The Severna Park High School girls basketball team tipped off its season on Thursday night with a matchup against St. Mary’s High School.
After finishing the season last year with a 9-15 record, this year’s squad, led by first-year varsity coach Lisa Magness, is focusing on defense and hoping that leads to victories.
“We are going with a defensive minded game plan this year,” Magness said. “We are going to change it up and run as many defenses as we can so other teams are caught off guard by not knowing what we are going to run.”
Magness also said this year’s team is much quicker than years past, which she plans to utilize with an aggressive press. She said they are planning to use that as much as possible.
The team’s recent addition of speed is something Magness attributes to the work the girls have put in during the offseason as well as in practice.
“We did a lot of offseason conditioning and lifting,” she said. “We played in a summer league and we encouraged the girls to play AAU ball and they listened to us.”
The time spent working together in the offseason has united the team and helped their ability to play as a unit on the court.
“We are definitely a team of unity this year,” said senior and captain Kiara Johnson. “We’re more connected on the court and in practice together, which helps us to be more to be in sync.”
Just a week into the season, the Falcons will already have one of their first tests on Saturday as they take on Broadneck. The rivalry between the two schools is something Magness is very familiar with.
“Being a Severna Park alum, I know the Broadneck feeling and it is a big game for me as well,” Magness said. “However, we need to stay focused on the fact that it is just another game and keep our emotions in check.”
Magness led a successful JV program at Severna Park High School for four years and she is hoping to continue with that success on the varsity level.
Entering the season, Meade and South River are the heavy favorites to finish in the top spots in the county, but Magness isn’t shying away from a little intercounty competition.
“I am expecting us to give great games to South River, Broadneck and Arundel,” she said. “South River and Meade are usually projected to go one and two, but I feel with my 12 girls that we have on varsity we can make a complete run at the championship with hard work and dedication.”