With her team up nearly 30 points late in the fourth quarter, National Cathedral sophomore guard Marta Sniezek made a memorable play during a forgettable game Wednesday night against St. Andrews. After missing a runner in the lane, the 5-foot-6 Sniezek, trying to hold off three St. Andrew’s players, jockeyed to get her own rebound underneath the basket. She failed, and ended up rolling into the wall of the matchbox-sized gym. The sophomore’s cheeks went flush red in frustration.
It was an ugly play. But at that moment, Sniezek looked like the area’s leading scorer, a player who averages 28.6 points per game. For a player her size and age, her scoring instincts seem rare — even during a nondescript Independent School League A game, which started after school Wednesday. There were less than 100 spectators in the National Cathedral gym, which is underground.
It’s only a matter of time before Sniezek is discovered, according to her first-year Coach Brittany Mitch, who said her standout guard has received interest from Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Harvard. On Wednesday, she finished with 32 points in the 56-34 win, the fifth time in six games that she has scored 30 points or more. She hit three three-pointers, and went 9 for 11 from the free throw line — she’s shooting 79 percent this season, on 139 attempts — and was able to take contact in the lane and still connect on a number of floaters and layups.
“I kind of just do whatever my team needs me to do,” Sniezek said. “If I need to score a lot of points, I’ll do that.”
Sniezek acknowledges that her league doesn’t receive the best exposure — “it’s definitely weaker than the WCAC or the ISL-AA,” she said Wednesday — but National Cathedral (10-2, 5-0) has been competitive in each and every game this season. It beat Georgetown Day and Ballou in nonleague play, and challenged No. 11 Bullis in a 12-point loss at the beginning of the month, a game in which Sniezek dropped 32 points.
She has an important recruiting ally in Mitch, a former St. John’s standout who played at Duke and is plugged in. But with no offers yet on the table, all Sniezek is worried about at the moment is finding more ways to score.
“I’m keeping all my doors open. Haven’t said no to anybody,” Sniezek said. “Just, kind of playing it cool.”