BETHESDA – The Walt Whitman High School girls basketball team trailed 14-6 against Rockville early scoring in the first quarter in their season opener on Dec. 6.
However, the tables soon turned when the Vikings went on a blazing hot 30-0 run en route to a 60-32 victory over the Rams.
“Never gone on a run like that in 18 years,” said Whitman Head Coach Peter Kenah. “So it was just a nice bounce-back effort.”
The Vikings (1-0) quickly tied the game at 14-14 late in the first quarter until senior Matilda MacKay hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the home team up at the end of the quarter.
The converted shot was the beginning of what would become a long scoring run for Whitman. They cruised through the second quarter with a series of layups, 3-pointers and free throws to build their streak of points. Senior Carter McGloon led the way with 17 points by halftime.
“This was a big game for us,” said McGlonn. “We wanted to start the season off strong. Everybody contributed in this game. I’m really proud of the outcome.”
McGloon is the team captain who has been on varsity for four years. Her contributions during the scoring run and the whole game in general as examples of how leaders take over a game, Kanah said.
“She really settled us down,” Kenah stated on McGloon. “She just relaxed herself and made 3’s, made some plays. She played hard for us.”
The Rams did manage to score seven points late in the quarter, with sophomore Nia Newman opening with a pair of free throws. Nonetheless, the Vikings still led comfortably at halftime by the score of 41-21.
“It’s not quite what we expected,” said Rockville Head Coach Gretchen Gregg. “But you’ve got to deal with what comes your way, and they did some good things. Whitman’s a good team, and we’ll get it back together.”
Whitman continued to dominate in the third quarter as senior Anna Krush dropped six points during the period. Along with a lone bucket in the first quarter, Krush finished with eight points on the evening. Despite the bounce-back performance in the second half, the senior said she could have done better.
“Definitely very difficult,” said Krush. “I got three fouls pretty early, so it was hard kind of adjusting after sitting for a while to come on in the second half, but I think I just wanted to get loose and get warm, and I think I did that.”
Whitman elected only to add seven more points in the fourth quarter as they finished the game with a 28-point victory.
“I think it was a really great team win,” said Krush. “The ball was moving a lot. We had a lot of passes, so it was a great team win.”
For Kenah, the win was the first step in reaching their high expectations. The Vikings coach said he believes this year’s squad has enough talent and skill players to make a deep run in this season’s playoffs. Whitman also has a lot of seniority and veteran talent with six seniors and four juniors on the roster.
“We want to go to Towson University,” said Kenah. “We want to represent the region when we get to Towson since we’re putting in the work every day. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a really competitive division.”
“We have a really old team this season,” said McGloon. “So we’re hoping to use that seniority as our advantage going forward and when the competition gets more tough.”
Meanwhile, Newman was the Rams’ leading scorer with 14 points, including seven free throws and one shot behind the arc.
“Nia works incredibly hard,” said Gregg. “She does a great job getting rebounds, fighting for the ball, and getting to the free-throw line.”
While several players returned for Rockville (0-1) from last year’s 13-10 season, chemistry is going to be vital for their improvement as a team.
“We’re just focusing on getting better as a team offensively and defensively as a team every day,” said Gregg. “They’re playing well, they’re playing hard, and we’ve just got to stay focused and take it game-by-game.”