Purcellville, VA (February 24, 2017) – Ninety minutes before game time the lines for both teams were wrapped around the building as excited fans waited to get into the Loudoun Valley gymnasium. An hour before game time the stands were completely full inside and the student sections for the Vikings and the Handley judges were rocking. This is what happens when a regional championship is at stake.
At first, it looked like Loudoun Valley was going to run away with this one. Doubling their opponent's score, at 20-10, the first quarter was a breeze.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
But in the second period, the Judges settled down and into a groove and gradually clawed back into the game. The halftime score of 33-30 meant that, while the Vikings still held the lead, they had been outscored 20-13 in the quarter.
As the third quarter began, the Vikings doubled their lead. But, again, Handley would not give in. Loudoun Valley maintained that lead until the beginning of the fourth quarter, and that's when the Judges came all the way back.
The fourth quarter was one of the most exciting single quarters of the season. With 3:30 left, Handley took the lead for the first time in the half, but the Vikings countered and took it back. Then Handley, Then Valley. Then Handley again.
With time running out, less than four seconds to go, Loudoun Valley's Jordan Miller found himself at the foul line with his team trailing by a single point. Although he was interrupted by a Handley time out, Miller calmly sank both shots to give his team the lead and the championship.
Final score: Loudoun Valley 64 - Handley 63.