St. Frances senior forward Dante Holmes led a balanced attack with 14 points as the No. 2 Panthers successfully defended their Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship with a 63-56 upset win over No. 1 Mount St. Joseph today at UMBC.
Tied at 41 late in the third quarter, the Panthers went on an 11-2 run that extended into the fourth quarter to provide a 52-43 lead.
The Gaels, who went unbeaten the in the MIAA's regular season, cut the lead to 55-54 when senior point guard Eric Atkins scored on a spinning lay-up with 2:29 left.
But St. Frances point guard R.J. Williams answered with a basket and Greg Lewis added two free throws for a 59-54 lead with 1:20 to play. Defense and free throws closed out the game for the Panthers, who now have three MIAA titles.
Senior guard Wayne Sparrow added 13 points and Williams finished with 10 for the winners. Seniors Matt Mill and Ryley Beaumont each had 17 points with Atkins scoring 15 for the Gaels.
St. Frances improves to 21-9 on the season, while the Gaels drop to 28-3 with the Baltimore Catholic League playoffs set for next week.
Boys basketball MIAA Championships (at UMBC) A Conference No. 2 St. Frances 63, No. 1 Mount St. Joseph 56 SF Holmes 15, Sparrow 13, Lewis 8, Williams 10, Cassell Jr. 9, Goines 8. Totals: 19 22-30 63. MSJ Miller 17, Atkins 15, Beaumont 17, Morton 4, Windsor 2, Clinton 1. Totals: 19 10-18 56. Half: MSJ, 28-25.