Sports

After Thrashing Clarke, Mason Faces 3 Games in 3 Days

lauren-kanegirlsbballwebThe way that coach LaBryan Thomas tells it, someone shouldn’t look too much into the Mason High School girls basketball team’s 61-17 shellacking of Bull Run District rival Clarke County at home on Saturday.

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Mason High junior Lauren Kane drives to the hoop during the Mustangs’ 61-17 trouncing of Clarke County Saturday. (Photo: Judy Lubnow)

The way that coach LaBryan Thomas tells it, someone shouldn’t look too much into the Mason High School girls basketball team’s 61-17 shellacking of Bull Run District rival Clarke County at home on Saturday.

“The score doesn’t show it tonight, but they’re a better team than what they scored tonight,” Thomas said after the victory. “Any time they come in here and score 17 points, it must have been tough last night.”

Thomas maintains that Clarke’s disadvantage came in having to face Strasburg the night before, then having to travel 60 miles for the showdown with the Mustangs.

“Unfortunately for them, they played last night,” Thomas said. “Playing back-to-back, Strasburg is a very physical team, then you have to come to us, that’s a lot of pressure right off the bat.”

No matter the reason, the Mustangs, who improved to 12-5 on the season, dominated Clarke County through relentless defensive pressure. Mason grabbed a 24-2 first quarter lead and never looked back. The team took a 47-17 lead into the fourth period, and held their opponents scoreless in the final frame.

“We took their legs in the first quarter,” Thomas said. “Our team is pressure, pressure, pressure, and we’ll continue to press you. Even when we pull off the press, when you come into the half court, we still put a lot of pressure on you.”

Thomas said that when up big late in the game, he’ll ease off offensively and get his bench players more involved, but doesn’t let up defensively.

“Score is 0-0 and we continue to put pressure on regardless of the score,” he said of his team’s mindset. “We try not to extend it over 30 points, but we work on defense for 32 minutes. We preach and we preach and we preach defense, defense, defense. We’ll slow things down on offense and work for good shots.”

Ashley Alexander scored 15 points in the victory, and Stephanie Cheney added 13.

“What makes me feel good as a coach, I’ll have this team next year,” Thomas said. “The kids are buying into the season. We still have some things to work on, but it’s getting better every game.”

The victory against Clarke County was the Mustangs only contest last week. The match up against Rappahannock County on Friday was canceled because of poor weather conditions to the west. This is the third time that Mason’s game against Rappahannock has been rescheduled. The next try to get the game in is this Thursday.

The next few days will be trying for the Mustangs. Mason faces Madison County at home tomorrow before welcoming Rappahannock on Thursday. Then the team travels to Clarke County on Friday for a rematch.

Facing a tough Bull Run opponent on the road after playing back-to-back games will be a challenge for Mason.

“I tell you what, next Friday when we play Clarke again, it will be a different story,” Thomas said. “We’ll have the dead legs.”

“We just try to get the starters as rested as we can and use our bench and make sure everybody gets playing time,” Thomas added.