FROSTBURG -- Devin Gray scored 38 points and Eric Carroll 19, as St. Frances held off Bishop Kendrick of Norristown, Pa., 67-59, in the opening round of the 31st Alhambra Catholic Invitational at Frostburg State University.
The win puts the Panthers (19-6) into tonight's semifinal at 7 against DeMatha (28-0) of Hyattsville, the Washington area's No. 1 team, which rolled over Bishop McGunnes of Winston-Salem, N.C., 87-62.
In other first-round games, Roman Catholic of Philadelphia beat St. Mary's, of Hamilton, Ontario, in overtime, 87-83; and St. John's of Washington beat Bishop Walsh of Cumberland, 82-46. Roman Catholic and St. John's will meet in the other semifinal.
Gray, a senior, hit 16 of 26 shots from the field and six of seven free throws. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound center also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
St. Frances, the regular-season Baltimore Catholic League champion, built a 15-point lead in the second quarter but had to overcome a barrage of three-point shots that cut the margin to one in the final period.
With the Panthers leading 53-46 with 5 minutes, 12 seconds left, David Neeld came up with a four-point play, as he was fouled making his third three-pointer. Billy Bono then scored on a breakaway to make it 53-52.
Bishop Kendrick was down by 57-55 after another three-pointer by Neeld.
Levon Woodson then hit a short jumper from the foul line to put the St. Frances lead back to four.
"After they had cut the lead, Levon Woodson hit that jump shot, and that was the key motivation for us," said St. Frances coach William Wells. "From that point, we took control.
"Devin [Gray] and Eric [Carroll] were the key to our game, but Mike Smith, with his rebounding, and Levon [Woodson] played big unsung hero roles."
Gray scored on an inside move and a breakaway dunk to make it 63-58 with 1:30 left. Another dunk by Gray and two free throws by Carroll concluded the scoring.
Neeld was the top scorer for Kendrick with 17 points. Greg Grant and Scott Lawler had 12 each.
Ted Ellis scored 18 points and Vaughn Jones had 17 to lead DeMatha to its quarterfinal victory. The Stags played without team leader Duane Simpkins, who was absent because of a death in his family.
ST. FRANCES -- Carroll 19, Gray 38, Lee 2, Smith 4, Wingo 2, Woodson 2. Totals: 26 15-23 67.
BISHOP KENDRICK -- Neeld 17, Lawler 12, Grant 12, Beacham 8, Gallagher 6, Bono 4. Totals: 24 5-15 59.