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Boys hoops: Mount Saint Joseph aims for history at Alhambra

The No. 3 Mount Saint Joseph basketball team has a chance at history this weekend at the 57th annual Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament, which is taking place at Frostburg State University.

The Gaels (36-3) have already won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League tournaments. On Thursday, they moved one step closer in a bid to become the fourth Baltimore area school to win the Alhambra (St. Frances was the last in 1996) with a 71-56 win over D.C.-based St. John's in the quarterfinals.  With two more wins, Mount Saint Joe can become the first team to sweep the MIAA, BCL and Alhambra tournament crowns.

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In a rematch of the MIAA and BCL title games, the Gaels will take on No. 5 Mount Carmel (28-10) in Friday's semifinal set for 9:15 p.m.  Fellow BCL team St. Maria Goretti takes on D.C. power Gonzaga in the opening semifinal game at 7:30 p.m.

With Mount Saint Joseph going against Mount Carmel, a Baltimore area team is assured a berth in Saturday's title game, set for 8:30 p.m.  Last season, John Carroll became the 14th area team to reach the championship with Towson Catholic (1962), Calvert Hall (1982) and St. Frances (1996) the only three teams to win the championship.

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In Thursday's quarterfinals, Mount Saint Joseph led 27-13 after one quarter against St. John's, getting a 25-point, 10-rebound performance from junior center Jalen Smith.  Mount Carmel had a balanced effort against Paul VI with Terry Nolan Jr. and Christian Evans scoring 16 points each and Dwight Felton adding 13.

Mount Saint Joseph is 4-0 against Mount Carmel this season, most recently claiming a 54-44 win for the BCL crown on Sunday.

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