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Springbrook Blue Devils fall to Oakdale Bears 66-62 in Md. Elite playoffs

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Oakdale Bears vs. Springbrook Blue DevilsROCKVILLE — The Springbrook Blue Devils’ season ended prematurely on Monday in the Maryland Elite Basketball Summer League.

The Oakdale Bears, one of the top programs in Frederick County, toppled the Blue Devils, 66-62, to advance to the semifinals at Jewish Day School.

Oakdale was led by the talented backcourt tandem of seniors Mussa Crawford and Collin Schlee who combined for 38 points in the win.

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Springbrook puts away Good Counsel in summer hoops, 68-53

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Springbrook’s Timitrius Hawkins is fouled by Good Counsel’s Chris Margarites during an Elite Summer League game.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHSpringbrook’s Timitrius Hawkins is fouled by Good Counsel’s Chris Margarites during a Maryland Elite Summer League game.            PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — Every time one of his teammates in the Springbrook Blue Devils landed a big shot, guard Timitrius Hawkins would smile.

Hawkins’ toothy grin spread across his face like clockwork. It appeared whenever Hawkins dropped a three-pointer to extend Springbrook’s lead over the Good Counsel Falcons. Hawkins smiled whenever another Blue Devil went to the ground while finishing another big bucket.

And Hawkins’ smile was definitely present at the end of the game, when his 27 points helped Springbrook wrap up the Falcons 68-53 as the regular season winds down in the Maryland Elite Summer Basketball League.

“I try to make my teammates happy every time we’re on the court. Even if they miss, I still tell them that next time they’re going to make it,” said Hawkins.

The Blue Devils certainly had a lot to be happy about on Monday when they improved to 6-3 and now sit tied for third place with Magruder before the playoffs start on Wednesday.

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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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Springbrook falls to Sidwell Friends in Capitol Hoops action

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Springbrook's Xavier Harris (2) goes for the underhanded layup as he navigates the Sidwell Friends defense during the Capitol Hoops game played at DeMatha High School on Friday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHSpringbrook's Xavier Harris (2) goes for the underhanded layup as he navigates the Sidwell Friends defense during the Capitol Hoops game played at DeMatha High School on Friday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  HYATTSVILLE – Christian Gamble scored a team-high 17 points Friday to lead Sidwell Friends to a 64-58 victory over Springbrook in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha.

Gamble, a 14-year-old rising freshman, finished 7-of-11 from the field against the Blue Devils and scored a variety of baskets from inside the paint at Morgan and Kathy Wootten Gymnasium.

Mike Brown, who went 7-of-8 from the field, finished with 16 points and nine rebounds for Sidwell Friends.

Gamble, a Silver Spring resident, said he’s received inspiration from his brother, Alexander, who currently plays at the University of Rochester.

Alexander Gamble was named team MVP as a junior and earned the Coaches Award during his senior campaign at Sidwell Friends where he averaged 15 points, six rebounds and four assists per game during his varsity career at the D.C. private school.

“The family is very familiar with how I do things,” said Sidwell Friends head coach Eric Singletary. “[Christian] has worked on his body. He’s got a chance to be a really good player.”

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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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Springbrook Blue Devils fall to O’Connell Knights in Capitol Hoops game, 69-57

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Springbrook’s Jonathan Lapierre (23) gets trapped as he drives to the basket during during Capitol Hoops game played at DeMatha. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHSpringbrook’s Jonathan Lapierre (23) gets trapped as he drives to the basket during during Capitol Hoops game played at DeMatha. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  HYATTSVILLE – Despite a game-high 23 points from rising senior Timitrius Hawkins, the Springbrook Blue Devils couldn’t overcome a talented Bishop O’Connell squad Friday in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha, as the Knights defeated the Blue Devils, 69-57.

Point guard Ayan Teel led four Knights in double figures en route to a Bishop O’Connell victory over Springbrook at Morgan and Kathy Wootten Gymnasium.

“They are a good team,” said Springbrook head coach Darnell Myers, “and they’re well-coached and they got good players.”

Teel, who finished with 14 points, helped Bishop O’Connell jump out to a 32-30 advantage in the first half before the Knights blew the game open in the second half.

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Richard Montgomery defeats Springbrook in Capitol Hoops game

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RM Rockets vs. Springbrook Blue Devils

HYATTSVILLE — Two premiere Montgomery County boys basketball programs were on display Friday in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha Catholic High School.

Four Richard Montgomery players scored in double digits to lead the Rockets to a 56-49 victory over Springbrook at Morgan & Kathy Wootten Gymnasium.

Miles Gally, Kordell Lewis, Ryan Cornish and Djordje Orcev led the Rockets to victory on the summer league’s second day.

Gally and Lewis each finished with 13 points while Cornish and Orcev each netted 10 points for Richard Montgomery.

Meanwhile, Springbrook was led by the dynamic duo of Timitrius Whitney-Hawkins and Xavier Harrison who combined for more than half of the Blue Devils’ total. Whitney-Hawkins scored 15 points and Harrison finished with 12 points in a losing effort.

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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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“MoCo” native Alex Tsironis wears many hats, County welcomes new head coaches

Alex TsironisAlex Tsironis. COURTESY PHOTO  Over the years, Alex Tsironis has been a coach, teacher and mentor to countless students throughout Montgomery County Public Schools.
Tsironis, who was born in Silver Spring, currently heads up the Physical Education and Arts Department at North Bethesda Middle School.
However, Tsironis, a Watkins Mill High School graduate, is perhaps best known as the creator of the popular MoCo Snow website and blog, at www.mocosnow.com, which began in 2010.
“I loved snow days,” recalled Tsironis, “so I would always share my opinions with my kids.”

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