‘White’ on target

By on December 29, 2015

 Cocalico Sr. reaches 1,000

Cocalico’s Emily White (top) reacts after scoring her 1,000th-career point last Wednesday at Donegal. Below is the actual shot she made to eclipse the mark. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Cocalico’s Emily White (top) reacts after scoring her 1,000th-career point last Wednesday at Donegal. Below is the actual shot she made to eclipse the mark. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

After sleeping on 999 points for two nights, Cocalico’s Emily White wasted little time in securing her 1,000th-career point Wednesday night at Donegal.

White ended the suspense just eight seconds in when she knocked home her spot up jumper from the lane.

“I definitely wanted to get it over quickly,” White would say later.

The senior finished with a team-high 14 points on the night, and more importantly, led the Lady Eagles to a thrilling 42-39 victory over the two-time section champs.

She became the ninth player in program history to reach 1,000, and climbed above Jen Koch (1,009 points) and into eighth place all-time with 1,013 points.

“It feels really good but honestly I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” she said. “It’s just been fun playing with the girls I’ve been playing with but it does feel really awesome.”

“Today was my birthday so it was really cool to do it today,” she continued. “I wish I could have gotten it at home but I’m glad we got it on a win. I’m more excited today about winning than I am scoring my 1,000th point.”

The win was huge for the Lady Eagles, who finished second to Donegal last year and dropped both meetings to the Indians a year ago. With the victory, Cocalico (5-1 section, 7-1 overall) remains in second place in Section Three behind undefeated Northern Lebanon (6-0, 9-0). Donegal fell to 4-2 (6-3 overall).

This one was nip and tuck the entire way as the biggest advantage either team enjoyed was five while the lead changed hands a total of 13 times throughout the contest.

Donegal held a 39-38 lead until Cocalico’s Jasa Lorah picked the pocket of Kayla Walker in the half-court and turned it into a lay-up and the lead with 1:07 to go.

After a Carly Diffenderfer miss at the other end, Cocalico’s Megan Gingrich secured a big defensive rebound. That eventually led to White being at the free throw line with five seconds left. She calmly drained them to provide some insurance before Diffenderfer’s last-second heave was off the mark.

“(Winning the game) feels awesome, especially against Donegal, who was our rival last year,” White said of the win. “We are just so hyped and excited because they did beat us twice last year. We are definitely esctatic to win this one.”

Cocalico Coach Tony DiMatteo agreed.

“It’s nice to beat them,” he said. “Now we have a little break here and it’s definitely nice going into it with a win.”

This one was a track meet early on as Cocalico tried to keep pace with the quickness of Donegal. Walker, who led all scorers with 19 points, scored six first quarter points to stake her team to a 16-13 lead after one.

White scored on two straight trips early in the second to help Cocalico re-take the lead at 17-16. But the Indians got three big buckets in transition in the final stages of the quarter to grabe a 28-25 lead.

Gingrich (6 points), though, got Cocalico to within one point on a lay-up with 57 seconds left. Then, Maddie Bock (2) drained a 10-footer at the buzzer to give the Lady Eagles a 29-28 lead heading to the break.

In the second half, Cocalico switched from man to zone defensively, and it paid big dividends. All of a sudden, Donegal’s transition game came to a halt and the Indians were forced to set up in the half-court.

The Indians shot just 1-for-8 from the field in the third and scored just three points as got the pace that was more to its liking.

“I thought the zone against them was definitely better than man-to-man,” DiMatteo said. “We got hurt by their penetration (in the first half), so we had to stop it. We had to stop turnovers too, which led to their transition. But once we started taking care of the ball, the game definitely turned.”

While it was tight the entire fourth quarter, Lyndsay Engle (11 points) made a big free throw for Cocalico before Emily Fassnacht drained a jumper with 2:23 to play.

That basket cut a Cocalico deficit to 39-38, and it stayed that way until Lorah’s lay-up gave the Lady Eagles the lead for good before White sealed it with her free throws.

Diffenderfer added 11 points to the Donegal attack.

Cocalico will now be idle until Saturday when the Lady Eagles are scheduled to host Exeter in a non-league contest, beginning at noon. Cocalico returns to league play January 5 when the Lady Eagles travel to Manheim Central.


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