When Dominion’s shots start falling, it’s a tough team to beat.
Second-seeded Chancellor learned this late in Tuesday night’s 4A North region quarterfinal matchup when the seventh-seeded Titans began a barrage of three-pointers, which helped them mount a comeback from a 16-point deficit in the second half to pull out a 50-48 win on the road.
Trailing the majority of the contest, Dominion cut Chancellor’s lead to one with under two minutes left in the game. That’s when junior guard Austin Volpi took a three-point attempt from the right wing.
“As soon as he shot it I knew it was in,” senior Colin Jeffrey said.
The three-pointer gave Dominion the final margin with 1:35 to play, capping an 11-0 game-ending run for the Titans. Dominion advances to face third-seeded George Washington-Danville in Thursday’s semifinals. After winning on the road in Fredericksburg, the Titans must travel 237 miles South to Danville.
“It brings the whole morale of the team up,” Volpi said. “Everyone gets fired up. It’s great to win on the road.”
Before Volpi’s three, Dominion (16-10) called a timeout to draw up a play. But after pressing and playing man-to-man defense the entire game, Chancellor (18-5) came out in a 2-3 zone.
Dominion didn’t flinch and patiently worked the basketball around for an open look. Eventually, Jeffrey passed the ball inside to center Tony Richardson, with the Chancellor defense collapsing on him. Richardson then kicked the ball out to Volpi for the go-ahead shot.
“We were trying to work the ball inside because we were only down one,” Volpi said. “But I had an open shot and I had confidence in my shot. I knocked it down.”
The Titans struggled shooting the ball until the fourth quarter. In that final period, Dominion hit four threes, which included two from Jeffrey that sparked the comeback.
Richardson paced the Titans with 15 points, with Jeffrey adding 13. Volpi and sophomore Adam Branch contributed eight points apiece.
“When you have shooters you have a chance,” Dominion Coach Jason Geyer said. “It’s like going into the NCAA Tournament. You get a lower seed that shoots the ball well, they’ll have a chance. I think that could definitely be us and put us in the state tournament.”
Nagging injuries have sidelined Stock for most of the season, but since entering the Raiders’ rotation on Jan. 28, Stock has provided Loudoun County with another scoring option for a group that has now won eight straight.
Loudoun County Coach Mark Alexander said Stock took Tuesday’s game over in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of his 20 points.
“He has a big heart, he wants to win,” Alexander said. “He’s a competitor. The other kids have embraced what he’s about.”
With the game going to overtime, Loudoun County started taking the ball to the basket and drawing fouls. The Raiders shot 12 free throws in the extra period, and made 18 of 25 from the line throughout the contest.
With the win, the Raiders advanced to the 4A North semifinals, where they’ll take on top-seed Handley on the road in Winchester.
“They’re just as athletic as King George,” Alexander said. “We’ll try to come up with a plan today and work on it in practice.”