For the last three years, Robinson girls basketball coach Dwight Trimmer has been surprised to see forward Katie Jarvis in the starting lineup. After all, he said, several players are quicker and more athletic than the 6-foot senior.
But last night, Jarvis had a team-high 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the third-ranked Rams to a 77-63 victory over host West Springfield in a Virginia AAA Patriot District game. The game was also a rematch of last year's state title game, won by West Springfield.
Robinson (9-1) had not beaten No. 7 West Springfield (9-2) in three years, a span of nine games. West Springfield was the only Northern Region team that Robinson's seniors had not beaten. And last night's victory was clinched by Jarvis's strong inside play.
"Every year, I think that someone might beat Katie out for a spot in the starting lineup," Trimmer said. "We have players who are quicker and more athletic. But every year she beats them with her heart. She never lets us get outrebounded, and she is tough inside. Every time we needed points or a big rebound tonight Katie was there."
Jarvis said she and the rest of the Rams were motivated by the losses to West Springfield.
"Before we walked out on the floor tonight, the losses to them were all we were thinking about," Jarvis said. "We knew this time we could beat them."
Junior Lauren Smith's field goal with one minute left in the first quarter gave the Rams a 15-14 lead, and Robinson never trailed again.
West Springfield closed to 55-46 on a basket by senior Kathy Wainwright with 4 minutes 55 seconds left. But Robinson made its last eight field goal attempts and 10 of its last 12 free throws to secure the victory.
Robinson senior Myriam Baccouche added 19 points. West Springfield sophomore Selia Monroe led all scorers with 27 points and Wainwright added 15. But Jarvis helped the Rams outrebound West Springfield, 37-19.