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GIRLS BASKETBALL: No repeat CHSL performance for Mercy WITH VIDEO

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DETROIT — The second verse did not turn out the same as the first.

As much as Sunday’s Catholic League A-B championship game seemed like an instant replay of a year earlier, when Farmington Hills Mercy came back from a 12-point halftime deficit to win its first Catholic League championship in 27 seasons, there were some key indications it was not.

First, this sophomore-laden team — which started four 10th-graders — was not the same veteran crew that rallied from that deficit in last year’s game to beat Livonia Ladywood.

And secondly, the Marlins were facing a veteran Dearborn Divine Child squad — one that won the Class B state championship last spring — which wasn’t going to let them mount any sort of a rally.

Divine Child (17-2) merely extended its halftime advantage, pushing it as high as 25 points before both teams cleared the benches to finish off the game, as the Falcons cruised to a 53-36 to clinch their first CHSL title since 1999.

“We referenced the same thing. We were 12 down at the half, score slightly different, but obviously we couldn’t get it going in the second half,” said Mercy coach Gary Morris, who mentioned the similarity to last year’s comeback in the halftime locker room, full well realizing that there weren’t many of this year’s Marlins (14-5) who’d been a part of that rally.

It looked like Mercy was going to be able to slug with the Falcons early in the first quarter, taking an 11-8 lead on the second 3-pointer of the quarter by Allie Gorcyca (10 points). But a 10-2 run to close out the quarter would give Divine Child an 18-13 lead going into the second, while a 10-0 second-quarter run helped the Falcons lead 34-22 at the half.

Morgan Blair had 14 of her 17 points in the first half, despite picking up three fouls in the first two quarters.

“I thought in the first half, they shot extremely well ... so you’ve got to give them a lot of credit. We may have helped them a little bit, in that we were a half-step slow in closing out, we didn’t have our hands up. But you’ve got to give them credit. They hit a lot of open shots, 3s, 2s, whatever they were,” Morris said.

“Obviously, 34-22, you don’t want to give up 34 points in a half, it makes it hard to win. So we addressed that at the half, saying we need to play better defense, we need to limit them to like 20 points, but unfortunately for us in the second half, we couldn’t hit shots.”

Gorcyca would hit another 3-pointer in the third, matching the second-half-opening salvo from Rosanna Reynolds (20 points), but it would be the last field goal the Marlins would score before both teams put in the reserves with 3:32 left in the game.

“I remember we were stuck on ... what was it, 28? ... forever. You’ve got to give them credit. They played great. Their game plan is simple — they’re going to play half-court defense, mix it up between man and zone,” Morris said of the Divine Child squad that handed Mercy three of its five losses this regular season.

“They’re a veteran team. I’m proud of us, though, to get here. I mean, we’re an inexperienced team from last year, young. ... So for us to get here and play in this game is a very nice accomplishment for our group.”

Candice Leatherwood, the sophomore who played the most extensive role on last year’s team, finished with nine points.

Matthew B. Mowery covers girls basketball for The Oakland Press. Email him at matt.mowery@oakpress.com and follow all the prep action on Twitter @MIPrepZone.



DIVINE CHILD — Rosanna Reynolds 4 (3) 3-4 20; Nicole Urbanick 2 1-2 5; Morgan Blair 4 (2) 3-4 17; Cara Miller (1) 0-0 3; Malaysha Cammon 1 0-2 2; Mallory Myler 1 0-0 2; Shanna Morrison 1 0-0 2; Hannah Brefeld 1 0-0 2; Totals 14 (6) 7-12 53.

MERCY — Sam Bauer 1 (1) 0-0 5; Candice Leatherwood 2 (1) 2-3 9; Sarah Benson 0 1-2 1; Tyler Parlor 0 3-4 3; Allie Gorcyca (3) 1-2 10; Micaela Mazur 1 0-0 2; Natalie Capatina 1 0-0 2; Meghan Tarrance 2 0-0 4; Totals 7 (5) 7-11 36.


DDC 18 16 10 9 — 53

FHM 13 9 6 8 — 36

Records: Mercy 14-5; Divine Child 17-2

Last Updated: 2/26/2012 5:53:16 PM EST

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