Expected to be one of the area's top boys basketball teams next season, Carroll High went through some unexpected doldrums at the start of summer league play. Then last week, the Lions' lackluster play cost them a win. Since then, Carroll has reestablished itself as one of the area's premier teams.

Summer basketball is in full swing with several top leagues underway in the area and the Lions, competing in the Reebok and Falconers summer leagues, are a combined 9-2. Their losses came against Surrattsville and Fairmont Heights. The 64-58 loss to Fairmont Heights on June 15 was an unexpected setback; Carroll had led by nine points at halftime.

"That game turned the summer around," said Coach Bill Howze, who is an assistant at Carroll during the regular season. "The last three games have been great. The guys finally realized they had to play hard every night."

The Lions, who have four returning starters from last season's 15-13 team, are among four undefeated teams in the Reebok league, one of the area's better leagues. The league features 16 boys teams -- including Oxon Hill, DeMatha, Eleanor Roosevelt and St. John's -- and eight girls teams -- including Paint Branch, Good Counsel and Elizabeth Seton. Games are held Monday through Thursday at High Point in Beltsville, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

On Monday in the Falconers league at Largo, Carroll defeated McNamara, 54-46, behind guard David Hawkins's 21 points. Forward Maurice Young scored 30 points for the Mustangs.

Hawkins, a rising senior who scored the Lions' first nine points of the game, leads the Reebok league in scoring at 23.3 points per game and is third in scoring in the Falconers league at 18.7 points per game. "Dave is the leader of our team," Howze said. "He leads by example rather than being a vocal leader. When we get into trouble, we look to him to get it done."

Indians Deal With Inconsistency

Anacostia has only two starters returning from its 19-5 team last season. So the Indians' summer play has been erratic as they try to incorporate their newcomers. "It's been [an] up and down [summer]," said Coach Wendell "J.R." Etheridge, an assistant with Anacostia during the regular season. "We're trying to get all our guys on the same page."

The Indians, who are 4-4 in the Falconers league, do have one of the top three-point shooters in the area, 5-9 senior guard Duane Shackleford. Against Surrattsville on Monday, Shackleford made five three-pointers -- including a couple from NBA range -- to lead Anacostia with 21 points.

News, Notes & Quotes

McNamara summer coach Rudy Burton put summer league play into context when he said: "These games don't take us to MCI. They develop us to get to MCI."

The City Title Game, featuring the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions, was held at MCI Center for the first time last season. . . .

Bladensburg's Candice Howard leads the Reebok girls league in scoring at 20.3 points per game. Good Counsel is undefeated at 4-0. . . .

Gaithersburg's Norman Smith blocked seven shots in the first half of the Trojans' 41-25 victory over Landon on Thursday in the Montgomery County league. He finished with 11 blocks in the game. Quince Orchard and Wheaton have started the summer 5-0, and are tied for first in the Montgomery league's Potomac Division. . . .

Surrattsville's Terrell Millington, who leads the Falconers league in scoring at 23.5 points per game, was named the league's player of the week last week. He scored 21 points in the Hornets' 71-52 victory against Riverdale. . . . The Fairfax City league returns from its 12-day hiatus tonight. The first game is at 5:45 p.m., with Lake Braddock taking on Fairfax.

CAPTION: Carroll's David Hawkins, in game vs. High Point last week, leads Reebok league in scoring (23.3 points).