By Joe Skinner
Aldie (Feb. 21, 2015) — On Feb. 20 — even with school off for LCPS students — a pair of Conference 28 basketball championship showdowns took place at John Champe High School: two games that were decided by a combined 12 points. The saying that defense wins championships could never be truer when the Loudoun Valley Vikings and the John Champe Knights took to the hardwood to bring home the hardware.
In the early tip, the Lady Vikings sought revenge after a regular season loss to the Lady Knights and upset No. 1 John Champe, 34-27.
In the prime time match up, the Knights fought off a late run by the Vikings to earn John Champe’s first ever conference title in boys basketball.
Lady Vikings Win in Low Scoring Affair
The Loudoun Valley Lady Vikings got to be on the receiving end of the first championship presentation of the evening, defeating the John Champe Lady Knights, 34-27. Loudoun Valley junior guard Lindsey Sweet led the way for all scorers with 14 points while adding four rebounds and two assists. Viking senior forward Rachel Bowyer totaled 14 rebounds. The battle on the glass was the deciding factor in this matchup as the Lady Vikings out rebounded the Lady Knights 44-28.
“We have been playing good defense the last two games, and we just carried that over into tonight,” Loudoun Valley head coach Kenyamo McFarlane said. “If we contain [Champe’s] dribblers, keep them out of the paint and make them take tough shots, we will rebound it.”
The Lady Knights will travel for their region game to the winner of the Conference 27 championship.
“If we can limit teams to one shot and done, I have confidence in our offense [by]getting some shots up and getting shots that we can [make]from inside and outside and getting to the free throw line. Defense is always going to get us far,” McFarlane said.
John Champe sophomore Blair Thompson led the Lady Knights with 11 points in the losing effort.
Knights Catch Fire from Behind the Arc, Win First Basketball Title
The John Champe Knights got to give a championship performance to the home crowd on the boy’s end of the Conference 28 title doubleheader, defeating the Loudoun Valley Vikings, 59-54. The Knights found their stride from three point range, going 11-for-24.
John Champe junior guard Zach Burdick had 15 points and went 3-for-5 from three. Knight junior forward Kuony Deng led the team in points with 16 along with six rebounds and four blocked shots.
“We shouldn’t rely on [the threes], but we wouldn’t be where we are without the shooters that we have,” John Champe head coach Bill Maher said.
The game was all but sealed when John Champe junior forward Max Murray hit a three to put the Knights up by four with under two minutes left in the game. But Loudoun Valley sophomore Nick Ball and the Vikings hung around until the waning seconds when John Champe’s shooters proved to be too much.
The Knights move on to host a VHSL 3A East region quarterfinal in Aldie against the loser of the Conference 27 championship game between James Monroe High School and Culpeper County High School. It will be the Vikings traveling to the winner of the Conference 27 championship on the boy’s side.
“[Close games] keep everybody focused on what they need to do. With something like this — hopefully we win them all by 15 — but this [win’s] going to help us out,” Maher said.
Joe Skinner is a sophomore at Freedom High School in South Riding. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.
Loudoun Valley Lady Vikings Stats per Legit Sport Stats
Lindsey Sweet 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 5-for-6 free throws
Celine Fink 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 6-for-7 free throws
Rachel Bowyer 4 points, 14 rebounds, 1 blocked shot, 1 steal, 0-for-6 free throws
Kirsten Graves 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2-for-2 free throws
Mar Keane 2 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocked shots, 2 steals, 0-for-7 free throws
Caroline McDonald 2 points, 1 rebound, 4 blocked shots, 1 steal
Kailey Liverman 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 blocked shot, 0-for-2 free throws
34 points, 44 rebounds, 6 assists, 12 turnovers, 9 blocked shots, 5 steals, 13-for-30 free throws
John Champe Lady Knights Stats per Legit Sport Stats
Blair Thompson 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2-for-5 free throws
Ja’Che Malone 9 points, 2 rebound, 1 assist, 5 steals, 2-for-7 free throws
Clara Novalis 4 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 4-for-10 free throws
Alexis Smith 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 0-for-2 free throws
Karlie Harman 5 rebounds
Callie Fernandez 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Adaya Queen 1 rebound
27 points, 28 rebounds, 2 assists, 7 turnovers, 9 steals, 10-for-23 free throws
John Champe Knights Stats per Legit Sport Stats
Kuony Deng 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocked shots
Zach Burdick 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
Max Murray 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Sean Perdergast 9 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 0-for-1 free throws
Jeremiah Smith 5 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 blocked shot, 3-for-6 free throws
Ismail Canton 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Scott Collier 1 point, 2 rebounds, 1-for-2 free throws
Owen Cosenke 7 rebounds, 2 assists
59 points, 39 rebounds, 17 assists, 18 turnovers, 5 blocked shots, 4-for-9 free throws
Loudoun Valley Vikings Stats per Legit Sport Stats
Nick Ball 22 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals, 4-for-4 free throws
Jalen Williams 13 points, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4-for-4 free throws
Trey McDyre 7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 1-for-4 free throws
Robert Fox 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2-for-2 free throws
Jamir Degree 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1-for-2 free throws
Jason Yoxthimer 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Matt Eberhart 1 rebound, 1 assist
Grant Frazier 1 rebound
54 points, 22 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 turnovers, 9 steals, 12-for-16 free throws