Purcellville, Va. — It was the tale of two halves: the first a defensive masterpiece by the Potomac Falls girls basketball team; the second a dominant performance by Woodgrove. When all was said and done, the Wolverines’ second half effort proved to be enough as they overcame a first half deficit to defeat the Panthers, 45-36, in front of a home crowd in Purcellville on January 10.
“For some reason, we always tend to start slow,” Woodgrove head coach Travis Coon said. “I challenged the girls at halftime that if they really wanted this and really wanted the district to know we were here that the second half was going to be the time to do that. I’m proud of them.”
Although they kept the game close through the first half, the Wolverines struggled to rebound and turned the ball over 14 times in the first two quarters.
“We had a ton of turnovers in the first half, especially when we threw long passes in transition,” Woodgrove sophomore forward Ashley Steadman said. “Cutting out the turnovers in the second half really helped.”
On the other hand, the Panthers were extremely active in passing lanes and dominated the offensive glass, picking up 11 first-half, offensive rebounds. Potomac Falls junior forward Ashley Allen was a big reason for the Panthers’ early success, scoring 6 points and corralling 4 rebounds. On top of her offensive clip, Allen was extremely active on the defensive end collecting 2 steals and forcing numerous other turnovers.
While Allen’s first half performance gave the Panthers an edge, she – along with Potomac Falls junior center Paige Anderson and junior forward Hope Palmer – found themselves in early foul trouble, a fact the Wolverines exploited in the second half.
“We knew Anderson and Allen were in early foul trouble,” Coon said. “So we told the girls to attack, attack, attack.”
And attack they did. After going 6-for-12 from the free throw line in the first half, Woodgrove stormed into the third quarter, getting to the free throw line 14 times, converting on 9 of those attempts. Then the Wolverines got to the line 16 times in the fourth quarter, knocking down 8 of those free throws.
I’ll argue that we’re one of the deepest teams in the district, if not, northern Virginia.
–Woodgrove head coach Travis Coon
Led by junior guard Ashley Moriarty, the Wolverines also did a much better job rebounding in the second half, holding the Panthers to just 1 second-half, offensive rebound, while grabbing 11 of their own. Moriarty – who was the first player off the Woodgrove bench – finished with 4 offensive boards and 10 total.
“I’ll argue that we’re one of the deepest teams in the district, if not, northern Virginia,” Coon said. “Moriarty is a hell of an athlete. She lives on the defensive end, and she’s able to create offensively.”
Along with Steadman – who scored a game-high 14 points – Moriarty found a way to get to the line in the second half, scoring 7 points to go with her 10 rebounds.
Foul trouble continued to haunt the Panthers in the second half as Allen, Anderson, and Palmer all fouled out late in the fourth quarter, ending any hopes of a late comeback.
“We have to bring it every night,” Coon said. “On any given night, if we take time off, we can get beat.”
Potomac Falls Stats
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