Cocalico girls down Lady Mounts, keep pace with Pioneers

By on January 25, 2017
Cocalico’s Emily Fassnacht (right) shoots over Ephrata defender Maddie Root Tuesday in Ephrata. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Cocalico’s Emily Fassnacht (right) shoots over Ephrata defender Maddie Root Tuesday in Ephrata. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

The Cocalico girls held serve Tuesday night at Ephrata, besting the Lady Mounts, 57-37 to remain deadlocked with Lampeter-Strasburg at 9-1 atop Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

The Lady Eagles (9-1 section, 12-5 overall) led throughout as senior Lyndsay Engle topped the offense with 19 points, 14 of those coming in the paint while shooting 5-of-5 at the foul line. Fellow senior Emily Fassnacht knocked down four triples to add to her school record number of threes, plus was 4-for-4 at the charity stripe and 18 points.

Both teams shot well from the foul line as Ephrata was 9-for-12 (75 percent) and though Cocalico connected for two percent less, the Lady Eagles attempted more and were 16-for-22. The field was where Cocalico had the big advantage, shooting 17-for-40 (42 percent) against the Lady Mounts 11-for-50 (22 percent).

Afterward, Cocalico Coach Andrew Garrett talked about how his team attacked the Ephrata zone and their success shooting the ball.

“Moving the basketball, ball fakes, trying to make the zone move and capitalize on reversals when the defense is out of position,” he said. “It also helps to have Maddie (senior Madison Bock) and Emily that can shoot the ball.”

Quarterly, the Lady Eagles dominated early with a 21-7 lead after the first, then held the 14-point bulge at the half. The two teams played within a point in the third period as Cocalico was up 47-32, before out-scoring the Lady Mounts by five in the final stanza for the 20-point win.

Ephrata had its most success in the middle of the game, turning up the heat with full-court pressure and ending the first half with a 9-0 run.

“The strategy was to just go after people. Get intense and go play,” said Ephrata Coach Todd Moyer. “We don’t seem to be able yet to sustain that over a length of time.”

Although being out-rebounded for the game, 37-24, the Lady Mounts grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the third quarter alone.

“We challenged them a little bit at half-time to come out and play harder,” added Moyer. “I do like how they are starting to play better defense.”

Cocalico played its third-straight game without starting point guard junior Sophie Benson, who is out for the year with a knee injury.

“The nice thing is, Sam (senior Samantha Klumpp), over the years, has played a lot of positions for us,” explained Garrett. “She’s been able to handle a lot of the ball-handling responsibilities. We’re trying to be the best team we can without Sophie. There is no replacing Sophie.”

The Lady Mounts were also playing without two key players for this contest. Senior leading scorer Caroline Stauffer (foot) and freshman center Jade Ringler (broken thumb) also missed the game.

“It was a team effort,” recapped Garrett. “We got in some foul trouble in the first half. We were able to sit those players. The players who came in helped us maintain the lead.”

In addition to Tuesday’s game, Cocalico was locked in an epic contest Friday night at home vs. Solanco where the Lady Eagles prevailed in three overtimes by a 52-49 decision.

The score was tied at 44-44 after two overtimes before Cocalico out-scored the Mares, 8-5 in the third to capture the exciting victory.

Engle (16), Klumpp (15) and Fassnacht (11, three 3’s), all scored in double figures to lead Cocalico.

Solanco’s Jess Cabrera led her team with 16 points while Aleksa Burger chipped in with 15 points in the loss.

Ephrata, meanwhile, was in action Friday in New Holland where host Garden Spot picked up its second Section Two win in a 51-43 decision over the Lady Mounts.

Abi Fricke led a trio of double figure scorers for the Spartans with 17 points. Hannah Fisher chipped in with 15 while Karli Stoltzfus added 13 in the victory.

Ephrata freshman Gabi Gerola-Hill led all scorers with a game-high 19 points while Madison Root added eight in the losing effort.

Up next, Ephrata hosts Donegal Friday night before traveling to Solanco next Tuesday. Cocalico also will be in action Friday night at home vs. Manheim Central, and will host Donegal next Tuesday.

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