By STEVEN BRIESE
Photos by Judy Lubnow
March 10, 2012
The George Mason High School Lady Mustangs beat the Lady Devils of Gate City 50-47 to earn the VHSL Group A Division Two Championship. The game was close throughout, with seven ties and eight lead changes.
Junior Stephanie Cheney opened the scoring with two in the paint from an offensive rebound, followed quickly by a fast break score by Senior Lauren Kane for a 4 – 1 lead. Gate City came right back, tied the score at seven, and Mason took the lead back for a 10 – 7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Mason’s defense continued to frustrate Gate City, as Stephanie Cheney blocked back-to-back shots, and Senior Leah Roth stole the ball and took it to the hoop for a 14-7 lead. Sophomore Ashley Alexander drilled Mason’s only three point goal of the night to extend the lead to 10 points. Gate City used a very physical defense to try to get back in the game, committing several fouls, but Mason could only convert 4 free throws in the first half and the Lady Mustangs went to the locker room with a lead of only two points, 25-23.
The third and fourth quarter were a see saw battle of ties and one point lead changes. Mason fans grew quite concerned when Stephanie Cheney fouled out with 4:55 left in the 4th quarter, but her teammates rose to the occasion to fill her shoes. Lauren Kane, Senior Krista Kelly, and Freshman Katie Goodwin all nailed free throws to seal the win in the closing seconds.
Lauren Kane led Mason’s scoring with 16 points, Ashley Alexander had 11, Stephanie Cheney totaled 10, Katie Goodwin came off the bench to add six points, Leah Roth tallied four, Krista Kelly with 2, and Jaya Chavern scored one.
The celebration was well deserved for the Lady Mustangs, who have been been to the final four 8 times, with this their third championship in four years. Seniors May Williamson, Krista Kelly, Leah Roth, Lauren Kane and and Sonia Kapoor have completed fabulous basketball careers at George Mason!
By STEVEN BRIESE
March 8, 2012
The Lady Mustangs of George Mason High School defeated Glenvar Thursday night 64-48 in the semifinals of the Virginia State Basketball Tournament. With the win, George Mason advances to the State Championship game against Gate City Saturday in Richmond.
Glenvar and Mason played a nip and tuck game early in the contest, but the Lady Mustangs managed to lead 18-15 at the end of the first quarter. In the second period, the Highlanders fought back to take a 19-18 lead. Sophmore Jaya Chavern came into the game and hit a three point shot the first time she touched the ball to put Mason back in the lead for good. Senior Krista Kelly drove the lane and scored to give Mason a 29-25 advantage going into the locker room.
The Lady Mustangs started the third quarter strong, with consecutive baskets by Sophomore Ashley Alexander, Senior Leah Roth, and Senior Lauren Kane, to open up a 10 point lead. Glenvar showed great determination and eroded the lead to single digits several times. Lauren Kane showed her skills at both ends of the court by blocking a three point shot by Glenvar, and then taking the ball all the way to the hoop at the other end.
Lady Mustangs were leading 45-36 entering the final stanza. The fourth quarter was all Mason, with the Lady Mustangs dominating the Highlanders on both ends to walk away with a double digit win.
Stephanie Cheney led the Lady Mustangs in scoring with 20 points on the evening. Lauren Kane had 13, Krista Kelly found several holes in Glenvar’s defense to add nine, Leah Roth scored seven, and Ashley Alexander tallied 5.
George Mason’s Championship game opponent, Gate City, advanced with a 48-42 win over Stuarts Draft earlier in the evening. The Blue Devils started the season 5-11 before turning a corner in the second half of the season to claw their way into the state finals.
The Championship game will tip off at 3pm Saturday at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center in Richmond.
By STEVEN BRIESE
February 26, 2012
The George Mason High School Girls Basketball team lost to Stuarts Draft, 51-39, last night in the Region B Tournament Championship Game. The game was played at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg.
The Mustangs had a great start to the game, hitting their first three shots, plus Senior Lauren Kane blocking three shots, to open up a 6-3 lead. The Mustangs and the Cougars matched basket for basket through the rest of the first and second quarters, with Mason leading 23-19 at the half.
As the third quarter started, Stuarts Draft started sinking three point shots, and took the lead from Mason. The Cougars finished with 27 of their 51 points from three point range. Mason started a comeback in the fourth, but could not overcome a 12 point deficit. Read more
By STEVEN BRIESE
February 24, 2012
The George Mason High School Girls Basketball team defeated Central Woodstock 54-46 on Friday night. With this victory, they advance to the Region B championship game on Saturday.
Mason came out of the gate fast, with Senior Leah Roth starting the scoring with a three pointer. Good defensive pressure and offensive rebounding had the Lady Mustangs in the lead by 16-6 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams played with intensity, with many scrums for loose balls and offensive fouls. Mason extended their lead to twenty one points in the second quarter, and went into halftime leading 36-19.
Central Woodstock fought back in the third quarter, outscoring Mason by 10 points and cutting Mason’s lead to only seven points. Coach LaBryan Thomas made several adjustments to start the fourth quarter, and those adjustments paid dividends. Senior Lauren Kane opened the fourth with a shot from beyond the arc for three, and Stephanie Cheney added two baskets from the low post to increase the lead to 13. Central Woodstock continued to threaten, but had to resort to fouling in the last two minutes. Senior Krista Kelly was fouled and sank both free throws with less than a minute left to put the game out of reach for the Falcons.
Central Woodstock double teamed Junior Stephanie Cheney all night, which opened up the opportunity for three point shots, with Mason scoring 18 points from three point range.
After the game, Stephanie Cheney said she was “happy that the team kept our composure at the end of the game and hit our free throws.” Cheney and Central Woodstock guard Katelyn Poston led the scoring with 15 points each. Sophomore Ashley Alexander scored nine, Lauren Kane tallied eight, Freshman Katie Goodwin had seven points, and Leah Roth six points.
The Mustangs will play for the Region B Championship on Saturday night at 8:00 at Eastern Mennonite University against Stuarts Draft.
By CHRIS CAPANNOLA
February 8, 2012
Philippe Griffiths and Nate Ogle led a barrage of Mustang points with 13 apiece as the Stangs cruised to a 79-33 senior night victory over Manassas Park last night. With the win, Mason finishes the regular season at 18-4 and tied with William Monroe for the district lead at 12-2 in Bull Run District play.
Mason broke open a 19-13 game by blitzing the Cougars with a variety of pressure defenses, resulting in steals and easy baskets on the offensive end. The lead was 41-15 at halftime and ballooned to as much as 40 points in the second half. All the Mustangs enjoyed significant playing time in the rout and all played well.
Mason next takes on Monroe in a one game playoff for the regular season district crown. The game was originally scheduled for Wednesday at Strasburg High but has been postponed due to inclement weather. It will be played Thursday February 9 at Central-Woodstock at 6 PM. Both teams held serve at home with Mason winning 64-60 in January and Monroe winning 54-46 last Friday night.
The winner of this game secures at least a #2 regional seed in the upcoming tournament, the loser could drop all the way to #5 depending on results from other districts. Eight teams qualify for regionals in Single A, with the top two survivors advancing to the state tournament.
The George Mason High School girls basketball team defeated Floyd County 53-46 yesterday in Richmond to win the Virginia A Division 2 title, avenging their loss to the same team in the last year’s state semi-final.
The Mustangs shut down Floyd County star Brittany Avancini in the second half, holding her to 19 points for the game. A year earlier, Avancini scored 31 in Floyd County’s win over the Falls Church team.
Mason freshman Bria Platenburg scored 14 for the Mustangs, while Nicole Mitchell had 13, Chantal Thomas 9, Kimberly Kenny 8, Lauren Kane 7, and Kelsey Kane 2. Nicole Mitchell led Mason in rebounds with 15. Platenburg, Thomas and Lauren Kane each had 4 assists.
George Mason finished the year with a record of 24-6. Floyd County, last year’s state champion, finished at 26-4.
(Photo: Steve Stroup)
Here are the brackets for the Falls Church City Recreation Center basketball league as of Wednesday. Thanks to Chris Madison for making these available.