By Curtis Atkinson
Purcellville (February 26, 2016) — Sometimes, the size of the dog in the fight matters a little more than others. The Loudoun Valley High School Lady Vikings basketball team gave every last bit of fight they had in them on February 25, but couldn’t overcome the much bigger William Fleming Lady Colonels as they fell, 48-41, in a VHSL 4A West region semifinal.
Valley battled through a back and forth first half that saw five ties and six lead changes in the opening 14 minutes before Fleming center Malury Bates would put the Lady Colonels up for good at 23-21 a couple minutes before the half.
Throughout the first half, the Lady Vikings were able to force Fleming to shoot long contested jumpers, which led to long rebounds that negated the Lady Colonels inside presence.
“We wanted them to shoot deep threes,” McFarlane said.
It worked for the first half and kept the Lady Vikings close going into the break.
Fleming came out with a renewed focus in the second half, immediately going inside for two quick buckets that saw them stretch the lead to 8. They continued pounding the glass and pulled down 24 offensive rebounds that led to 23 second-chance points compared to just 2 for the Lady Vikings. McFarlane saw that wearing on the Lady Vikings as the game went on.
“They got a lot of second-chance points. Any game, it wears on you physically, even more so mentally because we did a great job forcing them for those shots,” McFarlane said. “Then they just catch it and put it right back up, it’s demoralizing.”
Despite being down and giving up so many second chance looks, Valley stayed tight throughout the third with senior forward Alex Van Zandt scoring 5 of her team-high 14 in the quarter. Senior guard Lindsey Sweet hit a couple sweet jumpers including one that just beat the third quarter buzzer to cut the Fleming lead to 4 heading into the fourth.
However, in the fourth there was too much Bates inside for the Lady Vikings to handle. The 6-foot-3 junior scored all 9 of the Lady Colonels’ points to close out the game on her way to a dominating 19 point, 11 rebound performance in just 21 minutes of action.
“We got tired legs in the fourth,” McFarlane said, “but give them all the credit in the world. They did a great job attacking the boards and [Bates] was hard to stop.”
Despite the loss, the Lady Vikings’ season is far from over. They will travel to Millbrook on February 27 to play in the VHSL 4A West region third place game that will decide seeding moving forward into the VHSL 4A state tournament next week.
William Fleming Lady Colonels Stats per Legit Sports Stats
Malury Bates 19 points, 11 rebounds, 5 blocked shots, 1-for-1 free throw
Dasmine Kasey 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3-for-4 free throws
Nadjae Stokes 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steals, 2-for-2 free throws
Khaliah Pate 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assists
Qwonneshia King 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals
Tamani Manning 3 points, 4 rebounds, 1-for-3 free throws
Tyler Poindexter 5 rebounds, 1 steals
Taniah Johnson 1 rebounds, 1 assists, 0-for-1 free throw
48 points, 43 rebounds, 8 assists, 13 turnovers, 7 steals, 5 blocked shots, 7-for-11 free throws
Loudoun Valley Lady Vikings Stats per Legit Sports Stats
Alex Van Zandt 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2-for-5 free throws
Lindsey Sweet 11 points, 4 assists, 1 steals
Emily Thompson 10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steals
Celine Fink 6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steals, 2-for-2 free throws
Mar Keane 5 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 blocked shots
Olivia Badura 5 rebounds, 2 steals
41 points, 25 rebounds, 12 assists, 17 turnovers, 5 steals, 2 blocked shots, 4-for-7 free throws