Girls’ V Basketball Beats Madeira
Mercersburg’s girls’ varsity basketball team notched a 45-32 win over the host Madeira School January 28 in a game played in McLean, VA, as part of the M Cup multisport series between the schools. Ava Hull ’21 recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
In what has become a very exciting series, the M Cup is not more hotly contested anywhere than on the hardwood. Last year, the Storm won the inaugural matchup by a narrow margin, and in the tightly packed Hurd Athletic Center on Madeira's campus, in front of a standing-room crowd that included Mercersburg swimmers, divers, and JV basketball players, Madeira students and siblings, a number of potential Madeira admissions candidates, and parents from both sides, the table was set for another exciting night.
The first half was largely a defensive affair. With both teams fresh and ready to go, the pressure was intense on both sides, forcing errant passes and hurried shooting. The most impactful statistic was the foul count in the first quarter, wherein the Blue Storm’s Zoe Gooch ’20 was forced to sit early after picking up her second foul with 4:33 to play in the first quarter. This forced Mercersburg to go to its bench early, and without one of the team’s stronger offensive players on the floor, the team’s rhythm was disrupted. The host Snails led 7-5 after the first period.
The Blue Storm continued to struggle into the middle of the second quarter, falling behind 15-7. Gooch returned in the final four minutes to score seven of Mercersburg’s final eight points in the half, which finished deadlocked at 15-15.
Mercersburg’s Cate Vickery ’22 asserted herself on both ends of the floor in the third quarter, sinking a driving layup and dishing out two solid assists to Hull, who nailed a pair of huge three-pointers off the collapsed defense. The Blue Storm set the pace, got the Snails in foul trouble, and led 29-21 after three quarters.
The Storm made just three of its first 11 foul shots, but came up clutch in crunchtime, hitting nine of 13 free throws in the final period for a 45-32 victory.
Gooch added 11 points for the victorious Storm, and Vickery went the distance at point guard, playing all 32 minutes and collecting eight points, eight rebounds, four steals, and two assists in a solid all-around effort.
Mercersburg (8-8 overall) visits Mid-Atlantic Prep League foe Peddie School Friday, January 31, in Hightstown, NJ (4 p.m.).