MANASSAS Woodbridge and Potomac, the last two surviving area Group AAA teams in the 2002 boys basketball postseason, showed Wednesday night that their rivalry continues into the hot summer.
Those two schools’ summer-league teams met in the Metro South semifinals at Osbourn Park, with Woodbridge pulling away for a 71-63 victory. The Vikings advanced to Saturday night’s final against Cardinal District rival Forest Park, a game that also will be played at OP.
Though the Vikings and Panthers no longer play in the same district, they are still barometers for each other. In 2001-02, each team won a home game from the other. Both went to the Northwest Region playoffs, where both lost to eventual state champion Cave Spring. Potomac also made the state tournament, losing in the semifinals to George Wythe of Richmond.
“It’s a tradition, Potomac and Woodbridge,” said James Prince, a forward who will be a senior at Woodbridge this fall. “That’s what everybody wants to see. Players call each other, even about summer-league games. But I don’t get caught up in that.
“It was business out there for us tonight. In the beginning, we weren’t playing team ball. We had to get tough.”
Prince finished with 10 points for the Vikings, who were led by rising junior Daniel Fountain with 27 points (including three shots from three-point range). Fellow junior Chris Kendall added 12 points, including six in a row to break a 59-59 tie in the last three minutes. Darren Robertson chipped in with 11.
For Potomac, Jason Flagler scored 19, Bryan Butler 15, Tyrell Freeman 12 and Anthony Mills 10.
Fountain scored 13 of the Vikings’ first 19 points as they stayed within one. Potomac soon built a 27-20 lead, but Woodbridge drew even at 33 by halftime.
In the second half, Fountain gave Woodbridge a 48-46 lead with a three-pointer. The Panthers later took a 53-50 lead on a Butler three-pointer, but Woodbridge responded. The Vikings took the lead for good on a jumper by Kendall with 2:21 remaining.
Kendall added a layup and a basket off a steal. The Vikings later put the game away with a backdoor layup by Robertson, a pair of free throws from Fountain and another basket by Kendall.
Woodbridge coach Will Robinson, who operated the clock, has been particularly impressed with Fountain’s play this summer. “He’s had a tremendous summer,” Robinson said. “The kid has worked hard and he’s improved in all phases, especially defense. He’s a lot stronger and it shows.”