Leesburg, Va. — The Loudoun County High School boys varsity basketball team lives and dies by the three. While the Raiders weren’t lights out from downtown on February 12, they got two big three-pointers from senior shooting guard Pierce Brenner late in the fourth quarter to help chip away at an eight-point Riverside lead.
“They were huge. He always hits big shots for us,” Loudoun County senior forward Cam Corbett said. “He hit those shots and the crowd got into it. Once the crowd gets into it, we really get into it, and it was all about momentum from there.”
Brenner’s threes gave the Raiders enough momentum to get back on track and eventually upend the Rams, 53-51, to advance to a Dulles District semifinal.
“We’ve been like this all year. We have great kids, and they always battle,” Loudoun County head coach Mark Alexander said. “We’ve been seeing a lot of junk defenses. They played a little box and they played triangle, because they wanted to take Joe and Matt away. Other guys had to step up. We weren’t doing that early. Then later on Pierce hit a couple big threes, and we started feeding off the crowd.”
After trailing 48-40 with just three minutes left, Brenner connected on a pair of threes to draw Loudoun County within two points.
Then in a tie game with four seconds left, the Raiders got the ball under their own basket.
On the ensuing inbound, Loudoun County junior shooting guard Joe Alexander lobbed a pass high in the middle of the paint, finding the high-flying Corbett for an easy lay-up as the Raiders took a late 53-51 lead.
“I was hoping they’d stay in that man pressure and they did,” Alexander said. “Joe throws pretty good passes, and he’s smart with the ball. Cam’s so athletic. He can jump through the gym. I was hoping it would work, and the kids executed it.”
Three different Raiders posted double-digit points, while Loudoun County shared 14 assists. Their ability to distribute the basketball – especially as Riverside keyed on sophomore point guard Matt Anderson – gave Loudoun County the edge and eventual win.
“We haven’t been doing sharing the ball too well; it’s been the Joe and Matt show,” Alexander said. “I’m glad we had other guys step up tonight.”
Riverside was paced by senior forward Jason Odom, who posted a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. The Rams played a physical game, but struggled to convert offensively over the last four minutes of the game.
“I want to hand it to Riverside. Coach Koscinski had a great game plan,” Alexander said. “They kept the pace slow and their team executed. It’s tough to beat a team three times.”
With the win, No. 3 Loudoun County earns a spot in a Dulles District semifinal on February 14 when they travel to No. 2 Woodgrove to tango with the Wolverines.
“We already know what they do. They already know what we do,” Corbett said. “It’s going to be a battle. It’s going to be a dog fight.”
Loudoun County Stats