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Boys Basketball: Gerstell Academy headed to MIAA's A Conference for 2019-20

Boys Basketball: Gerstell Academy headed to MIAA's A Conference for 2019-20
Gerstell boys basketball coach Ben Thompson, left, celebrates after the Falcons defeated St. Paul's 59-56 to win the 2019 MIAA B Conference title. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Back-to-back Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference titles has Gerstell Academy receiving a promotion effective for next season.

The Falcons are moving into the A Conference, the MIAA’s highest level of play, for 2019-20. The league’s competition committee, which permits league movement for the various participating sports every two years, last month approved Gerstell’s switch to the A Conference, according to coach Ben Thompson.

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It’s the only boys basketball program to make a move in the MIAA for next season.

Led by senior guard Anthony Carpenter, Gerstell went 21-12 last season and defeated St. Paul’s 59-56 on Feb. 24 in the MIAA B final for its second consecutive championship. Carpenter averaged 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game en route to earning a Times first-team all-county nod.

The Falcons are 88-61 in five seasons under Thompson, who came to Gerstell after winning a Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship at Christchurch School. Thompson won 97 games and three Virginia Prep League titles at Christchurch School.

Gerstell started in the MIAA’s C Conference before moving up to the B in 2015.

“Going to the ‘A’ conference is certainly a risk, but I am fortunate that the administration supports the program and trusts our judgment,” Thompson said via email. “I feel as though we are ready. It is definitely a grind, but competing against some of the best student-athletes and best coaches in the association will be exciting for our student-athletes and our community.

“The biggest challenge will be how we deal with adversity each night, knowing that It's going to be a growing process for all of us, but the challenge is worthwhile.”

Carroll helps Team MD top PA

A team of Maryland all-stars defeated its Pennsylvania foes 101-97 in overtime on April 6 in Harrisburg, and two Westminster players contributed in the victory.

Westminster’s Drue Giles, a senior guard, collected six points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals for Team MD. Joe Wright, a senior forward for the Owls, finished with four points and four rebounds.

(Liberty senior Tristan Kent, the Times Player of the Year, was on the roster but didn’t play because of injury.)

Team Maryland’s coach was Jeremy Snyder, an assistant coach for Westminster’s varsity squad.

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