Salisbury falls to top-tier opponents
There were plenty of teams from outside the Lehigh Valley area that competed in the A-Town Throwdown basketball tournament. Out of the 44-team varsity pool, more than half of the squads were not from District 11.
Salisbury was in a pool with three of those out-of-area teams, and despite going 0-3, the Falcons’ coaching staff saw a number of positives at Cedar Beach Park two weeks ago.
“We played very good teams,” assistant coach Chris Basile said. “The line on that though is if we can handle the press from teams like St. Thomas Aquinas and Lincoln of Philadelphia, we should be able to handle the pressure we get in the Colonial League.”
The Falcons dropped their first game against Lincoln of Philadelphia on Friday night, 57-25. Without one of its leaders in Quinn Warmkessel throughout the tournament, Salisbury then dropped its two games on Saturday against St. Thomas Aquinas (48-30) and Central Dauphin East (56-19).
St. Thomas Aquinas, a team out of New Jersey, was one of the final eight teams standing on Sunday once the single-elimination bracket got underway. It defeated Parkland in the Round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals.
In its final game of the tournament, Salisbury actually raced out to a fast start against C.D. East from the Harrisburg area. Patrick Foley fed Trey Weber for a layup in transition after a Panther turnover that gave the Falcons an early 11-2 advantage.
But C.D. East slowly chipped away with its size inside and full court pressure. The two teams were deadlocked at 14-14 after three straight baskets inside for the Panthers. C.D. East then took a 21-14 lead into halftime after ending the half on a 7-0 spurt.
“We were up early and I think we just ran out of gas with it being the second game of the day,” Basile said. “The JV team did get a win and made it to Sunday. We lost to Allen on Sunday morning and played a real tough game there.”
The Panthers’ lead quickly grew to double digits in large part to its defensive full court pressure. Already holding a 25-15 advantage, C.D. East tacked on another bucket moments later after another Falcon turnover trying to get the ball past half court. The Panthers went in front 31-15 on two similar Salisbury turnovers.
Salisbury scored just five points in the second half, three of them on a 3-pointer from Patrick Foley late in the game.
Reading defeated Executive Academy Charter for the A-town Throwdown varsity championship on Sunday evening, 40-37. Reading also won the JV tournament with a win over Parkland, while the Freedom girls defeated University High School of Newark in the girls tournament title game.