Lady Comets State Runnerup

03/14/2016

Before a crowd of 4,783 at OSU's Schottenstein Center, the Mason Girls Basketball team fell in the State Championship game on Saturday, 60-51 to Wadsworth, . The Comets fell behind early and were down as many as 16 point in the contest before a 4th quarter rally fell short. 

In their fourth trip to the state tournament, Mason (26-3) was seeking its second state championship, first since 2000 . The Comets, finishing the season ranked fifth in the Associated Press Division I statewide poll, had beaten No. 4 Huber Heights Wayne, third-ranked Lakota West and unranked Solon by an average of 19 points in their last three games en route to the state title showdown.

Everything that went wrong in the first half for Mason, who never led in the game, went right for Wadsworth, starting with a layup on a scripted play off the opening tip just five seconds into the game. The Grizzlies jumped out to a 10-0 lead, and Mason didn’t connect from the field until Lauren Van Kluenen’s put back with 3:06 left in the first quarter.

In the first half, Wadsworth shot a blistering 55 percent from the field (11-of-20), while the Comets managed just 27.8 percent (5-of-18), including 0-for-7 on 3-pointers. The Grizzlies made three of their five 3-pointers.  Mason did not help itself at the free throw either, going 4-for-9 and missing the front end of three bonus situations. The Grizzlies went 5-for-5, helping them lead, 30-14 by halftime. 

The Comets regrouped after halftime. Arkansas recruit, senior Jailyn Mason, sat out much of the first half with foul trouble. She scored six points and freshman Sammie Puisis added five as Mason cut Wadsworth’s lead to 37-30 going into the fourth quarter.

Lauren Van Kleunen, a Marquette signee, cut the Wadsworth lead again - this time to 45-42 with 4:33 left in the game. Her free throws 34 seconds later put the Comets within reach again at 47-44. Mason sophomore Anna Brinkmann also played a key role in helping the Comets’ attempted comeback. Her bucket cut the lead to 53-50 with 2:14 left.

Unfortunately, the Comets simply ran out of time in the final two minutes and were forced to foul. By continuing to make free throw after throw, the Grizzlies shut down any further attempt by Mason to get any closer.  Ultimately, a key stat in the game was the ability to convert from the free throw line. Wadsworth shooting 24 of 27, while Mason was able to cash in on 14 of 23 .

The Comet girls will be remembered as one of the finest teams in Mason basketball history. Their 26 wins this season ties the record for 2nd most wins in a season (98-99 team 26-1). This gifted girls' squad finished 2nd in the GMC, but nailed down Sectional, District, and Regional Championships on the road to being the OHSAA State Runner Up.

THANK YOU PLAYERS AND COACHES FOR A SEASON TO REMEMBER!

Contributed by Dan Hilen, Mason Sports Information Director