Arts & Entertainment

Stuart-FCHS Split Rivarly Doubleheader Tuesday

FCHS player Claudia Valdivieso fights for a rebound late in Tuesday's game against Stuart High. (Photo: News-Press)Last Second Shot Lifts Lady Jags

It may have taken a few tries, but on their final possession, the Lady Jaguars got the hoop and the win, 38-37, over the rival Raiders on a three-point shot from senior guard Almarys Ortiz with 13 seconds remaining.

J.E.B. Stuart, which led for most of the contest, held a two-point lead with less than a minute to play, but couldn't pull down a crucial rebound in crunch time. Time and again Falls Church fired off an errant shot, only to grab the loose ball and launch another until Ortiz finally connected from the top of the key.

Madeline Ahlborn and Jayme Harris both scored 13 points to pace the Raiders, while Alison Gibbons scored 11 for Falls Church. Ortiz led her team with 13, though none bigger than her final three.

The hard-fought girls game served as a precursor for the boys varsity clash that followed. Through the first half, it appeared as though the boys game had all the earmarks of another last-second shootout.

For Falls Church, winless to date this season, it may have been the most complete first half of the season. The Jaguars hustled for loose balls, scrapped for rebounds and converted tough, contested layups under the hoop.

The effort was typified by the Jaguars' Evan Hansen. Hansen routinely battled Stuart's taller and lankier post players, Raymond Watson and Mahamed Ibrahim, for rebounds and turned them into points, finishing with eight on the night. However, the first half fire was extinguished by Stuart in the second half. Trailing 22-20 after the first 16 minutes, the Raiders exploded in the third quarter behind Watson, who proved unstoppable offensively. Stuart pulled away, holding Falls Church to just four points in the quarter and 10 in the entire second half to post a 53-32 victory.

Watson's 24 points powered the Raiders' offense, with Ibrahim adding eight.