Madison girls hoop photo

Alayna Arnolie will be a top returning player for the Madison High School girls basketball team. (Photo by Deb Kolt)

Combined, the Madison High School girls and boys varsity basketball teams compiled a 46-8 record last winter in addition to enjoying significant post-season success.

The girls won district and state (co-champions) tournament titles and finished second in the region.

The top-seed boys finished second in the district tourney then reached the semifinals of the region competition.

With multiple key players returning, optimism is running high on both squads for continuing success in the coming season.

Although the public-health situation means much remains in flux, teams anticipate playing 14 regular-season games between mid-December and late January, followed by post-season action, ended Feb. 20. Practice is slated to begin Dec. 7.

Coaches, who like their players remain in limbo pending final decisions at higher echelons, are hopeful.

“I am looking at the glass as half full that we will start the season,” Madison boys coach Kevin Roller said.

The Madison boys finished 18-7 last season. Returning starters are guards Bo Kuhblank and Elijah Turner and forward Logan Spafford. Also back are forward Colin Tuft, center Dimitrije  Hryshchyshyn and guards R.J. Waldron and Will Giery. All four played a lot last season.

Tuft was a starter until suffering a season-ending injury early in the campaign. Spafford was a first-team All-Sun Gazette selection last season and Kuhblank and Turner were honorable mention choices.

“We aren’t a tall team, but Colin gives us a lot having him back because he is such a good athlete,” Roller said. “We should shoot well, handle the ball well and be hard to pressure.”

Madison’s tallest player is 6-foot-3.

With no scrimmages, Roller said while those non-district December games will count in the win-loss columns, they will be like scrimmages – scrimmages that count,” he said.

The team’s non-district schedule is difficult, facing Annandale, Lake Braddock, South Lakes, West Potomac, West Springfield and Yorktown in those contests.

The Madison girls were 28-1 last season, being named state co-champions with the Edison Eagles when the state final wasn’t played because of the pandemic.

“It’s weird being the defending state co-champs, but it’s also really cool. We are state champs,” Madison girls coach Kirsten Stone said. “With all the players we have back, we have the chance to have another real good season.”

Madison returns junior guards and twin sisters Alayna and Grace Arnolie, senior forward Amalia Makrigiorgos and junior  center Kiera Kohler. All were starters last season.

Makrigiorgos and Grace Arnolie were second-team All-Sun Gazette players last season.

Also back are junior forward Mia Chapman, along with twin sisters Jill and Katie Koshuta. All three played a lot last season. Alayna, Kohler and Chapman were honorable-mention All-Sun Gazette last season.

The Madison teams are slated to play Annandale in those Dec. 21 openers, have three more games in December and 10 in January, ending Jan. 27 against Centreville. There will be no holiday tournaments over the Christmas and New Year’s break.

Madison’s eight-game Concorde District schedules begin Jan. 7 against Oakton.

NOTE: Because of the condensed schedule, the Madison girls will not play the Marshall High girls in 2020-21 in a big annual neighborhood-rivalry clash. Marshall handed Madison its lone loss last season, coming in the region-championship game.

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