Falcons drop No. 14 Severn for 7th straight victory; Rimel and Carpenter combine for 27 (VIDEO HERE!!)

Anthony Carpenter (left) and Colin Rimel helped keep Gerstell Academy’s boys’ basketball hot streak going Tuesday evening. Rimel scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter and Carpenter finished with 12 as the Falcons handled No. 14 Severn School for their seventh straight victory.

by Derek Toney

Three weeks ago, Gerstell Academy and Severn School’s boys’ basketball teams appeared headed in different directions. The roles have suddenly reversed.

Gerstell defeated the 14th-ranked Admirals, 57-43, in a MIAA B Conference contest in Anne Arundel County. Senior guard Colin Rimel had 15 points and Anthony Carpenter added 12.

The Finksburg school (9-8 overall) led by as many as 19 points, winning its seventh straight decision. The win gives the Falcons sole possession of second-place in the B (6-1) behind undefeated and 19th-ranked Indian Creek School.

Gerstell, once 1-6 and playing arguably toughest non-league schedule in the area, is above .500 for the first time this season.

“We knew we would take our lumps early on…we didn’t think we would take that many lumps and obviously that can wear on the fabric of a team,’’ said Falcons coach Ben Thompson, whose team played six MIAA A teams including No. 2 St. Frances Academy, No. 10 McDonogh School, 15th-ranked St. Vincent Pallotti and last year’s MIAA A finalist Mount Carmel, and No. 7 Milford Mill Academy and No. 8 Woodlawn from Baltimore County. “Our guys have really stuck together, brought in and we’re playing some really good ball right now.”

“We were pretty frustrated….we were like ‘oh my God, we’re 2-8,’” said Rimel. “We grew a lot and allowed us to come into B play and play much better.”

Gerstell, which current streak was ignited by an upset of defending Class 4A state champ Perry Hall in the final of Bud Eckert Classic at Patterson during the holiday, exploded out to a 22-11 first quarter lead Tuesday as sharpshooter Rimel went for 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. The Falcons led 32-18 at halftime.

Severn (14-4, 4-2 MIAA B) closed to 34-25 midway in the third quarter, but Gerstell responded with a 9-3 run for a 43-28 advantage. The Falcons advanced the lead to 47-28 after a pretty fast break with Brad Witt passing off to Khyle Washington for the score with 6:57 left in regulation.

“We’re working as a team, sharing the ball and being aggressive,” said Carpenter, a junior guard. “We started the season rough and didn’t want it to end like that.”

William & Mary University-bound guard LJ Owens led Severn with 15 points, and Jermaine Hall added 13. After a run of 14 straight victories, the Admirals have dropped their last two games with a four-game road stretch on the horizon.

Admirals coach VJ Keith is a little concerned after falling into early double-digit holes against defending league champ St. Paul’s School Saturday (lost 60-58) and Tuesday against Gerstell.

“We’re just in a little bit of rut right now. We look tired and sluggish out there,” said Keith, whose team won its bracket at San Diego Surf n’ Slam Classic over the holidays. “It doesn’t matter how good you are, every team hits this little wall. Give Gerstell credit, they got after it and we just couldn’t respond.”

The Admirals are back in action Wednesday at Washington Catholic Athletic program St. Mary’s Ryken in southern Maryland. Severn follows with league matches at St. Mary’s (Friday), league-leading Indian Creek (Jan. 23) and St. Paul’s (Jan. 26).

Meanwhile, Gerstell will take a break for exams, returning to court Saturday afternoon against Archbishop Curley.

“Obviously, we want to continue being deliberate on offense and aggressive on defense ,” said Thompson. “We’ve been spending most our time working on the defensive end, limiting our mistakes.”

Gerstell Academy 57, No. 14 Severn School 43

Gerstell – Washington 7, Carpenter 12, Witt 6, Harrison 9, Tillery 8, Rimel 15. Totals 23 6-14 57.

Severn – Hall 13, Owens 15, Terry 4, Barico 1, Duneau 2, Murphy 2, Birch 6. Totals 15 8-10 43.

Gerstell 22 10 11 14 – 57

Severn 11 7 10 15 – 43