When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Coaches: Tony Martin, John Carroll; Pat Clatchey, Mount St. Joseph
PLAYERS TO WATCH
John Carroll: Jarred Jones, Sr., F; Mike Owona, Jr., C; Rodney Elliott, Jr., G.
Mount St. Joseph: Kameron Williams, Jr., G; Phil Booth, So. G; Lavon Long, Jr., F.
Outlook: The host Gaels opened the season with 12 straight wins before falling in the semifinal round of the competitive Leon Brogden Holiday Tournament in North Carolina last week. All season, they’ve relied on quality guard play, led by Williams and Booth, to go with strong man-to-man defense and collective responsibility on the boards. Long has provided timely play up front with senior forward Phil Lawrence another steady mainstay. The Patriots, who swept the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League championships last season, can win games a number of ways with a deep and talented roster. Jones (13.3 ppg.) sets the tone with a versatile skill set, and he’s one of four players to average double figures in points. Owona provides a strong presence inside, and freshman guard Justin Jenifer continues to emerge. The Patriots like to mix up a number of defensive sets, and how the Gaels handle the pressure will go a long way in deciding the game. Controlling the boards also will be important. Going into Friday’s play, Mount St. Joseph was 6-0 in the MIAA and 5-0 in the BCL with John Carroll at 4-1 and 5-1, respectively. The Patriots’ only loss inside the two leagues last year came against Mount St. Joseph in the final regular season game.