St. Frances’ boys basketball team proved why it is the nation’s No. 22-ranked team, capping a strong weekend with a 94-57 rout of Milford Mill.
Playing in the first St. Frances Academy Holiday Showcase, the home team had four players in double figures. Jahmal Banks, Adrian Baldwin, Tevin Curtis and Jamal West were among the double-digit scorers and combined for 60 points. The key for the quartet was keeping the cohesiveness and aggressive nature that they’ve played with thus far.
“We played as a team,” said West, who scored 16 points. “That’s all that we want to do — we want to gel — we want to be the best that we can be. So, we just have to keep excelling in that. We don’t rush anything. We find the open man, ride the hot hand and let him work. We just keep on running at them, being aggressive and keep going to their chest.”
Curtis came off of the bench to add 18. He kept up the fiery nature of the St. Frances (14-1) offense with an onslaught of 3-pointers (4) in the third quarter — scoring 16 points during the period.
“The players, when we’re on the bench, we’re all for each other and we all work for each other,” Curtis said. “Therefore, the energy that I have from the bench, I brought it into the game and it just changed the game for us.”
St. Frances, ranked No. 2 in the Baltimore area, controlled the pace of play throughout the evening, leading from start to finish, just as they did in their previous game against Salesianum (Del.) in a 104-40 victory. The showcase brought the best out in the Panthers.
Banks had a nuanced way of looking at the showcase as an opportunity for Baltimore to come together.
“We can all learn something,” Banks said. “Nothing is an “l”, you just learn from it. It’s just a lesson. “L” means lesson. So, even if they lost tonight, it’s a lesson for them — they just have to work on their game and we all have to be better. We all have to support each other. It’s too much going on in the city.”
Milford Mill (5-1) came off of a tough loss against cross-town rival Randallstown in the first leg of their showcase experience. Even though it was a big loss against a top-tier opponent in St. Frances, Milford Mill head coach Ryan Smith enjoyed the hustle that he got from his players.
“We played way better than we did yesterday,” said Smith. “If we played against Randallstown with the energy that we did against these guys, we probably would’ve won the game. We shot – I believe – 16-for-69 yesterday. Nobody can shoot 16-for-69 and expect to win and turn the ball over 10 times and miss 10 foul shots.”
Jermaine Goodwyn and Trevon Gwaltney were No. 12 Milford Mill’s high-point men with 21 and 11 points, respectively. Gwaltney began playing basketball about four years ago, starting as an alternate on the junior varsity squad three years prior and became a captain this season. Their work ethic gives the team hope for rest of the season.
“That’s all that I ask from my players — play hard and the results, we’ll live with them,” Smith said. “These are early games and I’m glad that they are early games. I’d rather get this humble pie now, than to get it in the playoffs.”
SFA: Curtis 18, West 16, Banks 15, Baldwin 11, Davis 8, Roy 6, Tayler 5, Reese 4, Staten 3, Ireland 3, Robinson 2, Jones 2
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MM: Goodwyn 21, Gwaltney 11, Rhuebottom 9, Scott 5, McCain 4, Levi 4, Montague 2. Halftime: 62-32, St. Frances