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Mercy knocks off undefeated Perry County team

January 22, 2012
Louisville Male High School

After giving the eulogy at her grandmother’s funeral in the morning, Whitney Hartlage paid tribute to her on the basketball court Saturday night.

The Mercy Academy junior had 22 points and four assists as the host Jaguars beat Perry County Central 71-61 in the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Classic.

Mary Hartlage died Thursday at age 88 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

“She enjoyed going to the games,” Whitney Hartlage said. “I played harder knowing that she’s watching me now. It was tough … but (coach Mark) Evans and the team really helped me through it. They were there for me.”

Whitney Hartlage hit 5 of 11 3-point tries as Mercy (17-3), No. 5 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, won its seventh straight. No. 4 Perry County Central (17-1) had been the last unbeaten girls’ team in Kentucky.

The Lady Commodores led 21-18 before the Jaguars closed the first half with a 21-9 run. Kayla Richardson scored seven of her 18 points during the run, and Hartlage added five.

Coach Mark Evans said the key to Mercy’s run was picking up the pace.

Sophomore Kayla Rankin, who had 31 points and 12 rebounds, scored to pull Perry County Central within 60-55 with 3:13 remaining. The Jaguars hit 9 of 10 free throws in the final 2:30 to seal the victory.

Manual 51, Twinsburg (Ohio) 46: The co-No. 1 Lady Crimsons (17-2) closed the game with a 13-2 run to beat the Tigers (11-3), ranked No. 18 in the nation by MaxPreps.com.

Malina Howard’s two free throws gave Twinsburg a 44-38 lead with 5:07 left before Manual rallied. Kara Wright’s 3-point play gave Manual the lead for good, 47-46, with 1:19 left.

Wright led Manual with 14 points, and April Wilson (13 points), LeAsia Wright (11 points) and Kayla Styles (eight points, 14 rebounds) also had big games. Howard led Twinsburg with 22 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.

Ryle 53, Sacred Heart 49: Jenna Crittendon had 30 points, 10 rebounds and four steals to lead the No. 11 Lady Raiders (17-3) past the Valkyries (12-8) in overtime. DaiJia Ruffin had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Sacred Heart.

Owensboro Catholic 46, Bullitt
East 44: Mary Kate Clemens’ basket with 21 seconds left completed the Lady Aces’ comeback victory over the Lady Chargers (9-11).

Bullitt East led 44-32 with 5:21 left before Owensboro Catholic (13-8) closed with a 14-0 run. Destiny Howard had 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the Lady Aces.

St. Joseph Central Catholic 52, Butler 47: Sophomore Mychal Johnson posted 21 points, seven steals and six assists to lead the Lady Irish (9-5) of Huntington, W.Va., past the No. 17 Bearettes (13-7).

Butler’s Alexis Stallard hit 4 of 7 3-point tries for 12 points.

Other games: Cincinnati Withrow (13-2) got 13 points and 15 rebounds from Montrail Roberts in its 42-36 victory over co-No. 1 Marion County (16-3). Kyvin Goodin Rogers had 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Lady Knights, who shot just 21.1 percent (12 of 57). … Octavia Wilson had 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists as No. 12 Lexington Catholic (15-5) beat Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 54-46.

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