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A Magical Season: Mount Mercy Wins Monsignor Martin Athletic Association Class B Title

by cnewman
Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 10:50 am
MetroSource - Matt Ondesko  [ View Original Article ]
Senior Kerry McGough holds up the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association Class B plaque. Jeffrey T Barnes/Staff Photographer.
Senior Kerry McGough holds up the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association Class B plaque. Jeffrey T Barnes/Staff Photographer.

Not since 2007 has the Mount Mercy Academy basketball team celebrated a title. Well, they don't have to wait any longer.

Emily Sheehan poured in a game-high 29 points and the Magic made some key stops in the fourth quarter in their 47-35 win over Christian Central Academy - to win the Class B title in front of a packed house on the campus of Canisius College.

"It's big," stated Mount Mercy coach John Glose, on winning the title. "We talked to the girls about the tradition of Mount Mercy basketball, and how we wanted to get back to where it was. And, this is a start. We are going to keep on building."

If there were any jitters for this final, both teams didn't show it as they both came out firing. It was Mount Mercy that was able to build an eight-point lead after one, with the hot shooting of Sheehan.

You had a feeling this was going to be the coming out party for the junior point guard. After being held in check in their semifinal win over Nichols last Sunday at Daemen, Sheehan made her presence felt with the first basket of the game. The junior took the ball at the top of the key, made a quick step to her right and then drove to the lane where she laid the ball in for two.

"She is an outstanding player, but an even better kid," said Glose. "She had a huge game for us. She is the leader of our team. She stepped up and she was awesome."

That was the just the start of a nine-point first quarter and an 18-10 lead.

But, Christian Central wasn't going away easily. The Lady Crusaders go their legs underneath them in the second and third quarters by playing some solid defense, holding the Magic to just 10 points.

"They were switching up their defenses a little," explained Glose. "They went to a zone and we had a tough time adjusting to it. We kind of went cold a little bit and were missing shots."

Despite their struggles, the Magic was ready to make a title run. And Sheehan was ready to carry the load. Sheehan went off in the fourth scoring 12 points and the Magic held the Lady Crusaders to one and done on the other end to take control of the game.

The smaller Magic did a nice job on the boards and was able to hold Christian Central sophomore Emily Miller to 14 points.

"Emily Miller is an outstanding player," said Glose. "She is going to get her points. You are never going to completely shut her down. But, I thought the girls did a great job."

The win capped off a remarkable season for Glose and the Magic. They have now won 19 games on the season, including two tournament title (West Seneca and Pioneer). Not bad for a team that didn't have a lot of expectations on them coming into the season. A lot of talk all season centered around Cardinal O'Hara, Nardin and Sacred Heart.

"Just the leadership from everyone was outstanding," said Glose. "We received contributions from everyone. We have six seniors on this team that dedicated themselves to this program and to this school. And they brought us up to this point."

News and notes: Emily Sheehan wasn't the only one with a birthday. Assistant coach Melissa Graham also celebrated a birthday. Graham was in the team that won the 2007 title. The Magic will now travel to New York City on Friday. They will play for the Catholic Class B title on Saturday. If they win, they will travel to Glenn Falls the following weekend for the Federation championships.

Besides Sheehan's 29 points, other Magic players to get in the scoring column were Kerry McGough (eight), Madeline O'Neil (four), Olivia Balys (two), Allison Balys (two), Erin Kelleher (two), and Emily Gawlak (one).