Loudoun County, Va. — As the high school girls basketball season heats up in Loudoun County, a few local teams have started to stand out from the crowd, while several others are potential contenders. Each week, Varun Shankar and I will be alternating releasing our girls and boys basketball rankings. In a three-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 Cedar Run District, Potomac District, and Dulles District standings.
1. Loudoun Valley (4-0, 9-0) —
Loudoun Valley junior guard Jordan Campbell and senior forward Megan Stevenson turned in a pair of double-doubles on back-to-back nights as the Vikings defeated Heritage, 77-41, on January 16 and crosstown rival Woodgrove, 70-56, on January 17. The Vikings’ defense is unmatched and their ability to rebound the basketball is uncanny. No. 3 Tuscarora is the only team standing in their way of a Dulles District regular season title, but with the pieces Loudoun Valley has I don’t see anything slowing them down.
2. Woodgrove (4-0, 8-4) +2
A big win over then No. 3 Potomac Falls and a solid effort against No. 1 Loudoun Valley propels Woodgrove to the No. 2 spot in the LoCo Top 5. The Wolverines are young, led by sophomore forward Ashley Steadman and freshman guard Colette Baine, who combined for a 24 points in their loss to No. 1 Loudoun Valley on January 17. Senior forward Sophia Coates adds an element of senior leadership, which should keep Woodgrove near the top of the Potomac District this winter.
3. Tuscarora (5-0, 10-3) -1
Senior guard Isabellah Middleton fuels the Tuscarora fire. The 2018-2019 All-LoCo Player of the Year is quick, unselfish, and a constant scoring threat. Middleton – along with her younger sister Grace – headline a very young Tuscarora team, which started three freshmen in their win over No. 5 Briar Woods on January 15. In that win, Middleton turned in a 24-point, 18-rebound, 4-assist, 5-steal performance. The Huskies are still unbeaten in the Dulles District, however, they will have their hands full with two matchups with No. 1 Loudoun Valley down the stretch.
4. Potomac Falls (3-1, 9-4) -1
Potomac Falls likes to play slow. Like the UVA of girls basketball in Loudoun County, the Panthers don’t score a whole lot, but their defense – which allows less than 35 points per game – keeps them in games. Led by junior forward Ashley Allen, Potomac Falls is extremely athletic and very disruptive in passing lanes. A tough loss to No. 2 Woodgrove on January 10 had as much to do with the Wolverines’ ability to get to the basket in the second half as it did with the Panthers getting in early foul trouble. Potomac Falls is currently tied for second in the Potomac District, and with their defensive tenacity should hover around the top 3 for the remainder of the season.
5. Briar Woods (3-2, 9-5) —
In back-to-back losses to No. 3 Tuscarora and No. 4 Potomac Falls, Briar Woods scored just 64 points total. Pair that with a loss to Riverside on January 9, and you might be asking why we still have the Falcons in our top 5. The answer is really quite simple. Briar Woods has a top 5 scoring offense in Loudoun, a top 5 defense in terms of average points allowed per game, and are currently No. 4 in average point differential. When they stay out of foul trouble and get offensive production from their guards, the Falcons are a solid top 5 team.
On the bubble: Riverside (3-1, 10-4)