The George Mason High School girls varsity basketball team lost its first district game in four years Tuesday by a single point.
The Lady Mustangs were edged out, 51-50, by a scrappy Central High School squad. The loss was also the first home loss for either Mason varsity basketball team since the boys team loss to The Avalon School on Dec. 9, 2010.
“We were bound to lose a district game,” Mason coach LaBryan Thomas said. “I’m glad it happened now rather than later. Just looking at how the playoffs should play out, we’ll probably end up playing Central again. So [a possible re-match] gives something to strive and get ready for.”
Missed opportunities by the ‘Stangs on offense left them ahead only 6-2 at the end of the first quarter. The game began to heat up in the second quarter, and the Lady Mustangs went into halftime leading 23-17.
In the third quarter, both teams unleashed an offensive barrage; the quarter endeing with a four-point play from Lady Falcons’ sophomore Brenna Cook. As the buzzer sounded, Cook sank a three-pointer while getting fouled by freshman guard Ava Roth. Still, the Mustangs clung to a four point lead headed into the final quarter.
“We didn’t come out focused and ready to play,” Thomas said. He added that while he wasn’t “making any excuses” for his team, the majority of the Mustangs were focused on their mid-terms.
George Mason fell behind 49-48 at the 3:19 mark in the fourth when Cook sank two free throws after she was fouled by sophomore guard Julianna Rollo.
A few plays later, junior forward Stephanie Cheney fouled out when she was called with a charge as she tried to back down Central sophomore Sydney Plum in the low post. Cook scored two more points to put the Lady Falcons ahead 51-48.
Mason called their final time-out with 1.5 seconds left in the game to set-up up one last play, but when senior guard Krista Kelly’s in-bound pass was intercepted by Truban and the Lady Falcons’ upset was complete.
Cheney and Goodwin both scored 14 points against Central. Rollo added eight points.
Tuesday’s victory came after a 68-46 Mustang victory over Clarke County High School last Thursday.
The Lady Mustangs will travel to Strasburg High School tonight to take on the Rams, and then host two district opponents next week.
George Mason will play Rappahannock County High School next Tuesday and then play William Monroe High School Thursday, Feb. 2, in the Mustangs’ senior day game. All games tip-off at 7:45 p.m.