It seems that the only thing that can slow down the George Mason High School girls basketball team nowadays is an opponent that has pretty much gone undefeated since the dawn of time.
The Mustangs have had their last two games canceled because of inclement weather. Monday’s contest at Rappahannock County High School and Tuesday’s match up at Clarke County High School were both scratched because of ice and snow conditions. The distance needed to travel to each of the two schools – approximately 55 to 60 miles each way, on icy roads – contributed to postponing the contests.
The game scheduled Monday at Rappahannock County was itself a make-up date. The originally scheduled game for the previous Tuesday was also scratched because of weather.
Mason High head coach LaBryan Thomas said that the schools are working on rescheduling the games, but hadn’t announced a date yet prior to deadline.
The rescheduling of games brings to mind last year’s “Snowpocalypse” debacle. Because of the challenges last winter brought, with record snow, Bull Run District games actually had to be out-right canceled, never to be made up.
“We’ll try to make them up,” Thomas said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s all a part of the game in this area.”
Keeping the team focused during unexpected layoffs is one of the challenges that any coach faces. Players get in routines and geared up for game day. Breaking that routine can be difficult. To keep the players focused, Thomas plans to continue to push them in practice.
Also playing havoc with the team’s schedule is exam week. After the Mustangs head to a game at Strasburg High School this Thursday, the squad doesn’t have another game lined up until Jan. 28. That eight-day lay off is only exacerbated by a reduced practice schedule.
Thomas said he plans on having the girls work on their ball handling skills and will run quick drills.
“It’s lot more than Xs and Os,” Thomas said of everything that goes into a being a coach, from rescheduling games postponed due to weather to working around the student-athletes’ exam schedule. “I wish it was that simple.”
The Mustangs did get one good win in last week, a 58-26 shellacking of Madison County High on the road on Friday. Lauren Kane led the way with 18 points and 8 rebounds as Mason improves to 10-5.
“She’s getting back in form,” Thomas said of his junior forward.
Sophomore forward Stephanie Cheney contributed with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
While the offense has been playing well, Thomas credits the team’s defensive hustle for setting the tone.
“We’ve been playing good defense,” Thomas said.
Mason’s next scheduled game is at Bull Run District rival Strasburg High on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Mustangs’ next home game is on Friday, Jan. 28 when they welcome Rappahannock High at 7 p.m.