Leesburg Va. — There was a playoff atmosphere in the gym. The visiting Loudoun County Raiders travelled to Loudoun Valley to tango with the Vikings, a team they beat twice in Purcellville last season. Entering the game, both teams sat at 6-0 in the Dulles District and a victory meant the top spot heading into the weekend. After a slow first quarter, the Raiders fed off the energy of the crowd to win their fifth game in a row, 54-46, taking sole possession of first place in the Dulles District.
“My guys love coming here,” Loudoun County head coach Mark Alexander said. “They love the Jungle, and they love to play a great program like this.”
Loudoun County senior guard Matt Anderson led the charge with 21 points, dishing out 6 assists, and grabbing 5 rebounds. Anderson plays the game with a certain intensity that can’t be taught; he goes 110% on every play. Anderson was also fueled by heckling coming from the Jungle with poise, never breaking his determination.
“I love when anyone says anything about me or the team,” Anderson said. “We take it to heart and let our play speak for itself.”
Helping to fill a packed house, the student sections for both schools were loud and proud. The Loudoun County Raider Riot and the Loudoun Valley Jungle, echoed each other as both sides tried to get in the opposing team’s head.
On top of the offensive performance from Anderson, Loudoun County’s defense played their game, holding the Vikings to just 46 points, their lowest scoring performance of the season. Loudoun County junior forward Nate Brown had 4 blocks, and overall, let his presence be felt whenever someone tried to come into the lane.
They call it a rivalry, but they’ve been the cream of the crop. We’re just trying to get to where they are.
—Loudoun County head coach Mark Alexander
Despite Loudoun County’s defensive effort Loudoun Valley senior guard Trent Dawson put up 18 points, 5 assists, and corralled 4 rebounds. The Raiders’ defense had a great strategy coming into this game with rotating players to guard Dawson so no one got into early foul trouble.
“He’s a really good point guard, ball handler and can dish it to his teammates as well,” Anderson said. “It is really fun playing against him, and when I do I have a one-up mindset, when he gets a bucket I have to go and get one myself.”
Anderson’s performance certainly did not overshadow Loudoun County senior forward Mark Siegel’s efforts as he put up 13 points and 8 rebounds. He was able to find his open teammates and get everyone involved.
“When we run a fast break I just try to get open or find my teammates,” Siegel said. “Really anything to put us in a position to succeed.”
“They’re the class. They call it a rivalry, but they’ve been the cream of the crop,” Alexander said. “We’re just trying to get to where they are and that motivates my guys.”
Loudoun County Stats
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Loudoun Valley Stats
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