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Paul VI Crowned State Champs, Twice

Boys’, girls’ basketball teams win VISAA state championships.

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The Paul VI girls’ basketball team won its third straight Virginia Independent Schools state championship last Saturday with a 58-50 defeat of Liberty Christian.

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With a 61-47 win over Blue Ridge this past Saturday, the Paul VI boys’ basketball team garnered its first-ever VISAA state title.

With a 58-50 home win over Liberty Christian of Lynchburg this past Saturday, the Paul VI girls’ basketball team won its third consecutive Virginia Independent Schools (VISAA) state championship and sixth in the past eight years.

The three-game run also snapped a six-game losing streak for Paul VI (18-14).

In the quarterfinal round on Thursday, March 5, the Panthers defeated Trinity Episcopal, 64-33, and later topped Norfolk Collegiate, 66-42, on Friday in the semifinals.

Sophomore center Meredith Mesaris was named the state tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while senior Jasmine Murray and junior Blair Koniszewski were named to the All-Tournament team.

Murray led the Panthers in the title game with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Koniszewski tallied 15 points on four 3-pointers and Mesaris chipped in with nine points and 12 rebounds against Liberty Christian.

<b>ENERGIZED BY</b> an upset over rival Bishop O’Connell on Wednesday, March 4, the Paul VI boys’ basketball team won its first-ever Virginia Independent Schools (VISAA) state championship Saturday with a 61-47 win over Blue Ridge.

Blue Ridge started the game in a 2-3 zone and the Panthers closed the first quarter facing a 6-4 deficit. The Panthers took over the second quarter, outscoring their opponents, 21-8, to go into halftime with a 25-14 lead.

In the third quarter, Paul VI (19-15) built a 17-point lead and didn’t allow Blue Ridge to get any closer. Senior Erick Green, named the state tournament’s Most Valuable Player, finished with 23 points.

Classmate Raven Barber, who, along with Eugene McCrory, was named to the All-Tournament team, collected 14 rebounds to go with his 10 points. Senior Dominic Sanders finished with seven points.