Springbrook boys defeat Blake, 85-56, in final regular season game

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Springbrook’s Cameron Rucker (21) cleanly blocks this shot by Malik Raheem (32) of Blake. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHSpringbrook’s Cameron Rucker (21) cleanly blocks this shot by Malik Raheem (32) of Blake. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  SILVER SPRING — The visiting Springbrook Blue Devils varsity boys basketball team ended the regular season on a high note as they dispatched the Blake Bengals 85-56 and senior guard Matthew Balanc scored his 1000th point.

But for every high there is a low: shortly after making his milestone bucket, Balanc exited the game at the start of the third quarter with an unspecified injury and did not return.

The scrappy Bengals squad held up tonight against a strong Blue Devils squad. Blake came in with a losing record of 8-13, while Springbrook entered with an impressive 17-4 record.

Blue Devils senior forward Cameron Rucker started the game with a three-pointer, to which Bengals sophomore guard Raef Hetherington responded with a three-point bucket of his own.


Springbrook defeats rival Paint Branch for first place in division

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Matthew Balanc, a key player in Springbrook’s win over Paint Branch, dunks a ball and earns two more points for the Blue Devils.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEMatthew Balanc, a key player in Springbrook’s win over Paint Branch, dunks a ball to score two of his 29 points during the game for the Blue Devils. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEBURTONSVILLE — Three weeks after the Paint Branch varsity boys basketball team defeated its division rival Springbrook Blue Devils on Springbrook’s home turf, the Blue Devils strode into the Panthers’ house Friday and returned the favor, winning by a score of 80-76.

The bleachers were once again packed to capacity as fans poured into the gym to witness two of the county’s top teams vie for the No. 1 spot in their division.

Springbrook’s fast, aggressive start seemed to stun the Panthers as the Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead behind Quinnipiac University commit Matthew Balanc (29 points) and senior guard Anthony Deruisseau (13 points.)

The Blue Devils dictated a breakneck pace from the beginning, capitalizing on turnovers and beating the Panthers on the boards. Balanc stole the ball and blazed down the court, emphatically slamming down his first dunk of the evening to bring the screaming crowd to its feet.


Rockville native scores first TD in NFL, Springbrook senior commits to Quinnipiac

Mack HollinsMack Hollins. FILE PHOTO  Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins reeled in a pass from quarterback Carson Wentz and scored on a 64-yard touchdown reception during Monday night’s game against the Washington Redskins.
For Hollins, a Rockville native who once played at Wootton, the score marked his first career touchdown as an NFL wide receiver.
I spoke with Hollins in the Eagles locker room following Philadelphia’s 30-17 victory over the Redskins in the season opener at FedEx Field.
Although he didn’t get much playing time that day, he was happy to be back in familiar surroundings.


Rucker leads Springbrook Blue Devils to victory over B-CC Barons, 82-72

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B CC Barons vs. Springbrook Blue Devils 12 8 17Springbrook's Xavier Harris and B-CC's Elijah Wood and Camilo Bascolo battle for the boards.   PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  SILVER SPRING — In a varsity boys basketball showdown between the Springbrook Blue Devils and Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons, the top two teams in Montgomery County, Springbrook forward Cam Rucker stepped up to lead his team to a 82-72 win.

The Blue Devils started fast with Springbrook point guard and Quinnipiac commit Matthew Balanc in the game in the first quarter, during which he earned his first technical foul for an altercation with Barons forward Miles English. “He was frustrated,” Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers said of Balanc’s foul. “He learned from this mistake, he’ll grow and get better from it.”

The tenacious Springbrook defense forced turnover after turnover, and capitalized on the offensive end. With the exception of English, B-CC struggled on the offensive end in the first quarter, and trailed Springbrook 25-13 as the game headed to the second quarter.

In the second quarter with B-CC behind seven points, Kevin McAuliffe, tried to make a run and come back for the Barons. However, just like in the first quarter, turnovers killed B-CC’s momentum, and the Blue Devils answered any Barons run with a run of their own to build the lead back up. Balanc was called for a second technical for hanging on the rim early in the second quarter, which led to his being ejected from the game. However, Springbrook still led 39-30 at halftime.


Matthew Balanc’s game is a slam dunk

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MPI MDElete 0038 1Matthew Balanc goes for the dunk during the Maryland Elite Summer League All-Star Game. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER     Springbrook senior guard Matthew Balanc is a human highlight reel.

During the Maryland Elite Basketball Summer League at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the 6-foot-3 standout wowed fans with his highlight reel dunks.

Balanc, who averaged a team-high 20.4 points per game last season, erupted for 50 points last month in the Maryland Elite Basketball Summer League All-Star Game. He also earned game MVP honors despite his team’s 103-101 loss.


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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