By winning a big tournament title on Wednesday, the defending state champion proved it's a team to be reckoned with again.
This time it was the grueling Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic, which included 16 teams ranked in the coaches' pre-season top 25.
Fifth-ranked Mercy topped No. 2 Manual 62-59 in the title game Wednesday night behind its aggressive defense and usual balanced scoring.
After overcoming an 11-point deficit versus nemesis Sacred Heart in the morning semifinals, the Jaguars (10-0) pulled out the win despite trailing by as many as eight points in the third quarter.
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The game went back and forth with seven ties and 11 lead changes. In the final period alone, there were three lead changes and three ties.
Whitney Hartlage's two free throws with two minutes to play put Mercy up for good. She led all scorers with 15 points. But she had plenty of support from Lauren Faris, who had 11 points, and Emily Goetz, who added 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Reserve Destony Curry led Manual (7-1) with 13 points.