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Morgan leads Caravel to 55-44 win over Padua at Diamond State

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WILMINGTON Padua Academy gave Caravel Academy a game on Monday afternoon, but the Buccaneers had too much for the Pandas in the 55-44 Caravel win. The matchup was the consolation game of the First State Orthopaedics Cup in the Diamond State Classic at the St. E Center.

Padua took at 9-8 lead into the second quarter, but Caroline Davis nailed a three-pointer to give Caravel an 11-9 lead. The Pandas’ Megan Mallon got those points right back, but the 12-11 lead was Padua’s last for the game. After Davis tied it with a free throw, the Buccaneers’ Micah Morgan took over. She scored six points on two three-point shots during a 12-point Caravel run and added another eight points before halftime.

Padua was plagued by turnovers and poor shooting in the quarter. Besides Mallon’s three, they could manage just three more points on a trey by Hannah Schlegel that ended the Caravel run. The Bucs took a 30-15 lead into the locker room thanks to another three-pointer from Morgan, this one a buzzer-beater.

Morgan credited her teammates for continuing to feed her the ball after a rough first period. The key, she said, was playing smart basketball.

“In the second quarter, it was more a matter of slowing down the game and making sure we took care of the ball because we had the lead. We just needed to slow down and think about every pass we were making and share the ball,” she said.

Caravel coach Kristen Caldwell like her team’s smart play, finding Morgan when Padua was denying Davis the opportunity to get the ball.

Padua (2-4) trailed by 13 after three quarters and trimmed the deficit to eight points midway through the fourth, but the Pandas could not overcome their opponent. The Pandas scored 10 of their 15 points in the final quarter from the foul line, all from Rachel Liskiewicz and Mallon. Liskiewicz led the Pandas with 16 points, while Mallon had 12.

Morgan finished with a game-high 28 points to lead the Bucs, who improved to 4-1 on the season. Davis added 11.

Morgan said the win against Padua was important for the Buccaneers as they head into a challenging month. They host Concord on Friday at 7:15 p.m., then face a four-game stretch against St. Elizabeth, St. Mark’s, Ursuline and Sanford later in the month.

“We do have a lot of tough games coming up. This is like getting a running head start going into the next part of our season. This is a really big win for us,” she said.

Padua is back in action Friday at 7:15 p.m. at home vs. No. 1 St. Elizabeth. The Pandas will get another shot at Caravel in the regular-season finale Feb. 18 at Padua.

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