Even before they tipped off their first game, the Seahawks’ focus has been on a team that isn’t even on their schedule yet, a team they might not even get to play. Bolden, McKinney and their teammates all want another shot at North Point.
“When basketball first started, we didn’t focus on any other teams,” said McKinney, who averages 15 points for the Seahawks (11-2, 9-0 Anne Arundel). “We already knew we could come out and beat teams in Anne Arundel County. We just focus on North Point because we always get stuck there. We just want to get over that hump.”
South River’s laser focus on a potential postseason date with North Point is easy to understand. The fifth-ranked Eagles have beaten the Seahawks in the Maryland 4A East region championship in each of the last two seasons, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of Bolden and McKinney, both four-year varsity players.
This season, the Seahawks have steamrolled their way through the regular season, outscoring opponents by an average of 15 points per game. They’ve dropped just two games thus far, against fourth-ranked Riverdale Baptist and Harford County’s Patterson Mill. South River has won seven straight since losing to Patterson Mill, all by at least 15 points. The high margins of victory are all part of the Seahawks’ game plan, McKinney said, to “come out early, jump on teams and bury them by 15 or 20 points.”
“Those two losses were disappointments. The Christmas tournament game [against Patterson Mill], that was just embarrassment. The Riverdale game, we know that they’re ranked, but that’s no excuse,” said Bolden, the team’s top scorer who will play at College of Charleston next season. “As far as motivation, those two losses, Coach said those would be our only two losses and that’s what we’re keeping in our mind, that those are the only two losses we’re going to have this season.”