Monday, January 22, 2018
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Lady Mounts take Fleetwood Tourney

Ephrata girls Coach Mike Garman has seen just about everything in his years on the sidelines.

However, Saturday’s Fleetwood Tournament title game between his Lady Mounts and the host Tigers may just take the cake for one of the more crazier finishes to one of his games.

With the score tied at 43-43, Fleetwood was fouled at the buzzer to end regulation and needed just one of the two ensuing free throws to drop, and it would have been the Tigers’ win.

Fortunately for Ephrata, Fleetwood missed them both, and the two teams went to overtime. In the extra period, Ephrata, with two starters already fouled out and a third that would soon join them on the bench because of fouls, somehow found a way.

The Lady Mounts out-scored Fleetwood, 6-2 in overtime to earn the huge 49-45 victory and the tourney championship.

“It was crazy,” Garman said of the win. “All I know is there was somebody from up above looking down upon us, because if you name it, it happened to us. For us to find a way to win that game was something else.”

Senior guard Kelly Liebl had a big hand in the win. She scored a game-high 22 points in the game and was the lone starter on the floor at the end (despite having four fouls herself) when Ephrata put the game away.

Liebl, who scored 16 points in the Lady Mounts 59-30 first-round win over Northern Lehigh, was named Tournament MVP.

“Kelly was just something else,” Garman said. “She willed it upon herself and her teammates to find a way to win this game, and they did it.”

Ephrata (2-0) held a three-point lead at the half and held that margin after three quarters of play but Tigers fought back to take a three-point lead late in regulation. However, a big three-point play by Ephrata’s Kasey Umana knotted the game at 43-43 which, following the two free throw misses by Fleetwood, sent the game into OT.

Liebl scored four of the six points in the extra session for Ephrata, and reserve Lauren Shuke also nailed a pair of clutch free throws down the stretch.

For the game, Caroline Stauffer added nine points and Hannah Raezer chipped in with eight points for the Lady Mounts.

Kelly Liebl and Caroline Stauffer are shown with the tournament MVP and all-tournament plaques.

Lauren Lister scored 17 points to pace the Tigers (1-1), who also got 10 points from Cyre Virgo.

In addition to Liebl, Stauffer was named to the All-Tournament Team, joining Lister, Virgo and Danielle Ober of Manheim Central.

In Friday’s opener vs. Northern Lehigh, Ephrata opened up a 29-10 half-time lead and coasted to victory.

Stauffer led all scorers with a game-high 20 points to go with Liebl’s 16. Raezer added eight points in the Ephrata victory.