The Watterson High School girls basketball team successfully defended its home court in its own tournament, beating Cincinnati Mother of Mercy 39-35 on Tuesday in the final of the Watterson Holiday Classic.

The Watterson High School girls basketball team successfully defended its home court in its own tournament, beating Cincinnati Mother of Mercy 39-35 on Tuesday in
the final of the Watterson Holiday Classic.

Daiva Gerbec was dominant inside, converting clutch baskets and playing stifling defense, especially in the second half. Gerbec led the Eagles with 12 points, seven
rebounds and three blocks.

"We saw we had a mismatch inside and that made really good things happen for ourselves," said coach Tom Woodford, whose team improved to 9-0. "(Gerbec)
understands her opponent very well and has such a good sense of timing. It's nothing we've ever taught her."

Melissa Gillaiand and Cami Frommeyer had nine points and two rebounds apiece.

It looked as if it would be a blowout for the Eagles in the early going. Watterson hit 3-pointers on its first two possessions to take a 6-0 advantage. Both shots were
uncontested. Watterson turned a 10-3 run to begin the game into a 22-12 halftime lead.

But the Bobcats responded. Fueled by a 9-2 run to open the second half, Mother of Mercy pulled to within 30-28 after three quarters. That's as close as the Bobcats
got. They came within one possession of tying or taking the lead on numerous occasions, but the shooting went south in the final quarter.

"We shot about 20 percent and you can't beat a team as good as Watterson shooting like that," Mother of Mercy coach Mary Jo Huismann said. "They did a great job
of hedging our picks and that slowed us down."

The Eagles' defense dominated the fourth quarter. Watterson put a halt to the Bobcats' momentum and Gerbec took over.

"As a senior, it's always something I try to do. Everyone really stepped up and it made it a lot easier for me," Gerbec said.

Amanda Huschart and Chelsea Meckstroth were bright spots for the Bobcats. Huschart led the team with 12 points and Meckstroth had 11 rebounds and six points.
The Bobcats shot 21 percent from the floor in the first half.