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FairfaxPanthers lose in first-round state tourney game

Panthers lose in first-round state tourney game

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Two days after winning their biggest game of the season to earn a significant championship, the Potomac School Panthers suffered a disappointing loss that ended their highly-successful campaign.

The sixth-seeded girls high-school basketball lost at home, 56-53, March 1 to the 11th-seeded Bishop O’Connell Knights (4-18) in a first-round game of Division I private-school Virginia state tournament. The Panthers finished the season 22-2, having won the Independent School League A Division tournament title Feb. 27 as the top seed and finishing 13-1 against league opponents.

Potomac School coach Mike Hutton acknowledged that O’Connell would be tough opponent, despite its record, because the Knights play in a tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

In the state-tourney contest, Potomac School fell behind 7-0 and never led, but the Panthers did tie the score three times in the fourth quarter, the last at 46 with 3:36 to play.


Missed free throws hurt the Panthers, going 8 of 18 from the line and missing six in the fourth period. Potomac School was outrebounded, 35-32, and turned the ball over four times in the final period.

Senior forward Kayla Rolph, who will play at the College of William and Mary, scored 17 points, had eight rebounds and three steals for Potomac School. Skylar Giuliani had 14 points, six rebounds and two steals; Zora Burrell scored 11 with six boards and four assists; point guard Catherine Letendre had a productive game with eight points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks; Brooklyn Williams had a point, three steals and a block; Kerri Greene had two  points and two boards; and Zoe Myslewicz had two rebounds.

Keira Scott led O’Connell with 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

NOTE: Rolph scored more than 1,000 points in her career at Potomac School. Her last shot, coming at the buzzer against O’Connell, was a three-pointer, one of two she made in the game.

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