Broad Run 69, Potomac Falls 47

The Broad Run boys' basketball team likes the style it plays so much, the Spartans forced Potomac Falls to play it Friday night at Heritage. And that is why Broad Run is going to the AA Region II tournament for the second straight season.

Broad Run's game plan and execution in a 69-47 victory in a one-game playoff between the Dulles District's regular season co-champions were nearly identical to those of its 62-48 victory in the regular season finale seven days earlier.

Just as they did a week before, the Spartans' 1-2-2 zone frustrated the Panthers to the point that Potomac Falls (18-5) abandoned its low-post offense for one on the perimeter. There, it did not match Broad Run's outside shooting.

Potomac Falls usually prefers to look inside, or drive the lane and clean up on second chances. The Spartans (17-5) allowed neither, expanding its zone to the arc and contracting it around the paint every time the Panthers tried to look inside.

"The key to our success is keeping them outside," said Broad Run senior forward Ryan Koppel, who had 16 points. "It keeps us out of foul trouble, and [inside] was where we got beat the first time" by Potomac Falls, 72-61, on Jan. 10.

Potomac Falls has had its lowest field goal outputs the past two games -- 11 on Feb. 14 and just eight on Friday.

"We felt like we could get them to shoot," Broad Run Coach Larry Boomer said, "and force them to play out of character."

On Friday, Broad Run held the Panthers scoreless for 6 1/2 minutes in the first half and scored 13 straight points to take a 24-9 lead midway through the second quarter. The Spartans led 33-15 at halftime, and Potomac Falls never came closer in the second half.

The Panthers made 2 of 13 from behind the arc in the first half and 4 of 21 through three quarters. Meantime, Broad Run shot 6 for 13 from long range through three quarters. On Feb. 14, it was a similar pattern, as the Panthers made 4 of 21 threes through three quarters.

"We let the zone play us instead of playing the zone," Potomac Falls senior forward Mike Gitzen said. "We didn't even try to penetrate. We just moved it around outside, and that's not what we do."

Said Broad Run senior guard Ryan Ball: "If they were going to shoot, it was going to be from three. When they got it inside, we collapsed and forced it back outside."

Broad Run's 17 victories match its two winningest seasons, set a year ago and in 1991-92. Friday's victory clinched not only a regional berth but also a home game in that tournament's first round Wednesday night.

Potomac Falls, on the other hand, must win the district tournament or finish as runner-up to Broad Run to advance to the Region II tournament. Regardless, it cannot get a home regional game.