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 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. 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 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. 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





















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