Unbeaten Millbrook holds off Terriers in state quarterfinal

Hannah Sowers shoots a jumper against Millbrook. PHOTOS BY DANNY CRUFF
Briona Hurt of William Byrd passes the ball in last week’s state basketball quarterfinal. PHOTO BY DANNY CRUFF
Byrd point guard Jacy Marvin fires up a three-pointer in front of a big crowd at Shenandoah University last week for the state quarterfinal game.

The William Byrd girls’ basketball season came to an end last Friday when the Terriers lost to Millbrook in the state Class 4 semifinal. The undefeated Pioneers took a 73-57 win at Shenandoah University.

“We put our best possible foot forward, and it just wasn’t enough,” said Byrd coach Brad Greenway. “There’s been games over the years where you look back and think you could’ve done this or could’ve done that…I think we gave our best shot.  You have to give credit to an extremely talented Millbrook team that has three girls signed to play D1 and one other one still looking.”

Byrd hung tough in the first half. The game was tied at 15-15 after the first quarter, and Millbrook held a slim 34-30 lead at the half.

The Pioneers opened a nine point lead in the third quarter, but Byrd kept battling and cut the lead to six in the fourth quarter before Millbrook pulled away. The taller host team controlled the boards and put up 24 more shots than the Terriers.

“They had us in the size category, had us in the speed category, had us in the experienced depth category, playing in their 3rd straight state tournament…you just start thinking about the success they have had and I’m really proud of our girls to give them as tough of a battle as we did,” said Greenway. “It was one of our higher scoring games, an exciting one to watch even though the final score got a little away from that.”

The five Byrd starters scored all 57 points, led by senior Briona Hurt with 20. Jacy Marvin, another senior, had 15 while Megan Grant had 11, senior Hannah Sowers had eight points and Sydney Burton finished with three. Byrd finished the season with a 20-7 record while Millbrook advanced to the semifinal round, where they beat Loudoun Valley, 76-64, to advance to Saturday Class 4 state championship. Millbrook is 27-0.

“I’m at peace with how the season ended,” said Greenway. “Millbrook is back in the championship game at VCU now so we’ll see if they win it all.”

Byrd will graduate three senior starters, Hurt, Marvin and Sowers.

“Our three seniors had really strong games, it was good to see them go out with a bang,” said Greenway. “I hate that it ended with a loss, but only one team gets to finish with a win, and to go out with what they’ve accomplished over the last four years, they should be nothing but proud at the end of the day.  I know they’ve meant a lot to me personally, having coached them on varsity for four years you spend a lot of time together.  I’ll forever be Jacy, Hannah, and B fans.”

As for next year, the Terriers have a good nucleus returning to work with.

“Next year’s team will be different but we’ve got a chance to have another good year if some younger girls step up during the offseason,” said Greenway. “ Most people talk about us bringing back Burton and Grant, who both had strong yearsm and then we will have to rebuild the way the team operates since the DNA around them will change a little bit.  We’ll have some rising seniors and a junior who didn’t get a lot of time this year, rising sophomore Cabria Mutz who came up from JV late. We also have one or two promising players coming up from JV.  A point guard who I’m excited to work with who was an 8th grader this year, so there’s potential there. I’m excited to see how we can rework this group and who knows what happens next year.”

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