POTOMAC, Md. (WDVM) – With a 24-1 record, the 2020 Churchill girls basketball team was the best in Montgomery County.
“We not only had great individual players but we had a great team,” Churchill junior guard Dillan George, who was a freshman on that squad said.
The 2020 Bulldogs team was led by six seniors and one junior.
“Different than any other team that I’d been on,” Churchill senior guard/forward Irene Haramis said. “I feel like we were friends on and off the court.”
Haramis, will not play this season due to a torn ACL and his committed to play college basketball at Dickinson University. She recalls the excitement of the 2020 playoff run, in which the Bulldogs found themselves two wins away from a state championship. On the day of the state semifinal game, in March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team received some bad news.
“Coach pulled us all together. We were all excited thought she was gonna give us some grand speech about how we’re gonna play well today,” Haramis said. “But then she ended up saying that our game got postponed and everyone was just I guess so in shock because we never really thought that this would ever happen.”
Pete McMahon was an assistant coach for the team in 2020, his daughter Kate McMahon was the head coach. Pete has since taken over as head coach, as Kate is caring for her child. Pete tells WDVM that the team was preparing to board the bus when the news was delivered of the postponement and eventual cancellation.
“You know, the girls were all excited but obviously we had to tell them early on that it wasn’t happening,” McMahon said. “When they got the news it was you know more like they were kind of stunned.”
After losing the opportunity to compete in the state semifinals, Churchill was presented with a state semifinalist trophy. 641 days later, the Bulldogs will take the court for the first time since on Tuesday, hosting Gaithersburg.
“May almost be surreal,” George said. “Never thought the season would be interrupted like it would and feels great to be back.”
The Bulldogs are hoping to finish what they started in the 2019-20 season, for themselves and the seven girls who have since graduated.
“I’ve been waiting for this since I guess the game got called off,” Haramis said. “So it’s been over a year now and I really definitely think that it’s going to have great energy in the gym.”
And every day, the team is just grateful to be on the court.
“That team was very close. This team is pretty close,” Pete McMahon said. “And there’s a strong bond between the two teams.”