FROSTBURG, MD - Recaps from Day 3 of the 59th annual Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State University.
FINAL ROUND – SATURDAY MARCH 9, 2019
St. John's 2019 guard Casey Morsell.
ST. JOHN'S 75, MOUNT ST. JOSEPH 62
Virginia-bound 2019 guard Casey Morsell scored 26 points in his final high school game to lead the Cadets to victory.
Morsell scored 13 in the first half as the Cadets led 37-29 at the break and never looked back.
“We only had like 15 minutes to warm up,” 2020 guard Ishmael Leggett said, “so Coach [Patrick Behan] said throw the first punch and everything else will follow. So we threw the first punch and everything else came into play at the end of the game and the beginning.”
2020 guard Darius Maddox added 7 points for St. John’s, while Leggett finished with 12.
The Cadets withstood another big offensive performance from James Bishop, who finished with 36 points. Bishop had 19 of his team’s 29 first-half points.
The Gaels made a run in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get closer than eight points. Ausar Crowley added 10 points for MSJ.
St. Frances 2019 guard Rajier Jones.
ST. FRANCES 72, GONZAGA 67
Chicago State-bound 2019 guard Rajier Jones had 24 points - including the 1,000th of his career - to propel the Panthers to victory.
St. Frances led 21-18 after one quarter, 35-34 at the half and 47-44 after three quarters. Seemingly every time the Purple Eagles got close to making things even or taking the lead, though, the Panthers would answer to keep them just out of reach.
2020 forward Jamal West had 19 points and 2020 guard Jordan Toles 13 for the Panthers, who closed this year’s Alhambra trip out strong after opening losses to DeMatha and St. Maria Goretti.
"It feels great, especially for the seniors," West said. "Like, Rajier Jones getting his 1K point, it felt good out there just watching him hit that in his face. I was encouraging him to get it the whole season, and he was like - 'Bro, I'm not worried about it,' and Im like, 'It's your 1K point, man, you better go get that!' He was 14 points away and he got it."
Gonzaga 2019 guard Anwar Gill scored 19 points to lead the Purple Eagles in his final game. 2020 forward Terrance Williams had 17, and 2020 forward Myles Stute added 12.
CONSOLATION 1ST PLACE GAME
ST. MARIA GORETTI 59, BISHOP WALSH 55
The Gaels rallied back from a double-digit deficit and outscored the Spartans 22-8 in the fourth quarter to pick up a victory in front of a capacity crowd.
2019 wing RJ Blakney scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to lead the Goretti comeback.
“I just kept fighting through, man,” Blakney said. “The adversity throughout the game we just kept fighting through. My teammates did a good job of helping me get through it by getting stops and finding me in certain spots where I could take advantage of the defense.”
Penn State-bound 2019 forward Abdou Tsimbila carried the load early, and finished with a team-high 20 points and 8 rebounds.
Bishop Walsh 2019 forward Oliver Nkamhoua had 23 points and 12 rebounds in front of Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, who made the trip to see him. 2019 guard Anthony Torelli finished with 11 points for the Spartans.
DEMATHA 60, PAUL VI 51
DeMatha used a big third-quarter run to overcome a halftime deficit and never trailed again to repeat as Alhambra champions.
Paul VI led 29-23 at the half, but DeMatha outscored them 20-8 in the third quarter - taking the lead on a four-point play by 2020 guard Earl Timberlake - and never trailed again.
Villanova-bound 2019 guard Justin Moore had a game-high 25 points for DeMatha, which claimed its 25th Alhambra title in the last 49 years.
“It means a lot,” Moore said. “We’ve been through a lot this season, and we didn’t get the ultimate goal that we wanted [a repeat sweep of the WCAC, Maryland Private School and Alhambra titles], but we finished our last two championships out strong, so it’s good.”
2020 center Hunter Dickinson had 13 points - he was later named the Tournament MVP for the second year in a row - while Timberlake finished with 11.
2022 guard Knasir McDaniel had 18 points to lead PVI, while 2021 guard Trevor Keels finished with 14.
“[The key was] just playing together," Moore said. "Once we play together and play defense together, we’re fine.”