Seton Keough upsets Mercy in battle of ranked teams No. 16 Gators take home 38-30 win over No. 5 Magic

Girls basketball

January 10, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Before last night's game against Seton Keough, Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion received a plaque, an inscribed ball, and flowers commemorating her 200th career victory, which came Wednesday against Mount de Sales.

Once play began, however, it was the 16th-ranked Gators who did most of the celebrating.

Sophomore Meaghan Allan scored a game-high 16 points, and Seton Keough held host No. 5 Mercy to 22 percent shooting in a 38-30 upset victory.

The win helped the Gators (5-7 overall, 2-2 in the Catholic League), who shared last season's regular-season league crown with Mercy, avoid a 1-3 start in the league. For coach Jim Stromberg, it was the latest step in a season-long building process.

"I thought this was the best game we've played this year," Stromberg said. "Against Spalding on Wednesday, we thought we played well even though we lost. We were encouraged coming in, and we played even better tonight."

The Gators led from start to finish, using good shot selection and intense half-court defense to take control of the game. Then, leading 30-27 with 5: 50 to play, the Gators finished off Mercy by scoring eight of the next nine points.

After looking so polished at times earlier this season, the Magic (11-5, 3-1) never got on track on either the offensive or defensive ends of the court.

"They executed much, much better than we did," said Marion. "We kind of let them do what they wanted to do on offense. They were getting baskets or getting the rebounds, and we were just not putting any pressure on them."

Jamie Vogtman led the Magic with 15 points. Nessa Klein and Keisha Blackwell added eight and seven, respectively, for the victors.

The Gators started quickly, jumping out to a 10-1 lead in the first 3: 18 as Allan connected for a pair of three pointers and a 15-foot jumper.

Seton Keough hit four of its first five shots while holding the Magic to 1-for-10 over the first seven minutes.

Three-pointers by Ashlee Courter and Vogtman brought the Magic to within five by the end of the first quarter, but the Gators then built their lead to as much as 11 before heading into the

break with a 21-14 lead.

Stromberg said the majesty of the evening helped inspire his team.

"You come into a packed gym against a successful program like Mercy, and you want to play well in front of them," Stromberg said.

Pub Date: 1/10/98

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