ROCKVILLE — 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.
The Cougar defense kept the score lower than the Blue Devils would have liked, as the Cougars suffocated their attack. Multiple players guarded a single shooter, forcing the Blue Devils to find space around the perimeter or risk being boxed out.
Timitrius Hawkins, the top scorer for the Blue Devils and in general, made 22 points Monday night, proving himself to be invaluable to the Blue Devils’ offense.
“I think my impact was the biggest impact on the team, ‘cause without my scoring, we don’t win,” said Hawkins.
Through breakaways the Blue Devils found this space, surprising the Cougars with a steal that ended in a braggadocios dunk sometimes.
Turnover trouble plagued both teams and, in the two largely experimental squads, it was expected. Both coaches hope to minimize the impact of turnovers in the future.
“I felt like we could’ve, should’ve won the game, but we had too many unforced turnovers,” said Cougars assistant coach Vernon Buckle. “We had them on their heels the whole game.”
The second half saw more of the same, but the Cougars almost clawed their way back into the lead more than once. After losing a one-point lead early on in the second half, the Cougars came close but always barely missing it.
A technical foul on the Cougars awarded the Blue Devils four shots, all of which were sunk and gave the Cougars a seven-point wide margin late in the game.
Two final foul shots by the Cougars’ Nathan Dorsey narrowed down the lead to four, but the Blue Devils neutralized the Cougars enough to make sure the final seconds couldn’t be used against them.
“I just thought our press got to them and we got turnovers out of it and we scored out of it,” said Blue Devils head coach Darnell Myers.