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    Vikings slow Panthers, win Dulles boys basketball tourney title

    The Loudoun Valley Vikings defeated Potomac Falls, 71-60, on Feb. 15 to claim their second straight Dulles District boys basketball tournament championship.—Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny
    The first time Potomac Falls and Loudoun Valley high schools met this basketball season, the Vikings defeated the Panthers by a comfortable 62-46 margin.

    But Valley hit a bump in February, dropping three games in the span of eight days, including two losses to the Panthers. The first of the two losses allowed the Panthers to earn a share of the Dulles District regular-season title; the second gave the Panthers the top seed in the tournament.

    Undaunted, the Vikings exacted revenge Feb. 15, defeating the Panthers 71-60 to earn the Dulles District tournament championship.

    “We played like we know we can play and smart,” Valley coach Chad Dawson said. “We ran when we should and played like we feel we’re capable of playing.”

    “We didn’t want to be playing our best basketball during the season,” Dawson said. “We wanted to play our best basketball during the tournament. Now we’re here.”

    Potomac Falls started the game strong, leading 9-4 early in the first quarter. The Vikings responded, tying up the game and then taking the lead midway through the first.

    Though the Panthers would tie the game up at 29 in the second quarter, the Vikings refused to surrender the lead.

    Freshman Trey McDyre started the second half for the Vikings with a 3-pointer, and then banked a layup to give Valley a 40-31 lead to start the third quarter. The Vikings would end the quarter up 11 points.

    The Panthers began to mount a comeback in the fourth, going on an eight-point run punctuated by 3-pointers from D’Shawn Shorts and Deandre Thomas.

    But Josh Grimard, the Dulles District Division 3 Player of the Year, snapped the Vikings’ dry spell with a layup. A response from Wanya Allen brought the Panthers within five, but Potomac Falls would never pull any closer.

    The Vikings would pad their lead with free throws down the stretch to close out the victory.

    Junior Paul Rowley scored a game-high 25 points for the Vikings, while Grimard added 18 and McDyre totaled 13. Three Panthers also accrued double digits, with Allen leading the way at 16 and Thomas close behind at 15. Freshman Michael Janowski scored 14.

    “I didn’t try and force anything. I tried to let the game come to us,” Rowley said. “I didn’t even know how many points I had; I’m just glad we got the win.”

    Both squads now prepare for regional tournaments. With Loudoun Valley (23-3) in Division 3 and Potomac Falls (22-4) in Division 4, both coaches are happy to note they won’t meet up again this year.

    “I’m glad they’re Division 4 and we’re Division 3,” Dawson said. “It’s always been a great atmosphere. It’s a lot of fun.”

    Loudoun Valley 71, Potomac Falls 60

    LV: Rowley 25, Grimard 18, McDyre 13, Miller 8, Kiani 7

    PF: Allen 16, Thomas 15, Janowski 14, Shorts 8, Orbe 5, Mologne 2

    Half: Loudoun Valley 35, Potomac Falls 31

    3-pointers: LV 6 (Rowley 3, McDyre 2, Grimard 1); PF 6 (Shorts 2, Thomas 2, Janowski 1, Orbe 1)

    Free throws: LV (13 of 23); PF (8 of 11)


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