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FairfaxMadison girls top Osbourn Park to win state hoops crown

Madison girls top Osbourn Park to win state hoops crown

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The Madison Warhawks won the 2021 Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tournament outright on its home court the night of Feb. 20 with a hard-fought 54-48 victory over the Osbourn Park Yellow Jackets in the title game.

The state crown is the Warhawks’ fourth overall, and their first back-to-back crowns.

Madison (16-1) was named state co-champions a year ago with the Edison Eagles when the March 14 Class 6 final was canceled because of the pandemic. Since that date, the Warhawks were quietly determined to return to the title game in 2021 and win the top prize.

Mission accomplished.

“We got cheated last year and couldn’t play our last game,” said Madison’s Amalia Makrigiorgos, the lone senior on the 2020-21 team who had 15 points (two three-pointers) and three rebounds in the state final. “We took this season one game at a time, of course, but this was our main goal to win the state.”

Madison fell behind 3-0 against Osbourn Park (15-2), then rallied behind the first-quarter play of Alayna Arnolie (20 points) to take the lead for good at 6-5.

The Warhawks were ahead 15-10 at the end of the first quarter, 26-20 at halftime and 39-33 after three periods.

“It was a battle. Osbourn Park is the best team we played this season,” Madison coach Kirsten Stone said. “They are well- coached, do what they are told and they know their roles.”

Arnolie had six points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal in the first quarter. Her steal and layup gave Madison that 6-5 lead.

“Lately I was not attacking the basket that much. But I wanted to be aggressive in the first quarter and contribute by keeping our energy up,” Arnolie said. “It’s crazy and means a lot to finish out our season this year. It proves we could have been [outright] state champions last year.”

The victory was Madison’s seventh in a row.

“This is pretty cool,” Madison coach Kirsten Stone said about winning the state crown. “We didn’t really talk about winning the state this season. With the situation with the pandemic, we thought the season might be stopped after two weeks.”

Also in the state final, Grace Arnolie had six points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals for Madison; Sarah Link had five points, eight rebounds (six offensive) and three assists; Katie Koshuta had four points and two rebounds; Kiera Kohler had four points, three rebounds and two assists off the bench; and Mia Chapman blocked a shot.

With Madison leading 39-36 early in the fourth period, Osbourn Park missed two three-pointers on the same possession that would have tied the score.

Makrigiorgos, who will play at Randolph-Macon College, made a three and Grace Arnolie a jumper the next two times Madison had the ball to up Madison’s lead to 44-36 with 4:28 to play and give the team some cushion it was able to maintain.

Osbourn Park stayed close by making three three-pointers in the final 30 seconds.

“We had to come out strong because was knew Osbourn Park was a good team,” Makrigiorgos said. “We don’t get frazzled.”

Added Stone: “All season we have worked well as a team to get the open shot and take the good shot.”

Madison was 2-0 in this season’s state tourney, including a home semifinal win by the same 54-48 score on Feb. 17 over the West Potomac Wolverines.

For decades, VHSL state basketball finals have been played on a neutral court, usually at a college arena. This year, because of the pandemic, neutral sites were eliminated, and the bracket worked out that the Warhawks hosted their two state-playoff games at Madison.

PHOTO: Madison High School’s Alayna Arnolie drives against Osbourn Park’s Alex Harju during the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 girls state championship game on Feb. 20. Madison won the game and its fourth state crown. (Photo by Deb Kolt)

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