By Bonta Hill
It wouldn’t be a shock to anyone if Bay School’s guard Mary Macleod petitioned to have all of her games moved to Kezar Pavilion.
Something about the old San Francisco gymnasium outside of Golden Gate Park seems to bring the best out of her.
Macleod scored 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 18 points in the second half to help Bay upset previously undefeated Mercy High School 50-44 to advance to the Urban Holiday Shootout championship game against Branson.
“We’ve won [a Bay Counties League Central championship] here, so we have very good memories of this gym,” Macleod said. “We like a big court, we like to fast break. We hate small courts because we like to run.”
The game didn’t come without drama though, as the Breakers (5-2) nearly let an 11-point fourth quarter lead evaporate when the Skippers cut the deficit to 46-44 after a pair of Mariah Masoli free throws with just over a minute remaining.
“I told our team that ‘Mercy is good and capable of making a run and coming back,’” said Bay head coach Larry Minnich. “I told them to not get out of our game and keep doing the same thing we were doing all game.”
That would be the last points Mercy (7-1) would score, as the Breakers went on to get a huge layup from Julia Millhouse and two free throws from Macleod sealed the upset.
“We hung with them surprisingly enough in the first half, and to play that well, to be honest, exceeded my expectation,” Minnich said. “I always believe these kids could do it and they showed up tonight and showed what kind of team they can be.”
Mercy never seemed to find any offensive flow until late in the fourth quarter, as they struggled with turnovers throughout.
Masoli carried the offense for Mercy early on when she finished with nine points in the first quarter and 11 overall in the first half. However, with the Breakers surging in the quarter, Mercy head coach Mike Guiterrez sat most of his starters as his team fell further behind.
It wasn’t until less than five minutes remained in the game and the Skippers down 40-30, that Guiterrez inserted most of his starters back into the game.
Gutierrez was visibly disappointed and frustrated after the game.
“Bay played a better game. Better players, better coached, simple as that,” Gutierrez said. “We had no reason to be over-confident, we’re not that good.”
The Skippers will face off against Convent in the third-place game today, while to the surprise of many in attendance, including the Breakers themselves, Bay will be taking on a solid Branson team in the tournament championship.
Don’t expect Bay to intimidated against Branson as they are excited at the opportunity to play in another big game at Kezar.
“We’re excited, because win or lose we didn’t expect to be playing for first place,” Macleod said. “Branson’s a good team but we’ve played them before and we know how they play. We just have to rebound and I think we can hang in there.”
Mary Macleod – 25
Ciara Cardillo – 10
Julia Millhouse – 8
Kelsey Macleod – 3
Two players tied with 2 points
Mariah Masoli – 17
Eudora Chen – 7
Dominique Pepin – 4
Courtney Sabahi – 4
Nicole Hernandez – 3