It was a roller coaster of a game Thursday night in the Lady Titans’ season opener on the road against the Valkyries of Sacred Heart in Louisville.
After being out-scored 2 to 1 in the opening quarter, the Lady Titans fought back and held a seven point lead, 48-41 going into the final quarter, but a monster 25 point fourth quarter by the Valkyries helped Sacred Heart secure the win, 66-56.
“This was a very tough opener, Sacred Heart is a top 20 team, but we are really proud of the way our kids competed,” said Mercer Head Coach Chris Souder. “We got down early in the game, but once we settled down we really started playing.”
Mercer fell behind 22-11 in the opening quarter, but good defense and an awoken offense helped the Lady Titans cut the Valkyries’ lead to one possession by halftime, 32-30.
A big reason Mercer was able to fight back was the play of point guard Catheryne Claunch who finished the game with just three assists shy of a triple double with 22 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists as well as nine deflections.
Claunch’s play helped the Lady Titans obtain a seven point lead after the third quarter, 48-41. However, an explosive fourth period by Sacred Heart proved too much for Mercer who gave up 25 points while being held to eight as the Valkyries got the win, 66-56.
“Sacred Heart is a veteran team and we played the fourth quarter much like the first–a little anxious,” Souder said. “Overall, I was very pleased with our effort. It is just going to take some time for this team put together 32 minutes of solid basketball and if we can get to that we could be a very good team.”
Listed below are individual player’s scoring totals:
Mercer (0-1) — Catheryne Claunch 22, Cassity Martin 14, Heidi Huffman 8, Kandace Gash 6, Raegan Freeman 2, Taylor Schroeder 2, Seygan Robins 2.
Sacred Heart (2-0) — Raven Merriweather 24, Ashley Johnson 21, DaiJia Ruffin 10, Vanessa Baisas 4, Kristin Matula 2, Julia Stough 2, Lydia Taylor 2, April Gahafer 1.