The Mercer boys, through three quarters of Tuesday night’s Class 1 sectional against the Wellsville Tigers, looked to be in great position for victory, leading 45-36. However, the fourth quarter would be highly stressful for the Cardinals, after the Tigers scored the first nine points out of the break to tie the game at 45 with four minutes to go in regulation.
With their season on the line, Mercer relied on its stout defense, and picked up just enough offense, in the form of a basket and two free throws from Galt Porter, a free throw from Alec Patterson, and a basket from Cash Hartley, in a 52-50 victory that sends Mercer into the Class 1 quarterfinals on Saturday night (7:45) against the Glasgow Yellowjackets, at Salisbury High School. Saturday night’s game, just as Tuesday night, will be broadcast on Hot Country Z 101.7.
The Mercer win over Wellsville improves the Cardinals to 22-4 on the season, while ending the Tigers season at 17-7. Bryar Noe had a superb night for the Cardinals, with 18 points (14 in the first half). Hartley had 11 points, Porter eight, and Patterson seven for Mercer. Wellsville had a chance to win in dramatic fashion at the buzzer, but a 24 foot 3-point shot from the right side of the floor bounced off the backboard and the rim, securing Mercer’s trip to the “Round of 8”. Mark Ussery had 18 points for Wellsville, while Adam Maylee had eight, Tyler Bunch six, and Seth Oliver six points.
Glasgow moved into Saturday’s Class 1 quarterfinal with Mercer courtesy of a 44-27 win over Chamois on Tuesday night.