Boys basketball: Five teams pick up victories in opening round of regional tourneys

With the basketball playoffs season under way, the Edgewood Rams, the reigning UCBAC champions, picked up a victory during the opening round of play in this year's MPSSAA boys basketball regional tournaments, beating seventh-seeded guest Fallston, 72-53, Friday night in the Class 2A East District VII Sectional quarterfinal.

The second-seeded Rams held the Cougars to a pair of points through the first eight minutes, and outscored the visitors, 23-14, in the second quarter to take a 35-16 lead into the locker room at halftime. Fallston posted 19 tallies to Edgewood's 13 in the third frame, but the Rams closed by notching six more points than Fallston in the final quarter.

Edgewood's Detrick Matthews led the Rams with a 15-point effort, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists and posted four steals. Van Rolle scored 12 points, had four steals, five rebounds and a team-high eight assists in the win. Edgewood's Thomas Dillard had 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Freddie Story had nine points and two rebounds for the Rams, while teammate Lenier Tucker scored seven. The Rams' Troy Anderson scored five points, blocked four shots and pulled in a team-best 10 rebounds. Roderick Harrison helped the winning cause with five points; teammate Lolami Lola-Charles had six rebounds.

Leading the Cougar offense was Wyatt Alexander, who scored 20 points. Jason Lawrence had 11 points in the loss, while Fallston's John Makres scored six points.

With the win, Edgewood moved to Tuesday's sectional semifinal round, where the Rams were scheduled to play a home game with third-seeded Elkton.

Pats fall in Catholic League final

After winning two games during the previous 48 hours by a combined three points, the John Carroll Patriots fell to the Mount St. Joseph's Gaels on Sunday, 52-39, in the championship matchup of the Baltimore Catholic League Tournament at Stevenson University.

Sunday's tournament final was a rematch of Feb. 18's MIAA "A" Conference championship game, which John Carroll won, 44-41, to capture its second straight conference title.

In the Catholic League title game, John Carroll ran out to a 28-19 lead at halftime. The Gaels, however, turned the tables in the third quarter, holding the Patriots to three points while scoring 11 which cut their deficit to 31-30 as the fourth quarter began. Mount St. Joseph's sealed the victory by outscoring the Patriots, 22-8, over the last eight minutes.

Kamau Stokes led the Patriots with a 17-point, three-rebound, one-steal performance, while teammate Jarred Jones had six points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. Mike Owona pulled down nine rebounds in the loss, scored two points and blocked one shot, while teammate Rodney Elliott notched seven points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist. Justin Jennifer put up seven points and one rebound for John Carroll.

In the tournament's semifinal round Saturday, the Patriots escaped with a one-point victory, 42-41, over the St. Frances Panthers.

The victory marked John Carroll's fourth victory over the Panthers this season, and their eighth straight win overall against St. Frances.

With the game tied at 41 and three seconds left on the clock, Stokes got off a jumper that rimmed out and was rebounded by the Panthers, who were promptly called for traveling. Jones took the pass on the subsequent inbound, and was fouled going to the basket just as the buzzer sounded to end regulation. The referees put 0.3 seconds on the clock and sent Jones to the charity stripe, where he hit what appeared to be a game-winning shot on his first try, but the attempt was not counted because one of the officials was conferring with the Panthers' head coach. Jones missed his first official free throw, but then coolly knocked down his second shot, giving his team the one-point cushion it needed to win.

Jones, who was sick enough with the flu that he was forced to sit for part of the game, put up 12 points, five rebounds and one block, while Stokes scored a team-high 14 points, and had five rebounds, one steal and one assist. Elliott had five points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Justin Jenifer had nine points, two steals and one rebound. Owona came through with seven rebounds and three blocks.

In Friday's opening round contest, the Patriots gutted out a 58-56 victory in triple overtime over St. Maria Goretti.

Stokes, who hit the game-winning field goal on the Patriots' final possession of the third overtime period, led his team with 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Jones posted 10 points and 12 rebounds in the victory, while Elliott helped out with eight points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist. Marcus James contributed four points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block, while Jenifer scratched out 10 points, four steals and one assist. Mike Owona scored all seven of his points in the fourth quarter and pulled down four rebounds, while Lionel Owona had four rebounds and one steal.

Mustangs win on late free throws

Playing at home on Friday night in the opening round of the Class 3A North regional tournament, the fifth-seeded C. Milton Wright Mustangs got a couple of timely free throws from Mychal Stefanides in the game's dying seconds en route to a 52-50 victory over 12th-seeded Patapsco.

Fouled with 14.2 seconds left and the game knotted at 50, Stefanides calmly knocked down both of his attempts from the charity stripe to give the Mustangs a two-point cushion.

On its final possession of the game, Patapsco attempted a game-winning three-pointer, but the shot rimmed out, giving CMW the win.