No. 1 St. Frances rallies past Glenelg Country; showdown with Mount St. Joe next up

Trailing 18 points to Glenelg Country School Wednesday, St. Frances Academy boys’ basketball team’s mini-slump appeared to be turning into a full-blown late season spiral. The No. 1 Panthers regained the form that’s helped them set the pace in the MIAA A Conference for most of the winter, storming back for a 69-49 decision in east Baltimore.

Sophomore point guard Adrian Baldwin had 13 points and six assists for the Panthers, and Bass Diop added 13 points and eight rebounds. Senior reserve and North Carolina A&T recruit Edward Ferguson finished with 12.

Down 25-7 after the opening frame, St. Frances went on a 37-10 run over the next two quarters, en route to claiming its area-best 30th victory. The victory also snapped a two-game losing streak, following a 14-game run that made the Panthers (30-4 overall) the prohibitive favorite for the MIAA A and Baltimore Catholic League crowns.

St. Frances (15-2 MIAA A) as cooled after road losses to Loyola Blakefield and St. Vincent Pallotti. Back at home inside Phelps Gym Wednesday, the Panthers started slow before dominating the final three quarters.

Five players finished in double figures as Rajeir Jones had 10 points and two steals and sophomore Jordan Toles added 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Friday, St. Frances welcomes surging and No. 3 Mount St. Joseph in a MIAA A/BCL heavyweight showdown. The Gaels (27-3, 16-1 MIAA A), who lost to St. Frances at The Smith Center in December, claimed its 19th straight win Wednesday with a 78-71 decision at Mount Carmel.

Friday’s winner will claim first in the MIAA A Red Division and a home date with Mount Carmel in Tuesday’s league tournament quarterfinal, while the loser plays McDonogh School at home.