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St. Frances, Mt. St. Joe, Loyola and Mt. Carmel to tangle in Baltimore Catholic League basketball semifinals

The 49th Baltimore Catholic League basketball semifinals take place Friday at Loyola Maryland’s Reitz Arena, with the winners returning to play in Sunday’s 1 p.m. championship game. In Wednesday’s quarterfinal round, No. 1 seed St. Frances and No. 2 seed Mount Saint Joseph advanced, while fifth-seeded Loyola Blakefield and sixth-seeded Mount Carmel claimed road wins. Tickets can be purchased online — $10 for adults and $5 for students — at or at the door ($12 for adults, $8 for students) on game day. For on-site purchases, students must present their student IDs.

Here’s a closer look at the semifinal matchups, with the teams’ Baltimore Sun rankings:

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No. 2 St. Frances (36-4) vs. No. 11 Loyola Blakefield (19-11)

Time: 5 p.m.

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Outlook: The two-time defending champion Panthers, seeking the program’s 10th crown, won both regular-season meetings against the Dons — claiming a 61-49 road win on Jan. 14 and then a 69-45 victory at home on Feb. 13. The Panthers are deep and tough to stop when they find their rhythm — four players reached double figures in Wednesday’s 92-50 win over Calvert Hall. Senior point guard Adrian “Ace” Baldwin, last year’s tournament Most Valuable Player, is the starting point with senior forward Jamal West, this year’s BCL Player of the Year, a dominant force inside. The Dons played with poise down the stretch in claiming 60-55 win at John Carroll with All-BCL senior forward Mitch Fischer, junior guard Jordan Moore and junior forward Cam Smith playing prominent roles.

No. 1 Mount Saint Joseph (28-5) vs. Mount Carmel (17-12)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Gaels, who captured the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title with a win over St. Frances on Sunday, owns two close regular season wins over Mount Carmel — a 61-59 at home on Dec. 21 and 55-48 on Jan. 31. Seniors — forward Jason Edokpayi and wing Tyler Brelsford — and junior point guard Ausar Crawley have been the constants for the Gaels with junior guard D’Angelo Stines (team-high 20 points in the quarterfinal win against St. Maria Goretti) breaking out in the postseason. The Cougars, seeded sixth, are a team on the rise, evidenced by the 73-71 road win at third-seeded Archbishop Spalding on Wednesday. Sophomore point guard Deon Perry knocked down 22 points with junior forward Koralp Turk adding 14 in the win.

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