Purcellville, Va. — For the Loudoun Valley High School girls basketball team, it’s all about defense. Led defensively by senior guard Olivia Badura and junior forward Megan Stevenson, the Vikings execute a highly-effective full court press but also pressure the ball well in the half court. That pressure paid off during rivalry week as Loudoun Valley forced Woodgrove to turn the ball over 30 times and held the Wolverines to just 33 points as the Vikings ran away with the 61-33 win on January 4 in Purcellville.
“In-town rivalries are always intense,” Loudoun Valley head coach Kenyamo McFarlane said. “I’ve been part of this one since Woodgrove opened up. You can throw records out the window. They’re a talented team. We knew we were going to get their best shot.”
Loudoun Valley set the defensive tone early as Badura and Stevenson picked up two steals apiece in the first quarter. The Vikings offense, however, didn’t settle in, allowing the Wolverines to stick around.
“I think us being an up-and-down team, a pressing team, a man-to-man team, maybe we won’t get them in the first couple minutes,” McFarlane said. “But with our depth, we can really wear teams out.”
While the defensive pressure continued in the second quarter, Loudoun Valley’s transition offense got rolling. In the second quarter, Badura added 6 to her game-high 12 points, senior forward Lakin Krisko contributed 4 and freshman guard Jane Bodamer scored 4 points off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Vikings’ defense completely shut down the Wolverines, holding Woodgrove to just one point in the second quarter as Loudoun Valley took a commanding 32-10 lead into the half.
“I didn’t realize [we had held them to one point]until my team told me that at halftime,” McFarlane said. “The fact that they’re excited about those defensive stops is a sign of us progressing as a team.”
Coming out of the locker room, Loudoun Valley toned down the full court pressure, and Woodgrove started to find a little rhythm.
Having turned the ball over 20 times in the first half, the Wolverines settled down and took better care of the basketball which allowed Woodgrove freshman forward Ashley Steadman to add 7 to her game-high 12 points.
With a 20-point lead heading into the final quarter, Loudoun Valley turned the intensity back up late in the fourth quarter to give some of his reserves some in-game defensive looks as the Vikings continued to force turnovers and convert on the other end.
“We took the press off in the second half, then turned it back on because they started to get some momentum, and I wanted to get us some momentum back,” McFarlane said. “I’m trying to get our team ready and get better as the season goes on.”
As Loudoun Valley (3-0, 7-1) gets into the meat of the Dulles District schedule, the Vikings will travel to Sterling on January 8 to play Park View (0-3, 2-9). Woodgrove (3-1, 5-6) hosts Osbourn on January 7 before resuming district play at Heritage (2-1, 4-9) on January 8.
“It’s all about balance. On any given night, somebody is going to be on and somebody’s not going to be on,” McFarlane said. “But if each of our girls can make an impact out there somehow, someway, and we have a statline where everyone is scoring, opposing teams aren’t going to know how to stop us.”
Loudoun Valley Stats
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