2023.02.13 Dulles District Boys Basketball Playoffs: Rock Ridge (5) @ Loudoun Valley (4)

Purcellville, VA (February 13, 2023) - In this quarterfinal matchup, the fourth-seeded Loudoun Valley Vikings hoped to continue a regular season trend. The first time they played the fifth-seeded Rock Ridge Phoenix they won by seven points, and the second time they won by thirteen.  A similar trajectory in this game would give the Vikings plenty of momentum for the tournament semifinals.

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

When Loudoun Valley's Cole Kielhorn closed out the first quarter with a late basket, the Vikes had an 8-2 lead and firm control of the game's flow. Most of their scoring had come from Joey Danielson, but, more significantly, the Phoenix could get nothing going on offense. They had chances, but their shots were simply not falling.

Halfway through the second quarter things looked a little different. When Rock Ridge's Basit Qadri completed an old-fashioned three-pointer, the Phonenix was back in the game trailing only 13-10. But Danielson, as he would all game, sparked the Valley offense back in front, 17-10. Rock Ridge came roaring back to cut the lead to 18-15, but Landen Conrad sprinted full court to give the Vikings a 20-15 halftime lead.

Rock Ridge continued to push, tying the game for the first time since the opening tip, 22-22. The Phoenix' Mekhi Motilewa then hit a long-range jumper to give Rock Ridge their first lead of the game, 25-22, but Valley's Tristen Conrad sank a huge three to tie the score again. The Vikings closed out the quarter with a tenuous 31-27 lead.

The Phoenix would almost completely eliminate the gap again midway through the final quarter, trailing just 35-34, but the Vikings would never relinquish their lead again. Ahead 38-34 with two minutes left, Valley's defense prevented the Phoenix from making the big shots they needed.

Rock Ridge's season comes to an end, while Loudoun Valley advances to play top-seeded Tuscarora In the semifinals. It was no easy victory for the Vikings, but a win at tournament time always provides momentum for the next round.

Final Score: Loudoun Valley 43 - Rock Ridge 37

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