LEBANON -- Even with two all-stars, a lot of young basketball teams must learn how to walk before it can run.
On Monday at Cedar Crest, it took the young Falcons approximately 16 minutes to get into gear.
But an 11-0 run to open the second half was more to coach Jim Donmoyer's liking and the Falcons broke open a three-point game on their way a 50-34 win over L-L League foe Ephrata (2-3, 1-1 L-L).
Juniors Alyssa Austin and Ariel Jones, Crest's two all-stars, combined for 24 points and senior Caitlynn Albright added 10 to stake Crest to its fourth straight win and second in league play.
Ephrata's Caroline Stauffer had 12 points and 5-foot-10 Kenzie Horst netted 10, despite getting hit with her fourth foul with 3:19 left in the third quarter. It was Horst's third and fourth fouls that helped key the Falcons' 11-0 run.
"Ephrata had some quick guards and some size inside with Horst," Donmoyer said. "They did a good job of doubling Austin in the first half, but when Horst went out, we were able to get inside for some scores."
Donmoyer said after four games, he can't be displeased with his team's play.
"When we do what we're supposed to do, we can be pretty good," he said. "When we don't, we struggle a little bit, like we did in the first half. But we're still pretty young. We play only two seniors. After four games, we're doing all right."
A pair of early hoops from Austin, Crest's talented 6-1 junior, and two Jones free throws got the Falcons started, before their offense stuttered. Sophomore Rachel Witherite tossed in back-to-back hoops to enable Crest to hold a 10-8 lead after eight minutes.
Ephrata went ahead in the second quarter when Stauffer hit a trey and Horst battled inside for a rebound bucket and added a pair of free throws.
Three-pointers by Jones and Austin, along with two baskets by Albright, kept Crest in front at half, 21-18.
From there, the lead grew to 32-18 with 2:45 left in the third quarter and Austin worked inside for six points when Horst got into foul trouble.
The Mountaineers got back to within 32-25 and then 40-30 in the fourth quarter, before Albright got her last two baskets. Three Jones free throws and Kelsey Guth's layup in the final minutes ensured the win.
The Falcons have a busy week with games coming up Wednesday at Conestoga Valley and on Friday at home against McCaskey.
"Everybody's talking about us and McCaskey," Donmoyer said, "but we're not looking further ahead than practice (today) and our game at CV on Wednesday. One game at a time. We'll get to McCaskey soon enough. We'll probably end up playing each other six times this season."
Jones, who also got into early foul trouble and earned her fourth with 2:02 left in the third quarter, said the Falcons are right on schedule.
"I think we're doing pretty good," Jones said. "Ephrata gave us a good challenge. We didn't play that well in the first half, because we got into a little foul trouble. In the second half, Alyssa showed what she can do and we played much better."
Cedar Crest 50, Ephrata 34
Eshkolwein Baykeda 0 0-0 0, Kenzie Horst 3 4-7 10, Kay Lieble 2 3-4 7, Brittany Ritter 1 0-0 3, Lauren Shuke 0 0-0 0, Pamela Sola 0 0-0 0, Caroline Stauffer 4 3-7 12, Kasey Umana 1 0-0 2. Totals — 11 10-19 34.
Cedar Crest (50)
Caitlynn Albright 5 0-0 10, Alyssa Austin 6 0-1 13, Sage Bartal 0 2-2 2, Gracen Donmoyer 0 0-0 0, Kelsey Guth 1 1-2 3, Ariel Jones 2 5-6 11, Alaze Merkey 0 0-0 0, Raven Morgan 0 1-2 1, Jade Rolon 1 2-2 4, Rachel Witherite 3 0-0 6, Skyanne Yancey 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 11-16 50.
Ephrata _ 8 _ 10 _ 7 _ 9 _ — _ 34
Cedar Crest _ 10 _ 11 _ 15 _ 14 _ — _ 50
3-point goals — Eph 2 (Ritter, Stauffer); CC 3 (Jones 2, Austin).