Salesianum set the tone early in its nonconference boys basketball game against visiting Mount Pleasant, as Shane Clark hit a 3-pointer within the first 10 seconds of the game.
Sallies fed off the energy from Clark’s early basket and dictated the tone of the game in a 56-42 victory. The Sals never trailed against the Green Knights on Thursday night.
“Last time out against A.I. du Pont we came out flat, and we said we needed a jump start,” said Clark, who had 12 points. “We said if we had a shot, just take it. That’s what I did, and it was a good shot.”
Mount Pleasant (10-5) kept pace with Salesianum for the first couple of minutes of the first quarter, trailing 8-7. But Sallies (14-2) took control of the game with a 12-2 run that lasted for the remainder of the quarter.
JT Harrar came off the bench to help Salesianum maintain a comfortable lead throughout the second quarter, scoring seven of his eight points in the frame and helping his team go into halftime with a 31-21 lead.
Sallies played the game on its terms, playing at a pace that kept the Green Knights off balance on both sides of the court. The Sals slowed the game down on offense and made life uncomfortable for the Mount Pleasant shooters on defense.
“I thought today was a little bit better with tempo. Today, we kind of pushed the pace and ran our stuff,” Sals’ coach Brendan Haley said. “I thought we did it on the other end as well. We got up tight on their tough players and kind of forced them into some shots that they didn’t like.”
Salesianum continued to dictate the tempo in the third quarter, outscoring the Green Knights 15-12 to take a 46-33 lead after three. Mount Pleasant went on its best run of the game early in the fourth quarter, with a 9-3 run to make it 49-42 with five minutes left.
That was as close as the Green Knights would get. The Sallies defense shut them out for the remainder of the game to pull away for the victory. That final instance was one of the many times Salesianum prevented Mount Pleasant from getting within striking distance.
“We just played our game. We didn’t let them rush us up or speed it up,” Clark said. “They’re a run-and-gun team that likes to go on the fast break. We just played our game and played at our pace.”
Brian O’Neill led Sallies with 16 points ,with Donte DiVincenzo adding 11 points. The Green Knights were paced by DaShaun Holland’s 16 points.