Troxell sparks Warren past Cougars

Warren County's Autumn Troxell drives the lane while Manassas Park's Taylor Ellerbe tries to defend during a game this past season. Rich Cooley/Daily file
Warren County's Brooke McGowan shoots underneath while Manassas Park's Paulina Geoffroy looks on during second half girls basketball action Monday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL — Warren County has had some slow starts this season and senior Autumn Troxell wanted to make sure that trend was broken against Manassas Park.

Troxell did her part with a big first half to help lead the Wildcats to a 64-27 win over the Cougars in Bull Run District girls basketball action on Monday night.

Troxell hit her first two jumpers in the opening minutes, and it was a sign of things to come.

“I wanted to help set the tone and be a good influence to the team and help us get off to a strong start,” Troxell said.

She shot 60 percent (6-for-10) from the field in the first half to help give the Wildcats a nice lead.

“I was definitely feeling it [in the first half], there was one spot on the court where they were leaving me open,” Troxell said. “My teammates did a good job finding me, and I just kept going back to that spot and taking it.”

After Troxell’s first two jumpers, Manassas Park’s Taylor Ellerbe hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 4-3 with 5:09 left in the opening period.

The Wildcats (6-5, 5-2 Bull Run) closed the period with a 9-0 run, including seven straight by Troxell.

Troxell kept it going to start the second period with another jumper and a free throw to give the Wildcats a 16-3 edge with 6:25 left in the first half.

Manassas Park’s Paulina Geoffroy drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 16-6, but the Wildcats closed the half with an 11-4 run.

Sam Schroyer had six points during the late first-half spurt.

The Cougars (0-9, 0-6 Bull Run) shot only 15 percent (3-for-20) in the first half. Warren County went 9-for-23 from the floor in the first half.

Warren County’s 3-2 zone gave the Cougars fits throughout the game, forcing Manassas Park into shooting a lot from beyond the arc.

The Wildcats stayed in control of the game throughout the second half. Warren County coach John Kelly said he felt his team played much better in the second half.

“I think in the first half I was subbing in too many players,” Kelly said. “We had too many players coming in and out and that makes it hard to gel on the court. I thought we played much better in the second half.”

Sam Schroyer scored eight points in the third period to help put the game out of reach.

The Cougars did a better job guarding Troxell in the second half, which helped open things up for her teammates. Troxell finished with 24 points, tying a season-high. It was the third straight game that she has had at least 20 points.

“I think we’re all starting to realize that the games are winding down, and that all of these games are important in terms of positioning ourselves for the postseason,” Troxell said.

Troxell also had three rebounds and four steals. Schroyer had 16 points and six rebounds, while Maya Dade had eight rebounds for the Wildcats.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or

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