Severna Park girls basketball coach Kristofer Dean said his team was brimming with confidence heading into the Class 4A state semifinal against Glen Burnie.
The Falcons won three playoff games, beating North Point by five points, blowing out South River and edging Urbana by three.
That had Severna Park doing something on March 7 it hadn’t done since 1988 — appearing in a final four.
Unfortunately, the Falcons ran into the county champion Glen Burnie Gophers, who boast a 23-2 record.
Glen Burnie led from start to finish and cruised to a 45-28 victory over Severna Park at Paint Branch High in Burtonsville. The Gophers beat the Falcons three times this season.
Severna Park finished with a 21-6 mark. Dean understood all accomplishments achieved by his team.
On top of the state semifinal appearance, the Falcons won a regional title and advanced to the county championship game.
“It was a pretty good run,” said Dean, who is in his sixth season. “We had four great seniors (Lilly Spilker, Hanna Verreault, Karli Kirchenheiter, Abby Kavanagh) and they have been wonderful to work with."
Turnovers (9) plagued Severna Park in the first half and poor shooting hurt the Falcons throughout the game. They shot 21 percent from the field (8-for-38) and 38 percent from the free-throw line (12-for-31).
Glen Burnie combo guard Amourie Porter, who has committed to California State Bakersfield and averages 21 points a game, didn’t have one of her better nights against Severna Park. She finished with 12 points and added seven rebounds and four steals.
Porter found herself in foul trouble in the third quarter and came out of the game with 4:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Senior center Aichatta Soumaoro stepped up in her place and totaled 10 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks.
“She (Soumaoro) showed she belongs on this stage,” said Porter’s father, Sam, a second-year coach. “That’s one of her better performances. What happened tonight was major for her.”
Senior Lania Nick had 12 points.
Kavanagh, a 6-foot forward, led Severna Park with nine points and eight rebounds. Freshman Maria Bragg had seven points and five rebounds.
Kirchenheiter (four points), Charley Coward (four), Spilker (two) and Verreault (two) also scored.
Glen Burnie jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first quarter and the Gophers pushed their advantage to 15-6 by the end of the period.
The winners boosted their lead to 22-10 at halftime.
“With a team like that, you can’t have a bad start,” Dean said. “Tonight, it was too much of a hole to climb out of. All three times we played them, we were in a hole to start the game.”
The Falcons cut the lead to 22-14 early in the second quarter on Bragg’s layup. But Glen Burnie used a 9-2 spurt to take control.
“We clawed back, but it wasn’t enough,” Dean said.