Purcellville, VA (February 13, 2019) - Just moments into this Dulles District semifinal match between the Woodgrove Wolverines and the Riverside Rams, Woodgrove's Zach Johnson dove on the floor to knock a loose ball up to a teammate who easily scored. Leaving a tooth on the court, the gritty senior exemplified the way that every athlete would compete on this night as the two teams tried to secure a spot in the district championship and the regional tournament.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
That bucket wold remain the margin for the entire first quarter. After a brief break to tend to his wound, Johnson returned to the game and contributed mightily. He was matched by Riverside's Brian Barrett, who opened the game with a three-pointer and went on to have a huge night.
The second quarter was equally close with both teams taking brief leads. It looked like Woodgrove had begun to open things up, but Simon Weeren hit a huge basket from behind the arc at the buzzer to tie things up, 25-25, as the teams headed into the locker room.
That bit of momentum may have been just what the Rams needed. They stormed on to the second half court with high energy, stifling defense, and potent offense. Before anyone knew what happened--behind guards Beau Everett and Brett Asbury--the visitors had destroyed a close game and built a surprising ten-point lead. Woodgrove hung in there, though, and brought their deficit to six as the quarter ended.
And no one expected the fourth quarter they were about to witness...
Incredibly, with every player contributing, the Riverside lead built to fifteen, then 20, then 25. Against the second-seed--with championship possibilities on the line--Riverside simply ran away with the game. And it wasn't only the offense that deserves credit, the Rams shut down Brock Redman and Tyler Blizzard who, despite their best efforts, just couldn't break through as they had in the first half.
Simultaneously, Loudoun County was in the process of upsetting top-seeded Loudoun Valley which means that Riverside will now host the Dulles District championship game.
Final Score: Riverside 76 - Woodgrove 51