Parker's 27 leads No. 19 Caravel to upset of No. 3 Sallies

Mark Tobin and No. 19 Caravel pulled off the upset of No. 3 Salesianum in the DIAA boys basketball tournament.

Mark Tobin and No. 19 Caravel pulled off the upset of No. 3 Salesianum in the DIAA boys basketball tournament.

WILMINGTON – Caravel guard O’Koye Parker missed his first seven shots in the Buccaneers’ DIAA Boys’ Basketball State Tournament second round matchup against host Salesianum Friday night.

Parker’s teammates kept encouraging him, and that support he pushed him through his early struggles he found his rhythm in the second half, scoring 20 points in the final two quarters to help the 19th-seeded Buccaneers rally past the third-seeded Sals for a 60-53 victory.

“When I came off 0 for 7 from the field in the first, all of my teammates told me ‘don’t worry, everything is going to drop for you,” Parker, who had a game-high 27 points, said. “In the second half, we have to come out and go hard.’ My coaches and teammates all believed in me. When they believe in me, I believe in me.”

Caravel struggled in the first quarter, making just one field goal to spot Salesianum an 11-3 lead through eight minutes, but during the break after the first quarter, Buccaneers head coach Mark Tobin focused on trying to get his team to settle down.

“The first is ‘under stress, your brain processes things a lot slower, and you’re playing with house money, let’s relax, do everything we do in practice every day, and when you that, good things occur,’” Tobin said. “That’s what we had to do. Tell them to relax. They’re an extremely young team. ‘Just live in the moment, enjoy the moment and don’t let the moment and don’t let your mind get all bogged down.’”

That calmed the Buccaneers as they played with more control in the second quarter, getting them into an offensive rhythm and scoring 18 points to cut their deficit to 26-21 entering halftime.

Continuing its improved play through halftime, Caravel started the third quarter on a 14-2 run en route to outscoring Salesianum 16-7 in the frame to take the lead at 37-33 with Parker powering the outburst with 10 points.

The Buccaneers’ lead ballooned to 44-33 with 6:09 remaining in the game, but Salesianum had one last run in them as it cut its deficit to just one point at 54-53 with 1:06 remaining in regulation.

Following a stoppage, Matthew Sengphachanh caught a deep inbounds pass and made a layup to give Caravel a three-point lead with 40 seconds left, and the Buccaneers shut down the Sals the rest of the way to hold on the win.

One reason for the Caravel second-half comeback was that they did a good job collapsing on Salesianum’s shooters, holding the Sals to just one 3-pointer in the final 16 minutes.

“That was an emphasis before the game. They had great shooters. They didn’t drive as much, but their bigs are very talented,” Tobin said. “We had to make sure we held those lines on the outside shooters, and that’s what we did, which helped us win the game tonight.”

More Stories

WATCH: Bronny James' dunks at the 2023 Powerade Jamfest

Was Bronny James' high-flying display enough to win it all?

Read the full article

Current high school NIL rules in each of the 50 states (plus D.C.)

A current rundown that shows which states have adopted rules in favor of high school athletes benefiting from name, image and likeness.

Read the full article

High school football coach at the center of prayer debate gets reinstated, receives $1.7 million settlement

Kennedy was terminated from his coaching position after he continued post-game prayers with students.

Read the full article
More News