Andy's Take!

ED Note: LLhoops welcomes Andy Herr. An ex-Warwick player, Andy gives LLhoops a new veiwpoint. Enjoy! @andybrackets

Past Reports

Dec 9-10

Dec12-18

Dec 19-24

Dec 25-Jan 7

Week of Jan 9-15

 


Northeastern Proves Worthy As Bobcats Cruise Past Cocalico 61-35


In November of this past year, Northeastern and Cocalico squared off in a football game that was one for the ages. To give a very brief synopsis, the Eagles were able to score a late touchdown with 45 seconds left and went for it all with a two point conversion that proved to be successful as the Eagles were able to come out of Manchester with the 25-24 thriller. Sure, it may have been a different sport, but the home crowd in Denver was just as eager to get a shot at high-flying Bobcats on the hardwood as well with the Orange and Black sporting an undefeated record which is good enough for the current #1 slot in 5A District 3.

 

Additionally,CityofBasketballLove.com’s Michael Bullock had Northeastern appearing at the #5 position in his latest installment of the statewide 5A rankings heading into the contest. Needless to say, Monday night would be an excellent opportunity for Cocalico to get notoriety here and abroad if they would be able to tame the Bobcats.


Early on, it looked like the Eagles would be more than able to hang as Cocalico’s talented junior Aidan Trynosky was able to get Cocalico on the board on the first possession of the game with a jumper to make it 2-0. Offensive energy translated itself onto the defensive end as Cocalico’s Tyler Keppley was there to take the charge for his team. In fact, the Eagle defense was up to the task from the get-go as Cocalico held Northeastern scoreless through the first minute and a half of action before Fred Mulbah was able to get the ‘Cats on the board with his fast break lay up to make it 2-2 with 5:30 left in the opening quarter. After a back and forth opening eight minutes that saw both teams trading buckets, Cocalico’s Austin Harven was able to knock home the 3 ball to give the home-standing Eagles the 1 point lead at 9-8 before the Bobcats were able to close the books on the first quarter with a 4-0 run to go ahead 12-9 after the first.


Northeastern was able to increase its lead to 15-9 after Antonio Rizzuto was able to hit from deep, but Nick Lucky was able to close the gap back to 3 with a triple of his own to make it 15-12 Bobcats. Dialing from long distance continued to be a successful idea for the Eagles as senior Austin Harven was able to hit back to back triples to put Cocalico on top 18-17.


From that point on however, the half and the game itself changed on a dime as the Bobcats were able to storm past Cocalico with the first half winding down. A Fred Mulbah reverse lay in paved the way for back to back treys from Rizzuto and Mulbah, with Mulbah’s coming from half court to beat the horn, as Northeastern blitzed Cocalico for 9 in a row to take the 26-18 lead into the halftime break.


Coming out of intermission, Antonio Rizzuto continued to have the hot-hand for the Bobcats as he cashed in 3 more of his game high 23 to increase the Bobcat advantage to 29-18. Aidan Trynosky was finally able to put a stop to the Northeastern run that carried over from the first half as the junior hit from distance get Cocalico back within 10 at 31-21. That would prove to be all the closer Cocalico would get however as the Bobcats closed the third quarter in even more impressive fashion than they did in the second quarter highlighted by a beautiful three man fast break between Antonio Rizzuto, Fred Mulbah, and Brandon Coleman saw the Northeastern lead swell to 41-25 with 1:20 left in the third frame. Trynosky was able to get Cocalico off the 25 mark with his NBA 3 to close the third quarter with Northeastern in charge by way of the 44-28 lead.


With the commanding lead, Northeastern was able to coast home in the final quarter, but Cocalico was not without its bright spots to close the contest. Sophomore Trey Griffin was able to check in for the Eagles got himself in the scorebook with a bucket inside with five minutes remaining, before junior Connor Mack made the most of his minutes going 2-2 from the line before splashing home a triple after the trip to the line.


When the final buzzer sounded on this one, it was Northeastern who made the lengthy Monday night trek across York and Lancaster counties a success as they came away with the 61-35 victory, courtesy of a dominant 20 minute span to close the game which saw the Bobcats outscore Cocalico 44-17. Albeit one contest in the middle of the year, the Bobcats certainly look like a team to keep an eye on not just in the District playoffs, but within the state bracket as well.


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Garden Spot Rises Up To Knock Off Unbeaten Manheim Central At The Buzzer 44-42


Through this point in the regular season, it has become fairly easy to see what teams are the crème de la crème of each of their respective sections and who the challengers might be. In Section 1, you have the Lebanon Cedars who have been extremely impressive handling their business inside the always competitive big league division with a host of others jostling for playoff position below them to this point. Down in Section 3, it appears that Lancaster Catholic and Lancaster Mennonite have somewhat separated themselves with teams like Columbia and Annville-Cleona within shouting distance. Section 2 is where Manheim Central resides and the Barons have certainly been impressive to this point in the season. Coming into their Tuesday night road test at Garden Spot, MC was sporting the league’s only unbeaten record and laying claim to the #2 seed in the latest District 3 5A rankings behind only Northeastern. After their trip to New Holland, the Section 2 standings got a bit of a facelift however as Garden Spot made the most of an excellent opportunity as the Spartans were able to go all 32 minutes with Central to prove why they figure to be a key player in the Section 2 playoff race the last half of the regular season as they were able to beat Manheim Central in an unforgettable contest with a memorable finish.


Garden Spot wasted no time jumping out to an early lead as two Jordan Shewbridge triples were bookends to a Kyle Gordon bucket inside as Spot claimed the 8-4 lead just three minutes in. Garden Spot increased their lead to 6 after a pair of Brendan Bradley free throws, but a Kody Kegarise 3 ball would follow for Central. Despite the initial lead that Garden Spot was able to get out to, the Barons had closed the gap to just 1 after the first eight minutes which saw GS on top 10-9.


St. Joe’s commit Taylor Funk then showed why they will be more than happy to have him on Hawk Hill next year as the Manheim Central senior went on his own 5-0 run from both the inside and the outside to put the Barons in front 14-12. Garden Spot had no plans on going anywhere though and it showed as the Spartans ran off their own 4-0 run which culminated in Keontae Nunn’s pull up jumper which made it 16-14 Spot with half of the quarter gone by. The back and forth exchange of runs remained in effect when Evan Simon tallied two buckets back to back for his Baron squad to put Central back on top 18-16 with 1:30 left in the half. After the last 90 seconds evaporated off the clock, it was Central holding the lead by the slimmest of margins at 18-17.


The 1 point Baron lead would grow to a 6 point lead just 35 seconds into the second half as Connor Hostetter was left open under the basket and Roman Wagner added a 3 ball in the corner pocket as Manheim Central came out firing. With the game at a critical juncture where it could easily go either way, Garden Spot stuck with the plan and did not flinch in the face of the early Baron barrage. Although Central was able to tack on a bucket by Jake Novak and Roman Wagner was busy cleaning the offensive glass for the Barons, Garden Spot would find themselves within 6 at 27-21 following Kyle Gordon’s one-handed free throws with three minutes left in the third. It was clear that the game was in for an exciting conclusion after Keontae Nunn hit a trey from straight on to make it a 31-26 Central advantage with the home crowd energized heading into the last quarter.


With the game there for the taking it was clear that both teams wanted it as Roman Wagner drove the lane to get the scoring started for the Barons before Kellito Westmoreland answered with a 3 ball in the corner for his Spartan crew. A Jordan Shewbridge follow which cut the lead to 38-31 Manheim Central with 6:20 to play proved to be the ignitor for a crucial 10-2 Garden Spot run which culminated in a Joe Craver lay in to give the Spartans the lead at 41-40 with just 2:30 left to go. The Spot lead then increased to 2 with a Keontae Nunn free throw after he raced coast to coast after a loose ball scramble situation. With the ball back again with Central having gotten no closer, the Spartans tried to milk the clock, but Taylor Funk had the answer to that as he jumped a passing lane and coasted home for the lay in to tie it at 42-42 with just one minute left to go. After a frantic last minute of game time, Garden Spot eventually found themselves with possession 94 feet away with just 10 seconds left to go with the score still tied at 42 apiece. Inbounding the ball, Cam Sensenig threw it in and eventually got it back around the foul line past half court and went on a mission. Maneuvering past tight man to man defense, he was able to use a nice spin move at half court to get some separation which gave him a step as he approached the lane with time melting away. Showing great awareness of his surroundings, Sensenig was able to get the floater off before the clock expired as the ball soared through the air ending at the bottom of the cup to give Garden Spot the 44-42 lead with just .5 left to go. Manheim Central would inbound the ball, but the last gasp heave did not go home as the Spartans were able to shock the L-L and District 3 at large with their tough as nails victory over the Barons, proving once again that there is no such thing as an off night in this league.
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Cedar Cliff Holds Off Furious E-Town Fourth Quarter Rally To Win 60-51


Ordinarily a game between two teams that come in sporting a combined three wins in midseason would not be a contest that garners a lot of attention. Fair enough, but sometimes there’s more to it than what meets the surface. That was precisely the case when Cedar Cliff made the trip in midweek to tangle with E-Town. Granted, the wins have not been there the way that both the Colts and Bears would like this year, but both squads feature two energetic first year coaches who are both rising stars on the local scene in Tigh Savercool for Cedar Cliff and Rocky Parise for Elizabethtown. Sure, winning right away would of course be the preferred practice, but this year is about growth and instilling the intangibles that will help get both programs back to the levels they have enjoyed not all that long ago with this year’s senior classes being the bedrock of that foundation for years to come. Wednesday’s contest also provided an opportunity for both to officially go on a winning streak with Cedar Cliff and E-Town having won their previous games respectively heading into the matchup.


It became apparent from the opening minutes of action that Cedar Cliff would be the team riding the extra momentum as the Colts raced out to an 8-1 lead with seniors Adam Boussatta and Brandt Walter each tallying four respectively forcing the Bears to burn a timeout. E-Town would respond coming out of the stoppage with Adam Peifer hitting from deep before the CC lead eventually closed to 5 after an Amos Kollie tip in for the Bears made it 13-8 after the first quarter.


The E-Town defense turned up the intensity to start the second quarter as evidenced by sophomore Larry Locker rising up and swatting the ball out of the gym to help set the tone. Defensive highlights aside, the Bears held the Colts to just one field goal through the first three minutes of action before Boussatta got through the E-Town defense with a drive to the cup to give Cedar Cliff the 17-11 lead. E-Town would get as close as 4 at 17-13 following an Eddie Myers drive, but Cedar Cliff answered back with three triples in a row, all from the sophomore class as Deandre Dorsey knocked down two and Chris Dare added one of his own. The barrage of triples was not limited exclusively to Cedar Cliff though as Micah Garber hit from deep for E-Town as well which meant that the last four field goals of the first half all come from behind the arc with Cedar Cliff in possession of the 26-16 lead.


Cedar Cliff came of the break firing on all cylinders once again as Chris Dare made it four straight Colt treys dating back to the first half before a Justin Gause pull up made it a 6-0 Cedar Cliff barrage out of the gates. A pair of Larry Locker freebies at the line would get E-Town on the board in the second half with five minutes remaining before Micah Garber got it done from the field for the first Bear FG of the half with 3:15 to go in the third quarter.


The Cedar Cliff lead would later expand to 20 after an Adam Boussatta layup in transition made it 43-23 Colts with the quarter coming to a close. The lead would remain at 20 heading into the final quarter after freshman Ryan Parise was able to lay it in before the buzzer to make it 45-25 Cedar Cliff.


The Colts saw their lead grow to as many as 24 in the fourth quarter following a three point play from Boussatta and a drive by Brandt Walter. On the night, Boussatta was able to have high scoring honors for his Colt squad as the senior contributed 15 to the winning effort.


From that point on, Micah Garber was unstoppable from behind the arc as he knocked home two back to back triples to make it interesting at 56-42 with 1:30 left to play. Tim Donatucci was able to stretch the Colt lead back up to 13 following a free throw after he checked in, but Alex Diahn had the answer as he too hit from deep for E-Town. Garber would on to hit two more treys before time ran out as the senior connected on 4 of his 5 triples in the fourth quarter to finish with a game high 20.
As a footnote to this game, both E-town and Cedar Cliff had winning records this past week as the Bears finished at 2-1 after besting Donegal on the road 64-50, while Cedar Cliff was able to get by Bishop McDevitt which allowed the Colts to finish a perfect 3-0. Although it may be a small sample size, it just further illustrates that both teams continue to lace ‘em up every night and bring it no matter what has happened to this point this year, signs that both programs are on the up and up.


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Warwick Erases Fourth Quarter Deficit To Topple Township 55-49


This past Friday night in the Lancaster Lebanon League was arguably the best night of action thus far in the 2016-17 season. Headline games were found across all three sections with the crosstown rivalry between Lebanon and Cedar Crest taking the honors in Section 1, Manheim Central and Ephrata duking it out to see who was the top dog in Section 2, and Lancaster Catholic and Lancaster Mennonite squaring off to see who would get an early leg up on claiming the Section 3 crown. Although those were arguably the best three matchups on Friday’s slate, there were still plenty of tasty games to go around. For example, when’s the last time that McCaskey and Hempfield was the perhaps the fourth best game on any given night around the L-L?


Another one of those “off the radar” games taking place Friday was the fierce 501 rivalry matchup between Manheim Township and Warwick. The Streaks were looking to remain in that discussion for an L-L playoff bid come February, while the Warriors were looking to find some of that same magic that they enjoyed earlier this year when they were the toast of Section 1 before Christmas break. Whether it was magic or just sheer grit and determination, Warwick was able to use a 24 point fourth quarter effort to get past the visiting Streaks, with a little help from the 6th man.


Township’s Nick Vicidomini was able to score the first four points of the game for the Blue Streaks to give them an early edge before Warwick’s Alex Lalovic was able to finish off the three point play to get Warwick on the board with 4:52 to go in the quarter. After an Ethan Price lay in gave the Warriors the 5-4 advantage, Township roared back to close the opening quarter finishing on a 10-2 run with buckets by sophomores Brendan Mellott and Tyler Crespo included in that stretch as the Streaks were up by a touchdown at the end of the first 14-7.


The MT lead eventually grew to 18-7 with a Crespo pull up before a Tyler Trimarchi hoop finally put a stop the Township run. After a jumper by freshman Zach Oldac for Township, the Warriors finished the second quarter with a flurry of their own led by their prolific senior scorers in Alex Lalovic and Tyler Trimarchi.


Lalovic got it going as he knocked down one of his trademark triples which he then followed with a theft and layup at the other end to put the capper on his personal 5-0 run. Trimarchi, a long-range marksman in his own right, followed suit with a triple from the corner to narrow the Township lead to 20-17 heading into the break.


As the early portions of the third quarter would prove, the half did nothing to cool down Trimarchi as the senior hit from deep twice to get the second half underway to eventually tie it up at 24-24. On the night, Trimarchi was able to rattle home 3 treys to end up with 13 points. Sensing the need to respond with the home crowd now into it, the Streaks did just that as they responded with a 5-0 rally that contained a triple by Crespo and a putback by Brian Hines with4:30 to go in the quarter. The Township lead would then grow to 33-26 when Brendan Mellott finished with a reverse with now 2:50 to play in the third frame. Mellott would go on to finish at the high MT scorer as the sophomore finished with 18. Much to Warwick’s credit, the home-standing Warriors were able to claw back into it heading into the final quarter when Ethan Price got the bucket plus the foul to trim the Township lead to 37-31 heading into the final eight minutes.


Warwick would get down as many as 8 after Zach Oldac was able to bully his way inside for a bucket to make it 41-33 MT to start the quarter. From that point on, the Warriors began to make their move.


The march started at the foul line as Will Mobley and Bryan Rottkamp were able to go a combined 4-4 before an Alex Lalovic steal and finish got Warwick within two at 41-39. The lead would then be closed to 1 after a Lalovic triple answered a previous Brian Hines bucket inside. Warwick would then take the lead as a Trimarchi lay in made it 44-43 Warriors before Tyler Crespo took the lead right back for MT with a jumper to give the visitors the 45-44 advantage with two minutes remaining. Lalovic would prove to the man of the hour by promptly rattling off 4 of his game 24, first by way of a drive, before knocking down a pair from the stripe to give Warwick the 49-45 cushion. Township would respond to the challenge with a Brian Hines hoop inside which sliced the Warwick lead to 49-47 with just 39.3 left to play. Will Mobley would then increase the lead to 3 by hitting one from the charity stripe, but Brendan Mellott would make it a 1 point lead with a lay in for Township. Lalovic was able to extend the lead back up to 2 after a trip to the line, setting the stage for Township to tie or take the lead. After an unsuccessful trip to do either by the Streaks, Tyler Trimarchi was fouled and came up huge for his squad by going 2-2 from the line with the game on the line to make it 53-49 with the crowd ready to celebrate with just 9.3 left to go. The party would have to wait a little while longer however as Bryan Rottkamp had the final say in this one as his 2-2 trip to the stripe put the period on the latest chapter of the Township/Warwick rivalry with the Warriors prevailing 55-49.


With the victory and other action that took place on Friday night, there is now a logjam in the Section 1 standings with numerous vying for an opportunity to make the L-L playoffs. Should be a fun last go-around within the section races with both Warwick and Manheim Township both being involved.


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This Week’s Starting Five
Kyle Gordon (Garden Spot)
Austin Harven (Cocalico)
Micah Garber (Elizabethtown)
Brendan Mellott (Manheim Township)
Alex Lalovic (Warwick)