We’ve all heard the cliché, “every cloud has a silver lining,” and Mt. Hebron High School boys’ basketball team, located in Howard County right near Baltimore City, is certainly no exception.
Well, Mt. Hebron may be more like a threatening thunderstorm that might cause a tornado at any moment than a cloud, but it must have a silver lining somewhere.
The Vikings managed to lose their first fourteen games in a row, none more painful than their 6th loss of the season to heated rival Centennial High School by 55 points— no, that is not a typo, the Vikings really lost by 55 points—to the score of 87-32.
“It’s just embarrassing. To go out and work hard every day, and then to put out a performance like we did, there is no excuse,” said senior point guard for Mt. Hebron, Travis Kumar.
It’s hard to imagine the silver lining for a team that ended the season with a final record of 3-20, including a 55-point loss, as well as a first round loss to PG county’s Fairmont Heights High School in the 2A State Playoff, yet, you don’t have to ask too many Vikings to find out just what their silver lining was.
“Beating Centennial at home was without a doubt the highlight of our season. To be able to beat them after losing by 55 the first time, and to have our fans storm the court was just an amazing feeling,” said senior power forward Ricky Schultz.
The Vikings, facing Centennial for their second county match-up of the year, still had feelings of embaressment lingering in their minds.
“We were definitely more fired up for this game than any other games from having been embarrassed by them once already,” said freshman small forward Zach Neil. “We used the anger we had from last game, and translated it into a win the second time around.”
This time, however, the Vikings came out playing to a different tune.
“We came with the intensity that was missing the first time we played Centennial at their place. We were diving over all loose balls, everyone was selling out, and we played basketball the way we should have been playing all year,” said junior forward Alex Weber.
Mt. Hebron came out and defeated the Centennial Eagles, 57-51 in front of the home crowd fans. For the readers at home who have been counting along on their fingers, that’s a 61 point turnaround from the first time Mt. Hebron played Centennial to the second time they faced off.
A 61-point turnaround is unprecedented at any level, and hands down a state record for the biggest turnaround in any high school season where an opponent is only played twice.
While Mt. Hebron’s season may have been clouded by big losses, overtime heartbreakers, and early playoff exits, a record setting win over their biggest county foes is a silver lining all of Mt. Hebron can share.