Growing Pains Amplified for Mustangs Against Higher Classified Competition

THE ONUS IS NOW ON senior guard Maddie Lacroix to help bring a roster of predominantly underclassmen up to speed on the varsity game by January. (Photo: Carol Sly)

George Mason High School’s girls basketball team is taking its lumps to start the year with a 62-37 loss at the hands of Yorktown High School on Nov. 29 followed by a 63-25 loss to Flint Hill High School Tuesday night.

There was expected to be a bit of an exhale for the Mustangs (0-3) following last season’s top-four finish in the Class 2 Virginia state tournament. With four of Mason’s previous starters lost to graduation, and the fifth transferring to a different school, only senior guard Maddie Lacroix remains from the squad that saw the court during competitive minutes. A green squad (varsity-wise) is why the Mustangs have had trouble building any in-game momentum, with that lack of veteran understanding and edge contributing to their loss at Yorktown.

“We tried to run our stuff, but they were over-playing us the whole time [since] they’re bigger and stronger than us,” Mason head coach Chris Carrico said. “It’s a learning process. Our strong points are our guards, so we want them to penetrate and make plays off the dribble as much as we can and get our bigs to finish at the rim. [Yorktown] just did a good job and forced us out of our sets.”

Optimism for a tight game earlier on began to fade by the end of the first quarter. Freshman guard Meghan Tremblay’s three-ball, followed by a give-and-go between Tremblay and fellow freshman guard Zoraida Icabalceta that saw Tremblay finish down low showed a coordinated, intentional effort by the Mustangs to lead 5-4. Even after Yorktown reclaimed the lead by one, Icabalceta helped break the Patriots’ full court press to find junior Emma Rollins for a bucket inside to go back up 7-6.

However, that would be the last time the Mustangs held a lead — just under three minutes into the contest. Yorktown powered its way to 12-3 run to finish the quarter up 18-10. Junior forward Julia Rosenberger’s kick out to Lacroix for her second and final trey of the night to cut the margin to five would be as close as Mason came to the Patriots for the remainder of the game.
Yorktown closed the half on a 15-3 run to head to break up 33-16.

During the third quarter, Mason managed to get some more scoring activity going but couldn’t keep pace with the Patriots, who tallied 17 points to the Mustangs’ 12 to keep their advantage comfortable.

Reserves came in for the last quarter to bring the score to its final line.

“We’re playing [a bunch of higher classified teams], it’s a tough sled to get through, so we’ll have some growing pains, but we’ll get there,” Carrico continued. “Our goal is to just make sure we’re ready by Conference time by January.”

Mason will look to turn its luck around against Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology tomorrow at home.