The Severna Park JV basketball team started the year 3-7, but once into the new gym the Falcons began playing very well, winning seven of their next nine and finishing the year 11-11 overall.
After Solid Year, Severna Park JV Boys Primed For Varsity Success
Look out for Severna Park boys basketball over the next couple of seasons.
While the varsity team rebounded from a difficult 2015-2016 campaign to record six wins this season, tomorrow’s varsity players on the Falcons’ JV boys squad put together an impressive year, going 11-11 overall and 9-7 in county play. The overall win total for the Falcons was the most by the JV team since the 2011 season, when the core of the JV team comprised players who would eventually go on to power Severna Park to a county championship and a 23-3 season on varsity 2013-2014.
Severna Park JV head coach Dan Reagan sees similar potential for varsity success in this year’s JV group.
“Our JV team had a nice year this year,” said Reagan. “We came off a year when we only won five games last year. We had seven returners come back and a group of ninth-graders that won the eighth-grade league the year before [as Green Hornets], so we had a good mix right off the bat … Our kids, I hope, are realizing that they’re at a point where if they really work together, there isn’t a limit to what they can do.”
Reaching this point required no small amount of effort or resilience, and the JV boys endured early struggles before gelling late to put together an outstanding second half of the season. Following a 46-45 loss to South River on January 5, the team sat at 3-7, but the subpar record didn’t affect the boys’ dedication.
“They could have easily just, ‘Welp, it’s another losing season’ and look forward to the next sport, but they never did, they continued to practice hard,” he said, adding that the team’s next practice after the South River loss was its first in the new gym, which had a galvanizing effect.
Wins followed. The team racked up seven wins over its next nine contests, notching victories over Chesapeake, Southern, Broadneck, Northeast, Meade, South River and Glen Burnie before punctuating the year with a season-closing 37-30 win over Broadneck on February 17. At 9-7 in county play, the team finished fifth on the 12-team table and went 5-2 against Broadneck, Meade, Annapolis and Old Mill — the four teams that finished ahead of the Falcons — including season sweeps of the Bruins and Mustangs and a win over the Panthers.
The JV Falcons’ success was powered by strong play from up and down the roster. Sophomores Jerry Jennings and Jacob Delaere were the Falcons’ leading scorers, averaging 9.1 and 8.2 points per game, respectively, as “two really good athletes that became better basketball players as the season went on and stepped into primary roles well this year,” said Reagan. Sophomore point guard Matt Simms and classmates Evan Dill, Jojo Kelliher, Bryce Benedick, Tyler Dulin and Angelo DeCicco played valuable minutes, and freshmen Jake Goodman and Joe Harrington fortified the rotation along with Ethan Mills, Eric Bloom, Stephen Horman, Orion Young and Brendan Simonds.
Reagan stressed the contributions of everyone on the team.
“Really, 1-15 everyone contributed, whether it be in games or just having great practices,” he said. “It really was a great group of kids. They played hard all the time and were extremely coachable. Not one attitude problem among the 15 kids. Even when we dropped to 3-7, they continued to buy in and work together. [Varsity] coach [Paul] Pellicani is going to enjoy this group the next few years.”
Above all, Reagan was glad to see the team work hard, and he believes they’ve proven to themselves there’s no one in the county they can’t beat.
“In terms of practice habits and attitude, I’ll probably never have a team better than this. We had great practices all the time,” said Reagan. “We have eight seniors on the varsity, so it’s going to be kind of a brand-new [varsity] team next year, but you’ve got guys who are ready to step right in, and I think they’re excited to be the next wave. They’re leaving [JV] thinking that we can compete with anybody, and I think they’re ready to do that at the next level.”