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MORE PHOTOS: Loudoun Valley pulls away from Briar Woods in season opener

Loudoun Valley senior Jordan Miller slams it home for two of his game-high 28 points versus Briar Woods.—Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
The reigning VHSL Class 4 state champion Loudoun Valley Vikings tipped off their 2017-2018 season Friday night with a road contest at Briar Woods.

The Vikings made a successful debut, pulling away in the second half for a 76-48 win versus the host Falcons in Ashburn.

"It’s always tough when you play a team that’s already played. They're obviously well coached," Loudoun Valley head coach Chad Dawson said of Briar Woods. "They play aggressively and that’s some of the things we were worried about."

George Mason University commit Jordan Miller led the way for the Vikings with 28 points.

"He’s just got that uncanny ability to put the ball in the hole. He just does everything for us. He’s a great team leader and a special player," Dawson praised.

Loudoun Valley scored the first four points of the game and would pull ahead 8-2 early on with buckets from Jalen Williams, Miller and Clyde Volker. The Falcons cut the deficit to three before the Vikings produced a big run to build a 21-11 lead after one quarter.

The Falcons made things interesting in the second quarter. Trailing by 12, Briar Woods scored the game's next 11 points. The surge began with back-to-back 3-pointers by Will Shin and Hunter Auch and continued with layups by Nick Conway and Aidan Clark.

Auch's free throw pulled Briar Woods within 25-24. The Vikings responded with a pair of free throws by Miller and never looked back.

"I told them I think I did a poor job in the second quarter," Dawson said. "We were out of position, didn’t utilize our timeouts like we should’ve and we made some poor decisions."

"Coach called a good timeout, he got us all focused and back into the game," Miller said. "We had a couple defensive slips but other than that I think we recovered well."

Including the free throws, the Vikings closed the half on a 8-0 run with a bucket by Mark Melbourne, a jumper by Miller, as well as another pair of free throws from Miller.

The Vikings led at halftime 33-24 and outscored the hosts 43-24 in the second half for the 28-point victory.

"It was a good team effort," Miller said. "There’s still a lot of stuff that we need to improve on and work on but I’d say it was a solid win tonight."

The Falcons enter the season with three sophomores and two juniors in the starting five. Briar Woods started Nick Conway, Aidan Clark, Hunter Auch, Will Shin and Cameron Hatcher versus Loudoun Valley .

Each of the Falcon starters has at least a year of varsity experience under their belt.

"We’re a skilled team this year, very young still but the guys are working hard," Briar Woods head coach Kip Shallis said. "We’re very skilled. Gotta get stronger and tougher but the guys are working hard."

"We got guys that can make shots," Shallis continued. "We’re focused on getting better defensively but I like their effort and their toughness. They’re a high character group of kids.”

The victory improves Loudoun Valley's record to 57-2 since the start of the 2015-2016 season. The Vikings reached the state quarterfinals in 2016.

Despite the recent postseason success, the formula remains the same for Dawson and the Vikings. "We’re going to approach every game and try to put a winning effort out there."

Loudoun Valley senior Jalen Williams and Briar Woods junior Nick Conway attempt to secure the ball.--Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser

Briar Woods sophomores Connor Hutton and Ian Haufler vie for a rebound with Loudoun Valley sophomore Umayr Obaid.--Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser

Loudoun Valley 76, Briar Woods 48

LV: Miller 28, Peterson 11, Volker 10, Williams 8, Melbourne 6, Adams 6, Dawson 5, Jones 2

BW: Shin 20, Clark 9, Auch 6, Hatcher 6, Conway 4, Hutton 3

Halftime: LV 33-24

3-pointers: BW 9 (Shin 6, Hutton, Auch, Clark); LV 6 (Peterson 2, Milller 2, Dawson, Williams)

Free throws: LV (6-8); BW (1-8)

Photos by Rick Wasser


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