Mercy basketball team playing like a contender yet again

By: Mike Moore | Farmington Press | Published December 18, 2017

 Farmington Hills Mercy senior Jenna Schluter (12) steps over an opponent to make a pass in a game earlier this season. Schluter is one of a handful of veterans back for the Marlins.

Farmington Hills Mercy senior Jenna Schluter (12) steps over an opponent to make a pass in a game earlier this season. Schluter is one of a handful of veterans back for the Marlins.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Hills Mercy basketball team is one with an abundance of talent, a good mix of experience and youth, and potential to make yet another run come playoff time.

As coach Gary Morris assessed the first quarter of the 2017-18 season, there wasn’t too much that he had to complain about.

“We’re happy — you have to be,” Morris said about his team. “We’ve gotten off to a good start, and that’s what you love to see.”

Good to the tune of a 5-0 record at press time.

“We’ve been in some close games, too,” Morris added. “But we’re finding ways to win, which is key.”

The Marlins went 22-4 last year, reaching the state quarterfinals before eventually falling to Warren Cousino.

From that team, seven varsity veterans returned, including two girls from the starting lineup.

Jenna Schluter is starting for a third year in a row, while Jess Mruzik is the other key vet, back to start for a second year in a row. Captain Bella Dugas was the first person off the bench last winter, but now finds herself in the starting five.

“Yet we’re still kind of atypical, for us,” Morris said. “We have two girls that are freshmen starting for us this year, which is different. So there have been some ups and downs, and plenty of learning.”

The 5-0 start includes a 3-0 mark in the Catholic High School League Central Division. 

Mercy won the A-B Division title one year ago.

“Really, I think, like last year, we’ve got some good balance,” Morris said. “We’re not very dependent on one girl to lead us. Secondly, we’re defending well, which is so key, and we have some size. We haven’t had size in a few years, so to have a post presence with some of the girls we have is key.”

And all of this leads to what?

Time will tell, but Mercy remains a consistent threat to make a long run come tourney time.

“But truthfully, we haven’t talked much about the playoffs or anything,” Morris said. “We’re still figuring out who we are and what we are. We’re still figuring out what works for us on both ends of the court. With that said, this is a team with a lot of talent and potential. We have to learn from the things we did last year, continue to work at it, and practice and see where it takes us.”