A fitting way to end
Sports Editor Have to admit it doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to a dream match-up for this newspaper.
Ephrata vs. Cocalico. For all the marbles.
If it were up to me, it would come down to this every year, every season, and in every sport.
For those of you who have been in attendance this year for any of the boys or girls match-ups between the two schools, they have been nothing short of fantastic.
And this Friday should be the best.
This past Friday, these two local communities filled two rather large gyms to the rafters and were treated to a girls game that lived up to its billing, and a boys game that was simply one for the ages.
Not sure Garden Spot, which is among the biggest gyms in the county, is going to hold ‘em all if everyone comes out again.
Here’s a tip: Get there early.
In a way, it is kind of a shame there is going to be a losing team come Friday night because both the Ephrata and Cocalico girls are deserving of a championship.
For Ephrata, what it has overcome this year with three season-ending injuries to starting point guard Joelisa Harvest, as well as key reserves Morgan Fasnacht and Hannah Raezer, to be in this position at all says all you need to know about the character and fight in this team.
And Cocalico has grown up before our eyes. With just three seniors on the entire roster, the best is yet to come for this squad.
Both coaching staffs deserve a ton of credit in helping mold both these squads. And both teams, win or lose Friday, deserve a great deal of credit.
Best of luck to both teams.
In the numbers: How good have the Cocalico and Ephrata girls been this year? Well, if you take a look at each teams losses, neither team has lost a game against an inferior team which I feel highlights what I was talking about above.
Heading into Tuesday’s action, the combined record for the teams responsible for Cocalico’s four losses is 66-17. Those teams include: Tri-Valley (19-2), the top-ranked Class A team in District 11; Manheim Township (18-2), the fifth-rated team in District Three AAAA; Solanco (13-8), ranked 16th in District Three AAAA; and Ephrata (16-5), the 10th ranked team in AAAA.
Ephrata’s competition has been even a little better as the combined record of the teams who beat the Lady Mounts prior to Tuesday is 85-16. Ephrata’s losses are to: Fleetwood (16-4), ranked 11th in District Three AAA girls; Cocalico (16-4), 11th in District Three AAAA; Lampeter-Strasburg (19-1), the number eight team in District Three AAAA; Township; and Hempfield (12-5), the 12th-rated team in District Three AAAA.
Boys Thriller: While a lot of attention was focused on the Ephrata-Cocalico girls’ game this past Friday, the boys’ game between the two schools was downright unbelievable.
I, like many, went to the girls’ game but because of our friends at Cable 11, we were able to catch it on DVR.
I stayed up until after 1 a.m. Friday, watching in amazement the effort and play-making that was being displayed in that 85-82 triple overtime thriller.
It will go down as not only one of the best Ephrata-Cocalico games I’ve ever seen, it is clearly one of the best basketball games I’ve seen played.
Every time one team would seemingly have it won, the other would make an unbelievable play to get right back in it.
Cocalico Coach Travis Wealand, who was on the winning side, summed it up best Tuesday night.
"That was the best game I’ve ever been a part of, even when I played," he said. "I don’t remember anything like that. It was unreal. Both teams were making plays. One team would come down and hit a shot, and the other team would come down and hit another one. It was just back and forth. When it’s a rivalry game like that it makes it more fun, and it was a cable game so the kids can re-live it forever. That’s pretty cool."
It was pretty cool. And I was glad to say I saw it, even if it was in my living room. More RUTH, page B-3