Purcellville, Va. — For three seasons, Austin Rivers played for his dad Doc on the Los Angeles Clippers. Pistol Pete Maravich played for his dad Press at LSU in the 60s. And legendary head coach Jim Boeheim currently coaches his son Buddy at Syracuse.
Father-son duos are nothing new to the game of basketball. So when Loudoun Valley junior point guard Trent Dawson takes the court with his dad Chad and hears roars of “daddy’s boy” from the stands, he uses it as motivation.
“Every day during the offseason, I picture myself hearing ‘daddy’s boy.’ I always put myself in those situations,” Trent said. “So the atmosphere was great tonight. It felt like a college game out there.”
Despite all the noise, Dawson put on a clinic, leading the Vikings to a 74-70 win over rival Woodgrove on January 4 in Purcellville.
While Dawson scored a game-high 24 points, corralled 5 rebounds, added 4 steals and dished out 6 assists, his most important contribution of the night came from the charity stripe. Dawson made his way to the line 20 times, connecting on 17 free throws, single-handedly scoring more free throws than Woodgrove even attempted.
“He competes really hard. He’s put in a lot of time in the gym,” Loudoun Valley head coach Chad Dawson said. “He’s a stat stuffer. We’ve always talked about that. I think sometimes, he’s too unselfish. He could look for the outside shot more, but hopefully that will develop.”
After jumping out to a commanding first quarter lead, the Vikings saw that lead slip away in the second quarter as Woodgrove senior guard Alex Owen found his shot, and junior forward Brock Redman – who posted a double-double with 18 points and 20 rebounds – made his presence known inside.
“Brock’s a tremendous athlete,” Coach Dawson said. “He’s very adept around the basket, so we tried to keep him away from it, but he’s very good at finding creases, getting to the basket and finishing. He’s a great kid, and we really enjoy battling against him.”
After trailing by as many as 13, the Wolverines clawed their way back to a 27-26 deficit heading into the half.
Loudoun Valley expanded its lead to open the second half, but Woodgrove wouldn’t go away. Late in the third quarter, Owen and junior guard Tyler Blizzard connected on some big shots to keep the Wolverines within one heading into the final eight minutes.
However, the Vikings completely stopped the Wolverines’ momentum, opening the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run and holding Woodgrove scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth. Throughout the fourth, Loudoun Valley junior forward Clyde Volker grabbed five rebounds to complete his 11-point, 12-rebound double-double effort.
“Clyde’s a monster. He’s so consistent, because he works so hard,” Coach Dawson said. “Everyday in practice, every game, he gives 100%. He’s a coach’s dream.”
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolverines experienced what can only be described as a coach’s nightmare. With about five minutes left, Woodgrove senior guard Zack Johnson fouled out. Minutes later Blizzard and senior guards Brady Drawbaugh and Robert Mustacchio also exited with five fouls.
After losing three starters and their first off the bench, and when it looked like the Wolverines were all out of hope, sophomore shooting guard Jack Dewey knocked down a pair of three-pointers to pull Woodgrove within 4, but the effort was too little, too late.
In the end, it was Dawson’s composure that lifted the Vikings as the junior went 10-for-12 from the line in the fourth quarter to secure the win for Loudoun Valley.
“In a tight situation, you’ve got to want to get to the line and you’ve got to put them in,” Coach Dawson said. “We didn’t shoot well from the free throw line, but we were able to knock enough down.”
As Dulles District play heats up, Loudoun Valley (2-0, 7-3) hosts Park View (0-3, 3-8) on January 8 in Purcellville. Woodgrove (2-2, 5-6) will look to bounce back when the Wolverines travel to Spring Mills on January 7 before resuming district play against Heritage (0-3, 5-8) on January 8 in Purcellville.
Loudoun Valley Stats
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