By Chris McGuire
Mercy High School withstood a huge third-quarter rally and a monster performance from forward Katie Hoeckman to knock off Christian Brothers High School of Sacramento 66-59, in the first round of the CIF Division IV State Championship Tournament on Tuesday at Mercy High School.
Hoeckman had a game-high 23 points and 21 rebounds in the loss and the Falcons (19-11) outscored the Skippers (21-8) by 10 points in the third quarter, carrying a 51-47 lead in to the final frame.
Mercy responded by going on a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter to recapture the lead. The Skippers then forced multiple turnovers late in the quarter to seal the victory.
“It was great to see that when we went through the tough third quarter, the girls kept some semblance of composure. They did not get down on themselves,” said Mercy Head Coach Michael Gutierrez. “This [game] was important coming off the disappointment of losing in the [CIF-Central Coast Section} final to Santa Cruz, which we were still feeling.”
The Skippers were led by senior Kimmie Fung, who had a team-high 17 points, to go along with six rebounds, three assists and one steal.
“Our team doesn’t have a super star,” Fung siad. “Everyone contributes. It’s a team effort.”
With the win, Mercy advances to the second round of the Northern California Bracket to play top-seeded St. Mary’s of Berkeley (28-3) on Thursday
“We are looking forward to playing St Mary’s,” Fung said. “We have nothing to lose.”