The George Mason High School girls varsity basketball team finished the regular season on an 11-game win streak, taking down Clarke County High School, 42-33, Warren County High School, 60-27 and Madison County High School, 48-21, to solidify their spot atop the Conference 35 standings.
“We just went 14-0 and beat everyone in the [conference],” head coach Michael Gilroy said. “Forget going to regionals, forget states — to go undefeated in league play? I think that says a lot about this team.”
The Mustangs (17-4) haven’t lost a game since falling short to South Lakes High School at the Oakton Holiday Classic on Dec. 27. An undefeated January and so-far spotless February have generated loads of momentum for Mason as the team creeps toward their ultimate goal of a 2A state tournament berth.
“Basically since 2017 started, we’ve been a very hyped team,” sophomore forward Raquel Dodd said. “We’ve been beating teams by like 20 points and we’ve just kept the hype up since we’ve kept winning.”
The goal of a state tournament appearance looks attainable if the Mustangs replicate their efforts from the final month. Since the new year, Mason has won by a hefty average of 28.1 points per game.
Despite those impressive numbers, however, the wins have ranged from runaway contests to back-and-forth affairs. Last Friday’s second-half comeback on the road against Clarke County was followed by wire-to-wire wins against Warren County and Madison County.
By dominating the way they have been, the Mustangs run the risk of getting ahead of themselves. Gilroy insists none of the players have gotten too high during the streak because the team isn’t dependent on any one player. As the coach puts it, “We’re a pure team.” Statistics back that up as 10 different players typically score points in every game.
“We’re pretty well-rounded,” Dodd added. “Some games we play better offensively and some games we play better defensively. Overall, we just need to strengthen each part of our game.”
Mason will use these next days to prepare for Saturday’s opening round in the Conference tournament. The main area of attention for the Mustangs still centers on learning to manage the game to their benefit. Skill is visible, but rising to the moment and controlling the clock are musts going forward. Otherwise, Gilroy’s practice points are cut and dried.
“Kids gotta get in the gym and get more shots up.”
The Mustangs will host Strasburg in the Conference 35 tournament opener at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11.