Elizabethtown and Ephrata shared the L-L League girls basketball Section 2 championship, and the Bears and the Mountaineers are set to square off in a 1-game playoff to be slotted into the league playoff bracket. Here’s a preview …
WINNER GETS: Section 3 champ Cocalico (7-1, 13-2) in an L-L League quarterfinal on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Cocalico. That winner goes to the semifinals on Thursday; the championship game is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Manheim Township. FYI: Cocalico topped Ephrata 49-34 in a nonleague game back on Jan. 15.
SEASON SERIES: E-town beat Ephrata 48-42 at home way back on Jan. 8, on the first night of the season. The Mounts returned the favor, blitzing E-town 62-44 in the rematch on Feb. 9 in Ephrata. … Ainsley Raybold popped in four 3-pointers and scored 12 points in E-town’s win; Jasmine Griffin scored 22 points and Olivia Fedorshak had a career-high 21 points in Ephrata’s victory.
E-TOWN PROBABLE STARTERS: F Macy Seaman (9.9), G Jade Love-Morris (9.7, 10 3’s), F Elise Hassinger (7.8, 3 3’s), F Carly Sedun (7.0), G Ainsley Raybold (6.6, 17 3’s). … Key subs: G Emma Blyler (4.6, 9 3’s), F Taryn Hummer (1.9), G Abby Sedun (1.6, 2 3’s).
EPHRATA PROBABLE STARTERS: G Jasmine Griffin (18.9, 9 3’s), F Olivia Fedorshak (10.9), G Brynn Adams (5.8, 11 3’s), G Cara Tiesi (5.0, 18 3’s), G Mallory Kline (4.8, 9 3’s). … Key subs: F Destiny Lefever (1.8), F Kamryn Andes (1.6, 3 3’s).
THE COACHES: E-town’s John Myers (8th season; 91-91 overall) and Ephrata’s Brian Cerullo (36-24 overall) will match wits.
WHAT TO WATCH: Super point-guard matchup here with E-town’s Raybold and Ephrata’s Griffin running the show. They both have plenty of weapons at their disposal, and they can both shoot it from deep and create. … Definitely keep an eye on the post; Fedorshak is having an all-star season on the blocks for Ephrata, and she’ll have to do battle with Seaman, a 6-foot-2 shot-blocker and stick-back artist, along with Hassinger and Sedun, who can also crash with the best of them. Sedun is coming off a 16-point, 12-rebound performance in a 43-38 must-have win over Conestoga Valley on Saturday. The rebounding number here will be large. … E-town must also guard the arc; Mounts’ aces Adams and Tiesi are pick-and-pop artists who are trouble when they get their feet set.
THE CRUX: E-town can’t let Griffin dictate flow; when she’s weaving her way through traffic and getting to the rim for easy buckets — or pinpoint dishes — the Mounts are tough. If Griffin is given the space to shoot 3’s and dribble-drive, look out. Conversely, it would behoove E-town to find its jump-shooting rhythm, meaning some early arc shots from Love-Morris and Raybold would provide a huge kick-start. Still, whoever dominates the paint should win this clash.