695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Friday, January 29th
For the 50th straight year Mercy High School and the Institute of Notre Dame clashed in "The Game" for bragging rights. Mercy brought a 30-19 series advantage into this milestone game, but it turned out to be an IND kind of night.
Both teams fumbled their way through the first half of the opening quarter, trading turnovers and other miscues. Mercy senior Katelin Holt finally put some points on the board with a lay up with 4:03 left in the quarter. IND senior Amber Kappner-Jones quickly responded with a lay up and a free throw to make it 3-2. Mercy's junior guard Morgan Cobb drained a long 3 pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 5 and the Mercy crowd exploded in delight.
IND used their speed and pressure defense to build a comfortable lead in the second quarter. The lead grew to 10 points at one point, and the Penguins took a 21-12 lead into the half.
A spirited and creative halftime routine by IND's cheerleading squad really got the crowd going and the IND players seemed to feed off this as they opened the 3rd quarter on a mission. Their first series worked to perfection as they whipped the ball around the perimeter until La'Shyra Williams broke free for an easy lay up. Another lay up by sophomore Madison Dubose made it 25-12 and IND was on their way to a commanding 28-14 lead after 3. IND's length and athleticism with Dubose, Williams and Armstrong created a big rebounding and shot blocking advantage which kept Mercy off balance.
The fourth quarter belonged to IND sophomore Ja'Lyn Armstrong who simply took over the game. Armstrong finished the game with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals. She picked up 3 first half fouls and had to sit for long stretches but made up for it at the end. She was awarded MVP for her team as they cruised to a 41-26 win to make it three straight years.
Katelin Holt was Mercy's MVP as she scored 8 points and played a solid all around game.
Photos by Nate Logan.
Ja'Lyn Armstrong and her father assistant coach Chris Armstrong.
Holt and Armstrong
Mercy head Steve Anderson and IND coach Robb Dubose.
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