but the defense stepped up again. Down 47-44 with .15 seconds left Penn had possession right at half court. The inbounds went to Guy, but they immediately started screening for Jalen Sample who had already hit three 3 pointers in the game, but Sallies did a great job of switching which forced Sample to retreat backwards. As time ran out Sample had to put up a shot from around the center quarter logo that missed everything. 


Salesianum was able to come away with its first state title in basketball since 2015 with a 48-44 victory. Hynson led the Sals with a game high 20 points. Kareem Thomas was the other Sallies player in double  figures with 14 points hitting 3-4 shots from behind the arc. 


For the Colonials Sample led the way with 13 points with Guy adding 12 and Emmanual Vonhm had 10.

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