Crushing defeat

By on February 19, 2014

Cocalico’s Emily White (33) drives on Maddie Rakow of Lebanon during Tuesday’s District game. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Cocalico’s Emily White (33) drives on Maddie Rakow of Lebanon during Tuesday’s District game. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Cedar free throw with no time left sends Lady Eagles home

Tuesday’s District playoff opener at Lebanon between Cocalico and the host Cedars had overtime written all over it.

After the teams went toe-to-toe the entire night with neither team enjoying more than a seven-point cushion, Cocalico’s Emily White rebounded a Brittany Ulrich miss with two seconds to play and the score tied at 42-42, and Lady Eagle Coach Tony DiMatteo frantically signaled for a time-out.

“When we got the rebound I wanted to call the time-out to settle it, because I didn’t want a turnover at that point,” he said later. “I was out on the court yelling, ‘time-out, time-out, time-out…’ they didn’t look. I understand the referee has got to ref the game but they got to understand that situation and see the whole court too. And no one saw me.”

What happened next was borderline cruel to Cocalico. Lebanon guard Lauren Chambers reached in and ripped the ball out of White’s hands and went to the ground as time ran out. Unfortunately for Cocalico, White was whistled for the foul with no time left.

Chambers then went to the line and calmly drained the ensuing foul shot, and the Lady Eagles walked out of the gym stunned, staring at a season-ending 43-42 loss.

“It’s hard,” DiMatteo said when asked again of the final play. “When Emily got the ball I saw there was 2.7 seconds on the clock and I was yelling…but no one looked. That’s the disadvantage of being the away team in a loud gym I guess. And then the next thing I know the ref is calling a foul. I then was trying to call a time-out (to ice Chambers) and they told me, ‘you can’t call a time-out when there is 0.0 on the clock.’ The game is over.”

And just like that, Cocalico’s season was over.

Lebanon advances to Friday’s quarterfinals at East Pennsboro where the Cedars will take on third-seeded Dover, which advanced Tuesday in a 46-38 victory over Exeter.

As for the Lady Eagles, they closed out the season at 15-10, and will now say good-bye to three seniors, including 1,000-point scorer Marissa Gingrich, who scored a game-high 20 points in her final game to finish with 1,047 career points.

“It’s tough,” DiMatteo said of the way it ended. “I feel for my three seniors, who worked really hard. They gave everything, they wanted two more weeks…If we would have won tonight, we would have had a couple more games yet….they really were looking forward to practice tomorrow, and now it’s ended. And that’s hard. It’s going to sting for a long time. It stays with you. Unfortunately, it will stay with them.”

Tuesday’s Cedar win was Lebanon’s third on the year in three tries vs. the Lady Eagles.

Lebanon led 9-7 after one period before opening up its biggest lead of the night at 18-11 midway through the second. While the Cedars’ transition game was somewhat muted thanks to a solid zone defense employed by Cocalico, they found some holes during a quick 9-2 spurt. Alicia Haitos and Maddie Rakow got loose for jumpers in the paint before Shaela Shellehamer drained a three to end the run.

But Cocalico responded with a 7-0 run of its own to knot the game at 18-18 just before half. White drained a three and knocked down a pair of free throws while Marissa Gingrich got loose for a jumper from just inside the three-point line to even it up.

A Chambers lay-up with 22 seconds left gave the Cedars a 20-18 lead at the half.

The third period was nip-and-tuck the entire way as the Cedars maintained a one-point lead until late when Shellehamer drained a three to give her team a 31-27 lead heading to the fourth.

But a Gingrich trey to start the period got Cocalico back to within one point at 31-30, and it stayed that way until a quick 6-1 run by the Cedars with four minutes to play upped the lead to 39-34. Rakow went 4-for-4 from the line during that stretch while Kiana Graves cashed in on a putback after a rebound of a Lebanon miss.

However, the Lady Eagles refused to go away. Marissa Gingrich made one of two free throws with three minutes to go, and then after a Lebanon turnover, Megan Gingrich’s lay-up made it a two-point game once again with 2:27 remaining on the clock.

Lebanon then led by three 42-39 after two more free throws by Rakow with 36 seconds to play, but Marissa Gingrich drained a clutch three-pointer to tie the game with 23 seconds to play to set up the crazy finish.

“I’m proud of the girls,” DiMatteo said. “We came in, played hard and left it on the court.”

In addition to Marissa Gingrich’s 20, White also scored in double figures with 11.

“It was an up and down season,” DiMatteo said, looking back on the year. “I feel like we were really starting to peak here toward the end. We were starting to play together like we were early in the year, so this is tough. But I just really enjoyed these kids. We had a nice year together.”

DISTRICT AAAA

GIRLS FIRST ROUND

Lebanon 43, Cocalico 42

COCALICO (42): Fassnacht 0 0-0 0, Ma. Gingrich 6 6-9 20, Me. Gingrich 2 1-4 5, Lorah 0 0-0 0, Showalter 2 0-0 4, Stricker 0 0-0 0, Sukanick 0 2-4 2, White 4 2-2 11. Totals 14 11-19 42.

LEBANON (43): Chambers 2 2-3 6, Graves 4 0-0 8, Haitos 1 0-0 2, Rakow 3 6-6 12, Shellehamer 3 0-0 8, Truax 0 0-0 0, Ulrich 2 1-2 7. Totals 15 9-11 43.

1 2 3 4 F

Cocalico 7 11 9 15 42

Lebanon 9 11 11 12 43

Three pointers- Ma. Gingrich 2, White 1; Shellehamer 2, Ulrich 2. Fouled Out- White.

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