Chantilly 52, Jefferson 41
It's rare for Chantilly All-Met guard Alena Koshansky to miss two free throws in a game, but she did it last night against No. 16 Jefferson. Fortunately for the Chargers, the misses proved inconsequential, as Koshansky finished with a game-high 22 points, and host Chantilly won, 52-41, despite trailing the previously undefeated Colonials by four points at halftime.
Koshansky has made 90.1 percent of her free throws this season, after shooting 88.4 percent last season. She has missed more than one free throw attempt in a game seven times in the past two seasons -- five times last year and twice this winter.
"It makes me mad when I miss one," said the senior. "But if we get the rebound and get some points, then I guess it's okay."
Chantilly (7-3, 2-0 AAA Concorde District) trailed 19-15 at halftime, but took a 29-28 lead in the third quarter when junior guard Kate Argy sank two free throws with 38 seconds remaining in the period. The Chargers went on to make 17 of 22 free throws in the final quarter to seal the win.
"Late in the game, we shot pretty well," said Koshansky, who was 9 of 11 from the line. "I'm glad we buckled down there in the end and made them. If they're going to foul us and we make them, then we can put them away."
The victory gave Chantilly an early edge in the Concorde District race as well as a seven-game winning streak. Lately, the Chargers have succeeded thanks in large part to their post play, and that was key after halftime yesterday -- junior center Kathryn Wooldridge scored seven of her nine points in the second half and helped hold Jefferson forward Maddie Regan to one second-half point.
"She's been a big surprise for us," Chantilly Coach John Kelly said of Wooldridge. "She was on [junior varsity] for us last year . . . but then she grew three or four inches, has some ups and turned into a good basketball player for us."
Senior guard Julia Miller had 15 points for Jefferson (9-1, 1-1) and became the school's all-time leading scorer with a free throw in the fourth quarter. She now has 1,095 career points, eclipsing the previous record of 1,089, set by 2000 graduate Gretchen Heitz . The game was stopped after Miller set the record, and she was awarded the game ball, which was placed in a trophy case.
"She's just a great player," Jefferson Coach T.J. Dade said. "She works hard, and she sets a good example for our younger players."
Three sophomores -- guard Kendall Stone, guard Lizzie Talent and forward Maddie Regan -- start for Jefferson, and they staked the Colonials to an early lead. Stone pestered Koshansky early in the game and held her to nine first-half points. Regan dominated the inside in the first half, scoring 10 points. But Chantilly was more assertive on both ends in the second half and held Jefferson to 5-of-15 shooting over the last 16 minutes of the game.
"I hope this is a wake-up call for us," Dade said. "If there were some big egos, I hope this deflates them."