Unlike the last 15 games, the Madison Warhawks developed a different trend in winning their past two playoff contests. The girls high-school basketball team notably fell behind in each outing before rallying to win.
The most recent example was in a Virginia High School League Class 6 state tournament first-round game against the visiting Edison Eagles on March 5. Edison built a 12-6 first quarter lead, before the two-time defending state champions responded with a 14-0 run to take a 20-12 lead en route to a 46-30 victory.
The playoff victory was the Warhawks’ 13th in a row spanning a three-season stretch, which includes five straight state-tournament wins.
Edison (24-5) hung around for a while. The Warhawks led just 24-21 at halftime, then were ahead 36-26 after three quarters.
Madison did not have a good shooting game from behind the three-point circle, making just 3 of 20 attempts. Still, the Warhawks were good enough to win their 17th straight game.
Madison also trailed the Langley Saxons in the third quarter of the preceding 6D North Region championship game, then rallied to win by a similar 46-32 score. In their previous 15 victories, Madison was comfortably ahead by the end of the first quarter, often by double digits.
In the victory over Edison, Sarah Link was the Warhawks’ leading scorer with 11 points off the bench, to go with six rebounds and three assists. Starting forward Mia Chapman amassed a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Katie Koshuta also had a good game off Madison’s bench with nine points and two assists.
Starting twin sisters and Madison leading scorers Grace Arnolie and Alayna Arnolie combined for just 11 points. Grace Arnolie had the most with eight to go with seven steals and four rebounds. Alayna Arnolie added seven rebounds. Each had two assists. Starting forward Kiera Kohler had three points and got into some first-half foul trouble and missed some playing time.
With the victory, Madison began the week needing two more wins to claim a third-straight state crown. The Warhawks were to face the host Robinson Rams (27-2) in a semifinal game. Robinson entered the semifinals with an 18-game winning streak.
Osbourn Park of Manassas and Thomas Dale in the Richmond area were in the other Class 6 state semifinal. Madison defeated Osbourn Park comfortably, 53-35, during the regular season.
NOTES: Madison and Edison were scheduled to meet in the 2020 Class 6 state championship game. The contest was canceled because of COVID, and the teams were determined co-champions . . . Madison and Robinson last met early in the 2016-17 season. Madison won 47-41. Madison is playing in the state tournament for the fourth straight season.