MC girls keep L-L hopes alive with win over Ephrata

By on February 7, 2018
Manheim Central senior Brooke Breinich (right) blocks a shot by Ephrata’s Kandice Liebl (31) in the Lady Barons’ 44-35 win Tuesday night. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Manheim Central senior Brooke Breinich (right) blocks a shot by Ephrata’s Kandice Liebl (31) in the Lady Barons’ 44-35 win Tuesday night. Photo by Missi Mortimer
Girls Basketball

With post-season berths up for grabs, the Manheim Central and Ephrata girls were both hungry for a victory Tuesday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The Lady Barons are still in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff picture, battling Solanco, Donegal, and Garden Spot for the second and third spots from Section Two.

And although the Lady Mounts had fallen out of the League picture, the District Three 6A Tournament isn’t out of the question.

On this night, however, the Central girls capitalized on 15 first-half turnovers from Ephrata to build a 23-10 lead, then held on in the second half with several players in foul trouble to claim a 44-35 victory in a Section Two game in Ephrata’s Senior Night game.

The win improved MC to 8-6 league, tying them with Donegal (8-6). Solanco (8-5) is a half-game ahead, but they were slated to face Garden Spot (7-6) Wednesday night after deadline. A Lady Spartan win would force a four-way tie, and then the final two L-L berths would be decided by tiebreakers.

“We came here with (the idea) that we have to get this win, we’re going to do our thing, and then that game tomorrow will determine what our fate is,” Manheim Central coach Amanda Burns said.

Ephrata (6-8 L-L), meanwhile, fell to 10-12 overall, having entered the game 13th in the District Three power ratings. The top 12 advance.

“We need a lot of help,” Lady Mounts coach Todd Moyer said. “I think we are still marginally alive for Districts. There is a chance that it could happen, so that’s what we’re clinging on.”

For the Ephrata girls, it was their sixth loss in a row.

“The girls have been playing hard and giving it their best effort each and every game,” Moyer said. “We had some breaks the first part (of the year) and didn’t quite get the breaks in the second. Those things balance out after awhile.”

The Central girls were playing hard with their pesky defense which caused nine of the Lady Mounts’ 21 turnovers in the first quarter. Lily Doerschuk buried a ‘three’ and MC was 4-of-6 at the foul line, as they took a 9-0 lead. Ephrata started the game 0-for-6 from the field before Kyle McKim converted a three-point play to make it 9-3 at period’s end.

“We’ve done that almost every game for the last six or seven,” Moyer said. “We’ve gotten into a six to 12-point hole and we can never seem to get it closer than six, no matter what we do.”

Brooke Breinich then scored eight of her game-high 15 points for MC in the second quarter and Elli Weaver’s triple with 3:46 left in the half stretched the Lady Barons’ advantage to 23-10.

Laura Good also scored in double figures for the Lady Barons with 13 points.

“I feel good about the way we played — a lot of scoring in the first half, finding girls and the assists were there,” Burns said. “They stuck with the game plan, they knew the two players (Kandice Liebl and Gabi Gerola-Hill) we needed to kinda shut down.”

Back on Jan. 12, Liebl scored a game-high 17 points and Gerola-Hill added seven to lead Ephrata in a 41-36 victory. Although Gerola-Hill led the Lady Mounts with 10 points in the rematch, MC’s Lily Doerschuk and Kassidy Michael did a solid job on her and Liebl.

“That’s what we focused on,” Burns said.

A layup by Ephrata’s Amanda Gauthier cut the Lady Barons’ lead to 26-19 with 35 seconds left in the half, but Michael answered with a layup at the other end to send MC into the break up 28-19.

In the third, Ephrata did a nice job giving the Central girls different looks defensively, and they were able to slow MC down with a 1-3-1 zone.

“We had to make sure that we slowed down and recognized it, then run the right offense,” Burns said.

Meanwhile, the Lady Mounts got within six, 30-24, on a ‘three’ by Madison Root and then again at 32-26 Root’s short J with 1:10 left in the quarter.

Ultimately, the Lady Barons still led 34-27 going to the final eight minutes, but Doerschuk had four fouls, and then Serena Conde and Good each picked up their fourth early in the final stanza. But they were able to survive.

“We had a lot of fouls,” Burns said, “so we have to make sure that we’re smarter in that area so we don’t have people sitting on the bench. But our subs came in, knocked down some shots and did their job, so I’m pleased.”

After Ephrata’s Katherine Sola (8 points) got a steal and buried one of two foul shots to cut Ephrata’s deficit to 37-30 with just under 6:00 left, Breinich and Good buried back-to-back J’s which started the Lady Barons on a 7-3 run. And when Good buried two foul shots with 38.7 seconds left, making it 44-33, that all but sealed the win.

Last Friday night, the Manheim Central girls saved their best for last.

Trailing 29-25 to Garden Spot going into the fourth quarter, the Lady Barons rallied claim a 50-42 win in a Section Two game in Manheim.

Brooke Breinich scored 14 points and Laura Good added 10 to lead the MC girls, who outscored Garden Spot 25-13 down the stretch.

Breinich knocked down two of the Lady Barons’ four treys and went 2-of-3 at the foul line.

After Central took an 11-8 first-quarter lead, GS answered to go up 23-17 at the half.

Spot then held that lead until the fourth, when Manheim Central stepped up with a strong finish.

Lily Doerschuk chipped in with nine points in the victory.

On Monday night, Brooke Breinich scored 14 points to lead the Manheim Central girls in a 52-43 non-league win over Kennard-Dale.


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