Less than 3 minutes into Monday's National District tournament matchup against Wakefield, Yorktown junior Emily Rebh grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for a 6-2 Patriots lead.
In the second quarter, after Wakefield pulled within a point, Yorktown freshman Mikayla Venson snatched an offensive board and scored, snapping a 13-2 Warriors run.
In the opening minute of the second half, with Yorktown leading by seven, Rebh again capitalized on the offensive glass. The junior scored on a putback, drew a foul and converted the three-point play, sparking a 12-2 run.
The No. 6 Wakefield girls basketball team looked capable in spurts of upsetting Yorktown on Monday, but the No. 3 Patriots' ability to control the glass proved too much. Yorktown held a 41-29 rebounding advantage, led by as many as 18 points in the second half and cruised to a 56-45 victory during the tournament’s opening round at Yorktown High School. The Patriots secured a berth in the Northern Region tournament and advanced to the district semifinals, where they will face the No. 2 Edison Eagles. Yorktown (17-6) has won eight games in a row, including a 60-39 home victory over Edison on Feb. 10. The Eagles were also the last team to beat the Patriots, winning 69-54 on Jan. 20 at Edison.
Rebh scored a team-high 14 points against Wakefield and tied for the team lead with nine rebounds.
"Emily did a great job," Yorktown head coach Dave Garrison said. "She’s real good at reacting to the ball after it’s coming off the rim. She was able to sneak through a lot and get some easy putbacks early. The momentum that comes from that kind of stuff is huge. When it should be a defense rebound and you get second- and third-chance shots, it helps you stay in games and stay up in games."
Lena Negri and Venson each scored 13 points for Yorktown and Brooke Huffman added eight. Negri grabbed nine rebounds and Huffman finished with eight.
A jumper by Wakefield’s Nahdeya Quarles cut the Warriors’ deficit to one at 25-24 with 3:19 remaining in the second quarter, but Wakefield couldn’t take the lead. Yorktown built its advantage to seven by halftime and Rebh’s three-point play in the opening minute of the third quarter gave the Patriots a 38-28 lead. Yorktown led by at least 10 the rest of the way.
Allison Bragaw-Butler led Wakefield with 18 points. Quarles finished with 10 points and Michelle Noel added nine.
Mikayla Venson earned go-Player of the Year honors in the National District along with Edison’s Ruth Sherrill.
"I was so excited," Venson said. "I thought all my hard work paid off. [I got a lot of] help from my teammates."
Garrison and Mount Vernon’s Courtney Coffer received co-Coach of the Year honors.
Wakefield junior Allison Butler and Washington-Lee sophomore Emma Cooper received second-team honors.