Source: Hometown Life
Author: Dan O'Meara
Mercy High School will host a “Welcome Home” celebration and reunion for its 1977 and 1982 state champion basketball teams Friday evening.
The event will take place at halftime of Mercy’s Catholic League Central Division opener against Warren Regina. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Players from both teams are expected to attend, as well as longtime coach Larry Baker, who is now the Associate Principal at Mercy.
After finishing as the Class A state runner-up for three consecutive years, Mercy beat Grand Blanc in the 1977 semifinals and played Detroit Mumford in the final at Jenison Field House in East Lansing.
The Marlins trailed at halftime, 34-31, and launched a full-court press to win the championship game, 63-52, in a very physical contest.
The University of Detroit’s Calihan Hall was the setting for one of the most memorable games in Michigan high school sports history in 1982.
Mercy mounted a 21-point comeback against four-time defending state champion Flint Northern in the state final.
Entering the final seven minutes, the Marlins trailed by 18 points. Again, a full-court press was launched, and Mercy made a 16-2 run. Impressive play in the remaining minutes secured a 61-58 victory for the Marlins.
Both Mercy teams were named the inaugural “Legends of the Games” by the Michigan High School Athletic Association in 1997.
Baker coached the Mercy varsity for more than a quarter century and retired following the 1997 season.
Diane Laffey, who continues to coach the Saddlelites, was the Regina coach in 1977 and 1982.