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No. 2 John Carroll tops No. 9 Mount Saint Joseph, 51-41, in boys basketball

With an experienced and dynamic backcourt to go with a consistently tough defense, the John Carroll boys basketball team has the ability to jump on opponents.

That was the case at Mount Saint Joseph on Monday. And then every time the Gaels tried to respond, more of the same came from the Patriots.

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Senior guards Kimbal Mackenzie and Elijah Long combined to score 24 points, and the No. 2 Patriots scored 13 straight points early to set the tone for a 51-41 win over the No. 9 Gaels.

John Carroll improved to 16-1 overall, 6-1 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and 7-0 in the Baltimore Catholic League. Mount Saint Joseph (12-5) lost its third straight home game, in a four-day stretch, to fall to 5-2 in the MIAA A Conference and 3-3 in the BCL.

"We're a talented group and able to get off to fast starts. So if our mind is set right before the game, we definitely have the capability to come out very strong," said Mackenzie, who finished with 13 points and five assists. "It's definitely a good road win for us — every win in the BCL and MIAA are big, so we're definitely happy with it."

The game was filled with spurts, and John Carroll had the biggest to start the game. After allowing the game's first basket, the Patriots went on a 13-0 run for a lead they would never relinquish.

Mackenzie was the catalyst with six points in the stretch, opening with a jumper and then later converting a midcourt steal into a layup that helped put the lead at 13-2 with 3:10 to play in the first quarter.

After the Gaels pulled within 15-11 by the end of the quarter, the Patriots again answered with nine straight points to start the second quarter — Mackenzie's 3-pointer gave them a 24-11 lead with 4:26 left before halftime.

Mount Saint Joseph again pulled close, cutting the lead to 27-20 at halftime, but a strong second half from freshman guard Immanuel Quickley (all nine points after the break) and steady defense helped the Patriots keep a safe distance to close out the win.

Long finished with 11 points, and junior forward Mike Tertsea added nine for John Carroll.

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"We've split the last 12 games, and when they have the veteran crew, they get the better of us, and when we have the veteran crew, we get the better of it," John Carroll coach Tony Martin said. "We've got two senior guards and have some other guys with savvy and experience, so we just changed our defense enough to keep them off-balance and tried to take advantage of their youth."

The Gaels, with an entire roster of underclassmen, are playing well in stretches but struggling to put in a full 32 minutes in recent games.

"It'll take patience, perseverance and hopefully they get humbled by this," Mount Saint Joseph coach Pat Clatchey said. "I thought [John Carroll's] guards were very confident, assertive and poised. They made plays for themselves and their teammates, and that's what good guards do."

More boys basketball

No. 5 Lake Clifton 66, Mervo 49: Senior guard Gary Jefferson scored a game-high 23 points, senior forward Joshua Parks added 15 and senior forward Rashad Hawkins had 10 as the Lakers improved to 7-1 on the season. Lake Clifton will host No. 4 Edmondson on Friday with game time set for 5:15 p.m.

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Boys basketball

2 John Carroll 51, 9 Mount St. Joseph 41

JC – Mackenzie 13, Long 11, Tertsea 9, Tyne 6, Quickley 9, Asemoto 3. Totals: 18 11-16 51.

MSJ – Smith 5, Kendall 9, Miller 5, Barnes 5, Jackson 13, Doles 4. Totals: 15 (4-6) 41

Half: JC, 27-20

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