Aldie, Va. — Having dropped their last four games, the Freedom High School girls basketball team was looking to use the Boltball Holiday Invitational as a measuring stick and a venue to get back on track for their season. The Eagles did just that, leaning on their experience and their depth to carry them past the Loudoun County Captains, 44-23, on December 28 in Aldie.
“We’ve been off for Christmas break, and I did not know what to expect to happen today,” Freedom head coach Teddy Whitney said. “We started out slow but came together and worked as one.”
The Eagles did not graduate a single senior following the 2021-2022 season and used that experience to their advantage.
“Our experience is going to help, but I think it will help even more so later in the season,” Whitney said. “We have a lot of players who play different sports, so once we get back to a basketball mindset, we’ll be a better team.”
While senior forward Grace Farrar led the way with 11 points and 9 rebounds, it was the Freedom bench that shined in this win.
Sophomore point guard Allison Lisack added 8 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals off the bench, while junior forward Luna Barker contributed 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.
“I’ll tell you what: Allison Lisack took it to another level tonight,” Whitney said. “She took charge tonight.”
In total, the Eagles’ bench accounted for 22 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 9 steals, but, more importantly, the experience Freedom earned across its entire lineup will provide some much needed depth through the meat of their 2022-2023 campaign.
“Everyone thinks they can contribute,” Whitney said. “In big games, when people get in foul trouble, you’re going to need people to step up, which is why I try to play as many people as possible in games like today.”
Even with their returning experience and a deep bench, the Eagles are still looking to find their groove and took some time to get into rhythm against the Captains.
With the score at just 5-3 midway through the first quarter, Freedom turned on the defensive pressure and used some forced turnovers as opportunities to score in transition with Lisack and Barker leading the charge.
“We want to get easy baskets and get to the free throw line, because that’s going to help our jump shots,” Whitney said. “Once we got a couple steals, the momentum came, and the intensity came even from the bench.”
With a 14-3 lead to start the second quarter, the Eagles continued to dominate defensively, holding the Captains to just 2 points in the second quarter to take a 26-5 lead into the half.
Coming out of the half, Loudoun County looked to find its own rhythm as the blue and gold quickly got on the board on back-to-back trips, but in the end, the Captains didn’t have an answer for the Eagles’ defensive intensity nor their balanced scoring attack.
Freedom will look to secure a spot in the Boltball Holiday Invitational championship, but first, they’ll need to get through Chantilly on December 29 at 3 p.m. Loudoun County will look to bounce back as they host Justice at Lightridge at 1 p.m.
“We’re going to have to defend, because they have a nice big,” Whitney said. “We have to stay focused and play hard, and we have to finish, because we didn’t shoot too well tonight, but I’m happy with the good shots we got up.”
Loudoun County Stats