Welcome to the show, kid.
Ephrata girls’ basketball fans have known all about Jasmine Griffin, as she made her way through the Mountaineers’ pipeline. She arrived as a ready-to-play freshman this season, and she’s hit the floor running.
Thursday night, the nifty ninth-grader had her breakout performance.
Griffin, scoring on a variety of dribble-drives, transition layups and long-range jumpers, popped in 25 points, and Ephrata sailed past Solanco 49-32 in a nonleague showdown in Quarryville.
“It wasn’t always pretty out there, but we’ll definitely take a win on the road for sure,” said Ephrata coach Brian Cerullo, whose squad overcame 17 turnovers and foul woes.
“We talked about jumping on them early and matching their intensity because we knew coming to Solanco wasn’t going to be easy,” he said. “But we were able to get out to a quick lead.”
Ephrata (3-1) raced out to a 12-4 first-quarter cushion, led 23-12 at the break, and held the Golden Mules (1-3) to 2-for-17 shooting from the floor in the first half.
Meanwhile, Solanco, the defending Section Three champ, had no answers for Griffin, a crafty lefty, who had 12 first-half points, including a pair of deep 3-pointers, the latter pushing Ephrata’s lead to 15-4 midway through the second quarter.
After Solanco hit two quick buckets to open the third quarter, Griffin took over. She had four field goals in the quarter, including two steals and ensuing breakaway layups. Her pick-pocket steal and bucket gave the Mounts a cozy 36-19 late in the third.
“We threw everything but the kitchen sink at her,” Solanco coach Chad McDowell said. “We face-guarded her. We doubled her. I threw my quickest defender at her. She’s a really nice player and a great athlete. She goes strong to the basket, she handles the ball well and she shoots the 3. She does it all, and she’s going to be a fun one to watch for the next four years.”
“She’s really special for a freshman,” Cerullo said. “She’s a player, and she really understands the game.”
Gabbie Gerola-Hill also had a hot shooting night for Ephrata; she hit an early 3-pointer to give the Mounts the lead for good, and despite some foul issues, she hit for 12 points, and her trey early in the third stretched Ephrata’s lead to 26-16.
Jade Eshelman, Jenna Dombach and Nikki Trout — on her birthday — had five points apiece for Solanco, which out-rebounded Ephrata 28-26, but couldn’t overcome an early shooting slump and 20 turnovers.