Two basketball programs making their respective Baltimore Catholic League Tournament debuts, opened the 40th annual classic Thursday evening at Calvert Hall and turned in an entertaining contest.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, an at large entery in this year’s event before joining the league full-time next year, put forth a strong challenge for top-seeded John Carroll, which captured the regular season title in its first year in the BCL.  The Patriots, however, found their stride in the second half and pulled away for a 59-49 victory to advance to a semifinal date with Mount St. Joseph, Sunday (5:00 p.m.) at Loyola University.

John Carroll started fast, building a 19-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Cougars rallied to withing two, at 33-31, at the half.  Coach Tom Rose’s Cougars then forged a 38-35 lead early in the third quarter before finally wilting under the intense John Carroll defensive pressure.

Malcolm McMillan led the Patriots with 13 points, while Rodney Elliott, Ronald Scott and Lionel Owana all had nine.

“They played well and made a game of it,” said Patriot coach Tony Martin.

Malachy Onwudiegwu led the Cougars with 16 points.

John Carroll 59, Mount Carmel 49
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Mount Carmel: Groom 12, Gallina 6, Yuille 3, Juozapavicius 9, Thorton 2, Onwudiegwu 16, Todd 1. Totals: 13 19-29 49.
John Carroll: Elliott 9, Scott 9, McMillan 13, Frink 1, Stokes 4, M. Owona 7, Jones 7, L. Owona 9. Totals: 22 12-25 59.