It hasn't been an easy start to the season for Our Lady of Mercy, but things are looking up.
The Lady Mustangs set out to work on ball control against Elmont Wednesday, and it paid off with a 46-26 victory in girls basketball.
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"It felt good to get a win," Our Lady of Mercy guard Sam Lynch said. "The team played well, we talked on defense and played a lot better there."
The Lady Mustangs improved to 4-6 after jumping to a 23-point lead in the non-conference game.
"We really wanted to work on moving the ball and did that well. They kept switching between man and zone. and if we kept the ball moving we knew they'd make mistakes," point guard Shannon Brady said. "I just make sure I'm making the right pass. I'd rather pass it than shoot it."
Both teams struggled at the start, with Our Lady of Mercy leading 6-0 with two field goals through the first four minutes. But from there the Lady Mustangs picked up the pace, outscoring Elmont 16-3 for the quarter on 10 fast-break points, led by Brady. She controlled the ball, and set up Marilyn Lehmuller and Lynch, who each scored six points in the quarter.
In the second, Our Lady of Mercy slowed it down and thrived in the half-court, as Lehmuller, Lynch, Brady and Kelly Wildes all hit deep jumpers in the quarter to build the Lady Mustangs' lead to 31-8 at the half.
"Brady controlled things at the point and Lynch and Lehmuller are nice basketball players," Our Lady of Mercy coach John Kiffel said. "They can both shoot threes and can both get to the hoop. They know how to play."
Our Lady of Mercy took its foot off the gas in the second half as Elmont (0-5) continued to struggle from the field and turned over the ball in the third. Elmont outscored Our Lady of Mercy 14-5 in the fourth.
Lynch and Brady each finished with a game-high 12 points, and Lehmuller added 11. Wildes finished with four points, seven rebounds and four steals, Lehmuller had five assists and Brady had four assists. Tatiana Laroche led Elmont with six points.
"We moved the ball really well and used the shot clock," Lehmuller said. "I was feeling good and when your shot goes in you feel better and your team gets more confident, so we felt that."