Leesburg, VA (February 27, 2020) - When two teams haven't competed against each other in the regular season, and there are only a few common opponents, it can be a challenge to compare and prepare. But the simple fact that the Millbrook Pioneers and Loudoun County Raiders had made it to the regional championship said more than enough about the strength of both.
Taking the opening tip-off, the Pioneers employed a methodical approach. Looking to dart into the lane quickly, they passed the ball around the court slowly and patiently. Unfortunately, that concept didn't result in any early points. Meanwhile, player of the year Matthew Anderson staked Loudoun County out to a 5-0 lead midway through the first quarter. With 2:19 left in the period, Jordan Jackson sank two free throws to point his team on the board for the first time. When the quarter ended, the Raiders had a 14-5 lead.
That early deficit would prove to be Millbrook's undoing. Although the Pioneers would whittle the lead down to five points more than once in the second half, County's Mark Siegel would consistently come through with a three-pointer to stifle any Pioneer hopes of a full comeback.
In fact, the margin stayed remarkably steady throughout the game with the Raiders leading by an average of ten points at the end of each period. It was only until the final minutes--when Millbrook had to foul--that Loudoun County actually began to fully pull away for the win, 56-43.
It didn't seem like an easy victory, but at the same time Loudoun County never was seriously threatened. It just gets harder the next time, with a state quarterfinal matchup on the horizon, but on this night the Raiders could proudly hoist high their first-ever regional championship basketball trophy.
Final Score: Loudoun County 56 - Millbrook 43