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First-place showdown set for Friday in Denver
Friday’s girls basketball game in Denver between Ephrata and Cocalico (8 p.m.) is now officially set up as a schedule maker’s dream.
Both teams come into the game on amazing runs (Cocalico has won seven straight while Ephrata is on a five-game streak), and first place in Section Two will be on the line when they tip off in what amounts to be the biggest game of the season for both schools.
The Lady Eagles (12-2 section, 15-3 overall), who won the first meeting, 46-43 back on Jan. 7, currently hold a one-game lead over the Lady Mounts (11-3, 15-5) and can clinch their first outright Section Two title under second-year Coach Tony DiMatteo with a victory over Ephrata. A Lady Mounts’ win would force a first-place tie with Cocalico with just one regular-season game remaining.
Cocalico ends section play Tuesday at Solanco while Ephrata will host Lebanon. Should the two teams be tied after Tuesday, a one-game playoff will be held at a neutral site on Friday, Feb. 8.
Both teams took care of business Tuesday night as the Lady Mounts thumped host CV, 49-23, while Cocalico got past visiting Lebanon, 43-36.
In Witmer Tuesday, Sarah Haddon continued her spectacular senior season, scoring a game-high 22 points to lead Ephrata to the victory. The Lady Mounts opened up a big 19-6 lead after one quarter and coasted the rest of the way.
Meanwhile in Denver Tuesday, Cocalico outscored the Cedars, 18-12 in the second half to gradually pull away. Kristen Boyer (16 points), Emily White (13) and Marissa Gingrich (12) all scored in double figures for Cocalico to lead the way.
In addition to Tuesday, both Cocalico and Ephrata were in action last Thursday where they produced lopsided wins in Section Two play.
In Elizabethtown, Ephrata jumped out to a big 31-20 halftime lead and cruised from there to earn a 49-34 victory over the Bears.
Kelly Liebl scored a season-high 21 points to lead the way, while Haddon chipped in with 19 points in the win.
Erin Sollenberger was the lone E-town player to reach double figures, finishing with a team-high 12 points.
Cocalico also had no trouble on the road, knocking off Conestoga Valley by a 61-25 verdict.
The Lady Eagles also pulled away early, jumping out to a 38-8 halftime lead.
Taylor Esterly led a balanced Cocalico attack, finishing with 12 points. Boyer, Marissa Gingrich and Rebecca Grube each added 10 points to the winning attack.
Margaret Wentz scored 10 points to pace the Buckskins.
Cocalico also was in action Saturday, pulling out a tight 35-33 non-league win on the road at Muhlenberg.
Trailing by two at the half (20-18), Cocalico outscored the Muhls (7-11), 10-5 in the third period to gain the eventual edge.
Boyer paced her team with 12 points while Muhlenberg’s Angel Nieves led all scorers with 18 points.
Incidentally, Cocalico is scheduled to make a return trip to Muhlenberg Feb. 6 to face the Muhls in the completion of the Muhlenberg Christmas Tournament, which was postponed back in December.