Loudoun Valley High School junior forward Valerie Murphy scored on a fast break with 43 seconds left to put the Vikings girls basketball team up by three and help seal a 33-32 victory over Brentsville on Tuesday night.
The game was the first held in the Group A Nokesville school's new gymnasium. A week ago, the Vikings defeated the Tigers, 58-42, at home.
Murphy finished with eight points, while teammate Holly Everhart, a 5-foot-11 junior center, led the Vikings with 10. Loudoun Valley (4-1) made just 7 of 26 attempts in the first half but improved to make 13 of 41 in the game.
Brentsville (1-5)--which made just 3 of 25 field goal attempts in the second half and shot 11 of 49 for the game--did have a couple of late chances.
The Tigers drew within one when senior guard Christy Lapihuska (game-high 12 points) sank two free throws with 30 seconds left, but Brentsville was unable to foul the Vikings on their next possession until five seconds remained.
Then, Loudoun Valley junior Sara Scandiffio missed the front end of a one-and-one, setting up one final possession for the Tigers. Lapihuska took Brentsville's last possession downcourt but met a wall of Viking players just inside the foul line. Her one-handed effort fell off the side of the rim. Tigers sophomore forward Colleen Thomas grabbed the rebound and put the ball back onto the rim, but not over it, and Brentsville's last chance at victory fell short.
"We wanted to open the gymnasium with a win, and we lost by one point, so this is very frustrating," Lapihuska said.
The gym's opening was delayed because its sound system and scoreboard were not completed, according to Brentsville Athletic Director Sonny Hagy. The Tigers switched home dates with Liberty instead of opening last Tuesday.
Loudoun Valley (4-1)--Livesay 0 1-2 1, Cash 3 0-0 6, L. Murphy 0 0-1 0, McLaughlin 2 0-0 5, Everhart 4 2-2 10, Scandiffio 1 1-2 3, V. Murphy 3 2-2 8. Totals 13 6-9 33.
Brentsville (1-5)--Lapihuska 4 3-4 12, Presgraves 2 0-0 4, Clark 1 0-0 2, Thomas 3 0-0 6, Engelhart 1 6-11 8. Totals 11 9-15 32.
Halftime: Brentsville 18, Loudoun Valley 17.
Three-point field goals: Loudoun Valley 1 (McLaughlin); Brentsville 1 (Lapihuska).