Mercury fend off Mystics in rematch

Published 12:17 pm Friday, January 24, 2014




It took all four quarters for the Mercury of the 11-14 girls Washington Youth Basketball League to secure the victory against the rival Mystics, 32-26.

“We got out to a slow start, but we got it together like we’re supposed to and performed real well down the stretch,” said Head Coach Sam Crawford. “We were ready to play; just so much was going on. Give credit to everybody. They went hard and played good defense.”

Both teams’ transition defense was rock solid throughout the back-and-forth affair, as the Mystics and Mercury guards continued to pick the other team’s pockets and force turnovers.

Forward MiAsia Roberson, who has proved to be one of the most dominant players in the age group, kept her team in the game in the first half, driving the length of the floor and finishing when needed.

The twin tandem of Tierra and Cierra Wiggins, as well as guard Trazijra Windley controlled the offense and maintained the offensive intensity for all four quarters. Windley struggled to shoot the ball, but managed to control the tempo and collect key assists to keep her team in the ballgame.

The Mystics led 17-15 at the half, but the Mercury’s Cyntavea Blackledge was just getting started.

Blackledge’s tight defense caught the Mystics’ guards sleeping. Her selfless play and precision passing allowed Roberson and Zikeria Hardy to capitalize in the paint. However, with 1:15 left on the clock and up by one, Blackledge stepped up and drained a deep three to put the Mercury up by four. The shot sealed the victory.

“Cyntavea [Blackledge] had a great game,” said Crawford. “She came in and hit a clutch three at the right time.”

Cierra Wiggins would end with 12 points, while Roberson scored a game-high 14.

“We’re going to come back Saturday at 2 and get ready to play another,” said Crawford. “Hopefully, we’re going to come out a little bit better than today, but right now we’re 6-0.”

The Mystics will try to avoid losing two-straight when they face the Cougars on Wednesday.