St. Paul's coach Seth Goldberg loves to play teams from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
The Crusaders, who compete in the B Conference, have certainly proved they can hold their own against some of the area's best.
St. Paul's beat Calvert Hall and lost to Mount St. Joseph by four points last year.
They even topped John Carroll in 2009, before the Patriots became an A Conference power and reigning champs.
Tuesday night, they traveled from Bel Air to Brooklandville to upend the host Crusaders, 55-43, behind 12 points apiece from senior center Jarred Jones and freshman guard Justin Jenifer.
Sophomore small forward Lamonte Wade led St. Paul's with 20 points.
After a slow start, John Carroll took control in the second half and pulled away for the victory.
St. Paul's jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter as Wade scored four points.
The Patriots responded with a 7-0 run, although the Crusaders still led, 11-8, at the end of the first quarter.
Rodney Elliott helped John Carroll take the lead for good in the second quarter, scoring seven of his nine points.
"We saw them (St. Paul's) getting on the floor for loose balls early, and we needed to match that intensity," John Carroll coach Tony Martin said. "Once we got into our pressure defense, our offense fed off that."
The Patriots increased their 21-17 halftime advantage to double digits in the third quarter. St. Paul's could get no close than eight points in the final period and missed some easy looks in the second half.
"We had our opportunities, and were only down four at halftime," Goldberg said. "But we missed four or five layups in the third quarter. Those are shots we will make down the road."
Mihael Maric (9 points), Kamau Stokes (7), Mike Owona (3) and Christian Owona (3) also scored for the winners.