By Michael Pittinger
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Leesburg (February 15, 2017) – On a day filled with secret admirers and love notes, Valentine’s Day 2017 took a backseat to a Conference 21B semifinal match up between the ladies from Heritage and Park View High Schools. The Lady Pride defeated the Lady Patriots, 57-43, thanks to a huge second half performance, to advance to the Conference 21B championship.
“First off, I want to congratulate Park View. They came to play tonight,” Heritage head coach Reggie Barnes said. “We know that [Christina] Adlam is a great shooter, so we wanted to limit her touches and her chances at the basket. They were really killing us in the first half with their penetration, so we shut down the penetration and forced them to shoot from the outside [in the second half].”
“In the third quarter, we just made a defensive adjustment. We told the girls to just settle down. We’re normally a second half team – even though we’ve been trying to shake that all year – but in the third quarter, we just made that adjustment and the girls believed in themselves and kept working,” Barnes said. “This is probably one of the few times this season that we’ve really stuck to the game plan and executed it. We didn’t launch as many three-pointers. We decided to work inside and out, and I think that was the difference.”
The Lady Pride cut the Lady Patriots 9-point halftime lead to just four points in the first two minutes of the third quarter and then erased the deficit completely just four minutes into the second half.
Heritage senior guard Lana Zjajo’s ability to get to the basket and the post play of senior forward Corrianna Calloway fueled the Lady Pride’s scoring. The pair combined for 34 points – 17 apiece – to lead all scorers.
“We [usually]settle for a lot of three-point shots. When we do that, we start getting down when we’re missing them,” Zjajo said. “At half time, our coach told us to just work the ball inside, and eventually, we started connecting on our layups and our post shots.”
The Lady Patriots’ offense struggled after halftime thanks to the Lady Pride’s ability to limit Park View’s leading scorer Christina Adlam to just three points in the second half and eleven points for the whole game.
“Our defense helped get us momentum on offense,” Zjajo said. “Obviously, having Adlam struggle in the third quarter helped us because their scoring wasn’t there.”
Heritage’s ability to get to the basket in the fourth quarter shut down any chance for a Park View rally.
“Lana and Grace Sibley sacrificed the outside shot,” Barnes said. “They passed up a lot of threes and looked to penetrate, and once their man stepped up and the help stepped over, they looked to Corrianna and she just finished.”
The Lady Pride have a short bus trip to face there crosstown-rival Loudoun County Lady Raiders for the Conference 21B championship on February 16.
“We need to play inside out,” Zjajo said. “We need to play defense and just play our game and control the tempo against them.”
|Lady Pride Totals||57||36||17||4||0||8-for-12|
|Lady Patriots Totals||43||42||11||7||3||6-for-16|