By Morgan Widdifield
LoCoSports Copy Editor
Purcellville (March 2, 2016) — In the 44 years of operation of Loudoun Valley High School, only once has the boys basketball team won a region title. The Vikings made it to the state tournament numerous times, but it had never seemed to click in championship games.
On February 27, Loudoun Valley faced the John Champe High School Knights in the VHSL 4A West region championship game. The Vikings finally notched their second title – after being in the final many times in the past decade – beating the Knights in blowout fashion, 95-74, securing a VHSL-best 26-0 record heading into the state tournament.
“It’s huge because we’ve been here five times and this is our first that we’ve gotten and the second one in school history,” Loudoun Valley head coach Chad Dawson said. “It’s great to finally get that off our backs and be able to move forward with the season and state tournament.”
The Loudoun Valley offense was fueled by junior Nick Ball’s 14-point first half, which helped catapult the Vikings to a 20-point lead at the half. Ball had help from senior Trey McDyre and sophomores Jordan Miller and Dominic Peterson, who all combined for 23 points in the first half. The Vikings also went 10-for-15 from 3-point land — with Ball, Peterson, Miller and McDyre each knocking down a pair.
“We came in early today and had a pre-game workout to get all the jitters out for tonight,” Miller said. “We just shot the ball around, and it really helped us relax and get into the mindset for tonight’s game.”
Just like they always do, the Viking offense kept pushing, keeping their lead virtually unattainable for the Knights, and eventually subbed out all of the starters in the fourth quarter.
Ball ended the night with 31 points, with McDyre and Miller both having solid nights with 15 and 20 points in the game, respectively.
John Champe senior and VMI-commit Kuony Deng was a bright spot for the Knights, finishing the game with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Champe’s other star, senior Zach Burdick, had significant foul trouble and had to sit out most of the second and third quarters of the game, which led to many turnovers by the inexperienced Knights’ bench.
“[Deng’s] a stud, just freakishly athletic,” McDyre said. “My job was to try to keep him out of the paint and off the boards, and I guess I did alright, but he’s a heck of a player.”
Both teams received VHSL 4A state quarterfinal berths with wins earlier last week. Loudoun Valley will be the No. 1 seed and John Champe will be the still respectful No. 2 seed out of the VHSL 4A West region.
Loudoun Valley (26-0) will travel to James Madison University to play the VHSL 4A East No. 4 seed Monacan High School on Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m.
John Champe (22-4) will also travel to James Madison University to play the VHSL 4A East No. 3 seed Eastern View High School on Friday, March 4 at 8:45 p.m.
Loudoun Valley Vikings Stats per Legit Sports Stats
Nick Ball 31 points, 7-10 free throws, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Jordan Miller 20 points, 5-7 free throws, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Trey McDyre 15 points, 6-for-6 free throws, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Dominic Peterson 8 points, 2-for-6 free throws, 2 assists
Jalen Williams 6 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 steal
Jamir Degree 6 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists
Jason Yoxthimer 5 points, 1-for-2 free throws, 3 rebounds
Nick Dize 4 points, 2 rebounds
Nick Kallivokas 1 rebound
John Champe Knights Stats per Legit Sports Stats
Kuony Deng 20 points, 2-for-3 free throws, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Dom Fragala 16 points, 10-for-12 free throws, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Zach Burdick 13 points, 5-for-6 free throws, 3 rebounds, 2 steals,
Scotty Collier 8 points, 7 rebounds
Will Nichols 6 points, 1-for-2 free throws, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
Sean Prendergast 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal
Nick Ryan 3 points, 1 assist
Robbie Harwood 3 points
Conner Ryan 2 points, 1 rebound
Owen Cosenke 3 rebounds
Carl Garmon 1 rebound