Knotted again: Lady Eagles fall to L-S, but back in first with Tuesday win and Pioneer loss to Indians

By on January 18, 2017
Cocalico’s Maddie Bock (left) drives the baseline past L-S defender Emma Gochnauer (12) during Friday’s game in Denver. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Cocalico’s Maddie Bock (left) drives the baseline past L-S defender Emma Gochnauer (12) during Friday’s game in Denver. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

When Katie Heck drilled a shot with 2:39 to go in the third to put her team up by nine, Cocalico appeared to be in pretty good shape vs. L-S Friday in their Section Two first place showdown in Denver.

However, judging by the frenetic pace of this one, Cocalico Coach Andrew Garrett still felt a bit uneasy despite the lead.

“I felt good at that point but I knew that there was a lot of game left and I knew that our girls were getting tired,” Garrett said.

Unfortunately, his worst fears were realized.

The Pioneers roared back with a 19-8 run in the fourth to knot the game before Hanna Garber sank a pair of clutch free throws with 36 seconds left to give L-S the lead for good.

Cocalico did have a chance to tie it in the final seconds after forcing a turnover but Lyndsay Engle couldn’t convert on a last-second drive attempt as L-S held on for a 49-47 victory.

As fate would have it, the Lady Eagles pulled back into a first-place tie Tuesday night. As Cocalico knocked off Garden Spot in New Holland by a score of 51-33, L-L dropped its first section game of the season in a 52-45 loss at Donegal.

Engle and Sam Klumpp both had 15 points each for Cocalico, which improved to 7-1 to draw even with the Pioneers. Donegal (6-2) is now one-game back of the front-runners heading into Friday.

“Because of the way we’ve played (all season), we still control our own destiny,” Garrett said after Friday’s loss to L-S. “As a coach and as a team that’s always what you want. But that means this week when we get back into section play we’ve got to take care of business.”

Friday night, L-S did jump out to a 14-11 lead after one quarter of play, thanks to Emma Gochnauer’s seven early points. But on the Lady Eagles’ first trip of the second quarter, senior Emily Fassnacht drilled a three pointer to tie the game. That shot incidentally tied Marissa Gingrich for the school’s all-time lead in three-pointers with 73.

The Pioneers briefly went back up by four (18-14) before Cocalico’s Klumpp delivered a key basket which preceded a three-point play by Sophie Benson to give the Lady Eagles the lead at 19-18.

Following a three-pointer by the Pioneers’ Laura Horner that briefly put L-S back in front, Cocalico closed the quarter on an 11-4 run to take a 30-25 lead into the half.

It was 33-30 Cocalico midway through the third when a quick 6-0 Cocalico spurt upped the advantage to nine as Engle converted a lay-up before Heck hit a pair of shots on back-to-back possession to make it 39-30 with 2:39 to play in the third.

But in the latter stages of the third, L-S began to post up Nevin Hoenninger, and the Lady Eagles didn’t have an answer.

Hoenninger, who led the Pioneers with 17 points, scored the final seven points of the third to make it 43-37 Cocalico. She then converted a three-point play to open the third before hitting a big trey with 5:53 to play to cut the Lady Eagle lead down to one at 44-43.

“We talked about some adjustments and you know they just did nice counters to those adjustments,” Garrett said when asked about Hoenninger stepping up late.

After both teams traded lay-ups, L-S forced three turnovers over the next three minutes. Hoenninger sank a pair of free throws after getting fouled following one of those Lady Eagle miscues to put the Pioneers up 47-46.

With 1:02 to go, Klumpp went 1-for-2 at the line to tie it at 47, setting the stage for Garber’s clutch fouls shots in the final minute which turned out to be the winning points.

Cocalico turned the ball over 15 times for the game, including five times in the pivotal fourth quarter.

“(Defensively) they’re super aggressive running and doubling all over the place,” Garrett said. “I was hoping to counter that aggression by passing the ball and pushing the ball while their defense was out of position. At times we were able to do that but that creates for a super, uptempo game and I think in the fourth quarter we just lost our legs a little bit and got a little tired.”

In addition to Hoenninger, Gochnauer also reached double figures in scoring with 16.

Benson took high honors with 16 for Cocalico while Klumpp added 13 points to go along with eight rebounds in the loss.

In addition to the two Section Two contests, the Lady Eagles also were in action Monday night in a non-league game at Berks Catholic.

In the tight affair, the Saints’ Taylor Dimmerling sank two free throws with 10 seconds remaining in the game to lift Berks Catholic to a 62-60 victory over Cocalico.

The Lady Eagles had trailed by nine at the half before fighting back to get to within two prior to Dimmerling’s key free throws.

Taylor Blunt led Berks Catholic with a game-high 25 points while Fassnacht collected 15 points, including three treys which set Cocalico’s new all-time mark (76) to pace Cocalico.

Up next, the Lady Eagles host Solanco Friday before traveling to Ephrata to face the Lady Mounts next Tuesday night.

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