L-S stuns Ephrata in double OT

By on December 29, 2015

 Lady Mounts to play McCaskey in consy game

Ephrata’s Kay Liebl (right) dribbles past L-S defender Hannah Garber during Monday’s double overtime thriller in the Ephrata Holiday Tournament. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Ephrata’s Kay Liebl (right) dribbles past L-S defender Hannah Garber during Monday’s double overtime thriller in the Ephrata Holiday Tournament. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Thirty-two minutes of regulation time wasn’t enough. That might make sense when two teams get together with the same league and overall records.

Ephrata fell to the Pioneers of Lampeter-Strasburg in Monday night’s opener of the Ephrata Holiday Tournament, 61-60, in heart-breaking double overtime fashion.

The Lady Mounts (3-3 league, 4-6 overall) move on to Tuesday afternoon’s consolation game at 4 p.m. against McCaskey (5-1, 7-2) at the Ephrata Middle School. The Red Tornado were beaten 52-49 by last year’s tournament champs Palmyra in Monday’s other semifinal.

“We were pressing and creating shots,” described Lady Mounts head coach Mike Garman. “We were up by nine points with four minutes left. The game was ours to win, but we let it get away. We missed our foul shots (10-29) and we had too many fouls.”

Senior co-captain Kenzie Horst fouled out with 1:27 left in regulation while her fellow captain Kay Liebl followed her to the bench with 32 seconds left in the first overtime period.

The Lady Mounts’ offense was led by Horst (22 points), junior Kasey Umana (12) and Caroline Stauffer (11), who nailed her 100th career three-pointer during the game.

Ephrata out-rebounded LS by 10 (56-46) with Stauffer crashing the boards for 12, Umana 10, Horst nine, and Liebl five in addition to her team leading seven assists.

“I like assisting more than scoring,” added Liebl. “My teammates have a higher percentage of scoring when I find them in the open court.”

Liebl found Umana on back-to-back lay-ups to pull the team within one in the second quarter, then set up Horst on two straight to open up consecutive nine point leads in the fourth, the latter staking Ephrata to a 41-32 lead.

“We were just trying to post-up in the middle,” said Horst after the game. “We tried to take advantage of my size and get to the foul line as much as possible.”

Unfortunately the Pioneers had the success at the line, converting 16 of 23. The young Pioneers (3-3, 5-5) were led by Laura Horner (18) and Nevin Hoenninger (17), who also fouled out in the second overtime.

On assessing the team at this point in the season, Garman had a mixed message.

“We’ve been very inconsistent,” he said. “We do things well, then make mistakes. I really wish I knew where we are at, at this point in the season.”

Horst agreed with her coach.

“We have a lot of heart and aggressive play, but sometimes we don’t make the best decisions,” she said.

Liebl felt that for the majority of Monday’s game, the aggressive play went Ephrata’s way.

“Pressing them worked,” Liebl said. “We got momentum with steals. Unfortunately, we put them on the line too often and missed our foul shots.”

The Pioneers will advance to Tuesday’s title game where they’ll face Palmyra, beginning at 8 p.m.

In addition to Monday, the Ephrata girls also were in action last Wednesday evening at home vs. Elizabethtown where the visiting Bears stunned the Lady Mounts, 50-35 in a key Section Two contest.

Plagued by foul trouble, Ephrata never could get it going against E-town, as the Bears ballooned an early 9-5 lead in the middle two quarters, out-scoring Ephrata 34-13 in the second and third to take control.

Stauffer did score 17 points to pace the Lady Mounts. Horst added 10 in the loss which left Ephrata in a tie with the Bears and Lebanon (all with 3-3 marks) atop of Section Two.

After Tuesday’s tournament finale, Ephrata returns to Section Two play January 5 at CV.

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