Cocalico girls upset Ephrata (again) and Stun Lady Mounts 36-32

By on January 24, 2018
Cocalico’s Naleah Sauder (32) looks to make a pass in front of Ephrata defender Kandice Liebl Tuesday night in Denver. Photo by Preston Whitcraft
Cocalico’s Naleah Sauder (32) looks to make a pass in front of Ephrata defender Kandice Liebl Tuesday night in Denver. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Cocalico’s Naleah Sauder (32) looks to make a pass in front of Ephrata defender Kandice Liebl Tuesday night in Denver. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Just as they had on December 20, the Lady Eagles basketball team fell behind rival Ephrata by six points at the end of the first quarter on Tuesday evening in Denver.

And just as they had in the first Section Two contest, Cocalico (3-7 Section Two, 4-13 overall) came from behind to upset the Lady Mounts (6-4, 10-8) by a score of 36-32.

This time it just took a little longer to get their first lead.

After clawing their way back to tie the game at 26 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Ephrata sophomore Gabi Gerola-Hill (14 points) hit a three-pointer to give the Lady Mounts some breathing room. Just eight seconds later, Cocalico junior Hanah Greenly drained a trey of her own to knot things up again.

When Greenly grabbed a key rebound and was fouled, she calmly sank both ends of a one-and-one to give the Lady Eagles their first lead of the night with 2:25 left in the game.

“If I was wide open, I was going to take it (the shot),” explained Greenly (11 points) after the big win. “If I wasn’t, we were going to pass it around to look for a better shot.”

Before the late game heroics, Ephrata actually stretched their lead to eight points, going up 24-16 at the break. However, when the Lady Mounts only scored two points in the third stanza, Cocalico crept within four at 26-22.

“We made one pass then took the shot,” described Ephrata head coach Todd Moyer. “We lost patience in the second half. I don’t think we got to the foul line much (three times) in the second half either.”

The Lady Eagles also out-rebounded Ephrata by eight in the second half, something they struggled with the first time the two teams met.

“We just made it a point that if we wanted to win, we had to get all the loose balls and the rebounds,” added Greenly.

“That’s just a testament to our girls and how hard they’ve been working,” noted Cocalico head coach Andrew Garrett, when asked if he was surprised that his club held the edge in rebounding. “Basketball is a long season. A lot of teams start to pack it in at the end of the year. These girls have done the opposite. They just kept playing harder. I’m proud of them.”

By the numbers, the Lady Eagles were led offensively by freshman Hannah Custer (13 points) and Greenly’s 11. Cocalico was 11-for-18 at the foul line.

Lady Mount junior Kandice Liebl cashed in three from behind the arc in the first quarter for nine points to support Gerola-Hill’s 14. Ephrata only toed the charity stripe 11 times, making six.

The loss hurts the Lady Mounts in their quest for two post-season positions. Before the game, Ephrata was placed in the 12th and final spot in the 6A power rankings for the District Three playoffs. The decision also drops them into a three-way tie for second place in Section Two (three make it) behind first place Lampeter-Strasburg, and only a game ahead of Donegal and Manheim Central.

The Lady Mounts do control their own destiny, traveling to play the Indians on Friday and hosting Solanco on Tuesday, before taking on the Pioneers and the Lady Barons.

Cocalico finishes the 2018 season by traveling Friday to Manheim and Donegal on Tuesday, before hosting Lebanon and L-S. The final non-league game is February 7 at Cedar Crest.

In addition to Tuesday’s contest, Ephrata split a pair of games late last week, including Friday’s 49-45 loss at home to Garden Spot.

Despite leading 26-21 at the half, the Lady Mounts couldn’t hold on as the Spartans out-scored Ephrata 28-19 in the second half to capture the come-from-behind victory.

Megan Fisher scored 18 points while Paige Usner (14) and Karli Stoltzfus (11) also reached double figures in scoring for the Spartans. Gerola-Hill scored 17 to pace Ephrata while Liebl chipped in with 11 in the loss.

Ephrata did capture a 49-37 victory over Lebanon last Thursday evening at home.

In that one, the Lady Mounts out-scored the Cedars 15-8 in the third to key the win. Gerola-Hill led the way with 16 points while Liebl added 11 in the victory.

Destiny Infante paced Lebanon with 10 points.

As for Cocalico, the Lady Eagles suffered a pair of losses, including Friday’s 57-40 setback at the hands of host Solanco.

Grace Kreider scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Mares, who jumped out to a 27-17 half-time lead and did not look back.

Custer scored 14 to pace the Lady Eagles, who also got 10 points from Addie Landis.

Cocalico also was on the losing end of a 49-44 decision Thursday at home vs. Garden Spot.

In that one, the Spartans built a 40-32 lead after three quarters and held on down the stretch. Fisher led Garden Spot with 18 points while Shelby White (11), Corrie Lescoe (10) and Landis (10) all scored in double figures for Cocalico.



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