The last thing Chesapeake senior Meghan Klug wants to wear to school the first day back from Christmas break is a Severna Park sweat shirt, but if the Cougars lose Friday night's game against the Falcons, she and her teammates will be donning their rivals' colors.
The bets are on for one of the season's biggest games, as Chesapeake will try to avenge last year's county championship loss to Severna Park. Four girls from each team spent five months of the offseason playing together for an AAU team, so emotions will be high.
"I can't wait," Klug said. "I'm so excited. This is definitely going to be one of the best matchups of the season. It's going to be hard because we're friends with them, but it's going to be close. We just have to keep our cool. The last time we played them, we lost. We can't think of that. We have to play like it's a new season."
The Severna Park girls enter Friday's 5:15 p.m. game with confidence after winning a Christmas tournament title, though they are without senior Julia Waters, the team's leading scorer at 13.3 points per game. Waters was bedridden earlier this week with mononucleosis.
Led by senior Lauren Hall's 17 points, the Falcons defeated Western, 63-42, to win the Holly-N-Hoops Tournament on Saturday. Lauren Haag added 14, but Hall knows more is expected of her with Waters out.
"Since one of our leading post players got sick, I'm going to have to be the one to keep the team up," Hall said. "[Chesapeake] is a pretty good team. They might give us a run."
Chesapeake lost to Roland Park, 60-45, in the Noel Classic, and the Cougars' game against Spalding on Monday night ended too late for publication. Spalding was one of the few county teams to garner a win in its own tournament. Katie Latonick scored 19 points and Stacy Hunt added 18, leading the Cavaliers to a 73-38 win against St. Mary's Ryken.
"We've got some big games coming up so we have to step up," Latonick said. "We're small, but we're tough and we're going to go far. We have a lot of scorers on our team so there's not a lot of pressure. We have three great seniors who take a lot of that pressure off."
Hunt scored 16 points in the Cavaliers' 52-25 win against Old Mill in the first game of the tournament Friday. Sophomore Camille Stokes scored seven points for the Patriots in their 45-28 loss to Parkside in the consolation game.
Southern lost, 53-22, to Roland Park in the Noel Classic on Saturday.
Sophomore guard Sarah Meisenberg had 20 points, 4 assists and 4 steals to lead Severn to a 56-23 win over Winters Mill in the Queen Anne's Tournament final. Jess Adams added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Admirals. Broadneck senior Danielle Gross scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds in the Bruins' 45-35 win over Calvert in the consolation game.
Arundel senior Amanda Hernandez scored 23 points, but the Wildcats lost, 59-52, to Churchill in the Holiday Hoops Tournament consolation game at Washington Bible College in Lanham. St. Mary's survived to the championship game but lost, 62-46, to St. John's. Bri Gauthier broke the tournament record by making 10 three-point shots in the two games.
"We were looking at it the day before and going through the records," Gauthier said. "I saw it but I didn't pay much attention to it. I didn't really notice I had a lot of threes, I was just going for whatever is open."
Annapolis senior C'Vette Henson had 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the Panthers' 61-46 win against Glen Burnie in the final of the Capital City Classic. Senior point guard Whitney Crankfield added 15 points.
County public schools resume their conference schedules Friday, and both Chesapeake and Severna Park are bringing extra warmups for whoever loses. Klug is confident it won't be the Cougars.
"I think we want it more since we lost last year," she said. "We just want to beat them."