Mark Siegel scored 18 points and fellow senior Matthew Anderson added 15 points and nine assists, as Loudoun County rode a 23-point third quarter to a comeback victory over Loudoun Valley, 54-45. The win vaulted the Raiders back into first place in the Dulles District and gave them a season sweep of the Vikings.
It didn’t go so well at first for County. The Raiders shot 31.8% from the field in the first half and managed only 16 points. Coach Mark Alexander’s team went into the locker room trailing visiting Valley by nine.
“We just needed to speed up a little bit,” Alexander said after the game. “Let Matt [Anderson] get going…I thought we weren’t being physical enough, letting them push us around in our own gym. The guys were on each other, though, I think they were talking about it more than I was.”
The second half was way different. County embarked on an 11-1 run to open the third quarter, taking a 27-26 lead when Luke Brenner found Siegel for a three-pointer. Siegel only had two points in the first half, but caught fire after intermission, burying four three-pointers.
“He hit a couple big ones to get us back in it,” Alexander said of Siegel. “Had a good rebounding night, too. Can’t say enough about him.”
Anderson agreed. “We came out that first play in the second half and wanted to push for Mark Siegel, our shooter. He hit his first shot and really brought the momentum for us. That brought the Riot [student crowd] back into it–brought back the energy.”
Anderson capped the high-scoring third quarter with a three-pointer of his own to put his team up 39-34. County stretched its lead to 46-39, but Valley started to rally on its defense. Two steals by the Vikings led to two baskets, as Valley cut the lead to 46-43 with under three minutes remaining.
But Loudoun County (9-1, 13-5) answered right back as junior forward Nate Brown found Anderson on a backdoor cut to make it 48-43 with 2:20 left. Then the Raiders’ defense, which limited Valley to 31.9% shooting on the night, clamped down. The home fans could start to enjoy the win, the second over their rival in a week.
Star guard Trent Dawson, who recently scored his 1,000th career point, led the way for Valley with 20 points. Despite his good game, Anderson said the key to the victory was guarding him tightly.
“He’s a really good player,” Anderson said. “We just threw guys at him, as much as we could. It was a team win, this one.”
Loudoun Valley (9-2, 14-5) now has the daunting task of travelling to Dominion a day after the rivalry game with County. Both the Vikings and the Titans sit only a half-game behind Loudoun County in the Dulles.
Editor’s Note: Loudoun County is actually 9-0 in the district as games against Independence do not count this year toward district record. Loudoun Valley, which beat Independence twice, is officially 7-2.
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Siegel 4-7, Rexroad 1-2, Brenner 1-2, Anderson 1-4, Brody 0-1|
|Threes: Dawson 2-6, Ayouch 1-2, Nance 1-4, Volker 0-1, Obaid 0-1, Ball 0-2|