Pioneers Fall to Eagles in Section 3 Clash
The stage was set for a compelling matchup. The Lady Pioneers headed to Denver for a bout with the Cocalico Eagles. Both teams took the court holding a share of first place. With a win, the Pioneers would gain a huge advantage in the race for the Section 3 crown. The Pioneers won a close one over the Eagles earlier in the season, with Maggie Visniski recording a double-double as the Pioneers won 41-35.
Hailey Leaman Blocks Shot in Previous Game vs Cocalico (Chris Knight LNP)
The Eagles jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter, outscoring the Pioneers by 15-4. Hannah Custer scored 6 of those points for the Eagles, while turnovers and poor execution by the Pioneers led to just one shot made from the field. The second quarter wasn't any better for the Pioneers. For the first 5 and a half minutes of the quarter, the Pioneers were unable to take the lid off the basket. The Pioneers went on a mini-run towards the end of the half, but were unable to make a serious dent in the scoreline. One positive for the Pioneers was the defensive play of Jenna Daveler, who swiped the ball away 4 times in the first half. The Eagles led 24-10 going into the second half.
The Pioneers made up some ground in the 3rd quarter thanks primarily to strong defensive play. The Pioneers held the Eagles to just 5 points during the quarter, also forcing many turnovers. Hailey Leaman and Jada Willard led the way for the Pioneers, scoring 5 and 4 points respectively. The Pioneers trailed 29-19 with 8 minutes remaining.
Hailey Leaman started off the 4th quarter with a bang, knocking down a three-pointer on the first possession and potentially giving the Pioneers a kickstart to a comeback. Wishful thinking. Izzy Mack and the Eagles shut down any hope of comeback almost immediately, matching the Pioneers basket-for-basket. After the dust had settled, the Eagles won by a score of 47-32.
Izzy Mack: Mack was great tonight, scoring a game-high 14 points along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Mack was extremely efficient, shooting 83% from the field and making all 4 three-pointers that she took.
Olivia Sensenig: Sensenig also played well, finishing just one rebound shy of a double-double. Sensenig tallied 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals by the team the final buzzer went off. She also played efficiently, shooting 67% on the night.
Hannah Custer: Custer did everything for the Eagles tonight. Custer filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Custer also did a good job defensively, limiting Kiersten Hostetter and Jenna Daveler to just 6 points combined.
Honorable Mentions: Hailey Leaman, Megan Manion, Kiersten Shipton.
Points: Izzy Mack, 14
Rebounds: Olivia Sensenig, 9
Assists: Hannah Custer/Naleah Sauder, 5
Steals: Jenna Daveler, 5
Blocks: Olivia Sensenig/Maggie Visniski/Maggie Swarr, 1
Turnovers: Olivia Sensenig, 4
The Eagles now sit at 4-1 in Section 3, dealing a critical blow to the Pioneers chances of a section title. The Eagles will turn around tomorrow night and host the Golden Mules in another big game. As for the Pioneers, they fall to 5-2 in Section 3. The Pioneers only have one section matchup remaining, which is their next game against Garden Spot on Monday night. They must win that matchup to have any hope of capturing the Section 3 title.
-By Logan Moyer, LS News reporter