Purcellville (January 9, 2013) – In the Dulles District girls basketball battle for first place, Woodgrove High School matched up against Loudoun County last Friday in the most highly anticipated game of the season. Woodgrove (10-0, 11-2) stole the basketball 18 times, forcing 29 Raider turnovers, and kept the defensive pressure on all night as they took sole possession of first place in the district by knocking off Loudoun County (9-1, 12-2) 58-49.
For the entire first quarter Woodgrove struggled to put points on the board as they scored only three field goals and went 0-for-2 from the free throw line.
“We wanted to score 20 or more and hold [Loudoun County] to under 10 in the first quarter. Defensively we were there. Offensively not so much,” said Woodgrove head coach Kevin Copley.
But preparation, experience and poise caused a shift in momentum in the later part of the first half and continued into the second half.
“We’ve been preparing for this game for a while,” said Woodgrove’s senior forward Stephanie Purnell. “We just used the flex offense to look for open shots inside.”
And openings they found.
Purnell led all scorers with a season high 21 points and all rebounders with 12 boards. Her points came in an array of ways including second chance put backs, post moves, pull up jumpers and a banked 3-pointer from the corner to open the second half.
“Stephanie is a three year starter and she gets better each and every year,” said Copley. “She’s a dominant force and other teams know that.”
Woodgrove’s defense is what put the game out of reach late as the Wolverines started with and continued to use full court pressure throughout the contest causing Loudoun County’s guards to turn the ball over 23 times.
Wolverine senior guard Brittany Basinger and her sophomore sister Brooke both had six steals in the effort, while the siblings only turned the ball over a combined one time. Brooke also added 14 points for the Wolverines.
The Raiders had a tough time from the beginning of the game and beyond as head coach Derek Fisher received a technical foul less than four minutes into the affair and had to coach sitting down for the rest of the game.
Fisher, a coach who is usually very active on the sideline, had to collect himself and lead his team without being his typically animated self. Loudoun County and their coach both stepped up to that challenge and the Raiders made a run late scoring 10-of-12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone but fell short as Purnell was simply too much.
Offensively Loudoun County was led by junior forward Maggie Phillips (15 points, 8 rebounds) and sophomore forward Chloe Knox (10 points, 8 rebounds).
Both Purnell and Copley noted that playing Loudoun County benefits their team as they get to play in a more “tournament style” game, meaning they are playing teams like they might get to see in districts, regionals or beyond.
“We have an experienced senior class,” said Copley, “All of them played in the four big games [against the Raiders]last year. The pressure situations fell to our advantage.”
Linsey Fagan 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1/2 free throws, 1 assist
Kaitlyn Lorinchak 1 point, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1/2 free throws
Brittany Basinger 4 points, 5 rebounds, 6 steals, 0/1 free throws, 3 assists
Brooke Basinger 14 points, 2 rebounds, 6 steals, 0/4 free throws, 2 assists
Maggie Buxton 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 0/2 free throws, 1 assist
Halle Lynch 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 1/7 free throws, 3 assists
Stephanie Purnell 21 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocked shots, 1 assist
58 points, 31 rebounds, 12 turnovers, 18 steals, 2 blocked shots, 3/18 free throws, 11 assists
Loudoun County Stats
Gabrielle Gillis 2 points, 1 rebound, 2/2 free throws
Madison Szoka 2 points, 1 steal
Alyssa Paige 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 5/6 free throws
Allison Sarver 1 steal
Chloe Knox 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 blocked shot, 1 assist
Tayler Tibbits 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 5/6 free throws, 2 assists
Maggie Phillips 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 blocked shot, 4/7 free throws, 2 assists
Elisabeth Gianelos 1 point, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot, 1/2 free throws
49 points, 29 rebounds, 29 turnovers, 9 steals, 3 blocked shots, 17/23 free throws, 5 assists