Lady Eagles snap losing skid, crush Barons

By on January 7, 2015
Cocalico’s Emily White (right) drives past Donegal’s Rachel Robinson during Friday’s clash in Denver.

Cocalico’s Emily White (right) drives past Donegal’s Rachel Robinson
during Friday’s clash in Denver.

After suffering through its first three-game losing streak of the season, Cocalico took out its frustrations Tuesday against visiting Manheim Central.

Behind a smothering defense and a smooth-flowing offense, Cocalico held Manheim scoreless in the first quarter and out-scored the Barons 33-4 in the first half to seize control.

Megan Gingrich scored a season-high 18 points to pace the Lady Eagles, who improved to 6-1 in Section Three play (7-3 overall).

Gabby Hahn scored eight points to pace the Barons (2-5, 3-8).

This past Friday at home, Cocalico dropped its Section Three showdown with defending champion Donegal as the Indians used a 12-2 fourth-quarter run to propel them to a 49-42 victory over the Lady Eagles.

Cocalico led most of the way before being out-scored 19-9 in the pivotal fourth by the Indians. Donegal’s transition game was the ultimate key in the second half, while Cocalico’s 12-second half turnover fueled some of those easy breaks.

With the win, Donegal took over sole possession of first place in the section, improving to a perfect 6-0 (9-2) overall. With the Lady Eagles’ win Tuesday, they remain one-game back of the Indians

“In the second half we let them get to the basket, and they ended up making layups,” Cocalico coach Tony DiMatteo said. “They are right-handed dribblers. We knew it, yet we let them dribble right all night. We did not play good team defense and we didn’t play smart. We just didn’t execute…that’s the bottom line.”

Cocalico took a 33-30 lead into the fourth, but Donegal responded. A pair of free throws by Kristen Stark cut the Donegal deficit to one, and that started the 12-2 Indian run. Cocalico converted on just one of the next six possessions while the Indians took it the other way and scored in the paint. Kayla Walker led the transition and scored a pair of big hoops during that stretch. Her final hoop with 4:26 to play gave her team its biggest lead at 42-36.

“They are section champs for a reason,” DiMatteo said of Donegal. “They got that veteran experience eventhough they are young. And they made the plays down the stretch when they had to.”

A Natalie Sukanick foul shot and a lay-up by Emily White cut the Lady Eagle deficit to 42-39 with 2:34 to play. But that was as close as they would get as Donegal went 4-for-7 the rest of the way from the line to put it away.

Rachel Robinson led the Indians with 12 points while Stark added 11. White paced the Lady Eagles with a game-high 18 points while Gingrich added 10.

White scored seven first-quarter points, which included a three-point play with 38 ticks remaining in the quarter to give Cocalico a 14-8 lead after one. The Cocalico junior then increased the lead to 21-13 midway through the second quarter with a three pointer that gave the Lady Eagles their biggest advantage of the night. But the Indians clawed back with a mini 8-2 spurt fueled by Carly Diffenderfer’s four points to make it just a two-point Cocalico lead (23-21) at the half.

The third was played fairly evenly but Emily Fassnacht gave Cocalico a boost with a pair of buckets during that stretch. It enabled the Lady Eagles to carry that three-point lead into the fourth. Unfortunately for the home team, they couldn’t hold it.

In addition to Friday’s contest, the Lady Eagles also were in action Saturday in non-league action where Cocalico dropped their third-straight game in a 48-34 loss at Red Lion.

The hot Lions built a double-digit lead heading to the fourth and held on for the 14-point victory.

White led the way for Cocalico with 15 points.


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