The George Mason High School boys varsity basketball team’s 68-51 victory over Manassas Park High School last Thursday placed the Mustangs atop the Bull Run District standings.
George Mason beat Bull Run District newbie William Monroe High School last week to create a three-way tie with William Monroe and Madison County High School, who beat the Mustangs 57-53 earlier this season. But the Mustang victory over Manassas Park, along with a 56-53 loss by Madison County to Clarke County High School last Thursday, gave the Mustangs the lone top spot in the district.
“I was afraid of a hangover effect after the emotional win versus Monroe two days earlier,” said Coach Chris Capannola. “Manassas Park is a very quick team, and they beat us off the dribble a few times and played very aggressive basketball on both ends of the floor.”
Senior forward Philippe Griffiths led the Mustangs in scoring against the Cougars with 20 points, nine of which came from 3-pointers. As of press time, he is in a three-way tie for 10th place in the Metro-region from behind the arc with 38 3-pointers. Griffiths, who is the team’s scoring leader with 12.9 points per game, had a breakout offensive game after recent opponents have held him just under his average.
“Phil is a competitor, so I knew he would come out and play well. He is also a kid who wants to win first; his personal stats are secondary to him,” Capannola said. “He got some open looks and nailed them, and went to the basket too, which is great to see. When he does that, he is very difficult to guard.”
Senior guard Noel Obusan scored 13 points against the Cougars and went three for four from the free-throw line. Senior forward Nate Ogle scored nine points, and junior forwards Will Nunley and Rand Walter both tallied five points for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs played the Cougars close in the first half, up 16-10 at the end of the first quarter and ahead 35-25 at the end of the second. In the third quarter, the Mustangs opened their lead to 20 points and the Cougars were never able to recover. Griffiths scored seven of his points and Walter scored all of his five points in the fourth quarter to help the Mustangs put the Cougars away.
George Mason started the second half of its regular season district schedule Wednesday against the Madison County, but results from the game were not available at press time. The Mustangs were on a five-game win streak going into the game.
The Mustangs will travel to Clarke County Friday to take on the Eagles, and will go to Central High School next Wednesday, Jan. 25, to face the Falcons.