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Boys basketball Game of the Week: No. 2 St. Frances (11-1) at No. 5 Mount Saint Joseph (9-2)

Mount Saint Joseph's Jalen Smith, right, blocks a shot by Mount Carmel's Christian Evans, left, in the third quarter during the 2016-17 season.
Mount Saint Joseph's Jalen Smith, right, blocks a shot by Mount Carmel's Christian Evans, left, in the third quarter during the 2016-17 season. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

No. 2 St. Frances (11-1) at No. 5 Mount Saint Joseph (9-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

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Coaches: Nick Myles, St. Frances; Pat Clatchey, Mount Saint Joseph

KEY PLAYERS

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St. Frances: Adrian Baldwin, So., G; Elijah Epps, Sr., G; Jordan Toles, So., G

Mount Saint Joseph: Jalen Smith, Sr., F; James Bishop, Jr., SG; Tyree Myers, Sr., PG

The Baltimore Sun's High school sports polls for basketball and wrestling for Dec. 19.

KEYS TO VICTORY

One of the area’s top rivalries is set for this season’s first edition with both teams off to fine starts.

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For the visiting Panthers, Baldwin has played at a consistently high level with his ability to score and distribute. They use their depth to play at a fast pace and wear down opponents — sharing the basketball on offense with constant pressure on defense. Epps provides important leadership with Toles another scoring option. Senior forward Koran Moore and junior forward Jason Murphy provide strong inside play and will be counted on to contend with Gaels’ go-to player Smith, who earned All-Metro co-Player of the Year honors last season.

In addition to Smith, the Gaels will look to Bishop for outside scoring and Myers to control the flow. Stopping the Panthers from getting to the basket — both in transition and in half-court sets — as well as defensive rebounding will be vital for the home team.

OTHER GAMES TO WATCH

Boys basketball

No. 4 John Carroll at No. 7 Boys’ Latin, Friday, 5 p.m.

Meade at North County, Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 3 Perry Hall at No. 8 Patterson, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Girls basketball

Chesapeake-AA at No. 7 Old Mill, Friday, 5 p.m.

Pikesville at Chesapeake-BC, Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 2 McDonogh vs. Langley (Va.) at UMES, Wednesday, 6:45 p.m.

No. 1 St. Frances vs. Highland Springs (Va.) at Hampton, Va., Thursday, 4 p.m.

No. 3 Roland Park vs. No. 5 Catonsville at NDP, Thursday, 7 p.m.

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