February 21st, 2011

Mercy Title Defense Off To Fast Start

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer


Mercy Title Defense Off To Fast Start
photo by Brad Knoop

Jaguars dominate Male 81-39 to set up Manual showdown

Kentucky’s defending girls state basketball champions took their first step in that title defense by smothering Male 81-39 in the semifinals of the 25th District Tournament Monday night.

Mercy used its lightning speed to dominate the Bulldogs at Male’s “Pap” Glenn Gymnasium.

The Jaguars took its first lead on a 3-pointer by senior Emily Goetz, and they never looked back. Goetz hit another three in the first quarter and finished the game with nine points. Mercy had an 18-10 advantage after one period.

Mercy was sparked in the second quarter by Catherine Dircksen, as the senior picked off a Male pass and raced to the other end, drawing a foul.  She went on to hit four straight free throws in the quarter.

Mercy used a 13-4 run to pull away from the Bulldogs and during that run, sophomore Whitney Hartlage took advantage of an errant Male pass and raced in for a layup.  Hartlage scored eight points in the game. That was followed by a nice outlet from senior Juliann Miller to junior Christine Roush. Roush led the Jaguars with 18 points.

The Jags really went to work at the start of the third quarter, where its intensity and quickness left Male in the dust. A 13-0 run was sparked by the Jaguars’ super fast break offense. Hartlage hit Miller on a fast break to push the Jaguars ahead by 26. Hartlage gave the ball up again, this time to sophomore Kayla Richardson to put Mercy up 58-24.

Sophomore Makenzie Stilger picked off another Male pass and dished it to junior Courtney Roush who scored and was fouled. The lead was 40 points. Male turned the ball over 27 times.

Mercy Head Coach Mark Evans was able to use his bench during this game. Eleven Jaguars scored, including sophomores Caroline Keck and Morgan Doherty, who finished the scoring in the 42-point win over Male (14-13). Evans wanted his team to be rested and healthy. They fit that bill against Male.

It was a dominant first round win for the Jaguars (22-6) who advance to play top ranked DuPont Manual (26-4) Wednesday night for the fourth time this season.

“It’s for a district championship. But that’s not our goal,” Evans said. “If that comes, great. But the ultimate goal is to get out of the seventh region and get a shot at (a state championship) again. You just have to take it one at a time and take care of the one in front of you.”

The Jaguars beat Manual by three in December. But the Lady Crimsons beat Mercy twice in January, including Manual’s win over the Jags in the LIT Championship.

Mercy and Manual play Wednesday night at 7pm at Male High School.

 

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