Author: Dan O'Meara
Seniors Taylor Jones and Bridget Lyons are far apart in the number of points they've scored for the Mercy High School basketball team this season, but both made significant scoring achievements Tuesday.
Jones was way under her season average with 10 points during limited playing time as the host Marlins routed Warren Michigan Collegiate, 64-25.
It was enough, however, to put her over the 1,000-point mark in her three-year varsity career. Jones has 1,005 with at least one more game to play.
"Typically, if kids are going to score 1,000 points, they're four-year varsity players," coach Gary Morris said. "Taylor played JV her freshman year and still achieved that. That's what makes it so impressive."
Jones is the second Mercy player to reach that milestone in consecutive seasons. Candice Leatherwood had ended her prep career last year with 1,005 points.
Lyons scored her first points of the season Tuesday, but it was also the first time she played.
She suffered a torn ACL in August shortly before practices were to start and, heretofore, had missed the entire season after having knee surgery.
If the game was not in doubt, Morris had arranged beforehand with the Collegiate coach to allow Lyons to score a basket.
Morris called a timeout and put Lyons in the game late in the fourth quarter. The Marlins (15-4) inbounded the ball; the opposing players stood back and let Lyons make an uncontested layup.
Morris got the idea to do that for Lyons from reading a story at hometownlife.com about a Plymouth player in an identical circumstance.
"As soon as I saw that, I thought of Bridget," he said. "I ran it by the athletic director, and we made sure it was OK with the Bridget's surgeon and parents.
"Bridget was very excited about the possibility, and it was very nice of Michigan Collegiate to go along with it. We returned the favor at the other end (of the floor and let the Cougars score a basket).
"It was a nice night. Bridget was very happy. It was the final home game. It was nice those two things happened along with everybody getting to play."
Mercy dressed 14 players for the game and 13 scored. The Marlins had 20 assists and did a nice job of sharing the basketball, Morris said.
Junior Lauryn Hauncher led the Marlins with a career-high 11 points. It was only the second time this season Jones was not Mercy's leading scorer.
Zora Pullen and Jordyn Schluter tossed in seven and six points, respectively. Marisa Hardenbergh, Jordan Johnson, Katie Coe and Claire Murray added five apiece.
Johsnon also had five rebounds, Schluter four; Hardenbergh had four assists, Schluter three. Nila Robinson scored eight points for the Cougars (7-10).