Loudoun County, Va. — As the high school boys basketball playoffs start in Loudoun County, one local team stands out among the crowd, while several others have proved to be potential contenders. In a two-district county, we wanted a way to put things into perspective. Enter: the LoCo Top 5.
Of course, if you’re into hard numbers, check out the full Potomac District and Dulles District standings.
1. Potomac Falls (14-0, 22-0) —
22-0. I probably don’t need to explain more than that, but I’ll go ahead and give it a little more context. Since Potomac Falls opened in 1997, the Panthers’ boys basketball team has won two state championships and posted a 30-1 record in 2010-2011. However, the team had never finished undefeated in the regular season until now. Led by Christopher Newport-commit Ian Anderson and junior forward Landon Hawes, the Panthers are as hot as ever right now. Potomac Falls will host John Champe in the opening round of the Potomac District tournament on February 11, but led by 1,000-point scorer Tyler Savage, the Knights are no team to glaze over.
2. Briar Woods (9-5, 14-8) —
Coming into the season, I never would have guessed Briar Woods was in the No. 2 spot heading into the playoffs. However, first year head coach Derek Butler and the Falcons battled through a competitive Potomac District, including double-digit wins over Broad Run, Freedom, Stone Bridge and Tuscarora. Briar Woods – which is 7-1 at home this year – opens the district tournament with a home game against Tuscarora on February 11.
3. Loudoun Valley (10-2, 16-5) +1
Despite losing a pair of district games down the stretch, Loudoun Valley won its fourth straight regular season district title. Led by junior point guard Trent Dawson, the Vikings are scrappy and continue to find ways to win games. And although they graduated a core group of seniors last season, head coach Chad Dawson has a lot of recent success come tournament time. Loudoun Valley earned a bye in the first round of the Dulles District tournament and will host either Loudoun County or Dominion on February 13.
4. Woodgrove (9-3, 12-10) +3
Don’t let the 12-10 record fool you. Woodgrove had a bad five-game stretch in the middle of the season but responded by winning seven of nine to finish the year; all seven of those wins came against Dulles District opponents. The Wolverines played four games in five days late in the season, knocking off Heritage, Riverside, Loudoun Valley and Loudoun County. Three of those four wins were by double figures, and one of those double-digit wins came against No. 3 Loudoun Valley in double overtime. Woodgrove hosts Park View in the first round of the Dulles District tournament on February 11.
5. Rock Ridge (8-6, 14-8) +3
Jumping up three spots in this edition of the LoCo Top 5, the Rock Ridge boys basketball team is on a roll of late, having won six of their last eight. The Phoenix have a couple ugly losses to No. 1 Potomac Falls, but who doesn’t? Where Rock Ridge has excelled this year is winning the close game. Head coach Jay Geyer told me at the beginning of the season that the difference this year would be if his team could finish late in games, and during the regular season the Phoenix were 8-3 in single-digit games and 7-0 in games decided by less than 5 points. Rock Ridge hosts Broad Run in a Potomac District quarterfinal on February 11.