A hectic month of summer basketball winds down this week with several area leagues holding playoffs and all-star games.
The Metro Slam, Falconers, Reebok and Jelleff leagues all finish this week.
The Falconers league at Largo High features some of the top players and teams in the area. The Falconers championship game is at 6 tonight followed by an all-star game featuring Carroll's Davod Hawkins, Surrattsville's Terrell Millington, Anacostia's Duane Shackleford, Central's Sean Brooks, McNamara's Maurice Young and Dunbar's Bernard Robinson.
The Reebok league at High Point also boasts many of the area's top players and teams. Tonight's quarterfinals begin at 5:30. In the first game, Michael Sweetney's Oxon Hill team takes on Paint Branch. Sweetney, a senior center, has unofficially committed to play for Georgetown. Paint Branch features senior forward Mauriceo Branwell, who is expected to return to New York to attend high school in the fall.
The second quarterfinal is a rematch of one of the better games this summer. DeMatha, which won the Ban the Brick league title on Sunday, plays Eleanor Roosevelt. The Stags came back from a 20-point deficit to beat the Raiders earlier this month. Senior forward Delonte Holland and junior guard Eddie Basden lead Roosevelt.
In other quarterfinals, Thomas Johnson, featuring the league's leading scorer, Marcus West, plays Gonzaga at 7:50 p.m. Carroll faces Springbrook at 9 p.m. The semifinals are Wednesday beginning at 7:50 p.m. The championship is Thursday at 7:50 p.m., followed by an all-star game.
The Reebok girls division holds its semifinals on Wednesday. Good Counsel, which went undefeated in the league at 10-0, plays Arundel in the second game at 6:40 p.m. Paint Branch faces Bladensburg and the league's leading scorer, Candice Howard, in the first semifinal at 5:30 p.m. The girls championship game is Thursday at 5:30 p.m., followed by an all-star game.
The Jelleff league playoffs began Monday with the boys quarterfinals. Tonight, the girls playoffs begin at 5.
The Jelleff league held its boys and girls all-star games on Friday. Bowie senior forward Bennie Robinson (26 points) was named most valuable player of the boys all-star game. In the girls game, Anacostia senior forward Yashika Sidbury (20 points) was named MVP.
The Jabbo Kenner league, which runs until Aug. 15, holds its all-star game Friday at 6:45 p.m. at McDonough Arena. . . .
A few area leagues have already wrapped up. On Thursday, Wheaton defeated Montrose Christian, 69-68, to win the Montgomery County league boys championship. The Knights, who led almost the entire game, needed a last-second steal by senior guard Donte Alexander to preserve the win. Senior forward Marvin Moss led Wheaton with 24 points. Rising senior center Mohammed Diakite scored 27 points for Montrose. Diakite has unofficially committed to play for St. John's University.
In the Montgomery girls league championship, junior forward Devon Wilson made 7 of 7 free throws down the stretch as Walter Johnson defeated Northwest, 52-44. Wilson led the Wildcats with 19 points. Northwest was led by junior forward Allison Hardy with 14 points. . . .
Midway through the second half of the Ban the Brick's Blue Division title game, DeMatha trailed Bladensburg by 18 points. For the Stags, second-half deficits have been a disturbing trend this summer, but one that has yet to cost them.
"We just haven't played well in the first half all summer," senior guard Vince Bartozzi said. "In the second half, it just clicks in that people are not going to hand [the game] over to us."
Bartozzi made the second of two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining to lift the Stags to a 60-59 win. Guard Billy Edelin, selected the most valuable junior in the league, led DeMatha with 18 points. Senior forward Robin Wentt was named league MVP.
In the league's White Division title game, O'Connell defeated Landon, 64-46. Senior guard Tony Martin, who transfered to O'Connell from Annandale this summer, led the Knights with 26 points. Senior forward Tom Sanders and junior guard Duane Tyler each scored 12 points for Landon.
"We made a lot of progress this summer," said first-year O'Connell head coach Joe Wootten, whose new team went 6-20 last season. "This will be a good building block for us down the road."