Mason Girls are Back Together & Winning

January 9, 2019 6:50 PM0 comments

FRESHMAN GUARD Zoraida Icabalceta (right) was happy to see fellow freshman Megan Tremblay return to the court, who was absent for the holiday tournament two weeks ago. (Photo: Carol Sly)

George Mason High School’s girls basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak with an impressive 53-22 victory over Rappahannock County High School last Friday.

As Peaches & Herb once said, “Reunited, and it feels so good,” and the Mustangs (4-9) couldn’t agree more. After some key starters missed the games over the break, Mason returned to full form against the visiting Panthers. It took about three minutes for the group to get re-acclimated on the court, but once they found their groove there was little Rappahannock County could do.

“We knew we wanted to speed them up as much as we could, and we made them play our pace,” head coach Chris Carrico said. “We were a little lackadaisical in the first three or four minutes of the game, but the attention to detail got better from there”

In that brief three minute span, Mason did look tentative on the court. The Mustangs were being too respectful of the Panthers, allowing a seven-point run where Rappahannock County notched four straight free throws and an elbow three to go up 11-6, before Mason snapped out of its daze.

A quick two in transition was followed by senior guard Maddie Lacroix’s own elbow three to tie the game at 11. Lacroix went end-to-end with the ball before pulling up for a smooth jumper at the free throw line and followed that up by dropping a pass to freshman forward Rianna Arsenault off an inbound in the offensive zone.

Freshman guard Zoraida Icabalceta joined in the spree with a coast-to-coast transition and jumper herself. Junior guard Emma Rollins banked a shot in high off the glass, with Icabalceta’s three and Arsenault’s put back two rounding out a raucous first quarter. The 20 unanswered points had Mason up 26-11 entering the second quarter.

The game cooled down significantly in the second quarter, with the Mustangs and Rappahannock County scoring four and five points, respectively. Mason managed to add 10 more points coming out of halftime with Rollins, Lacroix, Icabalceta and freshman Megan Tremblay each contributing to take a 40-19 lead into the fourth. There, a mix of starters and reserves helped to carry the game to its final margin.

Outside of the 20-point explosion to end the first quarter, the Mustangs were fairly tame against the Panthers. Part of it, Carrico believes, was losing the hot hand they had in the first quarter. On the other hand, the Mustangs gave into the urge to relax once they built a big lead — a kink they’re confident won’t show up in bigger games against better teams.

“There’s a chance we got a little tired and comfortable because we knew we were gonna beat them,” Lacroix said. “In the future, with better competition, we’ll come out with the intensity we needed. We have in the past, just this game we didn’t feel we really needed it.”

Mason played Central High School tonight but results weren’t available at press time. They’ll travel to play Strasburg High School on Friday.

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