BRANFORD >> It’s exam week at Mercy and longtime Tigers coach Tim Kohs has seen his team play some of their worst games during this stretch over the years.
“We always seem to be bad during exam week,” Kohs said. “But tonight was an ‘A’ plus.”
Powered by the junior trio of Meghan DeVille, Bella Santoro and Samantha Chapps, Mercy rolled past Branford, 46-25, in an SCC contest Wednesday night at the MacVeigh Athletic Complex. It was the sixth-ranked Tigers seventh consecutive win.
“They’re in the Top 10 for a reason,” Branford coach Justin Henry said. “They’re there every year.”
DeVille, Santoro and Chapps were at their best in the first half, combining for 24 points while the Tigers were building leads of 18-7 after one and 34-15 at intermission. Santoro, the Tigers point guard who is bouncing back from an injury suffered three weeks ago in a win over Farmington, scored nine of her 11 points in the first half.
“Bella looked good,” Kohs added. “She played well the other night too (against Guilford). It’s good to get her back. Now she has her legs under her a little bit. We’ve got the weekend to get ready for the big one (top-ranked Capital Prep) on Monday.”
The Tigers (7-1) defense made life miserable for the Hornets, who were coming off a nice win against West Haven.
“They’re long in all the spots,” Henry said. “They’re good defensively and they commit to that. You have to be prepared for the pressure that they put on you. I think their level of play caught some of our younger kids by surprise.”
Senior guard Adrienne DiGioia led Branford (4-5) with nine points.
“We’ve been up and down,” said Henry, now in his fourth season. “Hopefully, the next time we play Mercy I’d like to match their intensity and their fight a little bit better. And then take your chances.”
DeVille finished with a game-high 12 points, while Chapps added nine points, including a 3-pointer at the end of the second quarter.
“I thought we played very well in the first half,” Kohs said. “We’re trying to go deep into the bench and getting kids in and out so the second half was a little sluggish. But we played well early. We played good defense and we moved the ball well.”