Catholic Free Press

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  • Jan
  • 27

Mercy Centre wins again

Posted By January 27, 2012 | 4:17 pm | Local

By William T. Clew
This time it was a defensive battle.
But the outcome was the same. For the 20th game in a row the women’s basketball team of the College of the Holy Cross lost to the Mercy Centre when they met last Friday.
The score was 10-9. That’s a low score in this game. In the past it has been much higher. For a few years in a row it was 24-22, Mercy Centre.
The Holy Cross women play in the Patriot League, contend for the league championship and often have won it. But each year in the Mercy Centre gymnasium their talents seem to disappear. Their shots seldom land in the basket. Sometimes they don’t even hit the rim.
Their passes go astray, often winding up in the hands of a Mercy Centre player. And their defense isn’t anywhere near as effective as it usually is against Patriot League teams.
The Mercy Centre players and their fans love it. And so do the Lady Crusaders, every one of whom seems to be smiling and laughing the entire time.
The Mercy Centre provides schooling and training for developmentally delayed children and adults. And in Holy Cross Coach Bill Gibbons the Centre has an ardent supporter. He brings his team to the Centre a couple of times a year, has ridden the Mercy Centre float in St. Patrick’s parades and took an active interest in keeping its programs going when, some years ago, financial problems threatened them.
In addition to the Mercy Centre, Coach Gibbons has brought his teams to schools and other institutions in Worcester as part of their service to the city, he has said.
Coach Gibbons, refereed the game again this year, with help from a former Mercy Centre player. But before the game started he led the Mercy Centre players in a Mercy Centre cheer. He’s done it every time the two team have played and so far no one has called for an investigation.
Before the game, Coach Gibbons introduced each player by name and number. And he ran a little quiz, as he does every year, to see whether the fans can guess the player’s hometown or home state.
He introduced Brisje Malone and said she was from the city where basketball was invented.
“Springfield,” a youngster said.
Alexis Nicholas is from the “Big Apple,” he said.
“New York,” several youngsters said.
And she is from New York, actually Jamaica, a section of Queens, one of the five New York City boroughs.
When he said Meredith Ward was from the smallest state, several knew the answer, Rhode Island.
But hometown loyalty got the better of one youngster. When Coach Gibbons said that Kelly Hammer, who is from Manassas, Va., came from a town near the nation’s capital and asked for the name of the capital of the United States, the youngster shouted out “Worcester!”