RICHMOND–Tenacious defense and clutch free throw shooting in the final minute enabled the George Mason High Mustangs to hang on and defeat Essex, 56-52, in the state tournament quarterfinals here today. Eion Oosterbann and Noel Obusan each hit two free throws in one-and-one situations after Essex closed Mason’s lead two two points in the final 38 seconds of play.
Leading 43-28 after three quarters, Mason saw its lead evaporate under full court press pressure from the favored Trojans. Held to a single bucket the first half of the fourth quarter, Mason finally stablilized with a couple buckets underneath by Dmitri Venets and a layin by Obusan. Still, the score was 52-50 with 1:38 left.