Mustangs’ second half performance is too much for visiting Wildcats

Carter Mackinnon, Staff Reporter

new gym
The boys basketball team has been practicing and holding games in a brand new gym at the new Mason—on Wednesday night, they beat Warren County 58-41. (Photo by Charlie Adams)

After a disappointing end to the first half the Mustangs trailed Warren County 28-23. The Mustangs rallied and scored 35 points in the second half. The second half dominance propelled the Mustangs to a 58-41 victory over the visiting Wildcats.

The undefeated Mustangs (2-0) started out strong and raced out to an 11-0 lead, but the Wildcats had a run of their own and led at the end of the first 16-12.

After a back and forth second quarter the frame was separated by baskets from Will Waller (#11) and Michael Kelly (#32). The Wildcats took a 28-23 lead going into halftime.

“I was frustrated with myself and how our team was playing defensively. I knew that if we wanted to come back and make a run it would start on the defensive side,” senior guard Ryan Fletchall said.

Three straight baskets by juniors Ben Yimaj (#21) and Mac Duross (#24) gave Mason a 30-28 lead at the beginning of the third quarter. The Mustangs ended the quarter on a 18-5 run and lead 41-33.

The Mustangs didn’t look back and added 15 more points in the fourth quarter (7 from Bobby Asel) and pulled away and closed out the game with a 58-41 win.

“We locked in during the third quarter, got a few stops and hit some key buckets. The second half was much better than the first, we just have to make sure we’re playing at that level at all times,” Fletchall said.

“It shows that we are a gritty group, we were sluggish about 4 minutes into the game and a lot had to do with battle the night before with Manassas. We regrouped at halftime— stressed communication on defense and good ball movement on offense. Knocking down shots always helps the cause and we did that. Was proud of the second half response by these kids,” Coach Gilroy said.

The Mustangs shot an astonishing 86 percent (13-15) from the free throw line which improves the season total to 80 percent (25-31). 

The Wildcats were led by Gabriel Davis (#10) with 17 points. Logan DeHaven (#22) had 10 points and Bryce Post (#44) had 8 points for Warren County.

Asel led the Mustangs with 19 points and three steals. Yimaj would finish with a double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds), Mac Duross had 13 points for the Mustangs. Mason had 7 different players score and 5 of which had at least 5 points.

The Mustangs will next face the undefeated Hawks of Skyline High School (6-0) on Friday.