UNCASVILLE—The first shots were not going down for the Mercy.
Good thing for the Tigers they got two, three and sometimes four looks at the basket each trip down the floor, dominating on the offensive glass all night long in the CIAC Class LL state championship game.
That tenacious work on the glass coupled with a smothering second-half defense propelled No. 2 Mercy to a 49-37 win over No. 5 Hall in the title game at Mohegan Sun Saturday night.
“One last time as a team out there, tonight was a special moment out there and I think we all contributed in every way possible,” Mercy guard Isabella Santoro said. “This was perfect sendoff. Coming out here and wining with my team is amazing. We knew they were a good 3-point shooting team and I think they got some good looks in the first half but we got out on them more in the fourth quarter and we did a pretty good job of that.”
This was Mercy second state championship after winning it all in 2013.
Hall was seeking its first state title in its second appearance in a championship game but did not have any answers on the boards where it got out-rebounded 36-18. 17 of Mercy’s rebounds came on the offensive end.
“We played tough but there were certain things that we didn’t do. It is hard to win a game when you let a team out-rebound you by 16 and let them get 17 offensive rebounds,” Hall coach Brittany Huggins said. “I think we played tough but the little things we have been doing all year, we didn’t do tonight. I am proud of the effort and what it takes to even get to this point.”
Mercy led by four at halftime and eight after three quarters but a 10-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter put the game out of reach, pushing the lead to 45-28 with 2:20 left to play.
Mercy held Hall to just 4 points in the third and 15 points in entire second half.
Olivia Bonee led Hall with 9 points while Amber Raisner and Alexa Gellerman put in 7 apiece.
Meghan DeVille scored 14 points and had 9 rebounds for Mercy and Alexa Leon pulled down 6 rebounds.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Isabella Santoro, Mercy. Santoro put in 24 points while snagging 9 rebounds for the Tigers, 6 of which came on the offensive side.
“This is such a good team and to not get a title out of this group would have been very disappointing and I am so glad for them,” Mercy coach Tim Kohs said “We did a great job (rebounding). I’ll tell you, Santoro is the best offensive rebounding guard. You will never see a kid who rebounds like her. We have done a good job on the boards all year and I think that was the key to the game. We got a lot of second-chance points.”
MERCY 49, HALL 37
HALL 9 13 4 11—37
MERCY 8 18 8 15—49
HALL (24-5) Amber Raisner 2 2-2 7 Alexa Gellerman 1 5-6 7 Madison Mandyck 2 0-0 4 Jenna Zydanowicz 2 0-0 4 Olivia Bonee 4 0-0 9 Olivia Delauriers 2 0-0 6 Siobhan Boyle 0 0-0 0 Jordan Farrell 0 0-0 0 Colleen Kennedy 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 7-8 37.
MERCY (27-1) Isabella Santoro 8 8-12 24 Alexia Leon 0 0-0 0 Kameryn King 2 2-2 7 Samantha Chapps 2 0-0 4 Meghan DeVille 5 4-5 14 Jessica Carroll 0 0-0 0 Sammara Streater 0 0-0 0 Rachael Cipolla 0 0-0 0 Allesandra Fronc 0 0-0 0 Sophia Finkeldey 0 0-0 0 Vienna Knox 0 0-0 0 Nicole Bauman 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 14-19 49.
3-pointers: H — Delauriers 2, Raisner, Bonee; M — King.