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MERCERSBURG - Mercersburg Academy put the game away at the foul line late, making 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch and hitting 21 of 26 for the game.

That was enough to hand Baldwin School a 64-54 defeat in a first round girls basketball game of the PAISAA state playoffs at Nolde Gym on Thursday afternoon.

The No. 6 seed Blue Storm (16-4) will play a quarterfinal round game Saturday against the winner of No. 3 Friends Central and No. 14 Hill School, with game info to be decided. The Storm would host if Hill pulls off the upset Friday.

Mercersburg coach Katie LaRue said,  "We did not play our best game, but we came through at the end, made our free throws, and did what we had to do to get the win."

Molly Taylor had a lot to do with it - she scored 26 points for the Blue Storm, including her team's first eight points and 14 in the first half. That offset the 27 points scored by the Bears' 6-foot-4 Danielle Hammond, who tallied 27 points.

It was the task of Isiuwa Oghagbon to battle Hammond inside and she countered with a double-double effort of 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Also for the Blue Storm, Joana Santos and Tori Yoder each had nine points and Sarah Lyman had eight. Santos (6-for-6) and Yoder (4-of-4) were perfect at the free throw line in the final quarter.

Mercersburg led at halftime 29-25, but Baldwin moved into the lead in the third quarter. Oghagbon scored on a putback with 3:25 left to give the Storm the lead for good at 39-38. Leading by seven at the end of three, Taylor dropped in a 3-pointer to push the lead to 10 to open the fourth period.

By using Hammond inside, the Bears (7-15) got to within two points (52-50) with 2:27 left, but that's when Mercersburg's foul shooting prowess took over.

The Blue Storm have a 10-0 record on their home floor this year.

Mercersburg 64, Baldwin 54

Baldwin (54)

Danielle Hammond 12 3-4 27, Nande Hardy 1 0-0 3, Brittingham 0 2-2 2, Kejohna Hammond 4 2-4 12, Gillian Chesnut 1 0-0 3, Morgan Montoure 2 1-2 5, Kayla Watkins 1 0-0 2. Totals — 21 8-12 54.

Mercersburg (64)

Sam Goldman 0 0-0 0, Joana Santos 1 7-8 9, Tori Yoder 2 5-6 9, Sarah Lyman 1 6-6 8, Maddi Jones 0 0-0 0, Molly Taylor 11 1-2 26, Carrie Jornlin 0 0-0 0, Isiuwa Oghagbon 5 2-4 12. Totals — 20-65 21-26 64.

Baldwin _ 11 _ 14 _ 15 _ 14 _ — _ 54

Mercersburg _ 17 _ 12 _ 18 _ 17 _ — _ 64

3-point goals — Bald 4 (K.Hammond 2, Hardy, Chesnut), Merc 3 (Taylor 3).

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