by Matt Delaney
George Mason’s varsity girls basketball team lost 50-44 in an intense road game against William Monroe High School on Friday, Jan. 29 but recovered with a 81-32 win over Rappahannock County High School on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
When arriving at William Monroe last Friday, the Mustangs were greeted by a packed gymnasium that was hungry for a home win. The atmosphere fed into a competitive game that was back-and-forth throughout.
“It was probably the best high school game that we’ve been in this year, just with the atmosphere and that it was neck-and-neck the whole game,” head coach Michael Gilroy said.
Friday’s game wasn’t decided until the bitter end. Mason was leading with four minutes left but went cold to close out the game. Conversely, Samantha Brunelle, the Dragon’s young star, sank contested jumpers and fought through double-teams to edge out the Mustangs.
If the Bull Run District tournament started today, William Monroe and Mason would be the first and second seeds, respectively.
But for now Mason stays committed to finishing their regular season on a high note. They did just that with their shellacking of Rappahannock County at Mustang Gym Tuesday night.
Mason fell behind 8-5 just a few minutes in but an early timeout allowed them to regroup and respond. “We started off really slow in the first quarter,” sophomore guard Nicole Bloomgarden. “Once we called a timeout and coach told us, ‘We gotta pick it up,’…and we all came out and we went on a run.”
A run is an understatement. After the timeout Mason began a 21 point onslaught that put them in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the game. Despite the offensive showcase, defense stole the show. Most of the team’s points came off turnovers or rebounds where players then pushed the ball up court in transition for easy buckets.
Mason’s next game is on Thursday, Feb. 4 against Clarke County High School.