Loudoun County, Va. — As high school basketball wraps up in Loudoun County, a few local teams stood out among the crowd this winter. 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, 27-2) —
I know the Freedom fans won’t be happy about this, but Potomac Falls put together a tremendous season – also, this is my list; it doesn’t have to be yours. The Panthers went 22-0 in the regular season and claimed the VHSL Region 5C title. While Potomac Falls fell to Freedom in a VHSL 5A State semifinal to end its season, the Panthers also beat the Eagles in the season series, 3-2. Led by Christopher Newport-commit Ian Anderson, junior center Jalen Coker, and junior forward Landon Hawes, the Panthers turned in one of the best seasons in Loudoun County history, falling just short of their third state championship game appearance in school history.
2. Freedom (6-8, 19-12) +5
Freedom’s season was plagued by inconsistency, but the Eagles found their stride at the right time, winning seven of their last ten. The biggest win in Freedom’s season came in come-from-behind fashion over No. 1 Potomac Falls in a VHSL 5A State semifinal to earn the Eagles their first trip to a state championship game. The state championship game didn’t go as Freedom had planned, but the Eagles’ ability to overcome adversity throughout the season should help them mightily in 2019-2020. Down the playoff stretch, junior forward Lance Johnson and senior center Madden Moore meshed well in Freedom’s interior, while junior guards Angelo Easter and Robbie Kemmerer distributed the ball well to shooters like junior Zach Hoenig and senior Kyle Skinner.
3. Riverside (7-5, 21-7) +3
Jumping up three spots in this edition of the LoCo Top 5, the Riverside boys basketball team was on the LoCo Top 5 bubble all winter. The Rams went 5-1 in postseason play, winning both the Dulles District and Region 4C tournament titles, before falling in the waning seconds of a VHSL 4A State quarterfinal to eventual state champion George Washington-Danville. Riverside put together complete team efforts late in the season, but the Rams will have their work cut out for them as they graduate a core group of seniors and move to the Potomac District next winter.
4. Briar Woods (9-5, 14-8) -2
Briar Woods battled through a competitive Potomac District and put up double-digit wins over Broad Run, Freedom, Stone Bridge, and Tuscarora. The Falcons also did a tremendous job of protecting their home court, going 9-1 at Briar Woods, with their only home loss coming against No. 1 Potomac Falls. Briar Woods will return three starters in 2019-2020, including guards Aidan Clark and Will Shin and forward Holden Phillips – who, if he plays up to his potential, could be a major factor in the Falcons’ success next season.
5. Loudoun Valley (10-2, 16-5) -2
Loudoun Valley’s success this winter can be widely credited to the play of junior point guard Trent Dawson. Dawson can do it all and is a natural-born winner. Pair him with the pure athleticism and hustle of senior guard Robby Adams, and you can see the Vikings’ winning formula start to come together. Despite losing early in the Dulles District tournament, Loudoun Valley bounced back to earn a berth to the VHSL 4A State tournament for the fourth straight year.