Mercy holds off big rally by Spalding for 53-49 win Vogtman, Courter keep Magic on top in clutch

Girls basketball

January 13, 1998|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN STAFF

Four seconds were left on the clock last night at Mercy and finally there was nothing a determined Archbishop Spalding team could do but watch.

The host Magic had a two-point lead and standout junior center Jamie Vogtman, who had done a little of everything throughout the game, fittingly was at the free-throw line for two.

It wasn't until her second one dropped after spending some time rattling around the rim that the No. 7-ranked Magic could feel secure in coming away with a well-earned 53-49 win over the No. 16 Cavaliers in Catholic League play.

"We needed to win a game like that," said Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion, whose Magic (12-5) was coming off a 38-30 loss to Seton Keough on Friday. "Spalding is a very good basketball team -- strong and confident. What impressed me about my team was how we stepped up and hit the baskets when we needed to."

After the Magic opened the third quarter with a 15-4 run to take a commanding 38-22 lead on its home court, it didn't look as if Vogtman and Co. would need to hit any big shots in the fourth quarter.

But the Cavaliers, who at 12-6 on the season have already doubled their entire win output of last year's 6-20 team, didn't quit.

"Last year, if we were down 18, I'd see blank looks on their faces. But this year we know we can do it," said Spalding coach Deb Taylor. "We haven't been at this level where Mercy has and we're still learning. Everyone stepped up, played tough and believed in themselves. I'm happy."

A three-pointer from Lauryn Schaech with 38 seconds left in the third period, followed by a three-point play by Courtney Dixon on the Cavaliers' next possession, cut the Mercy lead to 40-30 going into the last eight minutes.

The first three of those minutes in the fourth were all Spalding with center Jen Butterwei (16 points) converting a three-point play five seconds in. When Butterwei took an interior pass from a driving Amy Campion and scored inside with 4: 51 left, the Cavaliers had their first lead at 44-42.

Vogtman, who finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds, six steals and four blocks, then took over and did the finishing off with help from Ashlee Courter, who hit two threes down the stretch.

In the final two minutes, with Mercy protecting a 51-49 lead, Vogtman played big on the defensive end, first getting a steal, then jumping out to block a three try from Schaech, and getting another block on Campion down low.

"I try to be a leader on the team," said Vogtman. "When the games come down to the end, I know I have to step up. We worked well as a team -- showing a lot of patience and staying under control. This was a big win for us."

Pub Date: 1/13/98

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