Purcellville, Va. — Beating a team once in a season is hard, beating a team twice is a challenge, and beating the same team three times in a season is rarely ever possible. Well the Loudoun Valley High School girls basketball team took it one game further, sweeping Tuscarora in their fourth game of the season en route to the VHSL Region 4C championship title. Led by sophomore forward Louis Volker and junior guards Jane Bodamer and Alison Pike, the Vikings used an explosive first quarter to jump out to a big lead and then held off the Huskies, 45-33, on February 10 in Purcellville.
“It’s really hard playing teams over and over and over, so we just had to mentally prepare for the challenge,” Pike said. “Our energy was good tonight, and we came out aggressive which I think was the difference.”
While Tuscarora initially did their part to hold Volker in check, Pike and Bodamer took advantage on the perimeter as well as on the free throw line as the backcourt duo combined for 24 points, including shooting 10-for-13 from the charity stripe.
“They’re tall, they’re big, and they’re strong, and we can’t get our inside game working with Louis because they’re so tall and so strong,” Loudoun Valley head coach Bill Reynolds said of Tuscarora.
As the Loudoun Valley guards started to score, however, Volker was able to find some gaps on the inside, dominating the rebounding effort while finishing with a 14-point, 19-rebound double double. Her impressive performance is less than a week removed from her 16-point, 18-rebound double double against Tuscarora in the Dulles District championship game.
“She’s going to hold every record on the school record board pretty soon,” Reynolds said. “She’s strong, she’s strong willed, and she just dominates.”
While the Viking offense slowly but surely put points on the board, the Loudoun Valley defense held Tuscarora—and specifically sophomore guard Grace Middleton—at bay.
Middleton finished with 20 points and 6 rebounds in the district championship game but scored just 4 points and grabbed just 4 rebounds in the region final. Part of that difference was due to a defensive shift by the Vikings, who tabbed senior guard Kate Brennan with the responsibility of guarding Middleton.
“Our difference maker was Kate Brennan. She guarded Grace Middleton the whole game and basically shut her down,” Reynolds said. “Kate said she wanted to guard her, she was up for the challenge, so we said ‘put your money where your mouth is’ and she did.”
The Vikings (5-0, 16-0) will need to take that confident mentality with them as they travel south to either Pulaski County or Amherst County where they’ll battle with the to-be-determined Region 4D champion in a VHSL 4A State semifinal on February 16. The winner of that game will then host the VHSL 4A State championship game on February 20.
“We’re statebound, so we’re so excited,” Pike said. “I couldn’t be more proud to do it with this team; I love them to death. We’re so pumped for states.”
Loudoun Valley Stats