Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Mounts Charge to Win


Charlie Fisher has been waiting all season for his team to play its best game.

Tuesday night, that wait ended when the Ephrata boys basketball team outlasted visiting Lampeter- Strasburg, 61-49, in a pivotal Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two showdown.

“Tonight was great,” Fisher said. “Everybody stepped up, whether it was shooting, passing or getting rebounds.”

Fueling the Mounts’ charge was Brad DaBella, who caught fire in the second half when he scored 16 of his game high 22 points. DaBella knocked down four 3-pointers after halftime, including two in the final quarter when Ephrata began to pull away.

“My teammates were getting me open and getting me the ball,” said DaBella, who came in averaging 8.2 points per game. “I was in the zone. It was just a good night.”

Ephrata also got 14 points from Xavian Rodriguez and 13 from Dilyn Becker.

The win, coupled with Garden Spot’s upset of previously unbeaten Manheim Central, moves Ephrata (6-0 Section Two, 11-2 overall) into first place, one game ahead of the Barons. The two teams meet Friday night in Manheim.

The Pioneers (4-2, 7-6), who were a game behind Ephrata in third place, were paced by Ryan Smith, who netted 19 points, including 17 in the second half.

L-S coach Ed Berryman offered few words after the game, saying only, “I have nothing to say.”

Tale of two halves: Ephrata sprinted out to a 6-0 lead as L-S missed its first six shots from the floor. Ephrata, meanwhile, hit 5 of 9 shots in the quarter and led 10-5. L-S closed the gap to 19-15 at the break.

Both teams had hot hands in the second half, combing to score 76 points. A 9-0 run by the Pioneers gave them their first lead, 29-27, with 4:46 left in the third.

The Mounts, however, answered with an 8-0 run of their own to regain a 35-32 lead. Leading 38-37 after three, Ephrata opened the fourth with six straight points and never looked back.

“We panicked a little bit there for a couple stretches,” Fisher said. “At the end of the day it came to who made plays and we had some guys make some big plays.”

Key stat: The Mounts hit 15 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter alone, while the Pioneers hit only 1 of 3 in the game.