Both times St. John’s and McNamara played last season, the Cadets pulled out close victories en route to winning the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
While St. John’s returned four starters from last season, including All-Met Player of the Year Azzi Fudd, McNamara also brought back the majority of its contributors. The Mustangs’ trio of Jakia Brown-Turner, Aliyah Matharu and Madison Scott is one of the country’s most formidable.
On Tuesday night, McNamara will seek its first win against St. John’s since Feb. 2016 when it hosts the Cadets in a matchup of the area’s top two teams. The game will feature four ESPN Top 100 recruits from the players’ respective classes.
McNamara and St. John’s are ranked in the top five of multiple national polls. While St. John’s and Paul VI have won the majority of the WCAC titles over the past decade, McNamara is seeking its first conference crown since 2008.
This season, McNamara has taken down some of the nation’s top teams to remain undefeated. St. John’s has also claimed quality wins but fell to Miami Country Day (Fla.) on Dec. 20.
McNamara and St. John’s will play again Feb. 9 before a possible postseason battle.
1. McNamara (18-0) Last ranked: 1
The Mustangs put up 94 or more points in each of their wins over Holy Cross this season.
2. St. John’s (19-1) LR: 2
The Cadets continued dominating WCAC foes with a 60-40 win over Paul VI.
3. New Hope (23-3) LR: 3
During the Rose Classic Super Jam in New York, the Tigers claimed a 57-32 win over Regis Jesuit (Colo.), one of the nation’s top teams.
4. Edison (13-1) LR: 4
Guard Carole Miller notched 18 points in the Eagles’ 55-41 victory against Marshall.
5. Riverdale Baptist (18-3) LR: 5
In the 757 Challenge in Virginia, the Crusaders beat Norview, 52-40.
6. Freedom-South Riding (16-0) LR: 6
Coach Teddy Whitney’s squad took down Tuscarora, 77-48, after beating the Titans by two points in December.
7. Woodbridge (13-1) LR: 8
At the Say Yes to Success Showcase in New York, the Vikings beat Life Center Academy (N.J.), 55-40.
8. Georgetown Visitation (14-2) LR: 9
Taylor Webster and Ellie Mitchell combined for 32 points in the Cubs’ 57-51 victory over Holy Cross.
9. National Christian (13-5) LR: 7
Coach Henry Anglin’s squad fell to St. Rose (N.J.) before defeating Summit Academy (N.Y.) in the Rose Classic Super Jam.
10. Paul VI (15-5) LR: 10
After dominating Carroll, the Panthers fell to St. John’s, 60-40.
11. Bishop Ireton (15-4) LR: 12
The Cardinals defeated Good Counsel, St. John Paul and Elizabeth Seton in consecutive days.
12. Rock Creek Christian (7-3) LR: 11
Coach Malik Waleed’s squad hasn’t played in two weeks because of the weather.
13. Old Mill (12-1) LR: 13
On Wednesday, the Patriots face perhaps their toughest Anne Arundel County test against South River.
14. Whitman (11-1) LR: 14
The Vikings are 3-0 in games decided by four or fewer points.
15. Gwynn Park (10-3) LR: 15
A year after losing to Oxon Hill by 24 points, the Yellowjackets beat the Clippers, 71-62.
16. South River (12-1) LR: 17
Forward Ashlynn Burrows’s jumper in the final seconds powered the Seahawks to a 50-48 victory over Chesapeake.
17. O’Connell (10-5) LR: 18
Coach Aggie McCormick-Dix’s group snapped its two-game losing streak with a 57-49 win over Capital Christian.
18. Churchill (12-1) LR: 19
Guard Brittini Martin combined for 43 points in the Bulldogs’ wins over Sherwood and Walter Johnson.
19. Pallotti (11-6) LR: 16
The Panthers have lost this season to perhaps Baltimore’s top three teams: St. Frances, McDonogh and Roland Park Country.
20. Oakland Mills (12-1) LR: 20
A week after falling to Howard, the Scorpions coasted by Mount Hebron and Centennial.
Dropped out: None
On the bubble: West Springfield (13-2), Howard (11-2), Oakton (15-2), Sidwell Friends (11-3)