Farmington Hills Mercy's stock in the game of girls basketball will definitely be on the rise following its latest victory.
The undefeated Marlins (4-0) knocked off the No. 2-ranked team in the state Friday night when they rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Goodrich, 50-44.
Mercy was down four points at the end of three quarters, 38-34, but it outscored the Martians, who won consecutive Class B state titles prior to last season, in the fourth, 16-6.
"I'm really proud of the way this team is competing and coming around," Mercy coach Gary Morris said.
"Once we took the lead and were trying to finish, the fact we had been in close games at Waterford Mott and with Salem helped us.
The youth and inexperience of the 2014-15 Mercy High School basketball team was made apparent to coach Gary Morris at one of the first preseason practices.
"We were going to do a drill we did last year, and I said: 'Let's get some kids who know this,'" Morris said. "The kids were looking around. I realized, 'The kids probably don't know this.'"
The situation is quite different for the Marlins as they adapt to the loss of seven seniors and prepare to start a new season Tuesday night.
Mercy enjoyed its best season in nearly a quarter century, winning the Catholic League championship, advancing to the semifinals of the Class A state tournament and posting a 25-2 record.
WATERFORD — It’s true to say that the matchup between defending Catholic League champion Farmington Hills Mercy and defending Kensington Lakes Activities Association champ Waterford Mott comes a few months to late to be as classic as it could’ve been.
That also undersells how good of a game it actually was on Tuesday’s opening night, despite the vastly changed rosters of the two squads.
It was a wild finish, as both teams erased multiple possession deficits in the final quarter, before Mercy pulled out a 55-52 win on Jordyn Schluter’s three-point play with eight seconds left.
Farmington Hills Mercy narrowly missed winning another state championship Saturday in the Division 1 girls swimming and diving competition at Eastern Michigan University.
The Marlins were runners-up to perennial contender Saline, 267.5-262. They have finished in second place two of the last three years.
Mercy was the defending champion and had won five consecutive state titles from 2007 through 2011. The first four of those were in Division 2.
The Marlins were disqualified in the championship heat of the 200-yard freestyle relay. The minimum 22 points they would have received was more than enough to secure a seventh victory in eight years.
Farmington Hills Mercy will have to be at its best this weekend if it's going to repeat as the Division 1 champion in girls swimming and diving, according to coach Shannon Dunworth.
The Marlins, who have won state titles in six of the past seven years, are expected to face stiff competition from the likes of perennial contenders Saline, Rockford, Holland West Ottawa and Zeeland.
"A lot of good swimmers are going to line up against each other," Dunworth said. "It's going to be a very, very fast meet. That's the way you want it and why we choose to be in Division 1.
"In years past, we definitely plugged some holes in some events. There are no holes in any events this year.
FARMINGTON HILLS — Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball coach Loretta Vogel could hardly contain herself.
Her squad just won a Class A regional championship against Birmingham Seaholm Nov. 13 at Bloomfield Hills Marian.
In fact, Vogel was so energized, she rushed the floor when her team scored the 25th point in the fourth and final game.
But there was one problem: that score only tied the game at 25.
“I was excited,” Vogel said.
The Marlins soon finished their match, allowing themselves and their coach to celebrate properly.
Mercy won 25-14, 19-25, 25-14, 28-26.
Birmingham Seaholm had just scored back-to-back points to take a 23-22 lead in the fourth game Thursday when Farmington Hills Mercy coach Loretta Vogel quickly called a timeout.
"Coach said, 'This is why we play volleyball,'" Mercy senior Jenna Lerg said. '"This is what we play for; this is why we play club. We've been looking forward to this the whole season,' and that was the only thing going through our heads. This is why we want to win, why we play for each other."
That little pep talk inspired the Marlins and helped the team rally for a 28-26 victory and a regional championship in the Class A final at Marian High School, 3-1.