Stephanie Cheney and Ashley Alexander are the only returning starters from last season’s George Mason High girls state championship team.
With three starters gone from last year’s team — Leah Roth, Lauren Kane and Krista Kelly — Cheney, a University of Pennsylvania basketball commit, said this season’s Mustang team will still compete. The team has started gelling through the first few days of practice.
“We can’t replace them but hopefully we can make up the ground,” Cheney said.
En route to their 50-47 win over Gate City High in the Virginia High School League Group A Division 2 championship game in March, the Mustangs won their fourth consecutive Bull Run District championship. Head Coach LaBryan Thomas also picked up some hardware last year earning single A Division 2 girl’s Coach of the Year by Virginia High School Coaches Association. The Mustangs open their regular season Dec. 7 in the Battlefield High Tip-Off.
Alexander is ready to step on the court in defense of the Mustangs title. The junior wants to have a lot of fun this season without taking in the pressure that comes with being the champion.
“I’m just afraid not to do the same thing we did last season,” Alexander said. “I want to go out and have a lot of fun.”
Alexander is also trying to find a balance with the season and college recruitment. She recently visited American University and is getting attention from smaller schools like Bucknell University and St. Francis University (Pennsylvania). The forward said she’s taking the attention all in stride.
“It’s definitely a rush,” Alexander said. “Every time you get an email or letter or voicemail it’s pretty awesome.”