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The Loudoun Report: Holiday hoops festivus

The snow has melted and Christmas has come and gone, but a jam-packed week of local holiday basketball tournaments is just beginning. Here's a look at the top events involving Loudoun's teams...

Leesburg Honda Holiday Tournament (Stone Bridge/Broad Run)


Kevin McGaughey (25) and Broad Run will once again look to dominate Loudoun Valley and the rest of the field at the Leesburg Honda Holiday Tournament. (Joel Richardson for TWP)
12/28
Boys (at BR)
Broad Run vs. Loudoun Valley - 5
Stone Bridge vs. Dominion - 6:45
Girls (at SB)
Loudoun Valley vs. Dominion - 5
Broad Run vs. Stone Bridge - 6:45

12/29
Boys (at BR)
Loudoun Valley vs. Dominion - 5
Stone Bridge vs. Broad Run - 6:45
Girls (at SB)
Loudoun Valley vs. Stone Bridge - 5
Broad Run vs. Dominion - 6:45

12/30 (all at SB)
Girls
Loudoun Valley vs. Broad run - 2
Dominion vs. Stone Bridge - 3:45
Boys
Dominion vs. Broad Run - 5:30
Loudoun Valley vs. Stone Bridge - 7:15

What to watch for: This is always a fun tournament, not only for its backyard nature, but also because once again several of the teams involved have already seen their opponents once this year. That means few big surprises, but plenty of adjustments after the first meetings. On the boys' side, Broad Run goes in as the favorite, looking to defend its 2008-09 title. The Spartans (6-1) swept the field earlier this season but not without a little drama. They narrowly edged Stone Bridge 79-76 on Dec. 8 and then held off Dominion 69-64 before beating Loudoun Valley by 13. But the boys in maroon are likely still scratching their heads after that loss at Potomac Falls in which they coughed up a nine-point lead in the final five minutes to suffer their first defeat....Loudoun Valley saw its three-game win streak to start the season snapped against Broad Run but has wins over Potomac Falls and Park View on its resume. The Vikings (3-1) have a substantial size advantage going into the tournament with six players at least 6-foot-4 on their roster, including sophomore leading scorer John Yoxthimer (14.7 ppg)....The Titans (1-6) are still trying to find their footing after the mass exodus from last year's state tournament team, but they've been playing better of late with a win over Freedom and the five-point loss at Broad Run. Coach Steve Douglas's squad had some success in this event last season and they'll look to use this week as a turning point heading into the rest of the district slate....Stone Bridge has strung together three straight victories and its two losses each came by a mere three points. The Bulldogs (3-2) are led by guards Nik Brown and Richie Berry - both averaging right around 20 ppg - and rely on the backcourt duo to create and score on offense for a team averaging 79.2 points per game (that number is skewed by the 111-108 triple-OT loss to Potomac Falls).

On the girls' side, the Lady Spartans (4-2) have wins over Dominion and Valley, but lost by seven to Stone Bridge in their second game of the season. The Bulldogs (4-1) meantime have really turned things around in Chris Jones's second season at the helm. Their lone loss thus far was a last-second, two-point defeat at Potomac Falls....The Lady Vikings (2-2) continue their string of Dulles District foes - they're 1-2 so far this season - and Dominion (0-7) is still trying to snap a streak of 31 straight losses that dates back to the 2007-08 season.

Bulldog Bash (Westfield)
12/28
Girls
Potomac (Va.) at Centreville - 9:30
No. 9 Freedom-South Riding at St. Huberts (Pa.) - 11
Madison at Flint Hill - 3:30
Westfield at McDowell (Pa.) - 5
Boys
Woodbridge at Centreville - 12:30
Patrick Henry-Glade Spring at West Potomac - 2
Flint Hill at Langley - 6:30
Freedom-South Riding at Westfield - 8

12/29
Girls second round games - 12:30, 2, 6:30, 8
Boys second round games - 9:30, 11, 3:30, 5

12/30
Girls third round games - 9:15, 12:15, 3:15, 6:15
Boys third round games - 10:45, 1:45, 4:45, 8

What to watch for: The Freedom girls kick off a busy week with three days of competition against AAA, private and out-of-state schools that should provide a good benchmark of where they stand outside of AA Division 4. These teams will likely feature more size on the interior than the Eagles' Dulles District opponents, meaning senior Kelsey Buchanan and junior Dionna Scott will need to continue their aggressive play inside. Freedom lacks a consistent outside scoring threat, so scoring in transition, rebounding and put-backs on the offensive end will be key as they look to make a statement against quality opposition....The Eagle boys have really picked it up after a sluggish start and will use this week to push themselves against challenging foes that should prepare them for the remainder of the district regular season. First-year coach Derek Gaunt has his boys moving in the right direction and the 57-52 win over Loudoun County could go a long way toward giving this squad the confidence it needs to make an impact in the Dulles this winter.


Dionna Scott (center) and the Freedom Eagles had plenty to celebrate last season and this week they'll look to bolster their resume against some of the top teams in the area. (Tracy A. WoodwardTWP)
Middletown Holiday Tournament (Middletown)
Boys
12/29
Loudoun County vs. North Hagerstown - 5:30
Brunswick vs. Middletown - 7

12/30
Loudoun County vs. Brunswick - 5:30
North Hagerstown vs. Middletown - 7

What to watch for: The Raiders head up to Maryland this week looking to shake off a frustrating pattern to start the season. After opening the season with a loss to George Mason, Loudoun County has alternated wins and losses with each successive game they've played. They played three games in four days before the snow hit, losing a close one at Freedom and falling at Park View with a win over Brentsville sandwiched in between. Naturally, that means Tuesday's contest against North Hagerstown should be a 'W' right? Well, for the Raiders (3-4) to get things turned around before the hit the meat of the Dulles District schedule, a win or two against some non-district competition could be just what the doctor ordered.

Pohanaka Chantilly Holiday Tournament (Chantilly)
Girls
12/28
Edison at Jefferson - 9
Hylton at No. 16 Loudoun County - 10:45
Mills Godwin at George Mason - 4
Annandale at Chantilly - 5:45

12/29
Second round games - 12:30, 2:15, 7, 9:15

12/30
Third round games - 9, 12:30, 4, 7:30

What to watch for: The Lady Raiders come in as the lone ranked team in our poll, but they won't be expecting to waltz their way to a tournament title. As usual, Chantilly has assembled a strong field for its annual holiday tournament, with AAA National District stalwarts, the defending single-A state champions in George Mason and a couple teams from around the state in Mills Godwin and Hylton. Loudoun County (6-1) was exposed for its lack of a steady-hand at the point in the loss to Freedom, but Kevin Reed knows his guards need to take better care of the ball, and I expect that's been one of the main objectives in recent practices. The Lady Raiders should be pushed by some quality teams but in the end, these games will make them a stronger unit for the rest of the season.

Park View Holiday Classic (Park View)
12/29
Girls
Brentsville District vs. Manassas Park - 1
Park View vs. Highland School - 3
Boys
Brentsville District vs. Manassas Park - 5
Park View vs. Highland School - 7

12/30
Girls
Day 1 Losers - 1
Day 1 Winners - 5
Boys
Day 1 Losers - 3
Day 1 Winners - 7

What to watch for: The Patriot boys have flown under the radar to this point after losing quite a few seniors from a team that was up and down in 2008-09. But Coach Mike Koscinski had his young team playing well heading into the break, with back to back wins over Clarke County and Loudoun County to get to 3-3 on the season. Sophomore guard Ryan McCarter, who showed flashes of his potential late last season, is one of the top scorers in the county thus far and already has three 30-point games this season. Look for the Patriots to pick up a few more wins at home this week as they prepare for the Dulles District regular season....On the girls' side, Park View (0-6) will be looking to get off the schnide and into the win column for the first time this season.

Briar Woods Holiday Tournament (Briar Woods)
Girls
12/29
Liberty vs. Handley - 6
Briar Woods vs. Fauquier - 7:45

12/30
Final and consolation games

What to watch for: The Falcons got terrible news this week when they discovered senior Kim Bell will be on the shelf for at least six weeks and may miss the rest of the season with a torn MCL. The Utah Valley-bound center is as important to Briar Woods as any individual player is to her team in Loudoun. With two 29-point efforts already this season, the versatile Bell appeared poised to have her best season yet as a season. Her loss seriously diminishes the chances of the Falcons (4-2) of reaching the playoffs but with three quality opponents joining them in Brambleton this week, they must refocus and pick up the slack.

Liberty Holiday Tournament (Liberty)
12/29
Boys
Briar Woods vs. TBA - 6
Liberty vs. North Stafford - 7:45

12/30
Final and consolation games

What to watch for: The Falcons are an impressive 3-1 against non-district opponents this season with a narrow three-point defeat to Osbourn serving as the only blemish. But its been a different story in league play as they are just 1-2. Still, Briar Woods (4-3) is playing its best basketball to date led by sophomore spark plug Myles Tate (23 ppg). They'll look to pick up some momentum in Bealton.

Tina Thompson "She Got Game" Classic (Bishop McNamara)
2/2
Girls
Paul VI Catholic at Princeton Day - 12
No. 9 Freedom-South Riding at No. 12 Georgetown Visitation - 1:30
No. 15 Good Counsel at Forest Park - 3
No. 14 Urbana at No. 19 Riverdale Baptist - 4:30
No. 6 North Point at No. 3 Spalding - 6
Seton Keough at Surrattsville - 7:30

What to watch for: This one-day event features seven of our top 20 teams in the area and a couple other elite squads from the Baltimore area. The Eagles continue to challenge themselves with a tough match up against Visitation in a game that will show us how they stack up against one of the top private school programs around. The exposure a team receives playing at a loaded event such as this is more than Freedom has experienced to this point and should only continue to bolster the Eagles' regional profile. If you can only make it out to one event this week, this may be your best bet for top flight competition with Division I athletes all over the place.

By Matt Brooks  |  December 28, 2009; 5:46 PM ET
Categories:  AA Dulles , Boys' Basketball , Briar Woods , Broad Run , Dominion , Freedom South-Riding , Girls' Basketball , Loudoun County High School , Loudoun Valley High School , Park View , Stone Bridge High School  
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