L-S boys hand Mounts third Section Two loss

By on January 10, 2018
Ephrata’s Brad DaBella (45) drives to the hole against Lampeter-Strasburg in Tuesday’s key Section Two contest. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ephrata’s Brad DaBella (45) drives to the hole against Lampeter-Strasburg in Tuesday’s key Section Two contest. Photo by Missi Mortimer

When the Ephrata boys’ basketball team battled Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two reigning champion Lampeter-Strasburg in 2017, junior center/forward Ryan Smith was six foot, seven inches tall. Now a senior, Smith has sprouted up to 6-10 and brought a 23.6 point average into Tuesday evening’s game with the Mounts in Lampeter.

Ephrata had leads in both the first and second periods, but an 11-0 run by the Pioneers in the second frame gave them a lead that they never relinquished. L-S (4-1, 10-1) led by eight (28-20) at the half and pulled away in the fourth for a 54-41 win.

Smith led the way for the Pioneers with 21 points. Fellow senior Isaac Beers chipped in with 12 for the winners.

“Limiting a player like that is very difficult. He’s highly skilled,” explained Mounts head coach Jon Treese. “We decided to make all of our help on him come from the weak side. His teammates are pretty good at finding ways to get him the ball.”

The other challenge for Ephrata (2-3 league, 8-4 overall) was a suffocating press defense employed by the Pioneers throughout the game. Treese didn’t have exact figures, but estimated that the Mounts turned over the ball 10-15 times more than L-S.

“We’ve got to be better on recognizing things that they did with their press and their traps,” said Treese. “They did a nice job of funneling us into the corners. Their spacing and communication were very impressive.”

The Mounts, playing catch-up most of the game, were forced to gamble, sending the Pioneers to the foul line 22 times. They converted on 18. Ephrata only toed the charity stripe seven times, cashing in on six of them.

The desperation effort caused senior Dilyn Becker and junior Xavian Rodriguez to be whistled for their fifth fouls in the fourth quarter, forcing them to the bench.

“It’s hard to game-plan for foul trouble,” added Treese. “That hurts our rotation and some of the things that we try to do.”

Offensively senior Brad DaBella topped a balanced score sheet with 13 points. He was assisted by Becker (9), Rodriguez (8), senior Sam Cable (6) and junior Zack McGillan (5).

Ephrata had the advantage behind the arc, hitting five three pointers compared to just two for the Pioneers. L-S out-rebounded the Mounts by four and attempted 12 more field goals than Ephrata. As mentioned earlier, the Pioneers also had fewer turnovers in the win.

Early season rankings in District Three AAAAA shows the Pioneers in the number three seed, while the Mounts come in at number 12.

In addition to Tuesday, the Mounts also competed in the “War of the Roses” Showcase this past Saturday at Manheim Central.

Ephrata squared off against York-Adams foe York Suburban, and the Mounts cruised from the outset on their way to an easy 58-30 victory.

DaBella scored a game-high 18 point to pace the Mounts, who jumped out to a 29-7 half-time lead before coasting in for the easy win.

Becker also reached double figures for the Mounts, dropping in 10 points. Willy Batty and Anthony Brown each had six points to lead York Suburban (0-9).

The L-L Section Two teams dominated their York-Adams counterparts, going 4-1 on the day. In addition to Ephrata’s win, Elizabethtown knocked off Susquehannock, 52-46, Garden Spot downed Kennard-Dale, 50-38 and L-S defeated Dover, 65-51.

The lone York-Adams victory came in the nightcap as Gettysburg knocked off host Manheim Central by a 44-37 score.

Up next for Ephrata, the Mounts are back at home Thursday night for a Section Two contest against Solanco. That will set the stage for former coach Charlie Fisher’s return to Ephrata Friday night as the Mounts host Manheim Central in a huge Section Two showdown.


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