Author: Dan O'Meara / Doug Bargerstock
Farmington Hills Mercy won another close game Tuesday in its Catholic League Central Division opener as it held off host Warren Regina down the stretch for a 58-54 victory.
The Marlins, who are 6-0 overall, ran out to a 16-2 lead in the first quarter, but the Saddlelites closed the margin to seven at the end, 22-15, and made a game of it after that.
Mercy was up 34-30 at halftime and 45-38 after three periods. Regina tied the score at 54-all, but senior guard Taylor Jones converted a three-point play and scored the final four.
"We bothered them with pressure early, but they started hitting some shots and came storming back," Mercy coach Gary Morris said, adding the Saddlelites played hard all the way.
"For a lot of our kids, playing in their first Central Division game at the varsity level, they found out you might get ahead of a team early, but they're going to keep fighting and competing.
"Regina responded and competed, but we did as well. It was what you expect quite often in the Central Division – a good, competitive game, where kids are battling each other very hard."
Jones, who made the front end of a one-and-one for the final point, finished with 21. The Marlins had better balanced that most games as Jordyn Schluter scored 12, Zora Pullen 10 and Sierra Wangler nine.
Jones also had a game-high eight steals and Pullen a team-best eight rebounds. Wangler and Jones had five assists each.
Junior guard Teresa Biehl scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the first half for Regina (0-1, 4-2). The Marlins played better defense on her in the second.
"Credit for that goes to Sierra Wangler, who was assigned to her and told not to leave her, because she really hurt us in that first half," Morris said.
Kiana Thomas also had nine points for the Saddlelites, who were 8-of-14 at the foul line. Mercy went 7-of-13.