Purcellville, VA (February 14, 2020) - The setup couldn't have been better: The undefeated Loudoun Valley Vikings were hosting Tuscarora Huskies, who had only one Dulles District loss; the top seed in the district tournament was at stake; it was "senior night" for the Lady Vikings; the gym was fairly packed and rocking; and, it was Valentine's Day.
From the jump, the Huskies got off to a surprisingly fast start. Very quickly it was 5-0, and midway through the first quarter it was 7-3 with Tuscarora still in front. But from that point on it was an entirely different game, one owned by the home team at both ends of the court.
It all started with a 19-0 run that encompassed the remainder of the first quarter and most of the second. When Tuscarora finally scored again it was 22-9, Vikings, and the game was essentially over. In the second half, Valley built a lead of twenty-five points despite the Huskies' best effort to come back.
The overwhelming difference was the stifling defense applied by the home team. And it wasn't just one player shutting down Husky standing Isabellah Middleton, it was all of them and then some. There was no room for driving and little room for interior passes, and Tuscarora was forced to shoot from outside all night. That would be okay if their shots were falling, but they simply weren't.
If depth is a key to a long run in the playoffs, well, Loudoun Valley has that, too. The team is led by stalwart center Megan Stevenson (17 points), who would have played every minute of the game had she not fouled out just prior to the final buzzer. She and Jordan Campbell (15 points) combined for 60% of the team's total output.
The Huskies' second position in the upcoming tournament is assured, and it would be a safe bet to assume that these two teams will meet again in the final, but Tuscarora will need to find some way to free up the middle--for Middleton--when they play again.
Final Score: Loudoun Valley 54 - Tuscarora 35