Three weeks ago, Park View High School girls basketball coach Larry Simms decided to move freshman point guard Veronica Skinner up from the junior varsity. Tuesday night, the move paid off.
Led by Skinner, who had nine points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals, the fourth-seeded Patriots defeated No. 5 seed Broad Run, 51-35, in a AA Northwestern District quarterfinal game in Sterling.
Park View, which improved to 11-10, plays No. 1 Loudoun County tonight at 6:30 at Potomac Falls. The Spartans finished the season 7-14.
"We knew that Veronica was going to be our point guard before the season started," Simms said. "But we didn't want to bring her up too soon. We wanted her to get some games under her belt [on the junior varsity] and get comfortable with the system. . . . I had no idea she was going to be this good."
Skinner had eight points, two steals and two assists during a third quarter in which Broad Run did not score. Patriots senior forward Abby Powers also did much of the damage, scoring six of her game-high 13 points and grabbing two offensive rebounds during the 17-0 run. Freshman forward Megan Doughty (eight points, four rebounds) added a layup and two rebounds, and Park View led 38-16 heading into the fourth quarter.
"I think we really controlled the tempo tonight," said Skinner, who was making her fourth start of the season. "We ran the fast break well, and we seemed to catch them off guard. . . . That third quarter was about as good as we've played all year."
Broad Run looked good early. Junior center Erin Korte (eight rebounds, five steals) scored six of her team-high 11 points as the Spartans jumped out to a 10-8 lead. But with Skinner running the show, the Patriots took control of the tempo, got five points from junior forward Kathleen Vanderslice and went on a 13-3 run that ended when Spartans junior guard Candace Creech hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
In the fourth quarter, Broad Run scored five of the first six points and trailed 39-21 with 6 minutes 18 seconds to play. But after a timeout by Simms, Park View went on an 11-5 run to put the game out of reach. During that stretch, junior forward Jennifer Klein scored three points and seniors Abby Brown, Crystal Doughty (five points, nine rebounds) each added two; sophomore center Jessica Nelson grabbed five of her six rebounds.
"We just couldn't make shots," said Broad Run Coach John Costello, whose team was outrebounded, 47-31. "The first half, we played both sides of the court and I thought things were going well . . . but then in the second half we couldn't make a shot. I told them to keep shooting, but none of them could buy a basket, and the lead just kept getting bigger and bigger."
Broad Run--Lawlor 1 2-6 4, Gordy 1 1-4 3, Creech 2 2-3 8, Korte 5 1-6 11, Sindoris 1 0-0 2, Matz 1 0-0 2, Crane 1 2-2 4, McCuster 0 1-2 1. Totals: 12 9-23 35.
Park View--C. Doughty 2 1-4 5, M. Doughty 4 0-2 8, Brown 1 0-0 2, Skinner 3 2-4 9, Powers 3 7-7 13, Vanderslice 2 0-0 5, Lebida 1 0-0 2, Nelson 0 0-5 0, Wimmer 1 1-2 3, Klein 1 1-2 3, Ernst 0 1-2 1, McDermott 0 0-2 0. Totals: 18 13-30 51.
Halftime: Park View, 21-16.
Three-point goals: Broad Run 2 (Creech 2); Park View 2 (Skinner, Vanderslice).
CAPTION: Spartans' Michelle Lange can't reach shot of Patriots' Abby Powers, who had 13 points.