Monday, January 22, 2018
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Eagles slip by Mounts

Timely 3-point play ignites Eagle girls in win over Mountaineers

Cocalico’s Megan Gingrich accepted the pass from Lyndsay Engle on Wednesday, as Ephrata’s Kenzie Horst draped over her in the paint with the Eagles facing a 7-5 deficit and 5:28 remaining in an offensive quagmire of a first half between the two rivals.

Gingrich turned to her left, lifted a shot over the 5-10 Horst and into the basket while drawing a foul for a three-point play that, ultimately, spurred Cocalico toward a 55-30 nonleague girls’ basketball win.

“She wanted it,” Cocalico coach Tony DiMatteo said of Gingrich. “We went to her, and that was definitely a spark.”

Gingrich’s three-point play sparked a 13-2 Cocalico run that saw offensive contributions from five Eagles — Gingrich, Jasa Lorah, Emily White Emily Fassnacht and Maddie Bock.

“As the second quarter went on,” DiMatteo said, “we started playing more of our tempo.”

The Mountaineers (1-2) controlled the tempo in the first quarter, jumping to a 7-3 lead and holding the Cocalico to one field goal in the first frame.

“We said, ‘Let’s get back to everybody touching the ball,’” DiMatteo said, “‘with movement and quickness, and let’s open up the floor a little bit.’”

While the Eagles pushed the pace, the Mountaineers continued to miss with their offensive opportunities. Brittany Ritter’s basket with three seconds remaining in the half gave Ephrata its first field goal since the 2:52 mark of the first quarter.

“When you’re defending well,” Ephrata coach Mike Garman said, “but you can’t score, it makes it a whole lot more challenging to continue to do what it is you do well.”

Gingrich finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, complementing a game-high 26-point performance from White, a fellow senior, who netted 21 points over the final two quarters.

“When they put a guard on her,” DiMatteo said of Horst, “she went in the post. If there was a big person on her, she came out and she hit 3’s then. She has really learned how to take advantage of the matchups.”

At the other end, Horst led Ephrata with 10 points on four field goals with Cocalico’s Lorah defending.

“Jasa did a super job on her,” DiMatteo said.

The rest of the Mountaineers combined for five field goals.

“We were getting good shots,” Garman said. “It’s not like the shots we were taking were bad. We just have to learn how to settle down and be able to try and put the ball in the hole.”

After defeating Warwick, 60-48 on Monday, Cocalico added its second consecutive win over a Lancaster-Lebanon League team in a higher section. The Eagles open section play at Annville-Cleona in a Section Three-Section Four crossover game scheduled for Friday.

“Down the road,” DiMatteo said, “these kinds of games are going to make us a better team.”

The Mountaineers open L-L sectional play with a Section One-Section Two crossover game scheduled for Friday at home against Penn Manor.

“Last year,” Garman said, “we got beat by Cocalico and went on and competed for a section championship and lost to Lebanon at home by three, so I think these kids can do that as well. It’s just a matter of moving forward and learning and trying to get a little bit better.”