It may have been Senior Night at Concord, but a trio of Salesianum freshmen stole the spotlight in a 49-45 win over the Raiders on Tuesday. The win pushed Salesianum’s final regular-season record to 12-8 as the team prepares for the state tournament.
The Sals gained control of the game in the first half, then withstood a valiant comeback effort by the Raiders. After a cold start for both teams, Sallies freshman center Tariq Ingraham asserted himself inside. He scored the game’s first basket more than two and a half minutes into the first quarter on a follow shot. Ingraham grabbed another rebound on the Sals’ next possession and hit the putback.
Salesianum owned the boards early and had several opportunities in transition to increase the lead, but the shooting was not there. Concord took advantage, as Joseph McHugh got them within 6-4 with a pair of buckets, and Danny Wise gave the Raiders the lead with a three-pointer that made it 7-6 Concord with 2:16 left in the quarter. The teams traded baskets, and a three-point shot at the end of the first by Luke Bianchino gave the Sals the lead for good at 11-9.
The Sals kept dialing long distance at the beginning of the second. A pair of freshmen, Fahmir Ali and Trevon Alderman, sandwiched triples around a McHugh field goal. Alderman finished the half for Salesianum with a slashing layup to make the score 25-15 at intermission.
The lead grew to 11 halfway through the third quarter and was nine heading into the fourth. Concord senior Noah Rivera, who was held to a single free throw in the first half, found his stroke in the third, hitting a pair of jumpers on his way to a 12-point effort in what was likely his final home game.
Ingraham got into foul trouble early in the fourth, picking up his third on a Rivera shot that turned into an old-fashioned three-point play. The Raiders cut the lead to 40-35 before Ingraham scored on another offensive rebound, but he committed his fourth foul with 4:11 to go and found a seat on the bench. Ali picked up the slack, scoring nine points in the final stanza.
Concord fought back late, as Wise and Matthew Arrabal each drained three-pointers in the closing minutes, but the Raiders ran out of time. Wise and Rivera each had seven points in the fourth.
Ingraham and Ali tied for scoring honors with 13, while Alderman had eight. The Sals will find out Friday afternoon where the state tournament road will take them when the seedings are announced. Rivera and Wise each scored 12 for Concord, which finished the regular season at 10-10.