L-S holds off Cocalico girls

By on January 16, 2019
Cocalico’s Hannah Custer (left) drives on Ephrata defender Brooke Ludwig during Thursday’s game in Denver. Photo by Dick Wanner

Cocalico’s Hannah Custer (left) drives on Ephrata defender Brooke Ludwig during Thursday’s game in Denver. Photo by Dick Wanner

Defending Section champ Lampeter-Strasburg looked like they were ready to repeat Tuesday night in Lampeter when they hosted Cocalico in girls’ basketball. The Pioneers (6-1 league, 11-3 overall) hit four consecutive three-pointers midway through the first quarter to grab a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 47-37 victory.

“Cocalico plays a tough man-to-man defense,” admitted L-S Coach Tony Fink. “We had to knock down the looks that we got, because you’re not going to get a lot of them.”

One could easily argue that the Lady Eagles (3-5, 7-7) won the battle at the beginning and end of each quarter. Cocalico led 5-2 to start the game and scored four of six to end the first quarter. The Lady Eagles out-scored the Pioneers 5-2 to start the second. They scored the first two and last two of the third. And they scored the first three and last three of the fourth.

Senior Emma Gochnauer, the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s seventh-leading scorer, led the way for L-S with 19, while teammates Annabeth Groff and Emma Drouillard chipped in with eight apiece.

Senior Hannah Greenly led a balanced Cocalico offense with 10 points. Sophomore Hannah Custer had nine, while senior Shelby White collected seven and senior Katie Heck added six.

“We have the ability to do a lot of good things on offense and defense,” described a somewhat frustrated Cocalico head coach Andrew Garrett. “It’s just the inconsistency that’s killing us.”

After leading at the end of the first quarter 16-9, the Pioneers extended the lead to 26-17 at the break and 36-24 after the third period. The Lady Eagles outscored L-S 13-11 in the final frame.

For the first time all season, Cocalico utilized a zone defense in league play.

“It was something we’ve worked on a little bit in practice,” added Garrett. “At a time where we needed to switch things up a little bit, it was something else to throw at them.”

The Pioneers stayed with their zone as well, with Cocalico struggling to hit open looks from just inside the foul line.

“We’re going to live with that (the open shots) unless they start knocking them down,” said Fink. “We didn’t want to collapse and let the three point shooters open.”

Last Thursday on the road at home in a non-league contest vs. rival Ephrata, Cocalico got out to a 21-7 half-time lead and Ephrata couldn’t recover as the Lady Eagles captured an eventual 42-30 victory.

Adalyn Steiner paced the Lady Eagles with nine points while Carly Holochuck took top scoring honors for Ephrata with six points in the loss.

Cocalico also was in action Friday on the road at Solanco in a big Section Three contest for both squads.

Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, the host Mares jumped out to a quick 12-5 lead after one quarter of play and held off Cocalico down the stretch for a 47-34 victory.

Corrie Lescoe and Greenly both scored nine points each for Cocalico, while Solanco was paced by Aleksa Burger, who dropped in 12 points.

Up next, Cocalico hosts Manheim Central Friday night and will be on the road next Tuesday at Conestoga Valley.

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