BRISTOL BORO – Truman got its season off to a good start, posting its first win over Morrisville in the Chic D’Angelo Memorial Coaches vs. Cancer Tipoff Tournament Dec. 4 at Bristol High School.
Leading 17-12 at the half, the Lady Tigers poured it on strong after the break, matching their first-half point total with 17 more in the third quarter on their way to a 46-36 triumph over the Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) rival Lady Bulldogs.
Afterward, Truman junior Sabria Lytes – who led all scorers with 15 points – said her team is still working out some early season jitters.
“We worked hard in the offseason and we did good; we deserve (the win),” said Lytes. “It should have been a better score but it’s our first game.
“We’ll do better later on in the season.”
It was hard to find fault with the effort turned in by Lytes, who also grabbed 22 rebounds. Even Morrisville head coach Dave Howell was impressed.
“I have to give number 25 credit – the way she played last year versus the way she played this year, she’s improved tremendously,” said Howell. “She’s a very good low post player. We have to learn how to defend that and help out on that.”
After the intermission, Lytes, sophomore Darnella McMillan (5 pts.) and junior Jayda Campbell (9 pts.) each hit shots from the floor, staking the Tigers to a 23-13 lead a minute and a half into the third quarter.
While Bulldogs point guard senior Denise Sacco (7 pts.) hit a three-pointer moments later to cut the edge to seven, Truman answered with a pair of field goals by Alexis McCoy sandwiched around a 3-pointer by McMillan, doubling the Tigers’ lead, 30-16.
That’s when Howell called a timeout, though he said he should have called one earlier in the third period.
“I was disappointed with the way we came out after the half,” said the coach. “We gave up six points right off the bat. I probably should have called a timeout then but I was hoping we’d get out of that.”
The final frame didn’t get much better for Morrisville.
With Truman leading 34-25 after three quarters, the Tigers posted up with an 8-2 run to start the last stanza. Junior Daeja Moore hit a 3-pointer to cap a 9-point performance for the game and Lytes hit a turnaround jumper and a putback that turned into a 3-point play with an added free throw.
“Me, Daeja, Jayda – all three of us are juniors and we’ve been working really hard in the offseason. Daeja is a really good point guard but she can play any position and she’s a really good player
“We play together as a team and we share the points. Everybody on the team scores when we work the ball.”
With Truman on top 42-27, the Bulldogs just could not catch up.
For her part, Lytes registered nine of her game-high 15 points after the intermission including seven in the fourth quarter.
“I realized that these girls can’t guard me and I’m really strong,” said Lytes, a 6-1 forward. “I’m the biggest one out here and I need to come out here and play my position the way I know how.”
While the Tigers are coming off a 1-13 league season – which tied them for last place with Bensalem in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference last season – Lytes says her team has high hopes for the current campaign.
“We’re hoping for a Suburban One championship,” said Sabria. “We have the talent; we can do it this year as a team.”
With the win, Truman (1-0) advances to the tournament championship battle against Pennington, a 46-19 winner over the host team Bristol (0-1). In that game, the Red Raiders got off to a 22-0 edge by the end of the first period, led by junior Annie Brunner’s 11 first quarter points. Pennington had help from freshmen Leah Johnson – who scored six of her eight points in the first quarter and Gianna Lucchesi who scored all five of her points in the initial frame.
The Lady Warriors will face Morrisville (0-1) – which was led by junior Gabby Fogg (10 pts.) – in the consolation matchup.
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Truman 46, Morrisville 36
(Dec. 4 at Bristol)
Morrisville 4 8 13 11 – 36
Truman 7 10 17 12 – 46
Dejah Nicholson: 2
Denise Sacco: 7
Gabrielle Fogg: 10
Natrece Harper: 2
Enijah King: 4
Tiara McClease: 6
Roshea Newkirk: 5
Jayda Campbell: 9
Maylissa Clarke: 2
Sabria Lytes: 15
Alexis McCoy: 4
Darnella McMillan: 5
Ty’Kira Rogers: 2
Deja Moore: 9
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