Middleburg, VA (February 25, 2015) – Foxcroft School was practically born with a basketball. The big intramural rivalry, between the Foxes and the Hounds, began in 1914 with a basketball game. From the time interscholastic competition began in 1917 through the 1930s, Foxcroft was a power on the East Coast, rarely losing. Even the school song has a line about it, “Here’s to the horse and the basketball, of course. . .”
Until Friday, though the girls boarding and day school in Middleburg had never won a conference championship. A quick, athletic and entertaining Foxcroft team corrected that situation by routing Randolph-Macon Academy, 48-24, to win the Delaney Athletic Conference Division II Championship in a game that was moved up a day and played at a a neutral site in The Plains to avoid Saturday’s storm.
Defense has been Foxcroft’s strength all season as it went undefeated against conference opponents and built a 9-5 overall record. Great D was the key again in the final game of the campaign. Alternating between zone and full-court man-to-man pressure, Foxcroft held R-MA to just four points in three of the game’s four quarters and was never threatened.
“The seeds of our championship this year were sown at the beginning of last season when we realized we had the athleticism to be very aggressive defensively,” said Coach Patrick Finn, who was named DAC Division II Coach of the Year. “Having a year of that under our belts helped us be more comfortable with our defense this season so we were also able to add more defensive schemes to cause even more problems for our opponents.
“Steals and pressure fueled our offense and led to lots of fast break points and quick scoring runs.” An astounding percentage of Foxcroft’s points came off turnovers forces on defense.
On Friday, though, Foxcroft showed another side of its game as well. Not a particularly good shooting team most of the year, Foxcroft tries very few 3-point attempts. But against R-MA the club hit five of 10 attempted 3-pointers — including four by junior point guard Pipsy Steyn (Leesburg, VA). The team also knocked down seven of 10 free throw attempts, a significant improvement over its season average.
Coach Finn had talked to the team before the game about focusing as a key to victory. It appears they listened to his words intently.
Foxcroft’s three junior stars – guard Alex Grace (Purcellville), center Kat Forrest (Sperryville) and Steyn – once again led the way. Steyn scored 12 points and had four assists, Grace tallied 14 points and Forrest had nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Freshman guard Mia Moseley also played a key role in the victory with eight points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line, and pulled down eight rebounds.
After the game Grace was named Player of the Year in Division II. She led the DAC in scoring during the regular season, averaging 16 points per game. Forrest, who led Division II in rebounding with 11.7 per game, also was selected to the division’s First Team while Steyn was tabbed for the Second Team.
In a 46-23 semifinal rout of Tandem Friends in Engelhard Gym on Thursday, Alex scored 16 points to lead all scorers while Kat had nine points and 10 rebounds. Pipsy added six points and sophomore Marley Blycher also had six points and seven rebounds.