Cocalico girls end regular season with win over Lampeter-Strasburg
LAMPETER — When approaching postseason play, it’s usually helpful experience to gear-up versus a bigger opponent.
Then there’s Cocalico senior Jasa Lorah, the Lady Eagles’ 5-foot-2 point guard, who simply refuses to back down.
While teammate Emily Fassnacht was bombing threes, Lorah held Lampeter-Strasburg’s leading scorer in check all night long to lead the Lady Eagles to a 58-36 road victory over the Pioneers.
Cocalico (13-3 Section Three, 17-4 overall) used a 14-0 first quarter run to surge to a double-digit lead, while Pioneers’ junior Nevin Hoenninger, who came in averaging 17 points per game, went without a single point in the first half under Lorah’s persistent guard.
“She’s always up for the challenge,” head coach Tony DiMatteo said of his senior leader. “Doesn’t matter how big they are, we put her usually on their number one offensive player and she sticks to them. It’s fun to watch.”
Hoenninger finished with seven points, her first field goal coming with 1:10 left in the third quarter, a three-ball that never endangered Cocalico’s 48-34 three-quarter lead.
“Pretty much the gameplan was to try to deny her the ball because obviously she’s a really good shooter,” Lorah said. “The second half she tried to post me up because I’m so small. My teammates had my back. They were there for the lob pass so it was definitely a team effort.”
It was largely a team effort on the offensive end as well, as senior Emily White (17 points) and junior Fassnacht were dominant throughout. White tallied 10 points in the opening quarter while Fassnacht (13 points) finished 4-for-4 from behind the arc.
“Yea, Emily Fassnacht was really on fire tonight,” said Lorah, who likes the fact her teammates can all handle the ball and dole out the assist. “We have to recognize that when you have a teammate that’s ‘on’ you have to make sure you keep getting them shots.”
A Triple-A school, Lampeter-Strasburg (9-7, 12-10) was in the precarious position of hosting the Quad-A Eagles in the final day of the league season while bracing for a possible district playoff berth.
“Number one they’re Quad-A; I call them a power school,” said Pioneers’ coach Tony Fink. “Fassnacht, she’d play center for us. That’s a guard for them. If they’re just going to come out and light us up from three, then we’re in trouble.”
Credit to the Pioneers, ranked sixteenth coming into the night in the Triple-A bracket, for hanging with Cocalico (#13 Quad-A) in the second and third quarters, getting four three’s and 13 points from sophomore Laura Horner in the first half.
“It is a good experience because whoever we play,” Fink began, pausing to note the rankings are not finalized until Thursday, “whoever we play in the first round, it won’t be Cocalico. It won’t be that type of team.”
For the Eagles, Tuesday’s game was the middle of a back-to-back-to-back, making for an interesting week gearing up for next Monday’s L-L League Quarterfinal versus Cedar Crest.
“I think we’re very tired but it’s very important to rally as a team,” Lorah said of the grueling week. “Every time we meet in the locker room before a game we try to pick each other up. We all have to get hyped.”
“I think the kids know what they need to do right now,” said DiMatteo. “It’s a matter of do we execute, play smooth and confident. Today I think we did. We came out, played confident, and had fun.”
Cocalico 58, Lampeter-Strasburg 36
E. White 8 1-2 17, E. Fassnacht 4 1-2 13, L. Engle 4 1-3 9, M. Gingrich 4 0-2 8, M. Bock 2 0-0 5, J. Lorah 1 0-0 2, O. Fassnacht 1 0-0 2, S. Klump 0 0-0 0, S. Benson 0 0-0 0, K. DiCiano 0 0-0 0, A. Peters 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 3-9 58.
L. Horner 4 1-2 13, E. Gochnauer 2 4-7 8, N. Hoennninger 2 2-2 7, B. Zameroski 1 0-0 3, R. Shortes 1 1-1 3, H. Garber 1 0-2 2, H. Adams 0 0-0 0, S. Gawne 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 8-14 36.
COC _ 22 _ 14 _ 12 _ 10 _ — _ 58
LS _ 10 _ 13 _ 11 _ 02 _ — _ 36
3-Point Goals — Cocalico 7 (E. Fassnacht 4, E. White 2, M. Bock); L-S 6 (L. Horner 4, B. Zameroski, N. Hoenninger)
JV Score — Cocalico 38, Lampeter-Strasburg 32