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Heritage wins third straight district title

As the final buzzer sounded in Heritage’s 68-57 victory over Dominion Thursday night, the Pride briefly celebrated their accomplishment as home fans began chanting “district champs.”

Winning the AA Dulles District championship is nothing new to Heritage, which has captured the crown for three consecutive seasons. But Thursday’s win makes the Pride the first team to three-peat in the history of the district.

“We talked about that from day one,” Heritage head coach Mark Mallisham said. “We wanted to do something we had never done before, and we had never three-peated.”

Heading into Thursday’s game, the Pride (10-2, 12-7) had already earned at least a share of the crown, but the victory gives them the title outright.

Last season, the Pride shared the regular season championship with Potomac Falls, and this year they wanted it all to themselves.

“(Sharing the title) left a bad taste in our mouths,” Mallisham said. “We didn’t want to share it. We are being selfish about it.”

Like most of the games this season, Heritage needed an all-around effort to get the win. It had three players score in double figures.

Dominion (10-10, 6-7), however, had Deandre Albritton to single-handedly keep his team in the game. Albritton connected on five three-pointers to score a career-high 38 points and bring the Titans within six points of the Pride late in the fourth quarter.

Trailing by six with 57 seconds left, Albritton committed his fifth foul while chasing after a loose ball, ending the Titans’ comeback effort. After he fouled out, Heritage made its foul shots and put the game out of reach.

imilar to Heritage’s eight-point victory over Dominion earlier in the year, the Pride had a double-digit lead most of the second half, but Albritton allowed Dominion to chip away at the lead.

“He carried us on offense tonight,” Dominion head coach Steve Douglas said.

After a sloppy first quarter for the Pride, they turned to the typical scorers to get back on track. Seniors Preston Findley and Michael Massey led the offensive surge, which gave Heritage a comfortable 11-point lead at half.

Findley provided the outside game, following up his 32-point effort last week against Freedom with a team-high 17 points Thursday. Massey was a force inside and finished with 11 points.

Senior Chris Broderick guided the offense for Heritage, finding teammates for the open shots and knocking down three-pointers when the defense left him alone.

Heritage also has received recent offensive production from junior guard Brenton Peters , who scored 10 points. After coming off the bench for most of the season, Peters dropped 25 points against Briar Woods Feb. 5 and has moved into the starting lineup.

The Pride have one game left in the regular season, traveling to Loudoun County. The Raiders are one of two AA Dulles District teams to beat Heritage this season, and the Pride have been looking forward to a chance to even up “the battle of Leesburg.”

“This time we are going to try to return the favor and beat them at their place,” Mallisham said.

Category: Basketball, Game coverage, Loudoun, Washington Post

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