Virginia AA Region II basketball: Stephanie Purnell leads Woodgrove to Division 4 title; Potomac Falls boys win fourth straight

February 23, 2013

Woodgrove senior center Stephanie Purnell calmly stepped away from the scene as if nothing happened, her expressionless face belying the amplifying volume Saturday in Purcellville.

In the wake of her fourth block in Woodgrove’s 38-22 win over Loudoun County, Purnell’s only concern at the time was finishing the night as a Virginia AA Region II Div. 4 champion.

“You don’t want to get too excited, otherwise you start to make stupid mistakes,” Purnell said. “You have to maintain your composure.”

Following Purnell’s lead, the Wolverines (25-3) kept calm and rebuffed Loudoun County’s attempts to knock off their Dulles District rivals in the fourth meeting this season between the two teams.

When the Raiders (24-4) opened up the second quarter with a 6-0 run that tied the game at 8, fellow senior Sarah Hardison drove through traffic for a layup. After a quick turnover, Purnell dropped in a fade-away jumper to extend the cushion.


The Woodgrove girls celebrate the first girls' basketball region title in the school's three-year history after beating Loudoun County in the Virginia AA Region II Division 4 final on Saturday in Purcellville. (Gabe Hiatt/For The Washington Post)

Hardison led all scorers with 12 points, including four crucial made free throws in the fourth quarter. Purnell scored six of her eight points in the first half and gave her team extra possessions with 10 rebounds.

Loudoun County junior Maggie Phillips — who led the Raiders with nine points — cut the lead to 17-16 with a three-pointer followed by a layup with 2 minutes 20 seconds left in the first half.

Hardison responded by tearing down the court and dropping in another contested layup and sophomore Brooke Basinger followed with one of her three three-pointers to crush the momentum.

“I think we all stepped up today,” Hardison said. “It was a really good team effort.”

Basinger scored eight of her 11 points, including two threes, in the fourth quarter. Her sister, senior point guard Brittany Basinger, led the team with 13 rebounds.

“I really think we have a team full of leaders,” Woodgrove Coach Kevin Copley said. “It’s somebody every night.”

The third-year program migrated this year from Division 3, where the Wolverines were runners-up in the region a year ago and advanced to the state semifinals. Woodgrove will face Courtland in the quarterfinals of the state tournament next weekend. Loudoun County will face Region I champion Grafton in its quarterfinal.

Panthers make it four straight

Thanks to a dominant fourth quarter, the Potomac Falls boys won their fourth straight Virginia AA Region II Division 4 title with a 63-53 win over Millbrook on Saturday night in Sterling. The Panthers used a 23-point fourth quarter pull away down the stretch.

“We weren’t terribly smooth,” Potomac Falls Coach Jeff Hawes said. “The kids played hard and kept us in it, and we played an outstanding fourth quarter when the chips were down.”

Junior guard Deandre Thomas led the Panthers with a season-high 19 points, and sophomore Wanya Allen pitched in 18 points. Potomac Falls advances to the quarterfinals of the Virginia state tournament, where it will face Fredericksburg school Chancellor at Robinson High School next weekend.

In the Region II Division 3 boys’ final, Loudoun Valley fell to Handley, 57-48, in Purcellville. With the loss, the Vikings (25-4) will travel to face Region I champion Brunswick for next week’s Division 3 quarterfinals.

“We’ve got to get back to work and see if we can improve this week,” Loudoun Valley Coach Chad Dawson said.

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