Lady Royals to play for conference crown

PAT CANDIDO
CARMINE GERRITY-GEMEI

Aquinas Photo / EMMA  black LADY ROYALS senior co-captain Meredith Mesaris spots the hoop before a hook shot Wednesday in the Long Center. The team defeated Susquehanna University 92-49 led by Mesaris’ 24 points. The Lady Royals will look to win their second-straight conference championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at home.

Aquinas Photo / EMMA black
LADY ROYALS senior co-captain Meredith Mesaris spots the hoop before a hook shot Wednesday in the Long Center. The team defeated Susquehanna University 92-49 led by Mesaris’ 24 points. The Lady Royals will look to win their second-straight conference championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at home.

The women’s basketball team is playing its best basketball and is looking to continue this trend into the Landmark Conference championship game Saturday against Catholic University. The team defeated Susquehanna University 92-49 at home Wednesday in the conference semfinals.

Senior Lindsay Fluehr, the team’s starting point guard, knows how important the end of the regular season has been for the Lady Royals.

After winning nine straight games, Fluehr and the rest of the team are more than ready for the championship game. Before the win Wednesday, Fluehr said the team has come together after more than three months of playing together this season.

“Winning eight in a row means a lot because we’ve worked out anything that was problematic or not working for us and figured out exactly what we need to do to be successful,” Fluehr said.

Fluehr just recently broke the record for most career assists for the Lady Royals, so she knows a thing or two about getting her teammates involved offensively.

For her and the rest of the Lady Royals, though, offense has not been the main focus.

“The mindset this season was to focus on defense and to be in a position to host the Landmark Conference playoffs,” Fluehr said. “Our mindset is always the same – focus on lockdown defense, and focus on one game at a time.”

The team has done just that, locking up a game against Catholic University for the conference championship at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Long Center. Catholic was Scranton’s only conference loss in the regular season on Jan. 17 when Catholic won 46-42 in Washington, D.C. The Lady Royals, however, got their revenge against Catholic by defeating them handily 76-49 Saturday in the Long Center. Now, just a week after the two teams played in their regular season finales, they will meet again to decide the conference championship.

Senior forward Meredith Mesaris has led the way on offense, and she knows competition is only getting fiercer this time of the year.

“This is the time of year that the intensity really picks up and, as we continue to advance, the caliber of the teams we will face also increase,” Mesaris said.

Regardless of who the Lady Royals face, Mesaris will be tough to stop. She is averaging 20.5 points per game, and she is an outstanding foul shooter. Mesaris led five Lady Royals in double-figures Wednesday with 24 points.

Mesaris said team basketball is the main focus of the Lady Royals, not individual play.

“It is going to be key that we stay positive and, most importantly, stay together,” Mesaris said. “It is very important that we are on top of our game and focused on playing our game to the absolute best of our ability.”

The Lady Royals know how important this year is for them, especially with Fluehr and Mesaris set to graduate in a few months.
There is only one thing on Fluehr’s mind and it is not graduation, but a championship run.

“We wanted to host the Landmark Conference playoffs and now we’re focused on getting back to that championship game,” Fluehr said. “We all know that this team is a special one, and we want to go as far as possible and make a run in the NCAA tournament.”

The team will have a chance to fulfill Fluehr’s and its own goals Saturday.

Feb. 27, 2015

 

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