The Tatnall Hornets Boys Varsity Basketball team continued their undefeated start to the season, coming from behind to nip the Archmere Auks at the buzzer in a Saturday thriller, 46-45. Tatnall started the game unevenly, especially on the defensive end. Playing down due to injury and illness, Jack Willard '23 stepped into the starting lineup for the first time in his career and did an admirable job at the center position. The Sales Brothers provided the early offense, with co-captains Isaiah '23 and Caleb '22 each scoring from inside and out. However, the Hornets found themselves down 15-10 at the end of the first, and things only got worse from there. Archmere continued to run their offense patiently and frustrated Tatnall. The Hornets got clutch contributions up and down the roster, however. Down eight in the second period, Eli Baffone '24 completed a tough contested layup through contact in traffic, then forced a steal and streaked down the floor in a textbook two on one fast break with Jace Banks '25. Run to perfection; the break ended with another Baffone layup. Tatnall still found themselves down five at the half, 26-21.
The Hornets came out focused in the third quarter, with Baffone corralling an offensive rebound and swinging it to captain MarQuel Fitzgerald '23. Fitzgerald was open but patiently made the extra pass, swinging it to an even more wide-open Caleb Sales on the perimeter. Sales splashed another longball. Not to be outdone, Isaiah Sales subsequently stole the ball, set up a Fitzgerald layup attempt, and cleaned up with an offensive rebound putback to tie the score at 26. Archmere settled themselves down, however, and built a seven-point lead midway into the final period. Isaiah Sales completed a tough finish inside but missed the subsequent free throw. Tatnall battled on both ends, slowly drawing closer, and late in the contest, Banks was able to get gritty and force a tie-up, getting the Hornets a much-needed extra possession. Isaiah Sales drew multiple defenders but calmly found Fitzgerald at the free-throw line for the smooth midrange jumper. Caleb Sales stole the ball the next time down in a scramble, and he found his brother for a game-tying three-pointer with roughly three and a half minutes left. After a Hornet free throw and an Auk bucket, Isaiah Sales made a tough layup in traffic for a 44-43 lead. Archmere called timeout, but Tatnall forced a miss, and Isaiah Sales successfully navigated a double team, finding Fitzgerald again. This time he skyed for a tough finish over multiple defenders at the rim, giving the Hornets a 46-43 lead. Archmere never quit, made a layup, then forced a turnover, setting up the thrilling final sequence. Clinging to a one-point lead with 17.2 seconds on the clock, Tatnall forced two misses and secured the final rebound as Archmere missed a running layup at the buzzer.
The gutty, clutch Hornets were led by Isaiah Sales, who ended with a game-high 21 points. He hit two three-pointers, led the team with eight rebounds, and added two steals, two assists, and three blocked shots. Caleb Sales added ten, and Fitzgerald finished with nine and five boards of his own. Baffone played one of his most complete games, finishing with six points, a pair of rebounds, a pair of steals, and an assist. It was a great team victory for the Hornets, who extended their winning streak to five to open the year.
Unfortunately, the Tatnall Hornets JV team fell to a tough, disciplined Archmere squad by ten. Caleb Gaines '25 hit three three-pointers, and Jack Homer '25 battled throughout, and each finished with a team-high nine points.
Tatnall hosts conference rival Sanford at home on Thursday, January 13, before traveling to Wilmington Christian this Saturday, January 15.