NEW CASTLE – The William Penn boys’ basketball team sent the rest of the state a message Friday night: Ignore the Colonials at your peril. The Colonials were heard loud and clear in a convincing 58-46 win over Concord on Friday afternoon, preventing the Raiders from clinching the Blue Hen Conference Flight A crown and setting up the possibility of a three-way tie.
Dizhae Henriquez paced William Penn with 16 points, eight of those in the first quarter alone, but the Colonials benefited from a balanced attack. They also responded well to playing long stretches without starting forward Frank Burton, who was sidelined with foul trouble.
A Concord win would have given the Flight A title to the Raiders, but they and the Colonials must now wait to see what happens when Appoquinimink hosts A.I. duPont on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 10. A win by Appo would set up a three-way tie atop Flight A. The winner of the division will meet Mount Pleasant for the Blue Hen Conference championship.
In Friday’s matchup, Concord trailed at the half, 28-20, and at one point in the third quarter trailed by a dozen at 35-23 after Danny Walsh nailed a three-point shot off a nice screen by Henriquez. But Concord roared back, scoring the next nine points. Craig Brady answered Walsh with a trey of his own, and a few minutes later, with the Raiders trailing, 35-28, Sean Brady scored on a sweet reverse layup, then pickpocketed a Colonial at half court and took it in for another layup. Suddenly, the William Penn was just three.
After a timeout and with the visiting Concord fans coming alive, Walsh ended the run with a 10-foot teardrop floater along the right baseline. The lead would be six heading into the final stanza.
The Colonials opened the fourth on a 9-3 run and didn’t look back. Isaiah Church provided some clutch play during the quarter, scoring eight points, including four of five from the free-throw line.
Henriquez set the pace in the first quarter, when he drained a pair of three-pointers and scored eight points. Burton had four in the quarter before leaving with 3:15 to go after picking up his second foul, but Khari Gatson came off the bench to score five clutch points.
Henriquez led all scorers with 16, while Church had 12 and Walsh 10. The Colonials improved to 15-4; they play their regular-season finale on Monday at 5:15 when Brandywine visits for Senior Night.
Concord had two players in double figures: Craig Brady with 14 and Rick Malloy with 13. The Raiders, who are also 15-4, lost for just the second time to an in-state opponent. They wrap up the regular season on the road Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Salesianum.