The North Point girls’ loss at Westlake in January didn’t even have any repercussions for conference standings, but from the looks of the Eagles in the locker room afterward, “You would have thought they’d lost a state championship,” Coach Michael Serpone said.
“We were pretty hyped for the first Westlake game, to the point that I think we got a little bit overhyped, so we took the loss pretty hard,” junior Valencia Vastey said. “But we knew we had another chance.”
The rematch against Westlake (16-3, 12-1 in Southern Maryland Athletics Conference) at home two weeks later gave North Point (15-2, 12-0) the advantage of a spirited fan base — “pretty much half the school, half of Waldorf,” Vastey said — and time to rework their defense and prepare to defend their conference title with a 55-43 win Friday.
Serpone was also able to point out the championship banner hanging over the North Point gym before the game to remind the girls that if they wanted another year up there, they’d have to win every game from that point on.
The Eagles had a three-point advantage when Vastey, who scored a game-high 18 points, and senior Brianna Hodges went back to the bench in foul trouble for the third quarter.
“The bench really stepped up, we had maybe five different girls and asked them all to give us two or three minutes of good basketball,” Serpone said.
“Before we got those two back in, I turned to them in said, ‘Hey, your teammates really picked it up for you and extended the lead.’ They went back in like they hadn’t been sitting.”
North Point used six different defenses on the Wolverines Friday and excelled in about five of them, Serpone said.
“I think the defenses constantly kept them guessing, with constantly changing defenses that was the most important,” Hodges said.
Beating the Wolverines on their home court was bittersweet, Hodges said. The Eagles had last lost to Westlake in January 2010 before the Jan. 24 loss.
Calvert hosts the Eagles Tuesday in a meeting of the two defending state champions in the conference.
SMAC boys’ basketball: Westlake holds off North Point in overtime
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