Top-Seeded Lady Mustangs Set for Post-Season Battles

George Mason High School’s girls varsity basketball team clobbered Manassas Park High School on Monday in a 76-37 victory over the Lady Cougars. The Lady Mustangs sail on to the top seed in the Bull Run District playoffs and quarterfinal match-up against bottom seeded Rappahanock County High School Friday night.

Junior forward Stephanie Cheney led the Lady Mustangs in scoring and rebounds with 23 points and 10 boards. Sophomore center Ashley Alexander followed that performance with 13 points and four rebounds, and senior forward Lauren Kane and freshman forward Katie Goodwin both added nine points to George Mason’s rout of Manassas Park.

The win over Manassas Park extended the Lady Mustangs’ winning streak to five games in the wake of their one-point home loss to Central High School on Jan. 24. Senior guard Krista Kelly said the loss to Central and adjustments made since then have made the team stronger.

The Lady Mustangs clinched the regular season Bull Run District championship with a 51-38 win over William Monroe High School last Thursday. Cheney scored 14 points, Alexander scored 11 points and Kane added 10 points to George Mason’s win over William Monroe. Despite the score, it was rough game for the Lady Mustangs, an experience Coach LaBryan Thomas said the team needed to have going into the post-season.

“We’re going to see teams in [the regional tournament] and, if we’re lucky enough to make it to states, that are going to be very physical,” Thomas said. “From years past, teams [in the post-season] have been very physical and our district is not that physical.”

Cheney said the physicality is expected now because teams are gunning for the Lady Mustangs.

“I think our mentality is ‘just bounce right back up,'” Cheney said. “Obviously you’re going to get pushed down 100 times, but if you get up 101 times, you keep playing.”

Thomas said after years of dominating the Bull Run District, it was good to have a competitor like William Monroe join the district and “push the team to win the district.”

The game was senior night for the team, and its graduating senior players – Lauren Kane, Sonia Kapoor, Krista Kelly, Leah Roth and May Williamson – were honored.

Roth said the senior night win was “exciting” and “an emotional game” for her and her teammates. Kelly added, “It’s hard to believe that [their career] is pretty much coming to an end now and we want to go out with a bang.”

Roth explained that the five Lady Mustang starters have played together in different capacities over the last five years. They have 12 years of varsity-level playing experience between them. After the win over William Monroe, Roth said, “I cried, of course.”