The Pioneers downed Doengal, 53-34 in a Section Three matchup on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. L-S guard Nevin Hoenninger scored a game-high 21 points. John Buffone
LAMPETER — Playing the fourth quarter without leading scorer Nevin Hoenninger, the Lampeter-Strasburg faithful watched as visiting Donegal ripped off an 11-0 run to cut into the Lady Pioneers’ lead.
Fortunately, Hoenninger and company had already built a 24-point lead after three, thanks to dominant first-quarter shooting and solid third-quarter defense, holding-on down the stretch for a 53-34 victory to even their record to 6-6 overall and 4-3 in a very competitive Section Three.
Hoenninger led all scorers with 21 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, despite missing roughly one-third of the game due what head coach Tony Fink hopes is just a “tweaked” hamstring.
“That’s what we wanted to do, get out quickly and set the pace in the game,” Hoenninger said afterward, none the worse for wear.
The Pioneers’ junior drained back to back 3’s midway through the first to a double-digit lead which ballooned to 24-8 entering the second quarter thanks to a two triples from sophomore Laura Horner (9 points).
From there, a handful of assists into the paint from senior Rachel Shortes continued to flummox the Donegal defense, though the Indians managed to stay within 15 at the half.
“We thought we could … gain advantages in the front court and we did,” Fink said regarding Donegal’s variety of defenses, from the press to 2-3 zone and finally man-to-man. “We ran some overloads which freed up Nevin for wide-open 3’s and we moved the ball well.”
In the third, the Pioneers limited Donegal (6-6, 4-3) to just five points from Carly Diffenderfer (9 points) while Hoenninger, freshman Emma Gochanauer (7 points) and sophomore Hanna Garber (6 points) asserted themselves for the aforementioned 24-point lead.
“We had a great day of practice yesterday, I thought we did really nice work,” said Indians’ head coach Chadd Ward. “Then you come out and you get manhandled in the first half. I read something where they usually come out and blow teams away in the third quarter so I was happy we didn’t let them. That was something we talked about and I felt that was at least something positive.”
Donegal was paced on the floor by seniors Kayla Walker (13 points) and Olivia Musser (5 points, 6 rebounds), contributing to the 11-0 fourth quarter run to make the outcome a little closer.
“We’re not used to playing without (Nevin),” Fink said of some self-described “skitzy” moments. “We were trying to find our way. Our ‘motto’ is find a way. I thought we weathered it, they cut it to 13 or whatever it was but we were able to withstand that and finish the game off, so I’m happy.”
Donegal finished 9-of-10 from the free-throw line; Lampeter-Strasburg was 14-of-16.
“Maybe people will start taking notice of us a little bit,” Fink added, his team set to face Cocalico on Friday. “It’s just good to build confidence in these young girls going forward.”
“It’s great, that’s what we wanted, again, set the pace for the rest of the season and keep getting wins,” Hoenninger said, happy to be a leader for a team that is the surprise of Section Three. “I love working with my team; since I’m a junior I know that you have to just stay calm and take it game by game.”
And occasionally, let the fourth quarter ride.
ONE FOR THE ROAD
“It’s always nice to see some familiar faces,” joked Ward, as Donegal gets set to play section foe Elco for the second time in a week Friday as both teams met in the consolation of the Pine Grove tournament.
Lampeter-Strasburg 53, Donegal 34
K. Walker 4 4-4 13, C. Diffenderfer 2 5-6 9, O. Musser 2 0-0 5, A. Fernald 1 0-0 3, M. Willing 1 0-0 2, M. Creek 1 0-0 2, C. Snyder 0 0-0 0, C. Livelsberger 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 9-10 34.
N. Hoenninger 8 2-2 21, L. Horner 2 3-4 9, E. Gochanauer 1 5-6 7, H. Garber 1 4-4 6, R. Shortes 2 0-0 4, H. Adams 2 0-0 4, H. Phenegar 1 0-0 2, B. Zameroski 0 0-0 0, H. Stoltzfus 0 0-0 0, S. Gawne 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 14-16 53.
DN _ 08 _ 10 _ 05 _ 11 _ — _ 34
LS _ 24 _ 09 _ 14 _ 05 _ — _ 53
3-Point Goals — DON 3 (Walker, Musser, Fernald); LS 5 (Hoenninger 3, Horner 2)
JV Score — LS 41, Donegal 20