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EHS girls turn back Solanco, Warwick
By: BRUCE MORGAN Ephrata Review Staff, Staff Writer
Ephrata seems determined to be in the section race for the duration.
And Tuesday night at home vs. Solanco in a key battle for second place behind front running Cocalico, the Lady Mounts passed a huge test.
Sparked by Sarah Haddon’s game-high 24-point effort, and a stellar defensive effort against league-leading scorer Gillian Glackin (12 points), Ephrata opened up a two-game gap on the Mares (7-5, 9-8) with an impressive 42-25 victory.
More importantly, the Lady Mounts stayed right on the heels of Cocalico, which pulled out a tight 35-30 victory at home vs. E-town. Cocalico (10-2 section, 13-3 overall) remains one-game ahead of Ephrata (9-3, 13-5) with just four league games remaining.
This past Friday Ephrata tried to continue to position itself for a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff berth.
The Warwick girls were hoping to throw a wrench into those plans.
It didn’t happen.
Capitalizing on a relentless defense and a game-high 14 points from Sarah Hoffer, the host Ephrata girls took a big first-half lead and remained in sole possession of second place in Section Two with a 46-35 win over Warwick in the nightcap of a boys-girls doubleheader.
Kelly Liebl and Haddon added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Lady Mounts. But Ephrata’s defense was the big story in this one, forcing 19 Warwick turnovers in the first half and 33 for the game.
"We kept switching things up and I think it confused them a little bit because, really, when you allow (Warwick) to come down and run their offensive set, they’re pretty decent," Ephrata coach Mike Garman said.
Senior Meredith Michel scored a season-high 14 points to lead Warwick, but it was an uphill battle for the Lady Warriors (1-10 L-L, 2-15 overall) most of the night.
"It would be great to be that spoiler team, it would be great to see your team play four really hard quarters and right now, we’re not doing that," Warwick coach Amy Derr said. "I can take an E-town game (where) we at least scored 50 points. McCaskey we scored 60. But when you get yourself in that hole in that first half, it’s a killer."
Warwick led early 2-1 when Kate Martin sank two free throws with 6:40 left in the first quarter, and they were within one, 5-4, after Michel converted on a steal and lay-up a couple of minutes later. Although Ephrata still led 9-4 at period’s end, they too looked sloppy at times while turning it over nine times in the quarter and shooting just 4-of-17 from the field.
"We lost a tough game to Hempfield on Tuesday, we were up nine at halftime and then just didn’t play well," Garman remarked. "We carried that over to tonight as far as, I didn’t think we were very sharp. That was just a sloppy game."
It got even sloppier for Warwick against Ephrata’s press and 1-3-1 zone defense in the opening minutes of the second quarter, coughing the ball up on seven of their first eight possessions. In the meantime, Leibl scored all seven of the Lady Mounts points in a 7-0 run which extended their lead to 16-4 with 5;16 remaining in the half.
After Madi Derr knocked down two free throws, cutting Warwick’s lead to single digits, 16-8, with 4:18 left in the half, Ephrata closed the period on an 11-5 run. Hoffer scored six points in that stretch, including a lay-up at the buzzer to send the Lady Mounts to the locker room with a 27-13 advantage.
"(Warwick) played a zone and then they went to man, so we try to see if we can find a mismatch somewhere," Garman said. "With Sarah Haddon and Sarah Hoffer, sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. Sarah Hoffer did a nice job tonight."
In the third quarter, Ephrata fed the ball to Hoffer on the low post, who scored six of her 14 points while helping the Lady Mounts outscore Warwick 13-9. That pushed Ephrata’s lead to 40-22 lead going to the final stanza, which proved to be too much for the Lady Warriors to overcome.
Ephrata’s Hannah Reimel drew the tough assignment of guarding Warwick’s leading scorer Derr (9.7 ppg) and she did her job, limiting the senior guard to six points.
"Hannah Reimel is a real good defensive player for me and she was told, ‘You don’t leave (Derr),’" Garman said, "because if you leave her and let her free, she’s a real good three-point shooter. You have to be aware of where she is on the floor."
Ephrata followed up Friday’s win with an exciting 58-55 overtime victory in a non-league contest Saturday at Elco.
Haddon scored a season-high 28 points to pace the Lady Mounts, who out-scored Elco 9-6 in the overtime to earn the win. Liebl chipped in with 16 for Ephrata while Elco (10-7) was led by Cheyenne Hassler, who led all scorers with 29 points. More EHS GIRLS, page B-2