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On Friday, January 30, 2015, the annual Mercy versus IND game was played for the 49th year with IND beating Mercy in a score of 41-34.
Playing for the Mercy Magic was Caroline Cummings ’16, Molly Tobias ’15, Malaika Warjihia ’16, Christina McDonough ’15, Rachael Huebler ’18, Kayla Jones ’15, Kristin Curry ’18, Morgan Cobb ’17, Kameel Smith ’17, Katelin Holt ’16, Brie Valentine ’16, Grace King ’16, and Kaia Edwards ’18. The head coach of the Mercy Magic is Dave Zikorus, and the assistant coaches are Takiyah Washington, and Mary Ella Marion ’76.
Playing for the IND Penguins was Amber Kapner-Jones ’16, Madison DuBose ’18, Olivia Portera ’16, Natalie Cummins ’17, Eilish Gately ’17, Sarah Aviles ’16, A’Janay Nicholson ’18, Kimmy Gayhardt ’17, Branyelle Carillo ’18, Janele Price ’15, Ja’Lyn Armstrong ’18, and Beth Walker ’17. Leading the IND Penguins were head coach, Rob DuBose, and their assistant coach Davalyn Cunningham.
On the night of “The Game” there was excitement from both sides of the arena. Many students, parents, alumnae, and perspective students packed the house. First there was the pre-game show that consisted of the IND steppers opening, followed by the singing of IND’s alma-mater. Next, Mercy’s Pep Squad performed and then Mercy spectators sung the Alma Mater. After the performances, the Junior Varsity players gave each varsity player a rose while they were being introduced. Ms. Rebecca Hogg, Mercy’s Campus Minister then led a prayer, in which she humorously referenced the recent NFL “deflate gate” incident. Finally, Mercy and IND’s choirs sang the National Anthem.
The crowd, cheerleaders, and players were all fired up when the game tipped off around 7:25 P.M. Mercy started with the first possession of the game. Caroline Cummings scored Mercy’s first points with a free throw. Mercy got off to a fast start, but IND did as well. IND took the first quarter with a score of 8-4. Though Mercy was losing, no hope was lost. The second quarter started quickly just as the first one had. At the end of the second quarter Mercy was trailing 17-11; however, Mercy fans still had a lot of faith in their team. At halftime IND and Mercy cheerleaders performing first, followed by Mercy’s cheerleaders.
At the start of the third quarter, IND had first possession of the ball. The game was very competitive and tensions were building. When the third quarter concluded the score was 27-20 in favor of IND. Starting the fourth quarter the students from both IND and Mercy got louder and increased the enthusiasm, adding to the overall intense atmosphere of the game. Both sides were raucously chanting for their schools, and it got so loud to the point where one could not hear one’s neighbor speaking. The teams battled until the last minute of the game with everything that they had. At game’s end, Mercy fell to IND; the final score was 41-34 in favor of IND.
After the game, a new addition to the tradition, MVP awards; from Mercy Katelin Holt ’16, and IND’s MVP was Amber Kapner-Jones ’16.
The Mercy versus IND basketball event now attracts a larger crowd than any other high school girl’s basketball game in Maryland. “The Game” first took place at the Baltimore Civic Center when Mercy faced off against its then-rival, Seton High School. After Seton became Seton-Keough, the competition switched to the Mercy-IND rivalry that we know today.
Because of the growing attention “The Game” received, it has been moved from venue to venue until it was moved to its current place, The SECU Arena at Towson University. “The Game” is only played by the varsity teams from both schools. Currently, the record for the game is 18-30 in favor of the Mercy Magic. It is much more than just a game, it is an on-going rivalry that excites everyone who takes part in it.