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Monday, January 21 High School Sports

Notre Dame upsets No. 1 Mercy in OT

FAIRFIELD — It was an early-season girls basketball game, and it looked like it.

There were 48 turnovers, 86 missed shots and 17 missed free throws in Tuesday’s contest between Mercy, the No. 1 team in the GameTimeCT preseason poll, and Notre Dame of Fairfield. But in the end, when it was all on the line, one team looked its best.

“We buckle down when the going gets tough,” Notre Dame coach Eric DeMarco said after the Lancers’ 61-57 victory in overtime.

After a sloppy four quarters, the Lancers (2-0) put it all together in overtime, shooting 80 percent (4 for 5) from the field and 100 percent from the free throw line (6 for 6). Led by Yamani McCollough’s 25 points, ND outscored Mercy 11-3 to open the OT and then held on.

“Notre Dame has too many weapons for us,” Mercy coach Tim Kohs said. Interestingly, while Mercy started out the season No. 1, ND was unranked. “They are very talented.”

ND looked as if it was about to break the game open early in the third quarter after a very lackluster first half that saw Mercy (1-2) take a 17-15 lead. But the Lancers opened the third quarter with a 16-7 run to take a 31-24 lead. They had scored 15 points in 16 minutes in the first half, then poured in 16 in the first four minutes of the third quarter, with McCollough scoring the first seven points of the period.

“Yamani is a scorer who has added a little more control to her game,” DeMarco said. “She’s growing up.”

Aizhanique Mayo added 13 points for the Lancers while Ciara Brown had 11 rebounds. Freshman center Laryssa Guimaraes chipped in with eight points, including a key OT bucket, to go with eight rebounds.

Kameryn King led Mercy with 14 points, but it was the play of forward Lilly Hedge that kept the Tigers in the game. Hedge had eight points, but pulled down 17 rebounds.

“Lilly played an unbelievable game,” Kohs said. “She was the MVP of this game.”

Mercy committed 10 turnovers in the first quarter and 27 overall while ND turned it over 21 times. Before the overtime session, Notre Dame missed 47 of 65 shots, including a 6 for 33 first half performance.

“We knew Mercy wouldn’t make it easy for us,” DeMarco said. “We were never totally in control. But we played our best when the game was on the line.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Even though she missed 8 of 12 free throws, ND’s Yamani McCollough, who had 25 points, gets the nod over Mercy’s Lilly Hedge who had 17 rebounds.

QUOTABLE

“The more we figure things out, and as long as there is no drama added to it, we could be a hard team to beat at the end.” — Notre Dame coach Eric DeMarco

ND-FAIRFIELD 61, MERCY 57 (OT)

MERCY 7 10 19 10 11 — 57

NOTRE DAME 9 6 20 11 15 — 61

MERCY (57)

Alexia Leon 2 0-2 4; Lilly Hedge 3 2-3 8; Kameryn King 1 12-12 14; Sophia Nankee 0 0-0 0; Vienna Knox 3 1-2 7; Rachel Cipolla 1 3-4 5; Alessandra Fronc 2 0-0 5; Sophia Finkeldey 4 0-1 8; Nicole Baumjan 3 0-2 6. TOTALS: 19-57 18-26 57

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NOTRE DAME (61)

Yamani McCollough 10 4-12 25; Aizhanique Mayo 3 6-6 13; Erin Harris 1 0-0 2; Ciara Brown 0 3-4 3; Laryssa Guimaraes 4 0-0 8; Taylor Gibbs 1 0-0 2; Kayla Tilus 3 0-0 8; Krystalee Fernandez 0 0-0 0; Vanessa Joseph 0 0-0 0; Mia Dunn 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22-70 13-22 61

Haltime: M 36-35. 3-pointers: Fronc, Tilus 2, McCollough, Mayo. Records: ND 2-0, M 1-2.

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