2022.03.07 Boys Basketball: VHSL Class 4 Semifinal, Loudoun Valley @ Loudoun County

Leesburg, VA (March 7, 2022) - Familiarity really isn't the name for it. When the Loudoun Valley Vikings traveled to play the Loudoun County Captains--In a state semifinal, no less--it was more like a brotherhood divided into two nearly equally talented halves. You can't play five times in one season without knowing what your opponent will do on every inch of the court at any given time. 

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

The first four meetings were split 2-2 with Valley winning the Dulles District tournament and County winning the Region 4C classic. And this fifth meeting started out looking a lot like the region matchup played just ten days ago. Loudoun Valley was the aggressor, and they jumped out to an early lead behind dominant play from center Ben Hall who was blocking everything and scoring with a deft touch. 

The Captains seemed a little slow to start, and to make matters worse Brendan Boyers was carried off the court with 3:00 left in the quarter with his team trailing 7-2. An injury like that could be a disaster, but Boyers returned triumphantly as the second quarter began. Valley still led 14-6 at that point, but momentum was about to switch.

Gradually, the margin narrowed and when County's Jack West nailed a three with 0:45 left, the Captains trailed by a single point, 19-18. With Valley set up for the last shot, a steal led to a Boyer layup at the buzzer, and County had the lead for the first time, 20-19, as the half ended. 

But the Vikings were far from finished, and Jayden Johnson made certain of that as the slashing, driving guard put Valley back in front, 29-28, with 1:27 left in the third. But Braxton Griffin responded with similar aggression to take the lead back for the Captains. And when Nick Alexander hit a three, County had their biggest lead of the night so far, 40-36.

The first half of the fourth quarter was similar to the third period. County pulled ahead, but Valley would not give up. With 5:22 remaining, the Vikings' Brett Zimmet made a steal and a layup to make it close again. At 35-34 they trailed by just a single point, but two unfortunate turnovers in a row--with a chance to take the lead--doomed Valley and allowed the Captains to slow the game down, forcing the Vikings to put County on the line. And the Captains's free throw shooting was accurate enough to extend the lead and win the game.

Loudoun County now advances to the state championship on Friday, March 11. Loudoun Valley finishes a stellar season with a tremendous effort in a losing cause.

Final Score: Loudoun County 50 - Loudoun Valley 40 

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In