Known as a Class 2 basketball power out of the Bull Run District, the George Mason girls moved up a division this year. Now they’re well on their way to being known as a Class 3 power.
Saturday early evening, the Mustangs defeated host Brentsville 39-31 to claim the 3B region championship. On a roster chock full of freshmen and sophomores, senior Emma Rollins led the way with ten points, including two big fourth quarter three-pointers.
“That’s a senior stepping up and making big shots for us,” Mason coach Chris Carrico said of Rolllins. “She played the entire second half and made big plays when we needed her to. We come out every night and play D, our girls strap up every single night, it’s just if we can make enough shots to win the game.”
The Mustangs (18-8) definitely strapped it up and played some D on this occasion. Carrico’s team held Brentsville to 11% shooting from three-point range and 23% shooting overall. George Mason’s full-court delay press and half-court defense frustrated the Tigers all evening, as Brentsville often settled for poor shots and rarely got clean looks at the basket.
Even so, the Tigers (19-6) stayed close the whole way and the outcome very easily could have been different. Down 27-21 after three quarters, Brentsville sophomore Gabby Garrison hit a shot from outside to open the fourth. Freshman guard Cara Vollmer then converted an old-fashioned three-point play on a drive to the basket, pulling her team to within a point of Mason.
But soon thereafter Rollins made a nice pass to freshman Elizabeth Creed for a bucket, and after a stop Rollins buried the first of her two threes off a feed from freshman Elisa Goislard. The lead was six, which allowed Mason point guard Zoraida Icabalceta to kill clock and draw the Brentsville defense out.
“Zoraida makes everyone around her better,” said Carrico of her sophomore point guard. “I have a hard time taking her out at any moment of the game. She makes the smart play all the time.”
Icabalceta limited turnovers the whole way, and contributed seven points to go with her seven assists. Goislard provided a big lift off the bench with eight points, while Creed and senior Julia Rosenberger helped control the glass for the Mustangs, tallying 16 boards between them.
Garrison led the way with 14 points for Brentsville. Despite the loss, the Tigers will participate in the Class 3 State Tournament this week. Their future is bright, as the young team is comprised of all freshmen and sophomores except for senior Sophia Stoernell.
So is George Mason’s. The immediate future has them competing, like Brentsville, for a state championship. But that can wait a day or so while the team and the school enjoys the victory.
“Both teams battled the whole way today,” Carrico said. “We made enough plays down the stretch…forced them to take enough tough shots to get the win.”
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Vollmer 1-4, Garrison 1-10, Yergey 0-8|
|Threes: Rollins 2-3, Icabalceta 1-3, Rosenberger 1-6, Goislard 0-4|