Leesburg, Va. (February 5, 2015) – On a night the Tuscarora High School sports community honored the highest-scoring football player in its history, the Tuscarora basketball team came up with one of its highest scoring outputs of the season.
The Huskies (10-6) held off a fourth-quarter rally by the visiting Potomac Falls Panthers (11-5) to earn an 88-86 win Feb. 3 in Leesburg — an exciting hardwood victory in recognition of an exciting gridiron warrior.
Noah Reimers was the focus of the evening’s halftime festivities, during which the Huskies’ extraordinarily prolific running back received his gleaming new trophy as Virginia’s Gatorade Player Of the Year. Then he settled back to watch his classmates put up another W for THS.
For a while, it looked like a blowout for the home team. In fact, the opening scene couldn’t have unfolded much better for the Tuscarora faithful. The Huskies came out hot, drilling 3-pointer after 3-pointer to mount a 10-point lead before the first quarter was finished.
The initial six shots hit by Tuscarora shooters were fired from beyond the arc. Three of them rotated off the right fingertips of junior forward Kyle Copeland, who turned in a game-high 25 points on five 3-pointers.
Jamel Howard tossed in three 3-pointers for 13 points. Bryce Sorrell (10 points) and Jonathan Roebuck (8 points) drilled two apiece. Tique Yarbrough (5 points) and Duron Norris (6 points) knocked home one long ball each.
“It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been in a shooting slump the past few games,” Tuscarora’s second-year coach Al Smith said. “I’m glad to see these guys finally come out of it.”
Howard laid in a short runner for the Huskies’ first 2-pointer almost six minutes into play. Tuscarora rained down 11 3-pointers on the Panthers in the first half, helping compile a 50-36 score at the half.
It was much the same in the third quarter. The Huskies dominated both ends, building a 22-point cushion when the quarter was half-done. The home team’s lead was 19 when the fourth quarter started.
But that fourth quarter was a different story, and it nearly made for a different ending. Tuscarora’s offense went missing, and Potomac Falls got layup after driving layup from Wanya Allen (23 points) and David Walls (17 points).
Dondrea Tillman (13 points) took control of the paint for the Panthers. Brian Sweeney (14 points) connected on a key 3-pointer to draw Potomac Falls closer.
With 5:30 left, the Panthers cut it to 10. With 1:00 left, the Panthers were a single point behind the Huskies after a Jack Mologne steal led to an Allen 3-point play.
“We stopped scoring because we kept giving them the basketball,” said Smith, noting his team’s 24 second-half turnovers. “Fortunately we came out with a win tonight, but it’s hard to win that way.”
With 15 seconds and ticking as the orange sphere flew from one Husky to another, Yarbrough suddenly found himself alone with the ball from the left elbow of the arc. The left-handed sophomore rose up to do what five teammates had already done: Nail a 3.
He hit it, much to the relief of Smith and staff.
“When he stopped to pull that shot,” Smith began, shaking his head, “we were trying to kill clock, maybe get to the free-throw line. He pulls up to shoot and I’m thinking ‘why, why, why?’ When it went in, I think my blood pressure finally fell.”
It was the 88th point of the night for the Huskies, and it came on their 14th made 3-pointer.
Potomac Falls scored quickly, getting back within two. But for every bit of the remaining 7.7 seconds, the Huskies played keep-away while the Panthers scrambled around to foul. No contact was made, and the buzzer sounded on a Tuscarora victory, much to the delight of the hometown faithful.
A Night For Noah
To think that Noah Reimers was almost a Loudoun County Raider football player, like his brothers Kelly and Jack before him.
“When we found out we were being re-districted and he wouldn’t be going to the same school as his brothers,” said Reimers’ mother Ann, “we were questioning that a little. Would it be better or not? But Noah was like, ‘Ah, it’ll be fine, I’ll have my own school.'”
It turned out better than fine. In Reimers’ four seasons of football in a Huskies uniform, the running back gained 6,373 yards and put up 540 points, crowned by a senior campaign of 49 touchdowns and 3,040 rushing yards, after which he was picked to the Virginia High School League’s all-state team for Group 5A.
These numbers were emblazoned on a commemorative football presented to the Reimers family, an exact replica of which will be retained in Tuscarora’s trophy case. A Husky football jersey with Reimers’ no. 4 was also awarded, along with his Gatorade Player Of the Year hardware.
But it takes more facts and figures to encapsulate Noah Reimers.
He is an Advanced Placement Scholar of Distinction with a 4.28 grade-point average. He is a student of the county’s prestigious Academy of Science. He is active in a variety of clubs, including the Conflict Mediation Program. His Gatorade Player Of the Year selection is one of academics and character as much as athletics.
He can also leap over linebackers in a single bound.
The folks are well-pleased.
“I am very proud of him, obviously, but he did it with a lot of help from a lot of people,” said dad Paul, who spoke of the benefits his son received from the area’s youth sports coaches, including Noah’s years in the Central Loudoun Youth Football League.
Ann said she wanted the chance to thank myriad components of Leesburg’s and Tuscarora’s community.
“From this school, from Noah’s previous school, from parents of other kids that he was on teams with, coaches, people from our church, everyone has supported us in such a meaningful way,” she said. “It’s worth so much.”
Unprompted, Reimers echoed his mother’s sentiment about the significance of the school’s community to him.
“It’s a great feeling, obviously, but like I’ve said before it’s not just about me. The community, my coaches, my teammates, all my little league coaches, everyone who’s helped me grow as a football player and as a man,” said Reimers, who will take his skills and smarts to Harvard University in August.
“And definitely my parents who’ve been supporting me my whole life.”
Paul and Ann blushed.
In the classroom he will study economics, while on the gridiron he will see snaps from his customary running back spot.
“It feels nice to get individual accomplishments,” Reimers said, “but it’s about a lot more than that.”
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