Eagles upend Elco with big second half

By on January 21, 2015
Tucker Lescoe (left) of Cocalico rises over Luke Darkes (33) of Elco for two of his game-high 25 points Tuesday. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Tucker Lescoe (left) of Cocalico rises over Luke Darkes (33) of Elco for two of his game-high 25 points Tuesday. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Cocalico was able to flip the switch Tuesday night in its critical Section Three match-up vs. Elco.

After a lackluster first half in which the Eagles found themselves down six (28-22) at the break, Cocalico got it done at both ends in the final two periods to blow past the Raiders, 70-54.

Fueled by a successful trapping defense which led to a few turnovers and several easy transition hoops, the Eagles took the lead on Moses Ulysse’s lay-up with three minutes to go in the third and did not look back. Cocalico out-scored the Raiders 33-18 the rest of the way to improve to 9-3 in Section Three play (12-5 overall).

“I feel like our guys gave 100 percent effort in the second half,” Cocalico coach Travis Wealand said. “I felt like we just did a better job with the scouting report in the second half and the kids really turned it up and tried to put Elco in difficult situations. We got a couple key turnovers early in the third and kind of turned the game around.”

Tucker Lescoe, who scored a career-high 41 points in Friday’s victory over Lebanon Catholic, tallied 17 of his game-high 25 points in the second half to lead a well-rounded offensive attack. Austin Noll collected 14 points, including four three-pointers, and John Waskowicz contributed 10 for the Eagles, who moved into sole possession of second place in the section behind Manheim Central (12-0), which defeated L-S (6-6) Tuesday.

Through the first half, it was the visiting Raiders (6-6) imposing their will on the Eagles with an effective inside, outside game.

Colton Lawrence was the post presence for the Raiders, using his size advantage to wreak havoc. On the outside, Mason Bossert knocked down a couple key threes when Lawrence kicked it out, and the Raiders, who led by as many as nine in the second quarter, took a 28-22 lead into the locker room.

“They have some very nice parts on their team,” Wealand said of the Raiders. “With the size they have and Lawrence as the scorer, and then they have a nice shooter on the wing and Bossert at the point…they have nice pieces. Matchup-wise we are usually undersized anyway so we just try to dig in, box out well and try to push the basketball. I felt in the second half we tried to push the basketball. We re-grouped and executed the gameplan.”

Cocalico opened the second half with a big stop defensively, and Noll came down to the other end and drained a three to cut it to 28-25. Then, midway through the period with Elco still leading by three, Waskowicz sank a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game. Cocalico then went to the full-court trap and picked up two-straight turnovers. The final one led to Ulysse’s lay-up at the other end which gave the Eagles the lead for good.

“In the second half we picked up our intensity on defense,” Lescoe said. “We really focused on defense at half-time and came out and just executed at that end.”

Ian Arcudi and Lescoe then connected on back-to-back three-pointers in the final two minutes of the period before the quarter ended on a Lescoe post-up with one seconds left to give Cocalico a 47-41 advantage with one quarter to play.

The Eagles then opened the fourth with an 11-1 run to open up a 56-42 lead. They coasted the rest of the way.

“They are all big,” Wealand said of his team’s latest win. “And that’s what we said in the locker room at the half-time. Our focus for each day is to get the win. You can’t worry about other things going on. Your focus has to be how can you win this particular game. Again, I just thought they came out in the second half and decided they wanted to play harder and more like we like to play…they put themselves in a good position to win.”

Friday night at home vs. Lebanon Catholic, Lescoe lit up the Beavers with his career night to lead the Eagles to a 78-46 victory. Lescoe made 15 shots from the field and was 5 of 6 from the line on his big 41-point night.

Arcudi also finished in double figures for Cocalico with 15 points.

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