The opening round of the 2017 BCL Tournament was overshadowed by the tragic death, Thursday, of John Carroll School student Josh Hammer, which caused the postponement of the Patriots’ opening round game with St. Frances Academy.

The Patriots and Panthers will meet on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. for the final place in Saturday’s semifinals after Mount St. Joseph, St. Maria Goretti and Mount Carmel advanced with victories Thursday evening.

By far the best game on Thursday was Mount Carmel’s 83-82 overtime home win over Calvert Hall. It was the second straight gut punch suffered by the Cardinals at the hands of the Cougars.

Last Thursday in the semifinals of the MIAA A Conference playoffs, the Cougars (26-9) got a buzzer beating three from William Morris to pull out a 66-63 win.

This week, Calvert Hall led 70-68 late in regulation, but Terry Nolan scored on a driving layup to tie the contest, 70-70, and sending the game into overtime. Christian Evans scored seven of his 21 points in the OT and Nolan, who finished with 23 points made a couple of key free throws to secure an 83-82 decision for the Cougars.

It was the latest in a series of thrillers between two Baltimore County programs that met five times in the 2014-15 season, including the MIAA A title game. Last season, the teams split two one-point decisions.

“It’s a grudge match for me,” said Nolan, who will play for Tennessee-Chattanooga next season. “My teammates know this and we vowed to beat them every game this year.”

The victory completed a four-game season sweep of the Cardinals, who saw their season come to an end with a record of 15-19. Brendan Adams scored a game-high 34 points to lead Calvert Hall.

“We just have to learn how to win,” said Cardinals coach John Bauersfeld. “We’ve had a couple of overtime losses, a couple of losses at the buzzer. We got to make plays down the stretch. We got better as a team from the beginning of the year until the end.”

In Hagerstown, St. Maria Goretti got a tough challenge from Archbishop Spalding, but pulled away for an 87-76 victory.

The teams were tied at the end of one quarter and tied 32-32 at the half. Goretti, which was led by 32 points from Illinois State University recruit Elijah Clarance, outscored the Cavaliers 31-20 in the third quarter and that provided the 11-point margin of victory.

Spalding, which was paced by 18 points from Brady O’Farrell and 15 from Buzz Anthony, drained seven first half three-pointers to keep pace.

Jake Kuhn, who scored 20 points in the contest for the Gaels, led the third-quarter surge with nine points.

Fresh off of its win on Sunday, over Mount Carmel, in the MIAA A Conference championship game, third-ranked Mount St. Joseph coasted to a 68-48 win over Loyola Blakefield.

Sophomore guard James Bishop had a team-high 18 points for the Gaels (33-3), and Darryl Morsell added 13 points and six assists. Jalen Smith, the BCL Player and Defensive Player of the Year finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Dons (8-21) got 23 points from Kenny Lewis, who saw a sensational senior season come to a close.

The semifinals will take place on Saturday evening at Goucher College. St. Joe will meet the John Carroll/St. Frances winner at 6:15 p.m., while Goretti, which will be playing in the BCL semifinals for the first time since 2002, will face Mount Carmel at 8 p.m.

Baltimore Catholic League Tournament quarterfinals

No. 3 Mount St. Joseph 68, Loyola Blakefield 48

Loyola – Lewis 22, Nelson 6, Hepting 6, Young 2, Watson 2, Norris 2, Halaby 4, Nnake 2. Totals 17 8-12 48.

Mount St. Joseph – Bishop 18, Smith 13, Morsell 13, Robinson 12, McMillian 5 McDonald 3,  Curtin 2, Myers 2. Totals 29 5-11 68.

St. Maria Goretti 87, Archbishop Spalding 76

Spalding – Anthony 15, Hinton 14, McAdams 6, McCormick 14, Schemmel 8, O’Farrell 18, Bozeman 1. Totals 30 3-4 76.

Goretti – Kuhn 20, Clarance 32, Blakney 18, Harris 14, Mack 2, Edwards 1, Pope 1. Totals 35 23-36 87

Anthony 7 0-0 15, Hinton 5 0-0 14, McAdams 2 0-0 6, McCormick 5 2-2 14, Schemmel 4 0-0 8, O’Farrell 7 0-0 18, Bozeman 0 1-2 1. Totals 30 3-4 76.

Spalding 21 11 20 24 – 76

Goretti 21 11 31 24 – 87

No. 5 Mount Carmel 83, No. 20 Calvert Hall College 82

Calvert Hall – Doughty 4, Curtis 6, Cornish 17, Lewis 5, Gravette 16, Adams 34. Totals 27 16-24 82.

Mount Carmel – Felton 4, Watson 6, Evans 21, Nolan 23, Jones 15, Thomas 13, Totals 29 17-30 83.

Calvert Hall 11 24 21 14 12 – 82

Mount Carmel 15 24 16 15 13 – 83