Gilman Takes on MIAA Basketball Powerhouse St Frances
Written by Will Kunisaki ‘23 
Photography by Tyler Grogan ‘22 

Background 

  • In times of great uncertainty, Gilman commenced the delayed basketball season on February 17th, as the MIAA approved a 12 game conference schedule extending into Mid-March. Under Coach Will Bartz ‘99, the Greyhounds have recorded a 3-1 record to tip-off the season, with their lone loss at Mt. Carmel on February 24th. Now sitting at 4th place in the conference, they host the 1st place St. Frances Panthers on Friday evening who have enjoyed an impressive 4-0 record to start their season. 

Recap of Last Year 

  • The Panthers can be considered the favorites in this year's matchup as they outplayed Gilman by a score of 93-65 last year en route to an MIAA finals appearance and a BCL (Baltimore Catholic League) Championship. During the 2019-20 season, they boasted a 38-4 record (18-1 in league play) and put up an astounding 78 points per game beating their opponents by an average of 23. On the other hand, Gilman also had a quite successful season, posting a 17-10 record (14-5 in league play), while locking their opponents down to 60 points per game. However, last season came to an abrupt end for the Hounds after being upset by Archbishop Spalding in the MIAA Conference quarterfinals in a high-scoring yet heartbreaking 89-85 loss.

Scouting St. Frances 

  • When talking about the challenges of facing St. Frances, Coach Bartz emphasized how talented they are from top to bottom. He described their athletes that like to press, trap, and rebound, specifically senior center Julian Reese, who is the reigning BCL Defensive Player of the Year. Coach Bartz stated, “We've had problems with Julian Reese… he's just really good; he’s 6’10 can shoot it and dunk on you… it's kind of pick your poison with him.” Besides Reese, senior guards like Kyrie Staten make St. Frances a deadly offensive team as they have achieved the number one offense in the MIAA thus far, scoring 71 points per game. In addition, the Panthers have averaged an astonishing +15 point differential, which is why they are one of the only two undefeated teams in the conference. Despite these feats, Coach Bartz believes his Greyhounds can compete with St. Frances saying, “We want our guys to come out confident, attack them, and not back down... it's the best challenge in the league.” 

Scouting Gilman 

  • On the other side of things, Gilman has a unique height disadvantage with a starting lineup of essentially 5 guards and their tallest player listed at 6’6. Due to this disadvantage, efficient performances from players like Rayuan Lane, Christan Winbourne, and Matt Cooper are essential in order for Gilman to win. These three players were highlighted by Coach Bartz because he felt as if they all have “succeeded beyond expectation” so far this season. Junior guard Christan Winbourne has been especially impressive this year putting up a team-high 25.8 ppg through 4 games, accounting for nearly 41% of Gilman’s scoring. Additionally, the Greyhounds have averaged a +5 point differential this season reflecting the close wins they earned over Calvert Hall and AACS. As a credit to their offensive and defensive balance throughout these games, they have also become a top 6 offensive and defensive team in the MIAA in terms of points per game and points allowed per game. 

Final Notes 

  • On paper, this game looks like it should be very entertaining, as Gilman has a strong chance at an upset. Tune in to Greyhound TV on Friday, February 26th, at 4:30 p.m. to catch all the action!