Considering her stable of Lady Golden Mules were out-matched in all areas - height, speed, knowledge and experience - Coach Gloria Jaremko thought Solanco played as best they could. Certainly much better than their performance at Cedar Crest. "These last three games have been difficult," said Jaremko, via e-mail. "Both physically and mentally." Hosting the Lady Black Knights of Hempfield (11-5) the Lady Mules were down by only four after the first quarter, but a 15-8 run in the second eight minutes widened the margin as the Knights breezed to a 49-33 win in the Section I/Section II crossover.
Jaremko started seniors Kelly Gannon, Danielle Miller, and Dana Hogarth along with junior Tracee Harrison and sophomore, CeCe Buzzard.
Solanco tied it up early, but the visitors went on an 8-2 run in the opening quarter to take an 8-4 lead to begin the second quarter. Hempfield employed a full-court press late in the first quarter that saw their team leader, Kate Walck, pick up her second foul forcing Coach Lenny Groft to sit her at courtside. "For most of the game, Hempfield's press and trapping defense wasn't a problem," wrote Jaremko. "We handled both pretty well."
While Walck returned in the second half scoring eight points and leading the floor, it was the tandem of Ellie Steward and Chelsea Bowman who led the Knights in scoring, each banking in 12 from underneath. "Defensively, I thought Kelly (Gannon) and CeCe (Buzzard) did a good job on Katie (Walck)," wrote the coach. It was defending the big girls that proved to be the greater challenge, and Jaremko thought that was where the girls were most challenged. "We had a problem with Hempfield's big girls."
Melissa Cruz came off the bench and led the Lady Mule team in scoring with seven points. Both Hogarth and Buzzard followed with six. Miller canned five and Morgan Jackson and Harrison added three. The Mules pulled down 33 rebounds with Harrison's seven leading the team. Buzzard followed with six and Jackson, Hogarth, and Cruz pulled in five. Hogarth was credited with four thefts.
Solanco (2-15) failed to win a game in the crossover segment of their schedule. "Maybe getting back to Section II games will help," said Jaremko. "I can only hope."
The Lady Mules travels to Lebanon (11-3) on Friday night and host Conestoga Valley (8-10) on Tuesday night. Game times are 6:30 p.m. (junior varsity) and 8 p.m. (varsity).