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Thunder Lowers ‘Boom’ On Sharks

By Dave Ricci

This win falls somewhere between historic and unbelievable.

Senior Meighan Murphy had 15 points as Mt.St.Mary scored a stunning 46-41 win over Sacred Heart in Monsignor Martin Athletic Association basketball, Monday night.

It marked the first-time in the history of Mt.St.Mary basketball that they were able to defeat Sacred Heart. After the buzzer went the “Mounties” fans section poured onto the court to celebrate with the players.

“We just feel elated right now,” Murphy said, as the magnitude of the moment was still sinking in. “We’ve had people, for years, tell us it’s something that we could never do, but we believed that we could. That’s been the staple of this team. Always believing that we could do something and we went out there and we took care of business.”

Early on it seemed as if the Sharks dominance of the Thunder would continue. Sacred Heart used its height advantage to push the Thunder to the outside and force them to shoot from beyond the arc. It paid off as Mount could not hit a three. Normally a strong outside shooting team, the opening frame saw the Mount struggle mightily to score at all, as SHA held an 8-1 lead after the first quarter.

A three-point bucket by Murphy and one from Molly Meegan (nine points) would help pull the Thunder within two, 13-11, at the half.

The tide began to turn in Mount’s favor in the second half as their inside/outside game clicked. They were also playing tougher down low limiting the damage Sacred Heart was able to do with its post game.

“This is the best feeling ever,” senior guard Molly Meegan said. “I can’t even describe it. Everyone’s crying, this is history.”

The key for Mount was Murphy. A senior captain, Murphy sank 12 points to give her team a 32-30 lead at the end of the third. She battled for rebounds and helped make some key defensive stops. Most of all Murphy brought a gutsy, heart and soul performance that was the hallmark of this team’s resolve that they weren’t going to let this win slip away.

“I say it all the time,” Mount head coach Mike McCarthy said. “We don’t have as many skilled players as other teams do, but they have a lot bigger heart than most teams.”

“Energy,” Meegan added. “I think we had so much energy going into the second half.”

Micaela Ryan, who led SHA with 14 points, hit gave her team a spark when she hit a 3-pointer that cut the Mount lead to 40-38 midway through the fourth. But that was as close as the Sharks would get, as the pressure of the moment seemed to get them off their game.

Jennifer Grimm and Liz Hill had 10 points apiece for SHA. The Sharks mental toughness will now be tested as they have to recover from a painful 1-2 punch. They will not only have to find a way to make peace with being the first SHA team to lose to Mount. More importantly they have to put the loss to MSM out of their mind and focus on the rest of the regular season. With the victory the Mount is in position to finish no worse then 3rd in the Monsignor Martin standings and keeps them away from a first round match-up against Cardinal O’Hara. Mount felt that their loss to St.Mary’s of Lancaster last Monday, which reportedly had questionable officiating, was very damaging to their chances to get the no.2 slot. This was their chance to atone for that missed opportunity.

“I said there’s a reason for all this. Something bigger had to come out of that St.Mary’s of Lancaster game because we don’t feel like we deserved that loss,” said McCarthy. “Something bigger had to come out and we really believed that tonight had to be our night.”

Sophomore Grace O’Brien added nine points and brought strong play in the paint against some of SHA bigger girls.

The game was played in honor of former SHA coaching legend Sister Maria Pares, who lost her battle against cancer on Jan.20. Prior to a moment of silence, Mount athletic director Sarah Galante gave a moving speech in honor of Sister Maria.

“No matter the level. No matter the game Sister always brought intensity in her coaching and demanded the best from her players,” Galante said. “Her high standards made everyone who played for her a better player, myself included.”

Just over $600 was raised. It will be donated to Rosewell Park in Sister’s memory.

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