After losing its two best players in the offseason, Mount Carmel boys basketball team appeared to be in transition. The Cougars haven’t dropped off and are in play for the Baltimore Catholic League Tournament championship.
No. 6 Mount Carmel defeated John Carroll, 79-63, in a quarterfinal contest at Goucher College Friday evening. No. 1 St. Frances and second-ranked Mount St. Joseph advanced into Saturday evening’s semifinal round.
Senior forward Omarion Reid and sophomore guard Mario Tatum each finished with 20 points for the Cougars (20-15 overall), the tourney’s No. 4 seed. Andrew Dixon added 16.
Mount Carmel repelled a second half surge from fifth-seeded John Carroll to reach its first BCL tourney semifinal since 2020. The Cougars will play Mount St. Joseph, Saturday at 5 p.m. at Goucher.
Last year, Mount Carmel lost to Archbishop Spalding, 66-64, in the tourney’s 4/5 match after taking Mount St. Joseph to the final seconds in the MIAA A Conference championship finale the week before. The Cougars graduated four-year starter and All-Metro guard Deon Perry (Loyola University), who was the team’s top scoring threat.
Luke Bamgboye, a talented and athletic 6-foot-8 post, left Mount Carmel for Arizona’s Belle Vista Prep.
“We were really deep last year and lost Deon and Luke, probably the best point guard and one of the best bigs in the league,” said Cougars coach Trevor Quinn. “Omarion Reid has done a great job stepping up, Andrew Dixon has done a good job and we knew Mario and Rodney would be able to fill the void as sophomores. We’re right where we should be.”
The Cougars were in a highly favorable spot, up 53-31 early in the second half, but John Carroll (14-18) found its groove. The Patriots went on a 28-10 run, capped with Jeannot Basima’s steal and score, to pull to 63-59 with 4 minutes, 51 seconds remaining in regulation.
Mount Carmel recovered as Tatum buried a 3-pointer for a 69-61 advantage, starting a 13-0 close. Dixon scored twice including a drive, off a feed from Scott.
Scott, the Cougars’ shortest player at 5-9, tenaciously got his own miss and scored inside. Scott finished with 11 points Friday.
“We stopped moving the ball and playing one-on-one,” said Scott of Mount Carmel’s third quarter angst. “Eventually, everything clicked back together. We came together at the end and got the win.”
Senior Jeannot Basima, who will play for Yale next season, finished with 21 points in his finale for John Carroll. Theartis Battle added 14 and senior Miles Smith had 13.
The Patriots fell into a double-digit hole early in the second quarter before the crafty Basima sparked the second half rally. It was the final game for Basima, Smith, Rex Romain and Noah Miller.
“I got four seniors who spent all season putting other people first. People don’t realize the growth this team made with all the struggles we had early on into January and February,” John Carroll coach Seth Goldberg, who has nine underclassmen scheduled to return next season. “The hardest thing about this at the moment is that I will not get the chance to coach this team again.”
Coming off its MIAA A Conference championship effort last week, St. Frances narrowly escaped No. 9 Archbishop Spalding, 57-55, in the first quarterfinal Friday.
University of Pittsburgh-bound guard Carlton Carrington had 17 points and Jahnathan Lamothe added 12 for St. Frances (29-10). Sophomore forward Malik Washington finished with a game-high 25 points for Spalding.
The Panthers nervously waited out a pair of Spalding game-winning attempts before securing its 10th consecutive semifinal berth. Third-seed St. Frances will meet St. Maria Goretti in the second match Saturday evening at 7.
The East Baltimore school appeared in position to pull away after Tyler Jackson’s 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter made it a 49-40, but Spalding, which lost twice to the Panthers during the regular season, wasn’t ready for its season to end.
Washington completed a 9-2 spurt with his basket, bringing the Cavaliers to 51-49 with 3:35 left in regulation. With St. Frances nursing a 55-53 lead, Lamothe, who will play for Maryland next season, came up with a steal and score under the basket after Spalding nabbed a defensive rebound, for a 57-53 advantage.
Elijah Barrett got Spalding (15-18) to within a basket, 57-55, on a jumper. The Cavaliers regained possession with 11 seconds left, but Barrett’s 3-pointer from the left corner missed.
Spalding secured the rebound and called timeout with 1.1 seconds remaining. The Cavaliers inbounded the ball to Barrett in the corner, but the freshman’s attempt missed again.
After two 20-point losses in the regular season, No. 10 Loyola Blakefield flipped the script against St. Maria Goretti in the opening half Friday. The Gaels from Hagerstown were able to take hold, ending the Dons’ season, 56-51.
Senior guard Jahsan Johnson scored 17 points for second-seeded Goretti (26-6) and Najeh Allen added 14. Sophomore guard Jordan Hammond led Loyola (11-15) with 17 points.
The Dons, who lost 72-52 and 76-54 to Goretti, led 23-22 after the opening 16 minutes, thanks to Hammond’s 10 points. After eight field goals in the first half, Loyola managed two in the third quarter as Goretti outscored the Dons, 16-9, to take the lead.
Johnson, who had four points in the first half, closed it out for Goretti. He scored 11 points in the fourth, including 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
After a heartbreaking overtime loss in last weekend’s MIAA A final, Mount St. Joseph got 19 points from Tyonne Farrell and 14 from UMBC-bound point guard Ace Valentine in a 73-59 victory over No. 12 Calvert Hall.
The defending BCL tourney champ Gaels (36-4) secured a 38-24 halftime lead, earning their 22nd semifinal berth in the last 23 tourneys. Mount St. Joseph’s bid for a second straight MIAA A title was denied by St. Frances in an epic 78-75 overtime decision last Sunday at UMBC.
“We put that behind us…we talked to the guys all time about survive and advance, win or go home,” said Gaels coach Pat Clatchey. “We got a big lead in the second half and really couldn’t deliver a knockout punch, and that’s credit to them (Calvert Hall).”
Junior guards Tyrin Bizzelle and Brendan Johnson scored 27 and 20 points, respectively for Calvert Hall (19-18), which played Mount St. Joseph evenly point-wise (35-35) in the second half.
Mount St. Joseph handled the Cardinals, 63-35 and 82-35, during the regular season. Amani Hansberry, the BCL Player of the Year and reigning tournament Most Valuable Player, had 12 points Friday.
The BCL Final Four is set for Saturday with St. Frances meeting Goretti and Mount St. Joseph taking on Mount Carmel. The Panthers split with Goretti during the regular season with each winning at home.
Mount St. Joseph swept Mount Carmel, 72-63 and 55-51, during the regular season.
“We matched up with them pretty well. They have some older guys who’ve played together for a long time,” said Quinn. “We have to have smart possessions. They (Mount St. Joseph) don’t beat themselves. We have to play smart.”
52nd BALTIMORE CATHOLIC LEAGUE TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS
AT GOUCHER COLLEGE
NO. 1 ST. FRANCES 57, NO. 9 ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 55
Spalding - Washington 25, Newton 11, Barrett 7, Moultrie 7, Farley 3, Yawn 2. Totals 24 2-5 55.
St. Frances - Carrington 17, Lamothe 12, Downs 11, Jackson 11, Brown 8, Farooq 6, Mebane 2, Lancaster 1. Totals 27 6-16 57.
Spalding 14 14 13 14 - 55
St. Frances 13 18 15 11 - 57
NO. 2 MOUNT ST. JOSEPH 73, NO. 13 CALVERT HALL 59
Calvert Hall - Bizzelle 27, Johnson 20, Tinch 7, Biggers 4, Arauwou 1. Totals 16 23-29 59.
Mount St. Joseph - Farrell 19, Valentine 14, Hansberry 13, Abrams 12, Clark 5, Wingfield 5, Hall 2, Truitt 2. Totals 26 18-21 73.
Calvert Hall 11 13 15 20 - 59
Mount St. Joseph 23 15 23 12 - 73
NO. 6 MOUNT CARMEL 79, JOHN CARROLL 63
John Carroll - Basima 21, Battle 14, Smith 13, Chinnia-Falline 9, Miller 4, Council 2. Totals 25 8-15 63.
Mount Carmel - Reid 20, Tatum 20, Dixon 16, Scott 11, Cole 7, Kalu 3, Mondi 2. Totals 30 13-19 79.
John Carroll 14 13 21 15 - 63
Mount Carmel 20 28 11 20 - 79
ST. MARIA GORETTI 56, NO. 10 LOYOLA BLAKEFIELD 51
Loyola - Hammond 17, Elliott 9, Brown 8, Drew 8, Ellison 4, Glorioso 3, Battle-Olley 2. Totals 17 11-14 51.
Goretti - Johnson 17, Allen 14, Embeya 11, Cook 5, Wright 5, Cheung 2, Gassoway 2. Totals 22 12-18 56.
Loyola 13 10 9 19 - 51
Goretti 9 13 16 18 - 56