2023.02.13 Dulles District Girls Basketball Playoffs: Lightridge (5) @ Loudoun Valley (4)

Purcellville, VA (February 13, 2023) - Although the 4-5 game is usually the most competitive one of a tournament's quarterfinal round, this year the difference between the Dulles District girls teams in those positions was significant. The host Loudoun Valley Vikings had a very strong (11-4) regular season campaign, while the visiting Lightridge Lightning were further back at 7-8. To top it off, the teams had played on this very court just a week ago, and the Lady Vikes had dispatched the Bolts easily, 58-38.

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

Although Loudoun Valley took a quick lead, Lightridge countered to tie the game at 4-4, and behind hot shooting from Jalyn Childress, the Lightning kept it close. Valley's Elizabeth Thornton scored at the buzzer to give the home team a solid--but not dominating--lead at the end of the first quarter, 16-10.

The domination part came in the second quarter. When Maggie Mills scored with under a minute left in the period, the Vikings had more than doubled their first quarter margin and now led 29-16. Loudoun Valley had simply too much height inside, and too much Thornton, too. At halftime, it was 31-16.

In the first half, Lightridge had struggled to beat the Loudoun Valley press, but they began to have modest success in the third quarter. Samantha Taylor hit key baskets as the Lightning began to close the gap. Riley Hwang scored from behind the arc to make it 39-29 with 1:37 left, and it looked like the Bolts were on the verge of making it a game. But Valley's Payton Mandichak dispatched with that idea, and quickly pushed the Viking lead back to 45-29 as the period ended.

Lightridge would get no closer in the fourth quarter, and with two minutes remaining the Valley lead was 55-36, an insurmountable margin. Lightridge's season comes to an end while the youthful Loudoun Valley squad--fielding no seniors and only one junior--advances to the semifinals to play Dulles District top-seeded Tuscarora.

Final Score: Loudoun Valley 55 - Lightridge 38 

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