Arundel girls: No 'boo-boo faces' wanted
For the last two years, the season ended earlier in the state tournament than the Arundel girls basketball team would have liked. That made for some emotional press conferences after the games, especially last season when the Wildcats lost in the semifinal.
Thursday night after the Wildcats defeated Urbana, 52-42, in a state Class 4A semifinal, it was easy to joke about those disappointing moments.
"It is a lot different sitting at this table," senior guard Talen Watson said. "What they call it is the boo-boo face and my tears were rolling down here and I had to keep composure, but it feels so much different.To make it to this point past that point from what we did last year is a great thing. We'll celebrate tonight but then on Friday we have practice and we'll go in and we'll be be focused. We don't want to have the boo-boo faces again."
Wildcats coach Lee Rogers said assistant coach Paul Moore got copies of pictures from the past two press conferences, including 2008 when they lost in the championship game, and showed them to the girls earlier this week.
"That showed those guys when they had those tears and they didn't like that feeling," said Rogers while sitting with seniors Watson, Sheronne Vails and Ariel Ross at the press conference after Thursday's game.
"We put [those photos] in the locker room. We discussed about the pressure and [how] we don't want this. These are things that you guys have experienced that those younger guys haven't, so in order to not have those (feelings) we've got to stay focused and work hard and you can't give up and we talked about how they won't quit."
The No. 5 Wildcats (22-4) aren't about to let down now. They have one opponent to get past in Saturday's 3 p.m. title game at UMBC's RAC Arena -- and it's not an easy one.
Gaithersburg (23-3) upset Wise, the No. 2 team behind Riverdale Baptist in The Washington Post rankings whose only previous loss had been to Riverdale. Gaithersburg prevailed 46-44 in overtime despite trailing by 16 in the second quarter, turning the ball over 31 times and having two of their three ball handlers foul out in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats know how tough Wise is -- they played the Pumas in a holiday tournament in December and they gave them a battle before falling 63-59, so they know they will have to work awfully hard to hold off those boo-boo faces.