Lady Eagles fall to L-S

By on February 13, 2013

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor truth.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Perhaps it was a hangover from Friday’s emotionally-draining loss to Ephrata in the Section Two title game, but Cocalico got off to a slow start Tuesday night at L-S in the opening round of the L-L League playoffs.

The Lady Eagles found themselves down 10-0 after one minute of play. And, despite playing the Pioneers fairly evenly the rest of the half, Cocalico couldn’t dig out of the early hole and claw all the way back.

Led by Lexi Lantz, who scored a game-high 20 points, L-S (21-1) advanced to Thursday’s semifinals with a 53-42 victory over Cocalico. The Section Three champion Pioneers (21-1) will now face Section One champ Manheim Township, which blew out Annville-Cleona, 62-21, in Thursday’s semifinals at CV, beginning at 7 p.m.

The Lady Eagles will now await the District Three playoff opener next Tuesday when they’ll get another shot at L-S in a first-round matchup hosted by the Pioneers at 7 p.m.

Back to Tuesday where Cocalico continued to chip away but could not get all the way back.

"We just got in a hole right away," Cocalico Coach Tony DiMatteo said. "We got it back to three, but then it was three, five, seven, three, five, seven the rest of the way. And then at the end they made their foul shots They are a good team. They made their lay-ups when they needed to and made their foul shots at the end."

Cocalico trailed 13-6 after the first and 23-16 at the half. The Pioneers maintained that seven-point advantage after three at 36-29, before out-scoring Cocalico 17-13 in the final quarter to close things out.

With point guard Natalie Sukanick coming off an illness Monday, senior Rebecca Grube picked up some of the point guard’s slack. Grube sank Cocalico’s lone three of the night and finished with 10 points.

Marissa Gingrich and Emily White also had 10 for the Lady Eagles, who may have lost some of their edge after dropping the section title game to Ephrata on Friday.

"It was tough (losing Friday) because you had the section there for the taking," DiMatteo said. "I think it might have had a little to do with the sluggishness tonight. But L-S came out and made two real nice plays and it was 4-0 quickly. Then they got a rebound and hit a three and all of a sudden its 7-0 30 seconds into the game… They executed right off the bat."

DiMatteo was asked if his team can take anything away from Tuesday’s loss and into next week’s rematch.

"I think the mistakes we made tonight are very correctable," he said. "We had some defensive lapses. We have some fundamental things we can work on in the next week and I think our girls now realize they are a nice team, but we can play with them. We just need to make sure we get off to a better start and we’ll see what happens. I like our chances." More L-S, page B-3

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