Ashburn, Va. — Led by a dominant defense, the Briar Woods Falcons (6-2, 17-3) stifled the Independence Tigers’ (0-8, 2-18) offensive attack taking home a 58-13 Potomac District road victory on February 3 in Ashburn.
Coming off a loss to Woodgrove on January 31, Briar Woods was able to get back on track with the win.
“The biggest thing for us was getting back to our foundation, getting back to things that made us successful, and getting back to team basketball,” Briar Woods head coach Raven Short said.
It was a slow start on the attacking end for both sides as only three total points were scored in the first five minutes of game time.
“Coach Short told me I had to play better and try to make up for the layups I missed,” junior forward Hope Drake said.
The early drought, however, was negated by a late first quarter and early second quarter run which blasted the game open for the Falcons as they took a 35-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Junior guard Jadyn Shin helped get the scoring started for the Falcons knocking down seven of the teams first ten points along with picking up three steals all in the first quarter.
“Even if I’m having a bad night, or anyone on the team is having a bad night our teammates step up,” Drake said.
Drake was able to get in rhythm beginning in the second quarter scoring 11 of her team leading 23 points. She also tallied 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists in only three quarters of action.
Defense was a big reason why the Falcons were able to dominate the first half. Briar Woods applied constant pressure on Independence’s guards resulting in only four first half points for the Tigers. The Briar Woods defense finished the game with 18 steals which allowed for easy transition buckets on the other end of the court.
Towards the end of the fourth, Briar Woods was able to sub in multiple younger players including Tanvi Kancharla and Brianna Zaher who are both freshman.
“It’s awesome seeing them coming in and running our structure and gaining some confidence,” Short said. ”They battle, they play hard, they shoot well, and so for us I think it’s about getting them that in-game experience that they will need down the line.”
Even though it was a struggle to get points early on, Independence was able to display offensive runs in the second half led by sophomore guard Gaby Mathew who finished with 8 points and 2 rebounds.
With only a few games left of the regular season, Independence will look for flashes from younger players like Mathew and other underclassmen on the roster.
Both teams will finish their regular seasons next week as Independence is at Potomac Falls on February 6, while Briar Woods will be at Stone Bridge on the same night. Then both teams will have their senior nights on February 10 as the Tigers play host to Woodgrove and Briar Woods hosts Riverside.
“I think this game gave us our mojo back from losing to Woodgrove,” Drake said. “We rekindled our connections and team camaraderie and that’s really big for us.”