ED Note: LLhoops welcomes Andy Herr. An ex-Warwick player, Andy gives LLhoops a new veiwpoint. Enjoy! @andybrackets
LL All Senior All -Star Game
The 2016-17 season was a darn good season for Lancaster Lebanon League Boy’s Basketball. To be fair, you knew it was bound to be a fantastic season before the ball even tipped as two LL big men made the decision to take their talents to the Division 1 stage next season in Dylan Hastings and Taylor Funk, choosing Lafayette and St. Joe’s respectively. With that kind of talent added in with a bevy of other talented teams and players, many of whom have since decided to take their talents to the next level as well, the local basketball scene promised to be appetizing. And sure enough, it was.After a season full of memorable highs that culminated in nearly a dozen teams getting the nod to advance to the postseason, the LL rightfully set up shop at the highly sought-after Giant Center playing in either the semifinal or final round of the District playoffs, taking center stage on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday during District 3’s six day stint at the palatial confines in Hershey.
The league also saw two of its members advance all the way to the Elite Eight round of states until Hempfield and Lancaster Mennonite fell short to members of the juggernaut that is the Philadelphia Catholic League last weekend. With everyone’s season being in the books, that meant that all of the predetermined All Star rosters would be maximized to their fullest potential as the best and brightest senior players that the LL had to offer put on one last show Thursday night at Hempfield in the league’s annual finale.
In a game that figured to have the element of defense being optional at best, a cold shooting start from both teams from behind the arc meant that the logical decision would be to go inside to break the dam and find the elusive points. Ben Sandberg and his aerial display then followed that instruction as the departing LS senior threw one down with authority in the early going before Elco’s Mason Bossert rang it up from deep for 3 of his team high 26 points to give his squad the 10-6 lead.
With the “Road team” being down 15-13 later on in the opening period, Penn Manor’s Cameron Lovett and Garden Spot’s Brenden Bradley were able to go back to back with 3 balls to put their squad on top 16-15 with 2:45 go in the first period. After a dunk by Garden Spot’s Kyle Gordon put the “Away” bunch up by 3 at 20-17, they later saw their lead grow to 9 before Lebanon’s Shaq Ortiz threw one down for 2 of his 24 points to shrink the “Home” hole to 7 at 28-21 after the first eight minutes.
Once inside the second frame, Warwick’s dynamic duo of long range shooters were up to their usual tricks as Alex Lalovic and Tyler Trimarchi each splashed in treys, with Trimarchi’s 3 ball putting the guests up by double figures at 44-33 with 5:03 to go in the first half. The half continued on with the home bunch being able to close the gap to a manageable 4 at 47-43 after a 5-0 spurt by Ben Sandberg, including a 3 point play after the game’s first foul call. The half ultimately concluded with the road team up by the cinco spot at 54-49 as the league honored other outstanding individuals during the intermission.
After back to back dunks from Solanco’s Dylan Hastings and Lancaster Catholic’s Danny Bomberger got things started after the break, McCaskey’s Ricky Cruz stole the show with an 11-0 charge, written all by himself, en route to a game high 32 point outburst.
Once the fourth quarter got underway with the visitors leading 87-83, Shaq Ortiz rattled off 4 in a row for his side as things became tied up at 87-all to start the final frame of the season. After the home team eventually took the lead, Tyler Trimarchi responded back with another trademark triple that put the lead back on his team’s side as the road warriors went up 93-92.With 5 minutes remaining, Danny Bomberger dialed up from distance to make it a 97-97 ballgame, but Manheim Township’s Nick Vicidomini’s 3 ball put the home side over the century mark as the white jerseys went on top 100-97. After the Vicidomini trey, the 3 ball continued to be the fuel that sparked the home team’s separation as yet another Mason Bossert trifecta put his team up 107-99. Dylan Hastings later had a 3 point play to make it a 112-104 ballgame, but another Vicidomini triple proved to be a crucial basket that put the home team up 120-111.
With the outcome already decided and time ticking away, Ben Sandberg fittingly threw down what may have been the dunk of the year as the Pioneer big man received the alley oop and flushed one-handed, meeting the ball at the rim, officially closing the books on another fantastic season of LLhoops as the home side walked off with 122-113 victory.