Curley defeats to Severn to create a 3-way tie for first place with the Crusaders and Falcons
Defending MIAA B Conference basketball champion Gerstell Academy traveled to Brooklandville, Wednesday, with a perfect 4-0 league record and sole possession of first place in the conference. The host Crusaders, however, outlast the Falcons in a back-and-forth battle, claiming a 55-53 victory.
The Crusaders got the winning bucket in the final minute when sophomore Luke Trotta fed the ball to senior Troy Barthelme, in the post, and Barthelme hit a tough, contested turnaround shot. Despite missing a pair of free throws that would have clinched the victory, St. Paul’s forced two steals in the final seconds to secure the win.
The outcome of the game, combined with Archbishop Curley’s 52-46 win over Severn created a three-way tie for first place in the B Conference, with Gerstell, St. Paul’s and Curley all now at 4-1.
Gerstell (9-8 overall) entered the contest with a major handicap as sophomore standout Ahmad Harrison was unavailable. Still the Falcons scored 17 points in the first quarter and took a one point lead to the first break. They received contributions from four different players that included two deep triples by sophomore Jeremiah Stanton, who would finish with 11 points in the game. St. Paul’s (9-5 overall) with seven first quarter points from senior forward Ziggy Reid.
In the second quarter, the host Crusaders got hot as forwards Barthelme and Trotta would drain key three point shots in the frame to help St. Paul’s open up a seven point lead at the half. The senior and sophomore forward combination would combine for 16 and 12 points respectively, along with key backline play and rim protection in St.Paul’s zone defense.
Gerstell owned the third quarter, outscoring the home team by nine to take a two point lead into the final frame. The Falcon’s continued to use balanced scoring to attack St. Paul’s, getting buckets from five different players in the eight minute span, including another deep shot from Stanton.
St. Paul’s got a key three point basket early in forth from sophomore point guard Anthony Smaldore, who finished in double figures with 10.
“Smaldore was key against good pressure defense from Gerstell,” said St. Paul’s coach Phil Hahn. “He committed only one turnover and helped us run our offense.”
The Crusaders got key efforts from seniors Leo Kelly and Phil Stokes as they combined for 14 rebounds. Tyler Tillery finished with a double-double in an effort that saw him score 10 points and control the glass for Gerstell.
In its victory at Severn, Curley (8-6 overall) got twin 13 point efforts from Travis Dobbins and Caleb Johnson, as well as 11 from sophomore Dinari Boykin. Severn’s Owuru Berko scored a game-high 20 points. The Admirals (7-6 overall) are one-game back of the three leaders at 3-2 in the league.