Having won consecutive state championships while compiling a 44-2 overall record the past two seasons, the Madison Warhawks face a tall task continuing that type of success during this winter’s 2021-22 girls high-school basketball season.
But with four returning starters and a number of top substitutes from last season’s pandemic-shortened 16-1 squad, a similar campaign of success seems possible for the Warhawks.
Madison has a tough schedule throughout the regular season. The Warhawks open play with a non-district game Nov. 30 against the Marshall Statesmen, then continued its early busy schedule with two games Dec. 3 and 4 at Paul VI Catholic High School.
Madison also plays Herndon, Yorktown, West Springfield, West Potomac and private-school standouts Georgetown Visitation and Bishop O’Connell prior to Dec. 25.
The game against West Potomac will be a rematch of last season’s state-tournament semifinal, won by Madison, 59-48.
The Warhawks, also the defending 6D North Region champion, play in an eight-team holiday tournament at Fairfax High School Dec. 28-30.
Top returner for Madison are senior twin sisters Grace and Alayna Arnolie; seniors Kiera Kohler, Mia Chapman, Jill Koshuta; and junors Sarah Link, Kayla Dixon and Katie Koshuta.
* The Madison boys were the 6D North Region tournament runner-up last season and graduated many top players from that squad. Top returners are Bo Kuhblank, Will Giery, Colin Sullender and Andrew Gorkowski.
“We’ll have a different looking team this season,” Madison coach Kevin Roller said.
Madison (11-6 last season) opens Nov. 30 against the Marshall Statesmen, then is slated play two games at Langley High School against the McLean Highlanders at 5:45 p.m. Dec. 3 then the Langley Saxons at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. The Warhawks play private-school power Bishop O’Connell on Dec. 9.
In addition to playing Madison, Langley opens play this season in boys action Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. against the visiting Oakton Cougars. Langley was 8-7 last season and Oakton was 4-11.
Oakton opened Nov. 30 against Yorktown and plays Dec. 4 at Langley against the McLean Highlanders. McLean finished 5-10 last season.
The Marshall boys, 4-8 last season, host games Dec. 3 and 4 after opening against Madison on Nov. 30.
* The Marshall girls open their season against Madison on Nov. 30, then play Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at W.T. Woodson High School, and again Dec. 4 at the same site at 1:30 p.m. against the Jefferson Colonials.
The Marshall girls finished 12-1 last season, having their season end with an overtime loss in a second-round region-tournament game.
* The McLean girls finished 5-11 last season and opened the new campaign Nov. 30 against Westfield, then is slated to play Dec. 2 against Hayfield at Langley at 5:45 p.m. then Dec. 4 against Potomac Falls at Langley at 2:15 p.m.
* The Langley girls had a winning 8-6 record last winter and start this season Nov. 30 against Broad Run, then host games Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. against Potomac Falls and Hayfield, respectively.
* The Oakton girls were 6-7 last season and open Nov. 30 against Yorktown, play at James Wood in Winchester Dec. 2, and next at Falls Church on Dec. 7.
* In private-school girls and boys basketball, the Potomac School Panthers host tipoff tournaments Dec. 3 and 4.
Also in private-school play, the Flint Hill boys opened Nov. 30, then host a game at 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 3 in a tipoff-tournament at the school, while the Flint Hill girls play Dec. 1 at 5:45 p.m. at National Cathedral School in their opening contest, then at play at 6:30 p.m. at home Dec. 3 against Trinity Episcopal in a tipoff event.
* The Madeira Snails are another local girls private-school team, playing Dec. 3 and 4 in Pottstown, Pa., in a tournament to open their 2021-22 season, then the team will host the Madeira Classic on its campus Dec. 10-11.