If Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Essex, was going to regain the MIAA B Conference basketball crown in the near future, it was going to have to be this year as the Cougars are deep with senior leadership, experience and confidence.
The Cougars faced defending champs St. Mary’s High School, Annapolis, Saints on Feb. 24 at the Towson Center Arena on the campus of Towson University and regained their title honors by defeating the Saints 58-50.
Fans from both sides were in the house and so was the Towson University Tigers Head Coach Pat Kennedy. Kennedy was watching his new recruit, Cougar senior guard Troy Franklin.
Franklin did not disappoint. With his game face on, he was there to show folks what he had to offer the Tigers next season, but in the process he made some crucial turnovers and picked up two quick fouls. Franklin was forced to the bench, and the Saints closed the scoring gap on a beautiful, three-point shot from Saints sophomore guard Marcus Snipes to bring the score to 19-17.
With Franklin on the bench, the Saints’ Snipes, Nicholas Groce and Trey Quinn worked the ball underneath and took a 24-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Saints lost their go-to player, senior Josh Morgan-Green, over Christmas on a hand injury, but the Saints hung tough, winning their division and coming away with an 11-4, 19-10 record heading into the championship game.
As the second half got underway, the Cougars’ Franklin was back on the court and came out firing. The Cougars regained the lead and never looked back as the five senior starters all made it into the scorebook.
The Saints also played very well, especially since they were without Morgan-Green. It was a true team effort.
The Saints’ Snipes finished the day with 10, Groce led the team with 19 and sophomore Mark McNeil came off the bench and scored six, while junior guard Ronnie Hoffman netted eight.
All of Mount Carmel’s starters scored, with Dwayne Wheeler scoring eight, Stanford McNair scoring 16, Rummell King scoring five, senior center Marcanthony Franks scoring eight, and Franklin scoring 21.