HYATTSVILLE — On the second-to-last day of the Capital Hoops Summer Basketball League at DeMatha Catholic High School, two Montgomery County squads were leaning towards the playoffs, as the Whitman Vikings (4-6) upset the Paint Branch Panthers (5-5) by the score of 68-48.
In the beginning of the game, both teams struggled to make buckets, and midway through the first half, the Vikings had led 12-5. But the Panthers kept things close by the end of the half as the deficit was 29-23.
However, Whitman took care of business the rest of the way, offensively and defensively. Jason Lewis led the Vikings with 21 points, while Brendan Shaver registered a double-double (19 points and 14 rebounds), with 11 of his rebounds coming on defense, and Justin Niles put up 12 points and went 4-for-6 from three-point range. Lewis also forced three of the team’s 12 turnovers.
“I fed off my teammates,” Lewis said. “Everybody was moving the ball. We played tough defensively, so that allowed us to get easy buckets off rebounds and getting stops on D.”
With the win, the Vikings have guaranteed at least a coin-flip decision for postseason contention, with the possibility of automatic participation dependent on this week’s game results.
“We never play scared,” Lewis said. “We showed we could compete with higher-level teams.”
Meanwhile, Marley Sume led the way for Paint Branch, registering a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds. Sume also went 4-for-7 from behind the arc.
“I just worked really hard,” he said. “I know there’s a very good team in Whitman, and every possession I play is just 100 percent.”
Sume still feels confident in his team come playoff time. “We’re going to play a very good team going into the playoffs,” he said. “But it doesn’t matter who’s in front of us. We’re just going to go out and compete.”