Bao Bao Passed Through Reston on Journey Home — The famed panda born at the National Zoo left D.C. for good Tuesday, heading off to live her life in China. She was transported by truck from Washington up the Dulles Toll Road to the airport, where she left on a FedEx 777. [Reston Patch]
SLHS Girls’ Basketball Team Falls in Playoffs — The South Lakes Seahawks girls’ hoops team was defeated Tuesday night in the first round of the 6A North Region championship, falling to T.C. Williams by a score of 51-43. [Alexandria News]
Qur’an Spiritual Retreat Slated for March — The Al-Madina Institute is readying to hold its annual conference, bringing leading scholars to examine both the external and internal dimensions of the Qur’an. The event will be held March 3-5 at the Hyatt Regency (1800 Presidents St.) in Reston. [Al-Madina Institute]
Bills Targeting Student Debt Fail in Richmond — A number of bills designed to help students refinance student loans or increase oversight of lenders have died in the General Assembly. One such bill, which would have created a “Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” was sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) of Reston. It failed to advance out of a legislative committee. [Virginia Gazette]
Princess Aghayere is making a name for herself during her sophomore season on the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team.
The 2015 South Lakes High School graduate was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for her performances last week on the hardcourt. She posted a career-best 21 points during a Friday victory over Columbia, and followed it up the next day with a 12-point performance in a win over Cornell.
Some of her highlights from the weekend’s action can be seen on the Ivy League Sports YouTube channel.
On the season, Aghayere is averaging 5.6 points per game, tops among the team’s non-starters.
During her career at South Lakes High School, Aghayere earned first-team All-Conference recognition three times, and was second-team All-State twice. She also lettered in cross country and volleyball.
Aghayere is enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn, on a pre-med track. In a video released by the school earlier this year, she discussed her background and her goals for the future.
The defending Ivy League champions, the Quakers are undefeated (7-0) in conference play so far this season.
Photo via Don E. Felice/PennAthletics.com
South Lakes in Basketball Tourneys — The South Lakes varsity basketball teams are playing in regional tournaments this week. The girls team defeated Annandale 67-36 in a tournament in Oakton yesterday, while the boys team fell to Trinity Episcopal 74-56 in a tournament in Henrico.
Reston’s Missed Connections — Craigslist’s Missed Connection section is an interesting (albeit sometimes creepy) study in human interactions. The past three Reston missed connections have all been in chain restaurants: Panera Bread, Five Guys and Boston Market.
Reston’s top-ranked girls’ basketball team is ramping up for the season after big wins last year.
Players on the varsity team at South Lakes High School are training now, and tryouts will be held on Nov. 10, said Coach Christy Winters Scott.
“We lost eight seniors from last season, so we’re looking to remodel what we had,” Winters Scott said. “We’re looking for heart, hustle, effort, execution and passion for the game.”
The Seahawks won 23 of 26 games last year and beat James Madison High School in Vienna for the Liberty Conference 6 title in February.
To get up to speed before the team’s first scrimmage Nov. 18, players are gutting out rigorous workouts with the school’s track team, said Winters Scott, a Reston resident and native who was the 1986 All-Met Player of the Year on the school’s undefeated team. The athletes are sprinting, doing “explosive” work to develop speed, jumping hurdles and lifting weights during 90-minute workouts several times a week.
Winters Scott — who calls WNBA games for the Washington Mystics and is a color analyst for Comcast SportsNet, ESPN and Fox Sports –said she teaches her players to give it all they’ve got.
“You see the kids pushing the limit and going after what they want in life,” she said. “Twenty points per game will come if those things are in place.”
Team sports help girls test their potential, Winters Scott.
“Girls who have been active in athletics are more successful in business or as a mom, or both,” she said. “You never know what’s inside unless you tap in. Athletics forces you to tap in.”
The South Lakes boys basketball team is hitting its stride at a key moment: The Seahawks won their seventh straight game on Tuesday, topping Robinson 55-49 in a Northern Region 6A playoff game at South Lakes.
South Lakes (19-8) was led by Brandon Kamga with 15 points and Zach Pearl with 14.
The victory earns SLHS a place in the Regional Semifinals against Lake Braddock (22-3), which defeated Oakton on Tuesday. The semifinal game is 8 p.m. on Friday at Robinson High School.
Herndon also advanced in the regionals. The Hornets (22-3), paced by Dorian Johnson with 27 points, beat Hayfield 94-83 on Tuesday. In the semis, Herndon will meet W.T. Woodson Friday at 6 p.m. at Robinson.
The playoff run ended Tuesday for the South Lakes girls team. The Seahawks, ranked in the Top 20 by the Washington Post all season, fell to Centreville 64-61 Tuesday. The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Seahawks, which end the season 23-4.
Herndon (22-2), ranked No. 13 by The Washington Post, broke the 100-point barrier with a 106-52 win over Patriot. Patriot (4-20), of Prince William County, had won just one game all season before winning three straight to take its conference title.
South Lakes girls, (23-3), ranked No. 12 by the Post, were led by senior Abigail Rendle with 18 points in a 71-43 victory over Lake Braddock.
South Lakes boys (18-8), which has lost only one game since late January, continued its run with a 64-48 victory over West Potomac. Brandon Kamga scored 28 points for the Seahawks.
Regional action continues Tuesday. South Lakes girls host Centreville at 5:45 p.m., followed by the boys against Robinson at 7:30 p.m. Herndon hosts Hayfield at 7:30 p.m.
The Region semifinals and finals are Thursday and Friday at Robinson High School.