Sports

Slam Dunk: Lady Mustangs Land Another District Title

Not even the biggest snow storm in the history of the Metro Area could slow down the Mason High

Girls-District

Photo: Judy Lubnow

School girls varsity basketball team.

Last week, the Mustangs rolled to another Bull Run District tournament title. Mason dismissed Clarke County 56-35 in the semifinals on Thursday, then handled rival Strasburg 45-37 in the finals on Friday.

The squad now prepares for the regionals, which begin this week.

The two games were the Mustangs’ first since a series of storms paralyzed the region, shutting down school, canceling games and postponing all activities. Teams were not able to practice during the closures, and Mason coach LaBryan Thomas estimates his girls got a day and a half of practice to prepare for the district tournament.

“That was our biggest concern, no time on the court,” Thomas said. “We had concerns because no practice and no games for two weeks. We were a little bit rusty.”

Some girls were able to stay active on their own, but no organized team activities right before the postseason was a challenge.

Mason-Girls-Bria

Mason’s Bria Platenburg, number 3. (Photo: Judy Lubnow)

“Missing two solid weeks as far as team-wise and practice wise, it was tough,” Thomas said.

In addition to the lost practice, the Mustangs had their final three regular season games canceled – against Manassas, Clarke County and Strasburg.

“We understood the circumstances,” Thomas said. “The seniors wanted to play those games.”

If there was any silver lining during the layoff, it was that Mason was able to rest up and get healthy.

“We’d been playing a lot of games before the weather hit,” Thomas said.

As expected, a pair of seniors have led the way for Mason.

Chantal Thomas was named the district player of the year, and Nicole Mitchell also made the district first team.

Sophomores Lauren Kane and Bria Platenburg, as well as fresman Stephanie Cheney, were all named to the Bull Run All District second team.

Coach Thomas has been especially impressed with the contribution of Cheney, a freshman.

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Lauren Kane (center) leaps for a shot. (Photo: Judy Lubnow)

“We were looking for some good things from her, but she exceeded our expectations,” he said.

Top-ranked Mason opened the eight-team Region B play against Central Woodstock at home on Wednesday, after this paper’s deadline. The second round is Friday, and could possibly include a rematch with No. 4 Strasburg. The finals are Saturday.

“The girls have to stay focused,” Thomas said. “If they continue to stay focused, they will be successful.”