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Falcons hand Mustangs first district loss in four years

Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

FALLS CHURCH -- Central coach Stephanie Cooper gave her team a pep talk at halftime telling her young squad that they needed to play with confidence and the talk worked. The Falcons rallied from a six-point halftime deficit and knocked off George Mason, 51-50, in Bull Run District action. It was the first district loss since 2008 for the Mustangs, who are currently ranked No. 5 in the AP Group A poll.

"I told them we can't play not to lose -- we have to believe that we can win," Cooper said. "We cut down on the errors and started playing harder together."

Central sophomores Brenna Cook and Katelyn Poston led the Falcons back from the 23-17 halftime deficit.

"KP [Poston] started taking it to the hole and got some quick layups and then Brenna [Cook] started hitting 3's," Cooper said. "I was really proud of our defense all night. We communicated really well."

The Falcons scored only two points in the first quarter, but gave up only six to the Mustangs. Cook, who hit four second-half 3-pointers, finished with 21 points, four rebounds and two steals. Poston had 17 points, four rebounds, five steals and two assists, and Allison Bright had nine points for the Falcons (9-9, 7-3 Bull Run).

Stonewall Jackson 51, Riverheads 28
STAUNTON -- Stonewall Jackson held Riverheads scoreless in the first quarter on its way to a Shenandoah District victory.

The Generals led 12-0 after the first quarter, and cruised from there. Ashlie Clar had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists to lead the Generals (14-3, 7-3 Shenandoah). Keyana Phelps had 15 points and seven rebounds for Stonewall Jackson.

Strasburg 41, Manassas Park 30
MANASSAS PARK -- Strasburg coach Joel Morgan switched his defense up in the second half and it helped the Rams to a Bull Run District win over the Cougars.

"The first quarter-and-a-half was chaos," Morgan said. "We were pressing and so I decided to go back and just play in the half-court [defense] and that settled things down."

Corissa Alsberry had 15 points to lead the Rams (7-10, 3-6 Bull Run). Brandy Clem 10 points, nine rebounds and six steals, and Katlyn Ayers had three points, three assists and six steals.

Boys basketball
Riverheads 52, Stonewall Jackson 39
QUICKSBURG -- The Generals had their best game of the season, but still came up a little short to the Gladiators in Shenandoah District boys basketball action.

Riverheads led 21-20 at the half, and increased the lead to 11 heading into the final eight minutes. The Generals were able to cut the lead to six in the fourth quarter, but the Gladiators made their free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Riverheads went 8-for-10 in the fourth quarter from the free-throw line. Matt Litten went 4-for-4 from the field and finished with a team-high 13 points to lead the Generals (0-16, 0-10).

Clarke County 76, Rappahannock County 33
WASHINGTON, Va. -- The Eagles dominated the game from start to finish for an easy Bull Run District victory over the Panthers.

Freshman Sean McDonald had 21 points to lead the Eagles (12-6, 7-3 Bull Run). Ethan Emmart and Todd Benton each had 16 points for the Eagles.

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