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Ephrata, Cocalico boys teams hang in but fall short
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
Both Ephrata and Cocalico hung around with a pair of Section One opponents Tuesday night as crossover action continued in the L-L League. Unfortunately, both Hempfield and Cedar Crest found another gear down the stretch and rode out with key victories over the local teams.
At Hempfield Tuesday, Ephrata, behind a huge night from senior Evan Radcliffe, trailed by just four (46-42) heading to the fourth. However, the Black Knights, who had three players finish in double figures, out-scored the Mounts 19-14 in the final period to earn a hard-fought 65-56 win.
Radcliffe did his part, dropping in a game-high 23 points in the loss to lead his team. Brady Sipe added 13 points and Aaron Hubbard 12 for the Mounts (3-7 section, 4-11 overall) in the loss.
Meanwhile in Cornwall Tuesday, host Cedar Crest and Cocalico (4-6, 7-7) were dead even at 34-34 heading to the final quarter. However, the Falcons, thanks to a 19-10 run, pulled away in the fourth to earn the 53-44 victory.
Killian Klopp and Clay Penchard each scored 16 points apiece to pace the Falcons. Cocalico’s Oliver Denlinger led all scorers, dropping in a game-high 19 points in the loss.
Friday night at home against Cedar Crest, Ephrata made critical mistakes down the stretch to help Cedar Crest pull away for a 58-50 victory over the Mounts.
The loss snapped the Mounts’ two-game win streak.
Trailing 46-45 with 4:34 to go in the fourth, Ephrata failed to convert on the next five-straight offensive trips, which included three big turnovers. That fueled an 8-0 Falcon run, as Crest went on to sink 10 out of 12 free throws down the stretch to salt this one away.
"We turned the ball over at crucial moments too many times," Ephrata Coach Jason Coletti said. "We can’t do that. Some of them were we’d throw it up top, they’d intercept it and go down for an uncontested layup. We got to get away from those. If it’s a one or two-point game, those just kill you."
Ephrata also didn’t have an answer for Cedar Crest swingman Penchard, who erupted for a game-high 24 points. Penchard’s quickness, and his ability to get to the basket proved key to the Falcons’ success.
"Our number one key tonight was that we had to stop penetration," Coletti said. We didn’t so that. (Penchard) is tough to guard because he’s a taller guy who can handle the basketball, and he can get to the basket. He’s a tough player. I thought we’d do a better job at it but you got to give him credit. He went to the basket hard."
Ephrata was able to stay within striking distance most of the way, thanks to Radcliffe, who led the way with 21 points. Radcliffe, who has averaged 19 points over his last six games, consistently delivered in the post.
"Evan had a monster game," Coletti said. "He’s playing well. My message to the guys was we need another guy to step up to help him out. We always have one guy, whether it would be Evan the last couple games or before that (Aaron) Hubbard or (Nathan Zimmerman). We need to find somebody else."
Zimmerman did add 12 Friday night but it wasn’t quite enough. Killian Klopp chipped in with 19 points for the winners.
Last Wednesday at home, Ephrata earned its third section victory of the season with a 42-39 overtime win at home vs. Lebanon.
Ephrata led 24-13 at the half before Lebanon stormed back to force the overtime. However, in the extra session, the Mounts prevailed.
Radcliffe was the lone Mount to finish in double figures as he led the team with 15 points.
Cocalico also was in action late last week, going 1-1 in league play.
Last Wednesday at Solanco, the Eagles jumped out to a big 39-27 lead at the half and cruised the rest of the way to earn a 68-53 victory over the Mules.
Tucker Lescoe led the way for Cocalico, scoring a game-high 20 points. Spencer Moser added 15 for the winners.
This past Friday in Denver, Section One leader McCaskey flexed its muscles in a 70-42 victory over Cocalico in a crossover matchup.
The Red Tornado jumped out to a 20-6 lead after one quarter and breezed the rest of the way.
Denlinger was the lone Cocalico player in double figures, finishing with 12 points on the night. More BOYS, page B-2