Katherine Coyer often draws the most challenging defensive assignment but has a tendency to focus too much on that aspect of the game — a habit that exasperates Oakton Coach Fred Priester, who said he implores her to be more aggressive offensively.
Virginia AAA Northern Region championship: Oakton girls, Westfield boys win title
The Villanova-bound senior needed no such reminders on Monday night.
Katherine Coyer scored 29 points, including several key buckets late, to lead the Cougars (29-0) to the Virginia AAA Northern Region championship with a 63-49 win over fifth-ranked West Springfield at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax.
“Me running off on offense doesn’t help us at all and I know that,” Katherine Coyer said. “And knowing that I have to play both ends of the floor or we’re not going to win this game, I think that just pushed me a lot.”
To Katherine Coyer, last year’s season-ending loss to West Springfield in the region semifinals served just one purpose: instilling a sense of motivation throughout this season.
She showed that drive in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of 11 Cougars points in one stretch, as the Spartans (26-4) tried to make a run behind All-Met guard April Robinson (Duquesne) and Georgetown-bound senior Logan Battle.
Oakton will host Central Region runner-up Monacan on Friday at 7 p.m. at Robinson, while West Springfield travels to the Siegel Center to play Highland Springs at the same time.
While Oakton was familiar with the stage, Westfield’s players struggled to get the routine down when it came time to cut down nets after a 62-49 win over Edison (19-9) in the boys’ region championship.
Senior star Zach Elcano, an American University recruit, went first, and Coach Doug Ewell had to shout twice that underclassmen were supposed to be first up the ladder.
“We’ve been working to get here and finally we have,” said Elcano, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. “So now I’ll know what to do in college hopefully when I get to cut down some nets there.”
Elcano dominated inside for the Bulldogs, and senior Quentin Basil, who finished with 16 points, scored eight straight, including two three-pointers, to help the Bulldogs (24-4) turn a five-point lead into a 42-27 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Westfield will host Henrico on Friday at 8:45 p.m. at Robinson, while Edison travels to the Siegel Center to face Petersburg.