Before there was Col. Zadok Magruder High School's boys basketball team, there was Springbrook. It's doubtful many Montgomery County fans have forgotten the Blue Devils, winners of three straight state championships from 2008 through 2010. Still, that won't stop The Brook from feeling overlooked with all the praise the Colonels are receiving for their 2012 4A state championship and a victory this week against DeMatha.
“They're definitely overlooking us,” junior guard Andrew Robinson said following Springbrook's 75-41 victory against Northwest in its season opener. “We're a sleeper team that will come out and surprise a lot of people.”
Robinson scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading the Blue Devils (1-0) past Northwest (0-1). The 6-foot-5 shooting guard connected on 10 of 15 shots, including five of eight from the 3-point line.
“He's been in our program, this is his third year,” Springbrook coach Tom Crowell said. “He's been a backup for a year and half, he paid his dues. This summer he really blossomed. Right now, it looks like he's going to be OK.”
Circle the date: 7 p.m. Dec. 19, Magruder at Springbrook.
“We're looking forward to that one, man,” Robinson said. “To me, it's the biggest game of the season if we can knock off the state champs.”
Crowell said if his team is going to have a chance against Magruder, it will be because of their defense.
“I'm very happy with the defense. Like [Magruder coach] Danny [Harwood] says, he stresses the 3, we stress the defense,” Crowell said. “We changed things up tonight. We played a little zone ... I don't think we've played zone in seven years.”
The defense was the key to the victory against Northwest on Thursday. The Jaguars game plan was to be patient on offense, wait for a Springbrook defensive mistake, then exploit it. The last thing Jaguars coach Usman Jamil said he wanted was for his team to get into a transition game against the Blue Devils.
The one problem with that plan was Springbrook's defense, which had 13 steals and forced numerous turnovers.
“The boys are working hard every day,” Jamil said. “I told Tom [Crowell] he's got all the pieces, I've got young pieces. I have five sophomores and only one returning starter. They're learning, and their attitude has been great.”
Elliot Gambrel, the one returning Jaguar starter, led his team with 8 points. Tomazye Anderson, Springbrook's only returning starter added 13 and Bowie High transfer Jarod Mustaf had 10 for the Blue Devils.
“First game, that's not bad, I'll take that,” Crowell said. “We got to develop our bench a little better. Our starting five are pretty good, and if we get the substitution worked out, I think we'll be able to compete.”
Springbrook 75, Northwest 41
Northwest 14 9 9 9—41
Springbrook 25 22 16 12—75
Northwest (0-1, 0-0): Elliot Gambrel 8, Rodney Snider 7, Connor Allen 7, Austin Castleberry 5, Jamar Wilson 4, Tivon Lake 4, Brandon Williams 4, Xavier Bradley 2.
Springbrook (1-0, 0-0): Andrew Robinson 25, Tomazye Anderson 13, Jarod Mustaf 10, Isaiah Eisendorf 7, Nick Brewer 6, Aaron Robinson 4, Alex Evans 4, Jevani Green 4, Thane Wood 3, Jason Boardley 2, Marcus Huff 1.