EHS girls can’t overcome rough start, fall 49-32

By on January 10, 2018
Ephrata’s Kyla McKim (32) puts up a shot over an L-S defender during Tuesday’s  game.  McKim  scored  13  points  and  snagged  11  boards but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Mounts fell to the Pioneers. Photo by Dwight Palm

Ephrata’s Kyla McKim (32) puts up a shot over an L-S defender during Tuesday’s game. McKim scored 13 points and snagged 11 boards but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Mounts fell to the Pioneers. Photo by Dwight Palm

The Ephrata girls have way of doing things in spurts at the offensive end.

The good ones, like the 10-0 run the Lady Mounts put together late in the second quarter of Tuesday’s game vs. Section Two leader Lampeter-Strasburg, are a result of good movement, patience and the ability to finish.

The bad spurts, which have been happening far too frequently for Coach Todd Moyer’s liking, come when the Lady Mounts are stagnant at the offensive end, resulting in turnovers and bad shots.

Unfortunately, the Lady Mounts started the game Tuesday in the latter mode. They turned the ball over six times in the first six minutes (eight for the period) and shot 0-for-6 from the field during that stretch.

It put them in an early 12-0 hole, and while they did mount a run and cut the deficit to six points several times, they couldn’t come all the way back. In the end, L-S pulled away down the stretch to claim an eventual 49-32 victory.

Emma Gochnauer scored a game-high 16 points while teammate Hanna Garber chipped in with 11 as the Pioneers (5-0 section, 9-1 overall) opened up a two-game lead over the Lady Mounts (3-2, 7-6) in the section race.

“I just don’t think we do a consistent job at the offensive end,” Moyer said of his team following the frustrating loss. “We do the things we are suppose to do for a bit and then we do the things we aren’t suppose to do for a bit. Then we do it, then we don’t. We haven’t put together one game yet offensively where we put all the pieces together for 32 minutes.”

It was certainly a struggle early on but the Pioneers still led only 6-0 before Gochnauer buried a pair of threes on back-to-back trips to double the lead to 12-0.

Ephrata finally got on the board with two minutes to go in the period on a spot up jumper by Kyla McKim, who led the Lady Mounts with 13 points and 11 boards.

L-S carried a 14-5 lead into the second quarter, and the Pioneers stretched the lead to 21-6 with a 7-0 run to start the period. The dagger came at the four minute mark when Nora Holmes drained a three pointer, but as it turned out, those would be the last points L-S would score in the half.

McKim cashed in at the other end and then sank one of two free throws on the Lady Mounts’ next possession to cut it to 21-9. A Katherine Sola lay-up then got the Lady Mounts to within 10 points at 21-11 before Kandice Liebl sank a pair of free throws before draining a three with 41 seconds to go to suddenly get the Lady Mounts to within five at 21-16.

In the third, Ephrata made a concerted effort to dump it inside to the 6-2 McKim, who had the hot hand. She responded with three buckets in the period but the Lady Mounts still trailed by five (29-24) before L-S hit a pair of buckets in the final minute, including Sarah Gawne’s deuce with one second left to give the Pioneers a nine-point cushion (33-24) with one quarter to play.

The Pioneers opened the fourth on a 10-5 run before Gochnauer made a lay-up and was fouled after the shot. She sank both free throws for a four-point play, which upped the advantage to 18 (47-29) and ultimately clinched the L-S win.

“We gave up some extra points at the end because we were gambling, trying to make something happen. But the defense has been fine,” Moyer said. “It’s the offense we have to concentrate on. We just have to try to get them to consistently move and create opportunities going to the basket.”

Last Wednesday at Elizabethtown in a non-league contest, the Lady Mounts got off to a decent start but had a disappointing finish.

Trailing 22-15 at the half, Ephrata was held scoreless in the third and had 10 total points in the second half as the Bears pulled away for a 46-25 win.

Amber Orban scored 16 points to lead E-town, while teammate Marena Lonardi chipped in with 14 points for the winners. Liebl topped Ephrata with nine points in the loss.

Things don’t get any easier for the Lady Mounts, who travel to Solanco Thursday before staying on the road to face Manheim Central Friday evening.

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