ELLICOTT CITY – Bolstered by the last two Players of the Year in the Baltimore Catholic League, St. Frances Academy is primed to take its third straight BCL tournament, an affair that concludes March 1 at Loyola University Maryland’s Reitz Arena.
Senior big man Jamal West was named the BCL Player of the Year Feb. 17, during an awards luncheon at Turf Valley Resort. Teammate Adrian “Ace” Baldwin won the award a year ago, when he went on to lead the Panthers to a comeback victory in overtime against St. Maria Goretti in the tournament championship game.
West, who came to St. Frances Academy as a transfer from Dunbar, is committed to South Alabama in the Sun Belt Conference. Baldwin is committed to Virginia Commonwealth.
Together, they lifted St. Frances Academy (33-3 overall, 13-1 in the BCL) to the No. 1 seed, thanks to a 73-69 comeback victory Feb. 14 at home over Mount St. Joseph. The second-seeded Gaels (24-5, 12-2) placed Tyler Brelsford and Jason Edokpayi on the all-league first team.
As the regular season champion, St. Frances Academy has already earned a berth in the 60th annual Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State, which has expanded its selection criteria beyond Catholic high schools.
Delaware State’s Eric Skeeters, who began his coaching career at St. Frances Academy, was the guest speaker at the banquet.
The all-league teams and tournament pairings follow.
2019-20 BALTIMORE CATHOLIC LEAGUE
First Team: Jamal West, St. Frances Academy, senior; Adrian Baldwin, St. Frances Academy, senior; Tyler Brelsford, Mount St. Joseph, senior; Jason Edokpayi, Mount St. Joseph, senior; Mitchell Fischer, Loyola Blakefield, senior; Cameron Whitmore, Archbishop Spalding, sophomore; Tyson Commander, John Carroll, sophomore
Second Team: Ausar Crawley, Mount St. Joseph, junior; Deon Perry, Mount Carmel, sophomore; Mike Williams, Calvert Hall, freshman; Matt Rogers, St. Maria Goretti, senior; Briggs McClain, St. Maria Goretti, senior; Jalen Bryant, John Carroll, junior
Honorable Mention: Julian Reese, St. Frances Academy, Khyrie Staten, St. Frances Academy; Cam Smith, Loyola Blakefield; Jordan Moore, Loyola Blakefield; Cesar Tchilombo, John Carroll; C. J. Scott, Archbishop Spalding; Tyheil Peterson, Archbishop Spalding; Sarmartine Bogues, Calvert Hall; Toby Nnadozie, Mount Carmel.
Jerry Savage Player of the Year: Jamal West, St. Frances Academy
Mark Amatucci Defensive Player of the Year: Julian Reese, St. Frances Academy
Cokey Roberston Most Improved Player: Jason Edokpayi, Mount St. Joseph
Ray Mullis Coach of the Year: Josh Pratt, Archbishop Spalding
Dave Kropfelder “Never, Never Quit” Awards
N’kobe Turner, Archbishop Spalding, Ryan Sand, Calvert Hall, Bryce Meads, John Carroll; Rece Gardner, Loyola Blakefield; Kobe Edwards, Mount Carmel; Cameron Sapienza, Mount St. Joseph; Elijah Davis, St. Frances Academy; Christian Longerbeam, St. Maria Goretti
49th annual BCL Tournament
Quarterfinals (seeds in parentheses)
Calvert Hall (8) at St. Frances Academy (1), 7:00 p.m.
St. Maria Goretti (7) at Mount St. Joseph (2), 7 p.m.
Mount Carmel (6) at Archbishop Spalding (3), 7 p.m.
Loyola Blakefield (5) at John Carroll (4), 7 p.m.
Semifinals at Loyola University Maryland, 5 and 7 p.m.
Championship at Loyola University Maryland, 1 p.m.