Home Local Sports Padua Academy basketball stages second-half surge to defeat Delaware Military Academy: Photo...

Padua Academy basketball stages second-half surge to defeat Delaware Military Academy: Photo gallery

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Abby Grillo had 18 points to lead Padua, including four three-pointers. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — Trailing by five at halftime, Padua needed one main thing to happen in the second half to earn a comeback win at Delaware Military Academy. The Pandas had to put the ball in the hoop.

They did just that. After a scoreless second quarter, the Pandas outscored the Seahawks, 32-13, in the second half to notch a 43-29 win on Jan. 23 at the Fusco Athletic Center. They improved to 10-2 with the win.

Abby Grillo drained a three-point shot to open the third quarter, Padua’s first points since Grillo’s short jumper toward the end of the first quarter gave the Pandas an 11-7 lead. After Grillo’s triple, the Pandas turned a rebound into a long outlet pass from Kai Dwirantwi to Grace Trerotola, who tied the game at 16 with a layup.

Padua scored the first 10 points of the third, but DMA stayed close. Maya Hill scored the Seahawks’ first points of the quarter on a conventional three-point play with 4:14 remaining, and a corner three for Tavi Prado drew DMA to within a point, 23-22, late in the quarter. The Pandas led, 26-22, after three.

But that was short-lived. Hill scored on a fast break to start the scoring, and she began the next offensive drive with a rebound and outlet to Abbygayle Riddell, who hit a shot while being fouled. After Riddell’s free throw, the Seahawks found themselves back on top by a point.

The Pandas, however, stepped up the rebounding and defense, and DMA would score just two free throws the rest of the way. Grillo, meanwhile, got hot from the field, beginning immediately after Riddell’s three-point play. The junior drained a three after sidestepping a Seahawks defender, and Padua had a 29-27 lead it would not give up.

Grillo connected from distance on her next attempt as the Pandas began to stretch the lead. Delaware Military got to within three with a pair of free throws, but the Pandas scored the final 11 points of the night. Grillo and Dwirantwi combined for nine of them; Abigail Hayes had the other two on free throws.

Grillo finished with 18 points, while Dwirantwi had 12 for Padua. The Pandas will host St. Elizabeth on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Hill led the Seahawks with 11, and Prado added 9. DMA (7-5) will play the fourth of six straight at home on Friday against First State Military; tipoff is at 4 p.m.

Photos by Mike Lang.