Engle’s career night leads Cocalico past Lady Mounts

By on December 28, 2016
Cocalico’s Emily Fassnacht (right) drives past Madison Root of Ephrata.

Cocalico’s Emily Fassnacht (right) drives past Madison Root of Ephrata.

Senior posts 24 points, 13 boards in win

The first of two Section Two girls’ basketball games between backyard rivals Ephrata and Cocalico went to the home team, as the Lady Eagles held off the Lady Mounts 47-37 in Denver last Wednesday.

The story of the night was the breakout performance of senior forward Lyndsay Engle, whose career highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds led the way.

“It was a really important game for us, especially knowing that it’s Ephrata,” said Engle, who quickly deflected the praise. “You’ve got to get people open. On different days, different shooters are on and that’s who we go to.”

The two teams were tied for first place at 2-0 going into the game.

The Cocalico defense made a statement in the first half, holding the Lady Mounts to two points in the first period and eight by halftime, while building a 15 point lead of 23-8 at the break. That defense also found a way to shut out Ephrata’s leading scorer Caroline Stauffer for the half and limit her to eight points on 3-18 shooting for the game.

“The atmosphere is always intense when we play each other,” added Cocalico’s new head coach Andrew Garrett. “The nice thing about this game is I don’t need to do as much motivation.”

The Lady Mounts closed the gap to eight points in the third quarter, utilizing a full-court press to force seven turnovers. Sophomore guard Katherine Sola front-lined the defense while scoring five of her team high 13 points in the period. Stauffer hit on two three’s and another bucket in the third, her career record 134th trey.

“I liked how we fought, down 15 at the half,” remarked Ephrata’s Todd Moyer, another first year head coach. “We just tried to go double, read the passing lanes and see what you can create.”

There was some surprise from the home side that the press was as effective as it was.

“We have the ability to handle the press. That’s not usually a concern of mine,” noted Garrett.

His thoughts were echoed by Engle.

“They were able to trap us and they caught us off-guard a little bit. We called time-out and we got it together. We adjusted.”

And adjust they did. The improved ball movement found Engle free underneath for two quick scores in the fourth period. The two clubs kept up the frantic pace down the stretch with the Lady Eagles maintaining the double-digit lead.

Engle’s night was based on 8-for-12 shooting as Cocalico shot 47% on 15-32 shooting for the night. Senior guard Emily Fassnacht was 4-6 from the floor, including two threes for 12 points with nine rebounds. The Lady Mounts took 21 more shots than the Eagles but only hit on 14 of 52 for 26%. The pace also affected free-throw shooting as both teams missed on four opportunities in the fourth.

Despite the tie for the Section Two lead (with L-S at 3-0), Garrett has a wish-list for improvement going forward.

“Our ability to box out and get the basketball,” said Garrett. “Rebounding has been an issue. That’s one of the things we want to focus on.”

The Lady Eagles will get that chance immediately after the holidays as they go on the road at Manheim Central on January 3 and three days later at Donegal.

Ephrata Coach Moyer also talks about the competition in the newly configured three section format of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

“Every night is going to be one of those games,” stated Moyer. “I strongly believe that on any given night, anybody can beat anybody else if they don’t come out to play.”

The Lady Mounts continue section play as well on January 3 at Donegal. They host Elizabethtown the following day and Solanco two days after that, rounding out a busy week.

Round two of the backyard rivalry between the Lady Eagles and the Lady Mounts is on January 24 at Ephrata. Mark your calendar.

In addition to last Wednesday’s contest, both local teams were back in action Friday night in non-league tilts.

In Denver, Cocalico captured an exciting 40-35 overtime victory over visiting Palmyra.

The Lady Eagles (5-3 overall), who trailed 26-21 after three quarters, outscored the Cougars 8-3 in the extra session to earn the impressive win.

Sophie Benson led the way for Cocalico with a game-high 14 points. Fassnacht chipped in with 10 in the victory. Olivia Richardson led Palmyra (5-3) with 11 points on the night.

Ephrata was on the road at Conrad Weiser where the host Scouts out-scored the Lady Mounts 30-11 in the second half to earn a 49-34 victory.

Stauffer, who needed 18 coming into the game for 1,000-career points, was held to just nine by a swarming Scouts’ defense. TaCari Talford had a double-double with a game-high 23 points, 15 steals, and eight boards for the Scouts (1-4).

Madison Root paced Ephrata (2-6) with 10 points in the loss.

Both Ephrata and Cocalico return to Section Two play

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