PHILADELPHIA - When the Mercersburg Academy girls basketball team walked onto the court Saturday afternoon for the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association championship game, the team had already inked itself in the Mercersburg record book for one of the school's best seasons.
Winning the PAISAA was just a cherry on top.
The Blue Storm completed their best season in history, winning the program's first-ever PAISAA title with a 53-39 victory over two-time defending champion Shipley.
Mercersburg came out fast, with the intent to put the game away early, taking a 10-3 lead in the opening minutes, and never trailed.
"As a coach, you hope your team can show up for the big games, and today we did," Mercersburg coach Katie LaRue said. "We took off and never looked back. The girls were confident in each other and confident in our game plan."
The Blue Storm led by as many as 20 points in the game, led by senior Molly Taylor, who pumped out a game-high 21 points in her final game for the Blue Storm after being held to just six points in the semifinal game.
Isiuwa Oghagbon followed with 13 points and completed a double-double with 14 rebounds. Joana Santos and Tori Yoder added seven points apiece. Santos and Sarah Lyman helped out tremendously on the boards with 10 and 16 rebounds, respectively.
"We executed on both ends of the floor," LaRue said. "These girls have figured out how to play as team and it's a lot of fun to watch."
Mercersburg finished the season with a 19-4 record and claimed the Independent Parochical School League title, came in second in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League, and will now bring home the PAISAA state championship trophy.
Mercersburg 53, Shipley 39
Ross 2 2-2 6, Overton 4 2-3 12, Redcross 5 0-0 12, Camden 4 0-0 8. Totals — 15 5-7 39.
Sam Goldman 0 0-0 0, Joana Santos 3 1-3 7, Tori Yoder 3 1-2 7, Sarah Lyman 2 0-2 5, Molly Taylor 7 4-5 21, Isiuwa Oghagbon 6 1-2 13. Totals — 21 7-16 53.
Shipley _ 9 _ 9 _ 12 _ 9 _ — _ 39
Mercersburg _ 15 _ 13 _ 18 _ 7 _ — _ 53
3-point goals — Ship 4 (Overton 2, Redcross), MA 4 (Taylor 3, Lyman).