The George Mason High School varsity boys basketball team swept the season series from Briar Woods and last Friday eked out a two-point win over Word of Life to surpass the .500 mark heading into the holidays.
Senior Jack Settje did not dress for Mason’s first game against Briar Woods, but made up for his absence on Monday night, scoring 13 points to lead the Mustangs as they cruised to a 71-52 road win. Kevin Montgomery added 10 points of his own to go with a nine-rebound performance under the boards, a season high for the Mustangs.
“[Montgomery] played the most aggressive game of his career against Briar Woods, and it showed,” Mason Head Coach Chris Capannola said. “He also got to the free throw line 11 times. That is a testament to his aggressiveness under the boards.”
The Mustangs made life difficult for the Falcons when Briar Woods had the ball, Settje, Jake Johnson and Mike Scwhengel, each recorded five steals on the night. The defense keyed a third-quarter run that saw the Mustangs pull away from their opponent for good.
“Our defense played real well for about three minutes in the middle of the third quarter,” Capannola said. “We got some steals and converted and forced them into some bad shots. I hope the guys recognize how we pushed that lead — defense created the offense.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Mustangs was Johnson with eight points and Judah Chandler and Mike Straub with seven apiece.
In last Friday’s close shave over Word of Life, Settje again led the way with 13 points, while Schwengel was not far behind with 11. Straub also hit double digits with 10 points.
Mason laced up their sneakers again for a Wednesday night home game against Loudon County. Results were not available at press time.
The Mustangs return to the hardwood Thursday, Dec. 21 before enjoying a holiday hiatus that ends Dec. 27 with the Fauquier/Liberty Winter Tournament. Mason begins its Bull Run District Schedule shortly thereafter on Jan. 3 with a road game against Manassas Park.
Capannola is pleased with the strides his team has made since the start of the season, though he says there is still room for improvement.
“We need to make better decisions offensively,” he said. “We sometimes settle for the first shot rather than the best shot. Against better teams, that will kill you. District play begins in two weeks. We need to keep making strides so there are no question marks come January 3.”