Lady Mounts let one get away Cocalico re-takes section lead
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
For the first 16 minutes of Tuesday’s key Section One-Two crossover match-up with Hempfield, Ephrata could do no wrong.
Unfortunately, it was a 32-minute game.
Leading 19-10 at the half, and seemingly in total control, Ephrata laid an untimely egg in the second half. The Lady Mounts were out-scored 32-14 over the final two quarters to suffer a 42-33 setback, which could turn out to be huge as far as the Section Two standings are concerned.
The Lady Mounts came into the night tied with Cocalico atop the section and only one game ahead of charging Solanco. By virtue of the Lady Eagles’ 43-24 victory over Cedar Crest Tuesday night, Cocalico (8-2 Section, 11-3 overall) now takes over sole possession of first place. Ephrata (7-3, 10-5), meanwhile, is now tied for second place with Solanco (7-3, 9-6), a 38-23 winner over Penn Manor Tuesday.
"We just didn’t come out and play in the second half," Ephrata Coach Mike Garman said. "In the first half, we were playing good defense, not giving up any threes, making them work for everything. I thought we’d really go out in the third quarter and take it to them and we didn’t. We never got to the point where we said, ‘This is enough. Now it’s time to do something about it.’ We just allowed them to continue. They got on a roll and that was it."
Ephrata led 9-4 after one quarter of play thanks to five first quarter points from Sarah Haddon, who led the way with 13 points. A quick 6-2 spurt early in the second quarter which was punctuated by a jumper by Hannah Reimel (7 points) upped the lead to 15-6. The Lady Mounts maintained that nine-point advantage at 19-10 into the half.
Hempfield (7-3 Section One, 10-4 overall) began to make a charge in the third, thanks to a collapsing defense that made it tough for Haddon to get the ball inside. At the other end, the black Knights all of a sudden were executing to a "T."
The Black Knights slowly chipped away at the lead, with Annie Hartman and Hannah Kelly each scoring five points in the quarter. Kelly’s lay-up with 1:06 to go in the quarter cut it to 28-25. Then after an Ephrata turnover, one of six in the second half, Nikki Rhoads hit a pair of free throws to cut it to one heading to the fourth.
Sarah Hoffer momentarily stopped the bleeding hitting one of two free throws on Ephrata’s first possession of the fourth, but the Black Knights then shifted into overdrive and sped past the Lady Mounts for good.
Sarah Helgeson’s two quick drives gave Hempfield its first lead of the contest at 31-29, and the Black Knights then went on a 10-0 run to break it open.
The Lady Mounts did cut the deficit to six on a basket by Reimel with 2:35 to go. But Hempfield went 5-of-6 from the free throw line to put it away.
"To Hempfield’s credit, they did what they had to do," Garman said. "They were getting lay-ups and that’s what you want in that situation."
"It’s very frustrating because it’s a game that if you win you stay tied for first place. Now you go to second place, and who knows what will happen?"
Garman said his team is at a crossroads. Either they respond with a big effort Friday night at home vs. Warwick or they could find themselves on the outside looking in as far as an L-L playoff berth is concerned.
"We could go either way," he admitted. "It’s up to them. Do they want to move forward? I’m sure they do, but when you get in games like this, you just have to be able to find a way to get it done. If you can’t do that then you are not going to win the prize. It’s as simple as that."
Haddon was the lone Ephrata player in double figures. Hartman led a balanced scoring attack for Hempfield, dropping in 10.
As for Cocalico’s impressive win over Cedar Crest Tuesday, the Lady Eagles overcame a 13-10 early deficit with a big second quarter. Cocalico out-scored CC, 14-4 in the second frame, and gradually pulled away to earn the key victory.
Kristen Boyer scored a season-high 20 points to lead the way while Marissa Gingrich chipped in with 12.
In addition to Tuesday’s games, both Ephrata and Cocalico also were in action last Wednesday and Friday.
Ephrata earned a pair of road victories, including a 46-36 win at Cedar Crest Friday night. Leading by two after three quarters of play, the Lady Mounts outscored the Falcons 14-6 in the fourth to claim the victory.
Hoffer led a group of three Ephrata players in double figures, finishing with a game-high 16 points. Haddon chipped in with 14 while Kelly Liebl added 12 in the Ephrata win.
Last Wednesday at Lebanon, Ephrata outscored the Cedars 19-7 in the third quarter to take command in an eventual 51-34 victory. Liebl scored a game-high 15 points to lead Ephrata. Reimel and Hoffer each chipped in with 11 points apiece for the Lady Mounts.
Cocalico, meanwhile, saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end last Wednesday at home as visiting Solanco pulled out a 33-29 win.
Behind the strength of 21 points by L-L leading scorer Gillian Glackin, the Mares held of Cocalico in this low-scoring contest. Boyer was the lone player in double figures for the Lady Eagles, finishing with 12 points on the night.
Friday night, Cocalico did get back to its winning ways with an easy 64-31 win over host McCaskey in Section One-Two crossover contest.
Cocalico had three players finish in double figures, led by Marissa Gingrich, who dropped in 21. Boyer chipped in with 13 points while Taylor Esterly added 11. More GIRLS, page B-2