Mercy in groove, beats No. 5 Walbrook, 68-52

December 13, 1992|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer Mike Frainie contributed to this story.

Mercy appears to like playing ranked teams more than unranked ones.

After starting its season with losses to two unranked teams, No. 10 Mercy beat a ranked team GBWB Pre-Christmas Mixer

for the second straight day, topping No. 5 Walbrook, 68-52, yesterday in the Greater Baltimore Women's Basketball's Pre-Christmas Mixer at the College of Notre Dame.

Mercy (2-2), which edged No. 8 Bryn Mawr, 49-47, in overtime on Friday, used excellent passing, ball-handling and rebounding to beat Walbrook (0-2).

The game was close for most of the first half, with Mercy in front, but the Sharpshooters scored the final 12 points of the half for a 36-23 lead. Then, Mercy, scored 13 straight in the third quarter for a 51-28 margin.

"We need to have the team involved in the offense," Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion said. "Everyone's contributing, not just with points. In . . . the last two games, we've finally hit some kind of groove."

The whole team was involved in the offense. Gayle Belz scored 18 and added 12 rebounds. Christina Williamson added 18 points and nine rebounds. Shannon Burke pitched in with 12 points.

Mercy's passing keyed the offense. The Sharpshooters used good ball movement to find holes in the Walbrook defense and often come up with easy shots.

Jenni Hershberger finished with eight assists for Mercy, and Christa Rohe handed out seven more. Rohe had three assists during the 13-point run.

"We were just finding the open people," Belz said. "They were finding the holes."

Walbrook did rattle Mercy at times with its full-court pressure, but the Sharpshooters often broke it and wound up with fast breaks and easy baskets.

"We thought we could press and steal the ball," Walbrook coach Pete Connally said. "They handled the ball well."

Rebounding also helped Mercy. The Sharpshooters out-rebounded the Warriors, 35-16. And 16 of the Sharpshooter rebounds were on the offensive end as they repeatedly got second and third chances.

The opening moments of the game gave a preview of what was to come. Mercy won the opening tip and missed its first shot. The Sharpshooters got the rebound on that shot as well as the next two before Williamson made a jumper.

Mercy grabbed six offensive rebounds in the first four minutes and had eight for the quarter.

The game was close until late in the second quarter. Tina Fauntleroy (24 points) sparked a Walbrook rally and cut the deficit to 24-23 with 2:40 left in the half on a layup. Mercy then took over. Belz made two free throws 13 seconds later. After a Walbrook miss, Williamson took a Rohe pass and scored with 1:52 left.

Burke, who came off the bench, then made a layup, a jumper and two free throws before Belz added two free throws to finish the run.

Walbrook struggled for the second straight game. The Warriors, routed by No. 1 Western, 80-32, on Tuesday, never got in the groove offensively.

"Our first two games have been disasters," Connally said. "Now, we have to regroup. Hopefully, we can play better."

Top-ranked Western (3-0) used a 23-4 run midway through the second quarter to overcome a 13-12 Friendly lead and defeat the Patriots (2-2) of Prince George's County, 82-41. Danielle Davis and Chanel Wright led the Doves with 15 points each.

Friendly used a pressure defense to attack the ball, forcing the Doves into several costly turnovers early. Midway through the second quarter, Western coach Breezy Bishop switched to a half-court man-to-man defense, which led to the Western run.

Tesha Nixon led the Patriots with 15 points.

Archbishop Spalding topped Coolidge, 53-27, in an earlier game. Amy Langville led the way for the Cavaliers by scoring 20 points. The Cavaliers improved their record to 5-0 with the victory.

Before that, Seton Keough defeated Dunbar, 48-34, and National Cathedral beat No. 9 Lake Clifton, 59-37.

Debbie Kasten and Tiffany Stewart led Seton Keough with 10 points apiece. Rolanda Washington led Dunbar with 15. Candace Johnson-Hampton and Stephanie Ready led National Cathedral with 16 points apiece, and Tammy Lea led Lake Clifton/Eastern with 10.

In the final game, Philadelphia's Cardinal O'Hara (3-0) got 27 points from Chrissie Donahue to defeat H.D. Woodson of Washington (3-1), 61-42.

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