Mount St. Joseph and John Carroll enter Monday's Baltimore Catholic League championship game coming off two of their best performances of the season -- game time is set for 7 p.m. at Towson's SECU Arena.
Both teams left little suspense in Sunday's semifinal round as the No. 3 Gaels easily handled defending champion Calvert Hall, 93-51, while the No. 6 Patriots shocked No. 1 St. Frances, 60-33.
Mount St. Joseph, a winner of six BCL tournament titles, won both meetings against John Carroll in the regular season -- claiming a tightly contested 51-48 road win on Dec. 7 before cruising to a 59-35 victory in Irvington on Feb. 6.
Both teams have depth, athleticism and play strong defense -- all big factors in reaching the title game.
For the Gaels, five players reached double figures in Sunday's semifinal with Randy Miller and Miles Wilson leading the way with 17 points each. Defense sent the Patriots to Monday's big game as they mixed up their looks to baffle St. Frances' senior backcourt of Daquan Bracey and Kurk Lee Jr., which managed a combined 15 points.
Sophomore guard Immanual Quickley leads the Patriots with senior Michael Tertsea and Nemanja Knezevic the other scoring threats. Senior forward Pierre Johnson and junior guard Darryl Morsell bring strong two-way play for the Gaels.
John Carroll, which won its only BCL crown in 2011, made it to last year's title game and fell in heartbreaking fashion to Calvert Hall, 53-52, when the Cardinals hit a follow shot at the buzzer.
Mount St. Joseph and John Carroll met in the 2011 title game with the Gaels claiming a 52-39 win that started a three-year run as league champions.