Author: Dan O'Meara / John Stormzand
Farmington Hills Mercy's stock in the game of girls basketball will definitely be on the rise following its latest victory.
The undefeated Marlins (4-0) knocked off the No. 2-ranked team in the state Friday night when they rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Goodrich, 50-44.
Mercy was down four points at the end of three quarters, 38-34, but it outscored the Martians, who won consecutive Class B state titles prior to last season, in the fourth, 16-6.
"I'm really proud of the way this team is competing and coming around," Mercy coach Gary Morris said.
"Once we took the lead and were trying to finish, the fact we had been in close games at Waterford Mott and with Salem helped us.
"In both instances, we were down in the fourth quarter and pulled out close wins. I thought it showed tonight. We played with a lot of poise. When it was winning time, I thought we did a nice job of that."
Taylor Jones scored a game-high 33 points for the Marlins. She scored all 14 of Mercy's third-quarter points and had 22 in the second half.
Jordyn Schluter and Jackie Bauer came off the bench in the fourth quarter to make key contributions and give the Marlins a spark.
"There was a loose ball around the basket; Jackie hustled and saved it and that led to a score for us," Morris said.
"Down at the other end, there was another loose ball and she came up with it. She didn't score any points in the fourth quarter, but she definitely gave us a lot of energy and fight.
"Jordyn hit a big three for us in the fourth quarter. In the last 30 seconds, she went to the line and converted both ends of a one-and-one."
Schluter led the Marlins with eight rebounds and added five points. Sierra Wangler had five rebounds. Mercy was 6-of-9 at the foul line.
Goodrich's Alexis Sevillian, a junior who has committed to Iowa, had 16 points, Seniors Tania Davis (Iowa) and Isabella O'Brien (Michigan Tech) had 10 apiece. The Martians (2-1) were 11-of-14 at the line.
Mercy's modus operandi has been to let Jones do the bulk of the scoring and play great defense. Goodrich had scored 77 points in its previous game.
"We talked about the pace of the game and the pace we wanted," Morris said. "I told the kids, 'If their score is in the 70s, we're not going to win. We need to control the pace. We did an excellent job of that.
"We really focused our attention on those three kids. For the most part, we did a nice job on them. Were there times we let them slip away from us? Yes, but we kept those to a minimum.
"We're happy with the score – not just because we won, but where it was numbers-wise."
The Marlins have been getting key contributions from different players in every game, too.
"I think our two seniors (Wangler and Jones) have been steady in terms of doing what they do for us," Morris said. "Tonight, Jackie Bauer gave us that real spark off the bench. In other games, it's been other names."