Dons hold off a late run by the Eagles; MIAA A playoff breakdown

Fighting for a place in the MIAA A Conference basketball playoffs, Loyola Blakefield led wire-to-wire, Wednesday night, to pick up a critical 63-59 win over visiting McDonogh School, at Blakefield.

Loyola jumped in front, 17-9, after one quarter and led 31-24 at the half. The lead grew to as high as 15 points in the third quarter before McDonogh went on a 10-1 run, cutting the Dons’ lead to 46-40 at the end of three quarters. McDonogh cut the lead down to two with 1:30 remaining behind the hot shooting of senior Noah Locke, who scored a game-high 36 points.

Loyola, however, finished the game going 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Cam Shaw led the Dons with 22 points and JJ Halaby scored 15.

Loyola (10-10 overall) is now 4-6 in the A Conference, where it sits in fifth place in the Red Division, one game back of rival Calvert Hall College. The top four teams in each division reach the MIAA post-season.

Despite its loss, McDonogh (12-7 overall) is in solid playoff position in the Black Division. At 6-4 in the league, the Eagles are in third place in their division, comfortably in front of fourth place Mount Carmel (3-8).

Elsewhere in the league on Wednesday, No. 2 John Carroll School routed C. Milton Wright, 82-44, Gilman School fell to St. Mary’s-Ryken, 57-42, and top-ranked St. Frances crushed in St. Maria Goretti, 68-33, in non-league games.

In league action, Calvert Hall defeated Annapolis Area Christian, 60-44, No. 15 St. Vincent Pallotti slipped past Archbishop Spalding, 64-59, and No. 5 Mount St. Joseph blitzed Mount Carmel, 57-39.

As far as playoff seedings, John Carroll has control of the Black Division at 7-1. Boys’ Latin (6-3) and McDonogh will battle down the stretch of the second seed, while Mount Carmel and AACS (2-8) will fight for the fourth and final playoff seed. At 1-11, sixth-place Spalding is not mathematically eliminated, but the Cavaliers need to get hot quickly.

St. Frances Academy is 10-0 in league play and in first place in the Red Division. The Panthers are pursued closely by St. Joe, which is currently 10-1 in the league. Both are locks for the playoffs.

Pallotti, at 7-4, has a strong hold on third place and, as previously explained, the fourth seed is between Calvert Hall, Loyola and possibly Gilman (3-7). At 2-7, seventh-place Glenelg Country School would need a strong finish and lots of help to leap over the three teams between the Dragons and fourth place.

Loyola Sports Network game broadcast: