Girls Basketball: Mercy shows some pluck in opening loss

The Bishop McGann-Mercy girls basketball team demonstrated much resilience in its season-opening loss at William Floyd High School Tuesday.

The Monarchs almost overcame a nightmare third quarter and a 10-point deficit in the fourth period, but dropped a 43-27 non-league decision to a Suffolk County League I team.

Mercy, which plays in League VI, found itself in a hole due to 36 turnovers against the Colonials.

Senior Mia Behrens, who led Mercy with 18 points, paced the comeback with 10 points within a span of less than three minutes in the fourth quarter after Floyd grabbed a 34-24 advantage on Vilma Mitruleviciute’s 15-foot bucket with 6 minutes, 18 seconds remaining.

Behrens then hit a driving shot and scored off her steal within a 15-second span to pull the Monarchs within 34-28 with 4:48 left before Melina Santacroce (eight points) sank a foul shot.

Hannah McGinley (12 points, five assists, three rebounds) canned a short shot to expand the Colonials’ lead to 36-29. That was before Behrens connected on a pair of treys around Cassidy Samuelson’s bucket for Floyd and Santacroce hit a one-hander to bring the Monarchs within 38-37 with 1:50 to go.

But that’s all Mercy could score as senior forward Crystal Blair (10 points, 11 rebounds) scored the final five points of the game to give Floyd some breathing room.

Despite showing up 10 minutes late for its 4 p.m. tip-off because a bus picked up the team late, Mercy rolled to an 8-0 lead with 4:23 remaining in the opening quarter behind freshman guard Chastin Giles’ five points (a trey and two foul shots) and Santacroce’s basket. Giles finished with six points.

After scrimmaging at Shoreham-Wading River Thursday, the Monarchs open league play at The Stony Brook School on Dec. 6. They will host Port Jefferson in their home opener on Dec. 7.