Mounts, Eagles battling for final playoff spot
Heading into Tuesday night’s games, which were postponed (see box), Lebanon has a three-game lead in Section Two with six games to play, so at this point the section is the Cedars’ to lose. However, the fight for second place and that final Section two playoff spot appears to be going down to the wire with Cocalico and Ephrata both tied at 4-6 with six games to go.
Cocalico, which won the first meeting between the two (51-49) in Ephrata on Jan. 8, will host the Mounts in what should be a very big game locally on Feb. 3.
This past Friday, both squads came out on the losing end of hard-fought Section One-Two crossover games.
In Denver Friday night, the Eagles went toe-to-toe with Cedar Crest (9-1, 14-2) in the first half. Cocalico overcame an early 10-point hole and knotted things up at the half at 25-25.
However, the Falcons used an 18-6 run in the third to pull ahead to stay as they hung on for a 55-45 victory over Cocalico.
Sophomore guard Tucker Lescoe led the way for the Eagles with 16 points while fellow 10th grader Dante Haines added nine in the loss.
With the Eagles losing, Ephrata had a chance to take a one-game lead over Cocalico if the Mounts could knock off Section One leader Hempfield. And they nearly pulled it off.
Aaron Hubbard’s three-pointer at the buzzer pulled the Mounts even at 59-59 and sent the game into overtime.
However, Hempfield went on an early 9-0 run to start the extra frame, and it was enough to key an eventual 71-65 Black Knight victory.
While Hubbard led the Mounts with 20 points, the Black Knights’ Dylan Bleacher was nearly unstoppable, scoring a career-high 40 points (an L-L League high this season) to carry his team to the win.
Zach Peifer also had 18 points on the evening for the Mounts.