Basketball Team Takes Back Region 19,
Show Heart and Determination to End
a loss in some way feel like a win? The Mercer Lady Vikes
know the answer. After regaining the Region 19 title – its
sixth title in seven years – Mercer faced the Community
College of Rhode Island in the Northeast District Women's Basketball
Championship on March 6, with the winner to head for the national
Taking the lead early
in the game, Mercer then fell behind, trailing by 10 at halftime.
In the second half the Vikings edged their way to within three
points. Then they fell behind again, trailing by 11 with four
minutes left. Again they rallied, managing a 14-3 run that forced
overtime. With the overtime clock winding down, the women had
several chances to tie or take the lead, but ultimately time ran
out on the 2003-04 season, as CCRI won 75-72.
Coach Mike Tenaglia observed that the game's outcome
came down to a few key plays – a lost ball, a few unsuccessful
free throws. In addition, forward Katy McCormack got into foul
trouble, center Alison Werkman was coming off an injury, and CCRI
held Mercer's leading scorer, forward Vicki Jenkins, to only nine
points. "Those are the kinds of things that change the outcomes
of games," he said.
went into the District Tournament with a team record of 23-3 and
an undefeated record in Region 19, including a 92-60 win over
Salem in the semifinal round of the regional tourmament on Feb.
24 and a 72-63 victory over Union in the final on Feb. 26.
Coach Mike Tenaglia, courtside with his players, during the Northeast
District match-up againt CC Rhode Island on March 6.
According to Tenaglia,
the Lady Vikes were in top form this year. It was a great season for
Tenaglia too, who notched his 200th win in a 74-32 rout of Passaic Community
College on Jan. 8. "We had a nice nucleus of players. I expected
them to do well and they lived up to expectations," Tenaglia said.
Tenaglia noted that
the Lady Vikes were fierce competitors. "When they stepped onto
the court, they were there to win," he said. "There was a
real depth of talent. If one player was stopped, a teammate would step
up." Tenaglia emphasized that this team was so much more than a
group of stars. "Their cohesiveness and team chemistry were truly
their greatest asset," he said.
According to Tenaglia,
the list of stand-outs is long, including sophomore Vicki Jenkins, who
broke the school record with 32 double doubles in her 42-game career
at Mercer. Joining her were several other sophomores -- McCormack, Werkman,
Ewa Mozdyniewicz and guards Courtney Williams and Rachel Graham -- as
well as a number of freshmen -- guards Nicole Brown, Tashema Whittaker,
and Nicole Riley, center Gina Broach, and forward Amber Oliver. Jenkins
and Brown were named to the All-Region 19 first team; Whittaker was
named to the second team.
Tenaglia is looking
forward to a solid season next year with six or seven freshmen expected
to return to the line-up.
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