Vikings to make first state finals appearance since ’95
TOWSON – Ever since the Whitman girls varsity basketball team lost in the state semifinals in 2015, junior guard Abby Meyers has kept a screen saver of Towson University on her phone.
It was a reminder and a goal.
The Vikings had played in the semifinals held at Towson University two years in a row. They had lost both times.
Head coach Peter Kenah stated at the start of the season that the playoff losses motivated his team to work harder to get back to Towson.
“When we walked out of here last year, we said we were going to be back,” Kenah said Thursday.
That motivation pushed the 22-3 Vikings to the state semifinals for the third year in a row. This time, the North Point Eagles stood in the way of Whitman’s first finals appearance in over 20 years.
Something good finally came to those who waited. The third time truly was the charm.
The Vikings yanked the thorn from their side as they defeated North Point on Thursday, 64-37.
The moment the buzzer signaled the end of the game, the Whitman bench flooded the court, leaping and embracing.
After the game, Meyers couldn’t seem to stop smiling.
“We’ve been working so hard. We wanted to get over this hump and get to states,” she said. “We haven’t done it since 1995. We want to get in the books.”
Meyers earned a double-double in the game with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior forward Hannah Niles was the second-leading scorer with 14 points. Niles will be playing college ball at Loyola in the fall.
The Eagles came into the game with a 24-2 record. Senior forward Ciara Bryson led her team with eight points and six rebounds.
Whitman’s defense kept the Eagles from scoring for the first five minutes of the third quarter.
“We just weren’t hitting shots,” said North Point head coach Michael Serpone. “They kept us off the glass, and they definitely got more rebounds than we did. It’s hard to get into our style of game whenever you’re not hitting shots.”
The Vikings move on to face the Western High School Doves in the 4A state finals on Saturday at Towson.
The Doves are 23-1 and boast a 19-game winning streak.
Kenah says the Vikings are familiar with Western’s playing style.
“They’re very athletic and they like to play in transition,” he said. “We will definitely be very respectful of their talent.”
Meyers left no doubt as to what her team’s ultimate goal is.
“In our gym we have [banners of] the teams who won states,” she said. “We want to get on there.”