2022.12.30 Girls Basketball: 2022 BoltBall Championship

Aldie, VA (December 30, 2022) - Like many holiday tournaments, the second annual BoltBall is primarily a chance for girls basketball teams to get three solid games under their belts before the intensity of the regular season recommences in the new year. Still, winning a tournament is always special, and that's exactly what the Freedom Eagles and Lightridge Lightning (Bolts) intended to do as they met in the championship game.

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

No doubt that both teams had earned their way. Freedom opened the tournament with a crushing win over Loudoun County (44-23) and followed it up with a tougher victory over Chantilly (43-31). The path for the Bolts was equally impressive with solid wins over Manassas Park (44-15) and John Champe (40-23).

But it became clear from the outset of this one that Freedom was the stronger team. Bigger and taller inside, the Eagles opened with aggressive, pressing defense and forced Lightridge to take a timeout with five minutes gone in the first quarter and already trailing 10-0. With 0:30 remaining in the period, the Bolts' Jalyn Childress finally made a basket--a three-pointer--to cut the margin to 10-3 at break.

In the second quarter, Lightridge employed a more persistent defense and slowed the Eagles offensive attack and marginalized temporarily Freedom's floor leader Allison Lisack. But as well as the Bolts' defense was playing, the Eagles' defense was simply oppressive, holding Lightridge without a basket in the period and taking a 14-3 lead into the halftime locker room. 

Again the Freedom defense surged as the third quarter began. And now their scoring attack came alive once more as they extended their lead to 23-10 at the last break. The Bolts had their best scoring quarter of the night, but they had still fallen further behind.

Liberally substituting as the fourth quarter began, the Eagles' march to the title was now fully underway. Perhaps worn out by the grueling nature of a three-day tournament, Lightridge had another good offensive quarter, but simply couldn't match the balanced and deep Freedom offense. The championship belonged to the Eagles, and they held the trophy high.

Final Score: Freedom 32 - Lightridge 16

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