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Big Train out runs Gaithersburg to clinch Montgomery Cup

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Bethesda Big Train's Gavin Hinchliffe (9) pitches against the Gaithersburg Giants in the Cal Ripken League game played at Povich Field on Saturday, July 14. The Big Train would go on to win the game, clinching the Montgomery Cup. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHBethesda Big Train's Gavin Hinchliffe (9) pitches against the Gaithersburg Giants in the Cal Ripken League game played at Povich Field on Saturday, July 14.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — The Gaithersburg Giants had been the only team capable of catching the Bethesda Big Train for the 2018 Montgomery Cup, until July 14.

A four-run, bottom-of-the-third inning proved to be all the Big Train would need to defeat the Giants 5-3, and clinch the Montgomery Cup.

The Big Train had a 1.5 game lead over the Giants in the Montgomery Cup standing coming into their meeting on July 14, and upped that lead to 2.5 games with the win. With only one more Montgomery Cup game left to play, no team will be able to overtake the Big Train.

The Montgomery Cup features the four Montgomery County-based teams in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. Only the games played against other County-based teams count towards Montgomery Cup standings.

However, the Big Train, who have dominated for the large part of the 2018 season, certainly didn’t have an easy road to its Montgomery Cup-clinching win.

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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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After slow start, Bullis offense finally clicks in hoops win over Good Counsel

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Good Counsel's Bryce Walker takes it to the hoop past Bullis School's Kolin Lewis (3) during the Capitol Hoops Summer League game Saturday at DeMatha Catholic High School. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHGood Counsel Falcons' Bryce Walker takes it to the hoop past Bullis Bulldogs' Kolin Lewis (3) during the Summer League game Saturday at DeMatha Catholic High School. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  HYATTSVILLE — In its second game of the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha, the Bullis Bulldogs offense got off to a sluggish start. However, the Bullis offense finally clicked midway through the first half, and dominated the Good Counsel Falcons for the rest of the game, winning 73-52.

Good Counsel took a six-point lead, 19-13, early in the game, as they had a hot start offensively, while Bullis had a more difficult time finding open shots.

Nendah Tarke, the new leader for the Bulldogs, didn’t start the game, but when he checked in, Bullis got rolling.

Behind Tarke and Kolin Lewis, Bullis closed the gap, and took a 28-27 lead late in the first half, their first lead of the game.

It was a lead Bullis would not relinquish.

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G. Prep faces off against Paint Branch, wins 64-54 in Capitol Hoops game

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Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas' Quentin Southall (34) takes it to the hoop past Paint Branch Panthers' Richard Dudley (5) during the Capitol Hoops Summer League game on Saturday at DeMatha Catholic High School.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHGeorgetown Prep Little Hoyas' Quentin Southall (34) takes it to the hoop past Paint Branch Panthers' Richard Dudley (5) during the Summer League game Saturday at DeMatha Catholic High School. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  HYATTSVILLE — As one of Montgomery County’s top private school varsity boys basketball teams faced off with one of its top public school teams, it was the shooting of Kamdyn Curfman that led the Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas to victory over the Paint Branch Panthers in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha Catholic High School, by a score of 64-54.

Curfman, one of two remaining starters from last year’s IAC title team, will see his role change drastically. Last year, he was more of a spot-up shooter, whereas in the coming 2018-19 season, he will have the ball in his hands much more, and be relied upon as one of the primary scorers on the team.

It’s a role he is taking on well for the Little Hoyas in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha.

“Definitely more volume of shots, I’m not used to taking that many shots, but I have to step up offensively. Do more, get to the basket more, get more assists, get more dump-offs to bigger guys…get everyone involved, and I have to be cognizant of getting everyone involved,” Curfman said of his changing role.

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St. John’s dominates new Whitman lineup in summer hoops game, 81-54

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St. John's College High School's Devon Dunn (2) tries to block the shot by Walt Whitman High School's Brendan Shaver (3) during the Capitol Hoops Summer League game played at DeMatha High School.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHSt. John's Cadets' Devon Dunn (2) tries to block the shot by Whitman Vikings' Brendan Shaver (3) during Sunday's Capitol Hoops Summer League game at DeMatha High School. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  HYATTSVILLE — In recent years, head coach Chris Lun and the Walt Whitman Vikings have had success bringing in transfers from private schools, and getting an immediate impact from them. Most recently, Alex Sanson joined the Vikings from Gonzaga, and led the team in scoring.

Now, with Sanson graduating, the Vikings appeared to have discovered their next impactful transfer with Jason Lewis.

While Lewis had yet another impressive game for the Vikings in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha, Whitman proved to be no match for the St. John’s Cadets’ powerful lineup including four-star guard and University of Virginia commit Casey Morsell, as the Cadets rolled through the Vikings, 81-54.

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Despite strong performance, Paint Branch falls to Eleanor Roosevelt, 70-56

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Paint Branch Panthers' Jordan Alphonso (20) driving the lane past Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders' Isaiah Gross (25) during the Capitol Hoops Summer League game played at DeMatha High School.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHPaint Branch Panthers' Jordan Alphonso (20) driving the lane past Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders' Isaiah Gross (25) during the Capitol Hoops Summer League game played at DeMatha High School. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  HYATTSVILLE — In the 2017-18 season, the Paint Branch Panthers came just one game away from advancing to the state semifinals, and they’ll bring a lot back from that team for next year, headlined by Richard Dudley, who averaged over 20 points per game.

However, despite a strong performance from Dudley, and a lights-out shooting game from teammate Marley Sume, the Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders emerged victorious in what had been a back-and-forth game against the Panthers, the final score 70-56.

Paint Branch fell behind early in the game, but with the effortless scoring of Dudley, the Panthers stayed in the game. Paint Branch went on a 7-0 run, and took a 16-15 lead.

Paint Branch built that lead up before Eleanor Roosevelt, led by 22 first-half points by Isaiah Gross, came back to take a 28-25 lead, and took a 37-33 lead into halftime.

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Despite Oxon Hill victory, a new star emerges for Springbrook in DeMatha opener

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Springbrook Blue Devils' Timitrius Whitney-Hawkins (3) drives to the basket against the Oxon Hill Clippers in the Capitol Hoops Summer League played at DeMatha High School.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHSpringbrook Blue Devils' Timitrius Whitney-Hawkins (3) drives to the basket against the Oxon Hill Clippers in the Capitol Hoops Summer League played at DeMatha High School.   PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  HYATTSVILLE — With the end of the 2017-18 season, the Springbrook Blue Devils lost its two biggest stars, and two of the top scorers in Montgomery County in Matt Balanc and Cam Rucker.

Rucker averaged 19.6 points per game in the 2017-18 season, while Balanc averaged 17.6.

With both graduating, the Blue Devils needed to find a new source of scoring.

In Springbrook’s opening game of the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha against the Oxon Hill Clippers, the Blue Devils ultimately lost 60-56, but Timitrius Whitney-Hawkins emerged as the next star for Springbrook.

Last season, the Blue Devils guard averaged 10.6 points, just behind Rucker and Balanc, and he is the only returning starter.

“I see myself as a leader of this team,” Whitney-Hawkins said. “I think we could go very far in this summer league, and I could lead this team very long.”

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Howard ends B-CC Barons’ run for a state title

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Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons' Joe Eisenberg checks out the scoreboard which would turn out to be the final 5-3 score against the Howard Lions in the 4A state semifinal game. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKBethesda-Chevy Chase Barons' Joe Eisenberg checks out the scoreboard for what would turn out to be the final score, 5-3, against the Howard Lions in the 4A state semifinal game.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  BETHESDA — It had been 29 years since B-CC last advanced to the state semifinals. This season, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons won two playoff games on walk-off hits, and finally once again reached the state semifinals.

However, at Shirley Povich Field on Wednesday the magical run ended, as the Barons fell to the Howard Lions of Howard County, 5-3.

“The character of the guys,” Barons head coach John Schmidt said on what he took away from this season. “Say what you want about talent; I remember how you take care of yourself on the field. Even in a win or a loss, I thought we carried ourselves very well.”

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Sentinel wins News Organization of the Year

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The Sentinel square logoANNAPOLIS — Montgomery County Sentinel editorial staff took home three prestigious awards and dozens of others at the annual Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association Conference Friday. 

The paper won the Association’s 2017 News Organization of the Year in its division, by earning the highest number of awards, for a third year in a row.

Sentinel staff earned a handful of awards for “Broken Promises - Bad Dreams, A Metro Investigation,” its months-long investigation of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The Sentinel tied with the Baltimore Sun to earn the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award, one of the highest honors available.

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Whitman eliminates WJ in first-round playoff game

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With the ball well out of reach, Whitman Vikings' Shinnosuke Ishiyama (1) tries to find the plate without stepping on WJ Wildcats pitcher Kyle Peterson (17) who is covering home. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHWith the ball well out of reach, Whitman Vikings' Shinnosuke Ishiyama (1) tries to find the plate without stepping on WJ Wildcats pitcher Kyle Peterson (17), who is covering home.        PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — The 2018 Maryland high school baseball playoffs got started with a bang as four-seed Whitman and five-seed Walter Johnson faced off.

In a wild, and certainly not pretty game that lasted almost three hours, the Whitman Vikings advanced to the second round with a 19-16 win over the Walter Johnson Wildcats.

“In a high school game, I’ve never seen 35 runs between two teams,” Whitman head coach Joe Cassidy said.

The two Bethesda rivals combined to score 35 runs, use eight pitchers and walk 23 batters.

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