By Paul McMullen
LINTHICUM – Players and coaches from the Baltimore Catholic League made good use of Presidents Day Feb. 18, as eight basketball teams performed service at various Catholic Charities programs, then gathered for their annual awards banquet at Snyder’s Willow Grove.
At the banquet, players and coaches heard from Mark Rohde, who was a senior standout at Loyola Blakefield in 1972, when the Dons won the very first BCL tournament. Guests included Nap Doherty, who coached Rohde at what is now Loyola University Maryland.
Stewardship was one of Rohde’s themes, as the financial executive reminded players of their duty to fulfill their potential, and add to the legacy of the BCL.
A parishioner of the Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier in Hunt Valley, Rohde noted that while the BCL has produced NBA stars such as Archbishop Spalding’s Rudy Gay and Towson Catholic’s Carmelo Anthony, its member teams have turned out many more business leaders and educators.
While St. Frances Academy went 13-1 in league play and easily earned the No. 1 seed for the 42nd annual BCL tournament, Hagerstown’s St. Maria Goretti took three of the top four individual awards.
The league’s coaches voted junior Martin Geben, a big man from Lithuania, as the Player of the Year, Tyrus Fleetwood as the Most Improved Player and Amrit Rayfield as the Coach of the Year.
Mount St. Joseph junior Phil Booth was voted Defensive Player of the Year. He was joined on the all-star first team by Gael teammate Kameron Williams, John Carroll’s Rodney Elliott, Tevon Saddler of St. Frances Academy and Earl Potts of Spalding.
The second team consisted of: Maurice White, St. Frances; Jourdan Grant, Spalding; Mitch Cross, Loyola Blakefield; Drew Edwards, Calvert Hall; and Corey Groom, Mount Carmel.
The tournament schedule follows, with seeds in parentheses
BALTIMORE CATHOLIC LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
All games Friday, Feb. 22, unless otherwise noted
Mount Carmel (8) at St. Frances Academy (1), 7 p.m., Thursday Feb. 21
Loyola (7) at Mount St. Joseph (2), 6 p.m.
Calvert Hall (6) at John Carroll (3), 7 p.m.
St. Maria Goretti (5) at Archbishop Spalding (4), 7 p.m.
Semifinals at Loyola University Maryland
Sunday, Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Championship at Loyola University Maryland
Monday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.