Conrad Weiser completes comeback, stuns Cocalico

By on February 18, 2015

 

 Cocalico’s Tucker Lescoe rises up for a three-point attempt over Con¬rad Weiser defender Pierce Brosious Tuesday. (Photo by Dick Wanner)

Cocalico’s Tucker Lescoe rises up for a three-point attempt over Con¬rad Weiser defender Pierce Brosious Tuesday. (Photo by Dick Wanner)

hether it is NCAA March Madness or the PIAA District Three Tournament the seven vs. ten match-ups are often a toss-up and upsets can be the norm.

That was the case in Denver Tuesday as number seven ranked Cocalico was upended by 10-seed Conrad Weiser, 46-43 in a game that officially and abruptly ended the Eagles’ season.

Weiser used a big fourth quarter, out-scoring Cocalico 16-5 down the home stretch to steal the win and advance. The Scouts will play on, earning a quarterfinal bid vs. two-seed Bishop McDevitt Friday at Giant Center in Hershey, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Cocalico closes out the season at 16-8.

The home team controlled much of the game Tuesday, leading 14-9 after one period, punctuated by a 50-foot shot by junior guard Tucker Lescoe from behind the half-court line. Lescoe grabbed a rebound (game high 13) spun away from the Weiser defense, took four dribbles, and with great clock awareness let the ball fly. When it splashed through the net, the black clad student section roared the five-point lead.

Cocalico stretched the lead to 27-20 at the half in a second period of runs. The Eagles built the lead to 12, scoring the first seven of the quarter as three different players scored, including a three by senior guard Austin Noll. The Scouts (17-8), after a time out, ran off 11 straight of their own, cashing in on three Cocalico turnovers and a rushed shot to draw within one.

The Eagles returned to the long range game with a minute and a half left in the half, cashing in threes by both Lescoe and Noll. A third long trey by Lescoe just rimmed out as both teams left the court.

“I thought we did a good job mixing up the defense and controlling the tempo in the first half,” said Cocalico Coach Travis Wealand. “We handled the pressure well and played our style of game.”

The Eagles tacked one more onto the lead in the third, out-pointing Weiser 11-10 in that frame to enter the fourth with a 38-30 margin. The see-saw continued in the third with the Scouts banking the first five, including a three ball from leading scorer Cartier Talford (21 points, 3 threes). But, Cocalico continued to have the answer, netting five of their own, the final two by senior John Waskowicz, prompting Weiser to call a time out.

The two clubs traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter, but the Eagles scores were both threes, pressing the advantage to eight.

That’s when the sides of the well caved in on the Eagles, as Talford and his Scout teammates ran off 11 straight points to take a three-point lead, their first lead since early in the first period. Lescoe drained a contested three with 2:36 left to re-tie the game, setting up the nail biting finish.

Cocalico was caught off guard on an inbounds play, leaving senior guard Drew Gibble uncovered for a lay-up and a 43-41 Weiser lead. The Eagles returned the favor after a time out and 1:22 left, dialing up an uncontested lay-up as Lescoe found junior forward Damien Ricks underneath.

Forced to turn to a man-to-man defense, the Eagles saw the Scouts’ Talford plot his move, driving to his right and banking in a four footer to make the Berks County school’s lead 45-43. On the Eagles’ ensuing trip, Cocalico got the ball into the paint as Waskowicz rebounded his own miss, but the second attempt wouldn’t fall either and the Eagles were forced to foul.

Weiser junior Koran Jordan only made one of two, leaving the door open for Cocalico. After a time out, Lescoe found Noll open in the corner, but the tying effort bounced long, ending the threat.

“We got the play we wanted,” explained Wealand. “We knew they would double Tucker (Lescoe), but the shot just didn’t fall.”

The goal at the beginning of the season is always to get to the post season, the playoffs. But as the Eagles found out, what you wish for can come to an end quickly, even on your home court.

“I feel bad for the two seniors (Waskowicz and Noll),” said Wealand. “We honored them in the locker room after the game. The coaches talked about how proud we are and how hard they worked.”

Lescoe completed the double-double, leading the Eagles’ offense with 14 points, including four treys. Junior Moses Ulysse fired in eight, while seniors Noll and Waskowicz ended their high school careers with six apiece. Waskowicz also contributed seven rebounds in the loss.

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