In their first four games to open up the 2007 season, the George Mason High School varsity girls’ basketball team had three contests on the road against much bigger AA schools. Despite the constant bus rides and matchups against opponents from a higher division, the Mustangs took all three games they played in the past week to move to 4-0 on the year.
The Mustangs, led by senior forward Bailey Walton, trounced Heritage 83-52, and then eked out a win in their first home game against Briar Woods, 46-40, before hitting the road again and blasting Potomac Falls 54-32, this past Tuesday.
Against AA Potomac Falls, the Mustangs' persistent, tough defense and pinpoint shooting shut down the Panthers. Walton led the squad, shooting 80 percent from the field to rack up 18 points on the night.
Junior Kim Kenny added 12 points and five rebounds to dominate the paint, while sophomore Nicole Mitchell chipped in eight points. Senior captain Meredith Hamme, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, directed the offense, finishing with six assists and six points.
As a team, the Mustangs totaled 17 assists and 14 steals, certainly a testament to their up-tempo style of play. Mason also shot 68 percent from the free-throw line to go along with their outstanding offensive night.
While they have been virtually untested all year on the road, the Mustangs had a scare put into them by the Briar Woods Falcons last Friday night. However, the Mustangs prevailed down the stretch, winning 46-40.
Mitchell scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, and was perfect from the free throw line. Kenny, Walton and Hamme each chipped in seven points, while junior Mayssa Chehata added six steals. As a team, Mason had 21 steals on the night.
However, Mason shot a mere 30 percent from inside the arc, and just 20 percent from three-point range. In the end, a balanced attack and a deep bench in order to counteract those percentages and put away the pesky Falcons.
One day prior, the Mustangs took on AA Heritage High School and, behind a fine offensive display by Walton and Mitchell, staved off early jitters to win, 83-52.
Heritage ended the first period ahead, 17-15, and trailed by just three points at halftime. However, Mason came out of the locker room in the second half on fire, effectively putting the game out of reach, as they ended the third quarter up by 19.
Walton was perfect on all three of her three-point bombs, and finished with 18 points on the night to go along with seven rebounds. Mitchell recorded her second double-double of the year, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior forward Abby Stroup was a force in the lane throughout the entire night, racking up a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with seven points. Sophomore Chantal Thomas chipped in 10 points, seven of which came from the free-throw line, while senior Olivia Scott added 10 points and seven rebounds. Hamme once again controlled the assault at point guard, finishing with eight assists.
Overall, the Mustangs dominated Heritage in the boards, finishing with 60 total rebounds, and shot 63 percent from the floor.
Mason returns home this Thursday to take on local rival Falls Church High in a varsity only game at 7:30 p.m. This Friday, they will take the journey down Route Seven with their male counterparts to take on J.E.B. Stuart High in a doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.