Early in the season, Southwestern's boys basketball team earned the nickname "giant killer" after knocking off three ranked opponents before moving into the rankings. But the Sabers have lost five straight after starting 7-0.
The area's newest giant killers are the Gaels of Mount St. Joseph, who notched their fifth victory over a ranked team Sunday, downing Loyola, 83-80.
The Gaels, who have not been ranked this season, also have beaten Southwestern, Edmondson, Broadneck and St. Frances.
The Gaels began the season 0-6 but have won seven of their past 11.
How good are the Gaels?
When they have senior Jeff Servidio in the lineup, they are a top 20-caliber team. The only problem is that Servidio is a member of the Worldwide Church of God, whose members observe the traditional Sabbath. Therefore, he cannot play from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday.
Servidio had 22 points in the 87-77 win over Southwestern last Tuesday and completed a three-point play with six seconds left Sunday to beat Loyola.
The Gaels have lost to Aberdeen, Good Counsel, Towson Catholic and St. Maria Goretti without Servidio, who averages 13.2 points. They also have gotten solid play out of senior Brian Dunn (14.4), the lone starter back from last season.
"We really miss him [Servidio] when he's out of the lineup," said Gaels coach Pat Maggio. "Not that we would win if he was there, but he's our best player. The kids accept it. Some others get to play when he's not there. It definitely takes away from our continuity, but it's just something you live with."
Friday, John Carroll's boys basketball team played its first game since the death of teammate Mike Brady in an automobile accident Jan. 10.
The Patriots, who have dedicated the rest of the season to Brady, scored more points than they had all season in an 82-54 rout of visiting Friends.
"It was the greatest gift Mike could have given us," said Brian Turk, who wore No. 34, Brady's old number.
The team elected Brady an honorary captain, and each player will wear his jersey in a game this season. They will also wear his number on their wristbands and will wear their black uniforms for the rest of the season.
Brady, 17, was driving four friends home from the movies just before midnight when his car crashed into a tree.
Brady was flown by state police MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died the next day.
Only one of the other four passengers in the car remains hospitalized, and he is expected to make a full recovery.
Not even a broken nose could stop freshman Jen Johansen from helping Northeast pull off perhaps the biggest upset in girls basketball this season.
Johansen scored a career-high 22 points and went 5-for-10 from three-point range last Monday, as the then-unranked Eagles edged then-No. 6 Broadneck, 44-43.
Johansen sat out for approximately three minutes after breaking her nose, the result of an inadvertent elbow, early in the fourth quarter. But she came back to score five straight points, including a three-pointer.
"Once we stopped the bleeding, she wanted to go back in," said Northeast coach Calvin Vain, whose team debuted at No. 19 in this week's Baltimore Sun top 20.
The upset had seemed unlikely after Broadneck built a 13-point lead after three quarters. But Northeast outscored the Bruins, 17-3, in the fourth quarter, winning the game on a 16-foot fall-away jumper with five seconds left by senior center Debbi Dadds.
Cardinal Gibbons pulled off what may have been coach Ray Mullis' greatest come-from-behind victory in his 28 years at Gibbons Saturday in a consolation game of the Bass Pro Tournament at Southwest Missouri State in Springfield, Mo.
Quintin Moody hit a 43-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Crusaders a 51-50 victory over Collinsville, Ill.
Gibbons trailed by 50-39 with 1 minute left before a crowd of nearly 7,500. Collinsville failed to convert on the front end of four straight one-and-ones, allowing the Crusaders to rally on two free throws by Kevin Dukes to make it 50-41, a field goal by Troy Queen (50-43), a three-point field goal by Queen (50-46), a field goal by Moody (50-48) and Moody's three-pointer to win it.
"This was probably the most exciting," said Mullis. "Five or six years ago, I remember being down seven to St. Joe with 45 seconds left and coming back to win, but this one was in front of so many people."
The Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches held its annual awards banquet last weekend in conjunction with a clinic at BWI Marriott.
Awards were presented to WBAL-TV's Vince Bagli (media award), Northeast coach Harry Lentz (Maryland Coach of the Year), Calvert Hall coach Joe Binder (Maryland Private Coach of the Year), Northwestern coach Marvin Dorsey (Baltimore City Coach of the Year) and Dundalk coach George Scheulen (District 6 Coach of the Year). There was also an award posthumously for Sherriff Fowble, who was named the Coach of the Year by the U.S. Baseball Coaches Association.
Overtime: Minnesota Twins pitcher and Arundel graduate Denny Neagle will sign autographs during the school's Feb. 8 baseball card show. For information, call Bernie Walter at (410) 674-6500. . . . Former Hammond football standout Kelly Woodward, an All-Metro pick in 1989, has signed with Rutgers. Woodward played last fall at Garden City, where he combined for more than 2,200 yards rushing and passing, as his team went 9-2 and won the Kansas Junior College championship. . . . Beth Tfiloh needs junior varsity softball opponents. Call Stu Tarleton at (410) 486-8991. . . . Anyone interested in becoming an official and joining the Southern Lacrosse Officials Association should contact Wes Bachur at (410) 377-6537 by today. . . . Towson High asks alumni to contribute toward the purchase of a new scoreboard in the gym. Those wishing to donate should call Rick Eshmont at (410) 887-3608.