Girls Basketball: Farmington Hills Mercy holds on to hand FGR first loss of the season

The Father Gabriel Richard girls’ basketball came up on the short end of one of those “grind it out” type of games when they played a strong Farmington Hills Mercy team on Saturday. Mercy built an 18-8 halftime lead and held on for a 30-24 victory over the Fighting Irish.

It was FGR’s first loss of the season.

“I think when you get into the Catholic League both teams know exactly what the other team is going to do and it becomes challenging to score,” said FGR Coach Tim Cain. “We wanted to take Maya White out of the game and after she made the first field goal of the game, we were able to collapse on her pretty well. That was her only points.”

Both teams were cold in the first half, especially the Irish who missed their first 11 three-point attempts. They even missed the front end of three one and one free-throw attempts.

Mercy led 9-6 after the first quarter and then hit a triple at the buzzer to take a 10-point lead into halftime.

The Irish came out much more aggressive in the third quarter and went on an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to just one point. But Mercy hit another triple to beat the buzzer and take a 23-19 lead into the fourth quarter.

It stayed a one-possession game for most of the fourth quarter.

A triple by senior Sophia Hogan cut the lead back to a point.

“After a time out with 1 minute to go we switched low on a pick and roll and Alexis Roberts hit a step-back three to make it two possessions,” Cain said.

Lainey Garbarz led FGR with eight points. Hogan and MaryKate McCauliffe each scored six for the Irish.

FGR (5-1 overall) hosts Plymouth Christian on Monday (Feb. 22).