Arts & Entertainment

Mustangs Surprising District at 4-1

THE MUSTANGS have surprised the Bull Run District with a fast start this season. (PHOTO: BOB MORRISON, BONNIE BRIAR PRODUCTIONS, LLC)Last Thursday, the George Mason High School varsity girls basketball team stomped an overmatched Rappahannock County opponent 56-25. Plagued by a slow start, the Mustangs found their groove just in time, putting up a season-best 26 points in the second quarter to go up by 17 at the half.

Mason was led by freshman Nicole Mitchell, who put up a varsity career-best 17 points in her first letter year for the Mustangs. Junior Bailey Walton continued her impressive season as one of the Mason’s strongest players, as she contributed 11 points on the night.

Junior Rachel Kazman racked up nine assists to go along with just two turnovers in leading the Mason offense from the point.

Leading the attack inside for Mason was junior Kim Kenny and senior captain Ashley Thompson, who combined for 11 rebounds to control the paint.

After starting the game with a 7-1 lead, the Panthers were unable to muster any sort of effective offense, as the Mustangs’ defense clamped down on the Rappahannock players. The Panthers never scored in double digits in a quarter the entire game.

While the Mustangs started slowly, they exploded for 26 in the second, 15 in the third, and 10 in the fourth, all the while frustrating the Panthers into turning the ball over.

“After the slow start, we started playing the way we could play,” said Mustangs coach Bill Broderick. “In the second quarter, we started getting it rolling. [Junior] Annie Zweighaft really sparked the defense.”

Zweighaft led the Mustang charge in the second quarter, with five steals and eight points, all of which came in the period. Broderick also dished out praises to senior Kit Thackery for her “best game of the season,” as she contributed two points and two rebounds.

Junior Kate Root had four points, and junior Rebecca Jackson had as many boards on the night. Broderick also sang the praises of junior back-up point guard Hannah Baumgardner, who controlled the offense down to the last minute, keeping the Mustang charge persistent.       

Similar to Thursday’s game, the Mustangs steamrolled Manassas Park by 15, 50-35, on the road Tuesday night. The win moved Mason into sole possession of second place in the Bull Run District.

Kenny led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Thompson scored seven and paired it with 10 rebounds. Zweighaft also figured prominently with eight points, while Rachel Kazman had seven points, six assists and five steals.

“This was a good win for us on the road against a very dangerous team,” Broderick said. “We had a lot of players step up and fill the voice when leading scorer Bailey Walton got into early foul trouble.”

The win brought the Mustangs record to 9-8 on the year, including a 4-1 record in the Bull Run District. Their only loss came to Clarke County (11-3, 5-0), the defending District champions.

“I think we have surprised a lot of people by going 4-1 the first time through the district with a four-point loss to Clarke,” Broderick said. “We might have snuck up on a few teams the first time through the district, but you can’t sneak up on them twice.”

Mason continues its schedule Thursday at home against Madison County. Tip off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Notes: The George Mason High School girls JV basketball team is off to a fine start as well, posting a record of 5-0 the first time through the district and currently sitting in sole possession of first place.