It’s truly a game you have to experience to understand. The Game – a girls’ basketball matchup between two Catholic high schools, Mercy High School and Institute of Notre Dame, celebrated its 50th anniversary Friday night.
Parents, teachers, alumni and fans packed into the SECU Arena at Towson University for the largest girls’ basketball event in Maryland. For the golden celebration, Bishop William Lori began the evening with a prayer.
Previous players and coaches were then honored on each side. After stellar performances from each school’s step teams, it was time for tipoff.
The nerves were certainly fluttering in the first quarter. This is by far the biggest game each season that the girls play. They look forward to the rivalry matchup. The fact that this year was the 50th anniversary, only added to the excitement.
“Some people who have experience before were still kind of nervous just because it is the 50th game,” said senior forward Asia Lewis. “There’s a lot of pressure on us and everything and we want to win.”
IND started the game by focusing on the basics, a theme that Coach DuBose has preached all season. One of their goals was to stand tall on defense and capitalize on Mercy’s mistakes. Their zone press gave Mercy trouble and resulted in a handful of steals and turnovers.
After coming up with some stop defensively, the offense seemed to get into a rhythm just before the half. IND went into the intermission leading 21-12.
“I think we did really well once we got our confidence up.” said senior guard Sarah Aviles. “I think in the first we were a little shaky, but I think once we started we were making passes, taking our time, getting good shots off and it paid off in the end.”
It certainly paid off for the Penguins. They came out of the half with intensity and continued to dominate both sides of the ball. In the end, the lead was too large for the Mercy Magic to overcome and IND came away with the win, 41-26.
The Penguins recorded their third straight victory in The Game. To cap it off, they’re taking home the rivalry’s first ever trophy.
The evening was truly special for the communities of both schools. The intensity and the atmosphere were unique from any other sporting event. It’s an event not to be missed next year.