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Upper Moreland rallies, beats Upper Dublin in overtime

UPPER DUBLIN >> Upper Moreland’s offense managed just two points in the third quarter and 14 in the game entering the fourth quarter against Upper Dublin Tuesday night. The Golden Bears faced a nine-point deficit – the largest difference of the night – with eight minutes left in regulation.

Holly Gohl and EmmyFaith Wood combined for nine of Upper Moreland’s 12 points in the fourth. The other three came on Allie LaRocco’s game-tying three-pointer with 40 seconds left. The tie score held for the rest of regulation and Wood made the only basket in overtime to lift the Golden Bears to a 28-26 Suburban One League crossover win at Upper Dublin High School.

“We still have this stigma that Upper Dublin is Upper Dublin, Upper Moreland is Upper Moreland,” Upper Moreland coach Matt Carroll said. “No matter how much I tell the girls it’s not the same. I just told them at the end of the fourth quarter, ‘I’m not calling plays. Just go play basketball. You’re good enough to beat them. You’re good enough to score. You’re good enough to go one-on-one.’ Obviously Holly was awesome, EmmyFaith was awesome and at the end of the game made some huge, huge plays for us. The other girls knew exactly what to do and defended well.”

“The past few years they beat us just from their name,” Gohl said. “Upper Dublin is such a great team, but now we beat them. It feels great.”

“It’s an exciting win because we know that they’re a good team,” Wood added. “We’ve been looking forward to this game. Glad to get the team win.”

The Golden Bears (10-1, 7-1 SOL Freedom) trailed, 23-14, after three quarters. Gohl and Wood made layups to start the fourth before Gohl’s three-pointer cut the deficit to 23-21 with 5:20 left.

Megan Ngo answered with a three for the Cardinals (7-4, 5-3 SOL Liberty) to extend the advantage to five, 26-21 with under four minutes to go, but those were the last points Upper Dublin would score.

Wood hit a jumper before LaRocco swished a game-tying three from the right wing, which evened the score at 26 with 40 seconds remaining.

“We just had to stay calm and take smart shots,” Gohl said. “We were rushing a little bit in the third quarter because they came out strong and had us down, but we came back really strong. Allie LaRocco hit a huge three for us. Lilly (Hansen) rebounded great for us, Alyssa Wiley had a great rebound for us. It was just everyone contributed to help out.”

“It’s been the common theme for our season so far,” Upper Dublin coach Morgan Funsten said, “that we haven’t been able to close out games when they’re close and we play three good quarters. I thought in the fourth quarter we lost the game on the defensive end. I thought the frustrations on the offensive end carried over to the defensive end and we made mistakes, we gave up offensive rebounds and I thought there were a lot of mental mistakes that you can’t make in such a low-scoring game like this.”

Wood made the game-winner around the midway point of the four-minute extra session. Her pull-up jumper in the lane gave the Golden Bears a 28-26 lead.

“I work on that in transition and that’s similar to what it ended up being,” she said. “I’m thankful for that. All glory to God on that one, on all of them, but I’m thankful that my coaches have had me specifically work on that pull-up short jumper out of transition.”

Upper Dublin committed a turnover and missed two shots on their next three possessions, while Upper Moreland went 0-for-2 from the field, but grabbed two offensive rebounds, and missed the front-end of two one-and-ones, the second with less than 10 seconds left.

Upper Dublin got the ball to Ngo on the final play. The freshman, who scored a game-high 18 points, drove to the basket and couldn’t get the shot to go when she collided with Hansen.

“(Ngo’s) been consistent for us all year,” Funsten said. “She’s a special player. She made some big-time plays tonight. I thought she had a really nice take there on the last play of overtime, had a nice strong take and there was a lot of contact, but let them play through it and didn’t end up getting on our side of that call. She was dynamite tonight.”

Ngo did most of the heavy lifting in building Upper Dublin’s lead after three quarters.

After UD’s Kaitlyn Zacharia broke the 12-12 tie more than halfway through the third quarter with a three-pointer, Wood responded with a basket to make it 15-14. From there, Ngo closed the quarter on a personal 8-0 run. She hit a three-pointer to make it 18-14, a baseline jumper to make it 20-14 and an old fashion three-point play at the buzzer to make it 23-14.

“Megan Ngo took over the game for them,” Carroll said. “She’s so good. I know the family well and I hope her sister (Amy) gets back on the court very soon, because they’re going to be a dangerous, dangerous team. She took over, we fell behind and just had to ramp up our defense.”

Gohl finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Golden Bears while Wood added 10 points.

Upper Moreland 28, Upper Dublin 26 (OT)

Upper Moreland 5 7 2 12 2 – 28

Upper Dublin 3 9 11 3 0 – 26

UM: Mikel Lancit 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Wiley 0 0-0 0, EmmyFaith Wood 5 0-1 10, Lilly Hansen 0 0-0 0, Holly Gohl 5 0-2 12, Marie Meyers 0 0-0 0, Allie LaRocco 2 0-0 6. Total 12 0-3 28.

UD: Brighid Brady 0 0-0 0, Alaina Sanders 0 0-1 0, Megan Ngo 6 3-7 18, Lilli Kleiman 1 0-0 2, Kaitlyn Zacharia 1 0-0 3, Colleen Besachio 0 0-0 0, Nora Brady 1 0-0 3. Total 9 3-8 26.

3-point goals: UM: Allie LaRocco 2, Holly Gohl 2. UD: Megan Ngo 3, Nora Brady, Kaitlyn Zacharia.

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