Sports

Clarke Tops Mason Boys in Playoff for Bull Run Title

The George Mason High School boys basketball team, playing for their first district title in a decade and the opportunity to host the Bull Run district tournament, lost out on both as they fell to Clarke County, 41-34, at Strasburg High School tonight.

The George Mason High School boys basketball team, playing for their first district title in a decade and the opportunity to host the Bull Run district tournament, lost out on both as they fell to Clarke County, 41-34, at Strasburg High School on Feb.10.

“Both teams played very tight for most of the game,” coach Chris Capannola said. “Both defenses were great for the most part, but we let their one three-point shooter hit four of them, and that was the difference. We were 2-15 on three-pointers, they made more shots than we did.”

The Mustangs and Eagles were both 9-1 in district play, tied atop the district standings, heading into Thursday’s one-game playoff.

“I think we were ready to play and motivated to play since they beat us so bad a week ago,” Capannola said. “It was a neutral site and we knew what to expect from them.  We seemed ready.”

Ethan Emmart led the Eagles with 18 points, followed by Stephon Bodkin with 8 points.

“Clarke shut us down with their physical defense,” Capannola said.  “When we moved the ball and made hard cuts we got easy shots.  But we had some really careless turnovers, and when they got up on us mid way through the fourth quarter, we had to take some chances and they capitalized on that.  We also were only 0-2 from the free throw line for the entire game.  That stat sums up how tentative we were offensively.”

With the victory, Clarke takes the district crown and will host the district tournament next week.

“We now have to go on the road to win any more district games,” Capannola said. “We play Madison County Wednesday and if we are fortunate enough to win, we will get another shot at Clarke.”

The Mustangs will face Madison County High School on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. The Eagles play the winner of the Strasburg/Manassas game at 8 p.m.