LL Semis- Thoughts
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.
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.”
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.
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