It took four quarters and two overtime periods Monday night, but when all was said and done Mercer had earned their way back to the 46th District championship game by defeating the hosting Jaguars of East Jessamine, 89-80.
“We had been game planning for this game for two weeks,” said Mercer Head Coach Brian Britt. “We knew what we had to do because we knew what they were going to do.”
The Jaguars opened the game on fire from three point range, with their first 12 points coming from behind the arch. East Jessamine finished the quarter with six made three pointers and a 27-17 lead.
“I don’t know if it was nerves or what in the first quarter, but we didn’t stick to our game plan,” said Britt. “But what I saw in the next three quarters and two overtime periods was us getting back to that plan.”
Mercer limited the Jaguars to just two three pointers for the remainder of the game as they began to dig their way out of the 10 point hole. The Titans opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run cutting East’s lead to four points, 29-25, with six and a half minutes left in the first half.
The score remained at two possessions for the rest of the half until a steal and basket by Mercer’s Blake Pennington cut the Jaguars lead to three points, 40-37, right before halftime.
East Jessamine continued to lead the Titans throughout the entire third quarter until another clutch play by Pennington.