Mounts get first win but fall to Donegal in finals

By on January 4, 2012

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

Fueled by their first win of the season vs. Spring Grove in the opening round, Ephrata looked to carry that momentum into the Ephrata Holiday Tournament finals last Friday vs. unbeaten Donegal.

And the Mounts did just that– for a quarter.

Ephrata came out strong and jumped out to a 10-5 lead on the Indians after eight minutes. Unfortunately, any thoughts of an upset bid were snuffed out by halftime, and the Indians rolled to the tourney championship victory.

Behind a stifling defense and efficient shooting, Donegal out-scored the Mounts 25-8 in the pivotal second quarter to overcome the early Ephrata lead and go up by 12 at halftime (30-18). A 30-6 run in the third quarter then blew this one wide open as Donegal cruised to an eventual 66-36 victory.

Jason Dietrich scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Indians. Matt Foltz added 17 and Martin Dietrich (10) for Donegal, which improved to 7-0 on the year.

Brian Neff led the Mounts with eight points in the loss.

One night earlier in the opener opposite Spring Grove, the Mounts got off to another fine start and built on the lead throughout en route to a convincing 73-47 victory, their first of the season.

The Mounts never trailed in this one, and eventually pulled away in the third quarter. Leading 34-25 at the half, Ephrata out-scored the Rockets 24-11 in the pivotal third to blow it wide open.

"It feels good to get a win," Ephrata Coach Jason Coletti said afterward. "It’s something we needed and hopefully it’s something we can build upon."

Neff led a group of four Mounts in double figures, finishing with a team-high 14 points. Jeremy Franck chipped in with 13 points while Evan Radcliffe and Austin Nauman both stepped up with 12 points each.

Ephrata had a lot of success in the paint on this night which is something Coletti said they were emphasizing heading into this matchup.

"We shared the ball," Coletti said. "We’ve been emphasizing for them to go to the post a little more and tonight, we had a size advantage. That doesn’t happen too often so we went to the post a little bit tonight and Evan and Nauman both responded with good games. Even Derek (Horst) had six or seven points so getting the ball inside was the emphasis. We shared the ball very well, and it helps when Neff and Franck started the game with three pointers and jump shots. That opens up the middle too."

Radcliffe, Neff and Franck all scored five points each in the opening four minutes to stake their team to a big 15-5 advantage. A three-point play by Horst and a five-point second quarter then put the Mounts up by nine heading to the second half.

While the Rockets (0-7) were able to stay close in the first half, Nauman helped the Mounts put them away for good in the third. The senior scored 10 of his 12 points in the third to help the Mounts build an insurmountable 22-point cushion heading to the fourth.

Ephrata returned to league action Tuesday night, heading down to Quarryville to battle Solanco. Unfortunately, the host Mules started fast and finished strong en route to an 87-57 victory.

Solanco (3-6 overall, 2-2 section) led 29-18 after one quarter of play and eight (44-36) at the half before breaking it open down the stretch. Evan Belczyk and Jonathan Temple both had huge nights for Solanco, finishing with 22 points apiece. Tyler Stitz chipped in with 14 while Tyler Constein added 13 in the win.

Ephrata (1-7, 0-4) was led by Neff, who notched 18 on the night before fouling out. Franck added 14 and Radcliffe 13 for the Mounts. More MOUNTS, page B-3

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