• Michigan

No. 23 Mercy gets off to fast start vs. No. 24 Marian, claiming 8th CHSL title, 1st since ’17

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, February 22, 2020, 11:39 pm

DETROIT — This time around, finding sources of offense against Birmingham Marian’s defense wasn’t nearly such a conundrum for the Marlins of Farmington Hills Mercy.

The No. 23-ranked Marlins jumped out to a 10-2 lead on the No. 24 Mustangs in Saturday’s Catholic League championship game, and held on to the advantage the rest of the way, winning 51-40, to claim their first CHSL title since 2017. 

Marian had won the last two CHSL crowns. 

It’s Mercy’s eighth Catholic League crown overall, and fourth under Morris since 2011. Larry Baker’s Marlin program captured three of the first four, and four overall between 1975 and 1983. 

Mercy (17-2, 9-1 CHSL Central) led 15-9 after one quarter, and 27-21 at the half. Marian (14-4, 9-1 CHSL Central) trimmed the lead to 33-28 headed to the fourth, and three times got it down to one point — at 33-32, 36-35 and 37-36 — but couldn’t ever tie the game up again. 

Shannon Kennedy’s pull-up jumper with 3:10 left was the last time the Mustangs trimmed it to one. 

Mercy got four free throws from Maya White and a jumper from Julia Bishop with 1:03 left to push it back to seven points, 45-38, then after Licari’s drive with 48 seconds left made it a five-point game again, closed the game out with two Bishop free throws and a pair of easy run-out buckets by Sophie Dugas and Ellie Tisko. 

White led all scorers with 14 points, while Kennedy and Lacari had 11 each for Marian, and Sarah Sylvester added eight. 

Mercy will face Detroit Public School League champion Detroit Renaissance in Operation Friendship on Thursday, Feb. 27, while Marian will take on PSL runner-up Cass Tech. The games — at 5:30 and 7 p.m. — will be played at Renaissance.