Sports

Mason High Boys Win, 73-56, Head to VHSL State Final Four

boysbball1For the first time since 2001, the George Mason High School boys basketball team is heading to the Virginia State Final Four tournament following a hard-fought 73-56 win over Middlesex in the quarterfinal game at Robinson High School in Fairfax today.

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Mason junior Jeremy Stewart drives to the hoop Saturday. Stewart dropped 11 on Middlesex in Mason’s win. (Photo: Gary Mester)

For the first time since 2001, the George Mason High School boys basketball team is heading to the Virginia State Final Four tournament following a hard-fought 73-56 win over Middlesex in the quarterfinal game at Robinson High School in Fairfax today.

The Mason Mustangs had five players in double figures, led by Nate Ogle with 18, and never lost the lead after a blistering 19-0 run in the first period that included a 4-for-4 run of 3-pointers. But the Middlesex Chargers did not go easily, fighting back to within seven, 58-51, with still 3:45 left in the game.

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The Mustangs’ Philippe Griffiths goes up for a shot. Griffiths scored 11 in Mason’s win over Middlesex Saturday. (Photo: Gary Mester)

A key driving lay-in and converted free throw by Philippe Griffiths with 3:12 left followed two free throws by Jeremy Stewart to pull Mason back into a double-digit lead, and the victory was sealed with an open court slam dunk by Brandon Alexander with a minute to go.

The upcoming trip to the final four marks the second trip there under the leadership of coach Chris Capannola, who took Mason’s legendary 2001 team there, moved to Ohio and returned to Mason three years ago to produce yet another final four team.

The Mason boys join the school’s girls team, which won earlier today to head to the final four, as well, in pursuit of a third straight state crown (see separate story).

Following Ogle’s 18 points for Mason were Noel Obusan with 15, Stewart, Griffiths and Alexander, all with 11 each, Elon Oosterbaan, Drew Nickle and Crawford Taylor with 2 each and Ryan Moot with 1.

Mason will face the winner of the game between defending state James River-Buchanan and Lee High School Thursday, Mar. 10, at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center in Richmond.


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