Severn Basketball Breaks 30-Year Streak, Winning MIAA B Conference


Since Severn School joined the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) in the 1995-1996 school year, the boys basketball team had never won the league crown. That changed when Severn beat Gerstell Academy 62-46 on February 24 at University of Maryland, Baltimore County to win the MIAA B Conference championship.

The game was a rematch of a Severn School win, 64-31, earlier in February. In the championship, Severn School never allowed their lead to dip below nine points.

With smothering defense and steady offense, Severn carried a 32-18 lead into halftime. Gerstell outscored the Admirals by three in the third quarter, but Severn School stayed resilient.

“Toward the beginning of the season, we would get up a lot in the first half and we’d end up choking the lead a little bit,” said junior guard/forward Jacob Randall, a Severna Park resident. “We emphasized time and score a lot in practice, and we really wanted to focus in the second half on the defensive end, now that we had a big lead, and we did a decent job of that. But (Gerstell) started to chip away. We were able to stay composed and stuck to the game plan, stuck to the script, and that ended up working out for us.”

Senior Kingston Price said, “One thing about our composure is just the fact that we all like to have fun, so even when things are getting tough, I just tell my teammates, ‘Let’s just keep having fun. Let’s play hard, and at the end of the day, things will work out as long as we are enjoying the game.’”

Randall led all Severn School scorers with 21 points, and he added six rebounds. Other big contributors included sophomore Sean Harvey (14 points, four assists), junior Daniel Growney (13 points), Price (12 points, 10 assists and five rebounds) and freshman Corey Dixon (four points, six rebounds and three steals). Center Bo Fowler made his impact felt on the defensive end with a couple of big blocks.

Severn School boys basketball head coach Mike Glasby said Gerstell presented a formidable challenge because the team has “players who can make plays and understand their roles” and a “great coach,” Jeff Cheevers. Glasby and his coaching staff made an important discovery while scouting Gerstell and used that as part of their game plan to limit Gerstell’s Caleb Franze, who finished with 23 points.

“Franze is a left-handed player and so conventional wisdom would say take away his left hand, but he is a left-handed player who likes to go to his right hand,” Glasby said. “And he’s really good as far as getting to the right side of the floor and utilizing space whether that’s with a sidestep or whether that’s with a quick move where he is faking left and going right to create space for like a floater or to be able to get to the rim, or to create separation into his jump shot. We knew we were going to have to be really aware of where he was once he crossed half-court and we wanted to try and provide pressure and funnel and keep him on one side and do a good job of being physical but then also accounting for him.

“With all that said, we also had to understand he had the capability of finding guys and making his teammates better, so we wanted him to see a crowd and hopefully when he did pass it out, making sure that we had active hands, we were getting deflections, and run from that point.”

The win provided jubilation for a Severn School team that had been making strides since Glasby took over the program six years ago. Despite losing 64-61 to St. Paul’s in the MIAA quarterfinals last year, Glasby felt encouraged that his team closed out the 2023 regular season on a 14-4 run. With seniors Price and Fowler returning, along with a group of younger talent, he had a good feeling about the 2024 season.

“Those were some guys, even with an older group, who were coming back and knew from an intangible standpoint, from a culture standpoint, what we wanted with our team,” Glasby said. “And so we had some young pieces we inserted in, and I feel the guys did a great job during the offseason, in the summertime, in the preseason, beginning to gel together, developing chemistry, working on different concepts when they would play pick-up, when they would work on their game, just doing a lot of things you see the signs of really good teams doing.”

Fowler and Price were especially euphoric as the team’s only seniors.

“It means a lot to me because I have played on this team three or four years counting the COVID year, and we never really came close,” said Fowler, a Severna Park resident. “I think we made it past round one in one year, so to actually win was awesome.”

Price said, “I had won championships with some of my outside-of-school teams before, and (Amateur Athletic Union) teams, but to be a senior on a championship team in high school is really big to me. I feel like I had a really big role and a really big hand in that.”

Glasby is proud because the group has been selfless, “whether it’s someone who comes off the bench and provides ball pressure, whether it’s a player who does a phenomenal job of cutting and providing space for some of those shots for Sean Harvey to hit, or someone setting screens.”

Coaches often challenged the players to hold a team to single digits during a quarter or even a half.

“That is not just athleticism; it’s technique, it’s focus, it is communication, it’s a willingness to give multiple efforts, it’s awareness, and it’s a lot of different things,” Glasby said. “And I really think this team was collectively on a string of doing that, so I am extremely proud of them.”

Randall attributed the team’s success to a plethora of scoring options who all do what is best for the team. That made the championship victory even sweeter.

“This has been a goal of mine for some years,” Randall said. “Even before I came to Severn, I always wanted to win a high school championship, and to be one of the leaders and one of the people to help us get it, it means so much to me. Words can’t even describe the way I feel and how I still feel to this day.”

Several players want to see the team get bumped to the MIAA A Conference next year.

“We have a lot of really good young pieces, and our resume speaks for itself, so I am really excited to see what the future holds for me and this team,” Randall said.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here