Cocalico girls give Solanco a scare

By on December 20, 2017

If you just look at the records and the experience level, the Cocalico girls basketball team (0-6 overall, 0-2 league) didn’t have much of a chance Monday night when they hosted Solanco (4-1, 1-0) in Denver.

Graduation and injuries have erased the six top scorers from last year’s 14-win Cocalico team.

But after one period Monday the deficit was only four. At the half, it had shrunk to three. And with three minutes to go in the game, despite a 10-0 Golden Mares run in the third frame, the Lady Eagles had clawed back to within five at 50-45.

The one puzzle Cocalico couldn’t solve was the trapping full court press from Solanco after every made basket and free throw.

The final score of 62-49 did not reflect how tight a Section Two battle it really was.

“You combine the turnovers with the offensive rebounds that Solanco got, they got a lot more shots than us,” explained Eagle coach Andrew Garrett. “Having more opportunities, you’re fighting an uphill battle there.”

“I thought (Cocalico) played a great game,” said Mares head coach Chad McDowell, after the contest. “They had a good game plan and Andrew (Garrett) had them ready to play us. They came out and they hit shots.”

Lady Eagle junior Corrie Lescoe led the way in period one with seven points on three buckets (one a three) and would end up with 15 for the game.

Quarter two was taken over by Cocalico freshman Hannah Custer, who hit her own three while adding 4-for-4 on foul shot attempts. She also took over as floor general from her point guard position and ended up at the top of the stat sheet with 17 points.

“We’re asking her (Custer) to do a lot,” explained Garrett. “The entire starting five is out there a lot. Regardless of the score, they needed to feel like they were playing a well-played game. I thought that by and large, they did that tonight.

“I challenged them to really step it up,” said McDowell, when asked about the critical 10-0 run after the Lady Eagles had drawn to within one on a basket by junior Shelby White (eight points) in the first minute of the second half. “It was all on our defense. The defense created our offense. We were able to get steals and turnovers.”

Juniors Grace Kreider and Jess Cabrera led the Lady Mares offense with 16 points apiece and had plenty of help from sophomore Jenna Dombach (13) and fellow junior Aleksa Burger (9).

“The boxing out and the rebounding are the next steps,” said Garrett, looking forward on the schedule. “Some of it is technique and I can’t fault the effort tonight.”

In addition to Monday, Cocalico opened Section Two play Friday night with a 62-34 loss at Garden Spot.

The host Spartans jumped out to a big 36-14 half-time lead and cruised the rest of the way for the victory.

Cocalico was led by White, who scored 12 points in the defeat. Custer added 11 in the Cocalico loss.

The Lady Eagles also were in action last Thursday in a non-league contest at home vs. Twin Valley.

Again, a rough start plagued Cocalico as the Raiders built a 29-9 half-time cushion and were never challenged the rest of the way.

Hannah Greenly led Cocalico with nine points in the loss.

Up next, Cocalico will look to earn its first win of the season Wednesday night in a back-yard tussle at Ephrata. The Lady Eagles will also travel to Palmyra Friday for a non-league contest.



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