St. Mary’s is knocking on the proverbial door of an unbeaten season.
The No. 8 Saints advanced to the IAAM B Conference final with a 67-53 victory over Concordia Prep in a semifinal contest in front of a standing-room only audience in Annapolis.
Freshman guard/forward Bailey Harris finished with 29 points and Baily Walden added 21 for St. Mary’s (26-0 overall). Cori Barnes led Concordia Prep (19-7) with 23 points.
The Saints rallied from a 10-point second half deficit to advance Monday’s championship finale at Harford Community College’s APGFCU Arena. St. Mary’s will play ninth-ranked St. Timothy’s for the crown at 4 p.m.
The Saints are on the verge of their first championship since 2013, thanks to a gut-check effort against Concordia, which St. Mary’s shuttered, 47-39, in their previous meeting in the state capital late last month.
Harris, a precocious 5-foot-11 newcomer who’s already on the University of Maryland’s recruiting radar, scored 14 points in the final quarter Thursday including 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Alex Vandiver had eight points in the frame, including a pair of 3-pointers.
St. Mary’s, the No. 1 seed, connected on seven from behind the arc with Walden, a junior guard, responsible for four. The Saints outscored Concordia, 27-12, in the fourth quarter.
Next for St. Mary is second-seeded St. Timothy’s, a 61-39 victor over No. 3 seed and 14th-ranked Gerstell in the other semifinal Thursday. The Saints defeated St. Timothy’s, 62-52, in Greenspring during the regular season.
IAAM B SEMIFINAL
NO. 8 ST. MARY’S 67, CONCORDIA PREP 53
Concordia - Barnes 23, Ford 16, Callahan 8, Osbourn 4, Penn 2. Totals 19 12-13 51.
St. Mary’s - Harris 29, Walden 21, Vandiver 13, Ervin 2, Novak 2. Totals 24 12-13 67.
Concordia 14 11 16 12 - 53
St. Mary’s 11 11 18 27 - 67