By Owen Gotimer
Purcellville (January 11, 2016) — One of the few things more difficult than capping off a three game week in high school basketball is capping off a three game week coming out of winter break against one of the most dangerous teams in your conference. But the trouble didn’t bother the Loudoun Valley High School boys basketball team – which after a slow start in the first quarter – rallied behind a high-scoring offensive and turnover-forcing defense to defeat Conference 21B foe Rock Ridge High School, 78-48, in front of a home crowd in Purcellville on January 8.
“We have started slow some games. This is our third game this week,” Loudoun Valley head coach Chad Dawson said. “They’re obviously a very good team and that has a lot to do with the slow start.”
Trailing the Phoenix (2-3, 5-7) five minutes into the contest, Loudoun Valley junior forward Duron Norris really turned on the switch off the Vikings’ bench to give his team the lead heading into the second quarter.
“It’s great this year that we have a lot of depth,” Norris said. “The coach really trusts everyone to play and to play at a high level: scoring points, grabbing rebounds, playing defense.”
Norris – who finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds – was one of four Vikings (5-0, 10-0) to finish in double figures including sophomore guard Jordan Miller who also got hot off the Loudoun Valley bench.
“A lot of times we sub in our leading scorer, our best shooter and our most athletic player as our first three subs. Then we rotate combinations around,” Dawson said. “It’s a problem for other teams because they’re all super talented kids and we’re super deep.”
The Viking scoring depth is endless as 11 of the 12 guys who saw court time, saw scoring time.
“That’s why we’re averaging about 80 points per game,” Dawson said. “You just never know who’s going to have the hot hand and when they’re going to have the hot hand so you just encourage guys to shoot. We have five guys averaging double figures.”
Junior guard Nick Ball and sophomore guard Jalen Williams each scored 10-plus for the Vikings, but both aided Loudoun Valley in a much more defensive way which was made more difficult by the scoring ability of Rock Ridge senior guard Tommy Caldwell and junior forward Deontay Compton.
Loudoun Valley will need both the offensive and defensive intensity to stay as the road doesn’t get easier for the team which has started 10-0 for the fourth time since 2005.
On January 12, the Vikings will host the John Champe Knights before travelling to Millbrook for a Saturday afternoon clash with the Pioneers on January 16. If Loudoun Valley can pass those tests, the road will not get easier as they’ll tango with the Heritage Pride in Purcellville on January 28.
The up-and-coming Pride have only three wins on the season, but sit near the top of Conference 21B and have snapped two of the Vikings’ best starts over the past ten years: Heritage halted an 11-0 Loudoun Valley start in 2005-2006 and an 18-0 Loudoun Valley start in 2012-2013.
“We just have to keep playing strong. We have to start out better because we’re starting out a little soft and lazy,” Norris said. “If we start out better, I don’t think any team can play with us.”
Loudoun Valley Vikings Stats
Jalen Williams 14 points, 2 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists, 1-for-1 free throw
Jordan Miller 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot, 1 assist, 0-for-1 free throw
Duron Norris 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, 2-for-3 free throws
Nick Ball 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 blocked shot, 3 assists, 2-for-3 free throws
Trey McDyre 7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists
Dominic Peterson 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 2 assists, 1-for-2 free throws
Jamir Degree 4 points, 2-for-2 free throws
Nick Kallivokas 3 points, 1 steal
Daniel Traub 3 points
Jason Yoxthimer 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 blocked shot
Tyler Hunt 2 points
Matt Traub 1 rebound
78 points, 26 rebounds, 13 turnovers, 15 steals, 3 blocked shots, 12 assists, 8-for-12 free throws
Rock Ridge Phoenix Stats
Tommy Caldwell 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocked shots, 5-for-7 free throws
Deontay Compton 10 points, 5 rebouns, 1 steal, 2-for-2 free throws
Ayush Mayur 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 blocked shot, 1 assist, 2-for-2 free throws
Michael Bell 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 0-for-1 free throw
Blalock Blake 3 points
Dillon Weems 2 points, 3 rebounds, 0-for-1 free throw
Monteral Jackson 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Kory Bazile 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 assist
Tony Parkman 2 points, 1 rebound
Robert Byas-Smith 2 points
Justyn Tate 1 point, 2 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 blocked shot, 1 assist, 1-for-2 free throws
James Larsen 2 rebounds, 1 assist
48 points, 25 rebounds, 23 turnovers, 6 steals, 4 blocked shots, 6 assists, 10-for-15 free throws