The Falls Church High School girls varsity basketball team came out quickly and never let the opposing George Mason High School Mustangs catch up en route to a 56-48 victory last Thursday night.
Falls Church senior Karla Cortez led all scorers with 19 points, while junior Almarys Ortiz also finished in double digits with 10.
The Jaguars led by as many as 18 in the second quarter, but the Mustangs rallied to cut the margin to nine with a half-court buzzer-beater by Nicole Mitchell just before the break. George Mason continued to cut into the Falls Church lead, pulling within three points with two minutes remaining in the contest, but the Jaguars stiffened down the stretch, hitting their free throws to lock up the win. Falls Church converted 10 of their 12 free throws in the game.
“The difference in the game was that Falls Church started the game strong with full court man press and pushed the ball for easy baskets,” George Mason Head Coach Bill Broderick said. “The game was very physical and the officials let the teams play and we did not adjust until the second half.”
For the Mustangs, Kim Kenny finished with a double-double, 12 points and 14 rebounds. Mitchell topped Mason in the scoring column with 13 points, while Bailey Walton added 11 points, nine rebounds and six steals. Rachel Kazman contributed four assists and four steals at the point.
The Mustangs next travel to take part in the Chantilly Winter Tournament, that began Wednesday, Dec. 27. Results of their first game were not available at press time.
“Obviously this is going to be a very tough tournament for us,” Broderick said. “We are the only Single A team and most of the teams are AAA. We will have a tough, uphill battle each day, but I know that we can compete with anyone on any given day if we play with confidence, poise and toughness.”