Ever since being elevated to the Mount Carmel varsity basketball team late in his freshman year, Terry Nolan, Jr. has been big time scorer for the Cougars.

Now a senior, Nolan is still scoring in bunches, but he has added leadership responsibilities as well.

Monday at Calvert Hall, Nolan scored 30 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, leading the 14th-ranked Cougars to an impressive 77-70 come-from-behind victory over No. 5 Calvert Hall, in the MIAA A Conference/Baltimore Catholic League opener for both schools.

“We stay in attack mode, 24/7,” said Nolan, who has committed to play his college basketball for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. “That opened up a lot of opportunities for myself and my teammates.”

To get the win, the Cougars erased a seven-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Cardinals 21-14 in the third quarter and then pulled away in the fourth as Nolan scored his final 10 points in the period. Junior guard Dwight Felton also played a major role in the comeback, scoring all 16 of his points in the second half, including nine in the third quarter rally, as the Cougars forced a 46-46 tie. In addition, sophomore Will Thomas scored 17 points, including nine in the fourth quarter.

Mount Carmel (5-0 overall, 1-0 MIAA, 1-0 BCL) opened the final stanza on a 12-2 run to take a 58-48 lead, with 5 minutes, 26 seconds to play. The Cardinals scored the next six points to climb back within four, but the Cougars countered with a 9-1 spurt, capped by a put-back dunk by Thomas and a break-away layup by Nolan to stretch the lead to 12, the Cougars’ biggest margin of the night. Calvert Hall tried to make another run, but the Cougars hit their final 10 free throws, including six from Nolan to close out the win.

“This is a learning process,” added Nolan. “We’re coming together as a unit. We have a lot of new transfers. Last year we went 12-20, so this year it is like a new beginning for us.”

Nolan scored the game’s first five points, draining a 3-pointer and a short jumper, and finished the first half with 17 points to keep the Cougars (5-0, 1-0, 1-0) within striking distance of a Calvert Hall team that was riding the early hot hand of junior Brendan Adams (9 points in the first quarter). Trailing 9-4, Calvert Hall staged a 14-2 run to take an 18-11 lead, its largest advantage of the contest.

“We got the guys to settle down. I think the guys were a little bit nervous,” added Nolan. “We have some new guys that are in different roles this year, meaning they are up from JV or transferred from another school.”

“Terry’s been great, really buying into this new role and leadership and some of the changes we have made,” said Mount Carmel head coach Hakim Hibbert, now in his second year with OLMC after several seasons as an assistant at Calvert Hall. “He’s just leading and doing a great job.”

Mount Carmel quickly asserted itself in the third quarter, getting two quick baskets from Thomas, three free throws from Nolan and then nine straight points from Felton, that cut Calvert Hall’s lead to three, at 44-41. Sophomore Logan Curtis scored to move the Cardinals’ lead back to five, but an old-fashioned three-point play by Brandon Watson, followed by Thomas’ put-back of a Nolan miss evened the game at 46-46, after three quarters.

Calvert Hall’s fourth quarter fade could have been blamed on fatigue, as the Cardinals (1-3, 0-1, 0-1) played three grueling games over the weekend in the Sleepy Thompson Invitational, in Northern Virginia, losing twice by one point and winning once by two points. However, Calvert Hall coach John Bauersfeld did not accept the excuse.

“Our energy was good, early on. I didn’t think our energy was that bad,” said Bauersfeld. “We just didn’t do a good job guarding in the second half. We have to do a better job of that.”

Adams finished as the Cardinals leading scorer with 21 points and Curtis finished with 18 points.

There is precious little time to savor the big win, as Mount Carmel will return home to host 8th-ranked St. Frances, on Wednesday. Calvert Hall also returns to action on Wednesday when it visits No. 15 McDonogh.

MC  15  10  21  31  —  77
CH  18  14  14  14  —  70
Felton 16, Watson 7, Evans 3, Howard 2, Nolan 30, Thomas 17, Miler 2. TOTAL 77.
CALVERT HALL: Adams 21, Curtis 18, Cornish 8, Lewis 8, Mcneil 7, Ilardo 5, Gravette 2. TOTAL 70.