There’s just something about the low rhythmic hum of the engine of an over the road motor coach, waiting to take its team to the next intended destination. The motor coach was warmed up and waiting to whisk the Mercy Academy girls (Louisville, KY) basketball team out of the St. Joseph’s Academy complex and on to its next appointed stop the Sheraton Hotel in West Port Plaza.
The Mercy Jaguars have been a road team ever since the day after Christmas. Having finished up with a third-place prize at the Drury University tournament in Springfield, the Louisville, KY team made a house call in Frontenac.
Turns out, this was the only high school event on the local New Years eve calendar. Feasting on some good old fashioned home cooking, the Angels of St. Joe rode the eye popping 25-point performance of Morgan Stock to a 58-49 point win over the visiting Kentuckians. That upped the St. Joe record to 12-2 for the season.
“We’ve become a motel team, but we kind of like that,” said the Jag’s coach Mark Evans. Offering no excuses, the coach mentioned that Mercy has graduated 10 players the past two years. “We are finding all kinds of new combinations,” said Evans.
The game was never really close. At one point, the Angels enjoyed a commanding 19 point lead (47-28) with three minutes left in the third quarter.
Morgan Stock connected on five-three pointers and the 25 points was a personal best for her entire career.
Basically, she wasn’t aware of that fact. “They beat us two years ago at their place. We were out for revenge,” said Stock. Stock, and her twin sister Maddie are now playing down low in wing positions for the Angels attack. Until then they used to play the role of point and shooting guard. “It’s all a team game,” she revealed. Younger newcomers are now the guards on this team.
Evans likes playing St. Joe and is familiar with the St. Louis team. “We’ve played them at home; in the Naples, Fla. tournament and at their place. We know a lot about them,” said Evans.
Mercy is the defending Kentucky state champions. Despite being manhandled, they played extremely hard, battling right until the final buzzer of the game.
St. Joe has been grinding out games since the first of December, playing in the Nike Phoenix tournament and the Visitation Christmas tournament. They’ve had virtually no time for any practices to work out problems. They meet Ozark High School in a 7 p.m. game Saturday at CBC in the annual Prepcasts Shootout.
Julie Matheny, their coach was just glad to be home at last. “We did a much better job tonight. We were more patient with the ball. We’ve been traveling a lot and we look like a lost dog. Its nice to be back on our own home court and in our own locker-room. These are more familiar surroundings,” she claimed.
Morgan Stock led all scores with 25 points. Sydney Stipanovich had 15.
It was Mercy of Louisville who boarded the bus in the crisp night air, headed out to their next destintion before heading back home. They had to find somewhere to celebrate New Years eve together while on the road.