Huskies beat Potomac Falls in a Conference 14 Bout

By Rikki Pepino

The Tuscarora boys’ varsity basketball team came out on top last Tuesday, February 3, against the Potomac Falls Panthers, winning 88-86 and avenging their 79-90 away game loss which happened 3 weeks prior.

The Huskies held their ground in the first quarter of the game. Juniors Kyle Copeland and Jamel Howard opened the first few minutes of the game and dropped 4 shots from beyond the arc, gaining a strong lead to start the game. Although the Panthers seemed to be the more aggressive team during the quarter, the Huskies stayed dominant using sound strategy and managing to execute some quick plays. The first quarter ended in the Huskies favor, 22-14.

The 2 guards had a very successful night with a combined 34-points, outscoring the Panthers’ key players. Supporting them was sophomore Bryce Sorrell who scored 8 more points.

Tuscarora was able to maintain their lead for most of the night. Increased aggressiveness and more smart plays from the Huskies encouraged both crowds and their respective student sections, which were not present for most of the game, to come out and cheer for their teams. Copeland was able to release a few more shots from behind the line increasing Tusky’s lead. The Panthers slowed down slightly in the middle of the game with a few turnovers.

Throughout the final half, the Huskies were able to hold onto their dominance, executing plays with ease, and the Panthers’ defense failing to stop them.

Although losing, Potomac Falls had a few star players that would ultimately lead to their comeback in the fourth quarter. Senior Wanya Allen scored 10 points in the final minutes to give the Panthers an opportunity to take their first and very crucial lead of the game.

“We were just trying to take care of the ball in the final seconds,” said Head Coach Allen Smith. “There were too many times where each of the players tried to do too many things individually, [which gave] the other team a chance to come back during the final quarter. We wound up turning the ball over too many times, giving [the Panthers] too many opportunities, and that’s what almost cost us the game.”

However, the Panthers’ lead came to be nonexistent as the Huskies pushed forward and took advantage of the final seconds, scoring 2 free throws and ending the night victorious. Potomac Falls  trailed Tuscarora by 1-point (83-82) with a minute left.

“Luckily, we were able to get a chance to take a breather with the time-outs,” said Smith. “The key was composing ourselves, trying to calm the rest of the team down and going back to doing what we were supposed to do in the final minutes. The boys did a really great job at executing the ball.”

The night was also spent commemorating senior football player Noah Reimers on his outstanding accomplishments throughout his high school football career. During halftime, Tuscarora held a quick ceremony honoring the Harvard-bound athlete, being named the Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year.

“[Reimers] has been a great role model for the things that Tuscarora football has stood for, which is commitment, discipline and passion,” said Head Football Coach Michael Burnett.