After finishing 24-1 last year, No. 1 McDonogh still had one bit of unfinished business left -- avenging that single loss to Sidwell Friends.
The Eagles took care of that yesterday.
Behind 20 points from Vicki Brick and 18 points and 15 rebounds from Greichaly Cepero, the Eagles got their revenge, 62-50, running the area's longest girls basketball win streak to 27 games.
Brick said there was plenty of incentive after losing 79-60 to the Washington team last December.
"I remember last year's game and it wasn't pretty," said Brick.
"We just wanted to come out this year and finish on a high note, knowing it's the last chance for this team to get even."
Yesterday's game was much closer than the final score would indicate. The Quakers (6-1) were within 51-50 with 1: 46 left in the game, but the host Eagles (9-0) shut them out the rest of the way.
Jazmine Norton's three-point baseline jumper for a 56-50 lead with 40 seconds left all but sealed the victory.
"That really put an exclamation point on it," said Norton, a senior guard who contributed six points and four steals. "My shots hadn't been falling, but my coach said to take them if I'm open and they'll fall."
Shooting was a problem for both teams early as a handful of shots each way rimmed in and out. Neither team could score for nearly three minutes.
The Quakers hit their stride first, taking their biggest lead, 16-10, early in the second quarter as the Eagles struggled against a 2-1-2 zone.
"Their zone defense was really good," said Cepero, a 6-2 transfer from Puerto Rico. "We were not able to get the ball to the inside." Early on, the Eagles relied on their outside shooting, but it wasn't a great day from the perimeter as they finished 6-for-20 from three-point range.
Katie Nelson, however, hit four three-pointers, including two that helped the Eagles make their move late in the second quarter. The Eagles also tightened their defense and looked inside more to Cepero, who capped a three-point play for a 42-41 lead with 1: 09 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles never trailed again. But they couldn't shake the Quakers until the final 1: 19 after Sidwell Friends' top player, Ivy Gardner (14 points), picked up her fifth foul.
The Quakers' Robynn Scott-Clayton hit a wide-open layup to pull within 51-50 with 1: 46 to go, but the Eagles' man-to-man defense allowed Friends only one more shot.
Brick, who scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, drove for a layup to push the margin to 53-50. Aisha Mason then made a steal that Norton eventually converted for the 56-53 lead.
The Quakers threw the ball away twice in the final minute as Brick made two free throws, fed Cepero and hit a buzzer-beating layup off a long pass from Nelson.
"You've got to hand it to Brick," said Sidwell Friends coach Anne Renninger. "She single-handedly gets the team to move."
Pub Date: 12/20/98