Tyonne Farrell steps up as No. 2 Mount Saint Joseph basketball pulls away late to beat No. 6 Loyola Blakefield, 67-57

Without one of their top players because of injury, Mount Saint Joseph basketball knew it would need a total team effort with contributions from different sources to get past visiting Loyola Blakefield on Monday.

Standout senior forward Tyonne Farrell scored a game-high 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, sophomore guard BJ Ranson came off the bench and made his first four 3-point attempts in the second half to finish with 13 points, and junior forward Brandon Holmes and senior guard Ryan Truitt each had 11. The performance was capped by collectively strong team defense in the deciding fourth quarter, all pushing the No. 2 Gaels to a 67-57 win over the No. 6 Dons.

Without Jordan Brathwaite, who was nursing a leg injury, Mount Saint Joseph won their 31st straight game at home and improved to 21-3 overall, 6-1 in the Baltimore Catholic League and 7-1 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. Loyola Blakefield, which got a game-high 22 points from junior Mason Ellison, falls to 15-8 and 3-6 in the BCL and MIAA A Conference.

Leading 57-55 with 4:25 to go, the Gaels went on a 9-0 run thanks to two baskets from Farrell and the last of Ranson’s 3s while their defense forced the Dons into hurried shots to pull away.

“We came in today and the whole thing was to compete and play hard,” Farrell said. “We had a valuable player out, so a lot of guys stepped it up when we needed them to and I knew I had to play well and be a leader.”

Tightly contested throughout the game, the home team showed more composure in the pivotal fourth quarter after beginning it down by one. The Gaels opened the frame with a 9-0 run, with Ranson’s 3 providing a 55-47 lead midway through. But the Dons had their spurt to draw close, with Ellison connecting on a 3 and Jesse LeGree converting a three-point play that cut the deficit to 57-55 with 5:05 left.

The Gaels made sure to have the last and biggest run of all to secure the win. Ranson, who made back-to-back 3-pointers at the end of the third quarter, added two more in the fourth.

“I just wanted to make sure I was ready and, today, I took shots today with confidence and made them. It feels amazing,” he said. “It’s just fun to be out there with the big crowd and making big shots and be able to celebrate with my teammates. It was just a lot of fun tonight, moments I always think about.”

Loyola coach Josh Czerski was disappointed with his team’s execution in the final quarter. On defense, the Dons’ zone gave the Gaels’ hot shooters too much time and space. On offense, they settled and hurried their shots. With their fourth straight setback, the Dons will try to rebound on Wednesday at 5 p.m. against visiting St. Maria Goretti.

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“It’s a tough league. We’re right back at it on Wednesday and excited to get a game at home and right our wrong we had tonight,” Czerski said.

Mount Saint Joseph travels to Mount Carmel at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

LB — Hammond 7, Ellison 22, Brown 10, Williams 6, Navarre 2, LeGree 9, Nottingham 1. Totals: 20 12-16 57

MSJ — Farrell 18, Holmes 11, Truitt 11, Green 9, Ranson 13, Hall 3, Etolue 2. Totals: 26 5-13 67

Halftime: MSJ, 30-28