By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Intern
Purcellville (Jan. 4, 2014) – After falling behind late in the third quarter, the Woodgrove High School (9-0) girls basketball team knew they would have to remain patient on offensive while causing some defensive turnovers in the low scoring game against Loudoun County High School (7-3). The overtime thriller ended in a lopsided fashion as the Wolverines remained undefeated by outscoring the Raiders in the extra period, 9-2, for a 41-34 win.
“It’s our home court. We practice here every day. They cry, bleed and sweat right there on this floor,” Woodgrove head coach Kevin Copley said. “[Let’s try] not to let anybody come in here and take something away from them that they’ve worked so hard for.”
Woodgrove forces overtime
As the fourth quarter buzzer sounded, the Wolverines pushed their way into a tie with the Raiders at 32-32 forcing an overtime period.
“It was all about who wanted it more in that overtime period,” Copley said. “I thought we played hard, and we executed much better than any other overtime period we’ve had. They’re a great team. I think our girls just gutted it out there.”
The short, four-minute overtime period was all Woodgrove as Wolverine senior shooting guard Linsey Fagan added five points and four rebounds to her game’s 9-point total.
“It’s a team effort. It’s not just me doing it,” Fagan said. “You have to hustle; you have to think of the team. It just comes with teamwork.”
Fagan noted that getting ready for a game against Loudoun County is easy and getting ready for the overtime period was no different.
“You don’t have to do anything to get pumped. You’re automatically pumped. You’re just so excited,” Fagan said. “You have this anxious energy just to play them. They’ve always been a great competitor.”
Creating a rivalry
Copley said the rivalry these teams have created has led to game after game of defensive basketball.
“We played really good defense, other than Maggie [Phillips] tearing us up inside in the first half,” Copley said. “I thought we played very well on their shooters. I thought we played solid man-to-man fundamental defense. We boxed out; we got rebounds.”
Raider senior Maggie Phillips collected a double-double leading all scorers with 21 points while adding 13 rebounds and 4 steals.
Raiders’ head coach Derek Fisher agreed that Phillips was his only shooter who was hitting today, but disagreed with Copley about the teams’ new rivalry. Woodgrove has won seven of the last eight matchups between the teams.
“Not really a rivalry when you have a hammer and a nail. It’s not a rivalry,” Fisher said. “A rivalry is when one team wins and the other team wins. Now, it’s not a rivalry.”
Defense, defense, defense
One thing Fisher did agree with Copley on is the level of defense played when these two teams meet up. In the last eight games Woodgrove has won the game with an average score of 47-39. This season the Raiders have averaged 54 points while the Wolverines have averaged scoring 66 points per contest.
“Good defense was being played. We felt like we got some decent looks that didn’t go down. But mostly it was good defense that was being played,” Fisher said. “These games are make or miss type games. They made more than we did. They made shots, we didn’t make.”
Fagan sisters control the game late
Woodgrove and Loudoun County, who are considered two of the top shooting teams in the county, combined to hit just three 3-pointers on over two dozen attempts.
However, the Wolverines caught a break late as Fagan hit a 3-pointer in the overtime period which set Woodgrove in motion.
A four year member of the Wolverines’ varsity squad Fagan has the opportunity this year to play with her best friend for the first time: her freshmen sister Camryn.
“Sometimes we fight, but it’s a great experience. I have no idea what I would have done without her,” the older Fagan said. “We’ve been best friends our whole lives. It’s nice being able to play with my best friend.”
As a backup point guard, Camryn does not get to start with her sister, but saw more than 16 minutes of playing time in the Wolverines win. The Fagan sisters combined for 11 of Woodgrove’s final 17 points while adding 8 rebounds.
“It’s really great because I’ve watched her play. I’ve always wondered it would be like to play with her because I’ve never played with her. It’s just really fun,” the freshmen Fagan said.
Copley will need more than just the Fagan sisters to step up when the Wolverines and Raiders rematch in Leesburg on Feb. 4.
“We got to play better offensively. We got to work on running our offense, setting better screens, taking better shots, basically executing our offense better,” Copley said. “Next time I’m sure they’re going to be ready to go. They’re going to fix some things too. It’s always a chess match. This has developed into a good rivalry for us.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings, scores and more.
Linsey Fagan 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 2/3 free throws
Camryn Fagan 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2/3 free throws
Kaitlyn Lorinchak 10 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals, 4/7 free throws, 1 assist
Brooke Basinger 2 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 blocked shot, 1 assist
Jess Hornyak 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2/2 free throws, 2 assists
Jordan Wick 2 points, 1 rebound, 2/2 free throws
Kylee Miller 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
Kendall Lynott 2 points ,1 rebound
Halle Lynch 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 1/4 free throws
41 points, 36 rebounds, 23 turnovers, 14 steals, 1 blocked shot, 13/21 free throws, 4 assists
Loudoun County Stats
Katherine Van Nuys 2 rebounds
Emily Miller 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot
Gabrielle Gillis 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 0/2 free throws
Alyssa Paige 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 2/2 free throws, 1 assist
Chloe Knox 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 blocked shot, 0/3 free throws
Tayler Tibbits 2 rebounds
Maggie Phillips 21 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 blocked shot, 9/14 free throws
Kat Kushner 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 0/1 free throws
Elisabeth Gianelos 3 rebounds
34 points, 33 rebounds, 21 turnovers, 9 steals, 2 blocked shots, 11/22 free throws, 1 assist