Girls Basketball - Derry vs Freeport
Big Third Quarter Powers Freeport Girls to 49-42 Win over Derry Area
An offensive explosion and tough defense in the third quarter broke open a close game, powering visiting Freeport to a 49-42 win over the Lady Trojans of Derry Area on Monday, January 31, at Derry Area High School.
Derry opened the game on a quick 8-point run before Freeport got on the board just over 3 minutes into the quarter. Samantha Gruska's 3-pointer extended the Lady Trojans lead to 11-2 with just over 4 minutes left in the quarter and it looked to be Derry's night. But Derry's offense stalled out and Freeport battled back, closing the gap and taking a 13-11 lead on Melaina DeZort's 3-pointer at the 1:10 mark. Ava Soilis also drained a 3 late in the quarter and Freeport ended the half on a 14-point run to lead 16-11.
After the Yellowjackets opened a 19-13 lead in the first two minutes of the second quarter, Derry went on a run of their own. The Trojans scored 12 unanswered points over the next six minutes to take a 25-19 lead with 2:15 left in the half. The Yellowjackets finally stopped the bleeding, closing the gap in the closing minutes of the half, but Derry led 27-23 at the intermission. All five starters contributed to the Trojans 16-point second quarter, with Tiana Moracco leading the way with 8.
The outcome of the game turned on the third quarter, in which Freeport put up 18 points to only 4 for Derry. Freeport's Ava Soilis and Morgan Croney each dropped a pair of long-range torpedoes from behind the arc while the Trojans couldn't seem to get anything to drop through the cylinder. Freeport led 41-31 going into the final quarter.
With a short bench and in a bit of foul trouble, Derry still wasn't giving up. Four times they fed guard Jane Huss on the break, and the Trojans pulled within two to trail 41-39 with 5:26 left to play. But with Mara Lewis already fouled out and two other players on the court with 4, Derry had only one available player left on the bench. Freeport was able to run game clock and pad their lead down the stretch while the Trojans couldn't get too aggressive on defense, and the Yellowjackets held on to win the Class 4A Section 1 battle 49-42.
Freeport's Melaina DeZort led all scoring with 18, while Ava Soilis added 15 and Morgan Croney 13 for the Jackets. Derry was led by Tiana Moracco with 16 and Jane Huss with 12.
Next up for Derry Area (7-10, 4-6) is a visit to Deer Lakes for a section game on Thursday 2/3. Freeport (5-8, 4-4) will host Valley for a section game the same night.
Watch this link for a full gallery of action photos available for purchase or sharing the day after the game.
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