If Sunday's impressive 88-59 semifinal win over St. Frances is any indication, the No. 2 Mount St. Joseph basketball team is primed for a third straight Baltimore Catholic League championship when it takes on No. 4 Calvert Hall in Monday's 7 p.m. title game at UMBC.
The Gaels (31-4) looked unstoppable with senior Jaylen Adams, Phil Booth and Jordan McNeil combining to score 63 points and taking turns dominating the game. But the Calvert Hall, which got past pesky John Carroll in the other semifinal, 59-47, won't back down.
The upstart Cardinals (28-5), led by juniors Drew Edwards, Evan Phoenix and Nico Clareth, have conisistently shown their time could be now. The ideal example came on Jan. 26 when they visited Mount St. Joseph's Smith Center for the first time and handed the Gaels their first home loss after 10 straight wins, 69-66.
It avenged a 62-57 overtime loss at Calvert Hall on Dec. 11 and showed just how far the Cardinals have come.
On Monday, there will be plenty of players capable of taking over the game. Who steps up?
The Gaels, who already won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown, have seniors who are determined to make it three straight.
The Cardinals want to make the statement that it's their time now.
Both teams will continue their seasons after Monday with both set to play at the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in March.