Purcellville, VA (February 13, 2019) - The stands filled up early for the first of two Dulles District semifinal basketball matchups. In both the boys and girls divisions, the Woodgrove Wolverines were seeded second and the visiting Riverside Rams were seeded third.
This game would pit the two girls teams against each other. Both had excellent regular seasons and they knew that they had to win to advance to the district final and to compete in regionals .
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
The game started out slowly, and midway through the first quarter Woodgrove held just a 6-5 lead. Both teams seemed to be a little bit nervous which resulted in erratic play from two normally precise and methodical teams.
But once Woodgrove's Jaidyn Turner got going, the Wolverines took off. The relentless guard pestered the Rams on defense, and ran the home team's offense to perfection. By the time the quarter ended, they had expanded the lead to 21-9 despite Lauren Eichenlaub's brilliant offensive first quarter for the Rams. The tough center had seven of her team's points in the first period and could not be stopped.
At the halftime buzzer, Woodgrove had maintained the lead and went into the break with a solid 30-20 margin. They had been efficient and confident once they got over those initial jitters.
But the momentum changed in the third quarter. Gradually, behind the guard play of Caroline Suder and Elizabeth Suder, Riverside started to turn things around. About midway through the period Woodgrove was forced to call a timeout with their lead now reduced to 33-26. By the time the period was over, the Rams were within a basket of the lead at 35-33.
In a first half that was all Woodgrove, no one would have guessed that Riverside would actually take the lead with five minutes remaining in the game , but they did. And the two teams spent the next three minutes exchanging the lead.
With two minutes to play, Woodgrove was ahead 41-40. That's when Lauren Sheehan drained a huge three-point shot to give the Wolverines a margin they would never relinquish. In a frenetic finish, Riverside would have chances to cut into the lead, but two key three-point shots rimmed out in the final minute.
Woodgrove earned their trip to the championship game versus cross-town rival Loudoun Valley, and with their second half comeback Riverside earned the respect of all who came to watch this one.
Final Score: Woodgrove 47 - Riverside 41