The West Potomac boys basketball team honored former head coach Bill Engels, the longest-tenured coach in the program’s 25-year history, before its Dec. 11 game against Robert E. Lee. Afterward, the Wolverines welcomed back guard Terrell Ward and won their Patriot District opener.
Ward scored 10 points after missing two games due to "team reasons," according to head coach David Houston III, and West Potomac won, 70-64, at home.
Ward, a 6-foot-2 guard, was one of four Wolverines to score at least nine points. Daryl Copeland led the way with 19 points. Keevyn Hankins finished with 18 points for West Potomac and Martez Redfearn added nine.
The Wolverines (2-1 overall, 1-0 district) led early, but Lee entered the fourth quarter with a three-point lead. West Potomac responded with defensive pressure and offensive aggression. The Wolverines outscored the Lancers 21-12 during the final period, thanks in part to a 13-of-16 performance from the free-throw line.
"We were attacking the basket," Houston said. "I thought we played really strong man-to-man defense. I thought our defense stepped up in the fourth."
Copeland, a 5-foot-8 point guard, scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter while knocking down all eight of his final-period free-throw attempts.
The win was West Potomac’s second in a row — the Wolverines beat Wakefield 60-52 on Dec. 8 — after losing its season opener to Mount Vernon, 68-51, on Dec. 5.
"Our defense was better, our offense has improved," Houston said. "We’re starting to play pretty well together and understanding what we’re trying to do."
West Potomac traveled to take on South County on Tuesday. The result was not available as of the Gazette deadline. The Wolverines host Centreville at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Lake Braddock at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22.
Engels coached West Potomac from 1986 to 2001 and led the Wolverines to their last regional championship in 1998. He was honored with a plaque before the game.
<b>West Potomac Girls Beat Lee</b>
The West Potomac girls basketball team picked up its first win of the season on Friday with a 51-45 victory over Robert E. Lee. Kiara Artis, Talya Dawson and Alex Jones scored in double figures for the Wolverines in their Patriot District opener.
West Potomac hosted South County on Tuesday. Results were not available as of the Gazette deadline. The Wolverines will travel to take on Centreville at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
<b>Mount Vernon Boys Keeping Things Competitive</b>
After winning two of three games during a four-day stretch to open the season, the Mount Vernon boys basketball team will have gone nearly two weeks between games when it takes the floor at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Washington-Lee. Head coach Alfonso Smith said the Majors have maintained their competitive nature but are ready to face another opponent.
"We just try to be creative in keeping things as competitive as possible," Smith said of the team’s time between games. "We create situations in practice where they can go ahead and compete, but they’re getting a little tired of that."
Mount Vernon (2-1) last played Dec. 5 against West Potomac, a game the Majors won 68-51. After opening National District play against Washington-Lee, Mount Vernon will host Edison at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 22.
Smith said he expects the Majors and newcomer Hayfield to garner the most attention in the National District. Hayfield ended Mount Vernon’s season with a buzzer-beater in last year’s postseason.
"We performed pretty well over the last several years. I think that our opponents respect us pretty well," Smith said. "There are no nights off for us. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot."
Mount Vernon has four players averaging double-figure point totals. Niagara-bound senior Skylar Jones is averaging a team-high 18.3 points per contest. Senior point guard Robert Smith is averaging 14.3 points per game. Junior guard Jesse Konadu is at 13.7 points per game and senior forward Sean Stewart is averaging 11.3.
Smith leads the Majors with 13 assists and 12 steals, and Konadu is tops with 20 rebounds.
<b>Mount Vernon Girls Lose to Forest Park</b>
The Mount Vernon girls basketball team lost its home opener to Forest Park, 70-50, on Friday, dropping the Majors’ record to 1-1. Mount Vernon opens National District competition with a 7:45 p.m. home game on Friday against Washington-Lee.
<b>West Potomac Boys Swim-Dive Wins</b>
The West Potomac boys swim and dive team defeated Robert E. Lee, 184-124, on Friday at the Mount Vernon Rec Center. The Wolverines won eight individual events and two relays.
Trevor Jenne won the 200-yard freestyle and Mark Mattis won the 200 IM and the 500 free. Dan Chalfant won the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Connor Woods won the 1-meter dive, Jack King won the 100 free and Spencer Watkins won the 100 breaststroke. West Potomac won the 200 medley relay (Patrick Murphy, Mattis, Chalfant, Watkins) and the 400 free relay (Chalfant, Mattis, King, Murphy).
West Potomac travels to take on Lake Braddock at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
<b>Wolverine Girls Swim-Dive Beats Lee</b>
The West Potomac girls swim and dive team defeated Robert E. Lee, 216-98, on Friday at the Mount Vernon Rec Center. The Wolverines won seven individual events and three relays.
Leigh Orleans won the 200-yard IM and the 500 freestyle, Hellen Moffitt placed first in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, Reanna Dona won the 100 free and 100 backstroke and Maddie Stevens won the 100 breaststroke. West Potomac won the 200 medley relay (Dona, Lydia Perkins, Julia Bolger, Moffitt), 200 free relay (Megan Haley, Moira Fagen, Sophia Passacantando, Karley Zdebski) and the 400 free relay (Dona, Moffitt, J. Bolger, Maddy Bolger).
West Potomac travels to take on Lake Braddock at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
<b>West Potomac Grad Shines at F-L Invite</b>
West Potomac graduate and Gettysburg College swim team freshman Cheryl Olechnowicz teamed up with Maggie Mulderrig, Caroline Coolidge and Deirdre Purdy to take fifth place in the 200-freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute, 41.89 seconds on Dec. 5 during first-day action of the Franklin & Marshall College Invitational.
<b>MVHS Dinner and Auction Approaching</b>
Mount Vernon High School Girls Basketball 11th Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction will be held on Dec. 19. Tickets are $5. See a student athlete from the girls basketball team or contact Terry Henderson at 703-619-3146 or Terry.Henderson@fcps.edu.
<b>Winter Box Lacrosse Registration</b>
The Beltway Box Lacrosse League is registering now for a boys high school and youth winter box lacrosse program beginning Dec. 19. Games will be played in Alexandria at the in-line hockey rink behind Francis C. Hammond Middle School. Divisions are boys high school varsity and JV and youth U-9/U-11, U-13, and U-15. A seven-game season is planned. US Lacrosse membership is required. Information is available at www.BeltwayBoxLacrosse.com.
<b>Alexandria Avengers Win Opener</b>
The Alexandria Avengers defeated the Newark Patrons, 122-104, in their EBA season opener Saturday at Mount Vernon High School.
Tyree Harris led the Avengers with 24 points. Ryan Hughes scored 19 points for Alexandria, Kelvin Coggins finished with 17 and Daryl Owens scored 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists.
"I was very pleased with our win, but I know there’s a lot more work to be done to be EBA champions," Avengers coach Dominic Manuel was quoted as saying on the team’s Web site. "With the versatility that our team has and size, we will be a matchup problem for any team."
Alexandria hosts the Hampton Roads Cardinals at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mount Vernon High School.