Home is where the heart is.
Home sweet home.
No matter which old cliché comes to mind, rest assured the George Mason High School girls basketball team has it in mind.
This Friday, the Mustangs play their first game at home since Wednesday, January 5, a 61-31 defeat of Tuscarora High. That’s a span of 23 days between home contests for Mason.
Additionally, surprisingly enough, this Friday’s contest against Rappahannock County High marks the first weekend home game for the Mustangs this season.
While sturdy road warriors in the expansive Bull Run District, Mason head coach LaBryan Thomas also credits the players’ parents who make their way to those road match ups.
“On the road, we get a large showing of parents,” Thomas said, adding that the Mason home presence is always strong. “We have good fans. They come out and give their support.”
Though Friday’s contest against Rappahannock comes first, it is the Saturday game against Clarke County that Thomas knows will be a difficult test.
“They put a lot of pressure on the ball like us,” Thomas said, comparing defensive styles. “It’s going to be tough all night long.”
The Eagles sported an 8-7 record as of Tuesday night, winners of four straight and five of their last six. Clarke is led by senior guards Logan Johnson and Kasey Canterbury.
“Saturday is going to be intense,” Thomas said, adding that Clarke County is Mason’s biggest competition in the Bull Run District.
Before the Mustangs reach Saturday’s show down, they must first face Rappahannock County.
“Rapp posses a lot of issues,” Thomas said, adding that his opponent is guard heavy. “They’re not a big team, but they’re very quick. It posses a different challenge for us.”
The Saturday contest with Clarke County is a make up of an earlier contest rescheduled due to weather. Games on back to back nights is not typical, and Thomas will pay special close attention to his rotation on Friday ensuring that everyone receives proper rest.
Because of weather, the Mustangs have only played one game since Jan. 13, a 61-23 thumping of Strasburg last Thursday. Mason now stands at 11-5 overall, and has won four straight.
“We just had a lot of pressure again,” Thomas said of the victory against Strasburg. “Everything starts with our defense.”
Mason faces Rappahannock County High at home at 7 p.m. on Friday, then battles Clarke County at home at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.