2017-18 All LLHoops.com Section 2 Honors

2017-18 All LLHoops.com Section 2 Honors


L-L League boys’ basketball championship, Lancaster Catholic vs. Lampeter-Strasburg on February 16, 2017. Mark Palczewski Photo. 

(Lampeter-Strasburg’s Ed Berryman Celebrates The School’s First League Title)


L-L League Sr. All-Star game in Landisville, PA. Mark Palczewski Photo.

(Lampeter-Strasburg’s Ryan Smith)


2017-18 All LLHoops.com Section 2 Honors
Coach Of The Year: Ed Berryman (Lampeter-Strasburg)

First Team
Ryan Smith- Lampeter-Strasburg
Avery Walker – Donegal
Jordan Shewbridge – Garden Spot
Isaac Beers- Lampeter-Strasburg
Brad DaBella- Ephrata
Connor Hostetter- Manheim Central

2nd Team
Aidan Trynosky- Cocalico
Larry Locker- Elizabethtown
Aaron Constein- Solanco
Keontae Nunn- Garden Spot
Elijah Swanigan- Donegal
Xavian Rodriguez- Ephrata

ALL LLhoops Section 1 :   ALL LLhoops Section 3

2017-18 All LLHoops.com Section 1 Honors

2017-18 All LLHoops.com Section 1 Honors

(Hempfield’s Danny Walck Helped Take Hempfield Back To The State Playoffs Once Again In 2018)

(Lebanon’s Sincere Scott)

All LLHoops.com Section 1 Honors
Coach Of The Year: Danny Walck (Hempfield)

First team
Cole Laney- Cedar Crest
Blake Thomson- Cedar Crest
Ryan Moffatt – Hempfield
Luis Aquino-Rios – Lebanon
Sincere Scott- Lebanon
Tyler Crespo –Manheim Township

2nd Team
Austin Monroe – Conestoga Valley
Logan Monroe- Conestoga Valley
David Martin-Robinson – Hempfield
Eli Washington- Hempfield
Brian McKenzie – McCaskey
Brendan Mellott – Manheim Township


ALL LLhoops Section 2 :   ALL LLhoops Section 3

Column: March 19..LMHS, Senior ALL Star info

Short column
March 19, 2018

PIAA news
Lancaster Mennonite is still alive. The Blazers continue to thrive in the Western bracket of 3A. LMHS’ 2 OT win on Saturday keeps the dreams alive of a title run this week at the Giant Center. Andy Herr covered that game for LLhoops here’s the link.

Tuesday, the Blazers travel to Chambersburg HS to take on Richland (District 6 runner-up).

Coach Geoff Groff provided us with some thoughts about both games:

“One of our best defensive efforts of the year.  Greenville was very patient and we did a good job of staying disciplined and down the stretch our off the ball defense matched what we were doing on the ball. 

Richland is well coached and has good size, experience and balance in their attack.   Believe they have had a different high scorer in each of their PIAA games and Districts final!  They defend well and look to run, especially after made baskets.  They have people who can score inside, off the dribble and from behind the arc.  We will need to defend everyone!    

Bus ride will only be 90 minutes! “ 

LLhoops plans on covering the game!

Also last week, we covered Hempfield/Lincoln 6A boys. Andy provided a written wrap and we also posted a photo gallery. The Knights hung tough for most of the game, but in the end foul trouble (4 starters fouled out) hurt Hempfield in the final stanzas.

LL All Stars ….senior all stars are posted on the main page. These players (only seniors) were selected by a vote of the LL coaches. The annual senior all-star game will be played at Hempfield on Tuesday, March 27th. The girls game will start at 6:30 followed by the boys game.

LLhoops all LL teams will be announced AFTER the PIAA games are completed.

NCAA…Warren Buffet’s money is safe, as he offers up a sizable reward for picking a perfect bracket. As happens every year, an upstart or 2 finds itself in the sweet sixteen (Loyola-Chicago and Nevada). The coaches of these teams certainly like the chance to upset the big boys and use the W’s to propel their careers.

‘Cuse– its all about the ZONE. Sometimes when teams get away from their conferences and play a different style, they can do some damage in the NCAA.

In the end the big boys come thru. Nova, Duke, Purdue, Michigan, Kentucky are certainly not teams we have not heard from. The ACC and the Big 12 lead the way with the most teams still alive.

Nobody cares but category…ESPN did not have updated brackets as of Monday morning on NCAA tournament— guess no money involved, no update 🙂 CBS sports here we come!

Enjoy a week with PIAA and NCAA hoops!

~Dell Jackson







Column March 13: PIAA LL style!

PIAA swing- LL style:
The LL results from the first round on the PIAA.

Friday 3/9
Lancaster Catholic 58 Huntingdon 60 final 
L-S 54  Bangor 42  final 
Garden Spot 46 Abington Heights 75 final 

Saturday 3/10
Lancaster Mennonite 65 Ligonier Valley 60 – final
Manheim Township 86 Lower Merion 88 OT
Hempfield 66 Coatesville 53

and…this weeks schedule- so far

Tuesday 3/13
Lampeter-Strasburg vs Archbishop Carroll at Governor Mifflin (Intermediate School), 7:30

Wednesday 3/14
Lancaster Mennonite vs Westinghouse Academy at Altoona HS, 6:00

Hempfield vs Abraham Lincoln at Pottstown HS, 7:30


Andy Herr covered LS/Bangor game – link
….and he covered the Hempfield/Coatesville- link

LS Coach Berryman told Andy last weekend, “It’s hard,” he admitted regarding the layoff in between games. “That’s the hard part is keeping (the team) motivated,” LS seemed to be able to shake of any rust and cruised to 54 – 42 first round victory. Ryan Smith, 6’10” sn, was dominant with a 26 point performance.

We got a chance to talk with Danny Walck after the Hempfield win vs. Coatesville – link

Check out Bruce Badgley’s twitter account (@BadgleyBruce) and llhoops.com Berks beat for videos and wraps of the Berks county teams.

Jon K – Neastbeat has the right hand corner of PA covered like a Noreaster 🙂

PIAA tournament is different than any other as teams travel and play against other style and – to be honest- other types of officiating. It’s a one and done thing. Exciting (LMHS, LS, Hempfield) and heartbreaking (Lanc Cath, TWP).

We got a hold of TWP’s boss, Matt Johns, this week. His thoughts on a tough OT lose to District 1 traditional power- Lower Merion and moving forward with his mostly underclassmen group.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our kids.  We were pressed for 36 minutes, faced 8 different defenses, and only had 11 turnovers.  We continued to battle and make plays the entire game.  Unfortunately, we came up one play short.   We were proud to go toe to toe with a state powerhouse who’s only loss in districts was to District 1 Champ Abington. 

Its exciting to know that we have six of our top nine players returning and four of our top five leading scorers.  Our JV team had a very successful season and several players developed to the point where we can see them stepping up to fill the void of the loss of three important seniors.  We certainly know we will have an enormous bulls-eye on our chest next year but we are excited for the future and for putting in the work in the off-season to take another step forward as a program. “

Hempfield has the recipe to move on…

Last year we witnessed the Knights advance in the PIAA by winning 2 games. Even With a 4-loss team, the Knights haven’t been given a lot of love by those outside the D3 area. Coach Danny Walck has a ton of coaching experience in the PIAA games. He gets his teams to execute and basically controls the tempo and shortens the game. The use of his various zone concepts mixed in with some man usually keeps the opponent off balance. He said to us after the last game “you have to make foul shots”—the Knights certainly did that vs. Coatesville (31/36).

Ryan Moffatt (29 points- 21/24 from the stripe) talked about “next play” after the game- a Duke sayingJ Moffatt was outstanding vs Cville. He handled, directed, rebounded drove and made a ton of foul shots as he drove to the bucket when the opportunity was there—and nailed most of his shots when Cville had to foul late in the game. Moffatt was the glue down the stretch and for the entire game as Hempfield lost 3 starters to fouls.

Speaking of refs, we had a Mid Penn crew at the Hempfield game. One thing you can count on when the Mid Penn boys take the floor is that they will call 2 hands on the dribbler- automatic no matter what the time is on the clock. Cville seemed very frustrated by some of the calls. In fact after one call, a Coatesville player got nailed with a T – Hempfield made 3 out of 4 of its fouls and got the ball back effectively keeping a bit of a distance between the teams very late in the game. Coatesville put a lot of pressure on Hempfield with various traps but their fouls were counter balanced by the turnovers (15) they produced. The Knights out-rebounded Coatesville 25- 17.

LMHS traveled to the western part of the state and came away with a big W. They get to do it again Wed!

Coach Groff on his game last week and some thoughts on this week:
Ligonier Valley game was a grinder!  Maybe one of the most physical games we were in all year!  We were solid on defense all game long, but did a poor job of converting turnovers into points in the first half.  Second half we made some shots and started converting the turnovers. 

Our opponent Wednesday is Westinghouse High from Pittsburgh.  District 8 champ.  They have a 6’11 player who is putting up almost a triple double in pts, reb, and blocked shots.  We will need to make some shots from the perimeter and handle their team speed as well as the big guys presence.  Good news is our bus ride will be almost an hour shorter!  Still over 2 hours away.

LLhoops info
Things are slowing down a bit for the site, as expected. We are looking at breaking 200k page views before we wrap up the season.

PIAA coverage…we should get some coverage at the PIAA finals in 2 weeks. Between Andy, Dell , Bruce and Jon K, we will be tweeting live at various games if we get our annual credentials from the PIAA. It’s exciting to see future D1 players show their craft on the Giant Center floor.

LLhoops.com all stars….will be posted AFTER the PIAA concludes.

Misc thoughts…
I want to thank the LL coaches for supporting our site and taking time to talk with us when we are on the road. Coaching is a tough job and time is precious for any coach.

LLhoops will get out a post-season wrap after the PIAA concludes.

Many thanks to our LLhoops.com crew fro covering the District 3 tournament like no other organization.

I had a chance to sit with PIAA official observer at Warwick. We discussed some rules and she took a bunch of notes. It was interesting to see the amount of effort put into the evaluation process. We witnessed a delay of game warning. Right after that I said to Mike Bullock of City of Basketball, ‘ I’ve never seen a second warning result in a T’…so a few minutes later, Coatesville broke the plane or hit the ball out of bounds and was called for a Tech. The hitting of the ball out of bounds is automatic Tech…if the ball was not touched, then a delay of game – warning if the first time and a tech the second. Always something new to write about 🙂

Best to all our seniors out there. Hoping your hoops experiences helps to prepare you for the future! Saw a tweet the other day saying that only 3% of high school players go onto to play at the college level.

LLhoops will be evolving as usual. Next season we will try to have a video utube channel. Would LOVE to have an LL girls writer…..and would also welcome a York beat and a Mid Penn beat writer to our platform. The pay is terrible, but the accolades are GREAT! 🙂

Major props to LNP for covering the LL teams and locals (Linden Hall GIRLS – and Lancaster Country BOYS). The coverage of playoff games has been outstanding- tweets, videos , wraps…excellent. @MikeGrossLNP @JWalkLNP , @JoelSchreiner

BTW…after much discussion in the post season about a BLARGE, thankfully, we did not see one of these called. I asked interpreters at District 3 if the word BLARGE is in the rule book= no. ..so really a BLARGE is nothing more than a double foul- block/charge, which I guess doesn’t make everyone upset at the call? I also asked if it is called at the NCAA = yes…so, if you see one during march madness, please contact us! Would love to hear Charles Barkley explain that 🙂

Enjoy March—PIAA and NCAA madness—what could be better?

~Dell Jackson





















Chambersburg 52 Hempfield 35 6A/ Podcast-wrap

Chambersburg ran away from the Knights with a 19-6 fourth quarter.

Stat of the night: Hempfield shot 5/23 in the second half.

The score was tied at 22 at half. Cburgs Joel Torres ( I believe he had 21 for the game) put on a display with post moves, drives and 3 balls.

Check out Bruce Badgleys (@BadgleyBruce) twitter for videos…

Soundcloud interview with Coach Walck.

Dell’s wrap- soundcloud

Audio wrap to follow later.

Dell’s Column : Feb 25, 2108


District 3 – LL teams schedule –so far

Monday 2/26
 (3rd place game): Lancaster Mennonite vs Steel High at Lebanon, 6:30
 (Consolation Semis): Lancaster Catholic vs Littlestown at East Pennsboro, 6:00
(Consolation Semis): Northern Lebanon vs Boiling Springs at Lebanon, 5:00

(Consolation Semis): L-S vs Garden Spot at Warwick, 6:00
 (9th Place Bracket): Ephrata vs Shippensburg at East Pennsboro, 7:30

Tuesday 2/27
Hempfield vs Chambersburg at Giant Center, 7pm
Manheim Township vs Reading at Giant Center, 8:30pm
(Consolation Semifinal) Cedar Crest vs Dallastown at Hershey, 7:30pm

3A- top 4- LMHS is in the PIAA
4A—top 5 teams – Lanc Cath or NL must win 2 more to get into the PIAA tournament
5A- top 10- LS, Spot, and Ephrata are in the PIAA tou8rnament
6A- top 6 teams – Hempfield, TWp are in …Crest must win vs Dallastown to qualify

A look back…
“Oof” was a word used on the twitter sites to describe the LL’s performances on last Thursday. The LL boys went 1-6- with the only win being a come from behind victory by Ephrata, playing in the playback game.

@ColeP_JCole13 Stated it best “Not a great night for LL League basketball…

LL Scores from Thursday:
Lancaster Mennonite 48 Kutztown 49
Bishop McDevitt 47 Lancaster Catholic 43
Northern Lebanon 34 Berks Catholic 52
Lower Dauphin 49 (OT) L-S 46
Garden Spot 66 Milton Hershey 90
Northern York 43 Ephrata 46
Donegal 49 New Oxford, 56

LMHS lost to top seeded Kutztown. LS lost in OT to a gritty Lower Dauphin team. Lancaster Cath. was beaten at home by Mike Gaffey-coached, Bishop McDevitt. Northern Lebanon hung with Berks Catholic for about a ½. Spot was run out of the gym by a top seeded team, Milton Hershey. Donegal’s season ended at 12-12 with a loss to New Oxford, although the Indians did comeback late in that game. All in all the LL played tough in most of the games, but not quite good enough to claim slots in Hershey.

LLhoops was at the LS game. The Pioneers led 20-16 at the half. LD employed a 2-3 zone trying to make things difficult for Ryan Smith, 6’10” center. Normally the Pioneers adjust and pop some three balls, but they weren’t connecting (LS had 6 but 5 in the this half). Patrick Holmes had 17 pts for the Pioneers – all in the first half. Smith scored more in the second half and finished with 16. LD had balanced scoring and nailed 9/11 foul shots in the OT to earn its way to Hershey. Click here for audio wrap.

Andy Herr and Bruce Badgley doubled teamed the Berks Cath/NL game. Click here for Andy’s wrap. Bruce has all his media files on his twitter site.

The Big boys saved the day for LL boys teams playing in Hershey.

TWP defeated a shirt handed Cedar Crest team at Crest to move on in the tournament. The Streaks play Reading HS in the Semis at the Giant Center Tuesday. Reading claimed the top seed in the tournament. The Steaks have displayed a lot of grit as they seem to bounce back from tough losses and then re-focus quickly (Hempfield, Crest, Spot losses all followed by wins the next game). TWP lost a tough game in the LL playin’ game to Spot, providing the Streaks with time to work on the little things. Coach Johns spent the time “working on our game”. The Streaks held down Conestoga Valley in the first round 6A game 52-39.

Coach Johns gave us some insights to their preparation this week.
“Taking on the defending state champs is quite a challenge but all you can do is prepare for the teams put in front of you. We are going to prepare for this no differently than we have for every other game this year. We want to limit their strengths, look for ways to score, and embrace the moment. At this point in the season we are all what we are; all coaches are just working to bring out a great version of ourselves for at least 32 minutes.”

Hempfield beat an up-coming Wilson team for the second time this season 59-49. Check out Andy’s wrap.

Coach Walck was quoted by Andy Herr after that game:
“I’m just really thrilled for this group of seniors because they’ve invested so much …As a coach, you know what these guys have done… I have no eligibility left but I can still come back and coach another one. They can’t go back and play that again so I’m just really thrilled for them. Very thrilled for them.”

So….the LL has 2 teams playing Tuesday at the Giant Center. Of course, Andy and I will be providing updates and commentary during and after the games.

LLhoops.com update

We are still working on the main page issues.

Special thanks to all folks who send us updates during the games. Sometimes its tough to re-tweet info when covering games: @godonegalsports and @GSSpartanSports were very helpful last week.

Scores/Schedule page will be updated after the games Monday and Tuesday- too many what ifs and “ya’ all” know how we handle that—not well.

Hit me—at 160k and climbing 🙂

Page views and sessions are slowing down a bit as we have fewer teams left playing.

We had over 40k “impressions” on the twitter site during the LL championship.

States coming up…our beat writer from Neast PA – Jon K (@LLHoopsNEPbeat) – provides info on all the teams in the Neast corner of the state!

Jerry Shenks ratings—always interesting to see how a W/L effects teams. Jerry usually updates every Sunday/Monday.

We ran into our unofficial editor and UNC lover, Bob Swavely at TWP last week.

                     Dell and Bob Swavely

All team pages updated 🙂

Congratulations to Spots Jordan Shewbridge. He joins an exclusive list of 1000 point scorers at Spot. He Joins AC’s Noah Wenger, Hempfield’s Ryan Moffatt, and TWP’s Tyler Crespo.

Jordan passed the mark in the district 3 game vs. Dover Most district 3 games are not stopped with a 1000 pt scorer, although Mike Bullock (@thebullp_n) cited one game that he witnessed that did.

Commentary on NCAA..
Kind of torn here. I believe that allegations are just that….but can Arizona get to the bottom of the issue before NCAA’s? It took them (NCAA) years to decided UNC issue (not guilty), not as long with Louisville (lost title and games)….What a mess—IF Arizona is stripped of wins this year but plays in the NCAA tournament and wins a bunch of games? …. Crazy Bill Walton stated he just wanted to “ride his bike” and not be associated with the game…There will be a lot of talk this next few weeks – although I’m not sure anything can get settled before the NCAA tournament.

Most Penn State fans can relate to the feeling that the NCAA seems to punish schools because of individuals breaking laws.

If payments were discussed and provided, then Arizona will probably fire the coach and suspend the player….and take a hit this season.

If the FBI does not provide the tapes, then what? It is an ongoing investigation (sound familiar?).

I’m not sure paying players from the school will solve anything. How much is too much? Top QB goes to the team with the highest bid? Player quits team A to go to team B because they pay more?

However, we will all continue to watch the NCAA tournament. Yes? Thought so.

ESPN dropping UNC, Duke, and others in the report. Looks like a meal money issue with some of the schools mentioned. I’m not sure that is up there with 100k bribes. I’m not making excuses for the Dukies or UNC, but the point is there are rules and then there are BIG rules. It will play out and you can bet that UNC/Dukes of the world will be under the microscope more than others.

District 3 at the Giant Center
I usually sit with LNP’s Mike Gross  (@MikeGrossLNP) at the districts. He usually does a neat wrap of the week in his weekly column at the end of the tournament. “kaBoom” will be mentioned a few times this week.

John Walk (@JWalkLNP) continues to impress with his muti-tasking at games.

We also get to to talk with the referees supervisor at the games- always good to get some interpretation.

BLARGE—wow, did we learn some things this week. We received some feedback from LL refs, coaches and media on “Blarge”. I personally have never seen it called, but now I know its on the books. Long-time rules interpreter for the LL, Mel Newcomer, explained it well to me before a game he was working. I asked him how many times he called it- “once in 42 years of reffing”. It’s good to learn new rules, but I’m hoping to not see any BLARGES the next few weeks 🙂

Enjoy the last week of the District 3 tournament!…and UNC/Duke # 2 March 3rd (picts to follow)

Dell Jackson










Dell’s columnn- LL tournament, Districts, misc: Feb 18, 2018

Feb 18th

LL Championship wrap
LS took its first ever LL title over Lancaster Catholic. by a score of 50-40 at TWP last Friday. LLhoops had wall–to-wall coverage – photo gallery, tweets, video, interviews and write-ups. All can be found on the main page of LLhoops.com. Thanks to Andy Herr and Mark22 photos.

The Pioneers continue to improve their game – case in point LS handled Lancaster Catholics trap much better than they did Wed. vs. Hempfield. LS can go with 2 bigs (Ryan Smith, 6’10” sn. and Patrick Holmes, listed at 6’2” jn.- but he looks bigger than that to us:) or 4 guards around 1. Isaac Beers, 6’1” sn, had an outstanding tournament. (22 in the finals and another 22 pts. vs. Hempfield- 22’s wild). Smith, East Stroudsburg U bound, produces double-doubles every night. LLhoops had him at 12 boards and 4 blocked shots to go along with his 12 points in the title game.

As part of covering the LL, we got to be on the floor after the game. We talked with Coach Berryman and Ryan Smith after the game. Heck even the Pioneer fans wanted to get on llhoops’ soundcloud:)

Its always fun to see lots of smiles and pats on the back.

Kudos to the LL league in providing medals to both teams Friday. In the past medals were not given.

The tournament produced some highlights. Usually first round games can be lopsided, but this year most the games were very competitive: Spot/TWP, Lanc Cath/Spot, and LS/LMHS were all exciting and fun games to watch. The semis raised the bar to a new level as we had 2 games that came down to the wire. LCHS won the first game on a controversial call with .1 seconds left on the clock. Ephrata Coach Treese handled post-game well as he stated the Mounts had other opportunities to win and make plays. In the second game, LS ran out to a big lead only to see Hempfield close to 1 point in the fourth (the Knights had several down double-digit fourth quarter comebacks this season). LS survived Hempfield’s attempts to tie or to take the lead to advance to the title game.

Our much quoted, LLHistory, is now updated. This includes all the games from 1973 to 2018. McCaskey leads titles and appearances. LS cracks the ‘W’ column for its first time for a title. Lancaster Catholic has 22 LL appearances and 2 LL titles.

Pete Horn
Pete was recognized by the LL at halftime of the title game. I coached against Pete in the late 80’s. He was very competitive during the game and a class act after the game. According to out LL historian- Jerry Shenk, Pete coached McCaskey for 20 years with and overall record of 348-166. I snapped a picture of Pete and his old assistant, Steve Polunis (current AD at Hempfield) and posted on twitter. Congrats to Pete on as well deserved award.

The LL teams schedule for districts is posted. There will be lots of playback games in some of the classes. Some teams got a bye (depending on the class and how many teams make it to the PIAA tournament (Lancaster Cath, Hempfield, and Cedar Crest all received byes) LS, which is a top seed, did not due to the field being at 16. Most of the first few round games are at the top seeded teams home floor. The scores are updated quickly and brackets updated the day after the games. The district site has improved a LOT. LLhoops used to post brackets but no need anymore.

The District 3 committee announced sites of games in advance. This could change but probably not. I like it because fans, media, coaches, and players know where the next game is- no waiting to hear from someone the next day or late that night. All finals will be played at Hershey Giant Center. The district folks will try to keep the championship games there next year, but in all likely hood, semis will be at other sites. This is due to contracts Hershey Entertainment gets with concerts and the rates the district must pay to Hershey.

The District playoffs are all based on power points- period.

Some interesting match-ups in the first round:
Lets start with ELCO @ NL. In a rare back-to-back, the Raiders will travel to N. Lebanon for a first round game. ELCO won the last game of the LL regular season and NL won earlier at NL. ELCO has a bunch of young guns (threes from above) and NL has veteran guard play—and with a Lebanon County rivalry at the ‘yellow” gym, ya’ know it will be quite the atmosphere 🙂

The second all-LL match up is CV at TWP. These teams split in the regular season- both winning at home. The winner of this games travels to Crest- the winner of that game will qualify for an LL berth. So…..the LL is guaranteed at least one team in the PIAA tournament. CV quietly goes about its business- the Monroe brothers (Austin 13 ppg and Logan 16 ppg) lead the Bucks. TWP is coming off a tough loss to Spot in the LL’s.

One interesting first round game, will feature hot-shooting Ephrata vs. Mid Penn team, Lower Dauphin. Andy Herr plans to be at this game so we will get some great information during and after this game.

LLhoops info
Main page issues…we updated and lost/gained some features. You will need to do some scrolling to find section teams. We will probably look for something new in the off season 🙂

Tweet tweet tweet…Friday’s LL title game produced multiple likes, re-tweets and follows. Thanks to all followers.

Some excellent photos by Mark22 photos are posted on LLhoops. Mark covered the girl’s LL championship game. We are looking for a girl’s staff writer. Please contact us via email – the pay ain’t great but ….:)

Feature Sponsor: John Lichty –CPA. It’s tax time. Give John a call. LLhoops has been a client since our first year in 2000. You will receive down to earth and individual attention from this company.

Jerry Shenk’s following of District 3 teams is outstanding.

Welcome Spooky Nook Basketball for joining our sponsors. We have produced a page for the Nook – applications for summer leagues- and will re-post about once a month or more.

Andy and I will be out and about this week. Bruce will continue with his coverage of the Berks league. There will be some travel issues later this/next week, but we’ll figure something out.

Congrats to all teams that made districts – cream rises. Expect some great games this week and next.

~Dell Jackson

LL boys finals: preview

LL finals- Preview
Game is at TWP, 7pm.

LS (2-1) vs. Lancaster Catholic (3-1) – click teams for rosters, past games

How we got to this point…
beat LMHS in the first round of the LL. Ryan Smith shined as he garnered a career-high 39 points. LMHS led for most of the game, but Smith’s performance was too much for the smaller Blazers. The Pioneers defeated Hempfield 47-45 in the LL semis on Wed. In that contest, LS got off to a 19-2 start. Hempfield clawed all the way back, using a trapping defense in the 4th quarter- had the ball down 2 a few times late in the game, but LS hung on with some defensive stops and some fouls shots down the stretch. Isaac Beers (22pts) provided some scoring punch, along with Ryan Smith (16 pts), to lead the Pioneers into their first ever LL title game.

LL History- 13th LL tournaments. First title game.

Check out Andy’s wrap of this game.

Lancaster Catholic defeated Garden Spot in the first round of the LL’s. Spot was giving LC all it could handle until the start of the 4th. Catholic clamped down on Spots three point shooters and held the Spartans to 2 points in the 4th to advance to the semis. Lancaster Catholic took on the hot shooting Ephrata Mounts at Penn Manor and won 44-42. The game was close throughout. Each team putting together mini runs but neither team could pull away from the other. Ephrata was up early 14-7, but LC continued to play tough defense to inch their way back in the game. Catholic would take a 4-point lead early in the fourth only to see Ephrata come back on a 3 ball by Brad DaBella. RJ Van Tash would hit a jumper at the 3:29 mark to even the game. Catholic would take the lead on a a steal and a super sweet drive and layup by David Kamwanga. Ephrata ties on the next possession a bucket by Dilyn Becker. The Crusaders milked the clock for the last minute plus. After a timeout, LC worked the ball inside to Kamwanga in the post. He missed but Ephrata was called for a foul (lots of controversy on this one)—Kamwanga sank both to propel the Crusaders to the finals.

LL History- 22nd LL tournaments. 7th title game. 2 LL titles (returning LL champs)

Check out Dell’s podcast of the wrap of this game.

By the numbers… info from LNP
Lancaster Catholic (22-2) is averaging 61 ppg, giving up 45, making 66% of its foul shots, and averaging 3.8 threes a game.

Projected starters: Johnny Besecker (11ppg), RJ VanTash (10 ppg), David Kamwanga (9 ppg), Dwayne Caine (7 ppg) Miles McCaskey(7 ppg)

LS (22-2) is averaging 61 ppg and giving up 41 ppg, making 62% of its foul shots, and averaging 5.4 threes a game.

Projected starters: Ryan Smith (20 ppg), Isaac Beers (12 ppg) Chase Broderick (6 ppg) Jordan Sweger (5 ppg) Peyton Denlinger (2 ppg)

Thoughts from the sidelines.
Both teams are excellent on the defensive end. LS will use a ¾ passive trap with Ryan Smith protecting the basket, ½ court man, and can switch into zone and combos. Catholic is usually straight man with a BUNCH of help on drivers, but they will switch over to zone and some variations. If you like defense, you will like both of these teams.

On the offensive end, LC is the most balanced team in the LL. It seems each year the Crusaders preach and demand balanced scoring. I believe this is in part based on the defensive end where they get some steals and share the ball well going on breaks. Johnny Besecker is Catholics top three-point shooter. The development of Big man David Kamwanga (6’6” soph) has been fun to watch – some “wow” factor here. Dwayne Caine (‘Dr Dunk’- my nickname) is excellent along the baseline. Miles McCaskey, point, came up with some well- timed points vs. Ephrata. RJ Van Tash continues to make huge plays on both ends of the floor.

LS starts and ends with Smith. Smith commands attention wherever he get the ball. When in the post, he will score or pass out of double teams. LS uses a barrage of three point shooters to beat doubles in the post. LS will also spread the floor, putting Smith on the perimeter, where he can pop threes….and the guards now have room to drive and kick. Isaac Beers (recent Lancaster Bible College commit) has developed into an excellent handling pt and can drive and score from the perimeter.

LS will need to pop some threes to loosen up the Catholic defense.
Can David Kamwanga battle Smith in the post?
Will foul trouble on either big be key?
Turnovers will be key. If LC can limit turnovers and/or create them…
Can LC draw LS away from the basket by getting up and spreading the floor.
Catholic runs one of the best spreads/control off end in the LL…
Which of our “GLUE” guys will play a key role?
Thinking higher scoring game favors LS. and lower favors LCHS


Should be a good one. Andy and Dell will double team the game. Periscope up dates by Dell…Tweets and wraps by both (audio by Dell—written by Andy)

~dell jackson




LL Semis: thoughts/Misc

LL Semis- Thoughts

Lancaster Catholic (3-1) 21-2 vs Ephrata (2-2) 18-5

How they are here:
Lancaster Cath. beat Garden Spot 55-45. The Crusaders had a defensive victory vs. Spot as they held the Spartans to 2 4th quarter points. Top scorers vs Spot were Dwayne Caine 13 (and a great dunk), RJ VanTash 12. The Crusaders feature the most balanced scoring team in the LL. Lanc Cath won Section 3, and they are currently a top seed in 4A for the districts. The Crusaders come into this game with an 11 game win streak.

Ephrata defeated Cedar Crest 84-69. The Mounts are the second place team out of Section 2. They have won their last 7 games. Ephrata hit on 14 (yep 14) threes vs. Crest. Top scorers in that game: Zac McGillan 30, Brad DaBella 22, Dilyn Becker 13, Xavian Rodriguez 12. The Mounts defeated LS a few weeks ago. They will play at Lower Dauphin in the districts next week.

Preview Questions/Keys?
Can Ephrata continue their hot shooting?
Will Ephrata’s off prevail over Lanc Catholics defense?
Which team will have the fewest turnovers/mistakes?
Lancaster Cath. beat Hempfield at Penn Manor last year.
Ephrata continues to improve on the offensive end.
Lancaster Cath. will grind away.
Can Lanc. Cath. gain an advantage on the boards as they did vs. Spot?

Quotable: John Treese Eph. ““Like I explained to them, there’s only one way to approach any playoff tournament,”. ….“You can’t get too caught up on ‘Have you been there before?’ You can’t concern yourself as much with that. If you prepare yourself every practice, every time you’re in the gym to get ready for the next 32 minutes and you just focus on those 32 minutes, the rest takes care of itself… So opposite of that. We kind of got away from saying who’s experienced what.”

Coach Joe Klazas , Lancaster Catholic “Really impressed with Ephrata, they shoot the ball really well and they don’t force the issue, very willing to make the extra pass to get the better shot.  Well balanced, solid all around.”


Hempfield (1-1) 21-2 vs LS (2-1) 21-2

How they are here:
Hempfield beat Northern Lebanon 58-41. The Knights won Section 1 with a 13-1 record (only loss to Crest by a score of 41-39) The Knights top scorers vs. NL: Ryan Moffatt 16, Anthony Alston 15, Eli Washington 11, David Martin- Robinson 10 Hempfield features a veteran bunch, as most played key roles on the PIAA/District 3 run last season. The Knights grabbed the 2nd seed inn the 6A up-coming District 3 tournament. The Knights are on an 8 game win streak.

LS beat a pesky Lancaster Mennonite team 70-60. Top scorers vs. LMHS: Ryan Smith 39, Isaac Beers 15. The Pioneers are top seeded in 5A for the upcoming District 3 tournament. LS rolled thru Section 2 play, losing only close games to Etown and Ephrata. LS has the LL’s biggest and most dominant big man, Ryan Smith, although he has a lot of scoring help from LS’ perimeter game.

Preview Questions/Keys?
How will Hempfield deal with the inside play of Ryan Smith?
Will LS mix and match defenses?
How will LS’ guards deal with a Hempfield trap?
High or Low scoring? – both teams can hang either way.
BIG crowd—expecting a full house at PM
Expectations? As soon as teams settled in to LL play, fans/media have been pointing to this match-up.
Big time stars—Hempfield’s Ryan Moffatt (1k points) and the LL’s top scorer – Ryan Smith.

Hempfield’s Danny Walck
“As for the LL tournament approach – I approach the playoffs as another season. What do we need to improve on as a team and how do we game plan for our opponent? We shorten practice time and work hard to be efficient in our preparation. I believe the biggest challenge is to stay present and focused. 

LS is a very good team. They are well coached and have outstanding post play, guard play, and team unity. That’s why they have 20 plus wins. 

We are thrilled to be in the LL League tournament!”

From the sidelines:
21-2….sounds like a repeat. Three of the teams sport a 21-2 record. This is rare territory for the LL’s to have these records entering playoff games. Ephrata comes in with “only” 18 wins – how about that? :). Really there is nothing like playoff hoops. Nothing like it.

Don’t be misled by the 6pm game. When I was coaching in districts, we referred to it as the JV game—not full and everyone comes for the second game. Well, if we remember correctly, Lanc Cath found a way into and won the LL’s last season. Eph/LCHS is a classic game featuring Ephrata’s scoring vs LCHS’ defense. I’ve stated all year how impressed I am with the Crusaders defense – nothing has changed my mind on that. Ephrata has adjusted very well to a new coach and system- thank you very much. Coach Treese gave Andy some great quotes after the game the other night about belonging in the LL’s. No doubt about that at this point. The Mounts, however, have a bunch that played in the LL’s last year and the veteran group returns most this season. I am saying each year is a bit different, but it seems to me that having seniors sure helps (Lanc Cath last year?)

Hempfield/LS. Could be the ultimate chess game. Each team has some pieces to move around the board. The game reminds me a bit of Donegal playing McCaskey in 2013. Two big time teams bumping heads in the semis. Both of these teams have been crushing opponents. It will be very interesting to see if Hempfield adjusts to Ryan Smith on the defensive end. Andy Herr and I have discussed the fact that if you don’t see a 6’10” player, it takes some time to adjust. There are sure to be some ”wow” moments. Andy and I will be there-double teaming (ahhh you think we might see some doubles on Moffatt and Smith—just askin’ ) that game- some videos, tweets, and for sure re-caps. Mark22 photos might join us as well:)

Lets try an all “glue” team. Sometimes we talk/write about the top scorers, but HS hoops is truly a team game. Sometimes guys who play def, handle the ball, do the “dirty” work get over-looked (sure I’ll over look a few here as well. In no particular order, although I did include at least one player from our teams.

LLhoops ALL GLUE team for the semis:
compiled by LLhoops.com staff

David Martin Robinson 6’4″ sn, Hempfield: key defensive player, rebounder, can score as well. Might be the KEY to the LS game. Probably the best athlete in the tournament.

Anthony Alston 6’1″ sn, Hempfield: a little of this and a little of that. Top 3 point shooter on the Knights. …good defender…good handle..overall solid…when he is hitting threes, the Knights are next to impossible to beat.

RJ Van Tash 6’2″ sn, Lancaster Catholic: this guy just plays..a jumper- no problem…off boards- ditto…dives on floor- like nothing new here…great leader… He would be on our ALL time glue team for sure.

Dwayne Caine 6’4″ jn, Lancaster Catholic:: “Dr Dunk”- recently we can count on a highlight dunk from Mr. Caine,,,but he can create on the baseline…blocks shots, runs the floor, and goes “Way up” for boards….excellent defender.

Isaac Beer 6’1″ sn, LS…top handle for the Pioneers. ..defers to others often…top defender…pops threes when needed….under-rated as far as leadership goes. Nice demeanor.

Chase Broderick  6′ jn.LS..sneaky three point bomber…will hit key shots off of double teams off of Ryan Smith. …”Assassin”..solid on the defensive end as well…not a lot of ink but surely a key player for the Pioneers.

Dilyn Becker 6′ sn, Ephrata SMOOTH. Tall, rangy guard who can take small guards to the rack or bring big men outside if the opposition chooses to play that way. A key piece to Ephrata’s puzzle averaging 8 ppg

Zach McGillan: 6’2″  jn, Ephrata … played since his freshman season showed off all of his savvy on Monday night as the 6’2″ G/F averaging just under 9 per game exploded for 8 triples against Cedar Crest, culminating in a 30 point night overall. Teams must account for where he is on the floor at all times

Enjoy the games!

~ Dell Jackson