Second Half Slump Costs Mustangs vs. W-L

By Caitlin Butler

SENIOR FORWARD Julia Rosenberger and the rest of the Mustangs were making every shot in the first half, but lost their hot hand after halftime. (Photo: Carol Sly)

A scoreless third quarter set up a 52-44 loss by George Mason High School’s girls basketball team to Washington-Liberty in its second home game of the season last Thursday.

The Mustangs got a hot start by tallying 33 points in the first half to the Generals’ 18, seemingly paving the way for a safe win. However, the teams appeared to swap mojos in the second half as Mason added only 11 points to Washington-Liberty’s 34.

“The second half came and I think when we were not making our shots it was really hard to get back on transition when we’re missing those shots,” senior guard Julia Rosenberg said. “We were getting frustrated and in our own heads and we were not hustling back as much as we did in the first half.”

By the end of the third quarter the Generals scored 15 unanswered points to tie up the score. The Mustangs, meanwhile, had a hard time breaking out of an extended shooting funk and let that affect their defense on the other end.

Mason was able to, somewhat, get back in a groove. The Mustangs successfully scored a total of 11 points in the fourth to stay competitive. But Washington-Liberty continued to gain momentum and added a whopping 19 points in the closing period to secure the game’s final score.

It was a shame given how much the game’s flow favored Mason early on.

In the first quarter the Mustangs came out strong on their home court with a crucial three point basket by Rosenberger to have the Mustangs down by one to W-L at 9-8. After the timeout the Mustangs came out on a scoring frenzy, with an assist by freshman guard Elizabeth Creed to sophomore guard Bella Paradiso for a smooth layup for the Mustangs. The first quarter ended with a 17 second possession followed by a buzzer beating three pointer from sophomore guard Zoraida Icabalceta. Mason’s 7-0 run gave it a 13-9 entering the second quarter.

“We started off with a really great energy and we played really well as a team. On defense we were really scrappy and had each other’s back to help the defense the whole time,” Rosenberger added.

In the second quarter the Mustangs continued to nail down shots from long distance.The Mustangs also pressed the Generals and played close to their man to try and rattle the visiting team’s offense.

The approach had a great amount of success for the entirety of the second quarter. The Mason built up its lead with a timely three pointer from the hands of Rosenberger.

The second quarter ended when the Mustangs took a 15-point advantage into halftime, prior to W-L’s resurgence in the second half.

“Were looking forward to this new district and season (because) it is a new competition for us.The competition is going to be much different and I feel like our team dynamic is really strong,” Rosenberger said of the remainder of the season.

The Mustangs will next host Flint Hill School on Friday with tip off set for 7:30 p.m.