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Panthers pull even with Vikings atop Dulles District

Potomac Falls sophomore Wayna Allen rises for a shot in the first half of the Panthers’ 58-52 win against Loudoun Valley Feb. 6 in Sterling. Allen was one of three Panthers to score in double figures with 13 points.—Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Carl Lukat
A stifling defensive effort and balanced scoring sparked Potomac Falls High School to a 58-52 victory over Loudoun Valley in a matchup of the AA Dulles District's top two boys basketball teams Feb. 6 in Sterling.

The Panthers (15-2 in Dulles play, 18-3 overall) evened the season series with the Vikings (15-2, 19-2) and moved into a first-place tie in the district standings with one regular-season game remaining for both teams.

Freshman guard Michael Janowski led Potomac Falls with 14 points. Sophomore forward Wayna Allen scored 13 points and senior center Stephen Tondi added 10.

Since a 61-58 home loss to Heritage on Dec. 18, the Panthers have rattled off 13 consecutive wins.

"We are doing a lot of good things," Potomac Falls coach Jeff Hawes said. "It's a great win. I'm happy for the kids ... we'll enjoy this one tonight."

Loudoun Valley lost for the second time in its last three games after winning its first 18 games of the season, including a 62-46 victory over Potomac Falls on Dec. 14.

"It's just really frustrating right now," Vikings coach Chad Dawson said. "We got away from the things that made us successful so we need to get back to the basics."

Potomac Falls led for a majority of Wednesday's game. Loudoun Valley held a brief 10-8 advantage in the first quarter before Potomac Falls closed the frame on a 7-1 run to take the lead for good.

"They beat us to all the 50-50 balls," Dawson said. "They played really, really hard. I think we have to get used to teams wanting to beat us. We played like the inexperienced team tonight. They did a better job coaching."

Junior forward Paul Rowley drained five 3-pointers to pace the Vikings with a game-high 16 points. Senior forward Jovon Miller added 14 in the loss.

If Potomac Falls and Loudoun Valley both win Feb. 8, the teams will share the regular-season championship and will meet in a one-game playoff Feb. 9 at Tuscarora to determine the district's top seed. The Panthers host Park View and the Vikings play at Tuscarora to conclude the regular season.

"If all goes well, it will be another fight on Saturday night," Hawes said. "No doubt about it."

Potomac Falls 58, Loudoun Valley 52

PF: Janowski 14, Allen 13, Tondi 10, Shorts 6, Thomas 5, Fischetti 4, Mologne 3, Orbe 3

LV: Rowley 16, Miller 14, Grimard 9, McDyre 5, Kiani 4, Smolens 4

Halftime: Potomac Falls, 25-20

3-pointers: LV 6 (Rowley 5, McDyre); PF 2 (Allen, Mologne)


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