Ephrata overcomes early deficit to drop Warwick

By on January 21, 2015
Warwick sophomore guard Rene Ross makes a strong base line move to get past Ephrata’s Caroline Stauffer. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick sophomore guard Rene Ross makes a strong base line move to get past Ephrata’s Caroline Stauffer. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

When the score at the end of the first quarter in a girls high school basketball game is 9-0, you have a pretty good idea which team is going to win.

Last Friday night, there was a curveball.

Although Warwick took the big lead early on, Ephrata eventually turned the table.

In the end, the host Lady Mounts overcame their early deficit to prevail over the Lady Warriors 49-32 in the nightcap of a boys-girls doubleheader in Section One-Two crossover action.

The loss eliminates Warwick from the playoff race in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The win propels Ephrata (8-3 league, 11-5 overall) into a first place tie with Lebanon in Section Two.

“It was frustrating,” Warwick fifth-year coach Amy Derr said. “We missed a lot of easy shots and once they took the lead, we didn’t move our feet, causing reach-in fouls.”

Lady Mounts’ coach Mike Garman, speaking of his team’s turnaround, said, “It was one of those situations. They were in an aggressive zone, and sometimes it just doesn’t click right away.”

Warwick’s leading scorer Rylee Derr, who finished with a team-high 22 points, led the way right from the opening whistle, netting the first two buckets of the game. By the time Warwick’s run was halted at 11-0 early in the second, both teams were pressing full court on defense. Ephrata’s second period comeback was fueled by sophomore guard Caroline Stauffer, who scored five of her 11 points in the second quarter, and junior center Kenzie Horst, cutting the Warwick lead to 14-12 at the break. Horst finished with eight points, including six in the second quarter.

The second half continued to go the Lady Mounts’ way as senior Kelly Liebl dominated the action. Despite not scoring in the first half, the senior point guard netted 25 points in the second half in addition to eight rebounds and five assists in an unstoppable performance.

A large part of Libel’s assignment in the first half was baseline to baseline defensive coverage on Derr, who only cashed in one additional point after the first four in the first half.

“She’s a senior leader and fiercely competitive,” Garman said about Liebl. “Derr is a good player who drives to the basket well. Kelly did a great job on her when it counted.”

The Warwick sophomore talked after the game about the match up between the Lady Warriors and their back-yard rival Ephrata.

“Both teams are pretty equal,” Derr remarked, “but we lost our confidence and when that happened we lost our focus.”

Her sophomore counterpart Stauffer is at times her teammate.

“I know Riley from playing summer league, but we didn’t focus too much on individual opponents,” Stauffer said. “Once we realized that we could beat them, we needed to play together, which we did.”

On the status of the rivalry, both coaches also chimed in.

“It used to be huge, especially in football,” Garman noted. “I don’t think it’s like it used to be, but it’s still fun.”

“It’s always a good game,” added coach Derr. “I’ve known Mike Garman for years and some of the girls play together in AAU ball, so they know each other.”

One big statistical advantage on the Lady Mounts’ side was rebounding. Horst had a big night on the boards with 14, leading Ephrata to a 37-19 edge in that category. Ephrata outscored Warwick 49-23 over the final three quarters to pull away.

The Lady Warriors looked to bounce back on Tuesday at home against Penn Manor, but suffered a 44-33 loss at the hands of the Comets.

Abbie Hamby scored nine of her team-high 15 points in the second half, when Penn Manor outscored the WHS girls 18-12 to seal the victory.

Derr led all scorers with 21 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

The loss dropped the Lady Warriors to 2-10 in league play (5-13 overall).

Last Wednesday, Jan. 13, Kate Martin led three Warwick players in double figures with 18 points as the Lady Warriors snapped a five-game skid with a 60-47 victory over Conestoga Valley in Lititz.

Rylee Derr chipped in with 16 points and Rene Ross added to the cause with 11.

Taylor Gonzales beat the buzzer with a long-range game-tying jumper at the end of the third quarter, evening things up at 38-38 heading to the fourth.

There, Warwick started the period on a 12-0 run &tstr; Jamie Kolp scored four points inside and Martin hit a three-pointer from the right elbow &tstr; to send the Lady Warriors on their way.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *