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Magruder boys victorious over Good Counsel in Maryland Elite action

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Magruder Colonels vs. Good Counsel FalconsNORTH BETHESDA — The Good Counsel Falcons varsity basketball team (3-3), always known for their athletics, took on the Magruder Colonels (5-3) in Maryland Elite Summer League basketball action Tuesday night at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, but the Colonels were the ones who came away victorious in the end for the 62-52 win.

Magruder, led by head coach Tony Giles, never trailed at all in this game, despite the Falcons making it close at times and cutting their deficit to three points as well. The Colonels were able to score in transition, the paint, and behind the arc very well.

But the key player in the Colonels’ victory was Ebby Asamoah, who led the way with 24 points. He also nailed six three-pointers. His teammate Travis Crandall also contributed to the win by registering 17 points.

“It was a good team effort,” Asamoah said. “My team was getting me a lot of threes, so I just shot my shot, and I saw them dropping.”

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Springbrook boys keep Sorunke at bay to beat Rockville in Md. Elite hoops, 54-48

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Springbrook Blue Devils vs. Rockville RamsROCKVILLE — With a 15-point lead, and under five minutes to play in a Tuesday night Maryland Elite Summer League game at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the Springbrook Blue Devils varsity boys basketball team seemed primed to cruise to win over the Rockville Rams.

Then Jimmy Sorunke, the controversial Rockville big man, checked back into the game.

Rockville went on a 12-2 run with Sorunke back in the game, and cut the Springbrook lead down to four.

Four points was as close as the Rams would get, as Springbrook would respond, and pull away to win 54-48.

“I thought we played sloppy in the beginning,” Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers said, “but after that I thought we played good.”

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Blue Devils defeat Cougars in Maryland Elite basketball

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Springbrook Blue Devils vs. QO CougarsROCKVILLE — The Maryland Elite summer league game between the Springbrook Blue Devils and the Quince Orchard Cougars was scrappy – and at times sloppy – but the Blue Devils eked out a narrow 50-46 win against the Cougars.

For the most part the Blue Devils had the lead. The match started with a stalemate, but once the Blue Devils got a steady lead the Cougars played a game of catch-up.

Occasionally they got a lead, but a stubborn Blue Devils squad made sure they kept that lead for only a short time.

The Blue Devils elected to go man-to-man in stopping the Cougars from scoring, to varied results. Shots were not falling for the team from Quince Orchard, but a last minute hustle saw the team go through into halftime with a two-point lead, at 24-22.

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RM edges out Good Counsel in Maryland Elite hoops game

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Good Counsel's Bez Mbeng (5) takes it to the hoop past Richard Montgomery High  School's Ryan Cornish (3) and Brian Sadeghi (1).  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHGood Counsel's Bez Mbeng (5) takes it to the hoop past Richard Montgomery's Ryan Cornish (3) and Brian Sadeghi (1). PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — Djordje Orcev saved the best for last.

The Richard Montgomery Rockets’ rising senior scored two key baskets late in Monday’s game against the Good Counsel Falcons, sparking the Rockets to a 43-40 victory over the Falcons in the Maryland Elite Summer League at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.

“He had an awesome game,” Richard Montgomery assistant Azhar Shamsudeen said afterward.

Orcev, who finished with a game-high 18 points, converted a free throw with 49.6 seconds remaining in the contest and scored in traffic to help the Rockets seal the deal in the waning moments.

“We were down for most of the game,” said Orcev. “It was a rough first half, definitely, and we came back, we inched forward and at the end there we had to close it out.”

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Magruder boys hand Springbrook their first defeat in summer hoops

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Magruder Colonels' Chris Asamoah (12) takes it to the hoop through the Springbrook Blue Devils' defense in the summer league game at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School on Monday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHMagruder Colonels' Chris Asamoah (12) takes it to the hoop through the Springbrook Blue Devils' defense in the Maryland Elite Summer League game Monday.                              PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — The Magruder Colonels overcame a slow start to seize the second-half momentum and hand the Springbrook Blue Devils their first loss of the season Monday, 48-40 in the Maryland Elite Summer Basketball League at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Daniel Pearl Memorial Gymnasium.

The previously undefeated Blue Devils looked quite different from the basketball team that last donned the navy blue and Columbia blue back in February. Eight seniors graduated, giving the underclassmen an opportunity to step up and earn their spot on the team.

However, youth and inexperience often go hand in hand.

That inexperience came into play against Magruder. The Blue Devils started the game with a 7-0 run and even though forward Xavier Harris and guard Timitrius Hawkins combined for 16 first-half points, the Colonels trailed by just three at halftime.

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RM Rockets hang on against Magruder in Maryland Elite hoops

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The Magruder Colonels put full-court pressure on the Richard Montgomery Rockets in the last few minutes of the game; here Magruder’s Malik Abudu (3) guards RM’s Austin Chung (2). Still, the Rockets were able to keep the Colonels at bay, winning 39-33. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHThe Magruder Colonels put full-court pressure on the Richard Montgomery Rockets in the last few minutes of the game; here Magruder’s Malik Abudu (3) guards RM’s Austin Chung (2). Still, the Rockets managed to keep the Colonels at bay, winning 39-33. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  ROCKVILLE — The Richard Montgomery Rockets (2-2) capitalized on a strong first half effort to hold off the Magruder Colonels 39-33 Tuesday in the Maryland Elite Summer Basketball League at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Daniel Pearl Memorial Gymnasium.

Summer league play provides an opportunity for players, especially underclassmen, to fine-tune their skills and step up their game in anticipation of the regular season.

Even though the Rockets took the court against Magruder (0-2) without their starting point guard and a few other key players, center Will Davenport (12 points) and guard Ryan Cornish (13 points) picked up the slack and made sure Richard Montgomery never trailed.

In fact, a scoreless five minutes for Magruder led to a 7-0 Rockets run that haunted the Colonels for the rest of the game.

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Good Counsel boys beat Sherwood in summer league basketball

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Sherwood vs. Good CounselROCKVILLE — A Good Counsel Falcons squad that gave up the lead only once suppressed the Sherwood Warriors Monday night in a Maryland Elite summer league basketball game, 58-43.

Both teams came into the game with handicaps: a slimmer roster due to player commitments over the summer months and depleted of the previous season’s seniors.

The limitations forced the teams to make do with what they had and showcased some of the new up-and-coming talent for both teams. The Falcons were a mostly young team made up of mostly sophomores, according to summer league head coach Anthony Guy.

The Warriors sunk a three-pointer to counter the Falcons’ two-point start, but the Falcons retaliated in force. A six-point scoring streak gave the Falcons the lead and a momentum they never lost throughout the rest of the game.

“Shots are going to fall, some shots are going to come out, there’s going to be turnovers, there’s going to be ebb and flows in the game, but as long as we can control our energy…some things that you can control and we’ve been trying to harp on all summer, especially with the younger guys,” said Guy.

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McCloud succeeds in coaching with a simple life time philosophy

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The Maryland Elite Summer League varsity and junior varsity high school basketball celebrated a completion of a third successful season culminating with an All-star game July 31, a credit to founder coach David McCloud.

The league had been run under a different name by various groups including the Montgomery County Recreation Department. McCloud said when he came to the position the league only had a few teams competing and experienced a host of difficulties and mismanagement.

McCloud said his motivation came from the desire to deliver correct game information to teams and fans and to ensure teams wouldn’t have to compete in uncomfortable conditions.

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Matthew Balanc’s dominant performance carries Springbrook to blowout win over Einstein

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ROCKVILLE — In a battle of two teams on pace to qualify for the Maryland Elite Summer League playoffs, Springbrook Blue Devils star point guard Matthew Balanc (20 points) carried his team to a 66-48 rout over the Einstein Titans.

Balanc started the game for the Blue Devils, but started off extremely cold, in fact the entire Springbrook team struggled to put the ball through the net, not making a field goal for the first five minutes of the game. Einstein started the game on fire however, leading 10-1 with 10:12 remaining the first half.

With 8:25 remaining in the first half, Balanc collided with teammate Cam Rucker and went down hard. Holding his head, Balanc lay on the ground for around a minute. Balanc was helped up by Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers, but walked off on his own power. Just 18 seconds of game time later, Balanc re-entered the game, and everything changed for Springbrook there.

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Springbrook tops Good Counsel in hoops

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MPI GCvSB 0121Our Lady of Good Council Bez Mbeng (48) goes for a layup. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER      ROCKVILLE — In a game that was purely a tale of two halves at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the Springbrook Blue Devils used a second half comeback to top the Good Counsel Falcons 41-39.

While the score stayed close early in the game, Good Counsel showed much more fight on the defensive end, creating turnovers and thus baskets in transition. Springbrook had jumped out to a 16-10 lead as Good Counsel wasn’t able to convert its opportunities on the offensive end, but with just under seven minutes to play in the first half, the high energy defense from Falcons began to pay its dividends.

Good Counsel’s up-tempo play propelled them on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 18 with 1:52 to play in the first half, the two would go into the half tied at 20. The Falcons started strong in the second half as well, leading by five points with 10:43 to go in the half.

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