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Basketball: Cougars Win Program's First State Title

Katherine Coyer scores game-high 24 points in championship win over Princess Anne

UPDATE (10:50 p.m.)

The Oakton Cougars defeated Princess Anne Cavaliers 58-39 to earn the girls basketball program's first Virginia High School League championship.

The Cougars scored first in the game with a layup from Katherine Coyer and did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game, allowing the Cavaliers to tie the game only once with their first basket of the game.

Coyer led the game with 24 points to help cap off the Cougars' 31-game season as an undefeated squad.

"It's all about helping the team. Not everyone's going to play their best every single game," Coyer said about stepping into the lead scoring role usually played by her twin sister, Caroline. "Someone always has to step up and I was lucky enough it was me."

After the Cavs scored their first basket, the Cougars went on a 12-3 scoring run to end the first period ahead 14-5.

The Cougar defense proved tough for the Cavs to penetrate, with Elizabeth Manner keeping things difficult by attacking the boards from the start. Manner nabbed seven of her 16 total rebounds in the first quarter. Manner also scored in the double-digits to contribute 13 points.

Oakton allowed the most points in the second period, as Cavs standout Galaisha Goodhope scored 10 of her team-high 12 points to lead the Cavs to a 16-point period. The Cavs' offensive run pulled them within three points of the Cougars to end the half with a score of 24-21.

The Cougars kept Goodhope scoreless for the rest of the game, and allowed the Cavs nine points in each of the last two periods.

Darnell Dozier, the Cavs' head coach, said he felt his team was well-prepared for the Cougars, having faced them several times in the last few years.

"We knew that the two sisters were going to give us problems," Dozier said. "They have a real good defense. I wouldn't say it's the best defense we've seen all year; we just missed point-blank shots we should've made. ... They're an excellent basketball team and I would never take anything from an excellent basketball team. I've had excellent basketball teams and this team ranks among one of the best I've seen."

Caroline Coyer, the Cougars' leading scorer who was recently named Virginia's , was held to just one point in the first half, and did not score a field goal until 1:47 was left on the clock in the third period. She ended the game with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.

"I noticed early on they were going to throw everything they had at me, and they had some tough defenders," Caroline Coyer said. "But I also knew that if they were going to try so hard on me, there was no reason not to throw the ball to either [Manner or Katherine Coyer] or anyone else. You take what they give you and at the end of the game we had more points than they did."

Oakton High is the third team in VHSL history to end their season with 31 wins.

Prior to tonight, the Cougars had played in the AAA Virginia High School League Championship twice in school history, but fell short of the title both times. In 2001, they fell to Hampton High 50-43. In 2009, Princess Anne bested them 71-61. The Cavaliers also defeated them in 2010 at the VHSL semifinal game.

"It feels really, really, really good," Caroline Coyer said. "This win is for us, it's for Coach Priester and, you know, part of it is for all the player at Oakton who have all gotten to that championship game and come this close."

Rex Turner March 10, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Fantastic way to cap off a great season and to see Fred and the girls get State Championship rings.
Kathleen Canedo March 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Awesome! Congratulations, girls!
Brenda March 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Our family has attended ALL those games years past...and the title games mentioned. Yes, At Last, At last...A State Title! We went down without tickets, my 80 year old Mom (super fan) included. A heartfelt Thank You to Lou Nugent for spotting us and offering us tickets. You are so special! I also want to mention that Fred Priester is not just a great basketball coach, but also a great person. He was our three children's counselor. One daughter had a terrible crisis and he was wonderful throughout. Congratulations to Fred and the Cougars!
Susan Burroughs March 10, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Thank you, Nicole, for your amazing coverage of the girls this season! It truly was magical and your words and images captured it so well. It's great to have local media who are so dedicated, and your articles were a special part of the ride to the championship. Thanks again!
Chip Comstock March 10, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Delegate Mark Keam took time today, on the floor of the House of Delegates, to congratulate the Oakton Girls Basketball team for winning the state championship.
Mark Keam March 10, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Thanks, Chip. All of us in the General Assembly who represent Oakton students are extremely proud and we want to celebrate the Championship with you from Richmond! As I spoke on the House floor, I was proud to hold up the "Super O" tee shirt that Oakton Seniors gave me last year. Once I receive the videoclip (and photos) of the speech, I will ask Patch to upload it. Chip, I'll be sure that the school receives it as well. Also, Delegate Jim LeMunyon and I are working on a commending resolution for the basketball team to match the one we passed for the swim team. We will work with the community to present it at an appropriate time and venue! Go Cougars!!
Nicole Trifone (Editor) March 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Video of Del. Keam's announcement on the House floor is now posted: http://oakton.patch.com/announcements/keam-commends-oakton-basketball-on-house-floor.

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