February 4th, 2011

SHA, Peabody Score Pink-Out Victory

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer

SHA, Peabody Score Pink-Out Victory
photo by Brad Knoop

Valkyries edge Jaguars behind Peabody's 24 points     

Senior Maddie Peabody scored 24 points and hit five of six free throws in the last 1:20 to lead Sacred Heart past Mercy in a typical tight contest between the two schools, 77-68 on Friday night at Bellarmine University's Knights Hall.

From SHA's uniforms to the cheerleaders’ pom-poms, pink was the color of the night. The game highlighted the Norton Cancer Institute’s Breast Health program and each player for both teams was playing for someone in their lives affected by cancer.

The ball could have been pink as well. It was hard to tell because it was zooming back and forth so quickly.

Senior Morgan Clemons scored the Valkyries' first six points. The lefty finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. The biggest lead of the first quarter was only four points. 

Mercy senior Emily Goetz gave the Jaguars their first lead of the game with a 3-pointer late in the quarter. She scored seven points in the first as Mercy led by two points.

Goetz held the hot hand in the first half for Mercy, scoring 14 points, hitting six of seven shots. The lead changed hands eight times in the second quarter. Sophomore Whitney Hartlage hit a three-pointer to give Mercy a 31-28 advantage, and the Jaguars began to take charge. Hartlage also hit an incredible scoop shot while driving along the right side for a 35-31 lead.  She scored 16 for the Jaguars.

Mercy shot 51 percent in the first half. The Jaguars used a 13-5 run to end the half and led 41-33.

An aggressive Sacred Heart team set the tone in the second half. They turned the eight point deficit into a one point lead in a matter of minutes when Maddie Peabody drilled a three pointer from the right wing. She was so confident the ball was on its way into the hoop she began heading back to play defense before it swished through the net.

Peabody did the same thing on Sacred Heart’s next possession, and the Valkyries were ahead by four points midway through the third quarter.

“The ball just went in tonight, that’s all you can ask for,” Peabody said with a smile. 

She hit five 3-pointers in the game.

On its heels, Mercy made a furious rally to stay in the game. Junior Christine Roush hit a turn-around jumper over two SHA defenders to get the Jaguars within two. She scored 12.

But it was Peabody who continued to shine. One of her five assists was to senior Annamarie Campbell for a bucket inside, and a six point advantage. Peabody then hit another three-pointer to push the Valkyries ahead by nine. Sandy Gahafer’s bucket at the third quarter buzzer kept Sacred Heart in command, 59-50.

Peabody and Campbell connected two more times early in the fourth quarter. Campbell finished 14 points and eight rebounds. 

Mercy managed one final run when junior Courtney Roush forced a Sacred Heart turnover. That led to a Hartlage three-pointer to pull the Jaguars within four. 

But Sacred Heart freshman Raven Merriweather answered with a three-pointer of her own. Peabody then hit five of six free throws in the last 1:20 to seal the victory

“We’ve lost four games by 12 points. We knew where we were, we just needed to finish the ball game and that’s what we did today,” Sacred Heart coach Donna Moir said.   

The Valkyries avenged a December loss to Mercy and it’s not unusual for these teams to play each other three or four times in a season.   

“Coach Evans and I have had a lot of battles,” Moir added. “He’s won his share, I’ve won my share. Hopefully we’ll have one more (this year).” 

The two teams will probably meet in next month’s Seventh Region tournament.

For video highlights from the game, visit the "CSN TV" section on the right side of the LouisvilleCatholicSports.com home page.


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