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No. 4 St. Frances boys basketball uses 20-point first-half run to beat No. 8 Loyola Blakefield, 71-54

The St. Frances boys basketball team set a fast pace Tuesday at Loyola Blakefield and challenged the home team to catch up.

The No. 4 Panthers didn’t let it happen.

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With 20 unanswered points in the first half and balanced scoring — Carlton Carrington led four Panthers in double figures — St. Frances maintained control throughout in claiming a 71-54 win over the No. 8 Dons.

Jahnathan Lamothe added 16 points and Bryce Lindsay and Daquan Davis each scored 10 for the Panthers.

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Coming off the season’s first loss — a 59-56 loss to Washington D.C. power in the championship game of the Gonzaga Classic on Sunday — the Panthers responded favorably in improving to 12-1 on the season. They are now 3-0 in the Baltimore Catholic League and 2-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference’s Black division.

The Panthers are running a new system this season that features four guards. With it comes hassling defense, sharing the basketball and quality perimeter shooting to go with a smooth transition game.

“We’ve been playing as a team,” said Lamothe. “We’re just D’ing up on teams and doing what we do best, and that’s score the ball. It’s definitely fun. We can all score, we can all facilitate, so it looks good when we’re playing together. So just playing together and scoring the ball is going to get us wins, and we got to do that every day.”

St. Frances' Carlton Carrington (11), pulling down a rebound over Loyola Blakefield's Peter Laake (33) and Ryan Johnson (10), scored 17 points in the Panthers' 71-54 win on Tuesday.
St. Frances' Carlton Carrington (11), pulling down a rebound over Loyola Blakefield's Peter Laake (33) and Ryan Johnson (10), scored 17 points in the Panthers' 71-54 win on Tuesday. (Amy Davis/Amy Davis)

On Tuesday, they broke open a close game midway through the first half and then had an answer for every push the Dons provided.

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With the game tied at 8 with 3:44 left in the first quarter, the Panthers defense held the Dons (5-3, 0-3 in the BCL, 0-1 in the MIAA A Black) without a basket for 8:27 of play while building a 28-8 lead with Carrington scoring seven points in the stretch.

The Dons, who got 14 points from Charley Hepting and 12 from Owen Fischer, would start the third quarter on an 8-3 run — getting a follow basket from Fischer to cut the Panthers’ lead to 39-31 with 5:52 left in the period.

But as the Dons methodically chipped away, the visitors had another sudden burst. When Carrington closed out the third with a 3-pointer with two seconds left, the lead was back up to 50-37. The Panthers maintained a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter.

Loyola Blakefield coach Josh Davalli saw plenty of positives for his Dons, but the margin of error against an explosive team like St. Frances is always costly.

“You can’t afford any bad stretches against them because they have so many guys that can score,” he said. “I thought we played pretty well otherwise — we just couldn’t score for a long period. I think our passing was pretty good and we were getting the ball where we needed to get it and we had some open looks, but we couldn’t score the ball. They are so good and when you have a bad stretch like that and then you got to battle back, it becomes very difficult.”

St. Frances has eight days off before returning to its home court on Dec. 23 to take on No. 3 Mount Saint Joseph at 7 p.m. Loyola Blakefield hosts No. 5 Mount Carmel at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

SF – Lamothe 16, Lindsay 10, Davis 10, Carrington 17, Robinson 6, Johnson 7, Jackson 3, Scott 2. Totals: 28 7-7 71

LB – Fischer 12, Hepting 14, Johnson 2, Drew 2, Walsh 9, Laake 6, Brown 7. Totals: 21 7-16 54

Half: SF, 36-23

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