On Friday night, Mercy defeated Moore soundly 63-18 in the sixth region semifinals at Valley High School. A spectacular defensive outing put Mercy on top early and they would not look back.
“We played a little tight against PRP the other night”, Mercy head coach Keith Baisch said, “I was proud of our kids tonight because we came out and did what we needed to do.”
The Jaguars opened up the scoring effort with Hope Sivori and Regan Berger both trading three-pointers, resulting in a quick 9-0 run. Tiffanie Floyd’s jumper would break Moore’s scoreless drought shortly after, but Mercy continued to capitalize on turnovers, up 26-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The next period was more of the same, with Mercy holding a 43-10 halftime lead. Sivori’s 11 points and five assists and Paige Taylor’s 14 points and nine rebounds led the way for Baisch’s squad. The Mustangs turned the ball over 16 times in the first two quarters and shot a staggering 11.5% from the field.
The Jaguars activated the 35-point running clock in the first minute of the third quarter and continued to cruise until the final buzzer.
Taylor recorded a 16 point-13 rebound double-double, Sivori finished with 11 points and six assists, and TaZiah Jenks scored a game-high 18 points.
Mercy finished with 20 overall steals. “Our defense starts with Hope and TT up top”, Taylor explained, “when we speed them up it just causes the other team to make bad passes, and that leads to the front court getting steals.”
“That (scoring off turnovers) was something that we’ve been trying to work and focus on”, Baisch said, “when we get a turnover, let’s do something with it. Tonight our passing was probably the best I’ve seen all year.”
Moore ends the season at 19-10, while Mercy will advance to Monday night’s regional final against Butler at Valley High School.
Despite the impressive win, Baisch is immediately focused on the next game. “When we come out against Butler on Monday night, we need to come out free again”, he said, “just go out there, enjoy it and have fun, and hopefully come out with a win.”
MOORE: 6 4 7 1- 18
MERCY: 26 17 13 7- 63