Stonewall Jackson, West Springfield, South Lakes and Oakton won their respective conference titles Friday and received No. 1 seeds in the Virginia 6A North region playoffs. They top the list of 16 teams battling for two spots in the 6A state semifinals in two weeks at VCU’s Stuart C. Siegel Center. Here’s a look at Monday’s first-round matchups.
No. 4 Robinson at No. 1 Stonewall Jackson, 7 p.m.
The Raiders feature one of the best post players in the area in Nicole Floyd. The 2013 All-Met and Wake Forest-signee is a force in the post with a 23.3 points per game average. They added former O’Connell guard Genesis Parker (12.7 points per game) midway through the season, and have won 10 of their last 11 games. With five seniors the Rams have a ton of experience, but junior guard Leeah Betourd (12 points per game) leads the team in scoring.
The matchup to watch will be inside between Highlanders senior and Old Dominion-signee Maia Lee (14.5 points per game) and Titans junior Grace Peterson (11.3 ppg). Both are very athletic around the basket. The Titans have won 15 of their last 16 games and have a dominant backcourt duo of junior Rejoice Spivey and Tykera Carter who average a combined 30.8 points per game.
The Warhawks have a high-level Division 1 recruit 6-foot-2 junior Kelly Koshuta (23.7 points per game) in the post who has cut her substantial list of offers to 10 schools. South County is led by senior 5-foot-9 forward/guard April Henson, a Drexel-signee, who can score in bunches from the inside and outside. Henson is scoring 18.6 points per game.
No. 4 Osbourn at No. 1 Oakton, 7 p.m.
Oakton Coach Fred Priester has his youngest team in over a decade, but the girls are playing their best basketball of the season just in time for the playoffs. The Cougars defeated rival Centreville for the second time this season in the Conference 5 final for their ninth consecutive win. Sophomore lead guard Alex Marquis (13.5 points per game) scores and distributes well for the Cougars. The Eagles have received strong play from Bailey Dufrene and Dominique Newman, who average just over 22 points per game combined.
No. 4 Fairfax at No. 1 West Springfield, 7:30 p.m.
The Spartans bounced back from a Jan. 28 loss to rival T.C. Williams to defeat the Titans in the Conference 7 final. Senior Amy Berglund is averaging 18.7 points per game and scored 28 points in the conference title game. Fairfax senior and Richmond-signee Kylie Murphree scored 22 points in the Conference 6 semifinal, and she’s averaging 11.4 points per game for the Rebels.
This is an intriguing matchup between two teams that have records at or above .500. The young Yellow Jackets backcourt tandem of sophomores Ashlee White and Kylee Johnson are scoring a combined 22 points per game. For the Bulldogs, junior point guard Emily McNamara (12.0 ppg) has become a tough matchup for opponents with her ball handling skills and solid stroke from around the perimeter.
Wildcats senior and William & Mary signee Jenna Green is one of the best guards in the area and is scoring 17.8 points per game. Green is a handful for any defense, and with senior Katie Blumer (48 three-pointers) on the outside, this backcourt duo is very potent. The Bobcats feature standout junior Misha Jones (14 points per game) and they came very close to knocking off a talented Stonewall Jackson team twice.
No. 4 Lake Braddock at No. 1 South Lakes, 7:30 p.m.
Seahawks junior Princess Aghayere scored 20 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in the Conference 6 final win over Madison. Aghayere and senior Abigail Rendle (William & Mary signee) are one of the best frontcourt duos in the area. The Seahawks made a deep run to the AAA quarterfinals last season and have a ton of experience with seven seniors. The Bruins have used balanced scoring without a single player averaging in double figures. Junior Christine McGrath leads the team in scoring at 8.8 points per game.
The second round continues on Tuesday night at the higher seeds followed by the semifinals, which will be Thursday at Robinson at 6 and 8 p.m. The final is Saturday at 6 p.m. at Robinson.