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MANHEIM — Lancaster Catholic senior Caroline Scarff and the Crusaders’ defense were pressing early and often Monday night.

For Scarff, things finally opened up in the third quarter. But the press defense of visiting Lancaster Catholic and a 30-point, 15-rebound night from freshman Kiki Jefferson proved too much for the hosts to overcome as the Lady Crusaders blew past Manheim Central, 69-27, in an L-L Section Three-Four crossover matchup.

Catholic (4-0) led 15-2 after the first quarter in which Manheim (2-4) had ten turnovers and committed 9 fouls. Things got worse for the Lady Barons in the second quarter as Jefferson tallied 18 points on seven field goals, many of them put-backs, for a 44-12 halftime lead.

“I just think the girls take all the credit; they’re out there busting their hump,” said head coach Charlie Detz of the first-half pressure. “We have to go nine-deep because they’re exerting a lot of energy both on offense and defense. That’s the way I enjoy coaching and this group has bought into that and it’s really enjoyable to watch.”

The Crusaders shot 12-for-24 from the free-throw line in the first half while forcing 20 Manheim turnovers.

The Barons would settle down under first-year coach Amanda Burns, however, getting steady play from Gabby Hahn (7 points), Sara Ober (5 points), and Emma Beamesderfer (2 steals), as well as Elli Weaver (4 points) off the bench.

With a large second-half lead, Catholic focused on getting the ball to Scarff, who is chasing 1,000 career points.

After scoring a single bucket in the first half, Scarff tallied 12 of her 15 points in the third quarter, closing to within eight of the milestone.

“She was pressing a little bit because she realized how close she was,” Detz said. “I think she came out and had 13 (in the second half). I think that’s a combination of the team really giving her the ball and her also relaxed and letting the game come to her.”

Catholic will host Section Three challenger Elco (3-0) on Wednesday, a game that is sure to be a bit tougher on the Crusaders’ tandem of Jefferson and Scarff.

“Our whole goal was to try and get (Scarff) in position to try and get (eight points) on Wednesday at home,” Detz said. “Now we have that, but I don’t think Elco is going to sit and let her get them. We’re going to have to earn them.”

Truth be told, for the Lady Crusaders, it can’t hurt to press.

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Lancaster Catholic 69, Manheim Central 27

Lancaster Catholic (69)

K. Jefferson 12 6-13 30, C. Scarff 6 3-5 15, J. Breit 3 0-2 6, L. Mills 1 3-6 5, A. Schreder 2 0-0 5, C. Rivera 2 0-0 4, L. Fritz 1 0-0 3, H. Ramos 0 1-2 1, C. Ricci 0 0-0 0, P. Jaquis 0 0-0 0, M. Hackman 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 13-32 69.

Manheim Central (27)

G. Hahn 3 0-0 7, S. Conde 3 0-2 6, S. Ober 2 0-0 5, E. Weaver 1 2-2 4, B. Breinich 1 1-2 3, E. Beamesderfer 0 1-2 1, C. Bollinger 0 1-2 1, K. Greene 0 0-0 0, L. Doerschuk 0 0-0 0, C. Strazza 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 5-10 27.

LC _ 15 _ 29 _ 22 _ 03 _ — _ 69

MC _ 02 _ 10 _ 08 _ 07 _ — _ 27

3-Point Goals — LC (A. Schreder, L. Fritz); MC 2 (G. Hahn, S. Ober)

JV Score — Lancaster Catholic 39, Manheim Central 28

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