The nature of high school boys basketball, Springbrook High School coach Tom Crowell said, is that on any given day, any team can win.
Take, for instance, the past week.
The Blue Devils beat defending Class 4A state champion Col. Zadok Magruder in overtime Dec. 21.
The Colonels defeated Gwynn Park by 21 points Thursday, on the first day of Springbrook's holiday tournament but Friday the Blue Devils worked hard for a 55-50 win over the Yellow Jackets.
“Every game is different. Just because [Magruder] beat [Gwynn Park] by 20 or so points ... it doesn't matter the amount of points, a win is a win. And Gwynn Park played a lot better [against us] than they did [Thursday],” Crowell said.
Leading scorer Jalen Harris nearly tripled his point total and Gwynn Park (4-4) played at a higher intensity level throughout.
But Springbrook (7-1) was still the more consistent team through four quarters in what Crowell said was the Blue Devils' best overall performance this winter.
“Gwynn Park is a very athletic team, with good [defensive] pressure. I think we did a good job handling that,” Crowell added.
While teams certainly wanted to pick up wins and confidence over the two-day tournament, Crowell and Yellow Jackets coach Michael Glick both agreed their teams are still finding their way and the competition provided at Springbrook with four perennial state contenders — Thomas Stone was the fourth team — provided invaluable playing experience in out-of-league matches.
Tomazye Anderson and Andrew Robinson took control for Springbrook with 19 and 18 points respectively.
Gwynn Park had three players in double digit points: Harris (17), Ackhel Bazil (12) and Evan Joiner (11).
Springbrook led from the start and managed to keep its nose out in front the duration. But the Yellow Jackets were constantly in striking distance.
Springbrook led 12-9 after the first quarter and 26-22 at halftime. Just one point separated the teams in the second half.
“[Friday] we played much harder. When we play collectively as a team, we are as good as anyone. When we play individually and selfish, we can't win basketball games. [Friday] we did a good job, we had open looks and great passes but in the end they took it,” Bazil said.
Springbrook 55, Gwynn Park 50
Gwynn Park (4-4) 9 13 12 16 — 50
Springbrook (7-1) 12 14 14 15 — 55
Gwynn Park — Jalen Harris 17; Ackhel Bazil 12; Evan Joiner 11; Anwar Mack 2; Isaiah Martin 2; Terry Martin 2; Aaron Parker 2; John Wilburn 2.
Springbrook — Tomazye Anderson 19; Andrew Robinson 18; Nick Brewer 8; Isaiah Eisendorf 4; Jarod Mustaf 4; Dekon Haynes 2.