Top-100 recruit Mercy Miller powers Notre Dame over Agoura 89-46 in Faith Baptist Tournament
On a rainy Thursday night on December 21, 2023, fans gathered in Woodland Hills for the fourth day of the Faith Baptist Tournament. Heading into the contest ranked No. 41 in the country, the 9-0 Notre Dame Knights were looking to continue their dominance as they faced the Agoura Chargers in their Semifinal matchup. With his father, legendary rapper and entrepreneur Master P in attendance, Top-100 recruit and four-star standout Mercy Miller poured in 27 points as the Knights overwhelmed the Chargers in a 89-46 blowout victory. Defeating their opponents by an average of 41.6 points on the season, Notre Dame continues to flex their muscle as a basketball powerhouse in the state of California.
The Knights set the tone early on with a quick 10-0 lead, as a suffocating backcourt press forced early turnovers from the Chargers. Notre Dame Head Coach Matt Sargeant praised his team’s defensive effort, “We’re doing a really good job at our first line of defense containing the ball and getting deflections. Which leads to turnovers.” Miller poured in 13 first quarter points, outscoring the entire Agoura team with the Knights leading 24-8 to end the quarter.
The second quarter featured Notre Dame getting hot from the three-point line, with four different Knights knocking one in from distance. Going into the tournament, Coach Sargeant relayed the message of playing at their own pace, as the Knights kept up their fast tempo from their defense. Junior starting point guard Angelino Mark later brought the house down late in the half, with an acrobatic no-look layup over his head, plus the foul.
After coming out of the locker room with a 47-22 lead, the Knights went on an additional run of ten unanswered points early on in the second half to extend the lead to 32. Sophomore forward Zachary White threw down two thunderous dunks to the excitement of his teammates. Notre Dame put Agoura away the rest of the second half, finishing the night shooting 61% from the field as a team and controlling the Chargers 44-18 on the glass.
The excitement surrounding a team loaded with talent is spearheaded by Miller, whose well-rounded game has him heading to the University of Houston next fall. “Super efficient” is how Sargeant describes him. “He’s shooting over 65% from the field [for the tournament]. He’s rebounding the ball at a high rate. He’s playing really smart basketball.” Notre Dame will look to close the deal with a Faith Baptist Tournament championship, as they face Chatsworth on Friday at 8:00 pm.