The Titans were also getting to the free-throw line early, hitting all six of their attempts in the first period.
“I don’t know that it was that we weren’t focused, I guess I’d call it sloppy (at the start of the game),” Souder said. “We didn’t practice real well (Sunday) … (and) I told them, ‘You’re doing just what you did yesterday, just real sloppy and not focused on what you’re doing.’”
East Jessamine’s offensive production was able to pick up in the second quarter after the Lady Jaguars were outscored 16-2 in the first. However, Mercer used four more 3-pointers to continue to expand its lead.
Mercer’s defense, which was already strong in the first half, stepped it up going into the second half. The Lady Jaguars scored at the 6:12 mark of the third quarter on a basket by Heather Welch to make it 38-18, but the Titans kept them off the scoreboard for the next 5 1/2 minutes.
During the defensive lockdown, Mercer went on a 9-0 run as Dedman, Catheryne Clauch, Savannah Taylor and Taylor Readnower each found the basket.
Another 3-pointer by Souder late in the third quarter helped Mercer take 52-20 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Titans’ defense then kept East Jessamine off the board for another extended stretch, this time going 4:48 without allowing a basket. East Jessamine trailed 62-20 by the time Ariel Florian hit the second of two technical free throws for its only point of the fourth quarter.
Taylor led Mercer with 17 points, Dedman hit three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 13 points, Souder hit four treys for 12 points and Claunch was the fourth Titan in double figures with 10 points.
Mercer shot 14 free throws in the first and fourth quarters combined but made only two trips for four shots in the second and third quarters.
Jennifer Howson scored seven points and Malin Miracle had six for East Jessamine.
“The work that Mercer County has done and the experience that they have gained is something that we can strive for. That is a good example of a good time that plays well together, that’s been through it and they’re seniors enjoying the fruits of their labor,” East Jessamine coach Jacqueline Coleman said. “There’s no better example for our team than that.”
Mercer County will play Burgin in Thursday’s title game.
46th District Tournament
At Mercer County
East Jessamine 2 16 20 21
Mercer County 16 38 52 68
EAST JESSAMINE (3-26) — Jennifer Howson 7, Malin Miracle 6, Ariel Florian 3, Emilie Hatfield 2, Heather Welch 2, Maddison Stollings 1.
MERCER (25-5) — Savannah Taylor 17, Cawood Dedman 13, Carli Souder 12, Catheryne Clauch 10, Raegan Freeman 4, Hannah Logue 2, Tabby Shewmaker 2, Taylor Readnower 2, Kandace Gash 2, Deanna Stinnett 2, Madaline Bartley 2.