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Boys basketball: Jones, Ripken lead Gilman past Pallotti in B Conference final

Gilman's Cyrus Jones, holding plaque, and his teammates celebrate the Greyhounds' 69-62 victory over Pallotti in the MIAA B Conference championship game Sunday afternoon at UMBC.
Gilman's Cyrus Jones, holding plaque, and his teammates celebrate the Greyhounds' 69-62 victory over Pallotti in the MIAA B Conference championship game Sunday afternoon at UMBC. (photo by, Steve Ruark)

Late in the second quarter of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship game Sunday afternoon at UMBC, guard Cyrus Jones threw a no-look, behind-the-back pass to forward Ryan Ripken for an easy layup.

The duo has been making plays like that for the last four seasons on the Gilman varsity.

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"They are a two-headed monster," St. Vincent Pallotti coach Shae Johnson said.

They were also too much for the Panthers to handle as the Greyhounds posted a 69-62 victory over the Panthers to claim their first title since 2005.

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Jones totaled 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals while Ripken finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Senior guard William Lyle led Pallotti with 13 points and junior guard Marcus Scott contributed 11 points.

The game remained close until Gilman (21-6 overall, 18-2 league) went on an 11-2 fourth-quarter run to spurt ahead, 59-43, with 4:44 remaining.

Undaunted, Pallotti (24-7, 16-3) showed some resourcefulness of its own by fighting back to trim the lead to five points twice in the final two minutes.

Marquise Reed's short jumper made it 61-56 with 1:50 remaining and 48 seconds later, the sophomore forward sank two free throws to cut the margin to five again.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, that's as close as they would get. They failed to score until William Lyle made a layup right before the buzzer sounded.

Meanwhile, Gilman closed strong in the final 40 seconds when junior guard Ben Grace nailed two free throws and Jones added another.

Jones then put an exclamation point on the win by dunking the ball with 15 seconds to go.

"We have played in a lot of close games where we have had the lead," Gilman coach Owen Daly said. "Anytime you get in the playoffs, it's nice to have had regular-season games that look a lot like playoff games. So hanging onto the lead, making foul shots and getting stops on defense, we knew what to do and we executed it."

Scoring summary:

Pallotti - Lyle 13, Scott 11, White 9, Reed 8, Holland, 7, Burnett, 5, Bright, 4, Smith, 3, Owens 2. Totals: 21 17-26 62

Gilman - Jones 22, Ripken 21, Grace, 17, McBride, 5, Matthai, 2, Montgomery 2.

Totals: 23 19-33 69

Half: Gilman, 33-29

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