George Mason High School’s varsity girls basketball team (10-1, 16-4) play William Monroe High School (10-1, 13-6) tonight to determine the Bull Run District champion. The home game will also be senior night for five Lady Mustangs.
“You don’t realize that once it’s your senior year that everything is your last,” senior guard Leah Roth said. “[We’re] just cherishing every moment because it’s our last year.”
Roth, Lauren Kane, Krista Kelly, Sonia Kapoor and May Williamson are the five who will be playing their last regular season home game Thursday. Roth, Kane and Kelly have all played on at least one of the two state championship teams that George Mason fielded in the last three years. But the trio agreed that the most fruitful experience was the Lady Mustangs 63-36 loss to Radford High School in the state semifinal last season.
“I feel like we were expected to win that game,” Roth said. “And then when we [lost], it was so heartbreaking that it motivated us for this year and we realized we can’t take any game for granted.” Kelly added, “Especially it being our senior year we don’t want to go out the way we did last year. We want to go out with a win.”
Before any playoffs start, the Mustangs still have two more regular season games, beginning with the William Monroe game. George Mason tied the team atop the Bull Run standings following a 51-50 loss to Central High School last Tuesday.
“I do truly believe that if we come out and play the way we play, we are going to give [William Monroe] a run for their money,” Coach LaBryan Thomas said.
George Mason bounced back in the past week after the loss to the Falcons with a 52-33 win at Strasburg last Thursday and a 71-25 domination of Rappahannock Tuesday, giving them a bit of momentum going into tonight’s match-up.
Junior forward Stephanie Cheney led Mason with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Strasburg. Sophomore guard Julianna Rollo added seven points and Kane and freshman forward Katie Goodwin each scored six. Kane played for the first time since she was sidelined with a concussion last month.
Kane has made her presence felt since returning to the line-up with a 17-point performance against Rappahannock. Cheney added 12 points and sophomore center Ashley Alexander scored eight against the Panthers.
“My hats off to [Lauren]. She’s playing really well this year,” Thomas said. “And to have her going at a high level going into the playoffs, it just helps out greatly. So now you can’t double-team Steph.”
The Mustangs travel to Manassas Park Monday for their regular season closer. Tonight’s match-up against William Monroe starts at 7:45 p.m.