Lady Pioneers Bow Out in First Round of District Tournament
On Wednesday night, the Lady Pioneers headed to Hummelstown for a playoff matchup against the Lower Dauphin Falcons. The Falcons were favored going into the game, as they posted a record of 13-4 during the regular season. Unlike previous renditions of the District III tournament, there is no consolation bracket. This is due to only the winner of the tournament qualifying for the PIAA bracket.
Hailey Leaman in Game vs Cocalico (Chris Knight LNP)
With usual starter Kiersten Hostetter unavailable to play in the game, sophomore Maggie Swarr recorded her first start of the season. The Falcons put on a defensive clinic in the first quarter, making the Pioneers work for every shot and point. The Pioneers turned the ball over 11 times during the quarter, primarily due to pressure from the Falcon defense. The Falcons went into the second quarter up 14-5.
The beginning of the second quarter was favorable for the Pioneers. Just when it started to look like it might be a long night for the Pioneer faithful, a three-pointer sparked an 8-2 scoring run that brought the Falcon lead to just 7. Unfortunately for the Pioneers, the Falcons then went on to an 11-1 scoring run. They once again forced turnovers and created easy shots on the other end. The Pioneers were down 32-15 after the first half.
The Pioneers dominated the first half of the third quarter, outscoring the Falcons 9-4. Emma Drouillard scored 6 of those points for the Pioneers, including a three-pointer. Similarly to the second quarter, the Falcons ramped up the intensity and held the Pioneers at bay late in the quarter. The Falcons entered the fourth quarter winning, with the scoreline at 43-27. The Falcons won by a final score of 56-35.
Katie Weigle: After a slow first quarter, Weigle got going and the Falcons reaped the benefits. Weigle sparked the second-quarter scoring run just before halftime that gave the Falcons a substantial lead. She finished as the games' leading scorer with 23 points.
Emma Drouillard: Not the result the Pioneers were hoping for, but still a pretty solid curtain-call for Drouillard. She totaled 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals by the end of the game. Drouillard will be playing for Lancaster Bible College next winter.
Lauren Kirsch: Kirsch banked 8 points offensively, but most of her contributions came on the defensive end. She was one of the main components of a Falcon defense that harassed the Pioneers all night long, forcing 20 turnovers in total.
STAT LEADERS: (Lampeter-Strasburg Only)
Points: Emma Drouillard, 15
Rebounds: Maggie Visniski/Katie Ranck, 8
Assists: Katie Ranck, 3
Steals: Emma Drouillard, 3
Blocks: Kelsey McTaggart/Maggie Visniski/Katie Ranck, 1
Turnovers: Katie Ranck/Jenna Daveler, 5
The Falcons will head south to Elizabethtown on Friday night for a quarterfinal matchup with the Bears. The Bears were put on upset alert by #14 Palmyra, but survived in a low scoring (35-34) win. As for the Pioneers, an overall good season. They finish with an overall record of 9-6. The loss of Emma Drouillard and key role players such as Hailey Leaman and Megan Manion will be a tough pill to swallow, but the team does return 4 of their 5 starters. I thoroughly enjoyed watching and covering this team this season, and look forward to doing the same next season.
-By Logan Moyer, LS News reporter