Senior forward Ryan Ripken scored 24 points and senior guard Cyrus Jones had 22, leading Gilman past host St. Paul's, 64-57, in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference game Saturday night. The win strengthens the Greyhounds' lead on first place. They are 9-0 in league play, sitting ahead of second-place St. Paul's (9-2).
Gilman has beaten St. Paul's twice, posting a 66-60 victory on Dec. 6.
Saturday's game featured a strong Crusaders' rally. St. Paul's trimmed Gilman's 17-point, third-quarter lead to four points midway through the final period before the Greyhounds pulled away.
The Crusaders (13-7) struggled early as they couldn't slow down Ripken, who finished with 17 points in the first half. St. Paul's trailed by as many as 10 points, 13-3, in the first quarter, and fell further behind, 32-19, by halftime.
"I thought we were timid in the first half," St. Paul's coach Seth Goldberg said. "We have to get a little more consistent. If you play good teams, you have to play for four quarters."
St. Paul's picked up its play in the third quarter, trimming Gilman's margin to 38-31 on Miles Davis' layup.
Midway through the final quarter, the Crusaders used a 7-2 run to cut the advantage to 46-42.
Then Gilman (12-4) quickly boosted its lead to 11 points — the biggest of the quarter. The Greyhounds made six consecutive free throws and got a three-point play from Jones to thwart St. Paul's comeback bid.
"We played really hard defensively in the first half," Gilman coach Owen Daly said. "We limited a really good team to 19 points, which is really hard to do. You know St. Paul's is going to fight and push to get back in the game. I thought our guy's composure in handling them really closing the gap iis what I was impressed with."
Tre Hamer paced St. Paul's with 15 points and Lamont Wade added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists.