For the Lake Braddock Secondary girls’ basketball team, the hope is that the Bruins, who have struggled through a tough season, will gain some late season momentum and be playing at their best at the Patriot District Tournament in a couple of weeks.
Lake Braddock, going into this week, carried a 5-12 overall record. But the Bruins were scheduled to play a couple of opponents struggling worse than themselves this week in district games against visiting West Potomac (Wednesday, Feb. 2) and host team Lee this Friday night, Feb. 4. A couple of wins in those games would build some momentum for the Bruins going into the final week of the regular season.
The goal for Lake Braddock is to be playing its best basketball at the district tournament and to perhaps earn a first round quarterfinals upset win against one of the district’s top teams. That would, along with advancing the Bruins to the semifinals, also qualify them for the following week’s 16-team Northern Region tournament.
"We are playing hard, but have lost some tough games over the past two weeks," said Lake Braddock head coach Leigh Kampman, of her team. "We're hoping to bounce back this week with a few wins."
Lake Braddock had lost recent games to two of the top teams in both the district and the region in falling to West Springfield, 63-41, at home last week on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and, earlier this week, losing to visiting T.C. Williams, 56-41, on Monday, Jan. 31.
In the loss to the Spartans last week, Lake Braddock, which trailed 16-8 after one quarter and 32-17 at halftime, received 10 points apiece from senior guard Maggie Collins and junior forward Cara Weidinger. Caroline Young, a senior forward, was the Bruins’ next leading scorer with five points.
West Springfield (17-1 overall record, 11-0 district), meanwhile, received strong games from junior guard April Robinson (23 points) and junior forward Logan Battle (18). Other solid contributions came from freshmen forward Amy Berglund (9 points) and senior guard Muffin Brassfield (5).
Against T.C. Williams (12-7, 7-4) on Monday, Lake Braddock jumped out to a 10-8 lead after one quarter before the Titans dominated play in the second quarter, outscoring the Bruins, 22-8, to take a 30-18 lead into halftime. Lake Braddock played a good second half but was not able to overcome the deficit on way to the 15-point setback.
Senior forward Logan Russell led coach Kampman’s squad with 13 points in the setback, while Collins and sophomore forward Natalie Butler scored nine and six points, respectively. For T.C., Lauren Moss tallied 16 points and Loraine Summa scored 14.
Kampman said her team is capable of defeating good opponents. It’s simply a matter of playing a solid four quarters.
"Right now for us it's all about putting together 32 minutes," said the coach. "If we play our game from start to finish, we can compete with anyone."
Collins, a team captain, has emerged into the Bruins’ leading scorer this season.
"She has knocked down some big shots for us," said Kampman.
Russell, a team co-captain, is the team’s second leading scorer. She is also bringing down 5.5 rebounds per contest.
"She has been a dominant force in the paint," said Kampman, of Russell.
Playing particularly well of late is freshmen ball handler Allie Snow.
"She has really stepped it up for us at the point guard position," said Kampman. "She sees the floor well and has also been a great ‘shut down’ defender on some of the top players in our district."
Next week, Lake Braddock will wrap up the regular season with district games at South County on Tuesday, Feb. 8 and at home versus Annandale on Friday, Feb. 11.
The following week will see the Bruins start up play at the district tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
"As far as the post season goes, our goal is to make the region tournament," said Kampman. "Our strategy for getting there is taking it one game at a time."
<b>WEST SPRINGFIELD</b> won its ninth straight game on Monday, Feb. 1, with a 65-22 district home win over Lee. Jordan Miller, a junior guard, scored 17 points for the Spartans and Logan Battle had 14. Also for the winners, senior forward Nora Osei scored nine points and April Robinson had eight. For Lee (1-15), sophomore forward Megan Cox and senior guard Jessie Kolonich both scored seven points. Jasmine Thomas, a sophomore post player, added six.
West Springfield, which a year ago finished second in the region tournament and qualified for the state AAA tournament, has not lost a game since falling to Stonewall Jackson (Manassas), 52-49, during a holiday tournament outing on Dec. 29.
The Spartans, coached by Bill Gibson, are scheduled to host West Potomac this Friday night. Next week, West Springfield, the first place team in the Patriot District, will conclude the regular season schedule with games at Annandale, (Tuesday, Feb. 8) and guest team Woodson (Friday, Feb. 11).
Lee will be at home this Friday evening versus Lake Braddock. Next week, the Lancers will finish off the regular season schedule with games against host T.C. Williams (Feb. 8) and guest South County (Feb. 11).
<b>SOUTH COUNTY</b> (13-5 overall, 9-2 district) continues to have an outstanding season. The Stallions won a district game at Woodson earlier this week on Monday, Feb. 1 by a 62-46 score. South County, which jumped out to a 21-10 lead after one quarter, received a huge outing from Simone Antwi, who scored a game-high 25 points. Teammates Angela Banks and Alex Brown were also in double figures with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Woodson’s leading scorer was Keara Finnerty with 18 points. Taylor Hayes scored 12 points for the Cavaliers, who outscored the Stallions in both the second and third quarters before struggling through a fourth quarter in which South County outscored them 19 to 9.
South County will be at home this Friday night versus T.C. Williams. On Jan. 10, South County defeated home team T.C. in overtime, 60-58. Antwi scored 28 points that night for the Stallions, who will be looking to defeat the Titans again on Friday.
Next week, in the final week of the regular season, South County will host Lake Braddock on Tuesday, Feb. 8 before playing at Lee on Friday, Feb. 11.
Woodson (9-9, 5-6) will be at home versus Annandale this Friday night before wrapping up the regular season with games at West Potomac and West Springfield next week.
<b>FAIRFAX</b>, a member of the Liberty District, played outstanding on Monday, Jan. 31, in a 54-30 home win over Jefferson. The Rebels (13-5 overall, 8-2 district) had three players score in double digits — freshman point guard Kylie Murphree (17 points, 6 rebounds), junior forward Liz McNaughton (15 points, 11 rebounds) and senior center Meredith Mesaris (11 points, 8 rebounds). Jefferson’s top scorer was Morgan Cheatham with 10 points.
Fairfax, after leading 7-4 following one quarter, broke out for 23 points in the second quarter to take a 30-16 lead into halftime. The Rebels continued to dominate in the third quarter when they outscored the Colonials 18-2.
Fairfax will host first place Stone Bridge (16-1, 8-1) this Friday night. The Rebels lost at Stone Bridge, 59-37, on Jan. 12 in the first meeting between the two teams.
Next week, Fairfax will conclude the regular season with games at South Lakes and McLean.