Basketball preview: Potomac District boys

By Jason Butt, Published: December 4

Top teams

Potomac Falls (26-5), Tuscarora (11-13)

Top players

G Josh Middleton, Tuscarora, 6-1, Sr.

G Spencer Hatcher, Briar Woods, 6-2, Sr.

G A.J. Robinson, Potomac Falls 6-1, Jr.

F Wanya Allen, Potomac Falls, 6-3, Jr.

C Tommy Tracy, Freedom-South Riding, 6-4, Sr.


In the new Potomac District, Potomac Falls will be the team to beat. The Panthers will feature two of the league’s top players in transfer guard A.J. Robinson (Tuscarora) and veteran forward Wanya Allen, who led the team in scoring with 16.5 points per game as a sophomore. Potomac Falls will also start guard Matt Tierney, a transfer from Gonzaga, as they look to get back to the state semifinals for the fourth time in five years. . . .



Friends since third grade, Allen and Robinson join forces at Potomac Falls

Tue., Dec. 24 by Jason S. Rufner

On this year's Potomac Falls High School boys' basketball squad, juniors Wanya Allen and A.J. Robinson have reunited -- and it feels so good. "We know each other's games very well. We've played with or against each other since we were 8, so we know each other's moves, each other's strengths," said Robinson, a 6-foot-1 distributing point guard with excellent shooting range. "We complement each other really well because we've played together so much."

Allen was excited when he learned his longtime running mate would become his teammate again. "I thought, wow, this is going to be like a flashback -- back to when we won championships in middle school, went undefeated in seventh grade," said Allen, a sure-handed 6-foot-5 forward with mobility and size. "It was a good feeling, like having my brother back."

The first time Allen and Robinson met was in third grade, when both played in the Eastern Loudoun Basketball League. Their hardcourt relationship has grown ever since. Over several formative seasons, the two toiled for the Virginia Run-N-Gun, an Amateur Athletic Union squad coached by Robinson's father Art. The duo kept playing together through the three grades of River Bend Middle School, after which Robinson started high school at Tuscarora in Leesburg to participate in a college-readiness academic program.

Prior to the current school year,
Robinson transferred closer to home, effectively bringing the dynamic dyad together as Potomac Falls Panthers. "We're very excited to have A.J. He's a good player. He accepts me putting pressure on him to perform so we can reach our expectations," said Jeff Hawes, Potomac Falls' famously animated and wildly successful head coach. Wanya's really stepped up this year as a vocal leader," Hawes continued. "Not to mention he's a pretty good daggone player."

The pairing's payoff has been instant. To date, the Panthers are 6-1, their sole setback coming by one point to Handley in Winchester. On Dec. 18, Allen and Robinson led Potomac Falls to a strong 52-41 home win over its next-door rival, an improved Dominion squad. In that contest -- the Panthers' last of the calendar year -- Robinson hit a cutting Allen for a reverse layup in the second quarter, giving Potomac Falls its first lead. Moments later, Robinson nailed a deep 3-pointer to extend that lead.

In the fourth, as the Panthers were attempting to salt the game away, Allen found an open
Robinson for another 3-pointer for a 13-point cushion, the home side's biggest. Allen finished with 15 points while Robinson led all scorers with 19, causing Hawes to assess the performance as "A.J.'s best game so far."

"Coach Hawes has a lot more plays than I'm accustomed to. I mean, a lot of them,"
Robinson said. "I have a good grasp of it now, but initially I was a bit confused because there was so much to learn." He's had help from his old friend in getting used to Hawes' complex system. "The first couple days we ran plays, I was kind of talking him through it. He's a smart guy so I knew he'd pick it up real fast," said Allen, a starter for Hawes since a freshman, now rapidly approaching the No. 3 position on Potomac Falls' illustrious all-time scoring list. Both Allen and Robinson aspire to play collegiately, though Hawes hopes the two juniors "still have another 50 or so [high school] games left in them."

In Hawes' program, standards are always set high. The Panthers, state champions in 2010 and 2011, have won eight district crowns since 2004 and are currently on a four-year region title streak.

More of the same is expected this season. Though Hawes admits there's plenty of room for improvement, especially on the defensive end, lifelong teammates Allen and
Robinson relish the chance to accomplish big things together on the high school hardwood. "It would be a great memory, if we can look back at these times and say that we won a state ring together at Potomac Falls," Allen said.



Potomac Falls F Wanya Allen closes in on 1,000 career points

Wanya Allen’s specialty is scoring. But when the Potomac Falls junior power forward isn’t getting the looks he normally generates, he’s just fine with dishing the ball to his teammates.

Allen, averaging roughly 21 points before Wednesday’s game against Dominion, scored a season-low 11 in the Panthers’ 52-46 win over the Titans. Instead of forcing the issue, Allen deferred to his teammates, with A.J. Robinson scoring 18 and Andrew Corum dropping 13.



Boys’ basketball: Potomac Falls gets physical in win over Broad Run

By Brandon Parker

Broad Run’s Khiorie Stewart sliced through two Potomac Falls defenders and into the lane, creating enough space for the senior to elevate for a layup midway through the third quarter of Friday’s game. But the opportunity was thwarted when the ball wedged itself between the rim and the backboard, resulting in a jump ball and ultimately, a Potomac Falls possession.

Stewart and the Spartans had their chances to claw back into the contest, but each time the Panthers — with one key assist from the basket — thwarted their efforts. With physical play and several key runs, Potomac Falls kept Broad Run’s high-octane offense stuck in neutral to claim a 65-52 win in Ashburn and snap the Spartans’ 13-game winning streak.

With the outcome of the teams’ last meeting — a Jan. 11 defeat at the buzzer — as well as its two other one-point losses still fresh in mind, Potomac Falls channeled its energy into an early 12-4 lead, stretching Broad Run’s zone defense with sound perimeter shooting.

“We had a lot to prove tonight after what happened in the first game and coming off another loss this week,” Panthers guard A.J. Robinson said. “We had a lot of motivation but we also made sure to play within ourselves and stay in control.”

The Spartans (14-2, 5-1 in Conference 14) roared back in the second period, however, with Travis Fulgham throwing down a dunk that sparked Broad Run to a 9-0 run and knotted the score at 22.

With Potomac Falls suddenly going cold from the outside, Wanya Allen afforded his team second and third opportunities with active play on the offensive glass. After the junior scored off one of his 13 rebounds, the Panthers ended the half on a 7-0 run that spilled into the third quarter. “We knew we had to come to play strong, and I tried to make my mark by getting on the boards inside,” said Allen, who finished with 12 points.

Consecutive threes by Stewart and Justin Hart again cut into the Potomac Falls advantage, but the Panthers (14-4, 3-3) refused to be rattled. Matt Tierney, who missed the teams’ first contest with a concussion, made a big three from the corner and scored seven of his 12 points in the third quarter to push the Panthers’ lead back to 10.

Potomac Falls frustrated Stewart — who came into the game averaging 18.8 points — by shadowing him with two players in a zone defensive set. The senior swingman finished with 13 points. “Coach [Jeff Hawes] always talks about how we’re at our best when our defense is strong,” Tierney said. “We played a lot more physical and forced them to stay on the perimeter with our pressure.” As the tempo slowed in the second half, the Panthers maintained their advantage by getting to the foul line, hitting 15 of 22 free throws.



Potomac Falls pulls away from Broad Run

Ben Trittipoe

When the Potomac Falls and Broad Run boys basketball teams met at Potomac Falls on Jan. 11, the Panthers held a seven-point lead late in the game before the Spartans rallied for a one-point victory. Potomac Falls head coach Jeff Hawes did not want to see that happen again Friday when the teams met in Ashburn, and he got his wish.

The Panthers held off a few Broad Run rallies in the second half and pulled away in the fourth quarter to hand the Spartans their first Potomac District defeat, 65-52. Junior A.J. Robinson and sophomore Danny Cox led Potomac Falls (14-4, 3-3 Potomac District) with 13 points each, while senior Matt Tierney and junior Wanya Allen each added 12 points. Allen led the Panthers with 13 rebounds – 11 in the second half – and junior Andrew Corum added nine points and 12 rebounds.

Senior Khiorie Stewart led Broad Run (14-2, 5-1) with 13 points. Senior Travis Fulgham, who entered the game averaging more than 20 points per contest, was limited to just nine points and added seven rebounds. Senior Justin Hart also scored nine points, while senior Tyler Ellington had a team-high 10 rebounds as the Spartans had their 14-game win streak snapped.

“That’s the first time we’ve had it put to us,” Broad Run head coach John Costello said. “We didn’t convert shots, we didn’t make foul shots. They just flat out beat us.”

Following Tuesday’s 64-63 loss to Stone Bridge – the third one-point loss of the season for Potomac Falls – Hawes said the Panthers had a “toughness practice” Wednesday and it appeared to pay off.

“It’s not the ‘W’ so much that mattered tonight,” Hawes said. “Tuesday’s loss to Stone Bridge was perhaps the softest game physically we’ve played in 10 years. The kids said Wednesday’s practice was the hardest sports practice of their life. It wasn’t punishment, but we did one drill after another, toughness drills. We sat down and talked about it being all about the fight, all about being a man.”


fEb. 21, 2014- vivaloudoun.COM

All-Conference 14 Boys, Girls Basketball Teams Selected

(Feb. 21, 2014) – Conference 14 has selected its all-conference for boys and girls basketball with Broad Run sophomore Mariah Leonard and senior Khiorie Stewart sweeping Player of the Year honors.

Broad Run boys coach John Costello and Freedom girls coach Teddy Whitney were named the Coaches of the Year.

All Conference 14 Boys Hoops

First Team
Spencer Hatcher, Briar Woods
Khiorie Stewart, Broad Run
Travis Fulgham, Broad Run
Wayna Allen, Potomac Falls
Andrew Corum, Potomac Falls
Jason Jolly, Stone Bridge
Jordan Roach, Tuscarora
Kyle Copeland, Tuscarora

Second Team
Ryan Lam, Briar Woods
Branden Curry, Briar Woods
Andrew Nielson, Freedom
A.J. Robinson, Potomac Falls
Matt Tierney, Potomac Falls
Nick Barnes, Stone Bridge
Norman Barnes, Stone Bridge
Josh Middleton, Tuscarora



Panthers’ Robinson scores 1,000 points

by Carl Lukat

Junior guard A.J. Robinson reached 1,000 points for his varsity basketball career Feb. 25 during Potomac Falls High School's 5A North quarterfinal game against Potomac.

Robinson scored a team-high 10 points in a 65-47 loss to Potomac, who has advanced to the Virginia 5A state championship game. Robinson has also dished 328 assists in his first three varsity seasons.

The Panthers finished the season at 20-7, reaching the Conference 14 championship game and winning a first-round 5A North regional game.





Star sophomores fuel Dulles District rivals Dominion, Tuscarora

By Gabe Hiatt

A.J. Robinson estimates his friendship with Lael Davis dates back to the fourth grade. The two sophomore guards share 5:30 a.m. offseason training sessions at Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Va. They play on the same Virginia Run N Gun AAU team coached by Robinson’s father, Arthur.

But Robinson has a beef with his friend. Davis, wearing a Titans jersey, sank the game-winning layup in the final seconds of the Dominion’s 60-58 victory over Robinson’s Tuscarora (Va.) Huskies in a Dec. 18 matchup of AA Dulles District rivals.


The rematch is Tuesday night, and Robinson said his team is ready to stifle Davis. “I know what he likes to do. I know he has some weaknesses,” Robinson said. “I definitely want to beat him. It’s (for) bragging rights.”

For Tuscarora (9-8, 8-6 AA Dulles) or Dominion to win, each team must get a strong contribution from its youngest player. Robinson and Davis represent the only sophomores on their respective rosters, and in each case, talent overrides youth. Robinson leads Tuscarora with 15.5 points per game, and Davis is Dominion’s top scorer at 12.8.

As a transfer from O’Connell, Davis is greener in the district than his AAU teammate. Robinson had time to earn the respect of his older teammates as a freshman starter for the Huskies last year, but Davis walked into the gym at Dominion (10-7, 7-7) an unknown. I came in fresh, and everybody was older than me,” Davis said. “After I showed everybody my skills, I was able to lead them.”

Tuscarora Coach Justin Brown said he will center his defensive game plan on Davis in an effort to force other Titans to pick up the scoring slack. “They’re a tough team anyway, but [Davis] added a scoring presence that I think they probably didn’t have before,” Brown said.

For the Huskies, Robinson is capable of the offensive outbursts necessary to negate Davis’ production. The point guard scored more than 20 points in four games this season, including in his last two. On Dec. 19, the night after losing to Dominion, Robinson tied Tuscarora’s single-game scoring record of 27 points in a win over Kettle Run. Last week against Park View, he came within three points of re-setting his own mark in another win. “(The record) would be a huge deal to me,’ Robinson said. “The school is new, and I would like to set the baseline for the records, especially as a sophomore.”

Robinson’s rise has mirrored the ascent of the Leesburg school, which opened its doors three years ago. In its first year, the basketball team did not register one win. Last season, Robinson’s first, the Huskies won a total of three games. This season they are one win away from double digits.

A self-described “finesse” player with a tough streak, Robinson cited maturation on and off the court as a reason for improvement. Coach Brown said his star pupil has adapted to the physical nature of the high school game.

Leaning heavily on Robinson’s production, the Huskies go into the week tied for fourth place in the district with crosstown rival Loudoun County. Dominion sits one game behind in fifth place heading into Tuesday’s key contest.




        Boys Basketball: Cheers Sports and Viva Loudoun 2012-13 All-Loudoun Team

(May 13, 2013) – Cheers Sports and Viva Loudoun have teamed up to selected their first ever All-Loudoun selections … the top varsity athletes across the county’s 13 public high schools for the 2012-13 school year.

We kicked off the selections with the fall sports season (boys cross country, girls cross country, golf, girls volleyball, competitive cheer and football) and now we have covered the winter selections with gymnastics, boy swim, girls swim, wrestling and girls basketball released prior to boys basketball.

Cheers Sports and Viva Loudoun All-Loudoun 2012-13
Boys Basketball

Wanya Allen (SO) Potomac Falls
Michael Anderson (SR) Loudoun County
Zach Coffman (JR) Heritage
Josh Grimard (SR) Loudoun Valley
Darren Hawkins (SR) Freedom
Michael Janowski (FR) Potomac Falls
Jason Jolly (SO) Stone Bridge
Mister Lewis (SR) Heritage
A.J. Robinson (SO) Tuscarora
Paul Rowley (JR) Loudoun Valley
Jake Ryan (SR) Briar Woods
Khiore Stewart (JR) Broad Run

Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Wanya Allen (SO) Potomac Falls
Boys Basketball Coach of the Year: Jeff Hawes, Potomac Falls



Boy’s Basketball Looks Forward to the Future


By: Jack Minchew

LEESBURG VA- Looking back on the 2011-2012 season, a skeptical and disillusioned fan might dismiss the Tuscarora boys basketball season as a total failure. They might lament the 3-21 record and the lack of a win at home after two years of play. They might worry if the Huskies will ever have a good team.

But perhaps if that woebegone fan was a little bit less skeptical and a little bit less dismissive, they would recognize the season for what it was: a year for building. This season saw Tuscarora’s first win ever, first district win, and first playoff win.  “We won more games than last year but still [weren’t] happy,” says Josh Middleton. “We’ll be good next year, though.” 

While this season may have not have answered all the questions about the Tuscarora men’s basketball program, it has shown that perhaps out of the ruins of a 3-21 season, a quality program could be emerging. Under the surface of a disappointing varsity record is an up-and coming JV team and a 17-2 freshman team. The three top scorers for the varsity team were all underclassmen, according to statistics from Allmetsports.com. “Everybody’s coming back,” says varsity Coach Justin Brown about next year. “A lot of the good teams in the district are old, and two of our best players are freshmen.

Sophomore Josh Middleton led the team with 12.9 points per game, closely followed by the two freshmen, A.J Robinson and Trey Johnson, with 12.1 and 8.6 points per game respectively. Robinson also led the team in 3 point shots, with 27 threes for the season. Middleton himself complimented the freshmen duo, saying, “A.J is a good shooter, and Trey can really get to the basket.”

The team also benefits from 6’2 sophomores John Boris and Spencer Hayes, along with junior Steve Welti. “Steve Welti is 6’8,” says Coach Brown with a chuckle. “No arguing with that.” Coach Brown has full faith in the future of the program, saying, “The future looks good, and we’re really excited.”