January 15th, 2020

Mercy outlasts Manual

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 

Mercy outlasts Manual
Mercy outlasts Manual/ photo by Dalton Pence

Despite having a rough night offensively, the Mercy basketball team pulled out a 52-46 win at home against duPont Manual on Tuesday evening. The Jaguars made just three shots from behind-the-arc on 19 total attempts, but free throws put the defending sixth-region champions on top.


“Tonight we did not play well”, Mercy head coach Keith Baisch explained. “Manual had a lot to do with that; I think they outplayed us up until the last few minutes of the game. Jeff (Sparks) did a great job getting his kids prepared and ready to go. We told our kids the last couple days in practice that they (Manual) are not having the best of years right now, but they’re young and very talented; they came out and took it to us.”


The teams spent the first three quarters trading buckets and the lead, with Mercy up four points going into the final period. Manual opened the fourth with a 7-0 run that prompted a switch in defensive tactics for the Jaguars. Paige Taylor’s three-pointer in the corner knotted the score up at 40 and Mercy’s defense began wreaking havoc.


“Coach (Mark) Evans made a great call going to man-to-man defense, which resulted in an immediate steal and score”, Baisch explained. “That kind of set the tone and got us going in a rhythm.”


The senior duo of Ta’Ziah Jenks and Hope Sivori created key steals and knocked down a significant amount of free throws to put the game away. Taylor finished with a team-high 20 points and eight rebounds, while Sivori added 15 points and four assists. 


Despite having a tough night from the field, Jenks impacted the game in a variety of different ways. Along with 13 points, she recorded seven rebounds, seven deflections, and two steals. “TT (Jenks) was trying to learn to play with the mask on and she had a rough night because of that”, Baisch said. “You can’t fault this kid’s effort, especially at the end of the game; she knocked down big free throws to kind of seal the game and had a key boxout at the very end. You have to applaud the kid for fighting.”


For Baisch, the turnovers were his main frustration against Manual; the Jaguars turned it over 20 times against the Lady Crimson. “I think a lot of our turnovers came off of their turnovers”, he said. “One of my keys on the board tonight was that we had to execute on opponent turnovers. We did not do that tonight and that was something that was a dominant stat for us against Bullitt East. On offense we have to be smooth, make right decisions, and not hand the ball right over.”


Mercy (12-4) will travel to Butler on Friday for a primetime sixth-region girls’ basketball matchup at 7:30.


Manual was led by Kennedy Lee and Sydne Tolbert with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Lady Crimson fall to 10-4 and will return to action on Saturday against Casey County at George Rogers Clark high school. 


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