Mashore, National Cathedral Overpower Georgetown Day

Grace Mashore gets a big welcome after scoring 23 points to help keep the Eagles unbeaten in their division.
Grace Mashore gets a big welcome after scoring 23 points to help keep the Eagles unbeaten in their division. (By Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)
By Rich Campbell
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Grace Mashore came to National Cathedral School three years ago looking for a challenge. Confident in her basketball abilities, she wanted to raise the area profile of an unheralded program.

Last night in Northwest, the junior guard took her biggest step toward that goal by scoring a team-high 23 points to lead the Eagles to a convincing 71-54 victory over Georgetown Day School in a game between the top two teams in the Independent School League A Division.

NCS improved to 12-0 in league play (16-8 overall) and put a stranglehold on first place.

"I think that I'm one of the best players in the city, and I came here to prove that," Mashore said. "I think in games like tonight, when you beat the second-best team in your league by [17], you've proved that you're here to stay."

Both Mashore and Eagles Coach Jonathan Scribner are grounded in their aspirations for the program. Scribner acknowledges the unlikelihood of transforming the Eagles into an area powerhouse, but he knows he's found a gem in Mashore.

Mashore, who averages 20 points per game, attacked off the dribble using both hands, scored from long range, set up her teammates with six assists and recorded six steals.

She scored 16 points in the first half to help NCS build a 39-27 lead.

Mashore and her teammates are feeding off each other this season, and it showed again last night. Sophomore guard Taylor Baskin had 18 points, and junior Cara Hampton (14) and freshman Caitlin McClure (12) also scored in double figures.

"It all clicked," Mashore said. "When teams focus so much on me, it just opens up everyone else so much. And we have people that can finish this year. I think that people respect me more than they used to, and so [Baskin] is left wide open and knocking down shots."

Georgetown Day (18-4, 13-2) struggled against NCS's full-court pressure in the second half. Still, Mighty Hoppers freshman Darian Bridgers scored a game-high 28 points. For Mashore, playing against Bridgers provided a flashback.

"I remember my freshman year, and there were days when upperclassmen just got the best of me," Mashore said. "She's had a great season so far, but I don't think it's her time yet."

National Cathedral 71 Georgetown Day 54 Tested: NCS went 4-7 in December against tough competition, such as No. 11 Good Counsel, Parkdale and Sidwell Friends. "That is what got us prepared," Scribner said. Starting Strong: After several lackluster first-quarter performances, NCS changed its pregame routine to include sprints and four-on-four half-court games in an attempt to improve intensity early in the game. NCS led 20-13 after the first.

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