In a game where each took turns dominating the other, St. Paul’s traveled to Roland Park, Monday night, and remained unbeaten in the MIAA B Conference with an exciting 59-57 victory over host Gilman.

The Crusaders coasted to a 38-24 half time lead, and they appeared to be on their way to an easy victory.  

St. Paul’s (10-3, 7-0), hit four threes in the first sixteen minutes of play, and they got balanced scoring from seven different players.

Gilman was missing two of its top players, football stars Darius Jennings and Cyrus Jones, so captains Ryan Ripken and Chad Copeland had to pick up the slack.  Jennings was in Florida where he will participate in the Under Armour All-American Bowl on ESPN on Wednsday night, and Jones was attending a combine as part of the festivities.

Down by 14 when the second half started, Ripken and Copeland looked like tag team champions in the third quarter, as they blitzed the Crusaders with help from Linn Worthington (seven assists) and Sephen Koteen.  Ripken had 10 third quarter points and Copeland and Koteen each had five as the Greyhounds out-scored the stunned Crusaders 23-3 to take a 47-41 lead after 24 minutes of play.

Copeland had eight more in the fourth quarter, but with three minutes to go in the game, the Crusaders came  back to life on both ends of the floor and the game went down to the wire.

Coach Seth Goldberg’s squad was trailing 57-51 when Nigel Sydnor and Tanner Brooks stole the show. Brooks hit a huge three, at 2:37, to bring his team to within four, and Sydnor was 6-for-6 from the free throw line when every shot counted. Brooks and Sydnor each got clutch buckets with less than a minute to play, and the Crusaders hung on to win the game by two.

“It could have gone either way, ” said Ripken, who finished with 22 for the Greyhounds.  “St. Paul’s is a great team; they will take advantage of your mistakes, and that’s what they did at the end.”

Copeland who lead Gilman with 24 points and 13 rebounds said that St. Pauls was a really good team.  “They play well together.  This was a great learning experience for us.”

Sydnor, who lead the Crusaders with 19 points, said he told his teammates to keep fighting after the big Gilman third quarter.

“I told them if we can get to the end, we’ll have a shot,” said Sydnor.   “You have to give credit to that Gilman team, they continued to fight.”

Brooks said that his team played hard. “Nigel brought us back, and we played hard on defense.”

Goldberg said that Gilman (6-10, 4-3)  did a great job. “I give Gilman a lot of credit. To our credit, we found a way to pull it out.”

Ripken summed it up for every participant in this thriller.  “That was one heckuva game;  a great game to be part of.”

To view videos, click on the Related Videos link above.


St. Paul’s 59, Gilman 57
St. Paul’s
St. Paul’s: Sydnor 19, Cornish 2, Brooks 13, Cabral 2, Davis 7, Wade 11, Martinez 3, Tucker 2.
Gilman: Ripken 22, Copeland 24, Worthington 3, Koreen 5, Paglia 3.