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Morrisville girls basketball pours it on in 4th-quarter to get past Calvary Christian (VIDEO)

PHILADELPHIA – Visiting Morrisville was leading Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) rival Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) by double digits late in the second period then watched as the Lady Cougars climbed back into the game with a 12-4 third period run.

Combined with two buckets Calvary (4-6) poured into the basket in the closing moments of the first half, that’s a 12-point margin the home team erased in the middle of the contest.

With a minute to go in the third period, Lady Bulldogs head coach Dave Howell called a timeout and spent the next minute chiding his players for lackluster play.

“We started off strong; we played pretty good and then we just went into a funk,” said Howell.

“We didn’t seem to have any fire – not smiling, not laughing, not talking to each other.”

During the timeout, the coach did all the talking and his team responded – to the tune of a 22-point fourth quarter.

Junior forward Gabby Fogg, who led all scorers with 21 points, hit for five shots from the floor in the final frame. Senior point guard Denise Sacco poured three of her six field goals into the basket in the fourth quarter and Morrisville went on to a 52-43 win, a much-needed victory that pushes the Bulldogs to 6-4 overall and more importantly 2-3 in the BAL.

“We finally woke up,” said Sacco, after the game. “We were pressing and I think we got to them with our press.

“(Coach) told us we needed to get fired up; we needed to pull it away.

“It should never have been 30-30. (I’m) not saying anything about their team; it was just lack of effort on our part.”

The Bulldogs took command in the final frame, beginning the fourth quarter with a 14-2 run. A one-handed jumper by sophomore Tiara McClease, a putback by Fogg and a basket off a Cougar turnover put Morrisville up six points coming out of the gate.

While Calvary kept it close with a short jumper by Victoria Stum, the Bulldogs answered with a driving layup by Fogg, a baseline jumper by junior Natrece Harper and two more by Fogg, the second of which came off a feed from Sacco.

The scoring spurt by the visitors put Morrisville back on top by a dozen with less than four minutes to go.

“That’s what a press is – you put pressure on to get an easy two points,” said Sacco.

While a shot off the glass that was made by CCA freshman Amelia Johnson and the second 3-pointer in the game by senior Julia Cervone cut the Bulldogs’ edge back to seven, Morrisville answered back with a bucket off the inbounds pass by freshman Enijah King and a steal and an ensuing layup by Sacco that expanded the visitors’ edge back to 11 points with 2:15 remaining in regulation.

Fogg hit another basket off the inbounds and Sacco hit another off the glass in the final minute, which was a good thing as the Cougars countered with a pair of baskets by senior point guard Meghan Barish (10 pts.), of Langhorne, and short jumper by Stum, who hails from Feasterville.

Calvary didn’t help its cause by missing a pair of free throws in the third period, two more in the fourth quarter and three one-and-one chances at the foul line in the final frame.

“We struggled with handling the pressure and making too many silly, mental mistakes instead of just being confident in our game,” said Cougars first-year head coach Jen Heckel.

“They are a very fast-paced team and they’re very quick to react to things. They were thinking the game more so than we were which I think is a strength. They have two really good leaders in (number) three and 22, who really seem to take control.”

That would be Sacco and Fogg, not coincidentally the leading scorers for the Bulldogs. Denise is averaging 14 points-per-game while Gabby is averaging ten.

In a tipoff tournament at Bristol, Morrisville dropped the Dec. 4 opener to Truman but rebounded the next day with a 51-46 win over the host team Warriors. Sacco paced the Bulldogs with 31 points including eight 3-pointers.

In addition to her 10 fourth-quarter points in this game, Fogg led Morrisville with three field goals in the first quarter. Sacco came through with five points in the second period including a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs also got an early boost from sophomore Tiara McClease (8 pts.), who hit for four points in the first period and six in the first half.

Junior Natrece Harper (5 pts.) poured a 3-ball into the basket in the first period and added a field goal in the fourth.

Calvary falls to 4-6 overall, 1-5 in the BAL. CCA sophomore Melanie Werner was one of two players in double digits for the Cougars. From Southampton, she scored 11 points in the game. Barish was the other; she added 10 points, all of which came in the second half including six in the third period when Calvary drew even. Senior forward Mary Pelullo, of Newtown, added six points to the Cougars’ cause.

NOTES: Sacco needs just 65 points to reach 1,000 for her career. Morrisville has home games today against The Christian Academy and tomorrow vs. MaST Charter.

Contact the author at, or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter

Morrisville 52, Calvary Christian 43

(Jan. 5 at Calvary Christian)

Calvary Christian 8 10 12 13 – 43

Morrisville            14 12 4 22 – 52

CALVARY CHRISTIAN — Melanie Werner 11, Tori Stum 6, Carrie Stauffer 2, Mary Pelullo 6, Amelia Johnson 2, Julia Cervone 6, Meghan Barish 10; TOTALS — 20 0-7 43.

3-POINT GOALS — Cervone 2, Werner.

MORRISVILLE — Gabrielle Fogg 21, Natrece Harper 5, Enijah King 5, Tiara McClease 8, Denise Sacco 13; TOTALS — 24 2-8 52.

3-POINT GOALS — Harper, Sacco.

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