The Highland Hawks peaked at the perfect time.
With two upsets in as many nights, Highland won the Delaney Athletic Conference boys basketball tournament. The third-seeded Hawks defeated No. 1 Fredericksburg Christian, 60-45, in the tournament final Saturday at home in Warrenton.
“We continued to grind out every day, continued to get better, never got complacent and now those 12 kids get to reap all the benefits,” Highland coach Jake Shechtman said. “I can’t be more proud of everybody and I’m so happy for them that they can share this unbelievable experience that no one can take away from them.”
Highland (15-7) advanced to the title game by upsetting No. 2 Wakefield, 64-57, Friday in the semifinals. Wakefield and Fredericksburg Christian shared the DAC regular season championship.
The Hawks’ win Saturday was also their fourth consecutive, which helped them clinch a bid VISAA Division II state tournament. That didn’t seem likely earlier this season when Highland’s record fell to 6-6 with four consecutive losses.
“It’s really a testament to the character of our team because we knew that stretch would make us or break us,” Shechtman said.
“It’s hard to really describe,” he said about rebounding to win the DAC tournament. “You know, for theses seniors, for Logan and Matt and RJ, we’ve been working every day and it’s hard to put into words. Our senior leadership was terrific.”
Highland went 1-3 against Wakefield and Fredericksburg Christian during the regular season, but a pair of those losses came in overtime.
Against Fredericksburg on Saturday, the Hawks took a 17-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, held a 28-20 halftime lead and went on a 16-11 run in the third quarter to further pull away.
Rahji Johnson and Nicky Sim led Highland with 14 points apiece, while Seth Kott had 11, Matt Kelly had eight, Logan Miller had seven and Traves Stolterfoht had six. Johnson went 9-for-10 at the free-throw line, while Kott and Stolterfoht each made two 3-pointers.
Johnson added seven rebounds and five assists, while Kelly had seven rebounds and two assists. Kott had five rebounds, while Sim had three assists and three steals.
Wakefield girls basketball 36, Seton 30
The Wakefield Owls beat the Seton girls basketball team for the third time this season Saturday, this time to win the Delaney Athletic Conference tournament championship.
In the tournament final at Highland School, the Owls defeated Seton, 36-30, thanks to a 9-2 run in the third quarter.
Wakefield improved its record to 18-4 and, having won 13 of its past 14 games, also earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming VISAA Division III state tournament.
Against Seton, the Owls took a 10-8 lead in the first quarter and led only 20-18 at halftime before creating separation in the third period.
Autumn Sanders led Wakefield with 15 points, while Alexis Smith had 11. Smith also had five of the Owls’ 15 steals, while Juliana Parra and Airielle Jenkins had four each. Naomi Mutombo added nine rebounds.
Fauquier claims four medals at 4A state swim meet
The Fauquier Falcons made the most of their four state entries.
Jake Boulter and Katy Joyce each earned a pair of medals Saturday at the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships at Virginia Tech’s Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
Boulter placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.54 seconds and took eighth in the 100 free with a time of 50.94. Joyce, meanwhile, finished eighth in the girls 100 free with a time of 56.64 and placed eighth in the girls 50 free with a time of 26.08.
That Fauquier duo swam even better during the preliminaries with Boulter setting a school record in the 100 free (50.26) and Joyce setting personal-record in the 100 free (56.63) and 50 free (25.73). She placed six in the 100 free preliminaries.
Boulter’s performance gave the Fauquier boys 26 points, which placed them 24th in the team standings. The Fauquier girls finished 16th with Joyce’s 24 points.
/ On Twitter @jeffmalmgren.