Fourth-quarter run helps Barons overtake Cocalico

By on January 3, 2018
Photo by Preston Whitcraft Cocalico’s Tyler Keppley (12) makes a move on the Barons’ Carson  Brenize during Tuesday’s game in Manheim.

Cocalico’s Tyler Keppley (12) makes a move on the Barons’ Carson
Brenize during Tuesday’s game in Manheim. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Manheim Central’s Jake Novak does a lot of the little things that don’t show up in a box score.

Need a steal? Done.

How ‘bout a rebound? No problem.

That’s what the senior guard provided for the Barons in a key fourth-quarter run.

Trailing 32-26 after Cocalico’s Connor Mack converted a three-point play with 7:08 left, the Manheim Central boys countered by scoring 12 unanswered points, sending them to a 48-40 victory in a Section Two game in Manheim.

Overall, senior Connor Hostetter scored seven of his team-high 12 points in the fourth and the Barons forced five Eagle turnovers down the stretch.

“I thought for the last six minutes, it was some of our best basketball that we’ve played,” Baron coach Charlie Fisher remarked. “We got the win, that’s our number one goal.”

In all, the Barons — capitalizing on a half-court press in the late stages — outscored the Eagles 22-13 in the fourth quarter. Manheim Central (3-0 L-L, 4-2 overall) remained unbeaten atop Section Two, while Cocalico fell to 2-2 L-L (4-5 overall).

Up until the fourth quarter, however, neither team led by more than four points, as the lead flip-flopped nine different times.

“It’s a battle every time we get together, it’s physical, it’s always going to be that way because they’ve got a lot of football guys, we’ve got a lot of football guys,” Cocalico coach Seth Sigman said. “It’s just a rivalry that never ends, it kinda just spills over into basketball, and it’s great, it’s fun. We’d like to be on the winning end, but we didn’t close well tonight. The fourth quarter just killed us. I think we gave up 22 points in the fourth quarter, so that’s not going to get it done.”

Evan Hosler chipped in with 10 points for the Barons in the low-scoring affair. Mack paced the Eagles with a game-high 13 points and Aidan Trynosky added 10 in the losing cause.

It was the Cocalico boys who were in control, 36-36, when Fisher called a timeout with 7:02 left. Whatever was said paid quick dividends for MC.

“I just said to the guys, ‘You’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity,’” Fisher said. “We talked as a group and they wanted to win and that shows out.”

It showed out with Hostetter dropping in a layup and then Carson Brenize splashing a ‘three’ from the left wing. Just like that, the Barons were within one, 32-31, and their 12-0 run was just getting started.

“We did not handle their pressure,” Sigman said. “They started the half-court pressure and it turned into layups for them.”

On the Eagles’ next two possessions, Novak came up with steals, and when Hostetter scored on a putback and Hosler hit a layup, the Central boys took a 35-32 lead with 4:35 left.

“Jake … my God, he played crazy,” Fisher said. “He was awesome, he was all over the floor. That’s what we want out of Jake. I still want him to attack more, but he was composed and he was active.”

After Cocalico’s Trey Griffin missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Novak pulled down the rebound and Chase Marquette buried a triple at the other end to make it 38-32 with 4:02 remaining.

In all, Manheim Central outrebounded the Eagles 10-4 in the fourth and 21-16 for the game.

“We were more active (down the stretch),” Fisher said. “As a coach, you’re always harder on your guys and you see things and you want to change things, but that’s part of playing 32 minutes.”

The Eagles cut the deficit to 38-33 on a free throw by Nick Lucky with 3:47 to go, and it was still that way when MC’s Cam Sell was on the receiving end of a charge with 1:52 to go, turning Cocalico over for the 15th time in the game.

“Cam Sell took the biggest charge I’ve ever seen,” Fisher said. “I looked at my bench and some of the younger guys that are sitting there and I said, ‘That is why we take charges.’ That was huge.”

From there, the Barons combined to go 7-of-10 from the foul line the rest of the way, and Cocalico was never closer than six points in the final minutes.

Earlier, Lucky and Tyler Keppley scored four points apiece for Cocalico in the opening quarter when the Eagles took a 13-12 advantage.

However, with both teams playing for the first time since Dec. 22, energy in the gym seemed to be low.

“It was just kinda like no one could score, which makes the energy level drop usually when no one’s putting the ball in the basket,” Sigman said.

The Barons shot just 1-of-6 from the floor in the second quarter, and Trynosky buried two free throws with 1:33 left in the half, putting the Eagles up 19-17, which is how it stayed going to the break.

“We wanted to try to limit Hostetter, try to contest his shots, and keep them out of the paint,” Sigman said. “We wanted to rebound a little better than we did. I thought with our size, we should have been able to rebound, but they did a nice job getting some second-chance points, which makes a big difference in a really tight, low-scoring game.”

A layup by Novak — who finished with seven points, to go with six rebounds — put the Barons in front 24-21 with 4:20 to go in the third. But Griffin’s putback and Trynosky’s fastbreak layup started the Eagles on a 6-0 run, which put them ahead 27-26 going to the fourth quarter.

“I mean, it’s a credit to Cocalico,” Fisher said. “They’re big and strong, and for the most part, they can dictate what you do inside. And I just thought as a whole, we were a little passive.”

The Cocalico lead eventually grew to six, 32-26, on Mack’s three-point play.

But it didn’t last.

“I thought we executed at every facet of the defensive game,” Fisher said. “I thought we mixed it up, we talked, and we were active. We spend a lot of time at practice on defense. That’s just how I am as a coach. But I just thought we talked and did everything. It’s the little stuff. We’ve just got to keep rolling and have fun.”

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