Edison stands tall late, upends West Potomac to earn journey to states


Edison senior Nader Chirchi stood patiently on the fringe of the paint, poised in case a West Potomac participant drove to the basket within the closing moments of Thursday’s Class 6 Region C semifinal.

Sure sufficient, the Wolverines got here on the 6-foot-8 Chirchi. He was prepared, swatting the ultimate try to seal a 48-45 win in Alexandria.

First-year Edison coach Tre’ Ford had been preaching protection all 12 months, so it solely stood to purpose that the Eagles punched their ticket to the state match with one closing stand, finishing a 12-point second-half comeback.

“Coach came up to me before the play, yelling at me to step it up,” Chirchi stated. “So that’s what we did. We stepped it up.”

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Both the Eagles (21-6) and the Wolverines (17-9), with 5 new starters, may very nicely have labeled the 2022-23 marketing campaign a “rebuilding year.” Both determined towards it.

West Potomac received 9 video games by two or fewer possessions en path to a Patriot District championship, enjoying with extra tempo and aggression because the season progressed. Edison leaned on its senior class. The Eagles’ motivation was to lastly make the state match. The onus was on its seniors to guide by instance.

On Saturday, Edison will face No. 5 Hayfield (26-1) for the fourth time this season, with the winner taking dwelling the area title.

“I told them, ‘It’s tough to play for me — you have to grind on defense to play for me,’ ” Ford stated. “So right now, I can’t get this smile off my face.”

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West Potomac matched Edison’s effort all through. Just minutes in, the Wolverines had drawn three prices, invigorating their dwelling crowd. By halftime, West Potomac had constructed a 31-19 lead.

“That wasn’t the first time we’ve had adversity,” stated Edison sophomore Anthony Saunders, who had a team-high 15 factors. “We never feel like we’re [out].”

The Eagles clawed their method again, trimming the deficit to seven earlier than Saunders closed the third quarter with a half-court buzzer-beater to chop the Wolverines’ result in 4. With three minutes left, senior Ruben Garces linked from deep, giving Edison its first lead because the first quarter.

From there, Chirchi and the Eagles’ protection took management, yielding simply two factors the remainder of the way in which.

“That’s our guy,” Garces stated. “We knew he was going to come up clutch.”

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