Gaels hand Cougars first loss behind senior’s 33 points (VIDEO HERE!)

Mount St. Joseph’s D’Angelo Stines (5) dribbles as Mount Carmel’s Toby Nnadozie pursues during Monday evening’s Baltimore Catholic League basketball contest. Stines finished with 33 points as Mount St. Joseph knocked off the previously undefeated Cougars, 78-67, in Baltimore County. (photo – Jimmy Fields Sr.)

by Derek Toney

After Mount St. Joseph’s basketball scorekeeper told coach Pat Clatchey of D’Angelo Stines’ 33-point performance against Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monday evening, Clatchey looked at his senior guard.

“Man, that’s some Columbia Ravens action right there,” joked Clatchey, referring to Stines’ AAU team. Stines “played like a Raven,” leading the Gaels to a 78-67 victory over the previously undefeated Cougars in a Baltimore Catholic League contest in Essex.

Aura Crawley and freshman forward Bryson Tucker added 16 points for Mount St. Joseph (7-1), which won its sixth straight decision. Junior guard Deon Perry led Mount Carmel (8-1) with 29 points, and Toby Nnadozie finished with 13.

The Irvington school combined veteran leadership and contributions from a rapidly improving young nucleus to move into a second-place tie (in loss column; 3-1) win with Mount Carmel and Archbishop Spalding (both 4-1). Three-time defending BCL Tourney champ and undefeated St. Frances Academy (4-0 BCL, 9-0 overall) sits atop the standings.

The Gaels, who lost in last year’s BCL Tourney final at Loyola, served notice Monday they’re again a title contender in the league’s 50th anniversary season, thanks to a virtuoso effort from Stines. The 6-foot-3 Old Dominion recruit dominated on both ends.

“I didn’t know I had that many,” said Stines, referring to the 33 point-output. “I just hit shots when they came to me.”

Stines imposed his will offensively in the third quarter. With the Gaels up, 47-41, Stines, with a defender draping him, buried a 3-pointer. Mount St. Joseph induced a turnover and Stines pulled up and dropped another dagger. He shortly followed with another score off a drive, pushing the Gaels’ advantage to 55-41.

“That’s what big-time players do,” Clatchey said. “He looked like the player of the year in the BCL.”

Stines’ biggest play arguably came late in the fourth. Mount St. Joseph was up, 68-61, with about 2 minutes, 30 seconds left when Perry stole the ball from Stines, who tracked down the shifty Mount Carmel junior and swiped his shot off of the glass.

“I just timed it well and went up and got it. I knew if made it, it would’ve been a momentum switch,” said Stines. “We didn’t want that to happen.”

The Gaels, who trailed only twice (10-8 and 11-10) Monday, were resolute behind the senior backcourt of Stines and Crawley, who will play football at Morgan State in the fall. Senior Sean Carr led a gritty effort in the paint where the Gaels kept Cougar senior center Kevin Kalu in check.

Tucker, junior Aidan Mess and sophomores Julian Moutome and Ace Valentine provided solid play Monday.

“Our seniors knew we had to step up and the young guys are getting better every game,” said Crawley, a four-year starter. “As each game goes, we’re getting better.”

Crawley dropped a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, giving Mount St. Joseph a 21-13 lead after one. The Cougars pulled to 29-27 midway through the second, but Mount St. Joseph closed with a 12-4 run, capped with Stines’ basket, for a 41-31 halftime lead.

Mount Carmel threatened in the third, only to see Stines put together a highlight reel run. He made 13 shots Monday, with four 3-pointers.

“He made some tough shots, sometimes contested,” said Cougars coach Trevor Quinn. “You can try to deny him, but he just made some really difficult shots.”

Quinn said Mount Carmel’s inexperience showed Monday. The Cougars lost to St. Joe in last year’s BCL Tourney semifinals.

“They’re just smart on defense. Stines and Crawley have been around for four years,” said Quinn. “It carries over to their young guys.”

The backcourt of D’Angelo Stines (left) and Ausar Crawley propelled Mount St. Joseph to another win Monday evening. Crawley had 16 points to go with Stines’ 33 as the Gaels won their six straight.

The Gaels host Calvert Hall College Wednesday in BCL play before traveling to Hagerstown for another BCL match, this time against St. Maria Goretti. Next week, Mount St. Joseph is at St. Frances in a rematch of last year’s BCL Tournament title game.

“There’s been a lot of growth, you can tell from the box scores,” said Stines. “We have a lot of young guys so the beginning was a little shaky, but me, Ausar and Sean had to bring them in, tell them what to do, and keep guiding them.”

Mount St. Joseph 78, Our Lady of Mount Carmel 67

Mount St. Joseph – D’Angelo Stines 33, Ausar Crawley 16, Bryson Tucker 16, Sean Carr 6, Juliam Moutome 3, Aidan Mess 2, Jalen White 2. Totals 30 11-14 78.

Mount Carmel – Deon Perry 29, Toby Nnadozie 13, Kevin Kalu 9, Mitchell Kalu 9, Mitchell Kalu 7. Totals 20 18-25 67.

Mount St. Joseph 21 20 20 16 – 78

Mount Carmel 13 18 19 17 – 67