By James Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 8, 2011; 8:55 PM
About a year after she started playing basketball at six years old, McNamara senior guard Taylor Brown began watching video cassettes of And1 Mixtapes, a collection of street-ball players known for their acrobatic, high-flying plays. For her, it was inspiration.
So in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game against Elizabeth Seton, the defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion, Brown attempted one of those childhood plays. Racing towards the basket with defenders crossing her path, McNamara senior Taylor Brown took off inside the free-throw line. And as she did, she spun the ball behind her back and back to her right hand before finishing with a crowd-rousing layup. It was literally an and-one.
Excited, teammate Chanice Lee turned to the McNamara crowd at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro and waved her arms up and down. "Because Taylor's energy, it makes all of us go," Lee said.
Brown, a Georgetown recruit, proved again why she's among the region's elite players, tallying 26 points, seven steals and a handful of acrobatic plays en route to a 58-43 win over Seton.
"It was just that moment in the game when I was in the zone and I don't know, I did the behind-the-back move," said Brown, who successfully converted two behind-the-back moves with a span of thirty seconds in the fourth quarter.
To learn the play, Brown has seen those tapes countless times, and occasionally watches them now. (She has even transferred some of them to DVD, she said.) But to complete it and play at her break-neck tempo, it takes a special player.
"I think she's an outstanding player," Seton Coach Jonathan Scruggs said. "There is no question about that. To me, what takes player to the next level is when they do it on both ends of the floor. And she went to the next level [Tuesday] for me."
Seton was without its leading scorer, senior guard Alyssa Albanese (New Jersey Institute of Technology), who sprained her ankle on Friday. Instead, senior forward Melanie Dunning led the Roadrunners with a team-high 12 points.
Seton held a five-point lead over a sluggish McNamara (16-8, 10-4) after one quarter. But to start the second quarter, Brown was back as the primary point guard and pushing the speed of the game. And despite her slender 5 feet 6, Brown proved to be a pest to Seton (11-11, 6-8), at one point forcing three straight turnover in the second quarter.
"When [Brown] does this, we just say, 'Wow,' " Chanice Lee said. "I think sometimes she even wows herself."