John Carroll School boys’ basketball coach Tony Martin said a couple of days ago his team has an “even kneeled” approach in what has been a remarkable season. Thursday evening, the No. 1 Patriots took to the court for the first time at the prestigious Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State University.

Playing its first game in more than two weeks, John Carroll defeated New Jersey’s St. Benedict’s Prep, 66-54, at Bobcat Arena. The Patriots (33-2 overall) earned a semifinal date with DeMatha Catholic from Hyattsville Friday evening.

As been the case in most of the Bel Air school’s area-best 33 wins this season, the “Big Three” of Malcolm McMillan, Ronald Scott and Jarred Jones were the spark. McMillan, the co-player of the year in the Baltimore Catholic League, scored a team-high 18 points along with Scott, a senior guard.

Jones, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, finished with 17 as the MIAA A and BCL champs won for the 18th time in its last 19 decisions, setting up a showdown with DeMatha (27-7), the three-time defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champs. The perennial D.C. area powerhouse, ranked No. 4 in the Washington Post, cruised past tourney host Bishop Walsh, 69-52.

Another D.C. stronghold Gonzaga (D.C.) began its pursuit of a fourth straight ACIT crown with a 78-63 victory over No. 4 St. Frances Academy in Thursday’s nightcap. Nate Britt scored 22 points for Gonzaga (25-7), ranked No. 5 in the District region, and D.J. Fenner added 13.

Greg Lewis led all scorers with 23 points for St. Frances (18-8), and Eddie Tarver finished with 16. The Panthers led 29-28 at halftime before the Eagles outscored them, 24-12, in the third quarter. R.J. Willliams contributed 13 for the east Baltimore school, which will play another WCAC squad, Bishop McNamara, in a consolation match Friday afternoon at Bobcat Arena.

51st Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament

Where: Bobcat Arena, Frostburg State University


First round

DeMatha Catholic 69, Bishop Walsh 52

Benedictine (VA) 63, Bishop McNamara 57

John Carroll 66, St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.) 54

Gonzaga (D.C.) 78, St. Frances Academy 63



Consolation round

Bishop Walsh vs. St. Benedict’s, 4 p.m.

McNamara vs. St. Frances, 5:45 p.m.


DeMatha vs. John Carroll, 7:30 p.m.

Benedictine vs. Gonzaga, 9:15 p.m.



Consolation finals

7th place: Bishop Walsh/St. Benedict’s loser vs. McNamara/St. Frances loser, 3 p.m.

5th place: Bishop Walsh/St. Benedict’s winner vs. McNamara/St. Frances winner, 4:45 p.m.

3rd place: DeMatha/John Carroll loser vs. Benedictine/Gonzaga loser, 6:30 p.m.


DeMatha/John Carroll winner vs. Benedictine/Gonzaga winner, 8:15 p.m.