The Woodgrove Wolverines surged out to a 17-point lead by the end of the first quarter, dooming the homestanding Heritage Pride to a 66-46 loss in Dulles District girls' basketball action Dec. 17 in Leesburg.
"Overall, we played pretty decent," said Woodgrove's fifth-year head coach Kevin Copley.
The result pushes the Wolverines' record to 4-0 through Dec. 18. Heritage falls to 3-5 and sees its two-game win streak snapped.
After Woodgrove held Heritage to one field goal and three points in the opening stanza, the teams traded points for the rest of the night. The Pride outscored the Wolverines 11-10 in the second quarter, but the early deficit was too much to overcome.
Woodgrove demonstrated relentless tenacity on defense all game long, using double-teams, full-court pressure and arms in passing lanes to cause tipped passes and rushed shots for the youthful Pride.
The Wolverines out-rebounded their hosts 34-27, led by Sarah Root's 10.
"Our motto is, we create chaos for our opponents," said Copley, who has guided the Wolverines since the Purcellville school opened in 2010. "Overall, we're a very good pressing team."
It wasn't all good from Copley's view. He pointed to the Wolverines' four made 3-pointers from 22 attempts as part of a poor shooting performance.
Brooke Basinger, the 5-foot-11 guard whom Copley called "our leader," led with 25 points from three 3-pointers, four 2-pointers and eight of 11 free throws.
"Brooke is our best all-around player, but we're very deep, even though we're young," Copley remarked.
A pair of sophomore guards, Camryn Fagan and Jordan Wick, got starting nods in the backcourt versus Heritage and turned in a combined 20 points. Another sophomore, Megan Eiynk, was one of Woodgrove's first substitutes off the bench.
"Camryn's our point guard, and I call her the head of the snake," the coach said. "Last week she got 10 assists for a new school record for a game. If she's not scoring, she's shutting somebody down."
The roster's sole freshman, 5-foot-11 Madi White, sees significant minutes manning the defensive paint alongside Root. Junior guard Jess Hornyak, out with a thumb injury, is the Wolverines' speediest player and another weapon for the Wolverines.
"Our younger players coming off the bench really do a nice job for us," Copley complimented.
A year ago, Woodgrove won 20 games but suffered an unexpected early exit from the postseason. How the Wolverines do this year will largely depend upon the stability and consistency provided by Basinger and Kylee Miller, their only two seniors.
"I think these girls have the potential to do great things, but we have a tough conference," said Copley, noting that his team figures to battle Loudoun County and Millbrook for the two available regional berths out of Conference 21.
As for conference foe Heritage, they received a dose of energy when, down 21 points in the third quarter, streaky shooting Ashley Silvernale found the range from beyond the arc.
After a quiet first half, the senior got hot in the second. She drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing, then stole the ball, drove the court and earned two free throws. She later added a pair of long balls to finish with a team-high 11 points.
"When she's on, we leave her in and let her go, and she was on in the second half and she did wonders for us," Heritage second-year coach Nicole Barnes said.
Sam Sills, a junior in her first season with Heritage after moving from Texas, led with eight rebounds.
Barnes, in her second season piloting the Pride, said her team has essentially a totally new lineup for this winter, one featuring an abundance of freshmen on varsity.
Guards Julia Ng and Sydney Moore, forward Mariel Terry and post player Morgan Gray are all in their first year of high school, and are all playing significant minutes for their school's team after dominating the middle school level.
Combined with the newly transferred Sills, almost half of Heritge's 11-player roster has changed from last year. Barnes is pleased about the prospects presented by her influx of freshman talent.
"I'm so excited for all of them, and I have them for three more years," she said with a broad smile.
Woodgrove 66, Heritage 46
Basinger 25, Fagan 10, Wick 10, Daughtry 9, Miller 8, Kaur 2, Root 2
Silvernale 11, Sills 8, Smart 8, Ng 6, Mitchell 4, Terry 3, Moore 3, Rivers 3
WHS 18-27; HHS 6-10
HHS 7 (Silvernale 3, Ng 2, Rivers, Terry); WHS 4 (Basinger 3, Miller)
Photos by Rick Wasser