Top-ranked Mount St. Joseph escaped Essex with a 68-57 victory over No. 7 Mount Carmel last night.
The host Cougars (20-3) gave the Gaels (20-2) all they could handle. Mount Carmel had a 45-35 lead with 1:45 left in the third period, but the Gaels went on a 10-0 run, which extended into the final period, to tie it at 45.
Mount St. Joseph took a 49-47 lead with 5:39 left in the game. Mount Carmel took a 51-49 lead with 4:23 remaining on a basket by guard Troy Franklin, who scored a team-high 21 points.
But the Gaels pulled away with their foul shooting, taking the lead for good at 53-51 with 3:44 left. Hitting 14 of 21 free throws down the stretch, the Gaels were 21-for-31 on the night. The home team was just 3-for-6.
The game matched two of the area's top centers in the Gaels' 6-foot-11, Georgetown-bound Henry Sims and the Cougars' 6-8 Marc Anthony Franks.
Sims had game highs of 22 points and 15 rebounds. Franks had seven points, 13 rebounds and three email@example.com
Franklin 52, Kenwood 51 -- Durant Harvin made a layup with five seconds left and the Indians (6-10) held on to defeat the visiting Bluebirds.
Oakland Mills 70, Long Reach 34 -- Senior guard Miriam McKenzie broke the Oakland Mills single-game scoring record in the Scorpions' rout of the visiting Lightning. McKenzie had a triple double with 40 points, 16 rebounds and 13 steals.
Staff reports contributed to this article.