Loyola holds off No. 13 Glenelg Country, strengthens MIAA A basketball playoff bid; Fischer has 24

The last time Loyola Blakefield basketball reached the MIAA A Conference basketball playoffs, Cardinal Gibbons and Towson Catholic were in existence. The Dons took a small step in ending the drought Friday evening.

The No. 12 Dons defeated 13th-ranked Glenelg Country School, 49-45, in a MIAA A Red Division inside Knott Hall in Towson. Matt Fischer scored a game-high 24 points for Loyola.

The victory give the Dons (14-10 overall, 8-5 MIAA A Red) sole possession of 3rd-place in the Red Division with a sweep of Glenelg Country School (14-7, 6-6 MIAA A Red). Loyola also have a win over contenders St. Vincent Pallotti (5-4 MIAA A Red) and Gilman School (4-5 MIAA A Red) with a second meeting in the coming weeks.

The top four teams in the MIAA A Red and Black division advances to the playoffs next month.

Loyola, which last made the MIAA A postseason in 2009 (also reached Baltimore Catholic League Tournament final), is in position thanks to Fischer, who continued his breakout junior season Friday.

Fischer, who hit an acrobatic layup at the buzzer, giving the Dons victory (56-54) at Glenelg Country last month, dropped four 3-pointers in the opening stanza Friday to stake Loyola to a 20-14 lead after one. The Dons led, 28-20, at halftime.

With six points from Fischer, Loyola upped its lead to 40-29 entering the fourth. The Dons managed a field goal in the fourth, but converted 7-of-11 free throws to keep the Dragons at bay.

George Washington University-bound center Chase Paar finished with 21 points for Glenelg Country. Despite Friday’s loss, the Ellicott City school is in playoff contention after a 6-20 (3-15 in MIAA A) showing last season.

The Dons will try to bolster their standing Wednesday at home against Gilman. Glenelg Country hosts Pallotti Monday and fifth-ranked Mount St. Joseph Wednesday.

No. 1 Boys’ Latin (8-0 in MIAA A play) is in control in the Black Division followed by McDonogh School (8-4) and Annapolis Area Christian School (7-4). Mount Carmel (3-9) is mathematically still alive, but would need to win out and a collapse by either AACS or McDonogh to have a chance.

No. 12 Loyola Blakefield 49, No. 13 Glenelg Country School 43

Glenelg Country – Chase Paar 21, Cole Paar 4, Braithwaite 2, Robinson 3, Charles 8, Yora-Braisz 5. Totals 17 6-9 43.

Loyola –  Fischer 24, Hepting 4, Smith 5, Moore 7, Nnake 5, Gioiso 2. Totals 18 8-15 49.

Glenelg County 14 6 9 14 – 43

Loyola 20 8 12 9 – 49