Arts & Entertainment

Mustang Girls Reach Magnificent 7-0 Start


Annie Zweighaft hoists a shot against Seton Tuesday night. She would finish the game with seven points. (Photo: Bob Morrison, Bonnie Briar Productions, LLC)Chantilly Holiday Tournament Ahead for Mason

The old adage states that good teams will always find a way to win. Perhaps the best indication of this came this past Tuesday night, in which the George Mason High School varsity girls’ basketball team persevered past a sluggish first half against the Seton School to best the Conquistadors, 58-32, and move to a perfect 7-0 on their campaign.

Coming out of the locker room in the third quarter, the Mustangs used a torrid barrage of three pointers to blow the contest wide open. On three of their first possessions of the half, seniors Bailey Walton, Meredith Hamme and Annie Zweighaft all connected from beyond the arc to put the game out of reach.

The game was sealed when sophomore Nicole Mitchell, at the head of the Mustangs’ potent 1-2-2 zone press, recorded six points in 30 seconds. Mitchell, who already has recorded two double-doubles this year, nearly added a third, finishing the contest with eight points, nine rebounds, and three steals.

The Mustangs shook off the poor shooting which plagued them in the first half, using their defense to clamp down on the Seton ball handlers, and, down three with time running out in the second quarter, Walton drained a three-pointer to send her squad into the break with the momentum.

Walton, the Mustangs’ leading scorer so far this year, finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists. Hamme, shaking off a tweaked knee, closed out the game with eight points, four assists and five steals.

Rotating two platoons throughout the entire game, Mason Coach Bill Broderick kept his extremely deep squad fresh, allowing them to run at will against the Conquistadors. Coming off the bench, sophomore Chantal Thomas, senior Olivia Scott and junior Abby Stroup chipped in eight, five and four points respectively. Scott and Stroup each added five boards, as the bigger Mustangs controlled the paint.

The squad also received solid performances from Zweighaft, who racked up seven points, and senior Rachel Kazman who, in conjunction with Hamme, directed the offense against the pesky Seton zone.

“The things Rachel does may not show up in the stats,” said Broderick, “but she is a very important part of our success this year so far. She and Meredith have been doing a great job running the offense.”

With the win, Mason remained unbeaten and, so far, has been essentially untested. Last Friday, the team journeyed down Route Seven to take on J.E.B. Stuart High in a doubleheader with the boys’ squad. A late charge by the Raiders fell just short, as the Mustangs prevailed 58-47.

The Mustangs were led by Mitchell with 17 points, Scott with nine points and junior Kim Kenny, who added seven points and seven rebounds.

Stroup chipped in seven points and four rebounds, while Zweighaft had a solid all-around game, adding four points, four steals and four assists. Hamme rounded out the effort with six points, four assists and four steals.

Just one day prior, Mason took on another local rival in Falls Church High, promptly dispatching the Jaguars, 44-26. The squad out-rebounded their opposition 44-17, and added 15 steals as a team.

Hamme led the team with 10 points, while Walton added 10 rebounds, five steals and seven points. Mitchell enhanced Mason’s performance with six points and seven rebounds.

The team will take on Briar Woods High this Thursday, before taking a week off for the holidays. They will take on Chantilly High and Mills Godwin High at the Chantilly Holiday Tournament next week December 27-29.