Salesianum coach Brendan Haley will be searching for a new halftime speech this week.
The No. 2-ranked Sals got back in the game with a solid second quarter, then fell flat in the second half and lost 59-35 to Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) on Saturday in the Coaches vs. Cancer PA/DE Challenge at Cheltenham High School.
“I was just saying to the assistants, ‘Whatever speech I gave, we’ll scrap that one,'” Haley said. “Whatever halftime talk that was, it didn’t work. We came out just totally not in the right spots, really not doing the things we had just talked about.”
Sallies (2-1) had a rough first quarter, too, falling behind 11-4. But junior guard Donte DiVincenzo heated up in the second quarter, giving Villanova’s Jay Wright and several other college coaches some highlights to enjoy.
DiVincenzo put together two old-fashioned three-point plays, hit a 3-pointer from the right wing and banked in a 12-footer to pull the Sals even at 16 with 4:15 left in the first half.
The Patriots (2-0) scored the next seven points and went into halftime ahead 25-20. Then they really unloaded in the third quarter.
Archbishop Carroll focused its defense on DiVincenzo, and the offense came from everywhere. The Patriots scored the first 17 points of the second half, with 6-foot-9 Ernest Aflakpui’s layup pushing the lead to 42-20.
“They definitely ran a couple of guys at him and made him work harder to get the ball,” Haley said of the defense against DiVincenzo. “But there were some basic things that we wanted to do to help him that we didn’t do.”
DiVincenzo finished with 18 points. Archbishop Carroll got scoring from nine different players, including 13 from Derrick Jones and 11 from Aflakpui. The Patriots are so deep and talented that transfer guard Austin Tilghman, one of Delaware’s top players last season at St. Andrew’s, took only four shots and scored four points.