Purcellville, Va. — With less than one minute left in regulation, Woodgrove High School sophomore point guard Sadie Shores dished a pass to senior shooting guard Tara Mullen, who buried a three to pull the Wolverines within one score.
Then, with 18 seconds to play, Shores once again dropped a dime, this one to Woodgrove junior guard Anni Rohs, who came off the bench and drilled a three pointer to tie the game at 49-49, sending the Wolverines’ early season clash with rival Loudoun Valley to overtime.
After surrendering the lead in the fourth, Shores made sure her team wouldn’t let the game slip away. Leading 52-51 midway through overtime, Shores picked up her seventh assist of the night, finding Rohs, who put the Wolverines up 54-51.
A couple of minutes and two made free throws later and the Wolverines had proven victorious, knocking off the Vikings, 56-51, in overtime on December 3 in Purcellville.
“We’re all building our teams. We want to use different situations to learn,” Woodgrove head coach Derek Fisher said. “These are all tests and the purpose of tests is to find out what you don’t know, so you can build on it.”
While it was her vision and passing that made the difference late, Shores got the Wolverines scoring started early, scoring 7 of the Wolverines first 11 points.
After doing a bulk of Woodgrove’s scoring in the first quarter, Shores turned up the defensive intensity in the second quarter, intercepting three passes, as the Wolverines started the second frame on a 9-2 run to take a 20-15 lead, forcing a Loudoun Valley timeout.
The Vikings used that timeout wisely as they quickly cut into the lead with sophomore guard Alex Phillips hitting a three before senior guard Alison Pike added two points.
Now trailing 23-20, Loudoun Valley turned to their trusted point guard Jane Bodamer, who hit her only three of the game to tie things up at 23-23.
Phillips then knocked down a jump shot to give the Vikings the lead before Shores countered with a bucket, Mullen knocked down a three, and sophomore guard Angelina Nice made a free throw to give Woodgrove a 29-27 lead heading into the half.
Woodgrove extended its lead to 36-33 heading into the fourth quarter, which Loudoun Valley opened on a 10-3 run to take a 43-39 advantage with just over four minutes to play.
Then with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Shores’ poise and leadership continued to shine as she connected with Mullen then Rohs to send the game to overtime.
“We honestly came in thinking we were going to win, but we just ran out of juice,” Loudoun Valley head coach Bill Reynolds said. “Running them into overtime in their own house gives us a boost of confidence.”
With two starters from each team fouling out and Bodamer battling a leg cramp, the Wolverines took advantage, putting the final touches on their 56-51 win.
“It’s one of those things where you just have to focus on the kids who at that point were eligible,” Fisher said. “We have confidence in everyone on our team; it’s just about putting them in the right position.”
Shores paced the Wolverines with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 steals, while Bodamer did all she could for the Vikings, finishing with 16 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.
“[Sadie]’s motivated by the fact that she loves to play the game,” Fisher said. “Because of that, it’s not really putting in work for her; it’s just her doing what she loves to do. The results come from her diligence.”
Shores and the Wolverines (0-0, 3-0) are back in action when they travel to Flint Hill on December 7 in Oakton. The Vikings (0-0, 2-1) will look to get back in the win column when they host Rock Ridge on December 6 in Purcellville.
“I’m proud of the kids battling through. It certainly wasn’t a masterpiece for either team, but hopefully it helps us as we progress,” Fisher said. “Now, we’re just thinking, we have to play better Tuesday.”
Loudoun Valley Stats