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GERMANTOWN – The Poolesville varsity girls’ basketball team continued its push toward the playoffs on Jan. 19 when the Lady Falcons defeated the Seneca Valley Screamin’ Eagles by a score of 66-40 on Seneca Valley’s home court, the David A. Young Gymnasium.
The 11-5 Falcons put their multiple scoring threats and deep bench to good use, as eight different players scored throughout the course of the game and three players registered double-digit points. The Falcons didn’t rely on highlight reel shots; instead, fast breaks and layups served as Poolesville’s bread and butter as kept the Eagles (7-4) on their toes.
Seneca Valley struggled with turnovers down the stretch, and the Falcons took full advantage and converted turnovers into points to cruise to their fifth consecutive win.
Poolesville Head Coach Fred Swick said that containing Seneca Valley’s leading scorer, junior Jasia Oliver, was part of the game plan. That extra defensive focus on Oliver paid off: the junior finished with seven points, all of them in the second half.
Meanwhile, Poolesville junior Logan Rohde (10 points) seized defensive rebounds and drove to the basket time and time again.
On the other side of the ball, Seneca Valley forward Bryana Barber (11 points) waited under the basket for a pass before extending her six-foot-one frame up to the basket and pulling a foul in the process.
The Eagles trailed by 18 points at the half. Seneca Valley senior Jessica Jones sent her team to the locker room on a positive note when she netted a 3-pointer from behind the arc right at the halftime buzzer.
The Falcons did not let up in the third quarter though, and poured in 23 points on the Eagles. sophomore Mackenzie Magaha led the charge as she scored seven of her 11 points in the third quarter. However, all five starting Poolesville players registered at least one bucket.
“We really don’t focus on any one player. We focus on whoever’s open, be ready to take the shot no matter who it is,” Swick said. “As a result, a lot of times we have more-balanced scoring.”
Even though the game had spiraled out of reach, Seneca Valley battled until the final buzzer. Oliver slapped the ball away from Poolesville and tore down the court for a layup. Jones landed another 3-pointer and juked away from the Falcons’ defense for another two points in the paint.
Eagles first year Head Coach Ali Hashemzadeh said that his goal is to elevate the Seneca Valley girls’ basketball program to a winning mentality.
“We want to instill that fight in the girls, where they come out and work hard week in and week out, and look forward to just build, build, build,” said Hashemzadeh. “I want them to have that winning mentality, think positive, play hard and give it their all every time they come out.”
The defending 2A state champion Falcons, on the other hand, have their eyes set on the playoffs and winning as many games as possible before the postseason.
“Our goal is to improve every game. We’ve got seven games left to get ready for the playoffs,” said Swick. “The big goal is to win as many games as we can so we can get a better seed for the playoffs so we can get more home games.”
On Jan. 25, the Falcons host Magruder, a team that has struggled to find a victory this season. Seneca Valley is set to host Rockville on Jan. 22.