No. 2 John Carroll pulls away from No. 4 St. Frances, 88-74

February 03, 2011|By Special To The Baltimore Sun

By Jeff Seidel

John Carroll needed to make one change at the start of the second half of Thursday's game at St. Frances. It wasn't complex — the Patriots simply needed to play harder.

And that's exactly what No. 2 John Carroll did. Malcolm McMillan helped the Patriots turn up the intensity, scoring 21 of his game-high 28 points in the second half as John Carroll erased a seven-point halftime deficit and stretched its winning streak to 10 with an 88-74 victory over No. 4 St. Frances.

John Carroll (25-1, 10-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conferece and Baltimore Catholic League) did everything at a faster pace in the second half. The Patriots pushed the ball upcourt quicker, moved it faster and played more aggressively on defense, not allowing St. Frances (13-3, 7-3 MIAA, 7-2 BCL) to get the open shots it found throughout the first half.

"We thought we had to be the most aggressive team," said John Carroll coach Tony Martin. "We had to respond … our response to open the second half was critical."

The Patriots had scored 12 in a row to take a 24-13 lead late in the first quarter. But St. Frances bounced back and went on on a 25-7 run after that for a 38-31 halftime advantage.

That's when John Carroll took over. The Patriots had scored just seven points in the second quarter but needed just under two minutes to get the first seven of the second half and tie the game at 38. McMillan scored four of the seven.

The Patriots later scored 10 straight to take a 48-41 lead and they were never in trouble again.

McMillan led the way. The senior guard drove around and through the St. Frances defense time after time, either scoring or setting up teammates, and the Panthers had no answer.

"We had to pick it up in the second half," said McMillan. "We had to turn it up a notch at both ends."

Ronald Scott added 22 points for the Patriots, and Jarred Jones contributed 18. The Patriots locked up the game in the fourth quarter by converting free throws — they made 30 of 44 overall — and running time off the clock.

"It was sort of like they punched us in the face, and we kept taking the hits instead of punching back," said Miles Code, who scored 13 for St. Frances.

John Carroll 88, St. Frances 74

J- Elliott 1, Scott 22, McMillan 28, Frink 2, Stokes 7, M. Owana 6, Jones 18, L. Owana 4. Totals: 26 30-44 88.

S- Williams 11, Brown 9, Tarver 13, Code 13, Costly 3, Forney 12, White 13. Totals: 26 17-26 74. Half, SF, 38-31.

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