Snow kept the Mount St. Joseph basketball team out of the gym the past couple days, and twice postponed its playoff game against John Carroll.
But any concerns of rust that coach Pat Clatchey may have had going into Saturday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinal game were quickly eased.
The No. 2 Gaels came out playing sharp basketball at both ends and never let up, coming away with a dominating, 75-42 home win over No. 15 John Carroll.
Mount St. Joseph (28-4) advances to the championship game at, set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday at UMBC. The Gaels will paly No. 10 St. Frances, which beat No. 3 Calvert Hall, 57-51 on Saturday.
A 14-2 run covering just over four minutes in the first and second quarters gave the Gaels a 23-9 lead that wouldn't be threatened. Senior Jaylen Adams scored a game-high 17 points, sophomore forward Daveyon Barnes had 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, senior Jordan McNeil also scored 13 and senior Phil Booth had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists
"We've been talking to our guys quite a bit about playing a complete game from tip to final whistle," Clatchey said. "It's been a work in progress, and now is the time of year to really try to achieve that goal. ... We talked to them at halftime about playing 32 minutes, not 20, not 22 and we were able to do it.
"I thought our defense was really good. We made some great passes and decisions in transition, sharing the ball. It was a great team effort, and I'm really proud of the team."
The Gaels played strong defense that led to some easy points in transition early in the game and success from the outside followed.
Leading 9-7 late in the first quarter, Barnes converted a 3-point play with 2:02 left to start the first of a number of runs.
Adams closed out the quarter with a 3-pointer near the buzzer to up the lead to 17-9, and the Gaels got the first six points in the second quarter to further pull away.
They made six 3s and 16 of 17 free throws to help steadily increase the advantage.
"Every coach in America — high school, college — they're talking about peaking [at this time] playing your best basketball, that's what you try to do," Clatchey said. "We've had some times where we've had layoffs — we couldn't practice the past two days and got in today for about 30 minutes — so I was concerned about the layoff. It was a good layoff."
The Patriots (23-14), who advanced to the semifinals with a 47-39 quarterfinal win over Archbishop Spalding on Tuesday, got 11 points from junior Kimbal Mackenzie.
No. 2 Mount St. Joseph 75, No. 15 John Carroll 42
JC – Mackenzie 11, Owona 6, Martin 1, Tyne 5, Tertsea 3, Kangu 8, Maccieri 2, Andeson 3, Bassey 2. Totals: 13 12-22 42 .
MSJ – Adams 17, Barnes 13, McNeil 13, Doran 7, Booth 10, Doles 4, Miller 2, Thurston 6, Scranton 1, Johnson 2.Totals: 26 16-17 75.
Half: MSJ, 41-21