Week of Jan 23-28
Manheim Central Uses Late Second Quarter Barrage To Take
Down Kennard-Dale 63-47
Just a few weeks ago, the Manheim Central Baron Basketball program
was riding high with an undefeated record heading into a road test
against Garden Spot. After the Barons trip to New Holland, the possibility
of perhaps running the table, albeit an extremely tall task given
the depth of talent still on the Barons’ schedule, especially
in Section 2, would have to be put to the side as Cam Sensenig’s
bucket in the lane in the waning seconds gave Central their only
loss of the season coming into this week. Since the GS game, the
Barons picked up right where they left off winning 3 in a row against
Section 2 foes, and 5 in a row overall heading into Monday night’s
game with Kennard-Dale.
The Barons’ opponent at the beginning of the week was more
than comfortable with their surroundings as the Rams took part in
the YAIAA-LL Section 2 Showcase at Manheim a few weeks ago, a game
in which in KD fell short of Lampeter-Strasburg 58-50. Additionally,
Monday night’s contest would be Kennard-Dale’s 6th game
against L-L competition this year, an eye-popping number when you
consider that the Rams are located literally just north of the Maryland
state line. In those 5 previous contests, the Rams came away with
a 1-4 record but for a time early on Monday night, it looked like
KD would make it a grand finale by knocking off the home-standing
Barons, but a critical close to the first half helped Central stave
off KD’s upset bid 63-47.
Kennard-Dale jumped out to the early 5-0 after a bucket from Garrett
Lowe and a triple by Adam Freese two minutes into the ballgame.
The Barons would rally back to tie things up at 5 apiece after Trevor
Hosler’s 3ball two minutes later. The game of runs continued
as KD reeled off a 6-0 jaunt to take the lead at 11-5, with junior
forward Donnell Williams chipping in the last four of the Ram attack.
The Barons would again bounce right back and not let Kennard-Dale
get too far in front as Central used hoops by Kody Kegarise and
Taylor Funk to get within two at 11-9 before Kegarise knocked down
two from the stripe to make it 11-11 as the first quarter ended.
The Barons would carry their late first quarter run over to the
second quarter as MC took the lead 13-11 to begin Q2 before Adam
Freese put a stop to the salvo with a trifecta to give Kennard Dale
the lead 14-13. Central then turned turnovers into points as two
Baron takeaways amounted to two Taylor Funk buckets as Manheim Central
raced back in front 20-16. MC would later retain the momentum as
they went on to score the last seven points of the half with a steal
and finish by Trevor Hosler and a Taylor Funk theft and bucket off
the ensuing inbound helped usher Central into the halftime break
in command leading 27-16. The Barons turned up the defensive intensity
to create steals and deflections which led to points down at the
offensive end as Manheim Central closed the first half with a dynamite
14-2 run to take control.
To their credit, Kennard-Dale did not go quietly back to Fawn Grove
as the Rams came out of the intermission with a run of their own
to claw back in it with Adam Freese following a shot to get KD within
single digits before a Donnell Williams lay in made it a six point
contest as KD had shrunk Central’s impressive lead down to
27-21. The margin would stay at six three minutes into the quarter
when Freese splashed home one of his four treys on the night to
make it 30-24 Barons.
Big players step up in big time moments and was exactly what Taylor
Funk did for his squad as the future St Joe’s Hawk tallied
the next two field goals for MC before a Roman Wagner hoop off a
beautifully executed inbounds play suddenly swelled Central’s
lead to 36-24. Funk then got his teammates involved as he flipped
a sweet dish inside to Trevor Hosler for the easy deuce before a
Connor Hostetter 3ball helped Manheim Central end the third quarter
in possession of the 43-29 lead.
Kennard-Dale tried to rally the troops for the stretch run as Adam
Freese was a man on a mission to start the fourth quarter as the
junior southpaw was all net from deep to make the Manheim Central
lead 15 at 50-35. Freese then translated that into effort defensively
as he swatted the ensuing Baron shot attempt into the bleachers.
Freese would later be on the scene the next time down the floor
as his lay in to add to a team-high 18 on the evening, made it a
13 point Baron cushion at 50-37.
The deficit would prove to be too large to come back from and Funk’s
assist to Connor Hostetter for 3 later on did not help matters for
the Rams as the junior’s triple pushed the Baron lead back
up to 16 at 53-37 with 3:05 left to play. Jordan Day would chip
in a triple from the corner later on for KD, but Trevor Hosler getting
behind the defense off of the press break would promptly answer
for MC, while Connor Hostetter followed suit on a nearly identical
play as Manheim Central coasted home to the 16 point victory.
Lebanon Makes Quick Work Of Warwick In 69-41 Road Victory
When trying to project teams that are capable of winning the LL
basketball tournament taking place in a few weeks, there a few names
that are at the forefront of the discussion. One of those teams
unequivocally has to be the Lebanon Cedars. In their first season
up in the ranks of Section 1, the Cedars have looked right at home
and behaving like a juggernaut taking down every LL opponent in
their path during the regular season, with an exception being an
opening weekend hiccup to Cedar Crest. Since that game and a setback
to Governor Mifflin that followed to knock them back to 1-2, Lebanon
has found the cure and has been on fire ever since en route to a
13-3 overall record which they brought with them into a tricky road
test at Warwick in midweek. Although Warwick’s home gym may
look large and inviting, it has acted like a snake pit in recent
years as the Warriors have tallied a handful of enormous upset bids
at home over the last several years with hopes of adding another
stunner to their home court resume when Lebanon came calling.
With a key to the game limiting Lebanon’s high-flying offense,
Warwick opened up in a zone and seemed to work wonders as the Warriors
effectively put the brakes on the Cedar attack in the first initial
minutes. Playing a zone can be dangerous with sharpshooters lurking
on the perimeter and Camryn Shaak proved to be the zone-buster in
the first quarter as his trey with 4:30 to go in the quarter gave
Lebanon their first field goal while essentially opening the floodgates
from that point forward. Shaak would go on to add another from deep
before he passed along his contagious outside shot to Luis Aquino-Rios
as he knocked down one of his own to open up an 11-4 Cedar lead.
Dante Vargas got in on the act shortly thereafter by dialing from
distance as well before Aquino-Rios splashed another triple as Lebanon
jolted out to a 19-4 advantage after the first eight minutes.
When the second quarter got underway, Ethan Price was there to get
Warwick with 11 at 19-8 with6:15 to go in the half. The Cedar lead
would then get trimmed to 9 after Tyler Trimarchi raced home for
the fast break layup after an extremely deliberate offensive set
for Lebanon against the Warwick zone that did not yield points.
As he did in the opening quarter of the game, Camryn Shaak was there
to fan the flames on a possible Warwick upset as he 3 pointer pushed
the lead back up to double digits to answer the Warwick bucket.
Warwick would be able to get 1 point closer when the first half
came to a close with Carter Forney’s steal and finish before
the half horn made it 30-19 Cedars after 16 minutes.
The halftime break did nothing to cool off the Cedar’s hot
shooting as another Luis Aquino-Rios triple extended the Lebanon
lead to 15 at 36-21 with just 1:15 gone by in the quarter. Lebanon
would then push their lead up to 20 with senior big man Khalique
Washington going to work inside and being rewarded with several
trips to the foul line. In all, Washington was able to knock down
4 freebies from the line to get Q3 underway wto put Lebanon in control
at 41-21. The lead would remain at 20 shortly thereafter when Shaq
Ortiz made a nice cut along the baseline and was rewarded with an
easy deuce to make it 43-23. Warwick went on to close the quarter
by reeling in Lebanon ever so slightly when Alex Lalovic converted
one of his long range trifectas to make it 48-33 Lebanon after 3
quarters had expired.
Lebanon was clearly on a quest for more coming out of the fourth
quarter as the Cedars began to impose their will on the offensive
glass. Sebastian Sierra was the first beneficiary with his offensive
board and put back before Shaq Ortiz followed suit with what could
only be described as a man’s rebound underneath and stick
back to give Lebanon the 52-33 lead on the big board with under
seven minutes to play.
After showing their dominance inside, the Cedars went back outside
the arc as a loose ball rolled out to arguably the most dangerous
shooter in the league, Camryn Shaak, who did not disappoint as he
knocked it down adding to his final game tally of 6 triples to push
Lebanon’s lead out to 21 at 55-34. You would think by this
point he would be all out of heroics for the night, but the 6’0
senior had one more highlight in him as he sprayed another trey
while getting fouled in the act, and finishing at the line to complete
the rare 4 point play.
With the game winding down and the starters getting prepared to
sit for the rest of the night, Shaw Ortiz wanted to make his presence
felt one last time which he was able to do by going on a tear to
finish strong with a couple buckets to put Lebanon up 64-36. With
still plenty of good minutes to go around, both Lebanon and Warwick
found highlights from their bench to close this one out.
Sophomore Ryan Shirk checked into the game and responded by hitting
a pair of triples, which tied him with Ethan Price for game-high
honors for Warwick from downtown. Phil Hillesheim would later have
a nice drive baseline for his Lebanon crew before Dylan Zoccolo
got in the scorer’s book for Warwick with a nice lay in off
Lebanon’s early lead would prove to be the difference on this
night however as the Cedars made it a dominating 69-44 trip to Lititz
making it a perfect 10-0 in Section 1 play. Given how impressive
the Cedars have been to this point, it certainly appears likely
that Lebanon will have the opportunity to make one more trip down
501 this year, that being to Manheim Township and a trip to the
Middletown Makes It Two Straight Successful Trips To Lebanon
County As Blue Raiders Take Down ELCO 81-61 With Strong Second Half-
Last week Middletown ventured outside of the familiar surroundings
of the Mid Penn and paid a visit to Northern Lebanon adding yet
another solid win to their resume when the night was done. This
past week, Middletown tried to double their pleasure against Lebanon
County teams in as many weeks as they took their #2 District ranking
in 4A into Myerstown to tangle with an Elco team more than capable
of rising up and pulling off the upset.
Middletown was able to race out to the early 11-6 lead and later
increased their lead to 16-8 following a triple by Ryan Hughes in
the early going. The Blue Raiders then increased their lead to 10
when Tre Leach followed a missed shot for the stick back before
Nate Beamer scored off the old school three point play to get Elco
back within single digits at 18-11. Senior forward Ryan Eshleman
would keep the Blue Raider lead at single digits to close the first
quarter as his bucket just before the buzzer made it 21-13 Middletown
The second quarter would belong to Nate Beamer and the senior guard
got it rolling early. His personal 5-0 run which got the second
quarter underway, simultaneously trimmed the Middletown lead to
21-18 just 45 seconds in. A Blake Weary triple would later follow
to get Elco within 2 at 23-21. After a Devin Stoops bucket courtesy
of Kyle Knight’s assist tied things up at 25, Beamer ran off
the next Elco 5 Raider points to put the home team in front 30-27.
Devin Stoops would then add to the Elco momentum with a drive to
the bucket to make it a 5 point Elco lead at 32-27 before Middletown
would race back with a 6-0 run to retake the lead at 35-34 with
1:30left in the half. In this back and forth first half affair,
it seemed only fitting that the squads both head into halftime tied
up which is exactly what happened after Stoops’ traditional
three point play knotted things up at 39 apiece with the possibility
of an upset certainly in the air.
As is often the case in tight ballgames the first few minutes of
the half are likely to be a determining factor in whichever direction
the outcome falls. If that were a test issued on Wednesday night,
Middletown would have received 100% plus extra credit as the Blue
Raiders stormed out of the intermission with a 12-0 blast in the
first 3 minutes to gain the upper hand on their hosts.
Nate Beamer would be the first to get Elco on the board in the third
when he chipped in 2-2 free throws with 4:46 to go in the third
with Ryan Eshleman scoring the first field goal of the quarter for
the Raiders with 3:43 to play. To their credit, Elco would get to
within 11 of Middletown after Mason Bossert found Kyle Knight for
the Raider hoop before yet another Nate Beamer take got within Elco
single digits at 58-49 after Middletown led by as many as 15 in
the third quarter. Sensing Elco starting to close in, Middletown
responded nicely to get it back to double digits at 63-49 with three
quarters in the books.
Jeff Lorah was able to start the fourth quarter with a floater for
Elco to get the Raiders within 13 at 66-53 with 6:17 to go, but
Luke Mrakovich hit two big time back to back buckets for Middletown
to extend the Blue Raider lead to 71-53. Mrakovich was able to finish
with high scoring honors for Middletown by dropping 20 with Ryan
Hughes chipping in 18 and Tre Leach offering 16 respectively to
the Blue Raider effort.
Nate Beamer would later counter with a 5-0 run all on his own en
route to an awesome 28 point performance on the night for Elco,
but the early success that Middletown enjoyed in the early portions
of the third quarter proved to be the difference on this night as
Braedon Thomas put the exclamation mark on the 20 point Blue Raider
road win with a bucket inside to make it a happy bus ride back to
Middletown after picking up the 81-61 victory.
Total Team Effort Pushes Lancaster Mennonite Past Lebanon
They call it the “Dog Days of Winter.” The days are
short, the weather is cold, and more often than not, just plain
miserable. Even with all its perceived shortcomings, the one nice
aspect about this part of the winter months is that basketball season
is certainly heating up heading into the final stretch of games.
Inevitably, the end of the basketball season coincides with one
As far as the upcoming LL Basketball Tournament is concerned, the
trendy pick that some may want to sharpen their pencils for when
the L-L brackets are unveiled could be the Lancaster Mennonite Blazers
and honestly, why not? The Blazers came into Friday night’s
game with visiting Lebanon Catholic sporting an astounding 16-2
overall in addition to a perfect 10-0 record in league play. Eager
to continue their dominance against Section 3 foes, Mennonite did
little to disappoint as the Blazers jumped on the Beavers early
to eventually lay claim to the 46 point victory.
As mentioned, Mennonite wasted little time getting into a rhythm,
10 seconds in to be precise, as Johnathon Gillespie went backdoor
to give the LMH the early 2-0 advantage. Isaac Beers then took a
steal and raced home with it for the lay in and later added a triple
to his early night’s work to give LMH the 9-0 lead. The Blazer
lead would later grow to 16-0 following a dunk by Javan Terry before
Kyle Kauffman was able to get Lebanon Catholic on the board to make
it 16-2 with half the quarter gone by.
Mennonite would then go on an additional run, this of the 5-0 variety
following Terry’s hoop plus the harm to make it 21-2 Mennonite
midway through the first quarter. Kyle Kauffman countered with a
drive later on to make it 21-5 LMH, before he and Humberto Valerio
were there to rattle off four straight points between them for the
Beavers to help close the books the on the first quarter with Mennonite
in command leading 25-9.
Kyle Kauffman proved to be a man on a mission all night for Lebanon
Catholic as he later chipped in five more Beaver points in a row
en route to his team-high 16 on the night to make it a 35-14 Mennonite
lead with 5 minutes left to go in the half. Kauffman would then
help get Lebanon Catholic past the 20 point mark a nice reverse
lay in to make it 45-21 Blazers. Even with his scoring prowess,
this was still a half controlled by Lancaster Mennonite and a sweet
flip pass from Elijah Bynum to Cole Forte helped illustrate that
as the Blazers owned the first 16 minutes leading 49-21.
Mennonite came out of the halftime break not skipping a beat as
the Blazers exploded for a 7-0 run that was capped by a Timmy Stefanosky
bucket. Ezra Buckwalter then got everyone got off their feet with
excitement as the senior guard nailed it from deep to help add to
the LMH advantage. Roman Ali would later made it a 40 point Blazer
lead at 61-21 with his bucket inside as the 6’2 junior got
into the scoring column for LMH.
Junior Nate Hatzfeld be the one to get his Lebanon Catholic squad
on the board with the first Beaver field goal of the half with 2:10
left to play in the third. When the third quarter did finally expire,
Mennonite owned the 64-23 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
When the fourth quarter began, Mennonite’s Seth Beers certainly
made his presence felt as the freshman poured in a triple and followed
it up an emphatic swat out of bounds which once again got the home
crowd excited. The Blazer bench was not near done with their highlights
for the evening as evidenced by senior Bryce Stewart’s drive
to the cup and finish which arguably got the loudest roar of approval
from the Blazer faithful all night as Mennonite went on to finish
out the impressive 78-32 victory.
-Wanted to just give a quick shoutout to Lebanon Catholic here in
this space. I challenge anyone to find a team with a tougher mental
makeup than the Beavers. Night after night they show up and give
it everything they have with limited numbers, a task that is certainly
not for the faint of heart. Keep battling Beavers. We can’t
wait to see the turnaround.
Blue Streaks Stay Red Hot As Manheim Township Claims Third
Road Win Of The Week By Knocking Off #1 Governor Mifflin 65-63
Not every week in high school basketball is created equal. Sometimes
there are weeks where the schedule lays out in such a way where
you just want to get through it and get on to the next batch of
games that appear more appetizing. Often times however, it’s
all about mental makeup and how you approach what appears to be
a daunting task ahead.
Well, if this past week is any indication, the mantra of the Manheim
Township Basketball Team this year could be “Fearless”
as the Blue Streaks went on the road and stole the show on the homecourts
of Hempfield and Cedar Crest, while still having one more game lurking
on the horizon. The final test would come in the form of yet another
boarding of the buses, this time up 222 to try and make it a phenomenal
week of living away from Neffsville if they could get past the Governor
Mifflin Mustangs, the team who just so happened to reside at the
#1 line of the latest District 3 6A rankings.
Governor Mifflin wasted little time scoring Saturday night as the
Mustangs turned Township over on the game’s first possession
with Bubba Peters streaking down the court for the easy deuce to
put Mifflin on top very early. As fate would have it, that would
turn out to be Mifflin’s last lead of the entire game.
The Streaks responded with a gritty effort that was highlighted
with Tyler Crespo nailing two treys back to back to kick off the
scoring for the Streaks as the sophomore helped account for 19 total
points on the night. Crespo would later knock down his third triple
of the quarter to make it 13-6 Streaks, with all 6 Mustang points
coming from Bubba Peters. Mifflin would close to gap to 5 with 2
minutes left in quarter courtesy of a 3 from Isiah Tisdale, but
Township would answer back by going on a 6-3 run to close the quarter
leading 21-13 with senior Michael Brockaway contributing the fifth
and sixth points of the MT blitz.
With the first quarter not having gone their way, the Mustangs came
out with a jolt of energy to start the second as they climbed back
to get within two of MT at 21-19 on Ben Walmer’s bucket off
of a Township turnover with just over two minutes gone by. The Township
lead would later dwindle down to just one after Rece Hartman’s
three point play for Mifflin made it 26-25 Township with 3 minutes
left in the half. Township would then outscore GM 6-2 to close the
half with a beautiful hi-lo senior connection from Brian Hines to
Nick Vicidomini and a bucket from sophomore Brendan Mellot contributing
four of the Streaks final six.
Township was able to keep Mifflin at arm’s length for much
of the third quarter as evidenced by their lead standing at five
after a nice spin from Brian Hines inside gave the Streaks the 40-35
advantage with3:20 to go in the third. Sophomore sensation Tyler
Crespo was then able to expand the MT lead to a more comfortable
cushion at 46-35 off of two back-breaking triples down the stretch
to set Township up nicely heading into the final stanza.
After Dylan Patton was able to hit from deep to start the final
quarter Mifflin, Nick Vicidomini was there to keep the lead at double
digits for the Streaks when his three point play kept it at 10 at
49-39. The three point shot proved to be the tool Mifflin pulled
out of the toolbox to chisel into the Township lead the next few
trips down the floor as Mifflin senior guard Bubba Peters, who did
not want to be denied on his senior night, pumped in two back to
back triples for the Mustangs and later followed it up with a drive
to shrink the Township lead down to six, and later to three at 57-54
with 3:11 left to add his game-high total of 31 points.
With the game in a dangerous spot, Township called on Brian Hines
who accepted the charges with a take to the rack to push the Streak
lead back up to five at 59-54. Sporting the #1 seed in District
3’s highest class, there was no way Mifflin was going to go
away without a fight and fight back they would with Jeovanni Mojica
going 2-2 from the stripe to bring the MT lead back down to 3 at
59-56 with 1:54 to go. After an ensuing trip for Township did amount
to points, Mifflin got the ball with the chance to tie. The Mustangs
went for the tie and nearly got it, but their 3 point attempt went
in and out. After a foul following the rebound, Tyler Crespo’s
two freebies from the line made it a two possession Streak lead
at 61-56. Mifflin still refused to go away as Peters kept leading
the charge for Governor Mifflin as his take to the tin made it 62-60
with now just 38.7 left to go. After Nick Vicidomini calmly sank
his two free throws after the ensuing inbounds, the scoreboard now
read Township 64, Mifflin 60 with 36.2 remaining.
Even while up by four very late, Bubba Peters told Township they
weren’t out of the woods just yet as he rang home yet another
trifecta to make it 64-63 MT with more Blue Streak foul shots upcoming.
Tommy Mann was there to go 1-2 with the game on the line for MT
which proved to enough as Mifflin’s last possession failed
to yield any points as Township was able to nab their third remarkable
road victory of the week defeating Governor Mifflin on their home
floor 65-63 and undoubtedly giving them a fully loaded battery of
energy heading into the final few games of the season in hopes of
securing both LL and District playoff spots. Hats off to the Streaks.
This Week’s Starting Five
· Kyle Kauffman (Lebanon Catholic)
· Nate Beamer (Elco)
· Nick Vicidomini (Manheim Township)
· Camryn Shaak (Lebanon)
· Tyler Crespo (Manheim Township)