Eagles soar to victory, handing L-S its first loss

It's been a rough week for the Pioneer boys basketball team. First, a sloppy game against Donegal on Tuesday made the ultimate win much closer and less satisfying. Then tonight, the Cocalico Eagles soared to a 54-49 victory in a tightly contested back and forth battle that came down to the final 10 seconds.

There were six lead changes in the first quarter alone, a statistic that continued throughout the game with Cocalico posting leads as large as six, and L-S once holding a four-point advantage early in the third quarter.

Luke Beers scored the Pioneers first five points, and finished tied for a team-high 12, while Matt Achille, who fouled out with 10.1 seconds remaining and thus was unavailable for the final possession, also totaled 12.

In the first half, L-S got into foul trouble, which kept high-flying junior Ben Sandberg on the bench for much of period. He returned in the second half, and contributed two offensive rebounds that he slammed back into the net, and finished with nine points.
Isaac Beers passes the ball
Photo by Lauren Mast, LSNews.org Sports Reporter
L-S went deep into its bench with 11 players seeing time on the floor, including sophomore Jack banner, who hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to three at intermission, when Cocalico led 25-22.

At the end of the third quarter, Cocalico again had a three-point lead.

In the second half, neither team was in foul trouble, a factor that proved crucial down the stretch when the Pioneers had numerous opportunities to foul and go for a steal on the inbounds pass, on none of which were they able to capitalize, forcing them to foul several times to send Cocalico to the free throw line.

With 21.4 seconds to play, Cocalico led 51-49, and was fouled. At the foul line, they made the front end of a one-and-one, but missed the second, giving L-S an opportunity, but Isaac Beers missed a three-pointer, and the Pioneers could not get the offensive rebound.

Achille fouled out on the ensuing play, and Cocalico's Aidan Trynosky tuned out the raucous, hula-dancing L-S student section -- which donned Hawaiian garb -- and smoothly nailed a pair of free throws to ice the game, 54-49.

The Pioneers will look to rebound quickly, as they play Susquehanna Township at home tomorrow at 4:30.

--Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief

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