Jefferson 65, Centreville 44
Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
As a magnet school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is known for its tough admission standards.
Underachievers are difficult to find at Jefferson. The same can be said when looking at the Colonials' girls' basketball roster. Proof is found in the Concorde District standings, where Jefferson sits at the top with an undefeated record.
The Colonials, the surprise team of the Northern Region so far this season, improved to 6-0 Friday night with a 65-44 win over Centreville at home in the district opener for both schools. The victory leaves one Jefferson one shot of matching its win total of a year ago, when it went 7-14.
Senior forward Julie Miller scored a game-high 28 points to the Colonials.
"We're excited right now," said Miller, who hit three three-pointers and also helped her team control the boards. "But we have a lot of tough competition to face in the Concorde. We knew we improved a lot during the offseason and we were underestimated. We set out to exceed expectations. And most of the [Northern Virginia basketball community] didn't give us much credit. But at 6-0, teams are going to have a lot more incentive to want to beat us."
Both teams struggled throughout the foul- and turnover-plagued first half. The Colonials managed a 27-19 lead at halftime, despite committing 17 turnovers.
In the second half, they played with more control and poise, turning the ball over just twice. Miller and sophomore guard Lizzi Tallent (16 points, including nine in the second half) took over, while the Wildcats (2-4, 0-1) sputtered without the services of their leading scorer. Brittany Dunn (12 points), who picked up her third foul with 7 minutes 20 seconds left in the third quarter.
Tallent is one of three sophomore starters. She and center Maddie Regan (12 rebounds, nine points) average double figures in scoring. And sophomore point guard Kendall Stone (three assists, one steal) directs the team.
"In past years, Julie had to carry the load offensively," said second-year Colonials coach T.J. Dade. "We have other options this year."