Posted On: 12/6/17 3:29 AM

12-5-7. Paint Branch High School. 14121 Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD. 20866.









We would like to thank Paint Branch Head Basketball Coach Chris Bohlen & Paint Branch for their great hospitality. Coach Bohlen is very active in the community & a  great Coach on & off the court. The Paint Branch Gym is beautiful, very regimented & organized, much like Coach Bohlen’s approach to everything. This is the 1st time we met BCC Head Coach Sean Tracy & we previously heard great things about him. We are very impressed by his coaching & how he handles his BCC players. We will be attending more BCC games & look forward to taking with him & visiting nearby BCC for their home games this season.

Bethesda Chevy Chase Barons 73 Paint Branch Panthers 72

Last night 2 of the Montgomery County 4A preseason Top 3 teams competed in a terrific game at Paint Branch. BCC lead most of the 2nd half by a 5 to 8 point margin until the mid 4th quarter when Paint Branch made a great comeback & took the lead. With 12 seconds to go & PB leading by 1 Gordon Gibson knocked a corner jumper as BCC held on for the win. The game featured many great plays & was a block party. Please view our friend Marc Stern of Capitol Hoops video opening below for the blocks & dunks.

Game MVP : Thomas Baer (#12) 6’3″, G, 2018.  BCC Barons

Thomas scored a game high 27 points & went on a 3rd quarter tear scoring 17 points. He played a great overall game & the 4 year BBC varsity player plays with an elite IQ & court vision. Thomas is always one play ahead & he rarely makes mistakes. He is a knockdown shooter from 3 & can score from all levels. Thomas clearly understands his basketball identity. The combination of Thomas, 6’8″ senior center Gordon Gibson & super athletic 6’5″ 2020 PG Elijah Wood have already created an excellent chemistry & triangle feeding off each other. Thomas is one of the best players  we have seen moving without the ball & creating open spots for himself we have seen since summer. He is not the quickest or most explosive athlete, but he is one the best fundamentally sound players in MOCO. Thomas has excellent academic credentials & his college of choice will be geared toward the academic side. He will play basketball in college & is an excellent prospect

Best Offensive PlayerThomas Baer, BCC 

Thomas scored his 27 points from all angles & levels. He got to the rim & finished very well with crafty moves.  Thomas has excellent shot mechanics &  preparation. He does not force shots & knows when to score, pass or drive. Tonight he was the best shooter, possibly the best ball mover, & best mover without the ball.

Gordon GibsonBest BigGordon Gibson (#21), 6’8″, C, 2018. BCC Barons

Gordon played a superb overall game . He scored  inside off post feeds &put backs . He showed several high level inside the paint moves with great footwork & ball fakes. Additionally, Gordon can move out to the perimeter & knock down shots from 17 feet in. He came thru in the clutch when drilled a huge game winning baseline shot with 12 seconds remaining. Gordon runs the court well & makes plays with his high IQ & fundamentals.. Gordon used his 6’8″ frame well for rebounds & altering shots. Gordon is ranked @ #70 in our 2018 rankings . He is similar in athleticism, IQ & fundamentals to Thomas & both are prioritizing academics over basketball in college. Gordon is an excellent player for college who could develop a pick & pop game.

Best Breakout Performer : Jordan Alphonso (#20), 6’4″, PF, 2020. Paint Branch Panthers

Jordan had a breakout performance totaling 15 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and rejecting 8 shots. He is an athletic sophomore who does most of his damage near the rim. However, we do see some potential /upside to develop some perimeter scoring.  Jordan is a high energy team player who stays engaged the entire game not losing focus. We really like his IQ & expect Alphonso to enter our 2020 MD/ DC rankings.

Best DefenderJordan Alphonso, Paint Branch Panthers

A player who rejects 8 shots, alters others & grabs 15 rebounds would obviously be our Defensive Player of the Game. Jordan played a superb game & would have won the Game MVP if Paint Branch was the victor.

Best Underclassman : Elijah Wood (#3), 6’5″, PG,CG, 2020. BCC Barons

Elijah is ranked in the top 40 players for 2020 in the nation by several publication. Tonight we saw why. Elijah is a legitimate long 6’5″ & he scored 13 points while delivering some great passes. He made 4 plus plays & athletic moves nobody else on the floor could. BCC is playing Elijah at PG & we believe he can translate to a college PG by his senior year. He has a very good handle & sees the court with ability to play  off the ball. Elijah utilizes his wingspan  very well & while he is 165-70 pounds he is deceptively strong. He can score from all 3 levels, but needs more consistency on his shot. Despite his national ranking Elijah does not play with arrogance. We believe he is in good hands at BCC & will develop in MOCO.

Best Upside : Elijah Wood. BCC Barons

The typical verbiage “You can not teach” comes into play with Elijah. He possesses excellent size, length, court vision, coordination, & a nice feel for the game. Upside & potential are synonymous & some say & an  overused term. We disagree, & point out that the key issue is if a player possesses the mental ability,focus, desire, work ethic, discipline & passion to reach his potential. The answer to this part of the equation might take some time, but our 1st impression of Elijah is very high. We like his concentration & ability not to lose focus. When players read rankings, the youngsters can fall into traps in our media crazed society & chase them. This scenario will  not turn out well for some players who lose focus & place pressure on themselves. Our 1st impression of Elijah is that he is not fazed by his rankings.

Play of the Game

There were many & we are stuck on 3 which can  be viewed in the opening minute of the game video.  Play 1 is by Elijah Wood on a swooping dunk  where his right arm is very far out out horizontally & then delivers a tomahawk dunk. Play 2 is by Jordan Alphonso meeting Elijah at the rim to block his dunk. Play 3 occurs when Richard Dudley makes elite handle moves & scores. The last could be Gordon Gibson’s game winning basket with 12 seconds to go.

Best Floor General : Richard Dudley (#5), 5’9″ PG, 2019. Paint Branch Panthers

Richard totaled 19 points & played a very nice floor game dishing out key passes while setting the game tempo He was the best ball handler on the floor & did a solid job of running the Panther offense.Richard is very athletic, competitive & legitimate top 10 player in MOCO. He is good enough to be considered in our next 2019 DC/MD rankings. We rate Richard as excellent college PG prospect.

Best Under the Radar : Xavier Reeves (#13), 6’4″, F, 2018.

We rated Xavier as a Top 20 MOCO player for all classes. He will be a very good player in college. Xavier is a very good defender & rebounder with a nice perimeter shot. He scored 10 points, defended very well . We will be writing a Recruiting Report for Xavier this December.

Moving forward BCC

BCC must get more production from the bench who manged just 3 points. 6’4″ senior Miles English is the Barons glue player & totaled 10 points giving BCC 4 players in double figures. We expect 6’3″ junior starter Justin Graves to get going very soon.

Paint Branch moving forward

The athletic Panthers must improve their outside shooting, & avoid lapses in their transition defense. 6’3″ senior Bobby Miller who was just cleared to play will help in these areas. In somewhat limited PT Bobby did manage 9 points. We rate Bobby as a top 5 MOCO Player & we hope he will be 100 % in the near future.

Final Conclusion.

BCC, Paint Branch & Springbrook as predicted will be the top 3 MOCO teams at the end of the regular season

Thank you Marc Stern & Capitol Hoops