Gilman stuns No. 2 St. Frances with second half comeback, wins first MIAA A basketball postseason game; Winborne scores 24

Dejuan Lane (left) and Christian Winborne helped authored Gilman basketball’s finest moments Wednesday. Winborne had a game-high 24 points and Lane finished with 16 points and eight rebounds as the No. 12 Greyhounds rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit to upset second-ranked St. Frances Academy, 70-69, in a MIAA A Conference quarterfinal in East Baltimore.

by Demetrius Dillard

Special to VSN

When the final buzzer sounded Wednesday evening inside Phelps Gym in East Baltimore, Gilman School basketball players stormed onto the floor. Christian Winborne landed on the floor as his teammates mobbed him.

There’s been few, if any, memorable moments for Gilman School since joining the MIAA A Conference in the 2013-14 season.

That changed in a ginormous way.

Gilman 70, St. Frances Academy 69.

“What we did today was just believe in our teammates and play together, because that’s all we really can do at the end of the day. We put in all this work and it finally showed out here on the court today,” Winborne said.

Down 21 points at halftime, No. 12 Gilman (10-11 overall) rallied over the final 16 minutes, stunning the second-ranked Panthers and advancing to Friday’s semifinals. The Greyhounds will play at No. 3 Our Lady of Mount Carmel for a spot in Sunday’s championship game at Harford Community College.

Winborne, who will play for St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia next season, finished with a game-high 24 points and five rebounds. Dejuan Lane added 16.

With a stomach virus affecting the team, Gilman put together a gut-check effort, outscoring the MIAA A’s best team in the regular season, 47-25, in the second half.

Gilman coach Will Bartz was “speechless” after the win.

“At halftime, I kind of sat the clipboard down to say ‘there’s really not too much to draw up here, it’s about us sticking to our identity,’ which we didn’t in the first half,” said Bartz.“I’m just so proud of them, and they deserve this moment. I’m just kind of speechless.

“The first half wasn’t us; that wasn’t the way we play basketball. So the second half, what we said was ‘we’re just gonna fight and we’re gonna live with the results,’” said Winborne.

The 6-foot-3 Winborne, who could barely stand afterwards from exhaustion and the stomach ailment, led Gilman’s history-making fourth charge Wednesday. His layup through contact even the score at 64 with 3:12 left in regulation. Winborne knocked down a 3-pointer shortly afterward, giving Gilman its first lead with 2:15 remaining.

After Jahnathan Lamothe answered for St. Frances with a 3-pointer, Jalen Marshall dropped a jumper inside the arc and was fouled. He completed the 3-point play, putting the Greyhounds back ahead, 70-67 with 1:42 to play.

Bryce Lindsay brought the Panthers (31-6) within 70-69 with two free throws with 40.7 seconds left. Lamothe got a piece of Marshall’s 3-point attempt and St. Frances got the ball with 15 seconds remaining.

Carlton Carrington got into the lane and put a shot off the glass, but the ball rimmed out with about four seconds. A putback miss and, after, a brief volley, the ball went backwards and rolled past midcourt.

The final buzzer sounded, and Gilman celebrated its first MIAA A postseason victory.

The Greyhounds, who had never beaten St. Frances, weren’t worried at halftime.

“It wasn’t a panic, we just knew we had to step it up quick because the game was getting away from us and we just knew, like Coach said, we gotta want it more than them and we stepped it up, came back in the second half and won the game,” said Lane, who had eight rebounds.

Carrington and Lamothe, both juniors, led St. Frances (31-6) with 18 points. The Panthers’ fullcourt press defense stifiled Gilman, helping established a 26-11 first quarter advantage. St. Frances was in command, 44-23, at intermission.

Then, came the second half. Gilman started the third quarter on a 6-0 run, forcing a St. Frances timeout. The Greyhounds were confident, penetrating the lane, hitting shots from the perimeter and getting to the foul line.

By quarter’s end, the lead was down to 56-45. A three-point play by Winborne closed the gap to 56-53, capping off an 8-0 run to start the fourth.

Two weeks ago, St. Frances was the odds-on favorite in the MIAA A as well as the Baltimore Catholic League with an undefeated marks in both.

Wednesday was the Panthers’ third loss in their last four decisions.

“Coming out of the half we were up 20. I think we just kinda took our foot off the gas, thought they were going to lay down,” said Lamothe, whose team will look to regroup in next week’s BCL Tournament. “They just made the better plays down the stretch.”

MIAA A Conference quarterfinal

No. 12 Gilman School 70, No. 2 St. Frances Academy 69

Gilman: Winborne 24, Lane 16, Jalen Marshall 12, Pearce 8, Supreme 8, Taylor Marshall 2. 25 14-19 70.

St. Frances: Carrington 18, Lamothe 18, Jackson 11, Johnson 8, Davis 7, Lindsay 5, Robinson 2. 21 17-22 69.

Gilman 11 12 22 25 — 70

St. Frances 26 18 12 13 — 69