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The Loudoun Report: boys basketball

Battle for Sterling
The December snowfall that blanketed the area forced a slew of postponements and cancellations for Loudoun basketball teams and led to some strange schedule flow within and outside of the Dulles District. Nowhere is that more apparent than this week when Sterling rivals Park View and Potomac Falls play their home-and-home series in a span of three days.

The Panthers host their Route-7 rivals Wednesday and then visit the Patriots Friday night for a pair of games that could have a huge impact on the district title race.


Jordan Owens and Park View get a pair of chances to knock off the district's top team this week. (Richard A. Lipski, TWP)

Currently the top dogs in the league title hunt, the Panthers (12-1, 5-0) experienced another scheduling quirk over the weekend when they won the championship game of the Broadway Tip-Off Tournament one month after it began. The game was moved to Potomac Falls due to scheduling conflicts at Broadway, but the Panthers were the visiting team on their home floor. After managing only four points in the third quarter against Broadway, Potomac Falls turned it around in the fourth, pouring in 24 as it dispatched the Gobblers, 63-50, to extend its winning streak to nine games.

"We've got pretty high goals for ourselves," Coach Jeff Hawes said. "If we didn't before the season started, we do now."

The Patriots (9-5, 4-1) -- who have already equaled their win total from last season -- had a four-game win streak snapped Saturday at Heritage but remain just one game behind Potomac Falls for first place in the district. With a pair of sophomores in the back court and only five seniors on the roster, Hawes says Park View reminds him of last year's Panthers -- an up-and-down team that featured two sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup.

"They've got a mix like we had last year," Hawes said. "They've got a few young kids that are good and a few seniors and I think with that comes some up and downs."

Park View entered the season as a wild card in the league but remains in the thick of things with a loss to Broad Run as their only defeat in league play. Sophomore guard Ryan McCarter remains the team's leading scorer at 20 points per game, but in the last two weeks, senior Jordan Owens has come on to give the Patriots a formidable one-two punch. The 6-2 swingman broke his career high in back-to-back games, scoring 24 in a win over Briar Woods and then dropping 27 in a victory against Freedom-South Riding.

"They're really setting the world on fire," Hawes said. "McCarter beat people with the three last season but now he's scoring in a variety of different ways, and I've always thought a lot about Jordan. He'll give you whatever you need on a given night."

The Panthers will try to limit the damage from McCarter and Owens and continue to get the ball in the hands of junior guard Lukas Mihailovich and sophomore center Greg Graves as they look to maintain their hold on the top spot in the district. Mihailovich (21.3 ppg) has been one of the top scorers in the league all season and has an uncanny ability to create his own shot. Meantime Graves is starting to get the ball on the block more often, which has translated into double-figure scoring in three of his last four games.

The Panthers get another tough test Saturday when they host Briar Woods to complete a stretch of three district games in four nights. And while others might be circling a Jan. 29 trip to 15-1 Broad Run, Hawes is making sure his players keep the blinders on and focus on the next immediate challenge.

"We have a phrase that we say all the time, 'good to great,'" Hawes said. "We feel like we're pretty good, but we're nowhere near great. This is definitely going to be a tough stretch, but we're glad two out of three are at home.

"We're doing our best not to look down the road. I think a lot of other people are looking at that 29th game, but we're trying not to. We're just trying to win every game left on our schedule."

Loudoun's top scorers
Five of the area's top 20 scorers (with at least 10 games counted) hail from Loudoun County. Here's a look at the top ten point producers from Loudoun's 10 schools.

1. Kevin McGaughey, Broad Run - 22.4
2. Nik Brown, Stone Bridge - 21.8
3. Lukas Mihailovich, Potomac Falls - 21.3
4. Myles Tate, Briar Woods - 20.5
5. Ryan McCarter, Park View - 20.1
6. Richie Berry, Stone Bridge - 18.7
7. Elijah Calhoun, Heritage - 13.8
8. Jordan Owens, Park View - 13.4
9. Ahmad Zafar, Broad Run - 13.2
10. Deandre Reaves, Dominion - 11.9

Links

Broad Run's Kevin McGaughey makes his debut on the All-Met watch this week while Potomac Falls is on the verge of cracking the Top 20 rankings. Be sure to vote on the rankings this week!

And if you haven't already, check out my story on Stone Bridge's win over McLean from Sunday's Loudoun Extra. There's also a full photo gallery from that game by Rich Lipski.

Standings

Dulles District
------------------------------League-----Overall
1. Potomac Falls-----------5-0-----------12-1
2. Broad Run---------------5-1----------15-1
3. Park View----------------4-1-----------9-5
4. Briar Woods-------------2-4-----------5-8
4. Dominion-----------------2-4-----------2-12
6. Freedom-----------------1-5-----------3-13
6. Loudoun County--------1-5-----------6-8

Cedar Run District
------------------------------League-----Overall
1. Stonewall Jackson-----3-0------------7-6
2. Osbourn-----------------3-1-----------11-4
3. Battlefield----------------2-1------------6-8
4. Heritage------------------0-3-----------3-7
4. Loudoun Valley---------0-3-----------7-7

Liberty District
------------------------------League-----Overall
1. Langley-------------------6-0-----------11-2
2. Stone Bridge------------5-1-----------9-4
3. Marshall------------------4-2-----------6-7
4. Fairfax--------------------3-3------------5-8
4. South Lakes------------3-3------------5-8
6. McLean------------------2-4------------6-8
7. Thomas Jefferson-----1-5------------4-9
8. Madison-----------------0-6-----------1-11

The week ahead
Tuesday
Heritage at Loudoun Valley, 7:30
Stone Bridge at Marshall, 7:30

Wednesday
Dominion at Freedom-South Riding, 7
Loudoun County at Briar Woods, 7:30
Park View at Potomac Falls, 7:30

Friday
Freedom-South Riding at Loudoun County, 6
Heritage at Battlefield, 7:30
Osbourn at Loudoun Valley, 7:30
Potomac Falls at Park View, 7:30
Broad Run at Dominion, 7:30

Saturday
Kettle Run at Park View, 3:30
Stone Bridge at Madison, 7

By Matt Brooks  |  January 18, 2010; 5:07 PM ET
Categories:  AA Dulles , AAA Cedar Run District , AAA Liberty District , Boys' Basketball , Park View , Potomac Falls  
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