If there were any doubts of how Hope Sivori’s shooting would fare in the vast Rupp Arena, then they were put to rest on Wednesday evening. The junior scored a game-high 29 points for Mercy, but the Jaguars ultimately fell short 65-64.
With 11 of Sivori’s points coming in the fourth quarter. George Rogers Clark held a nine point lead with 3:08 left to play in the game, but Mercy was not finished as Lady Cardinal star Kennedy Igo had just picked up her fifth personal foul. After a TaZiah Jenks’ layup, Sidney Shephard came up with a critical steal and layup to cut the lead to three with just over a minute to play. Ultimately, Sivori’s runner at the buzzer did not fall and the comeback fell short.
“It sucks to see us fight back like that and to get that opportunity and not capitalize on it”, Mercy head coach Keith Baisch said, “I’m proud of our kids. It was a time when they went on a nice little run and we could have folded. “
A second half surge proved to be critical for George Rogers Clark. Down 27-21 at half, the Lady Cardinals ripped off a 16-4 early third-quarter run behind Tennessee-Martin signee Hayley Harrison’s pair of triples. The senior would hit another moments later to record a team-high nine third quarter points, after being held scoreless in the first half.
“We just lost track of her”, Baisch said, “we gave up the middle, and against them, they know how to find their shooters. “
At that point, George Rogers Clark had all the momentum, but Regan Berger also had three triples in the period, to keep Mercy in the game. However, the rebounding battle severely hurt Mercy; they gave up 22 offensive rebounds, 48 total for the game.
Igo scored a team-high 14 points and Harrison added nine points and eight rebounds. Shelbi Wilson and Brianna Byars both had 12 as well.
For Mercy, Jenks recorded 12 points and seven rebounds, while Regan Berger scored 14 points in her last high school game. The Jaguars finish their season 16-15.
George Rogers Clark will advance to the KHSAA Sweet Sixteen quarterfinals on Friday afternoon against the winner of Ryle and Murray.
Mercy will return all but three players next season. Unfortunately, Sydney Rivette missed all of her senior year with a knee injury. Despite the up and down season, Jalyn Shorter is proud. “Even though we didn’t make it as far as we wanted to, I think the team dealt well with adversity.”
Fellow senior Regan Berger echoed that sentiment. “I think we were like a roller coaster”, she said, “but honestly, not that many people thought that we would be here today.”