Mercy boys record comeback victory; Landmark girls win 10th straight

Tue, 01/08/2008 - 10:17pm
By: Kevin Wandra

There are basketball games, and then they are classics, games that will be embedded in the memories of players, coaches and fans for a lifetime.

Tuesday’s Our Lady of Mercy-Landmark Christian boys game was definitely a classic, especially for Mercy, which came from behind to beat its biggest rival 58-54 in a Region 5-A game in Fairburn.

The War Eagles were desperately trying to hold onto a two-point lead (54-52) as time dwindled in the final 1:56 of the fourth quarter, but three of Mercy’s biggest playmakers, Dominique McDermott, Richie Obiora and Nnamdi Moh, delivered three consecutive plays that decided the outcome of the game.

McDermott raced down the court and sank a runner in the lane that tied the game at 54 with 1:35 remaining.

In the final minute, Obiora and Moh delivered the back-breaking blows that would put away Landmark for good; Obiora knocked down a jumper from the key, and then Moh stole Landmark’s inbounds pass and threw down a rim-rattling dunk to put an exclamation point on Mercy’s victory.

“Those several plays down the stretch from McDermott, Obiora and Moh were big,” Mercy coach Tony Caruso said. “Those were some big plays that put us over the top.”

Landmark led by as many as eight in the second quarter, thanks to the long-range shooting of Cameron Boling and Josh Gebhardt.

Then, suddenly, Mercy came to life, outscoring Landmark 10-5 the rest of the half to cut the War Eagles’ lead to 38-31 at halftime. McDermott scored half of Mercy's points during its spurt.

Mercy built upon its late first-half run and played considerably better the rest of the way.

“We brought some energy back to the game with that run, and it carried over into the second half.” Caruso said.

The second half featured plenty of back-and-forth action, with the lead changing hands numerous times.

Back-to-back baskets by McDermott, a 3-pointer and a fallaway layup in traffic, gave Mercy its largest lead of the game (51-44) with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

But Landmark fought back and took a 54-52 lead with just under two minutes remaining on a layup by Boling.

McDermott led all scorers with 23 points. Mercy had two other players score in double figures, Moh (15 points) and Obiora (14).

Gebhardt led Landmark with 17 points, and Boling had 14.

In the earlier game, the third-ranked Lady War Eagles defeated the Lady Bobcats 49-31 for their 10th consecutive victory. Landmark went on a 17-3 run in the second quarter and maintained a sizable lead in the second half.

Landmark was led by 16 points from Diamond Hunnicutt and 12 from Dee Terrell, while Camille Thompson scored 15 points for Mercy with Alex Miles chipping in 12.

login to post comments