For the second straight season, George Mason High’s Mustang girls varsity basketball team has advanced to the Virginia High School League state Division A championships by winning the Region B title with lopsided 62-35 and 50-23 wins over Dan River and Randolph Henry last weekend in Charlottesville.
This Saturday, the Mustangs begin their march to the state championship by taking on Region A runner-up Northumberland High in a state tournament quarterfinal that will be held at the James W. Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax (5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax). The game begins at 4:30 p.m., and tickets are $8, with free admission for children ages six and under.
The Mustangs got to work early in the Region B final against the Randolph Henry Statesmen, leaving little doubt that they were the stronger team from the get-go. Mason led 15-4 after one quarter, and then pulled away even more.
Junior point guard Chantal Thomas, who had missed games earlier in the season due to injury, led the three freshman phenoms on the team, getting involved early and often. Still wearing a brace, Thomas picked up a total of nine assists on the afternoon to go along with no turnovers.
Thomas’ helpers – freshmen Lauren Kane and Bria Platenburg – sparked the team with their outstanding shooting performances, something the two have grown very accustomed to this season. Platenburg scored 10 points on 4-7 shooting from the field while Kane dropped a monstrous 19 on 6-9 field goals, and 4-5 from the stripe.
Mason maintained its reputation as one of the best defensive squads in the area, allowing just eight first-half points to Randolph Henry. The Mustangs executed head coach LaBryan Thomas’ pressure defense, coming up with 24 takeaways in the game. Thomas had a team high five steals to go along with along with Kane’s four and Platenburg’s three.
Senior forward Kim Kenny was once again the reliable presence in the middle for the Mustangs, putting up eight points in addition to grabbing three rebounds.
Bull Run District Player of the Year Nicole Mitchell had a quiet scoring game, scoring seven points. The junior guard/forward hit all three of her field goal attempts in addition to her lone free throw. Mitchell also played a strong game on the boards, leading the team with five rebounds.