After meeting in their season openers this year, West Springfield and West Potomac got the chance to compete against one another again. Just with the stakes a little higher this time.
After settling into a position they hadn’t been in for a long time in the regional championship game, the Wolverines used the experience and composure of their seniors to grit out the win against a tough and well-coached Spartans team to clinch the Occoquan 6C region, 60-44, behind a double-double from senior forward Ambria Redfearn with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The regional championship win was the first in school history for the squad.
West Springfield got out to an early 8-4 lead, but West Potomac would tie it up going into the second and used a 7-0 run to go into halftime leading by nine.
“We haven’t been in this position–it has been a long time–so the jitters had to get out of us. Once we settled into the game, and got some momentum, things just started swinging our way and we started to hit some shots,” said Wolverines Head Coach Brian Colligan.
The Spartans are not a team that ever goes quietly, though. They opened up the second half on a 9-0 run led by sophomore Rachel Dexter, who was 3-3 from the field in the third quarter, and tied the contest at 29 midway through the third.
“It was a lot harder than the score looked,” said Colligan.
WestPo was able to weather the storm, in big part thanks to its senior point guard Danea Mackey, who finished with 18 points, five assists, and two rebounds, and played like the floor general she’s become over her four-year varsity career.
“Her speed is just on another level, and she’s really just turned it on lately. I’m so proud of her. She’s a coach on the floor, and an extension of what I’m trying to do,” Colligan said of Mackey.
West Springfield (16-3) was led by forward McKenzie Matheny with 15 points and seven boards, who improved upon an impressive sophomore year in her junior season. She will be an integral part of the Spartans’ success next season in her final year.
The Wolverines (12-1) will face Madison (14-1), who won the 6D region, in the Class 6 State Semis on Wednesday. The matchup will be another treat in this already fantastic postseason, featuring tons of talent amongst the guards and posts. One in particular, will be Redfearn against Madison’s Mia Chapman down low, who returned recently from a knee injury.
“They’re very well-coached, a great team. But we’re excited for the challenge,” said Colligan when asked about the matchup. “It’s the state tournament, it’s history for us, we’re going to enjoy this moment, and turn the page tomorrow and start getting ready for them.”
“They’re going to present a huge challenge, but we’re up for it and we’re excited to have the opportunity.”