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Local Girls’ Teams Hitting Mid-Season Stride

Bruins inching closer to .500; Rebels, Spartans, and Stallions all rolling.

The Lake Braddock Secondary girls’ basketball team earned a much-needed win this past Monday night when it defeated visiting Lee, 48-29, in a Patriot District contest.

The victory was important for a Bruins’ squad that had lost two district road games the week before – a 60-31 setback to Northern Region power West Springfield on Jan. 4, and a 61-40 defeat at the hands of T.C. Williams last Friday night, Jan. 7.

“We rebounded well with the win over Lee,” said Lake Braddock coach Leigh Kampman, of the bounce-back win over the Lancers. “Defense has really been the key to our success this season and we got back to that on Monday.”

The win over Lee improved Lake Braddock’s overall record to 5-7.

The Bruins’ prior wins this season have come over visiting W.T. Woodson, 58-54, on Dec. 10; at West Potomac, 41-19, on Dec. 21; versus Stuart, 57-12, on Dec. 28; and against Bethesda-Chevy Chase High (Md.), 40-30, on Dec. 30.

The wins over Stuart and Bethesda both came at the Lady Rebels Winter Classic, which took place at host Fairfax High School.

On Dec. 29, in its second game at the Winter Classic, Lake Braddock lost a close 45-42 affair to the host team Rebels. But the Bruins came back strong with the win over Bethesda to finish 2-1 at the showcase event.

“We lost an intense game to Fairfax, but beat Stuart and Bethesda Chevy Chase,” said Kampman. “I think the tournament did a lot for us as a team and really helped build our confidence.”

Lake Braddock’s leading scorer this season is post player Logan Russell, a strong presence on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

“She fights for rebounds and her overall game has really improved over the course of this season,” said Kampman, of Russell. “I have a number of other girls step up on different nights, depending on the match-ups.”

Russell led the Bruins with 11 points in the three-point tournament setback to Fairfax. Caroline Young was Lake Braddock’s next leading scorer in that game with eight points. Fairfax, meanwhile, had big games from Liz McNaughton (15 points) and Meredith Mesaris (13 points, 11 rebounds). Kylee Murphree chipped in seven points for the Rebels.

The Bruins led Fairfax 11-5 after one quarter and held a 34-29 lead after three quarters. But Fairfax outscored its opponent by eight points in the final quarter to earn the comeback win.

Russell, in the Bruins’ win over non-Northern Region opponent Bethesda, also scored 11 points in that contest to pace her team, while Maggie Collins and Allie Snow contributed eight and six points, respectively. Other scoring for Lake Braddock came from Shelby Sheridan (5 points) and Young (4).

The Bruins, in the win, led 16-9 at the half before putting the game away when it outscored Bethesda 14-2 in the third quarter.

<b>THE FAIRFAX HIGH GIRLS</b> went 2-1 at their own holiday tourney – the Winter Classic – which took place Dec. 28-30. The Rebels, under head coach Marcus Konde, won their tournament opener over Falls Church, 69-33, on Dec. 28, then beat Lake Braddock, 45-42, the following day. But Fairfax fell to Stone Ridge (9-3), a private school out of Bethesda, in its final game of the tournament on Dec. 30 by a score of 43-29.

The Rebels trailed Stone Ridge just 22-20 at halftime, but were outscored 21-9 in the second half. Meredith Mesaris, a 6-foot-2 inch senior center, scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Fairfax. Liz McNaughton, a 6-1 junior forward, scored six points.

In post holiday action, Fairfax won Liberty District games over both Madison and Jefferson to begin the New Year. The Rebels, in the home game versus Madison on Dec. 3, won 47-41, behind 21 points and 11 rebounds from Mesaris. McNaughton scored nine points and Kylee Murphree added six in the win. For two-time defending district tournament champion Madison, Carmen Mann scored 15 points.

Fairfax (9-3 overall, 4-0 district) defeated Jefferson, 56-41, in a road game on Jan. 6. Mesaris scored 20 points with seven rebounds in that win, and McNaughton tallied 17 points with 10 boards.

<b>SOUTH COUNTY</b> won its first three girls’ basketball games over the post holiday schedule to improve its overall record to 8-4.

The Stallions, coached by Chrissy Kelly, won home contests over Herndon, 39-33, on Jan. 4; Stonewall Jackson, 64-59 in overtime on Jan. 6; and W.T. Woodson, 56-37, on Jan. 7.

In the Patriot District victory over Woodson last Friday night, 6-foot-2 front court player Simone Antwi led the Stallions with 21 points. Also in double figures for the winners were Alex Brown (15 points) and Angela Banks (10).

In the non-Northern Region win over Stonewall Jackson (Manassas) last Thursday, Antwi (20 points), Brown (19) and Banks (15) again led the way, while teammate Summer Peterson contributed six points. The Stallions came back from a 31-23 halftime deficit in the win and ultimately forced overtime, where they outscored Stonewall, 7 to 2, to get the win.

Earlier last week, in the win over region opponent Herndon, Antwi tallied 19 points and Caitlyn McLaughlin had nine. Deborah Headen scored 19 for Herndon, a member of the Concorde District.

<b>WEST SPRINGFIELD</b>, the defending Northern Region runner-up, improved its record to 11-1 with Patriot District victories in early January over visiting Lake Braddock, 60-31, on Jan. 4; host Lee, 70-42, on Jan. 7; and winless host team West Potomac, 67-17, on Jan. 10.

The Spartans’ lone loss this season came to Stonewall Jackson, 52-49, in a holiday tournament on Dec. 29. Pre-New Year wins for coach Bill Gibson’s teams have come over Centreville, Westfield, T.C. Williams, Robinson, Chantilly, South County, Gwynn Park (Md.), and South Lakes.