West Potomac Falls to West Springfield in Double-Header


Photographed by Christian Fuentez

Girls varsity loses 45-30 against West Springfield.

West Potomac suffered a double loss against West Springfield in the doubleheader basketball game on Tuesday, Dec. 15. The girls varsity team lost 45-30 in their first conference game of the season after beginning with an even start where West Springfield scored the first basket.

However, West Potomac was able to catch up within minutes of West Springfield’s slight head start. Similarly, the boy’s varsity team lost 61-54. Despite the score, West Potomac played a fair game against one of the district’s best teams.

In the first half, the girls’ varsity were closely tied with the other team’s scores. Their rebound was excellent as they were able to closely follow and steal the ball before West Springfield could make their shots. However, they were unable to stay consistent with the flow that they had initially established.

“[The game] went really well until there were about three minutes left in the fourth quarter and then we just kind of fell apart,” says the girls varsity coach Lauren Arthur-Compton.

“We stopped doing what we were doing the whole game. We stopped in the defense a little bit–we weren’t doing what was working for us and we laid back a little during the fourth quarter and that didn’t work for us very well,” she further explains.

The boys varsity team comparably suffered a similar outcome in the game. Unlike the girls, the guys experienced a slower start as West Springfield scored several baskets before West Potomac was able to catch up. This slow start resulted in a slightly more lagging score in the beginning, but West Potomac played hard enough to even out the scores a bit towards the end of the second quarter. Regardless of their effort, West Potomac lost another game to West Springfield.  

“Towards the end of the game, we missed some foul shots while [West Springfield] made a couple really big shots. Defensively, I thought we did an okay job but we didn’t make enough shots overall. I thought we followed the game plan, unfortunately we just came up a little bit short,” says boys varsity coach David Houston.

“I thought we played really hard though,” he adds.

Before the game, the varsity players used the vacant court to prepare intensely for what they knew was going to be a big game.

“[West Springfield] is a pretty good team. They have a lot of shooters and their post players are really strong. Last time we played them, their offense was good–they moved the ball well,” says senior guard Arielle Boykin. “We are going to do really well if our shots fall and if we get the ball into the post.”

Knowing their opponent, the players went into the game while holding realistic expectations of the outcome.

“I think that if we played the way we did the first game we played against [West Springfield] last year–and we just stepped it up a little bit–I think that we have a good shot at making it a really good game,” explains junior center Haleigh Hopper.

The situation was very similar for the boys’ team as many of them had played against West Springfield in the past and knew what to expect from their opposing team.

“[West Springfield] is good. I mean, they’re big and they’re athletic and they can rebound really well but I don’t think that they’re better than us. We’re definitely just as athletic as them,” says senior forward Jamie Sara.

Since this game had been their very first conference game, the West Potomac players admit that there were some things that they could have done better for a more evened out overall score.

“[The game] had its good parts but we just needed to finish four quarters and not just two,” says senior point guard Bre Elphage.

“I probably could have finished my lay ups because I wasn’t finishing any of them and I could have pressured the ball harder,” she admits, despite being one of the team’s top shooters.

The boys’ team shared a similar mindset as they reflect on the behavior of the other team.

“Every game that we go in, we go in saying that we’re going to win–regardless of who we play. [West Springfield] came out hungrier than we were and it was noticeable,” says senior small forward DaJuan Bellfield.

In spite of the results, both West Potomac teams played a really well game and they remain optimistic about their future competition.

“We’ve been improving so far game by game and that’s all I can ask of [the team]. Hopefully we’ll improve in our [upcoming] games and make this a good contest,” says coach Arthur-Compton.