Emily White scores her 1000th point against Donegal on Wednesday, December 23, 2015. Daryl Simione
MOUNT JOY — For the Cocalico Eagles’ birthday girl, the milestone was nice, but the win was better.
Needing just one point to reach 1,000 for her career, White drained her opening shot versus the Donegal Indians Wednesday night for the milestone moment, then contributed to the Eagles’ defensive effort in the second half as the Cocalico took down the host Indians 41-38 in the final game for both teams before the holiday break.
“Most people don’t know but today is my birthday so it was really cool to get it,” White said on having to wait two days for the lone point. “I would have like to get it at home (Monday) but I’m glad we got it on a win. I’m more excited today about winning than getting it.”
White grabbed the opening tip from teammate Megan Gingrich, passing to Emily Fassnacht on the wing before Fassnacht’s feed inside became an easy game-opening lob for the duce.
“I definitely wanted to get it in the beginning so we didn’t have to think about it, we could get it over with,” White said, assuring members of the media it wasn’t a set play. “Honestly I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. All the assists, obviously. Hundreds of assists. It’s just been fun playing with the girls I’ve been playing with but it does feel really awesome.”
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one (a milestone) that quick,” joked Eagles’ head coach Tony DiMatteo. “I certainly liked that because I’m not a rah-rah guy, but I’m happy for her. She’s worked hard for four years, the team supported her and that was good to get it out of the way quick.”
The same could be said on a first half in which both Cocalico (7-1 overall, 5-1 Section Three) and Donegal utilized transition offenses for a fast-track to the locker room. Donegal (6-3, 4-2) led 28-27 behind Kayla Walker’s 15 first half points and cadre of steals.
“She puts the team on her shoulders, she’s our leader,” said Donegal coach Chadd Ward. “She carries us with her defense and that really gets us kick-started all the time.”
White offset the Indians’ production with 10 first quarter points and eight second quarter rebounds.
“Emily is such a great player, I’m glad that I got to see the thousandth tonight, that was really awesome,” Ward said. “Going second quarter she had ten points and I made everybody look up and say this is what’s happening. If this continues to happen we’re going to get blown out of the water.”
White would eventually finish with 14 points and ten rebounds for a birthday double-double.
“Having the team that I have it’s easy to get rebounds because everyone boxes out,” White said. “Everyone’s doing what they have to do so someone else can get the rebound.”
In contrast to the first half, the third quarter was shaky for both teams offensively as a 4-3 Eagles’ edge led to a 31-all tie entering the fourth.
“Once we started taking care of the ball, it definitely turned,” DiMatteo said.
The Eagles’ fourth quarter offense utilized Fassnacht’s passing ability from the key as she fed Gingrich (6 points) and Lyndsay Engle (11 points) for easy buckets around the paint versus the undersized and undermanned Indians.
“We have multiple options off of that,” DiMatteo said of the high-low combo. “Either she’s got a shot, she’ll make a really quick pass or kick it back out. We try to run that and when we make good passes, good things happen.”
Two such plays helped Cocalico build a 35-33 lead before a steal and lay-in from Walker (game-high 19 points) and a follow up by Olivia Musser eventually gave the Indians a 39-36 edge.
But Engle’s bucket off an assist from Jasa Lorah, then Lorah’s steal and layup gave Cocalico the lead with 1:06 left.
Diffenderfer (11 points) had her layup roll-out before White drained a pair of free-throws to clinch the victory before Diffenderfer’s last-second heave clanked off the side of the rim.
“As you saw there those last couple moments nothing is ever as fast or as quick as you want to be in those kind of situations,” said Donegal coach Chadd Ward, looking to replace a pair of starters who are out for the season. “Hopefully we come out on top of these games sooner than later, but it’s going to be a learning process for them.”
“We’re all so hyped because they (Donegal) did beat us twice last year,” White said, “but we’re ecstatic to win on the road this year.
“All of us were really upset about the loss (Monday) but we put it behind us and we knew today was a new day and a new game and we needed to win this to move forward.”
Cocalico 42, Donegal 39
E. White 5 4-4 14, L. Engle 5 1-3 11, M. Gingrich 2 2-2 6, E. Fassnacht 2 0-0 5, J. Lorah 2 0-0 4, M. Bock 1 0-0 2, S. Benson 0 0-0 0, S. Klumpp 0 0-0 0, O. Fassnacht 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 7-9 42.
K. Walker 9 1-3 19, C. Diffenderfer 4 3-4 11, O. Musser 2 1-3 5, M. Creek 2 0-0 4, C. Snyder 0 0-0 0, A. Fernald 0 0-0 0, C. Livelsberger 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-10 39.
COC _ 13 _ 14 _ 4 _ 11 _ — _ 42
DON _ 16 _ 12 _ 3 _ 8 _ — _ 39
3-Point Goals — COC 1 (E. Fassnacht); DON none
JV Score — Cocalico 31, Donegal 16