When Mashaud and Darry Moore were growing up, they'd play basketball for hours in the front yard, often with friends from the neighborhood joining in.

The two brothers would almost always team up, leading to some complaints from others.

"Sometimes they'd get mad, like, ‘You can't be on the same team,'" Mashaud said. "So we'd switch it up sometimes."

Opponents these days don't have that option.

Mashaud, a 6-1 senior forward, and Darry, a 6-3 sophomore post, are two key figures on the John Tyler basketball team.

Mashaud leads the team in scoring while Darry is one of the team's tallest players and provides big minutes off the bench.

Together they'll play a pivotal role in the Lions' late-season push for a playoff spot. John Tyler (8-12, 2-4 District 11-6A) currently sits in fifth place in district, with the top four making the postseason.

"Mashaud seems like he's got his scoring streak back the last couple of games and he's getting in his groove," JT coach Cedeno Clark said. "Darry coming off the bench, we're going to need him to play some crucial minutes for us. It's going to be very, very huge."

It's nothing new for the Moore brothers, who have been playing basketball together since they were young. Despite being two years younger, Darry was always big for his age and the two often played on the same AAU teams.

Much of their basketball experience comes from playing in the front yard.

"Every day, that's all we did - outside all the time until 12 o'clock sometimes," Mashaud said.

Darry said the competition, whether one-on-one or with neighborhood kids, made them better players, even if he didn't always win head-to-head against big brother.

"Usually he always wins, but I still talk mess about him," Darry said. "We just go back and forth. Sometimes I beat him but most of the time he'd come out on top."

Mashaud is averaging a team-high 19.7 points per game to go with 6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

His scoring is aided by an unselfish younger brother.

"It doesn't matter to me if I score or not, I just want to see him score and I want to see the team do good," Darry said. "I'm just trying to help him as much as I can to score the ball. If I get the chance I will, most of the time I'm just trying to help him."

Darry averages 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game and often does the dirty work down low that doesn't always get noticed.

"I just like his mid-range; he's got good mid-range," Mashaud said. "His attitude - he works hard, he never complains. He's aggressive in the paint."

The kinship between the Moore brothers goes beyond basketball.

Last year Clark noticed how Mashaud helped his younger brother acclimate to high school life.

"I saw Mashaud being a real big brother to him and I complimented him on how he carried Darry along while Darry was a freshman coming onto the campus with him already being on the campus," Clark said.

Clark said Mashaud gives Darry plenty of constructive criticism and even more pats on the back when required when on the court.

But the brothers don't just compete in basketball, also excelling in cross country and in the classroom as well.

"They are very competitive in the classroom," Clark said. "Both of them are primarily A students. I think it's outstanding that they also compete with their grades as well as basketball."

And that, Clark said, goes back to their parents, who can be found at JT games cheering the brothers on.

"More than anything both of them have great parents - mother, father is very supportive of what we're doing here in the program and they always have been, always encouraging," Clark said.

Mashaud said he never really thought he'd play varsity basketball with his brother, but his mom always told him otherwise.

"When I was little my mom was like, ‘When y'all go to John Tyler you'll get to play with each other for your last year,'" Mashaud said.

Now that Mashaud's senior year is here, the two Moore brothers are making the most of the opportunity.

"I just want to see him go out with a bang this year," Darry said. "I just want to help him do that."

Added Mashaud: "It's like the best feeling I've had in a while. This is my last year so this means something to me to be able to play with him my last time."

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