The Mercy girls’ basketball team opened up the 2019-20 campaign on the road with a commanding 83-41 victory over Eastern on Monday evening.
The Jaguars led by just two points midway through the first quarter, but quickly reeled off a 15-2 run en route to a 30 point halftime lead.
For Mercy coach Keith Baisch, defense proved to be the spark of the run.
“We’ve been preaching to our kids that defense can be our best offense”, Baisch said. “Defense is what it starts with. There’s some days in practice where we’ll put a really good group together on offense and every time they score, you’re on the line running. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing; we should have the same intensity and goals. We played a lot of kids and with it being their first game, I’m sure they were a little nervous.”
“You have to play defense to win championships”, Mercy point guard Hope Sivori explained. “We woke ourselves up.”
The Jaguars ended with six recorded steals.
On offense, the senior trio of Sivori, TaZiah Jenks, and Paige Taylor scores over half of the Jaguars’ points on Monday evening. Sivori led all scorers with 18, while Jenks and Taylor scored 15 and 12 respectively.
“It’s mostly about leadership”, Sivori explained when discussing the role of the senior class. “We have a lot of young freshmen and sophomores, so our goal is to help them grow and stay confident while keeping composure.”
Despite it only being one game, Baisch is happy with result. “We got out of here healthy”, he explained. “The kids are sharing the basketball; that’s one thing we are doing extremely well in practice is sharing the ball and taking care of each other.”
The Jaguars (1-0) will hit the road on Thursday, taking on Bardstown at 7:30.
Marissa Gasaway led Eastern with 18 points; the Lady Eagles (0-1) will return to action on Thursday when they host Central