Gilman's reign over the Independent Schools Tournament came to an end last night.
Before a estimated crowd of more than 1,200 at Gilman's Finney Center, third seed St. Paul's defeated the fourth-seeded and four-time defending champion Greyhounds, 58-56, in the title game.
Senior forward Simms Jenkins led St. Paul's (16-8) with 24 points and senior guard Rob Bouse added 13 and six assists.
Jenkins, 6 feet 2, was named the tournament's outstanding player as he scored 13 points in the final quarter, including 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. The Crusaders converted 15 of 23 in the quarter and 26 of 39 for the game. "In the first quarter, we didn't have the tempo we wanted," said Jenkins. "Me and Rob [Bouse] tried to do too much. We wanted to get all five players into the scoring and not just two."
Sophomore guard Jimmy Fields led Gilman (8-17) with 22 points and six assists and Victor Carter-Bey added 10 and 13 rebounds.
But Carter-Bey, the Greyhounds' and the metro area's fourth-leading scorer, wasn't able to work inside under the pressure of St. Paul's collapsing zone.
Despite Carter-Bey's off night, the Greyhounds, who upset top seed McDonogh, 69-63, on Thursday, hung tough with St. Paul's, closing an 11-point deficit to two with three seconds remaining in regulation.
With three seconds left, Bouse missed the front end of an one-and-one. Carter-Bey grabbed the rebound and got the ball upcourt to junior guard Mosi Bennett, who was unable to get a final shot off.
"We did exactly what we were supposed to do," said Gilman coach Tim Holley. "Mosi is the second option to Fields, but he couldn't get set."
For the fifth straight time, the Greyhounds had reached the championship game, despite finishing 7-16 during the regular season, including a 65-50 defeat at St. Paul's on Jan. 14.
The opening half was one of streaks. On the strength of four of six shooting, the Greyhounds raced out to a 9-0 advantage. But after Ronnie Crockett's jumper with 5:52 left gave Gilman the 9-0 lead, they didn't hit another until the 5:24 mark of the second quarter.
Meanwhile, St. Paul's came back, outscoring the Greyhounds 15-2 to gain a 15-11 lead at the end of the quarter. The Crusaders increased the margin to eight at 24-16, after a breakaway layup by Brad Reed.
Then Gilman scored the final eight of the half, to regain the lead at 26-24. St. Paul's led 37-34, after three quarters, then outscored the Greyhounds 12-4 to extend the lead to 49-38 with 3:02 remaining.
In the consolation game, No. 17 McDonogh (13-7) got 15 points from freshman forward Bob Sabelhaus and 12 from senior swingman Steven McCarther, in defeating Severn (16-6), 58-38.
Fields, Carter-Bey and Bouse were named to the all-tournament team, along with Sabelhaus and Andrew Webb of Severn.