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Springbrook falls to Sidwell Friends in Capitol Hoops action

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.”

Springbrook's Kam'ron Simmons (24) drives to the basket against Sidwell Friends' Chris Gamble.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHSpringbrook's Kam'ron Simmons (24) drives to the basket against Sidwell Friends' Chris Gamble. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Gamble has also drawn inspiration from his brother’s former high school teammate, Josh Hart, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the NBA Draft last year, and Markelle Fultz, a local product who was selected No. 1 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, along with Chris Lykes, a local product who plays at the University of Miami.

Christian Gamble said playing in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha has helped prepare him and his teammates for the regular season by “getting used to playing against bigger people.”

Sidwell Friends competes in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) along with Maret and St. Andrew’s among others.

Meanwhile, Springbrook was led by Kam’ron Simmons who scored a game-high 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field. Xavier Harris finished with 12 points and Darren Green scored 11 points for the Blue Devils.

“He’s really good,” Springbrook rising freshman guard Amare Curtis said about Simmons. “He’s improved throughout the Summer League.”

Sidwell Friends led 28-24 at the midway point but the teams played an even contest in the second half.

Brown’s putback gave the Quakers a 39-35 advantage with 9:53 remaining and Sidwell Friends extended their lead to ten points late in the game but Springbrook rallied down the stretch only to fall short.

Springbook, who finished 18-4 last season, will be looking for new leaders to emerge following the graduation of Matthew Balanc and Cam Rucker who have both moved on to greener pastures.

Rucker, who led Springbrook in scoring at 19.6 points per game, has signed with Claflin University and Balanc, who averaged 17.6 points per game, is headed to Quinnipiac University but Simmons and Timitrius Whitney-Hawkins could possibly fill that void.

Curtis, who plays AAU basketball for DC Premier, said he’s looking forward to playing at Springbrook.

“I’m trying to win a state championship,” said Curtis. “Coming in as a freshman I’m trying to do big things.”

@bls1969

 

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