Loudoun Valley 40, Park View 23

The Loudoun Valley High School girls basketball team usually plays man-to-man defense. But because of the size of Tuesday night's opponent, the Vikings switched to a 2-3 zone.

The move paid off as Loudoun Valley held visiting Park View to a season-low 23 points en route to a 40-23 victory. The Vikings improved to 12-4 overall, 8-2 in the Northwestern District. Park View, which scored just 10 points in the second half, fell to 6-9, 5-5.

"I knew that we needed to stop [Park View] inside because they have real good players inside," said Loudoun Valley Coach Carmel Keilty, whose team led at halftime, 23-13. "I thought the zone worked real well."

Loudoun Valley's zone seemed to confuse Park View in the first half. Led by sophomore guard Cory Livesay and junior forward Valerie Murphy, the Vikings forced four turnovers in the opening minutes and jumped out to an 8-2 lead.

Park View cut the lead to four on a jumper by senior forward Crystal Doughty, but sophomore guard Michelle McLaughlin scored four of the next six points to give Loudoun Valley a 13-4 lead after one quarter.

Led by sophomore guard Kelly McDermott, who scored five of her seven points in the first half, Park View cut the lead to 14-11 midway through the second quarter.

But following a timeout by Keilty, the Vikings went on a 9-2 run to close the first half. Murphy did much of the damage, scoring five of her game-high 12 points.

"Valerie's a good player," Keilty said. "She's been consistent all year. . . . She stepped it up tonight when we needed some critical buckets and gave us a lift right before the half."

Loudoun Valley carried that momentum into the second half, scoring four of the next six points and taking a 27-15 lead. Park View answered with a short jumper by Jessica Nelson, but senior forward Lindsay Cash hit a turnaround jumper, and Murphy had an offensive rebound and putback to give the Vikings a 14-point lead with 3 minutes 20 seconds left in the third quarter.

Park View tried to mount a comeback as McDermott (seven points) hit a pair of free throws, and junior forward Kathleen Vanderslice made a long jumper, but Loudoun Valley's defense created too many problems.

"We turned the ball over way too many times," said Park View Coach Larry Simms, who was celebrating his 54th birthday. "I thought we played well on defense. We just couldn't shoot the ball. . . . Any time you hold a team to 40 points and still lose by [17 points], something is wrong with your offense."

Loudoun Valley, which hit seven of eight free throws in the second half, put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter as sophomore center Kristen Carlson (eight points) hit a turnaround jumper, and Murphy had an offensive rebound and putback.

"We were in transition several times, and I think that helped break it open," said Keilty, whose team held Park View to four points in the fourth quarter. "Our kids run the floor well. I always tell them, 'If you can get out, get out and go.' "

Park View--Skinner 2 0-2 4, McDermott 2 2-2 7, C. Doughty 1 0-0 2, Cook 1 0-0 2, Vanderslice 2 0-0 4, M. Doughty 1 0-2 2, Nelson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 2-6 23.

Loudoun Valley--Livesay 1 0-0 2, McLaughlin 3 2-3 8, Everhart 1 0-0 2, Carlson 4 0-0 8, Murphy 4 4-5 12, Colby 0 2-2 2, Cash 1 0-0 2, Giannini 1 0-0 2, Scandiffio 0 2-4 2. Totals: 15 10-14 40.

Halftime: Loudoun Valley, 23-13.

Three-pointers: Park View 1 (McDermott).