There had been more fanfare when Mason topped 1,500 points. This was just another game of Mason scoring 19-plus points, just as she has in every game she has played in this season. The Bruins beat Broad Run in the first round of the Virginia AAA Northwest Region tournament, 71-41, led by Mason’s 26 points, to advance to play at Roanoke school William Fleming in the region quarterfinals Tuesday. William Fleming knocked out the Bruins in the region semifinals last season.
“It’s just a great honor, very humbling,” said the soft-spoken Mason, who as Wright did, will play at the University of Virginia. “I’m just thankful that I have such wonderful teammates and coaches that helped me along the way and helped make my high school career such a great experience. I never would have thought that I would be able to accomplish this.”
Mason played varsity basketball in the seventh and eighth grade at Christ Chapel Academy in Woodbridge and was a 1,000-point scorer there. Wright, the 2005 All-Met player of the year and a McDonald’s all-American, helped lead Forest Park to two state titles and currently plays in the WNBA for the Minnesota Lynx.
Mason’s record-breaking night occurred in front of a sparse crowd on what likely was her final game on her home court. Forest Park Coach Rebecca Tillett was there for the first 1,905 points but not for the latest 26. She was serving a one-game suspension for receiving two technical fouls in the previous game, a loss to No. 9 Potomac (Va.) in the Cardinal District championship.
Tillett, who accompanied Mason on many recruiting trips, messaged her before the game Saturday to tell her how much she’s enjoyed coaching her.
Forest Park assistant Donnie Gallitz, who while head coach at Gar-Field last season was the opposing coach on the night when Mason scored her 1,000th point, served as head coach for the Bruins (18-7) on Saturday.
“We knew when she came here we had something special,” said Gallitz, a Forest Park assistant before he went to Gar-Field. “She’s steady. She can score 20 points and it doesn’t seem like she has 20 points. What people don’t know is that she gets a lot of triple-doubles. It’s not like a Jason Kidd triple-double where you get 10-10-10. She’s still scoring 25 points and sharing the ball. There’s times she’s 50 percent of our offense.”
Raiders welcome return of Burns
No. 15 Stonewall Jackson is expected to have senior guard Danielle Burns active for the first time this season when the Raiders host George Washington-Danville in a Northwest Region quarterfinal Tuesday.
Burns, a Fordham signee who has missed the season while recovering from an ACL injury, has practiced in full with Stonewall for the past two weeks.
“It definitely allows us to spread the floor a little more and brings back a consistent three-point shooter for us,” said Stonewall Coach Diana Martinez, who also cited Burns’s ability to help execute the Raiders’ press. “The chemistry won’t change with her being there, just because she’s been so vocal during games.”
The 5-foot-10 Burns averaged 12.5 points as a junior. Her sister, sophomore guard Rachel Burns, also plays for Stonewall. And their dad, Keith Burns, last week was named the Washington Redskins’ special teams coach. The T.C. Williams graduate had been on the Denver Broncos coaching staff.
Stonewall junior forward Nicole Floyd, a Wake Forest recruit, leads the Raiders in scoring with 19.6 points per game.
Elsewhere in the Northwest Region, Battlefield advanced to the quarterfinals with a 50-39 win Saturday over Osbourn Park. Sophomore guard Misha Jones scored 18 points.
The Bobcats need a win Tuesday at Colonial Forge to reach the region semis, which would be their furthest postseason advancement ever. Battlefield is known for its guard play and back court depth, which could help them handle a Forge team that likes to pressure.
Battlefield (18-7) took a 15-3 lead on Osbourn Park, but the Yellow Jackets, who played Potomac to a 65-63 loss last week in the Cardinal District tournament, were able to stay within range for most of the game but not get too close.
“It seemed like all night we were able to counter with a timely shot or a timely drive,” Battlefield Coach Eric McCaslin said.
Potomac will host Franklin County in another Northwest Region quarterfinal Tuesday.