The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

March 2, 2014

McLane rallies to beat Mercer in AA title tilt

- — In 1986, the Mercer Lady M’s won the school’s first and only girls basketball District 10 title at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House, but in the same gym on Saturday in 2014, the squad in blue wasn’t so lucky.

Mercer led the Gen. McLane Lady Lancers 27-19 entering the fourth quarter, but the Lancers outscored the Lady M’s 19-4 in the final frame to win the Class AA title tilt 38-31.

“This was a big stage and I am still so proud of my girls,” said Mustangs’ head coach Aaron Cook. “GM holds the trophy, but I still think we were overall the better team. I have nothing bad to say about anything we did. This is the District 10 championship and those are 16- and 17-year-old girls who absolutely played their guts out. No one can take that away from them.”

Like many games for the Lady M’s this year, the girls were hot from behind the three-point line, scoring 7 treys, including three from Lexie Arkwright in the first half. Only one basket for Mercer was a 2-point field goal and that came from Arkwright with 8.5 seconds remaining in the game.

Mercer held a slight 10-6 lead over Gen. McLane at the end of the first quarter and maintained that lead during the second quarter, taking a 21-15 advantage heading into the locker room.

Coming back from the break, the Lady M’s scored two big 3s on shots from Adelyn Cook and Haylie Glass to take the biggest lead of the game — an 8-point 27-19 advantage to start the fourth.

GM’s Katie Rodrigues scored her team’s first 7 points in the final quarter, including an and-one bucket on a steal that cut the Lancers’ deficit to 27-26 with 5:35 to play.

Neither team would score again until 1:40 left in the game when the Lancers’ Michelle Jahn hit a big three that gave GM a lead they would never relinquish. Two Mercer fouls would send Rodrigues and Jahn to the line where they sunk 4-for-4 to extend the lead to 33-27.

Mercer’s Jordan Fisher drove to the hoop and was fouled with 56.4 remaining in the game. She made both of her shots from the charity stripe to give Mercer their first points of the fourth quarter.

Jahn scored GM’s final 5 points of the game on a bucket under the hoop and three foul shots. Arkwright scored Mercer’s final points of the game with 8.5 ticks left on the clock.

Arkwright led the Lady M’s with 17 points and was perfect from the foul line (6-6). Fifteen of those points occured in the first half. She also grabbed 10 boards and had a handful of steals. Cook, Glass, Aubrie Angermeier and Alexis Mills each had a trey for the Lady M’s, while Fisher added her two free throws. Mills also had three steals for Mercer.

For GM, Rodrigues had a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double, as well as three steals and two assists. Jahn had 10 points, including a 5-for-6 performance from the line during the final minute of the game.

“It is very difficult to get to this game and the girls had a lot of weight on their shoulders,” said Cook. “I think it showed. Nerves were there. But whoever we meet next, they’re in for a battle, because I’ll tell you what, we are a very good basketball team who had a bad quarter. It’s not over yet.”

Mercer advances to the PIAA playoffs Friday. They play the No. 4 team out of District 7 (WPIAL). Gen. McLane will square off vs. the No. 7 team out of the WPIAL.

———

DISTRICT 10 CLASS AA CHAMPIONSHIP

MERCER    10    11    6    4    31

GEN. McLANE    6    9    4    19    38


MERCER — Fisher 0-2-2-2, Cook 1-0-0-3, Angermeier 1-0-1-3, Mills 1-0-0-3, McKinney 0-0-0-0, Glass 1-0-0-3, Arkwright 4-6-6-17. 3-pt. goals: Arkwright 3, Cook 1, Angermeier 1, Mills 1, Glass 1. Totals: 8-8-9-31.

GEN. McLANE — Jahn 2-5-6-10, Schaefer 1-1-2-3, Dunn 0-0-0-0, Seidel 2-0-0-4, Rodrigues 6-5-7-19, Lytle 1-0-0-2, Yoder 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Rodrigues 2, Jahn 1. Totals: 12-11-15-38.

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