Mason High Bids Farewell to So-Called 'Great 8 of 2008
While the pre-game festivities were filled with hugs, laughter and other senior night customs, once the ball was tipped for the George Mason High School varsity girls basketball team’s game against Rappahannock High last Friday, it was all business for the Mustangs.
Mason finished off their regular season home schedule in grand fashion, making quick work of the last place Panthers, 60-28, to remain in sole possession of third place in the Bull Run District with the tournament fast approaching.
The eight seniors on coach Bill Broderick’s team were honored before the contest, with the pre-game warm-ups taking a brief recess to introduce the players and their parents. The team then stayed true to their home court tradition of singing the Star Spangled Banner, something that has become a staple of the bond the Mustangs have developed over this year.
All of the graduating Mustangs played over the course of the romp, contributing to the team effort in which Broderick routinely rotated in platoons of five players at a time.
Senior Bailey Walton led her team with eight points, four rebounds and four steals, while fellow senior and captain Annie Zweighaft added seven points. Other senior highlights included Olivia Scott and Meredith Hamme tacking on five points and two steals apiece.
The Mason press quickly disrupted the overmatched Panther guards, with the Mustangs turning steals into quick easy buckets down at the other end. When Mason did get into its half-court offense though, the Mustang guards would simply pump the ball into post plaers Kim Kenny and Nicole Mitchell for short looks in the paint.
Senior Rachel Kazman directed the offense, racking up five assists and three steals, while Hannah Baumgardner tacked on a late three-pointer. Rebecca Jackson and Stephanie Pinch rounded out what their teammates refer to as the “Super Eight of '08” with two assists apiece.
A flurry of wintry weather has forced Bull Run District games to be pushed back throughout the week. However, at press time, the Mustangs (13-8, 4-4) were still scheduled to take on Manassas Park (2-17, 1-7) on Wednesday night.
Assuming they down the Cougars, Mason will have locked up a third-place seed for the district tournament and will host either Rappahannock or Manassas next week in the first round.