A great winter season

By on March 13, 2013

Todd Ruth

Ephrata Review

Sports Editor One of the more memorable and entertaining winter sports seasons in recent memory will be put in the books this weekend with the conclusion of the State Swim Meet.

Wrestling certainly had its moments with Ephrata’s Todd Dumas winning an L-L crown, and his teammate Riley Eidemiller advancing to Districts. And swimming too, with the Cocalico girls winning their second straight section title while their trio of Samantha Marino and Olivia and Sidney Evans making it all the way to States.

But this year, basketball definitely was king. They couldn’t have written a better script for our area with the Section Two girls title coming down to a one-game playoff between Ephrata and Cocalico.

That was so much fun covering both of those teams.

Ephrata, which defeated Cocalico in that playoff game to win the title, fought through major injuries and adversity to claim its second section title in five years. It was so neat to watch those girls persevere and eventually cut down the nets. They truly deserved to be called champions.

As for Cocalico, while it had to be tough watching the archrival Lady Mounts celebrate, their extremely young squad gained so much valuable experience this year and is primed to take over the top spot next season with star Marissa Gingrich back for her senior season as well as a slew of talented underclassmen.

Can’t wait to watch them make a run at it next season, and in years to come under Coach Tony DiMatteo, who has really energized that program.

On the boys’ side, my memories of the 2012-13 season will always begin with the triple overtime thriller between Cocalico and Ephrata late in the season. The way both of those teams executed time after time in that game when it looked as if one team finally had gained the advantage, was downright unbelievable.

Certainly there will be other memories besides that game that will make this season stick out.

I truly believe Ephrata has finally turned the corner toward the good after an exciting, yet frustrating season. While the Mounts finished with just five wins, they were close in a bunch of them, losing eight games by four points or less.

They must find a way to make up for the outstanding inside game provided by senior Evan Radcliffe, but they do return several key pieces to the mix, including scorers Aaron Hubbard and Nate Zimmerman, along with All-Section defensive player Brady Sipe.

I believe the Mounts have a promising future.

Speaking of promising, Cocalico unveiled freshman guard Tucker Lescoe this season, and boy did the kid deliver. All Lescoe did was lead his team in scoring (15.5 p.p.g.) and eclipsed 20 points six times this season, including a career-high 30 against Solanco late in the year.

Can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeves the next three years.

Basketball Averages: Six local players (both boys and girls) averaged in double figures this season, including Lescoe. Senior Oliver Denlinger, who led the section in three pointers, was second in scoring on the Cocalico boys team, scoring 11.8 per contest.

Gingrich averaged 14.4 points a game for the Cocalico girls, while Sarah Haddon scored 15.7 a night to lead the Lady Mounts. The Ephrata boys had two players in double digits, led by Radcliffe’s 15.6 p.p.g. Hubbard was the other, tallying 13.6 a contest.

‘We Are Manheim’: If you haven’t had a chance to see the ESPN E:60 presentation of "We Are Manheim," here is the online link: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8991695.

This is a truly sad and moving story on the four Manheim Central football players who were lost in a tragic car accident two years ago. Jeremy Schaap examines the story with former Manheim Central quarterback Caleb Walton as the centerpiece of this triumph over tragedy, chronicling from the day of the accident to the end of the following season.

A truly powerful program with a powerful message, and I encourage all parents with teenagers to watch this with them. More RUTH, page B-2

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