Although Gilman is not usually mentioned when the names of the area's best teams are bandied about, perhaps the Greyhounds should be.
After losing to defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion John Carroll on Nov. 29 by only seven points, 65-58, Gilman subdued B Conference contender St. Paul's, 66-60, at the Finney Athletic Center on Wednesday night in Roland Park.
"This could be a special group," Gilman coach Owen Daly said. "We have nine or 10 guys who can do different things to help us win."
For instance, Daly pointed to junior Riley DeSmit and sophomore William McBride for their roles in the victory while contributing just one basket between them.
"William did a great job guarding (St. Paul's senior guard) Tanner Brooks in the second half and Riley's weak-side defense really gave us a spark," Daly added.
The other spark was an inadvertent one, and it came from St. Paul's coach Seth Goldberg in the form of a technical foul with the game tied 47-all near the end of the third quarter.
Junior Ben Grace knocked down the two ensuing free throws to give the Greyhounds a lead they would not relinquish.
"I take full responsibility (for the foul)," Goldberg said, "although I'm not sure why I got it."
The Greyhounds (1-1, 1-0 B Conference) had rallied from an eight-point deficit before Goldberg was whistled for the foul and the Crusaders (2-4, 1-1) fell behind by as many as nine points thereafter.
In the end, with Gilman seniors Cyrus Jones and Ryan Ripken finally getting untracked offensively after Grace carried the load for the first three quarters, the deficit was too much to overcome for the St. Paul's.
"We ran some plays for Ryan," Daly said. "We were trying to get him going, because he had a good matchup against a guy (Lamonte Wade) he could shoot over."
While the 6-foot-1 Wade did a good job of fronting the 6-foot-6 forward, he could not stop Ripken's shot. Ripken totaled 13 of his 15 points after the intermission while Jones hit two key buckets and free throw down the stretch.
On the bright side for St. Paul's, freshman center Daniel Wilson was force on the boards, ripping down 12 rebounds and seven off the offensive glass. He also scored a dozen points.
Gilman (66)-Kareem Montgomery, 8; Ben Grace, 25; Cyrus Jones, 13; Stephen Koteen, 3; Riley DeSmit, 2; Ryan Ripken, 15
St. Paul's (60)-Nick Cabral, 3; Lamonte Wade, 18; Tanner Brooks, 12; Miles Davis, 6; Jason Tucker, 2; Marcel Thompson, 7; Daniel Wilson, 12