There’s a lot of progress at Park View.
A year after a 2-20 season, coach Alyssa Mayrose’s Patriots are starting to win some games and look pretty good doing it. On Thursday night on the road, Park View got 16 points and nine rebounds from freshman Gwenyth Balca-Harutiuian as the Patriots took down Dulles District rival Loudoun County, 39-35.
It was Park View’s seventh win of the year, and no longer are the Patriots looking up at everybody in the standings.
“We’re learning to play within ourselves, do what we know we can do,” Mayrose said after the game. “Tonight we had a lot of people step up when we needed them to. After last year it’s nice to see our hard work start to pay off–this is a good win for us.”
That showed as the Patriots secured the win late. Clinging to a three-point lead after three quarters, guard Kmya Payne buried a trey from well beyond the arc to give the Patriots a 32-26 lead. On the next possession Balca-Harutiuian rebounded a teammate’s miss for a offensive put-back. Another score a few minutes later made it 36-26.
All the while the Patriots were playing some impressive team defense. Loudoun County did not score in the fourth quarter until Raiders junior Tess McMullen scored on a driving lay-up with 2:21 left. That ignited a furious Raiders charge that saw them quickly narrow the lead to 36-33.
It was not enough. The Patriots got through the Raiders press and hit just enough free throws to secure the win. Park View did an impressive job threading passes through County’s zone defenses all night, with seniors Payne, Erin Andersen, and Haley Lawson contributing 17 points and limiting turnovers.
Still, the Patriots couldn’t have done it without Balca-Harutiuian. Loudoun County is a fairly big team that out-rebounded Park View on the night–without the freshman forward’s ability to score inside and help on the glass Park View might have been overwhelmed.
The freshman was quick to stress this was a team win after the game, however. “I feel like we’re really close-knit as a team,” Balca-Harutiuian said. “We didn’t play like individuals tonight, we did a good job swinging the ball around–good inside-out ball movement.”
The win avenged an earlier season Patriot loss to Loudoun County. The Raiders were led by McMullen, who had a strong game with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Talented junior Elayna Whitley added eight points and 11 boards.
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Allen 2-8, McMullen 1-4, Harden 1-5, Whitley 0-1, Kirstein 0-3|
|Threes: Payne 1-3, Andersen 0-2, Lawson 0-1|