If their first game against Seton High School was any indication, the close-knit Mustangs will be a force to be reckoned with throughout this year, as they blasted their opponents, 65-39, behind a potent defensive effort.
Mason came out firing right from the open tip, as they put up five points within the first minute. Seton was just unable to handle the Mustang full-court press, as Mason racked up 16 steals in the first half alone.
Continuing her success from last year, senior Bailey Walton was near perfect in her opening match, as she shot 91% from the floor, nailing all three of her shots behind the arc, to finish with 24 points.
The depth of the Mustangs was on full display in this game, as Seton opened the game with a box-and-one defense against junior Kim Kenny. With Kenny shadowed throughout the night, Walton and sophomore Nicole Mitchell stepped up to lead their squad.
Mitchell recorded a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Mason, as a team, shot 57% from the field.
Coach Bill Broderick pulled the majority of his starters towards the end of the game, but the Mustangs still managed to maintain the upbeat tempo that led to their success.
Senior Meredith Hamme, playing in her first game in over a year — Hamme missed all of last season with a knee injury — directed the offense with pinpoint efficiency, totaling seven assists to go along with four points. Mason finished with 17 assists as a team.
Annie Zweighaft, one of four returning starters for the Mustangs, had seven points. Mason only lost senior Ashley Thompson from last year's squad and, with the addition of several key players, have their goals set high for this season.
Sophomore guard Chantal Thomas transferred from AAA Garfield High School, and will be, as Broderick said, “an extremely aggressive defender” off the bench. Senior Rachel Kazman, who played point guard for all of last year in the absence of Hamme, will also come off the bench to aid her squad.
Against Seton, 13 players entered the game, with 11 of them scoring. As Broderick mentioned, any one player can have a good game, making it extremely difficult for other squads to game-plan against them.
With a tough non-district schedule that includes a winter holiday tournament at Chantilly High School, the Mustangs look primed to make a run at the district title. However, in order to do so, they will have to first get by Clarke County, the defending state champion.
This Thursday, Mason will travel to face a tough Heritage High School squad, and will return for their first home game against Briar Woods High Friday at 7:30 pm.