Loudoun County, Va. — The district tournaments are settled and the VHSL region tournaments are underway. Eight Loudoun teams are still standing on the girls side, and a few of those teams have continued 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 (12-0, 20-0) —
Loudoun Valley has played the No. 2–4 teams on our list a combined six times this year. To clarify, those are three of the teams we feel are at the top of the county. The Vikings are 6-0 against those teams and have outscored them 404-317. They are beating the next three best teams in Loudoun County, by double digits on average. Led by senior forward Megan Stevenson, junior guard Jordan Campbell, sophomore point guard Jane Bodamer, and freshman forward Louis Volker, the Vikings are the team to beat in Loudoun and will be fun to watch down the stretch.
2. Woodgrove (10-2, 14-7) —
You might be asking yourself how Woodgrove didn’t win their district but has still managed to maintain the second spot in our Top 5. Easy. Their two district losses came over a period of four days where a majority of their team was either sick with or recovering from the flu. A fully healthy Wolverines team is tough to beat and barring another flu outbreak should be poised to be competitive in the VHSL Region 5C tournament.
3. Tuscarora (10-2, 18-6) —
Like Woodgrove, Tuscarora had only two losses in district, both of theirs to No. 1 Loudoun Valley. The Huskies are young, but relentless, and they have the best player in Loudoun County leading them. While basketball is definitively a team sport, the reigning All-LoCo Player of the Year Isabellah Middleton causes headaches for every team she plays. Two young forwards, two young shooting guards, and the rising star freshman Grace Middleton have done a solid job despite their inexperience, however, getting through the gauntlet that is Loudoun Valley will be a tall task for Middleton and co.
4. Potomac Falls (11-1, 18-4) —
We’ve written about it before, but it bares mentioning again, Potomac Falls is the best defensive team in Loudoun County. The Panthers don’t pressure teams consistently like No. 1 Loudoun Valley does, but they wreak havoc in passing lanes and have a tremendous shot blocker in junior center Paige Anderson. Potomac Falls has set itself up to make a nice push through the region tournament with a potential rematch with a healthy Woodgrove team looming in their future.
5. Briar Woods (6-6, 13-9) —
Unlike their Potomac District cohorts in the Top 5, Briar Woods will travel for its VHSL Region 5C quarterfinal. The Falcons play almost as well on the road as they do at home. Their region quarterfinal opponent Thomas Jefferson is currently 2-22, so if the Falcons play up to their ability, they shouldn’t have much trouble with the Colonials, setting up a potential second round matchup with the Potomac District champion Potomac Falls Panthers in a region semifinal.
On the bubble: Riverside (6-6, 13-9)