Brentsville High girls basketball coach Keyla Delaney knows the result wasn’t what everybody in Nokesville hoped.
Making their first appearance in the state championship at Richmond’s Siegel Center, the Tigers were dominated by Carroll County, falling 78-41 in the Class 3 final on March 10.
“Going into that game, I had high hopes that we would be able to play with them, that we would be able to execute. But it just didn't turn out that way. Regardless of the fact, I'm super proud of these girls,” said Delaney, who called Carroll County “probably the best girls team in the whole state of Virginia.”
Carroll County (28-1) was aggressive and predatory, forcing multiple turnovers in rolling to its second straight title. The Tigers (21-7) hung around for a while, trailing 23-18 late in the first quarter, but a depressing second quarter led to their doom as the Tigers scored two points and trailed 46-20 at halftime.
Delaney said Alden Yergey and Cara Vollmer were not 100 percent.
"I want to emphasize that the game went the way it did because we didn’t execute our gameplan. Rebounding, limiting transition, and taking care of the ball and limiting turnovers. I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses because of injuries, although it would have been closer in my opinion if we were healthy,” Delaney said.
Brentsville loses all-time greats in Yergey and Vollmer to graduation but returns a solid team that includes freshman Payton Brown, a deadeye shooter who shined in the final with a team-high 11 points, sophomore forward Savannah Price and junior Liz Rice.
Yergey, who scored six in the final, will play at NCAA Division I Siena College. Vollmer, who scored 10, will play at D-3 Marymount University. Seniors Emily Spittle and Dakota Garber also will graduate.
Brentsville’s historic season included two huge wins that got them to the final. They eliminated Lakeland 50-36 in the quarterfinals, then slipped past long-time rival Meridian 46-41 in the semis, ending an 11-game losing streak to their Northwestern District nemesis.
For Delaney, a 2010 Brentsville graduate and former Tiger star, making the state championship game was a dream come true. Her father Eugene Baltimore coached Brentsville to the state tournament four times.
“When I first got the job, I told them that we are a state bound team. We can make it to the state finals,” said the first-year coach. “I think some of them bought into it early, some of them it took a little time. As the season went on, they really started to see the fruits of their labor.
“It was an amazing season. I have a great group of girls,” said Delaney.
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