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.
Then, the tables completely turned. Good Counsel had been ones playing harder on defense throughout the first half, but suddenly, Springbrook became the team playing with more energy. Springbrook’s Cam Rucker completely took the game over for a two-minute stretch, scoring nine straight points, including two transition layups created by steals by Rucker.
“He knew that two of our starters were out of town at AAU, so he knew he had to step up and do some things as a senior,” Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers said of Rucker.
Rucker’s dominance propelled Springbrook to a 36-29 lead with 5:59 to go. But Good Counsel did not go away quietly. The Falcons fought back getting back to within two points. Rucker missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have iced the game, which gave Good Counsel the ball with less than 30 seconds to go, and a chance to tie or win the game.
Antoine Jacks, a rising freshman at Good Counsel, drove the basket on the ensuing Good Counsel possession following Rucker’s miss, and drew a foul to get to the line. Jacks needed both to tie the game. The rising freshman missed both, but Good Counsel would get the rebound, and kicked it out to Jacks to take a three for the win. Jacks missed that shot too, and Springbrook was thus able to hold on for a 41-39 victory.
Good Counsel had six rising freshman on its roster for the game, and despite coming up short, Good Counsel head coach G.J. Gissell and assistant coach Anthony Guy were happy about the experience that his team got from this game, “It’s experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else,” Guy said. “It’s game experience, it’s game speed, it’s getting used to the high school level.”
The win pushed Springbrook’s record in the summer league to 5-1, while Good Counsel dropped to 4-4.