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Strong start on senior night leads Mount St. Joe to convincing victory over Pallotti

Mount St. Joseph celebrated senior night against Pallotti on Friday night and its underclassmen fed off a fired-up senior class as the Gaels cruised to a 75-44 victory.

Senior D’Angelo Stines filled the stat sheet in the first quarter with nine points, three assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot when the Gaels (6-1) built a 22-8 lead.

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He said he was inspired by the final home game for seniors.

“It’s always tough, we’ve got a few more left, but the last few always hit home, but we wanted to make sure we went out with a win,” Stines said. “I just wanted to get the win.”

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At halftime, the Gaels increased the lead to 41-24, and Stines, senior Ausar Crawley and freshman Bryson Tucker all had nine points and senior Sean Carr had 10.

“We had good team balance, moving the ball, sharing the ball and that’s the way we’ve got to play,” Mount St. Joe coach Pat Clatchey said. “Obviously, your best guys need to get the most shots, but I think our guys are starting to develop confidence in each other.”

Pallotti (3-5) stayed within striking distance because it made six 3-pointers in the first half, but senior Jonathon Glover picked up his second foul with 3:27 left in the first quarter and sat the rest of the half.

“He’s one of our big guys, we don’t have many big guys,” Pallotti coach Dennis Kirkland said.

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Carr finished with 14 points and seven rebounds and junior big man Aidan Mess came off the bench and added six points and six rebounds.

“Sean and Aidan have been very efficient with help defending, rebounding and scoring around the basket,” Clatchey said.

The coach also praised his senior backcourt of Stines and Crawley.

“[Stines] has done a great job and Ausar as well, Clatchey said. “When you’ve got two senior guards like that you have a chance to have a good team.”

Stines finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots and Crawley had 11 points.

“[Stines] had a great season,” Clatchey said. “He’s really been not just efficient offensively, but he has really stepped up on the challenge to guard the other team’s best player.”

Stines’ second blocked shot was highlight-reel material when he trailed the play and got a clean swat.

“He’s really good at that, those chase-down blocks,” Clatchey said. “That’s kind of his forte, it really takes timing.”

Another key component for the Gaels has been freshman Tucker, who has been the team’s leading scorer.

Against Pallotti, Tucker led the Gaels with 19 points.

“Bryson has just been outstanding,” Clatchey said.

He also made an impression on Crawley.

“He came in and he made an impact right away and he’s one of the top scorers. We are just helping him to come in and be a leader in the future,” Crawley said.

The Gaels’ perimeter defense clamped down on the Panthers in the second half when they held them to only one 3-pointer.

“They shot it better than we thought they would. They hit a lot of 3-pointers in the first half and we talked about that at halftime that we need to do better job defending the 3-point line and I think once we took that away, we got stops and we got chances to run out in transition,” Clatchey said.

The Gaels led 60-35 after three quarters and the reserves got most of the playing time in the fourth when they pulled away even further.

Pallotti’s Glover, who made a 3-pointer early in each half, picked up his third foul less than two minutes into the second half and didn’t score again.

The Panthers were led by sophomore Devon Williams (14 points) and junior CJ McCord (11).

“We’ve just got to get stronger and learn how to take advantage of mismatches when we have them and we didn’t do that,” Kirkland said. “We are trying to get our guys to make some extra passes. We just have to keep practicing and hopefully, we will get better.”

Meanwhile, the Gaels face their next challenge on Monday when they play at Mount Carmel. Mount Carmel is 7-0 in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play and 9-1 overall.

“We know we’ve got a tough one Monday, so we are going to come in to practice tomorrow and like we say, ‘one day at a time, one day at a time,’” Stines said.

In addition to Stines, Crawley and Carr, the other seniors recognized before the game were players Jalen White and Alex Chairs and managers Joe Donoghue and Travis Leatherwood.

Scoring

Mount St. Joe (75): Bryson Tucker 18, Sean Carr 14, D’Angelo Stines 14, Ausar Crawley 11, Aidan Mess 6, Austin Abrams 4, Ace Valentine 3, Jalen White 2, Sean Clark 1, Julian Moutome 1, Jonas Sujeta 1.

Pallotti (44): Devin Williams 14, CJ McCord 11, Mylea Bright 8, Jonathon Glover 6, Warren Mounganda 5.

Halftime: MSJ 41-24.

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