2022.01.29 Boys Basketball: Loudoun County @ Tuscarora

Leesburg, VA (January 29, 2022) - Things in local basketball are really getting interesting now. With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, every game matters--and matters a lot. When cross-town rival the Loudoun County Captains made it through the cold winter day to Husky Nation, Tuscarora's home gym, it was a matchup of the 1st and 3rd place teams in the current standings.

Yes, Tuscarora had a modest 7-7 overall record, but all of those wins came in district play, and that record put them just behind the 9-1 Captains. County boasted a sterling overall record at 13-4, but a head-to-head matchup like this one would be a true indicator of where things stand right now.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

The first quarter started out fast for the Captains, and the Huskies seemed tentative. Midway through the period Tuscarora coach, Michael Newkirk, had to call timeout with his team trailing, 7-2. The break worked as his charges quickly sank two straight three-pointers to close the gap. The Huskies took a late lead, but County hit a buzzer-beating triple to finish the quarter ahead, 17-16.

The second period was back and forth with the Captains in front, 26-22, at 4:22. But Tuscarora's TJ Duggan canned two free throws to give the Huskies the lead and the momentum at halftime, 30-28.

Throughout the game Tuscarora controlled the tempo. When the Huskies had the ball, they played deliberately, hoping to force County out of their zone defense and limiting their running game. The home team patiently worked the ball around the perimeter and then made open shots with surprising accuracy. Perhaps the Captains waited just a bit too long before applying full-court pressure as Tuscarora stretched the lead to 46-38 when the third quarter ended. 

County fought back and trimmed the margin to 61-57 with just over a minute remaining in the game. But to have a chance at coming all the way back, the Captains had to put the Huskies on the foul line. Unfortunately, for the visitors, Tuscarora made most of their free throws and iced the victory from there.          

In just three days, the two teams will meet again, and now there is just one game of separation In the standings. 

Final Score: Tuscarora 71 - Loudoun County 59 

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