High School sports

Severna Park girls basketball faces necessary challenge, beating Broadneck in defensive battle, 33-30

Severna Park girls basketball knew Broadneck was hot right now. But knowing it and experiencing it are quite different.

The Bruins had the Falcons sweating from first quarter to last, frustrating Severna Park’s capable offense at every turn. To pull off their 11th win, the Falcons had to rely on something off the floor: chemistry.


Leadership poured from seniors in the huddle to action on the floor as Severna Park held back an unshakable Broadneck rally for a 33-30 win Friday night in Cape St. Claire.

Severna Park’s Abby Kavanagh grabs a rebound and puts it back for two points in the second quarter of Friday's game at Broadneck.

“We come together as a team,” junior guard Ryn Feemster, who scored seven points, said. “If there’s a mistake, or they score, we come together and say, ‘We got it still.’ That’s what kept us in the game.”


No, Severna Park (11-3) wasn’t thrilled by the winning or its shortage of offense. But when looking at a schedule, the Falcons can predict which opponents will challenge them.

For Broadneck to remind Severna Park that any team can rise up on given night is something coach Kris Dean is ultimately willing to accept.

“When you’re struggling shooting or on the free throw line, how am I going to push for a win?” Dean said. “I think the girls are starting to figure out how to play right, how to win, and they’re playing with the confidence we need.

“We just got to continue to work. Get better until playoff time.”

Broadneck refused to let Severna Park set a tempo. Though the Falcons seemed to poised to take over by controlling the movement on the floor in the first few minutes, the Bruins reeled their visitors back to a more defensive stance. With the driving lanes mostly shut, Broadneck kept constant pace on the scoreboard, even monopolizing the ball on their end and.

Severna Park’s Karli Kirchenheiter makes an acrobatic play to keep the ball in bounds in the fourth quarter.

But Broadneck’s pressure was the secondary force spoiling Severna Park’s takeover. The primary force? Severna Park’s inability to convert foul shots. The Falcons hit 3 of 12 chances at the foul line, part of the reason why it led the Bruins just 7-5 at the first-quarter buzzer.

The Bruins chipped back, boosted by a 3-pointer by guard Mackenzie Wharton and tied at 11 on a shot by Navaeh Dowell. Severna Park senior Hanna Verreault’s own trey prevented a lead change, but Broadneck had sparked into action.


The Bruins — Dowell especially — picked up steals, but Verreault held the door from the perimeter with a jumper at the buzzer for a 22-16 lead.

There were no field goals the first six and a half minutes of the third quarter and three points total in the frame as the two defenses battered each other around, unwilling to give an inch. Though Dean couldn’t praise the offense that came from that quarter, he was happy with the unrelenting barrier his Falcons held up — which meant adjusting defenses to match the shifting Broadneck offense.

“We’ve never had a team that could do that,” Dean said, “and especially when you got a good bunch of athletes that know what they’re doing, that helps.”

But down only 25-16 edge at the start of the fourth quarter, Broadneck had every chance to strike for an upset.

Junior Samantha Miller started it, putting away four points in a blink. Teammate London Best joined her at the net, as did Dowell, shrinking Severna Park’s advantage to three.

Though mired in foul trouble, the Falcons focused inward. If they remained calm, they could finish the game. So, they did.


“They play fast, and when other teams play fast, that kind of speeds us up,” Feemster said. “It kind of taught us to slow down. Take a deep breath. Play how we always play.”

Severna Park’s Sally Trent scores in the second quarter. The visiting Severna Park Falcons defeated the Broadneck Bruins, 33-30.