No. 1 Mercy dismantles John Carroll Clinical Magic's record school's best in 26 years

February 20, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Mercy, rated the best team in the metropolitan area, showed why for the second day in a row as it stretched a five-point fourth-quarter lead into a 54-42 Catholic League conquest of John Carroll in Bel Air last night.

Where the Magic's accurate shooting and rebounding highlighted a 73-64 victory at No. 18 Fallston Tuesday night, a clinic-like show in a 20-point second quarter and a determined effort down the stretch took care of No. 6 John Carroll (17-6, 9-5).

The victory boosted the Magic to 21-2, its best record since an unbeaten year in the 1970s when Mary Stein was the coach and a junior named Mary Ella Franz was a key player.

Franz is now Mary Ella Marion, head coach of the Baltimore team, and this time she watched her charges improve their league record to 11-2. Only a Saturday meeting with rival Institute of Notre Dame stands in the way of tying Seton Keough for the regular-season championship.

"We made the baskets when we had to, and during that second quarter [a 13-4 run in less than three minutes]," Marion said. "I was pleased the way we moved the ball so well. And when they jammed the middle, it left the outside open, and we didn't hesitate about shooting from there."

From a 45-40 advantage at 6: 40 of the last quarter, Mercy got three baskets and John Carroll missed eight straight shots and scored just two points the rest of the way.

For most of those closing minutes, Mercy players did a good job of getting the ball to senior point guard Shannon Cohen, and she was equal to the task. She took charge of the offense, dribbled away precious time, then made three free throws in the final minute.

"I felt we had to stay together, play as a team the way we have been," said Cohen, who followed teammate Ashlee Courter (14 points) with 13 points.

Pub Date: 2/20/97

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