Cape girls’ basketball is 56-10 over last three seasons

Abbey Hearn named PSAC Rookie of the Year
March 11, 2022

Fifty years - It will be 50 years next girls’ basketball season since Cape won a state championship back in 1973. Over the last three seasons, the Vikings have ridden a wave of talent to a combined regular-season record of 49-8, while going 7-2 in the postseason for a combined record of 56-10. Rolling toward the semifinal at the Bob Carpenter Center in 2020, the season was abruptly canceled. I think the girls’ basketball team suffered from PTSD for the next two seasons, and I could argue that case from the position of combat fatigue. Two losses at Sanford over the last three weeks where Cape scored 25 and 27 points make sense for my theory. They weren’t D’d up; they were used up. Five seniors started, including Ella Rishko, Lauryn Head, Mehkia Applewhite, Morgan Mahoney and Julia Saleur. Seniors Kelly Bragg and Mackenzie Vitolo came off the bench. Beacon was 12-0 this season, but only four of those players are in eighth grade. Mariner was 7-2 with six eighth-graders. Cape will be an upper-echelon downstate team because of programs, facilities and coaching, but how to break on through to the other side remains the challenge. Cape’s Abbey Hearn is a starter for Division II Kutztown University (26-6 overall), which is heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1996. Abbey, a sophomore, was the PSAC Rookie of the Year, averaging 10 points and five rebounds per game.

Lax clinics - On March 6, both the Cape boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams conducted free instructional clinics for little laxers grades 2 through 8 from the seaside community. Skills and drills were offered to more than 50 boys in Legends Stadium, while more than 100 girls showed up at Champions Stadium. The girls have a three-day clinic series scheduled. 

Negotiations - When granddaughter Anna, now 26, was traversing through the primary grades at Rehoboth Elementary School, I nicknamed her “The Negotiator,” which was preferable to Samuel L. Jackson, who starred in the 1998 movie of the same name. Smart people learn early that life is a series of give-and-take negotiations, and if you're not willing to give, then you get nothing in return. And so what is it that the Major League Baseball players want as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, and why won’t the collective owners give it to them? This is millionaires versus billionaires, otherwise known as the oligarchs of MLB. I’ve read the contract language and grew weary. I just want to turn on an afternoon game in my garage, then fall asleep on the dog's couch.  

Downside of turf fields - Bermuda grass is more friendly to the knees and ankles of the players, but if it rains heavily, game day is washed away. That is not the case with turf fields – add in all-weather tracks – so games and meets go on under abysmal weather conditions. As a sports photographer rocking expensive gear, there is a price for me to brave the elements for three hours. I have a lens long enough to take photos from the protected press box, but the working press never use the press box. I haven't been in one in a decade, plus it's dangerous and arduous walking up wet metal bleachers and more precarious coming back down without ski poles. Cape boys’ lacrosse has a turf field play day scheduled for Saturday, March 12, with Malvern Prep, Severna Park and John Carroll coming to Cape. Chance of rain is 97 percent with a high temp of 54. The good news is Cape is home. The bad news is winds are from the east. Welcome to spring sports outside, except for boys’ volleyball. 

Snippets - Travel versus school sports has been a clash of different cultures for a generation. Mostly the worlds mesh, and a kid who is a member of a respected club learns to compete and gets better so when the school sport season begins they are ahead of the game, whatever that means. But other times it’s “The Clash,” as harmony goes to loud, dissonant punk rock when a travel kid gets cut from their high school team. It used to be you had to be a top-of-the-tree talent with mad money in your nerd wallet to travel the country pursuing a pool-division championship. But sports remain optional for all of us, and I know many young people are losing their identity “running down a dream.” Go on now, git!


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter