Arts & Entertainment

Briar Woods Dampens Mason Girls’ Holidays

The George Mason High School girls’ varsity basketball team suffered their first loss of the year on Thursday, falling on the road in a non-district match-up with AA Briar Woods High School, 45-37.

After cruising through their first seven contests, the Mustangs hit a road block in the rematch with the tough Falcons, who, just two weeks prior, provided Mason with their only close game of the season — a 46-40 Mustang win on December 7. That victory was the only single-digit win the Mustangs had all season. Now with the loss, the Mustangs will not remain undefeated going into their winter break.

The Mustangs were led by sophomore Nicole Mitchell, who continued to dominate the boards, finishing with six points, 12 rebounds and two assists.

The team also received solid contributions from senior captain Meredith Hamme who directed the offense, totaling four assists and four rebounds, as well as chipping in two steals.

However, the Falcons held Mason’s leading scorer, senior Bailey Walton, in check throughout most of the night, as she finished with just five points. Juniors Kim Kenny and Abby Stroup pitched in seven and five points, respectively.

Briar Woods was led by sophomore forward Kim Bell, who finished with 14 points, leading all scorers. Junior Krysta Gardner added 10 for the now 4-2 Falcons.

Throughout most of the season, Mason had relied on a forceful inside-out game, connecting on three pointers seemingly at will. On Thursday, though, the pesky Briar Woods zone locked down on the perimeter, as the Mustangs finished with just one field goal from beyond the arc, coming from a post player in junior Mayssa Chehata.

With the loss, the Mustangs enter their winter tournament sitting at a solid 7-1. They will play in the Pohanka Chantilly Classic on Dec. 27-29, beginning with an opening round match-up with host Chantilly. The squad returns home on January 4 to start Bull Run District play versus Manassas Park High.