Sports

Lady Mustang Hoops Capture Region B Crown

region-champsAs the levels of prep post-season play increase, getting deeper into the brackets as teams thin out, the prevailing wisdom is that each game should get tougher.

Which makes what the Mason High School girls basketball team is doing just plain scary.

 

region-champs

The Lady Mustangs show off their Region B medals. (Photo: Judy Lubnow)

As the levels of prep post-season play increase, getting deeper into the brackets as teams thin out, the prevailing wisdom is that each game should get tougher.

Which makes what the Mason High School girls basketball team is doing just plain scary.

The Mustangs steamrolled three opponents en route to winning the Virginia Region B championship last week. Mason won their three regional games by an average margin of 35 points.

That’s average, not total.

“The scores don’t tell the story,” said Mustang (20-2) head coach LaBryan Thomas during a recent phone interview.

Mason opened up regional tournament play on February 24 against Central-Woodstock, winning 78-44. Sophomore guard Lauren Kane led the way with 21 points.

“They were a young team,” said Thomas of Central-Woodstock. “We got out to a good start and finished strong.”

In the second round, the Mustangs squared off with rival Strasburg, winning 52-27. Nicole Mitchell scored 13 points to guide the Mustangs.

Strasburg and Mason were no strangers heading into the game. The Mustangs defeated their rival 45-37 a week prior to the district tournament, and defeated them Feb. 1 71-58.

The victory in the regional tournament was marred by the fact that Strasburg star player Jaclyn Ayers left the game in the first minute after injuring her knee, not to return.

“We know them very well,” Thomas said. “The win was bittersweet  You hate to see someone get hurt.”

Mason then captured the Region B title on Saturday with a 63-26 win over Buckingham County.

Chantal Thomas was named the Regional Player of the year, and Mitchell also earned All-Regional First Team honors.

With a series of blowouts, Coach Thomas was able to tap into his bench, giving his youngsters some experience while resting his starters. He says the squad goes 10 deep, and that when his top six get rolling, “it’s tough for anyone to beat them.”

The Mustang open defense of last year’s Virginia Division II title on Saturday against Northampton at Robinson High in Fairfax. Game time is 1 p.m.

Thomas said lessons learned during last year’s title running about hard work and determination will still apply this year.

“It’s going to be tough,” he said of repeating.