At halftime, Edison girls’ ­basketball coach Dianne Lewis ­always asks her players what they need to do better. After a lackluster first half Monday that included a four-point second quarter, the Eagles trailed Freedom-South Riding by nine in the Virginia Class 5 semifinals at Hayfield High in Alexandria.

Edison needed a spark. Instead of shouting or directing blame, Lewis listened to her players and followed their lead.

“A good team knows what to work on. They said we needed to relax and calm down. There was no sense in fussing out,” Lewis said. “They had a half. Now here comes our half.”

After limiting Freedom to a handful of shots and just one point in the third quarter, No. 4 Edison prevailed with a 44-34 victory by outscoring Freedom 30-11 in the second half.


“When we’re down, we do a good job of not panicking,” said Edison’s Carole Miller, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. “During halftime, we were just trying to chill out and think positively.”


Edison (26-1) held Freedom without a field goal for the first 10 minutes of the second half. Edison players stepped into Freedom’s passing lanes and successfully executed traps to limit Freedom’s possessions.

“We do a good job in changing defenses fast,” Miller said. “We continually changed it, kept the pressure on them, and they didn’t really know what to expect.”

No. 9 Freedom (28-2) mustered just two field goals in the second half. Both of its losses came against Edison.


Edison will play Princess Anne, which has won five straight state titles, in the final Wednesday afternoon at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center. Edison, seeking its second state championship, lost to Princess Anne, 61-45, in last year’s title game.

“We’ll come up with a game plan,” Lewis said. “At some point, giants have to fall, too.”


Freedom boys soar to final

The Freedom boys beat ­Potomac Falls, 63-57, in the Class 5 semifinals at Rock Ridge High in Ashburn. Angelo Easter scored 19 points to lead four players in double figures for Freedom ­(20-11), which trailed the No. 13 Panthers (27-2) for most of the game before rallying with 29 points in the fourth quarter.

“We picked up our defensive intensity in the fourth quarter,” Coach Justin Powers said. “We pride ourselves in defense, and we weren’t playing up to our standards in the first three quarters. Then we started to get stops and turning defense into offense.”

The Eagles will play Maury for the title Wednesday in Richmond.