On Wednesday night, Mercy was able to fend off Male 73-67. The victory snapped a five-game skid for the Jaguars.
“It was a great win”, Mercy head coach Keith Baisch said, “I just loved the way our kids came out; they’ve been under some tough situations lately.”
Male led all of the first quarter, with both offenses in full force. TaZiah Jenks would give Mercy its first lead early in the second quarter off of an and-one lay-up. A pair of three-pointers and free throws from Hope Sivori extended the Mercy lead to 11 at intermission.
A 9-0 third quarter run saw the Bulldogs threatening and an Alana Striverson three-pointer cut the Mercy lead to two heading into the final period.
Then Sivori took over. Adding a triple, two free throws, and two assists in the first minutes of the fourth quarter capped off a 10-0 Jaguar run. Mercy would not look back; Male was able to cut into the lead, but it was too late.
“That’s the Hope we need”, Baisch said, “the decision-making and the stuff she did tonight, that’s the Hope we know.”
Sivori finished the night with 24 points, while Jenks led Mercy with 29 points and seven rebounds.
Jenks, one of the top players in the region, has turned it up late. After scoring 37 on Tuesday night, she followed up with another monster performance on Wednesday. “My teammates are giving me more confidence driving”, Jenks said.
For Baisch, this is no surprise. “She has really stepped it up in practice”, he said, “she’s taking things in more. That’s an emotional leader we need out there.”
Male was paced in scoring by Striverson (16), Cameron Browning (12), Joelle Johnson (13), and Destiny Combs (15). The Bulldogs drop to 15-6 and will return to action on Friday when they travel to Ballard.
“Male’s a tremendous team, give them a ton of credit”, said Baisch, “I was proud of our kids for fighting and making them have to work for everything…If we can play defense the offense will come.”
The Jaguars (12-11) will play at Sacred Heart in a huge rivalry game on Sunday night.
Improvement is the main focus for Mercy going forward. “Not everybody was on the same page, and now I think we’re there. We still have a ways to go, but I think we’re in the right direction”, said Baisch.
MALE: 19 10 20 18- 67
MERCY: 18 22 11 22- 73