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LAWRENCEVILLE - The Mercersburg girls basketball team fell to Mid-Atlantic Prep League rival Blair Academy in the conference finals, Sunday, in a grueling 63-56 loss.

Despite a slow start, and an even slower second quarter to give Blair a 17-point edge at halftime, Mercersburg used a full-court press to put pressure on Blair, and cut the deficit to six early in the final frame; but the Blue Storm did not have enough steam to complete the comeback.

Mercersburg (15-4) was dealt a heavy hand from the beginning, with the task of guarding 6-foot-9 center Felicia Aiyeotan and UConn commit Andra Espinoza-Hunter, who combined for 53 of Blair's 63 points.

"I was so impressed with our effort today against a very talented team," Mercersburg coach Katie LaRue said. "We fought hard and never gave up. I was very proud of our kids."

Molly Taylor tallied 24 points for Mercersburg including six 3-pointers. Sarah Lyman flirted with a double-double adding 14 points and grabbing nine rebounds. She also had four steals. Tori Yoder scored 10 points.

Sixth-ranked Mercersburg will host the 11th- ranked Baldwin School in the first round of the the Pennsylvania Independent Schools state tournament on Feb. 18.

Blair 63, Mercersburg 56 

Mercersburg (56)

Joana Santos 2 0-0 4, Tori Yoder 4 2-2 10, Sarah Lyman 7 0-0 14, Molly Taylor 8 2-2 24, Carrie Jorlin 0 0-0 0, Isiuwa Oghagbon 1 2-3 4. Totals — 22 6-7 65.

Blair (63)

Andra Espinoza-Hunter 12 4-4 31, Clark-Grayson 3 0-0 7, Grant 1 0-0 3, Felicia Aiyeotan 11 0-0 22. Totals — 27 4-4 63.

Mercersburg _ 13 _ 6 _ 19 _ 18 _ — _ 56

Blair _ 20 _ 16 _ 10 _ 17 _ — _ 63

3-point goals — MA 6 (Taylor 6), BA 5 (Espinoza-Hunter 3, Clark-Grayson, Grant).

Girls MAPL Semifinals

Mercersburg 66, Lawrenceville 47: Led by Sarah Lyman (Shippensburg), Mercersburg jumped off to a 24-13 lead over Lawrenceville in the MAPL semifinals, Saturday.

The Blue Storm extended their lead to 20 midway through the second quarter. Lawrenceville worked its way back in the third frame, getting as close as three points, but Lyman proved to be the offensive spark Mercersburg needed to pull away.

Lyman finished the day scoring a career-high 28 points, and tacked on a double-double with 13 rebounds. She also had four steals.

Joana Santos had 13 points, four assists and four steals for Mercersburg, and Isiuwa Oghagbon just missed a double-double with nine points and 14 rebounds.

Mercersburg 66, Lawrenceville 47

Mercersburg (66)

Sam Goldman 0 0-0 0, Joana Santos 6 0-2 13, Tori Yoder 3 2-4 8, Sarah Lyman 12 1-2 28, Maddi Jones 0 0-0 0, Molly Taylor 3 0-0 8, Carrie Jorlin 0 0-0 0, Isiuwa Oghagbon 3 3-4 9. Totals — 27 6-12 66.

Lawrenceville (47)

Cuffee 4 2-4 12, Hillman 4 0-0 9, Baginski 1 0-0 2, Chidom 7 0-0 15, Zoll 2 1-2 3. Totals — 17 3-6 47.

Mercersburg _ 24 _ 14 _ 10 _ 18 _ — _ 66

Lawrenceville _ 13 _ 10 _ 18 _ 6 _ — _ 47

3-point goals — MA 6 (Lyman 3, Taylor 2, Santos), LA 4 (Cuffee 2, Hillman, Chidom).

Boys basketball 

Peddie 65, Mercersburg 57: The Mercersburg boys basketball team fell in the consolation game of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League championships Saturday in a loss to the Peddie School.

Peddie came out fast, gaining a nine-point edge by halftime but Mercersburg fought back in the second half to get within five points with two minutes left. Peddie held on, though, to take third in the conference.

Elliot Hicks led the Blue Storm (5-15) with 18 points, followed by Luka Sevaljevic with 14 and Eli Riley with 12.   

"The thing the coaching staff was preaching all season, was believing that we belonged in games with highly competitive teams. While we did not win either game this weekend, but the guys never stopped trying," Mercersburg coach Sean Crocker said. "I was very proud of the way the team competed on Saturday."

Peddie 65, Mercersburg 57 

Mercersburg (57)

Carlos Austin 2 0-0 4, Victor Burgess 0 0-0 0, Miles Hearon 3 0-0 9, Eli Riley 6 0-0 12, Elliot Hicks 7 4-6 18, Jake Rist 0 0-0 0, Luka Sevaljevic 4 5-8 14. Totals — 22 9-14 57.

Peddie (65)

Dan Largey 9 3-4 25, Jeremiah Ferguson 8 2-4 20, Tyler Jones 8 2-4 20, Terrell Prince 5 0-1 11, Dylan Lloyd 1 0-2 3, Josh Etukudo 1 0-0 2. Totals — 27 5-11 63.

Mercersburg _ 17 _ 10 _ 11 _ 19 _ — _ 57

Peddie _ 23 _ 13 _ 15 _ 14 _ — _ 65

3-point goals — P 8 (Largey 4, Ferguson 2, Jones, Lloyd), MA 4 (Hearon 3, Sevaljevic).

Boys MAPL semifinal

Lawrenceville 60, Mercersburg 49: Mercersburg let a slow start set the tone for the weekend as the team took on Lawrenceville in the first round of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship tournament, Friday.

The Blue Storm fell to a 31-8 deficit in the first half, but came out of the locker room motivated, and cut the deficit to nine to start the fourth quarter.

Lawrenceville held onto the lead through, sending Mercersburg to the consolation game of the MAPL championships.

Elliot Hicks led the team with 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half alone, while Luka Sevaljevic added 12. 

Lawrenceveille 60, Mercersburg 49 

Mercersburg (49)

Carlos Austin 4 0-2 8, Victor Burgess 0 0-0 0, Miles Hearon 1 0-0 3, Eli Riley 4 0-2 8, Elliot Hicks 7 1-2 18, Jake Rist 0 0-0 0, Luka Sevaljevic 4 2-4 12, Nick Rubino 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 3-10 49.

Lawrenceville (60)

Jordan Harris 3 4-6 10, Kieth Braxton 8 4-5 20, Josh Chery 4 2-2 10, Daniel Klosk 1 0-0 3, Isaiah Wingfield 1 0-0 2, Ezra Swell 4 0-0 9, Josh Friday 2 0-0 4, Andre Cole 1 0-0 3. Totals — 24 10-13 60.

Mercersburg _ 4 _ 4 _ 23 _ 18 _ — _ 49

Lawrenceveille _ 18 _ 11 _ 9 _ 20 _ — _ 60

3-point goals — Law 3 (Klosk, Swell, Cole), MA 6 (Hicks 3, Sevaljevic 2, Hearon).

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