Loudoun basketball: Broad Run, Briar Woods start strong as conference play begins

January 13

The VHSL Conference 14 boys’ basketball season is young, but two teams have placed themselves at the forefront.

Briar Woods (10-2, 2-0 in VHSL Conference 14) and Broad Run (8-1, 2-0) scored two wins apiece this past weekend, both in impressive fashion. The Falcons defeated Potomac Falls on the road, 61-54, on Friday and then earned a 64-33 victory over Freedom-South Riding a day later.

In the same two-day span, the Spartans defeated Stone Bridge, 74-62, and Potomac Falls, 66-65, in back-to-back road games.

Briar Woods has maintained its success with multiple scorers. Four starters — Spencer Hatcher (19.2 points per game), Connor Gaines (14.5), Brandon Curry (11.7) and Ryan Lam (10.3) — are averaging double figures.

“If you have that, you’re going to win some games,” Briar Woods Coach Mike Benson said.

The top plays from the week of basketball in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

Broad Run’s top two scorers are Khiorie Stewart (conference-best 23.3 points per game) and Travis Fulgham (16.8). Fulgham has provided Broad Run a burst above the rim, highlighting his athleticism in each game.

“He’s maybe the most athletic kid I’ve had in a while,” Broad Run Coach John Costello said. “He has double-digit dunks already.”

The two teams, who don’t meet until Jan. 24 at Broad Run aren’t runaways for the conference just yet. Tuscarora (9-3, 1-0) figures to be in the mix as it is averaging 85.2 points per game. Even with two conference losses early, Potomac Falls has enough talent to be near the top by the season’s end.

“It’s going to be real tough to get out of our conference,” Benson said. “The top three teams make it to region, and it could be anybody.”

Loudoun Valley back on track

For a handful of Loudoun Valley boys’ basketball players, this season got off to a later start than expected.

Four contributors — Trey McDyer, Michael Irving, Grant Frazier and Brandon Grayson — were on the football team that advanced to the semifinals of the VHSL 3A playoffs.

As a result, they were playing catch-up with the rest of their teammates in the month of December, which saw the Vikings drop two games. But since a 61-50 loss to Briar Woods on Dec. 16, Loudoun Valley (11-2, 4-0) has won six consecutive games, which included three wins over Champe, Handley and Woodgrove last week. The Vikings’ 58-21 win over Woodgrove saw senior Paul Rowley score his 1,000th career point.

Loudoun Valley Coach Chad Dawson said that having the football players in basketball mode has helped the team’s physicality on both ends of the floor. On defense, the Vikings are limiting opponents to an average of 35.6 points in each of the past six games.

“We got a lot of size and a lot of muscle,” Dawson said. “When those guys came back, we got some leadership and athleticism.

Defense wins for Freedom-South Riding

The Freedom-South Riding girls’ basketball team has a clear mission on the hardwood: win games with defense.

This season, the Eagles (8-1, 2-0 in Conference 14) have held teams to 38.2 points per game, which has contributed to their solid start this season.

The Eagles primarily run a 2-3 matchup zone but will place pressure on the ball in man-to-man looks, which has kept teams from establishing a rhythm on offense. Defense helped them win all three games last week over Park View, Tuscarora and Briar Woods.

Freedom-South Riding Coach Teddy Whitney said Arnelle Collins, Nicole Zubovich and Kelly Hartless have helped the defensive effort’s hot start.

“Our goal is to make the conference championship,” Whitney said. “We have a few goals. We have the team this year capable of doing it.”

Reynolds comes up big for Panthers

Potomac Falls guard Teal Reynolds played bigger than her 5-foot-9 frame once again on Saturday.

The senior not only contributed 20 points, but added 18 rebounds in a 52-51 win over Broad Run to post her third double-double of the season. Reynolds is averaging 12.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game this season.

The Panthers (6-4, 2-0) are tied with Freedom-South Riding for first in the Conference 14 standings.

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