by Matt Delaney
Just days before the blizzard touched down in Falls Church, George Mason’s varsity boys basketball team handled Central High School in their second and final regular season meeting 75-54 on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
As the regular season winds down the Mustangs find themselves in a favorable spot, sitting at 16-0. Still, competition needs to be taken seriously so the team can enter the postseason in the right frame of mind.
“As it ramps up, we only have seven games left. We need to climb the ladder,” head coach Chris Capannola said. “Central can play, [but] seniors have been rising to the occasion [and] the whole team is rising up [also].”
The previous meeting between the two ended with the Mustangs reserves helping push Mason over the century mark, winning the game in resounding fashion at 101-58. However this time, on the road and in a hostile environment, the Mustangs encountered a stiffer challenge than the one they received back on Dec. 15.
Mason was slow out of the gate and held a slim 13-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. By halftime they were able to build on their lead but Central stuck around and kept within striking distance of the Mustangs lead at 35-26.
As has been the case throughout this season, Mason’s third quarter showing would foreshadow the game’s eventual conclusion. Outscoring Central 22-14 in the quarter and increasing their lead to 58-40, their largest of the game, the Mustangs forced Central to play catch-up. Mason was able to entrust their stout defense and deep bench to keep Central at bay until the game to a close.
Senior forward Robert Tartt led the way in scoring with 22 points and rebounds with seven. Senior guard Josh Allen had a solid night with 11 points while senior center Douglas Bossart added nine of his own and grabbed six rebounds. Senior guards Elliot Mercado and Devin Thomas were both credited with four assists on the night.
Falls Church City Public Schools is on a weather-induced hiatus right now while the area recovers from this weekend’s winter storm, but their next scheduled game is home against William Monroe High School on Friday, Jan. 29.