Mason Mraz
Name: Mason Mraz
Team: Laurel
Number: #34
Grade: 12
Height: 6' 3''
Weight: N/A
Position: G
By Clayton Sauertieg
New Castle News

Mason Mraz has been the picture of consistency this season.
The Laurel High senior scored 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds against both Riverside and Mohawk last week to lead the Spartans to two victories and move their record to 4-0 on the season.
“It’s been different,” Mraz said of his newfound role as a leader. “We had leaders last year in Scott (Siddall) and Jake (Wilson). This year the team is counting on me and it’s great that they can trust me.”
The graduated Siddall and Wilson joined Mraz as 1,000-point scorers last year. This season, teammates and coaches alike trust the 6-foot-3 guard who is averaging 28.5 points per game in the early season.
“It’s just something he’s done since his freshman year,” Laurel coach Ken Locke said. “We know what he’s capable of, we see it day in and day out. It’s just something special when you have a player like that. He’s fun to have around and obviously fun to watch each game.”
Mraz, despite his remarkable on-court ability, is soft-spoken off of it.
“That’s part of what makes him special as well,” Locke said. “He kind leads by his actions and what he does and he’s the guy on the floor who runs everything for us.”
While he may seem unassuming to opponents, Mraz exudes confidence when he steps on the court.
“Once my first or second shot gets down, I start to feel like I’m taking over the game and I’m controlling the game myself,” he said.
Mraz added that teams have taken notice of his play and have started to adjust how they defend him, playing box-and-one defenses to try and deny him the ball.
“They’re (playing) box-and-one but we have great players around me so that they have to get out of the box-and-one to defend everyone else,” he said.
Mraz has continued to be the focal point of the Spartans’ offense as they head into section play undefeated.
“He’s strong, he’s physical,” Locke said when discussing what makes Mraz difficult to defend. “That makes him the special player that he is, because not only is he outside shooting the basketball, but he’s one of if not our best rebounder and he’s getting a lot of second-chance points for himself. He can finish and get the and-one just because of how strong he is inside.”
Mraz’s ability to work within the context of the offense has helped Laurel average 78.7 points per game thus far this season.
“He just lets it come to him,” Locke said. “I think that’s important. He knows what it is and knows what he’s doing. You have to have confidence in other guys, which he has, which makes us a lot harder for teams to go box-and-one. If they’re going to double him or box him he finds the open guy. He’s leading us in assists as well.”
Mraz’s stature, talent and positional flexibility have Laurel off to a fast start, but the Spartans’ star has bigger plans for his final high school season.
“Expectations? “My expectations and the team’s expectations are to go for a WPIAL title and then get into the state playoffs and hopefully make a run.”
(Email: csauertieg
@ncnewsonline.com)
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