Last season the Calvert Hall Cardnals won the Baltimore Catholic League championship on the backs of Jon Graham, Kyle Wise, Sean Holmes and Donya Jackson, names that became all too familiar to Cardinal opponents for the last four years.
Hall coach John Bauersfeld now has to rely on a new array of talent after graduating nine seniors form last years championship squad.
Bauersfeld got strong performances from juniors Denzwl Rishardson and Julian Davis on Tuesday night as the Hall opened the season with a 56-51 win over a talented Gilman Greyhound team in Towson.
Rishardson lead all scorers with 17 points, and Davis chipped in with 13, and the duo combined for 12 fourth quarter points to fend off a feisty Gilman thrust in the last few seconds of play to save the win for the Hall.
The Greyhounds (0-2) held the lead at the end of three quarters 39-35 after limiting Calvert Hall to just six points in the third quarter. Chad Copeland ran off seven straight points for coach Owen Daly late in the third to give the Greyhounds their four point lead.
Matt Bosse cut the Gilman lead to two with an inside bucket, and Rishardson tied the game at 39 at the six minute mark of the final period. Wesley Blackwell, who finished with 12 points for the Hall hit a dazzling three to give the Cardinals the lead, and they held on the rest of the way despite a dominant fourth quarter spurt by Gilman’s Ryan Ripken who had nine markers in the final eight minutes, but the Greyhound rally fell short.
A Ripken three with 1:19 to play cut the lead to four, but the Greyhounds had trouble converting free throws down the stretch, and it proved costly.
Ripken and Copeland each had 15 for the Greyhounds, who are expected to challenge for the MIAA B conference crown this season.
“Gilman is a good team and they’ll be right at the top of the B conference,” said Bauersfeld.
“Unlike last year, we don’t have a lot of superstars, so we gotta spread the wealth and we’ve got to get guys to make open shots. Every game is going to be a battle for us. We’re young, but we’ve go some talent.”
The Hall will tussle with another B conference power on Wednesday when they travel to Brooklandville to play St. Paul’s, the defending champion of the MIAA’s middle circuit.
Gilman will open B conference play on Friday night when it travels to Essex to play Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
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|Calvert Hall 56, Gilman 51|
Ripken 15, Copeland 15, Jennings 6, Jones 11, Worthington 4.
Davis 13, Rishardson 17, Beck 2, Hairston 3, Bosse 7, Blackwell 12, McVan 2.