By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s boys varsity basketball team won one of its last three games of the season in the past week. The Mustangs beat Rappahannock County High School 66-31 last Wednesday, lost to William Monroe High School 56-45 last Friday and lost to Manassas Park High School 63-48 on Tuesday. They finished the regular season with a 7-7 district record and 7-14 overall record.
The Mustangs jumped out to an early lead against Rappahannock County and never lost the lead. Senior guard Nick Bourbeau said although they beat Rappahannock County handily, they were anticipating the game against William Monroe.
“It was a good win, we got minutes for everybody,” Bourbeau said. “It was a solid team win.”
Senior forward Alex McMillen said that the Mustangs were confident about competing with William Monroe although the Dragons are the only undefeated team in the Bull Run District.
Bourbeau said the Mustangs played a strong three quarters, then went flat in the fourth quarter against William Monroe.
“We thought we played really well,” Bourbeau said. “We know if we want to keep playing we’ve got to keep producing for the whole 32 minutes.”
Sophomore guard Doug Mason led the Mustangs in scoring with 14 points and senior forward Will Nunley grabbed 11 rebounds.
The game against William Monroe was the Mustangs’ last home game and senior night. After the season, George Mason will lose six seniors. In addition to Bourbeau, McMillen and Nunley, the Mustangs are losing forward Rand Walter and guards Angel Castaneda and Cal Hannan. Head coach Chris Capannola said this season has been “frustrating” for this group of seniors who didn’t see a lot of playing time this year, but were part of the team last year that made a run to the state championship game.
“Even though they are seniors, they have no more experience in crunch time than the freshmen or sophomores,” Capannola said. “Unfortunately, they don’t have the luxury of playing next year too, but that’s the way it is.”
Capannola has mentioned McMillen as the key defensive player on several occasions during a season in which the Mustangs struggled to score. He is often matched up with the leading scorer on opposing teams.
“It’s good for me because I can make a humongous contribution to the team without having to be the leading scorer every night,” McMillen said. “So, it’s definitely something I pride myself on.”
In the loss to the Cougars on Tuesday, Doug Mason led the team with 14 points followed by Nunley with 12. According to Capannola, the Cougars hit three 3-pointers early on and the Mustangs were never able to recover.
“We again missed a lot of shots and a lot of lay-ups, and we didn’t take advantage of the fact that they have nobody over 6’1 on the floor,” Capannola said.
The Mustangs will travel to Manassas Park again on Thursday to play the Cougars in the first round of the Bull Run District tournament.