How one-sided was Mason High School’s 52-29 girls basketball win at Fairfield on Wednesday night?
The coaches, Mason’s Rob Matula and the Indians’ Dave Loper, indulged in a friendly joint commentary about the officiating after a play right in front of Fairfield’s bench ended up going Mason’s way.
“You didn’t think you were going to get that one, did you?” Matula asked Loper matter-of-factly.
“He missed it,” Loper responded.
“You think?” Matula answered. “He’s done that a lot.”
Junior guard Sade Tucker scored a game-high 15 points and senior Anna Brinkmann and junior Sammie Puisis each scored 11 for the Comets, who improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference with their 17th consecutive win over Fairfield since joining the GMC for the 2007-2008 school year.
Brinkmann added 11 rebounds while being named the game’s Most Valuable Player by the representative of the Mercy Health 2017 Tipoff Classic, which sponsored the game. Puisis finished with a career-high 12 boards.
“First of all, we learned that we’re not a one-dimensional team,” Matula said. “We don’t need Sammie to score 20 to win. Any given player on any given night can score for us. The players have to understand that we can be a special team if we learn to share the ball and share the wealth.
“Sammie didn’t have a good shooting night, but she did other things. She had some hustle plays.”
Junior guard Zahrya Bailey scored 12 points to lead the Indians, who slipped to 3-2, 2-1, going into a conference game at Princeton on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Vikings are tied with Mason and Lakota West for the top spot in the GMC.
“To be honest, we’ve been kind of a Jekyll-and-Hyde team,” Loper said. “Some nights, we’re really, really good. Some nights, we’re really, really bad. We have to learn how to be consistent and overcome adversity.
“We’ve got to keep fighting the fight. We’ve got some good athletes and good kids. The kids have to believe in themselves. We’ve got to be consistent. It’s tough when you don’t have many kids who’ve played at this level.”
Mason is scheduled to host Oak Hills in GMC play on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Comets’ grasping, clawing, lane-filling defense forced Fairfield into 30 turnovers, and the Comets finished with a 30-16 lead in points off of turnovers. They also grabbed 28 offensive rebounds on the way to leading in overall rebounds 42-33 and finishing with a 19-6 advantage in second-chance points.
“We play hard and get into the lanes,” said Matula, who watched his team sink 13 of 14 free throws. “We’re going to get turnovers. I thought we lost a little bit of focus in the second half. We’ve got to keep working to get better.”
Mason took control of the game with a 12-0 run to end the first quarter that they extended to 14-0 before Fairfield junior forward Maddie Schaeffer ended a scoring drought that lasted seven minutes and 35 seconds with a layup.
MASON (3-1, 3-0 GMC): Sade Tucker 6 3 15, Alanna Carter 2 0 4, Jordi Reddington 0 1 1, Sammie Puisis 4 2 11, Anna Brinkmann 3 5 11, Grace Dawes 2 2 6, Tihanna Fulton 2 0 4. Totals: 19-13-52
FAIRFIELD (3-2, 2-1 GMC): Zaria Black 1 0 2, Zahrya Bailey 5 1 12, Adriannah Williams 1 0 3, Addie Kidd 1 0 2, Journee Hicks 0 1 1, Alexis Yarbrough 1 0 2, Kelis Jones 2 0 5, Maddie Schaeffer 1 0 2. Totals: 12-2-29
3-pointers: M 1 (Puisis), F 3 (Williams, Bailey, Jones)