Handley girls complete perfect regular season with win over James Wood

WINCHESTER — The Handley girls’ basketball team took a loss on Thursday.

In a coin flip that could have possibly determined the top seed in the North section of the Region 4D playoffs, unbeaten Charlottesville got the best of the Judges.

On the court, Handley has been unbeatable. The Judges closed out the first perfect regular season since 1980 with a 65-29 romp against James Wood on Friday.

Reagan Edsell scored 20 points and Corin Edsell added 16 for Handley (21-0, 8-0 Class 4 Northwestern District), which will face Orange County (16-6) at 6 p.m. next Friday in the regional quarterfinals.

The 1980 Judges went 18-0 in the regular season and advanced to the Region II semifinals, finishing 22-1.

“It’s definitely a hard thing to do,” Reagan Edsell said of going unbeaten through the regular season. “Everybody is coming after you and you have a target on your back. It means so much for us. We’ve grown so much as a team. I couldn’t have asked to do it with anybody else.”

“The girls really put in all of the work and did all of the hard stuff,” Handley coach Katlyn Orndorff said. “I’m so proud of them for making history at our school.”

The Judges entered Friday’s contest looking to improve upon their previous outing. Sherando gave the Handley fits on Wednesday and were within 53-51 late in the contest before the Judges held on for a 59-51 win.

Two days later, Handley had no such problem against the Colonels (9-13, 3-5). Reagan Edsell scored 10 points in the opening quarter as the Judges raced to a 22-6 lead.

Handley’s trapping defense would force 25 turnovers in the contest and James Wood could not score more than 10 points in any period.

“It was a lot of pressure tonight,” Reagan Edsell said of the Judges’ defense. “We were all up in their faces and that’s what we especially needed to do in this game.”

The necessity was there because Handley had given up its second-highest point to an opponent all season against the Warriors on Wednesday.

“That was one of our worst defensive games so we had to come out here and show people that we don’t play like that,” Reagan Edsell said.

“We really turned it around from the last game,” Orndorff said. “It was everything that I could have asked for.”

Led by eight second-quarter points from Corin Edsell, the Judges pushed their lead to 39-16 at the half. Cameron Hobson nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the third period as Handley extended the margin to 55-21. Corin Edsell netted six more points in the final quarter, which was played with a running clock.

James Wood coach Sanford Silver said the Edsell sisters, who transferred from Spring Mills, W.Va., this season, certainly have made the difference for the Judges.

“The most important ingredient is this — great players make the other players around them even better,” Silver said when asked about Handley’s success. “I will tell you that that’s what those two athletes have done. … That’s what it’s about. They’re not selfish. They do their job and they still get them the basketball whether they make or miss the shots. They just constantly build up everybody’s confidence because they are making everything around them better.

“They are awesome athletes and hats off to the coaching staff. They’ve done very well in receiving them and have coached them up very well.”

Silver said Friday’s contest was very emotional for him because it was the final game for seniors Brooklynn Medina and Mia Fritz. Medina, a transfer from Martinsburg, W.Va., led the Colonels with 12 points and Fritz grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Aubrey Nail added six points.

“I think we’ve learned in adversity and we just keep fighting,” Silver said. “We keep trying to score and it’s an everyday process of trying to get better. I think in the future, I think we need to put in a little more off-time work as a collective unit because a lot of these other schools are doing that.”

In addition to the Edsell sisters, Hobson (13) and Olivia Jett (11) also scored in double figures for the Judges.

Orndorff, who took over a program that was coming off a 1-22 season in 2022, is looking forward to the postseason in her second year at the helm.

“I think we’re pretty prepared,” Orndorff said of the playoffs. “We have a week that we continue preparing for the next game and we’re going to be as ready as we can be next Friday.”

“Obviously we’re confident, but we’ve got to be prepared,” Reagan Edsell said. “We’re not going to take any team lightly and we’ll see how it goes.”

— Contact Walt Moody at

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