No. 1 St. Frances pulls away, remains perfect in BCL; Baldwin and West combine for 26

Advantage St. Frances.

In its first Baltimore Catholic League test, the top-ranked Panthers defeated St. Maria Goretti, 57-52, inside Phelps Gym in east Baltimore. Junior guard Adrian Baldwin and forward Jamal West each finished with 13 points for St. Frances.

The reigning BCL champ Panthers (5-1 overall) put together a big first half run before holding off the Gaels down the stretch to move to 4-0 in BCL play. Goretti got a game-high 20 points from RJ Blakney.

The Hagerstown school (5-2, 3-1 BCL), considered to be St. Frances’ biggest obstacle in the BCL this season, led 21-11 in the second quarter after a basket from Abdou Tsimbila. The Panthers, who lost only one BCL match last season, answered.

St. Frances closed the half with a 19-3 to claim a 30-24 halftime advantage, and enjoyed a 42-30 lead entering the fourth. Goretti got to 50-47 late in regulation, but a basket from Baldwin, last season’s BCL Tournament MVP, and free throws from him and junior guard Jordan Toles, put the match away.

Totes finished with 10 points. Tsimbila, who will play for Penn State University next season, had 17.

St. Frances is back in action Friday against Prince George’s County’s Riverdale Baptist in the opening round of Gonzaga (D.C.) Classic.

No. 1 St. Frances Academy 57, St. Maria Goretti 52

Goretti – Blakney 20, Tsimbila 17, Golek 6, Edwards 5, Myrie 2, Searcy 2. Totals 17 14-41 52.

St. Frances – Baldwin 13, West 13, Toles 10, Brown 8, Murphy 6, Alexander 3, Busby 2, Jones 2. Totals 22 12-25 57.

Goretti 15 9 6 22 – 52

St. Frances 8 22 12 15 – 57