No. 11 Patriots edge Boys’ Latin in MIAA A Basketball Quarters to earn a shot at top-ranked St. Frances; Panthers rout Glenelg Country (VIDEO HERE!)


by Joe DiBlasi

John Carroll School advanced to the semifinals of the MIAA A Conference basketball playoffs, Tuesday in Roland Park, with an exciting 57-54 victory over host and 20th-ranked Boys’ Latin School.

Tyson Commander led John Carroll with 17 points, including two clutch three-pointers, down the stretch, to help the Patriots cap off a 57-54 playoff win at Boys’ Latin.

Tyson Commander led the 11th-ranked Patriots with 17 points and hit two clutch three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to carry the Pats to the win.

John Carroll advances to Thursday’s semifinal round and it will travel to top-seeded and No. 1 ranked St. Frances Academy. The Panthers advanced with an 80-56 rout of Glenelg Country School. In Tuesday’s other A Conference semifinals No. 3 Mount St. Joseph edged St. Vincent Pallotti, 65-63, and No. 12 Archbishop Spalding held off ninth-ranked Gilman on the road, 89-85, as all four teams from the Red Division prevailed.

The JC/BL quarterfinal match-up was close throughout. John Carroll (22-10) held a 7-6 lead after one quarter, when both teams were cold from the floor, and neither team went to the free throw line.

Scoring picked up a bit in the second stanza, and the first half ended in a 20-20 tie.

The Lakers (14-13) got 12 third quarter points from hot shooting Lorenzo Donadio, who lead all scorers with 25 points, but the Patriots were able to grab a 40-36 lead at the end of the third quarter on key buckets from sophomore Terry Long, Jr., and freshmen Jeannot Basima and T.J. Vaughn.

The Lakers tied the hard fought contest twice with under five minutes to go in regulation, on a jumper from Donadio, at the 4:58 mark, and on a three-point play, the old-fashioned way, by Kendall Walker with four minutes to go. At that point, the teams were tied at 48 all.

That’s when Commander stepped up with a trey with 2:44 left, and another with 1:50 to go, and those shots ultimately made the difference. JC junior Jalen Bryant hit two important free throws for the Pats with just under a minute to go in the game, to keep the Lakers at bay.

Donadio’s three-point attempt with 12 seconds to go from the corner failed allowing the Patriots to move on in the post-season tournament.

“The key was staying together [tonight], and when we stay together we win,” said Commander. “I knew my team needed me and I was feeling good. I hit one and they gave it back to me, and I hit another one. I had confidence.”

Goldberg, who has his Patriots in the semifinals in just his second year with the team, after a long successful run at St. Paul’s School, is enjoying the moment.

“This is a fun group to coach,” said Goldberg. “They love playing together, and they care about each other. It was a dogfight on the road. We didn’t shoot all that well, but we defended, and we were tough down the stretch. We found a way to make it happen. Hats off to Boys’ Latin, they were really tough. Lorenzo is a heck of a player.”

Goldberg said he was proud of his entire team and he gave special mention to Commander, Bryant, and Bryce Meads.

“Tyson is a gamer. He defends, he shares the ball and when we needed him to score, that’s what he did.

“Bryant is a tough kid, and he made big free throws, and senior Bryce Meads, who missed a month-and-a-half, came back and made some big defensive plays down the stretch.”

Laker coach Cliff Rees had high praise for both teams.

“It was a heck of a game,” said Rees. “We had a good look there at the end, and I think another stop or two down the stretch could have made the difference. I give a lot of credit to John Carroll. They are very talented, they’re very athletic, and they are a very good shooting team.

“I’m very proud of our team, because we probably overachieved a little bit this season, but tonight we played a very hard-fought game against a very talented team and came up just a little short.”

In East Baltimore, St. Frances (33-3) wasted little time in securing its spot in the semifinals. The Panthers smothered Glenelg Country (13-12) early, building a 24-8 first quarter lead and going up by 22 points after three quarters.

Julian Reese led four Panthers in double figures with 21 points. Adrian “Ace” Baldwin netted 14 and recently named Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year Jamal West netted 16 points. Khyrie Staten chipped in with 11 points.

Noah Batchelor scored 12 points to lead Glenelg Country.

MIAA A CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

NO. 11 JOHN CARROLL SCHOOL 57, NO. 20 BOYS’ LATIN SCHOOL 54

JC 7 13 20 17 — 57
BL 6 14 16 18 — 54

JOHN CARROLL: Vaughn 6, Long Jr. 2, Bryant 9, Turay 4, Commander 17, Jakubowski 6, Tchilombo 5. Basima 8.

BOYS’ LATIN: Dent 2, Walker 11, Green 8, Schell 6, Donadio 25, Spencer 2.

NO. 1 ST. FRANCES ACADEMY 80, GLENELG COUNTRY SCHOOL 56

GCS 8 17 17 14 — 56
SFA 24 21 19 16 — 80

GLENELG COUNTRY: Brathwaite 4, Robinson 8, Paar 7, Ejindu 8, Batchelor 12, Steen 9, Charles 2, Yoka-Bratasz 6.

ST. FRANCES: Curtis 2, Baldwin 14, Staten 11, Robinson 4, Davis 2, Reese 21, Ireland 4, West 16, LaMothe 3, Roye 3.