NORTHAMPTON >> Both Gwynedd Mercy and Lower Moreland have already clinched a spot in the state championship tournament, but Gwynedd Mercy Academy will play closer to home in the first round after it crushed the Lower Moreland Lions 59-23 in the District 1-4A championship game at Council Rock South.
Leading the way for Gwynedd Mercy was Kaylie Griffin with a game-high 21 points. She was also the only player from either team with double-digit points.
“I feel really excited to move on to states,” said Griffin. “My mindset today was to be prepared mentally and just be ready to play.”
Gwynedd Mercy was on fire to start the game with a 9-0 run before Lower Moreland scored its first point on a free throw from Jimia Davis.
Lower Moreland did get the final three points of the first quarter when Phoebe Lynch scored a three-pointer with two seconds left.
However, Gwynedd Mercy had a huge 20-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
Gwynedd Mercy continued to dominate the court with full court defense, which led to a 31-10 lead at halftime.
Gwynedd Mercy finished the game strong outscoring the Lions 28-13 in the second half to secure the District 1-4A championship.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy’s defense held Lower Moreland to single-digit points in all four quarters with four in the first, six in the second and third quarters, and seven in the fourth quarter.
Nine different Gwynedd Mercy players scored in the championship game including Maura Conroy with seven points, Sarah White also with seven points, Carly Heineman and Bridget Casey with five points each, Reganne Flannery with four points, Georgia Cattie with four points, Moly Hutton with four points, and Samantha Berish with two points.
Only five Lions scored in the loss including Lynch with nine points, Davis with six points, Riley Malone with three points, Alexandre Krutsinger with three points, and Nicole Castor with two points.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy head coach Tom Lonergan was thrilled with his team’s last performance before the state tournament.
“I don’t think any team goes into a game expecting a blowout, especially in the championship final,” said Lonergan. “We always focus on one game at a time before the state playoffs and it paid off today.”
Both Lower Moreland and Gwynedd Mercy Academy will now focus on the first round of the PIAA Class 4A State Championship Tournament on Saturday, March 10.
Lower Moreland will take on the first runner up from District 12 at a time and location yet to be determined.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy will be closer to home as it will take on the third runner up from District 12 at a time and location yet to be determined.
Gwynedd Mercy 59, Lower Moreland 23
Lower Moreland 4 6 6 7 -23
Gwynedd Mercy 20 11 15 13 -59
Gwynedd Mercy Academy: Griffin 21; Conroy 7; White 7; Heineman 5; Casey 5; Cattie 4; Flannery 4; Hutton 4; Berish 2.
Lower Moreland: Lynch 9; Davis 6; Krutsinger 3; Malone 3; Castor 2.
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