Girls basketball defeated in District Finals

McLean lost to Yorktown in anticipated District Finals

Final Score: 45-36

McLean’s varsity girls basketball team traveled to Yorktown High on Feb. 18 to challenge the Patriots for the third time in their season, but ultimately came up short in the Liberty District Finals.

“I think we worked hard, but you can’t win games if you don’t make shots,” said varsity girls basketball coach Jen Sobota. “If you look at our stats, every game we’ve won we average about 60 points, and every game we’ve lost we average about 40.”

McLean had lost to Yorktown two times in a row, but after being on a winning streak and defeating Langley, the school entered the game confident. The team began the first quarter with high energy. However, Yorktown matched McLean’s intensity, and the first quarter ended with Yorktown holding a 13-7 lead.

Yorktown scored the first points of the second quarter, but the Highlanders were determined to protect their own territory, buckling down on defense. As the clock ticked down to the halftime mark, the Highlanders’ crowd cheered “defense,” and a free throw called the gym to a hush. The Yorktown side cheered as they scored, and the halftime show started with the Patriots in the lead 22-15.

Yorktown scored the first points in the second half, but McLean countered their points and worked hard to close the gap between the teams. In the middle of the quarter, the team worked their way up to a closer 6-point gap, trailing 28-22. However, a run by the home squad led to the Highlanders entering their final quarter facing a 35-24 deficit.

Despite falling behind throughout the game, McLean continued to push forward, and by the fourth quarter the score gap began to narrow to 37-31. Star senior Mia Fitzgerald continuously rebounded the ball for her teammates, and after scoring a three pointer brought the score up to 39-34.

“I thought it was a pretty tight game and that we had a good chance,” sophomore Sam Urwin said. “I’m proud of McLean, they were always keeping up, and kept trying to catch up.”

With the fourth quarter coming to an end, Yorktown’s lead began to increase. With only a few minutes left in the game, McLean scrambled to catch up. Minor mistakes lead to a number of fouls by McLean and multiple free throws for Yorktown.

“At the end, when it seemed impossible to win, they kept hustling and getting the ball,” Urwin said. “Even though there was like twenty seconds left they never gave up.”

With just under two minutes left in the game, Yorktown was still in the lead by 40-34. Both teams struggled to win the game amongst a number of foul calls, as junior Shushan Krikorian made several fierce plays to attempt to have her team make a comeback.

“[Yorktown] made more shots than we did, but I’m proud,” Sobota said. “They [worked extremely hard]. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way, and that’s how I feel today.”

Despite the loss, McLean will still advance to regionals, and the team has gained experience together that will help them further along in their season.

“It was a disappointing loss for sure, but the fact that we got to that point shows the hard work and dedication every member of our team gives,” sophomore Ava Stewart said.

“I’m just really proud of how far we’ve come working together.”