St. Frances falls to DeMatha in double OT; St. Joe edged by Paul VI; Goretti falls to St. John’s (DC)
In much the same way as it went winless in the Baltimore Catholic League/Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Challenge earlier this year, the three Baltimore Catholic League entries in the 2019 Alhambra Catholic Invitational, at Frostburg State University, were swept in Thursday’s opening round.
No. 3 St. Frances Academy, which won the MIAA A Conference and BCL titles over the last couple of weeks came the closest to victory, losing to DeMatha, 79-74, in double overtime.
The Panthers, who were without star point guard Adrian “Ace” Baldwin, who sat out the contest with an injury, started strong, leading after each of the first three quarters, including a nine point bulge at the half. DeMatha climbed back within three at the start of the final quarter and the game was tied as the contest went to the final possession of regulation. In that possession, Jordan Toles got an open look for St. Frances, but could not convert.
At the end of the first overtime, Jamal West sank a pair of free throws to move the game into a second overtime, but the Stags finally made their winning burst.
Rajeir Jones led the Panthers with a game-high 28 points. Toles added 20 and West had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Hunter Dixon led DeMatha with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Jahmir Young had 24 points and Justin Moore finished with 15.
Fifth-ranked Mount St. Joe suffered a 68-65 loss to the Paul VI Panthers from Virginia, despite a spectacular 39-point performance from senior James Bishop. The Gaels trailed by six with 1:07 to play, but got back within three, with the ball, in the final seconds. Bishop, however, had the ball knocked away before he could attempt a would-be game-tying three-pointer.
In the tournament opener, St. Maria Goretti held an early 16-13 lead, but St. John’s College (DC) pushed in front in the second quarter and never lost control, as the Cadets won 70-58. RJ Blakney paced Goretti with 18 points and Przemek Golek scored 10.
The other game was won by top-seeded Gonzaga College (DC), which topped tournament host Bishop Walsh, 69-59.
In today’s consolation round (4 p.m.), Goretti and St. Frances will reprise their classic BCL Tournament championship match from Tuesday, when the Panthers topped the Gaels, 71-68, on a buzzer beating 3-pointer from Baldwin at Loyola University. St. Joe will also play in the consolation round, facing Bishop Walsh at 5:45 p.m.