Leesburg, Va. — From start to finish, Tuscarora High School senior guard Isabellah Middleton dominated, leading the Huskies to a 55-39 win over Briar Woods on January 15 in Leesburg. A near first-half double-double turned into a 24-point, 18-rebound, 4-assist, 5-steal performance for Middleton, who has her Huskies off to a 4-0 start in the Dulles District.
“This is the first time since winter break that we really played as a team. We’re finally getting back to playing Tuscarora basketball,” Middleton said. “When we work together that opens a lot more up for me.”
After pouring in 11 points and 9 rebounds in the first half, Middleton somehow found another gear, adding 13 points and 9 rebounds in the second half.
“It’s her last season, and she’s definitely leaving it out on the floor every night,” Tuscarora head coach Alexis Campbell said. “You can’t ask for a better senior.”
While her offensive numbers are impressive, it all starts on the defensive end for Middleton and the Huskies. On top of her five steals, Middleton was extremely disruptive in passing lanes as Tuscarora forced 24 turnovers on the night.
This is the first time since winter break that we really played as a team. We’re finally getting back to playing Tuscarora basketball.
—Tuscarora senior Isabellah Middleton
Tuscarora’s defensive effort forced Briar Woods to struggle shooting from the field as the Falcons never got into a rhythm offensively. Led by a core group of seniors and junior forward Grace Nathan – who led the Falcons with 10 points, 8 rebounds – Briar Woods came into the game averaging just over 48 points per night, but the Tuscarora defensive held the Falcons’ starters to just 24.
“Briar Woods is a great ball club. They’re very athletic,” Campbell said. “It’s nice to play against that type of competition, because it gets us ready for teams at the top of our district.”
Unlike the Falcons, the Tuscarora roster includes just two seniors and is composed mostly of underclassmen.
“We’re really young, and we were really inexperienced early in the season,” Middleton said. “Everyone has grown up really fast.”
It’s her last season, and she’s definitely leaving it out on the floor every night. You can’t ask for a better senior.
—Tuscarora head coach Alexis Campbell
In an effort not to be outdone by her older sister, freshman guard Grace Middleton contributed 16 points and 4 steals in the win.
“Grace and I are different, and we each do our own thing,” Isabellah said. “When she scores, I’m happy, and I make sure I note it, because she doesn’t think I pass her the ball enough.”
“We have a good group that’s very coachable. That makes things a lot easier for us,” Campbell said. “As coaches, we can say as much as we want, but the girls need to figure it out on the court. This group does a good job of that.”
Briar Woods Stats
|Briar Woods||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Steals||Blocks||Free Throws|