Madison player Arnolie

Alayna Arnolie, right, has been one of Madison's top players this season. (Photo by Deb Kolt)

In normal years the Madison Warhawks and Marshall Statesmen already would have played a regular-season game.

With the current schedule condensed because of the pandemic, the annual and popular girls high-school basketball neighborhood rivalry might not occur this winter. 

The contest would have been as highly-anticipated as ever, because at this point each team is undefeated – combining for a 13-0 record and atop their leagues – and the teams were powers a year ago. Madison had a 28-1 mark in 2019-20 and Marshall was 22-7, after struggling a bit early during the regular season because of injuries to key players.

Pretty much halfway through the current regular season, Madison is 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the Concorde District. Marshall is 6-0 and 5-0 in the National District. The rivals are expected to enter postseason play undefeated, as they are winning games by comfortable margins.

The teams met twice last season in what were championship campaigns for each. Madison won the regular-season showdown in a blowout, 64-43. Marshall got even in the 6D North Region Tournament title clash, winning 37-35 to hand the Warhawks their only loss of the season.

It’s possible the teams could eventually meet in the region tourney again this winter.

Madison and Marshall each won their district tournaments a year ago, with Madison advancing to become the Virginia High School League state co-champion when that title game was canceled because of the pandemic.

This season, Madison’s most recent victory was a 54-43 road triumph over the Westfield Bulldogs, with Grace Arnolie scoring 13 points and having five rebounds, and Sarah Link producing a double-double with 10 points and as many rebounds to go with three steals.

Also for Madison, Alayna Arnolie had 10 points and two assists; Katie Koshuta scored nine and had nine rebounds and three assists; and Amalia Makrigiorgos made two threes and had six points and three assists. Alayna Arnolie made three three-pointers.

“We have been playing well, practicing hard and doing what we need to do,” Madison coach Kirsten Stone said. “Everything is going well so far.”

Madison’s closest game was a 47-42 comeback victory over district rival Chantilly. Madison trailed at halftime, then a strong third quarter propelled the team.

Marshall’s most recent victory this season was a 54-40 win over visiting Falls Church in district play, in what was a showdown for first place. Senior guard Christina Trivisonno led the Statesmen with 25 points. Also scoring for Marshall were Mary Trivisonno (11 points), Brenna Smith and Valerie Dirkse. Marshall shot 70 percent from the floor.

Marshall had a blowout 76-41 victory over the Edison Eagles in its previous game, pulling away after leading by five at halftime. Marshall’s average-margin of victory in its five district games is 31.18, with the 14-point win over Falls Church the closest.

“We are playing well right now,” Marshall coach Mike Trivisonno said. “This is an experienced team with good leadership and they are having fun and enjoy playing. We had a borderline perfect second half against Edison. The next game with them will be a knock down, drag out contest.”

 

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