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This and that
Sports Editor If there is anything to come out of the first half of this high school basketball season, it’s expect the unexpected.
The girls’ race is turning into a terrific one with four teams within striking distance in Section Two. At the top of the heap is Cocalico, which will only get better with age and could be a favorite to go beyond section supremacy next season with nearly all of its key cogs returning.
As for this year’s squad, second-year Coach Tony DiMatteo gets my vote for Coach of the Year at the half-way poll. Not only are they improved in nearly every facet of the game, he has those girls believing.
Ephrata is also right there, which is a credit to both the girls and the team, considering the Lady Mounts lost point guard Joelisa Harvest before the season, as well as role player Morgan Fasnacht a few weeks back.
And eventhough they suffered a key loss Tuesday night, I fully expect them to rebound and take this thing down to the wire.
On the boys’ side, Cocalico has hit a bit of a lull but still is hanging onto a District playoff spot as we speak. The impressive thing to me has been their ability to shoot the rock. Boy, do they have shooters.
Oliver Denlinger has been lighting it up lately, and what can you say about freshman Tucker Lescoe? He’s been as good as advertised.
And Ephrata’s made significant strides through the season. The Mounts are no longer an easy win on the schedule (just ask the Eagles) and have pretty much been competitive with just about everyone.
And who is playing better than Evan Radcliffe right now?
I look for both the Eagles and Mounts to continue to play well as we turn toward the final leg of the season.
Top Scorers: Here are the top three scorers from each of the four local basketball teams. These totals were before Tuesday night’s action: Ephrata Boys- Evan Radcliffe, 14.9 points per game; Aaron Hubbard, 13.2; Nathan Zimmerman, 7.8; Cocalico Boys- Tucker Lescoe, 14.0; Oliver Denlinger, 10.9; Brock Gosling, 7.5; Ephrata Girls- Sarah Haddon, 15.0; Kelly Liebl, 8.9; Hannah Reimel, 7.9; Cocalico Girls- Marissa Gingrich, 16.1; Kristen Boyer, 9.2; Emily White, 5.6.
Playoff Brackets: Just got a first glance at the brackets for the upcoming L-l League playoffs.
The boys tourney dates are Feb. 11, 13 and 15 and the girls are Feb. 12, 14 and 16. Both boys and girls will follow the same first-round lineup. Here are those match-ups: Section One champ vs. Section Four runner-up; Section Three champ vs. Section Two runner-up; Section Two champ vs. Section Three runner-up; and Section Four champ vs. Section One runner-up.
One other note- All first-round games will be hosted this year by the section champions.
District playoffs get underway Feb. 15 & 16 with play-in games. First round action starts Feb. 19 & 20.
Sarah Shearer: Remember her? Well, the now West York senior forward became the fourth player in that school’s history to surpass the 1,000-point mark in her career Monday night in a 58-49 victory over Susquehannock.
Shearer, who spent her freshman and sophomore years as a starter for the Ephrata girls team before transferring, scored her monumental basket with 35.9 seconds remaining in the first half.
She scored 13 points in the game to help the Bulldogs improve to 11-1 on the season.
"It feels great," Shearer told The York Dispatch following the game. "I set that goal for myself when I was a freshman and to finally (get it) is great."
West York Coach Jon Shultz added, "It was a great night for Sarah to have her get 1,000 points. Sarah is a fantastic player."
She is a fantastic player, and couldn’t happen to a nicer girl.
Way to go!
While we will never know, I can’t help but imagine what could have been had Shearer stayed at Ephrata, where she was one of the team’s most productive offensive players as a freshman and sophomore.
It’s a credit to the Ephrata players and coaching staff for remaining competitive despite such a tough loss, not only with her but fellow senior Joelisa Harvest, who was lost for the season with a knee injury.
Add those two to this year’s lineup and you’d have a team that would be among the favorites to cut down the nets at the end of the L-L League Tournament, and possibly beyond.
Wrestling Stars: While no local wrestler has cracked the District rankings, several are enjoying fantastic seasons and could make some noise not only in the upcoming L-L League Tournament but the post-season as well.
Ephrata’s Todd Dumas, who as of this writing is seven wins short of 100 for his career, is 20-3 on the year and if things go well, should get it during the L-L Tourney. He will be a medal favorite at either 120 or 126, depending where he will choose to go. Other Mounts who should make some noise are: senior Riley Eidemiller, 19-4 at 132; junior Ethan Sipe, 20-4 at 152; and junior Cameron Eisenhauer, 18-7 at 195.
As far as Cocalico is concerned, junior Hilton Martin has emerged as someone who can make some noise. He currently is 16-5 at 145, and this past week pinned Sipe in the Ephrata-Cocalico dual meet. Other Eagles to look out for are: freshman Adam Miller, 13-6 at 106; sophomore Andrew Weston, 6-5 at 113; freshman Trevor Fichtorn, 10-9 at 126; and sophomore heavyweight John Fry (9-10). More RUTH, page B-2