Leesburg, Va. — When the Loudoun County High School boys basketball team hosted Dominion High School on February 11, it was more than just a rubber match. Sure, the game would decide the season-long victor – as the teams split their regular season match ups – but at stake was also a chance to advance in the Dulles District tournament.
So in the win-or-go-home game, Loudoun County junior guard Matt Anderson poured in a game-high 27 points to make sure the Raiders came out on top of the Titans, 62-55.
“Matt plays the whole game,” Loudoun County head coach Mark Alexander said. “I don’t know where we’d be without him.”
After Dominion jumped out to a 10-3 lead to open the game, Anderson went on a rampage, scoring 19 points over the remainder of the half, leading the Raiders on a 24-5 run to put Loudoun County in the driver’s seat.
“Our guys go through some funks. You saw it again in the third quarter,” Alexander said. “But when we play well, we can play with anybody.”
Coming out of the half, the Titans picked up the pressure defensively and turned to their big men on offense to trim the Raiders’ lead to 45-39.
“First half, they were playing man. We were killing it left and right: cutting, backdoors, easy layups,” Anderson said. “Then they switched to a 13, and we’re not the best at that. But we spread the floor out and got the job done.”
Having led for the entire second and third quarters, Loudoun County saw its first lead change with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter when Dominion junior forward Mark Schroeder knocked down a free throw on an and-one to put the Titans up, 46-45.
Anderson, however, had an immediate answer as he ran down court and drilled a three to put the Raiders back up.
Dominion evened things up on the very next possession when senior forward Michael Discher scored on a contested lay-up.
“They have some good big men,” Loudoun County senior forward Joe Alexander said. “But defense is something we continue to focus on a lot.”
Boys Basketball: Loudoun County holds on against Dominion. Raiders will travel to Loudoun Valley for a Dulles District semifinal on February 13. @LCRaiderHoops 62, @DominionHoops 55 FINAL #LoCoHoops @LoCoSports
— Owen Gotimer (@BigO_Gotimer) February 12, 2019
Out of the following time out, Alexander – who turned in a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double – put the Raiders back up two, and they never looked back.
“Joe’s taking some ownership of the glass, because we don’t have a real big that does that,” Coach Alexander said. “He’s been putting some rebound numbers up. It wears him out a little bit, but he’s still getting his double-digit points.”
The Raiders also got double-digit scoring efforts from senior forward Derek McCandless and sophomore shooting guard Caleb Rexroad, who came into the game with a sore leg.
“As a sophomore, this was a great game for Caleb to grow and find out what it means to be a ballplayer. You have to get over your little aches and pains sometimes, and he did it,” Coach Alexander said. “We were giving him the option. I think he struggled with that a little bit, but then he said he was ready to go.”
“What an atmosphere. I hope it’s packed. I hope they’re yelling at me. It really gets me going,” Coach Alexander said. “We’ve had success there this year, so we want to build on that. But they’re a great team. They have a great coach. We can’t have any bad quarters.”
Loudoun County Stats
|Loudoun County||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Steals||Blocks||Free Throws|