It was simple for Mount St. Joseph High’s boys’ basketball team Friday evening: Win or stay home for the MIAA A Conference tournament. Making the challenge more difficult for the Gaels was facing a surging John Carroll squad on its Senior Night.

Though a young squad, No. 8 Mount St. Joseph showed its maturity and mettle, knocking off the second-ranked Patriots, 65-61, in Bel Air. Kameron Williams led Mount St. Joseph with 28 points and Phil Booth Jr. added 19.

The Gaels are again back in the MIAA A tourney where they will travel to two-time defending league champ No.  9 St. Frances Academy for a semifinal contest. The teams split during the regular season with each winning on the road.

Mount St. Joseph (21-8 overall, 7-5 MIAA A) only trailed twice Friday, handing John Carroll (27-2, 11-1 MIAA A) its’ first loss to an area opponent and snapped the Patriots’ 12-winning streak. John Carroll’s previous loss came against reigning Pennsylvania Class 4A state champ Imohtep Charter from Philadelphia in December.

The Gaels led by as many as 15 points before John Carroll gained its second and final lead at 49-47 on a score by Malcolm McMillian. McMillian, a senior headed to Central Connecticut State University, led all scorers with 30 points.

Junior forward Jarred Jones added 12 points for John Carroll, which takes on No. 20 McDonogh School in the other semifinal Wednesday evening at 7 in Bel Air. The Patriots held off the Eagles, 65-63, in overtime last weekend.