Unfamiliar feelings circulated through the Loudoun Valley locker room late Friday night, a mixture of disappointment and finality that hadn’t yet greeted the Vikings this season.
The No. 9 Vikings lost, 57-55, to Monacan in a Virginia 4A quarterfinal contest at James Madison University, ending one of the most successful seasons in school history at 26-1.
“The kids played phenomenal this year,” Coach Chad Dawson said. “The 26-win season is the most in school history. There are a lot of things to look at. It’s difficult right now, but there are a lot of things to look back at that made this year special.”
Loudoun Valley, which shot 39 percent from the field and 15 percent from behind the arc, didn’t lead in the game and trailed by 13 points in the second half.
But the Vikings whittled that deficit down to one possession multiple times in the fourth quarter and found themselves trailing by just two with less than a second left and two attempts from the free throw line. After the first was off the mark, Loudoun Valley sought to set up a tip-in play but committed a lane violation before it had the chance.
“It was definitely a great season,” junior Nick Ball said. “Undefeated all the way up until now — but this one loss probably hurts the most over everything else.”
Champe (23-4) will play Lake Taylor, which beat William Byrd, 78-55, at VCU’s Siegel Center.
After the Tuscarora girls’ basketball team’s first trip to the state tournament last season, the Huskies expected to be back despite the loss of three senior contributors. Behind a 13-game winning streak that lasted into the region playoffs, they achieved their goal.
Tuscarora’s season came to an end in a 68-43 loss to Highland Springs in the 5A quarterfinals in Richmond. But the Huskies have set a new standard.
“We talked about how we lost three starters, so we didn’t think we’d be as good this year as we were last season, but this group defied the odds throughout the season,” Coach Michael Newkirk said. “In so many ways, this group was better than last year.”
Senior Chloe Roach had a game high 24 points, and Tuscarora (20-7) trailed by seven at halftime before the Springers’ superior height stunted the Huskies scoring as Highland Springs (27-1) pulled away in the third quarter.