With last Saturday’s resounding 57-26 victory over Northumberland High, the George Mason High School girls varsity basketball team soared once again to the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Division 2 semifinals, facing Lancaster High in a game slated for 10:30 a.m. this Friday, March 13 at the Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
The Mustangs clinched a powerful lead early in the Northumberland state quarterfinal game at Robinson High in Fairfax Saturday, securing a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, ballooning to 31-10 by halftime.
Mason junior guard and Bull Run District Player of the Year Nicole Mitchell led her team’s scoring blitz, hitting a jumper early on in the first quarter.
Mitchell’s scoring totaled 14 points by game’s end with four two-point and two three-point shots.
A trio of Mustangs followed Mitchell’s power play throughout the game with eight points each: junior forward Kelsey Kane and freshmen guards Lauren Kane and Bria Platenburg.
Mason’s strong defense play, which has helped steamroll the competition throughout the season, put the Lady Mustangs on top with a series of steals and free throws in the first quarter.
Northumberland managed to close the gap to 16-9 in the second quarter, but Mason pulled away with Mitchell shooting her second three-pointer to get the run started.
Senior forward Kim Kenny, who had been injured during some rough play during the first quarter, remained resilient, putting back two points and then stealing four more points, till Mitchell scored another two points with almost a minute remaining.
In the last 30 seconds, junior guard Chantal Thomas closed the first half with four points, and it was 31-10 at intermission.
Mason added 18 points in the third quarter, while Northumberland struggled to put up six. The fourth quarter saw Northumberland edge out the Mustangs 10-8, but the Region A runner-up lagged far behind Mason as the game ended 57-26.
Mason’s performance Saturday included 22 buckets. The team had an overall 87.5 percent success with free throw attempts, 33 rebounds and one assist, provided by Mitchell.
Northumberland managed to secure eight buckets shots, a 71.4 percent for free throw attempts and 21 rebounds.
If Mason continues the winning streak, broken only once during Bull Run District play against Strasburg, the Lady Mustangs could reach the state championship finals held at the Siegel Center at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 14. The Mustangs face Lancaster High, which had defeated Northumberland in the Region A championship.
For more details about the championship game location, times and ticket costs, visit the VHSL Web site at www.vhsl.org/athletics/basketball_girls.