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Upper Moreland bests Mount Saint Joseph Academy for District 1-5A’s 5th seed

Upper Moreland's Holly Gohl scored 13 points in a 30-26 win over Mount Saint Joseph Academy Tuesday.

WILLOW GROVE >> Holly Gohl scored nine of Upper Moreland’s 12 points in the first half of the District 1-5A fifth-place game against Mount Saint Joseph Academy, but when the Golden Bears went to the lockerroom the message was a negative one about her defense.

Gohl took the criticism to heart and improved on the defensive end in the second half. The fifth-seeded Golden Bears held the seventh-seeded Magic to seven points in the third quarter and three in the fourth to pull out a 30-26 win at Upper Moreland Senior High School Tuesday night.

“It fired me up,” Gohl, who scored a game-high 13 points, said, “because (coach Matt Carroll) was saying I need to help better and I definitely did because they kept driving right past me. It made me realize that I needed to step up. I need to step up, play some defense because they are clearly a very skilled driving team… That really got me motivated to start helping more and fired me up.

“We really communicated well, boxed out well (in the fourth quarter). Every time they got an offensive rebound they would score. We really just had to box out and that helped us.”

After Gohl dominated offensively in the first half, it was her teammates who carried the load after the break.

Upper Moreland’s Mikel Lancit scored back-to-back baskets in the middle of the third quarter to turn a one-point deficit into a three-point lead. She added two free throws early in the fourth quarter to cut a four-point deficit in half.

Marie Meyers tied the game at 25 with two free throws with 4:06 left in the game and made a baseline runner with 1:25 left to put the Golden Bears ahead for good, 27-26.

“That’s kind of who we are right now,” Carroll said. “It’s either EmmyFaith (Wood) or Holly who’s scoring a lot. Since EmmyFaith’s injury it’s been Holly. Then other people step up. Marie stepped up, hitting a huge bucket at the end of the game.”

“Marie – huge job by her,” Gohl added. “I literally could not be more proud of her. She just got out of her head and took the ball to the basket.”

Wood went 2-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minute and Gohl split a pair to make it a two-possession game, 30-26, with 20.8 seconds left.

The Mount drew a few fouls on the final possession of the game, but Gohl grabbed the rebound on the last shot, her 13th board of the night, to secure the victory.

“It felt great, honestly,” she said. “They’re so athletic. (Mount’s Georgia Pickett is) so athletic she got every rebound over us. Finally grabbing one to seal the deal was really good.”

Upper Moreland will face the District 11 champion in the first round of the PIAA-5A state playoffs next Saturday while the Mount will face the District 12 winner.

“I don’t care who we play we play,” Carroll said. “If you give us 11 days to play anybody, we’ll take all 11 days, we’ll work on what we have to work on and the girls prepare so well. We’ll be ready for anybody.”

“This is awesome,” Gohl said. “I’m honestly so proud of my team. We really wanted this. Obviously losing in districts – that was our main goal – but this is awesome. This is awesome for us. It’s a great experience for everyone.”

Pickett led the Magic with 12 points and 13 rebounds and Lauren Hoffman added eight.

Hoffman’s three-pointer with 2:50 left in the third quarter gave the Mount a 23-21 lead that would hold through the end of the quarter. Pickett’s layup early in the fourth extended the lead to four points, 25-21, before the Golden Bears ended the game on a 9-1 run over 6:20.

The teams played to a 10-10 tie after the first quarter and were locked at 12-12 late in the second. Hoffman scored four straight to send the Magic to the break with a 16-12 lead.

Upper Moreland 30, Mount Saint Joseph Academy 26

Mount Saint Joseph Academy 10 6 7 3 – 26

Upper Moreland 10 2 9 9 – 30

Mount Saint Joseph Academy: Kiersten Pumilia 0 2-2 2, Lauren Hoffman 3 1-2 8, Chloe McGrorty 1 0-0 2, Emily Birmingham 0 0-0 0, Georgia Pickett 6 0-2 12, Addison Smith 0 0-0 0, Carlie Shouldis 1 0-0 2, Bridget Horgan 0 0-0 0. Total 11 3-6 26.

Upper Moreland: Mikel Lancit 2 2-3 6, Alyssa Wiley 1 0-0 3, EmmyFaith Wood 0 2-4 2, Holly Gohl 5 1-2 13, Allie LaRocco 0 0-0 0, Lilly Hansen 0 0-0 0, Marie Meyers 2 2-2 6, Maggie Brophy 0 0-0 0. Total 10 7-11 30.

3-point goals: MSJ: Lauren Hoffman. UM: Alyssa Wiley, Holly Gohl 2.

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