Barons fall just short in 69-59 loss to Mount Aloysius

JOHN GALLAGHER
SPORTS EDITOR

On Wednesday, the Baron’s basketball team lost a close 69-59 contest against conference opponent Mount Aloysius, dropping the Barons to 6-18 on the season.

Forward Josh York sunk two of four free throws from the line to keep the score close in the games early goings, before fellow sophomore Joseph Schriner gave Franciscan the 5-4 lead, courtesy of a step back three along the right wing. A long jumper from the hands of senior guard Jacob Divens stretched the Baronslead to three, with 12:18 remaining in first half action.

The Mounties found a soft spot in Franciscans interior defense for a quick layup, but sharpshooter Sean Hickey landed a trademark shot from beyond the arc, his first of three in seven attempts on the game, to put the Barons up four.

An 11-2 run put Mount Aloysius comfortably in front, 17-12, with less than five minutes remaining before halftime, in a span characterized by turnovers and errant threes from Franciscan. A layup from senior guard Keoni Sablan cut the Mountieslead to three.

Three Franciscan turnovers stalled their offensive efforts, but tight interior play and dominant defensive rebounding gave Franciscan back the ball with less than a minute to play, when sophomore center Matt Trent registered two of his 14 points, cutting the Mountieslead to a single point. Mount Aloysius would land a three to close out scoring efforts for the half, and both teams took to respective locker rooms, with the Barons down four, 22-18.

York landed a layup on the teams first possession, but the Mounties would respond with seven straight points before another York layup would bring the Barons within seven. Another Mount Aloysius dagger three gave the Barons their first double-digit deficit of the day, 32-22. A 10-point deficit would become 14, behind successive successful Mount Aloysius trips to the Baronsside of the court.

Down 14 with 12:08 remaining in the game, Trent went to work, rebounding and laying up an errant Schriner three for two points. A foul in the act of shooting sent Trent to the line, where he finished the back end of a three-point play. Seeing his first minutes since early February, sophomore guard John Noce made his court time count, showing off trademark speed on his way to a quick layup. Noce would finish the game three for three, for nine total points, his season high.

After a Trent defensive rebound a few possessions later, Noce would knock down both free throws after a hard foul, although the Mounties would answer with three free throws of their own only a single possession later, with 9:06 remaining. Schriner would end a short 5-1 Mount Aloysius scoring run with a well-timed three; after a Mountiesjumper with 6:43 remaining, Hickey added another three of his own, bringing the Barons within 13.

Two possessions later, Noce got up for a defensive rebound, before taking the ball the length of the court and dishing to Trent for an easy two. York landed a free throw at the 5:09 mark to bring Franciscan within 10, 51-41. Four Mount Aloysius free throws on two possessions put the Mounties again up 14, but shots from Trent and York brought the Barons again within 10, with only 1:30 remaining.

Franciscan found themselves unable to lessen their deficit down the stretch, despite stellar play from Noce. The guard landed a jumper with 1:09 remaining, before going up hard for a layup, drawing the foul and landing the free throw for the three-point play.

The final buzzer put a 69-59 loss into the record books for the Barons, and moved Mount Aloysius to a record of 6-18. The Barons will play their final game of the season on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m., in an afternoon showdown with conference opponent Medaille College.