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Loudoun Valley’s memorable season comes to a close

The Loudoun Valley Vikings rally from a 11-point deficit fell just a drop short in a 58-56 loss to Region I champion Grafton in the Virginia Division 4 quarterfinals March 3 at William & Mary in Williamsburg.

Senior John Yoxthimer and juniors Jovon Miller and Josh Grimard each scored in double figures for the Vikings, who were making their first state tournament appearance since 2004.

“We always talk to the kids about giving a winning effort and they definitely gave a winning effort Saturday,” Loudoun Valley coach Chad Dawson said. “We just came up a little short.”

Dawson added that Grafton’s hot shooting - 57 percent in the first half - forced the Vikings to switch from their zone defense to man-to-man. He was pleased with the way his team adapted, adding “Our kids battled. They kept fighting and fighting. It just didn’t seem like the ball bounced our way at any time.”

Loudoun Valley (24-5) concludes a very successful return to Group AA after competing the previous six years in AAA. The Vikings won Dulles District season and tournament championships this winter and advanced to the Region II Division 4 final.

“It didn’t finish the way we hoped for, but our kids played very well,” Dawson said. “They accomplished a lot.”

A good contingent of Viking fans made the long trip from Purcellville to Williamsburg to support their squad.

“The school spirit was tremendous,” Dawson said. “The loyalty and environment was tremendous. Our kids really appreciated it.”

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