Eagles boost District hopes with 51-43 win over Barons

By on February 6, 2019
Cocalico’s Jake Digman battles in the lane during Tuesday’s game vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Cocalico’s Jake Digman battles in the lane during Tuesday’s game vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Missi Mortimer


Monday’s results had lasting effects for the Cocalico and Manheim Central boys hoops teams.

That was good news for the Eagles, who rode the momentum from a 75-54 victory over Solanco into a hot start Tuesday against the Barons in Denver.

For the Central boys?

Well, their hard-fought 42-38 loss to Garden Spot left a little of a carry-over against Cocalico.

“When you lose a tough one and you’ve got to go on the road the next night,” Baron Coach Charlie Fisher said, “I thought we started a little slow.”

Cocalico built a double-digit lead in the opening quarter, then saw Manheim Central cut its deficit to one, 25-24, in the third.

But in the end, Connor Mack and Brady Nuneville scored 11 points apiece on Senior Night, and the Eagles went 11-of-12 from the foul line in the fourth to clinch a 51-43 Section Three win.

“That’s awesome,” Cocalico Coach Seth Sigman said of his team’s fourth-quarter free throws. “I mean, if you can do that, you’re going to win a lot of close games, and we needed to because (MC) kept making runs and cutting it four or five.”

The victory boosted the Eagles (7-6 L-L, 12-9 overall) into the 16th-and-final District Three 5A berth, with one regular-season game left against Exeter (8-11) on Wednesday night.

“We said starting the week, ‘We had three games and we needed to win them all,’” Sigman said. “We need to win (Wednesday) too. Our mentality coming into the week was, ‘We need three wins.’ We thought three wins would get us in.”

The Barons (5-8 L-L, 9-12), meanwhile, felt they only had an outside chance following Monday’s loss to GS. They will end their season Thursday hosting Northern York in a non-league game.

“We were both 17th or 18th, so that was big for Districts,” Fisher said.

Nuneville was big for the Eagles in the opening stanza, scoring six of his 11 points, as Cocalico took a 14-6 advantage after one. Jacob Digman added five points and Mack was 3-of-3 at the foul line.

“When we make shots, we’re a different team,” Sigman said. “We hit eight ‘threes’ in the first half (Monday) night and I think we carried some of that momentum over into tonight, which I was hoping we would do. We had a little bit of a different starting lineup out there for Senior Night, but our energy was great, those guys played really well to start the game off.”

Carson Brenize and Colton Book each hit a “three” in the second quarter for the Barons, but Cocalico still held a 23-14 advantage at the half.

Senior Chase Marquette, the Barons’ leading scorer with 10.9 ppg, was unavailable to play against the Eagles due to a wrist injury.

“He just gives you a perimeter threat, which opens up the middle,” Fisher said. “He’s always somebody that you can look at to get a shot or attack the rim. He plays probably 29 minutes a game for us, so you’ve got to replace those minutes in a big game like this and it’s tough.”

Still, however, the Central boys battled, and with Colton Book scoring five of his game-high 14 points in the third, including a trey, the Barons opened the period on a 10-2 run to close the gap to one. Cam Sell finished with 11 points for the Barons.

“We battled,” Fisher said. “Guys played hard and then (Cocalico) went on a 6-0 run in about 30 seconds in the third and they kinda went away with it at that point.”

Leading 31-24 going to the fourth, Cocalico’s Ben Karbe hit two foul shots to make it 33-24.

Later, after the Eagles’ Mack and MC’s Drew Mummau traded 3-pointers, the Barons were back within seven, 36-29, with 5:13 left, and then when Sell buried both ends of a 1-and-1 at the 2:22 mark, it was a five-point game, 40-35.

Not long afterward, Central had an opportunity to get even closer, but missed, and Carter Nuneville’s lay-up with 1:51 remaining pushed the Eagles’ advantage back up to 42-35.

“I thought we had a little bit of momentum,” Fisher said, “we had a good look, it didn’t go in and then they scored on a lay-up and I think that was the final dagger, I would say.”

The Barons got back as close as six, 47-41, on Mummau’s triple with 28 seconds remaining, only to see Cocalico’s Austin Landers and Mack go a combined 4-of-4 at the foul line in the final 24 seconds to put it in the books.

“They hit a couple of ‘threes’ to cut it down to, like, four points and it gets dicey,” Sigman said. “That’s how all Section games are though, Everybody knows everyone so well. They know what we’re trying to do, we know what they’re trying to do and it’s always going to come down to a couple of possessions. We knew it was going to get tight again and it did.”

In addition to Tuesday’s contest, Cocalico also was in action Monday night at Solanco where the Eagles rolled to a 75-54 victory over the Mules.

Cocalico took control in the middle two periods, out-scoring Solanco 47-22 in the second and third periods.

Cocalico had four players finish in double figures, led by Mack, who dropped in a game-high 19 points. Karbe and Brady Nuneville both chipped in with 14 points while Peyton Stetter added 11 to the winning attack.

Dawson Kreider led Solanco with 14 points.

Cocalico also was in action last Thursday at Lampeter-Strasburg where the Eagles dropped a 62-42 decision to the Section Three champs.

This one was close until the third when L-S out-scored the Eagles 21-7 to take control.

Mack had 19 points to lead the Eagles. Seth Beers took high honors for the Pioneers, scoring 18 points. Adam Stoltzfus added 12 points for the winners.


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