It was a rollercoaster of a season, to say the least. What some thought was a lost season midway, ended in a fashion that many people did not see coming.
The girls’ 2020 campaign started off rough, with their opening day at Seneca Valley. Despite having a contested first half, Seneca stole the game in the second half, which would lead to the girls leaving Germantown with a 60-47 loss.
After a 48-30 loss to Quince Orchard, in which the girls were down 29-7 but managed to outscore QO in the second half, there was a change in mentality that the girls could carry with them throughout the rest of the season. But with the playoffs right around the corner, the girls had only 5 wins.
To finish the regular season the girls would build a four-game winning streak that propelled the previous 5-11 team to 9-11.
Freshman Rachel Mutombo says, “the mentality was not to win, which sounded strange to me as well. Given all the challenges that we experienced throughout the season we were focused on coming together as a team and trusting ourselves and each other”.
The girls would go on to beat: Rockville 35-32; Magruder 40-25; Walter Johnson 37-31; and Einstein 45-42. They also clinched the fourth seed in the region which would allow them to host a playoff game. He adds, “the coaches, our commitment, and the faith and trust in each other was the reason we made a run late in the year.”
In the preliminary round of the playoffs, the girls sent Northwood back to University Blvd, dismantling the Gladiators 50-36.
For the right to play Sherwood in the 4A North Regional Championship game, the girls did not have to travel far to meet the 16-4 Paint Branch team standing in their way. Although Paint Branch had beaten them twice in the regular season, the girls, like any other team they have played, brought their A-game.
The girls were neck and neck with Paint Branch the whole game. By the end of the first quarter, the score was 15-14, Paint Branch leading. However, after a second-quarter surge, the Bengals took a 29-26 at half time.
Stepping back onto the court in the third quarter, the Panthers scored 26 points and were down by three. Ten minutes later, Paint Branch seized momentum and doubled their score to a nine-point lead. But the girls refused to pack it in.
Despite an amazing defensive effort, in which the girls managed to hold Paint Branch to 13, the Bengals fell short as the clock hit 0:00 in the fourth. While the game was filled with multiple lead changes, the girls’ season ended as they lost 65-53.
Despite ending the year 5-1, Mutumbo believes their record was misleading. “The amount of improvement that the team displayed was unbelievable, we were a completely different team at the end of the year,” adds Mutumbo. “The record did not reflect the hard work that all the players and coaches put in and all the hardships and circumstances we faced.”
Congratulations to the Girls Varsity Basketball team for their late-season turn around to finish at 10-12. All we look forward to seeing the program develop next year.