St. Frances Academy ready to defend; Bishop takes Player of Year honors

Defending champion St. Frances Academy takes the No. 1 seed into the 48th annual Baltimore Catholic League tournament, thanks to a regular season sweep of St. Maria Goretti in Hagerstown.

Both finished 12-2 in league games. While third-seeded Mount St. Joseph swept St. Frances Academy, the Gaels lost twice to Goretti and at home to Loyola Blakefield, which earned the fourth seed.

Were Goretti to win the tournament for the first time since 2001, it would mean a fifth different champion in as many seasons.

The tournament concludes March 3 at Loyola University of Maryland’s Reitz Arena, which will also be the site of the March 1 semifinals.

Mount St. Joseph senior James Bishop, meanwhile, was voted Player of the Year in balloting by the coaches. The senior guard, who has accepted a scholarship from Louisiana State University in the Southeastern Conference, is averaging 23 points a game.

St. Frances Academy’s Rajeir Jones repeated as the Defensive Player of the Year.

The all-league honors and tournament pairings follow.


All-League Team

First Team: James Bishop, Mount St. Joseph, senior; Adrian Baldwin, St. Frances Academy, junior; R.J. Blakney, St. Maria Goretti, senior; Abdou Tsimbila, St. Maria Goretti, senior; Mitchell Fischer, Loyola Blakefield, junior.

Second Team: Ausar Crawley, Mount St. Joseph, sophomore; Jordan Toles, St. Frances Academy, junior; Logan Curtis, Calvert Hall, senior; Przemek Golek, St. Maria Goretti, senior; Tryllian Young, Loyola Blakefield, senior.

Honorable Mention: Rajeir Jones, St. Frances Academy; Tyson Commander, John Carroll; Deon Perry, Mount Carmel; Brendan Fox, Loyola Blakefield; Kevin Collier, Calvert Hall; Conner Hepting, Loyola Blakefield.

Jerry Savage Player of the Year: James Bishop, Mount St. Joseph.

Mark Amatucci Defensive Player of the Year: Rajeir Jones, St. Frances Academy.

Cokey Robertson Most Improved Player: Mitchell Fischer, Loyola Blakefield.

O. Ray Mullis Coach of the Year: Josh Davalli, Loyola Blakefield.

Dave Kropfelder “Never, Never Quit” awards: Burke Webb, Archbishop Spalding; Brooks Reahl, Calvert Hall; James Zeigler, John Carroll; Graham Slifer, Loyola Blakefield; Hunter Adams, Mount Carmel; Wesley Chairs, Mount St. Joseph; Kyrie Staten, St. Frances Academy; Alexei Wood, St. Maria Goretti.

 Tournament Quarterfinals Feb. 27, with seeds in parentheses

Mount Carmel (8) at St. Frances Academy (1), 7 p.m.

John Carroll (7) at St. Maria Goretti (2), 7 p.m.

Archbishop Spalding (6) at Mount St. Joseph (3), 7 p.m.

Calvert Hall (5) at Loyola Blakefield (4), 7 p.m.

Semifinals March 1 at Loyola University Maryland, 6:30 and 8:15 p.m.

Championship March 3 at Loyola University Maryland, 1 p.m.



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Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen has served as the managing editor of the Catholic Review since 2008.

The author of two books, Paul has been involved in local media since age 12, when he began delivering The News American to 80 homes in his neighborhood. He began his journalism career with the Capital-Gazette Newspapers in Anne Arundel County, and spent more than 25 years as a sports writer for The Sun in Baltimore. His favorite writing assignments have included the Summer Olympics in Australia and Greece, the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and “Feet for Francis,” a 2015 walking pilgrimage from the Baltimore Basilica to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis.