Morgan Erb banked in a backdoor lay-up with 6.1-seconds left in regulation to end Solanco's consecutive seven game losing streak as the Golden Mules defeated Cumberland Valley, 48-46 in the nightcap of the first night of the Solanco Basketball Booster Club's Holiday Tournament.Erb scored the first bucket for the Mules to tie the game at 2-all. Those were the only two buckets the junior guard netted in the game. But they were big.
Cumberland Valley, which earlier in the season defeated Cedar Crest (62-51) and Bishop McDevitt (55-47), jumped out to an 11-6 lead after the first quarter benefiting from a 7-0 run after Solanco had taken a 6-4 lead three minutes into the game.
The Eagles added to the margin at the half outscoring the Mules 15-11 in the second quarter with another 7-0 run the difference.
It appeared Solanco was doomed to suffer their eighth consecutive loss when CV widened the margin to 13, 34-21, early in the third quarter. But the Mules had a little kick left for the end. Taylor Kreider (9-points), began the resurgence hitting the back end of a two-shot foul and then driving to the bucket on the Mules next possession banking one in for two more. Morgan Jackson, who will be missing from the lineup because of scheduled hand surgery beginning Monday, Jan.7, hit both ends of a one-and-one, and before Jackson closed out the quarter with a short baseline jumper, Kate Miller, banked one in off the board on a great crossover lay-up. Going into the final eight minutes the Mules trailed by six.
Down 41-34 with less than four minutes on the clock, the Mules fought back. This time it was the Cece Buzzard show. Buzzard scored eight of her team high 13 in the last four minutes, the last two on a steal to tie it up at 46-all with less than 30-seconds on the clock.
The Eagles then committed a costly mistake throwing the ball away with 27 seconds remaining. Solanco worked the play flawlessly under the Mules' basket and Erb, not the most likely player to receive the ball, came through brilliantly. "Now that's the team I remember," said a jubilant Tom McDonald, the Mules' head coach. "This is great. We had great fan support and this is such a big win for the girls."
McDonald said the team as a whole played well. "I thought Katie Miller (4-points) played a great game in her first varsity start," said McDonald. "And Samantha (Glackin) came through with six. Morgan Jackson (12-points) plays so hard and Taylor Kreider is going to be a player. She's beginning to understand the offense and believe me it's no easy study, but she's getting it."
Mc Donald said that the team continues to bring a lot of enthusiasm to the court and they never give up. "I'm telling you I love these gals," said McDonald.
On this occasion McDonald stayed with a seven-player rotation with Glackin and Rachel Miller the only players off the bench after McDonald started Jackson, Erb, Kate Miller, Kreider and Buzzard. Prior to the game McDonald indicated he was going to offset CV's height advantage with speed and athleticism and the combination worked down the stretch.
With the win Solanco earned the right to face Garden Spot in the finals, a 71-31 victor over York.
Down by an 11-1 score, Solanco rallied to win the championship game over Garden Spot by a 56-43 score. Taylor Kreider, selected as the tournament's MVP, led the charge scoring a game high 16 points.
Garden Spot took a one point lead to the locker room at the half, but Solanco outscored them by eight points during the third quarter and coasted through the final eight minutes holding the Lady Spartans to single digits winning by 13. "I'm so happy for our senior players," said McDonald. "They now have something they can place here permanently as a remembrance."
With the two wins the Mules improved their overall record to 3-7.