MILFORD TWP. >> Faith Christian raced to a big lead early and withstood Morrisville’s surge, fast breaking into the Bicentennial Athletic League Semifinals with its 61-41 victory over the Bulldogs Tuesday night.
“Haven’t been here in four years,” the Lions’ Joy Hissner said of the Lions reaching the semis. “We were moving the ball well tonight, cutting to the basket, and did really well on defense.”
The victory sends Faith (20-4) to a Thursday night matchup at New Hope, set for 7 p.m.
Hissner led Faith with 16 points, Sdyney Heller had 14 and Bianca Acevedo added 11.
The defense also got it done.
“We had to contain a lot and deny,” Hissner said. “And we kept (inside force Brielle Lindsey) to 14 points.”
Transition got things going for the Lions.
Acevedo and Heller both scored on breakaway buckets to give Faith an early boost.
“It always helps us,” Lions coach David Forker said of the transition game. “We spend a lot of time working on our half-court offense. Sometimes, it doesn’t always show itself out but we’re a better team when we’re playing up and down.
“And we can also use our bench and our depth, so when we play fast like that, we can stay a little bit fresher than most teams because when we sub in, we don’t have any drop off.”
Izabella Forker banked in a three and it was 10-3 Lions in the opening stages of the first quarter.
The Lions would hit five timely threes in the contest.
Said coach Forker: “That always helps too. Different girls were hitting them at different times. Joy hit some key ones tonight and Bianca hit a big one. We had different girls hit them tonight, so it’s nice when they go in and keep that lid off the basket for us.”
Faith’s defense wasn’t allowing Morrisville many openings, and at the other end, the Lion offense was making its way, as Forker found Niky Cassiani wide open underneath the basket for an easy two.
Hissner scored on a fast break for the Lions and the gap widened to 19-7.
Heller drove down the lane for another basket and Hissner’s three capped an explosive first quarter for Faith, good for a 26-11 advantage.
Hissner hit another three and Heller added four more points in the second to help the Lions build a commanding 35-16 lead.
But Morrisville closed the first half with a 10-0 run to tighten things to 35-26 at the break.
Ella Quince, who scored 15 first-half points for the Bulldogs, scored on a breakaway layup to send Morrisville into the locker room with a burst of momentum.
Abby Bowersock scored on a rebound to start Faith off strong in the third, and the Lions would increase the margin to 15 when Hissner was wide open underneath in transition.
But Morrisville hung around, using Quince’s production (game-high 24 pts) along with some baskets down low by Lindsey to get to within 46-34 at the end of the third.
Faith kept the lead in double digits the entire fourth, and when the Lions snapped their passes around, finding Acevedo for an open three that made it 53-39, Faith knew it was headed to New Hope.
“We want that chance to go back at them,” coach Forker said. “We played with them for three quarters and then they blew us out that fourth quarter. We want another crack at them, just to see if we’re improving and to get tested against a good team going into districts.
“It’ll be a tough night but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Faith Christian 61, Morrisville 41
Morrisville 11 15 8 7 – 41
Faith Christian 26 9 11 15 – 61
Morrisville: Mahogany Hampton 1 0-0 2; Dreyanna Graham 0 1-2 1; Ella Quince 8 7-11 24; Brielle Lindsey 5 4-10 14. Totals 14 12-23 41.
Faith Christian: Sydney Heller 6 2-2 14; Joy Hissner 7 0-2 16; Izabella Forker 1 2-4 5; Abby Bowersock 4 0-0 8; Niky Cassiani 1 0-0 2; Karleigh Garber 2 0-0 5; Bianca Acevedo 5 0-1 11. Totals 26 4-9 61.
3-pointers: M-Quince; FC-Hissner 2, Forker, Garber, Acevedo.
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