When the Virginia AA girls state fall basketball tournament opens Friday at William Byrd High School in Vinton, the Northwestern District will not be represented.

Osbourn and Handley, the district's representatives to the three-district, six-team Region II playoffs at Park View, were eliminated in the first round of the regional.

Courtland, the Battlefield District runner-up, knocked out Osbourn, 57-50. Western Albemarle (20-4), the Valley District runner-up, eliminated Handley, 56-50, but lost the region final to Woodstock Central, 43-4l.

Handley (11-1) had won more regular-season games than Osbourn (8-4), but the Eagles had won the district title by beating Broad Run (9-3) in the tournament final, 66-59. Handley went to the regionals as the regular-season champion.

"Overall, I wish we could have taken more games," said Osbourn Coach Anne Yeatts. "But this group has played together for four seasons and last year we were runners-up. We wanted to be the ones getting that (district) trophy."

Broad Run (13-8) had reached the district title game with a 63-52 semifinal victory over Handley, whose man-to-man defense collapsed in the third quarter. Judy Lasik, Cathy Sheetz and Kerry Roth led Broad Run.

Osbourn, 14-6 overall, was a double threat offensively. All-district and all-region last year, senior guard Carnice Essex was accurate from the perimeter; senior center Dale Swales hit from inside. Essex consistently scored 19.7 points per game. The Eagles (13-7 last year) were helped by three sophomores, 5-11 twins Lisa and Linda Konfala and 5-9 Tina Pannell.

"Stronger inside play really helped Osbourn in the tournament," said Handley Coach Brenda Neal. "Their sophomores can play both offense and defense and can take rebounds. We needed someone who could score in double figures."

Osbourn's Linda Konfala scored 17 points in the last two games of the season.

Osbourn was helped by junior guards Diane and Denise Froyd.

Handley depended on its guards, Anita Morgan and LuLu Long. Morgan scored 25 points per game, Long 16.