Dougherty’s double-double leads Gwynedd Mercy past Sacred Heart

LOWER GWYNEDD >> Country Day School of the Sacred Heart played its Athletic Association of Catholic Academies opener Wednesday afternoon at the home of defending champion Gwynedd Mercy Academy.

And after a rough start the Lions more than held their own against the Monarchs.

Oh, but that start would come back to haunt them.

Megan Dougherty scored 22 points and hauled down 10 rebounds as the Monarchs rolled to a 41-25 victory.

But Lions head coach Zach Shuster said that, shaky start aside, he was pleased with the performance of his young team.

“We don’t have that much experience in the league,” Shuster said. “We have a young team, a lot of sophomores and even some freshmen, and Gwynedd is such a strong team.

“We had that disastrous start, giving up the game’s first 12 points, but I was happy that the girls stayed strong and played tough.”

Gwynedd Mercy Academy’s Danielle Senour drives to the basket during the Monarchs’ game against Sacred Heart on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The Lions looked to be beaten as early as the first quarter, when Gwynedd (5-2, 3-1 AACA) ran out to the double-figure, first-quarter advantage.

Gwynedd’s primary weapon was the aforementioned Dougherty, who just could not be contained inside.

“She was terrific,” said Monarchs head coach Tom Lonergan. “She had a phenomenal game, close to perfect. At one point she made every one of her shots from the field and from the line.

“She had a lot of help from our guards, who set some nice screens for her.”

The Lions (7-3, 0-1) bounced back to play the Monarchs virtually even the rest of the way.

But the die was cast.

The Monarchs, who were playing their home opener, stretched their lead to 27-11 by halftime, and while Sacred Heart would make several runs at the lead, were not seriously threatened the rest of the way.

“We dug ourselves a hole, and we never really were able to get out of it,” Shuster said. “But I liked the way our young players stayed strong.

“A coach is never happy after a loss, but I saw a lot of good things from our girls.”

Gwynedd Mercy Academy’s Megan Dougherty fights to get a shot off as a host of Sacred Heart defenders converge during their game on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The Lions got seven points apiece from Caitlin Hughes and Emily Robinson. And center Kyra Quigley had a strong fourth quarter.

But on this day, the spoils belonged to the defending champs.

“Gwynedd did a good job defending Kyra, and we’re just not as quick as they are,” Shuster said. “But games like this in our league prepare us for AA districts.

“That’s the good thing about this league. It toughens you up for districts.”

Meanwhile, Lonergan was pleased with his offense, which got good looks virtually every time down the floor.

“If we were turning the ball over and not getting good looks we’d be concerned,” the coach said. “But we got very good looks and we played well in transition.

“When those things happen, you can’t be too upset.”

Gwynedd Mercy 41, Sacred Heart 25
Sacred Heart      2   9 4 10 — 25
Gwynedd Mercy              14 13 7   7 — 41
Sacred Heart: Kayleigh Doyle 1 0-0 2; Eileen Diombino 0 1-2 1; Sami Smith 1 0-0 2; Caitlin Hughes 3 0-0 7; Kyra Quigley 1 1-3 3; Emily Robinson 3 0-0 7; Jaycee Webster 1 0-0 3; Agnes Friend 0 0-0 0.. Totals 10 2-5 25.
Gwynedd Mercy: Megan Dougherty 9 3-4 22; Carly Heineman 1 2-2 4; Danielle Semour 1 2-2 4; Maura Conroy  1 2-3 4; Bridget Casey 0 0-0 0; Chloe Hansen 1 0-0 2; Georgia Cattie 1 0-0 2; Molly Hutton 0 0-0 0; Sarah White 0 0-0 0; Alyssa Martin 0 1-2 1; Reganne Flannery 1 0-0 2; Olivia Irons 0 0-0 0; Carly Bachinsky 0 0-0 0 – Totals 15 10-13 41.
Three-pointers: Webster; Hughes; Robinson; Dougherty.

Top Photo: Gwynedd Mercy Academy’s Maura Conroy dribbles into the lane during game against Sacred Heart during their game on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

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