The Section Three boys' basketball game between Garden Spot and Cocalico turned into an overtime thriller in New Holland on Tuesday night. The Eagles and Spartans played evenly through regulation, looking up at a 48-48 scoreboard at the final buzzer. In overtime, the Spartans held the Eagles to only four points, but it was enough for Cocalico to edge Garden Spot 52-50.
The top scorers in the game were Peyton Stetter of Cocalico, who poured in 24 points, mostly off the six three-point field goals he made, and Kentae Nunn of Garden Spot, who finished with 23.
The Spartans fell to 4-2 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League (6-5 overall) while the Eagles (6-5) evened their league mark at 3-3.
One aspect of the Spartans' game that was a factor in a close contest like this was foul shooting. Spot connected on just 11 of 21. The Eagles were 7-of-12.
Garden Spot overcame an early deficit but did go into the locker room at halftime trailing 22-20. The two teams were tied at the final buzzers of the third and of course fourth periods.
Andrew Zentner finished with 11 points, hitting a pair of treys on the night. Jon Morales added six more points.
Connor Mack provided 17 points for the Eagles.
Garden Spot was coming off a convincing win the previous week - a Friday night barrage of points in which Nunn scored 34 in an 81-58 win at Solanco. Morales (14) and Jesse Martin, who nailed a pair of treys and tallied 16, also reached double figures. Zentner added eight points.
In a close battle with league rival Donegal, the Garden Spot wrestling team pulled off a 41-35 win on Wednesday night.
"I think both teams knew it was going to be a very close match that would come down to a couple of toss-up matches and who would secure more bonus points," said head coach Adam Bunting.
And the extra points did come for Garden Spot in a flurry of victories down the stretch. Following a forfeit at the 220-pound weight class, which went in favor of Spartan sophomore Dustin Swanson, Charles Martin earned a first-period pin in the heavyweight match, cutting the Indians' lead to 29-24.
The pin by Donegal's Ethan Herr (106) gave the Indians a 35-24 advantage, but back came the Spartans.
"At 106, Jeremy Schilling opened up a 2-0 lead going into the second period on returning league champion Ethan Herr," explained Bunting. "Herr then reversed Schilling and pinned him in an arm bar."
Mason Casey, earned a pin at 113; Garrett Gehr, notched a technical fall at 120, winning by a 21-6 score; Josh Groff, pinned Cooper Rollison in 34 seconds at the 126 bout.
"With three matches left, Mason Casey got us back on track with a huge pin at 113," Bunting remarked. "Freshman standout Garrett Gehr followed with a technical to tie the match at 35 all.
"It came down to team leader Josh Groff to clinch the victory," continued the coach. "He wasted no time planting Rollison in 38 seconds."
The match began at the 132-pound weight class with Donegal's Dylan Bowers earning a pin. Aaron Martin (138) returned the favor with a pin for Spot.
The Indians then pulled ahead with a close 6-4 win by Joseph Fox, topping Alan Perez at 145 and major decisions at 152 and 160. Will Small's pin at 170 and another by Cael Rapp at 182 made it 29-6 Donegal. That set the table for Garden Spot winning four of the final five bouts.
Bunting also referenced two of the losses and how his wrestlers losing only by a decision rather than a major or technical helped in the long run.
"This was a total team win," Bunting added. "I'm proud of the guys scrapping to save team points wherever we could. Alan Perez and Drew Finkey [12-2 loss at 160] saved important points by fighting out of predicaments that could have put the match out of reach. They kept us in it.
"The team never let the score deflate them," he continued, referring to the 29-6 deficit midway through the match. "It didn't change the way we approached the final seven matches."
Garden Spot came up short against Cocalico in a Section Three clash on the road Wednesday night.
Despite Megan Fisher scoring a game-high 13, the Spartans lost to the Indians 43-19, falling to 1-5 in the league.
Hannah Greenly (10 pts) and Hannah Custer, who scored nine, led the Indians in scoring as the team improved to 6-5 (3-3 league).
The girls were coming off a much closer match from the Friday before, having lost to Solanco 62-52.
The visitors came on strong in the fourth quarter with a 21-16 run to eclipse the Spartans, who had made an impressive comeback in the second quarter.
Fisher had a team-high 17 points in that game while both Kari Stoltzfus and Erin Gonzalez finished with nine points. Paige Kemper added seven.
Solanco's Grace Kreider poured in a game-high 18, which included three treys.
On Thursday the Spartans again came up short when they dropped a 62-52 decision to host Manheim Central.
The Spartans got off to a good start, building a 17-14 lead through the first quarter, but the Barons took command of the game with an 18-8 run in the second period to lead 32-25 at the break and then finished off the 10-point win with 17-15 and 13-12 advantages in the third and fourth quarters.
Fisher took scoring honors in the contest with 27 points on seven baskets and four three-pointers.
Governor Mifflin's air rifle team had three shooters finish with a score of 99. Garden Spot had three shooters finish with a score of 98. Hence, the Mustangs edged the Spartans by a 492-486 score on Thursday.
Alex O'Neill, Evan Emch and Braden Reel reeled off 98's while Jared Weaver scored 97 on the day. Aaron Good recorded a score of 95.
Natalie Jones, Austin Maple and Sydney Machion each shot a 99 for Mifflin.
Garden Spot fell to 0-7 on the year.
Earlier in the week, the Spartans lost another close one, this time a 494-488 loss at Elizabethtown on Tuesday.
Wever, Lani Duncan and Karlee Hartman shot 98's for the Spartans while Reel and Good each recorded a score of 97.
Matt Risbon had a perfect game, shooting 100 for E-town.
Hot on the heels of Cocalico in the Section Three standings, Garden Spot's bowling team improved to 30-5 with a 7-0 defeat of Columbia on Tuesday at Clearview Lanes. Meanwhile, Cocalico topped Lancaster Catholic by the same score, improving to 38-4.
In Tuesday's clash, the Spartans were led by Trevor Courtney's 670 total pin count, which included a score of 235 in his third game. Owen Colby came away with a 535 while T.J. Delp tallied 516, finishing with a 192 in his third game.
Shane Kinser rolled a 540 to lead the Crimson Tide.