Northern Lebanon Shows Grit, Outslugs Manheim Central In Intersectional Thriller

(Northern Lebanon’s Thomas Folmer Dribbles Up The Court Against Lancaster Catholic Earlier This Season)

For most high school hoops fans, there is simply is nothing that matches the excitement and intensity of playoff basketball. And while some may feel like they will have to continue waiting patiently until the night of February 9th when the L-L Tournament officially tips off for good, there are still ample opportunities to see many playoff hopefuls scrap and claw their way into securing bids over the next two weeks in head to head matchups. Case in point, Thursday night’s tussle between Manheim Central and Northern Lebanon.

To those that have been following along closely this season, not much needs to be said regarding Section 2. The division is absolutely brutal. And while it may be an excruciating grind on a nightly basis, the Manheim Central Barons have suddenly found themselves running amongst the lead dogs within the Section 2 standings, likely making it seem like just another winter in Manheim for this newly-minted “basketball town” with postseason hoops again on the brain.

For Northern Lebanon the story may read a little different if you are on the outside. But for those with a deep-rooted connection to the program, this season was identified as one to possibly remember for a long, long time in Fredericksburg behind a bevy of senior leaders while albeit coming off some difficult seasons in recent memory. Just ask Northern Lebanon head coach Chris George. “Obviously we have nine seniors here so this was the year for sure that we were looking to take some big steps,” George said of his 2017-18 squad. “We thought the last couple years we took a few missteps that cost us the playoffs so with not getting quite where we wanted the last couple years you start thinking, ‘This was the year we were looking to take the big step, but we didn’t take the medium steps to get there.”’

But even while returning a laundry list of veterans who were eager to make their imprint on the program this season, the injury bug can rise up and bite anyone at a moment’s notice. And it just so happened to strike the Vikings earlier this season, just badly enough to muddy the picture somewhat for the Vikes. But instead, Northern Lebanon was able to make lemonade out of lemons given the situation as several Vikings saw their opportunity to step up in the spotlight. And step up they did.

“When Michigan (Daub) was out for half the season and Cam (Gensler) missed our first week, the injuries started to pile up and you’re thinking ‘Man, this is gonna be tough.’ But whoever got in, Josh Bowers, Christian Trader, Thomas Folmer, stepped up big time. Whoever’s been in has just stepped up for us,” the head Viking went on to add regarding the depth and unselfishness of this year’s cast.

And through it all, the Vikings have persevered and stayed the course to become the darlings of Lancaster-Lebanon Boys’ Basketball this season. But even NL’s gaudy 13-4 overall record and 9-1 Section 3 mark was simply not enough to suffice just yet as the Vikings were out to knock off an old friend in Manheim Central when the Barons came calling to renew the series between these two former Section 3 foes on Thursday night.

Once the game itself got underway, it prove to be Northern Lebanon who would throw the first volley. Aided by two early triples from Alex Yeager and Caleb Light respectively, the Vikes jumped their guests early, racing out to the quick 6-2 start.

Yet even though the Barons would be able to get things back within a point following a Chase Marquette triple which made it a 6-5 contest in Northern Lebanon’s favor, the Vikings proceeded to run away once more as a 5-0 Viking blitz ensued, capped off by the traditional three point play courtesy of Caleb Light at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter.

But Manheim Central would refuse to yield as a Cameron Sell triple which came on the heels of a diligent Baron possession to say the least, sliced the Viking lead in half with NL now in front 11-8 with two minutes in change remaining in the first quarter before the buzzer finally sounded after the first eight minutes with Northern Lebanon being able to cling to the 11-10 advantage.

However just as Northern Lebanon was able to quickly pounce on Central at the outset of the contest, the Barons quickly returned the favor on their hosts to start the second stanza. The Barons were able to lay claim to their first lead of the ballgame following the old-fashioned three point play authored by 6’2” senior guard Connor Hostetter which put the Barons in front 13-11 just 20 seconds into the second quarter. From there, the Baron run would eventually swell to six as yet another three point play, this one by junior guard Evan Hosler, increased the Baron lead to five at 16-11 at the 5:10 mark of the first half.

And just as good teams do in the face of adversity, Northern Lebanon continued to fight and refused to give even an inch. Following the early Baron flurry, Northern Lebanon stuck to it and eventually raced back to tie the Barons at 18-18 following a 5-0 personal run by the Viking’s talented senior big man, Cam Gensler.

Despite the fact Cameron Sell would be able to immediately answer right back with a triple of his own which gave the lead back to the visitors from Manheim, Gensler was far from done being an enforcer on the night as 6’2” center ended the half by scoring the Vikings’ final nine, closing the book on a first half defined by defense with Northern Lebanon in front 22-21.

As far as the third quarter was concerned, let’s just say it was your cup of tea if defense is your flavor of choice. Between the two teams, both the Vikings and Barons went on to make a combined two field goals in the third quarter of play, helping set the stage a dramatic final quarter which was about to take place.

Ironically, Northern Lebanon’s lone field goal was tallied by Mr. Gensler, crediting him with an 11-0 run, carrying over from the second to fourth quarters. Needless to say, he was a key cog in the Northern Lebanon equation on Thursday night. “Against any team that doesn’t have a lot of size, he’s really the focal point of our offense,” Coach George said of his dominating bruiser who patrols the paint. “We knew tonight that Cam was a big focus for us and in all honesty, we probably just didn’t get him the ball enough. I’m not sure he touched the ball that much in the third quarter and he needs to. Central did a nice job though, give them credit. They were doubling, they were on the weak-side help, so we had to play off that.”

Although the offensive fireworks were in short supply during the third quarter, both teams wasted little time trading blows with one another once the game got inside the final period. Especially Manheim Central.

Sparked by a corner trey splashed in by Cameron Sell, the Barons were able to tie things back up at 26-26 at the 5:10 mark of the final quarter before Central proceeded to regain the lead following yet another trifecta by Cameron Sell, this one putting the Barons in front 29-28 before the advantage eventually grew to four at 32-28 following a three point play put home by Connor Hostetter which put MC up by a couple of possessions at 32-28 with just 3:40 left to play.

However if you’re sensing a theme here from Northern Lebanon whether it be Thursday night’s game or just the season at large, you’re not overthinking it. This Viking team simply contains a tough-nosed, all business mental mindset that is obvious to even the untrained eye.

Once again, down by three late proved to be no matter for Northern Lebanon as a cold-blooded Alex Yeager triple from the top of the key with the clock winding down sent the game into overtime after Central’s last second three bounced off the back rim, allowing the Barons and Vikings to play an additional four minutes of ball.

And just as he had at the end of regulation, Alex Yeager continued to have the hot hand for the Vikes in the extra session. The 5’11” senior proceeded to rattle off a 4-0 run of his own in the overtime which knocked Manheim Central back on their heels with the Vikings getting out in front 37-33 with 2:30 showing on the overtime clock.

Although Central would find an answer in the form of a Connor Hostetter drive to the rack which cut the Baron deficit down to two, a crucial Caleb Light drive to the tin would ensue as the Vikings reclaimed their four point advantage with time quickly running out on Manheim Central.

Yet just like their counterparts had displayed at various checkpoints throughout the game, Manheim Central would also answer the proverbial dinner bell with their backs against the wall. And right on cue, the Barons came out firing as a 3 ball popped by Jake Novak closed the gap to the slimmest of margins with MC now trailing 39-38 with just over one minute remaining in extra time.

From there, Michigan Daub would go on to toe the line, still held scoreless til that point in the contest. A somewhat tough ask with the game on the line. But the senior would prove to deliver as Daub split the pair with 57.7 remaining with MC going down to the other end of the floor and coming up empty after a missed 3, now sending Henry Hubbard to the line to repeat the task for Northern Lebanon. And just like his fellow senior teammate before him, Hubbard was able to go 1-2 from the stripe as well. An impressive accomplishment considering neither Daub nor Hubbard had entered their names into the scoring column yet to that point.

But it wouldn’t be so easy getting rid of Manheim Central on this night. No, the Barons would proceed to come right down the floor and counter with a Chase Marquette tip in to close the gap to within a point at 41-40 with 13.7 left to go.

This time another senior would walk the length of the floor with critical late free throws upcoming. It would be none other than Cameron Gensler. And just like any senior with the game on the line, he was able to deliver in spades as his 2-2 trip to the line pushed Northern Lebanon’s lead to 43-40 with the Barons having time one last try.

Ironically, the same player that sent the game into extra time would be the one to stop it from going any further as Alex Yeager was able to rise up and deflect the last ditch Baron three point attempt, giving Northern Lebanon the dramatic and intense 43-40 triumph over Manheim Central.

But this was a win that was perhaps a little extra sweeter than some of the others given the stakes. “We told our kids, that is the #2 team in Section 2. They’re playing all the big boys tough and in Section 2 there is no rest,” George said regarding the pregame message as it related to the Barons.

And yet, there was still that vivid recollection of the last time a team from higher than L-L Section 3 came into the Vikings’ loud house. “Penn Manor came in here and beat us. That was frustrating,” George went on to add regarding the homecourt defeat that Northern Lebanon suffered in the title game of their holiday tournament just one month ago. “I know we were down about it, but Penn Manor played really well and we didn’t. We told our guys look, that was frustrating, but we need to show a little bit better against the Section 1 and Section 2 teams.” As far as Thursday night was concerned, mission accomplished.

NEXT UP: With Thursday’s dip in the out of division pool, the Vikes jump right back in on Friday night as they entertain Pequea Valley before starting off a grueling three game stretch to close the regular season. A stretch which by the way, includes likely the other two league playoff-bound teams in Lancaster Catholic and Lancaster Mennonite.

“It’s Mennonite and Catholic. It’s one of those weeks,” Coach George said looking out onto the horizon. But let’s not forget, this is the same Northern Lebanon team which sent shockwaves across the L-L landscape they butted heads with the Blazers from Lancaster Mennonite earlier this season, coming away with a victory. The same goal which Coach George hopes is attainable as his Vikings prepare for the final stretch run. “All we can say is that we put ourselves in a really good spot. We took care of business to put ourselves in a position where we have a shot here.”

“Our goal needs to be at least get one of them,” George added regarding the upcoming Catholic and Mennonite contests. “The nice thing is, we control our destiny. If we beat both teams, then you put yourself in a spot to take the section.” And after a season in which they have defied the odds, why stop now?

As far as the Barons are concerned, the road to securing an L-L playoff spot in the landmine-filled Section 2 standings will be anything but a cakewalk. On Friday night, Manheim Central will travel to section rival Cocalico with the Eagles likely awaiting payback for the first game of the season between the two. A game in which Central essentially came out nowhere to win going away over in Manheim. After the Friday night trip to Denver, the Barons line up against arguably the best team in the entire league, L-S, before two other absolutely critical matchups against Garden Spot and Ephrata respectively as everyone looks to cross the finish line first in the mad dash known as Section 2.

Dell’s column: Jan 25, 2017

Column Jan 25

LL standings
With 4-5 games to go, most sections are shaping up for slotting in the LL playoffs.

The playin date has been set for Feb 8 or 9th– depending on weather and make-ups. This year the teams playing on the boys’ side will be Sec 1 third place vs. Sec 2 third place. Its difficult to predict who will be there for either section, although Section 1 third place could come down to Crest/TWP. Section 2 is a royal mess. (M Central, Spot, and Ephrata appear to be battling for 2 slots: Donegal and Cocalico need to put together a string of W’s in their last games to push into the conversation.)

Remember that each Section gets 3 slots in the LL’s. There will be multiple tiebreakers to calculate non-section winners. IF there is a tie for first place, that/those games will be played. Check out the tiebreakers HERE.

Section 1
Hempfield continues to be the top team. The Knights have been living on the edge as they fall behind in many games; only to come back and eke out a W. Case in point was their game with TWP on Jan 23rd. The Knights were down by 12 in the last quarter and rallied for a 3-point win – scoring an unreal 35 points in the 4th quarter. LLhoops spoke with Coach Walck after the game for his thoughts. He usually has little voice left after a game, and this was no exception.

Crest lost a close game at home to McCaskey 55-54 Jan 18th. The Falcons are 1 game back of Hempfield and play the Knights on Jan 30th at Hempfield. Crest travels to TWP this Friday for a big game that will help determine placement for the LL’s.

TWP– heartbreak city for the Streaks vs. Hempfield earlier this week. Section 1 hoops will provide the Steaks another chance to improve their lot vs. Crest. This team has come back from tough losses before (after last Hempfield game they beat Crest at Crest). TWP has a tough 1 -2 punch with their guards – Tyler Crespo and Brendan Mellot.

Sec2
LS is dominating this section. After a close loss to Etown on Dec. 18th, the Pioneers have ripped off 13 straight W’s. and, get this, by an average of 19 point spread per game. LS is taking care of business, while enjoying the other Section 2 teams smack each other around.

Next up? Manheim Central, Ephrata, and Spot. Basically, these teams are battling for 2 slots. LLhoops will cover this section race in the next few weeks.

Sec3
Lancaster Catholic and the rest: The Crusaders survived a scare at LMHS, but otherwise have been handling every team they come up against. Lancaster Cath. racked up a nice win vs. Bishop McDevitt 61-49 on 1/22/18. I have seen LCHS a few times this year and really like their D.

Northern Lebanon continues to hold on to the second slot in this section. The Vikes feature the high scoring guard combo of Caleb Light (18 ppg) and Alex Yeager (16 ppg). NL plays Lanc. Cath. at home and travels to LMHS down the stretch. Probably not a surprise to NL fans/players/coaches, but the Vikings have to be considered the surprise team in the LL this season.

LLhoops got some quotes from Coach Chris George:

“Our slogan for the season is “United We Play”. The other night at Annville we had a season high 15 assists on 21 shots, 70+% is awesome…. That’s huge for us… our kids aren’t selfish, but they’ve grown so much in terms of seeing the floor and how to make each other better, and getting each other good looks. We aren’t winning a section title or making any noise in leagues or districts if we don’t play together.  

Things are going fairly well for us; it’s been a grind though for sure. This week is the first time we’ve have our whole team healthy all season together. Michigan Cam and Yeager have all missed many games due to injuries, so it’s been a struggle at times, even now, figuring out new roles. But the kids have really stepped up. Folmer, Trader, Bowers, and Hubbard have been unsung heroes for us, doing all the dirty work, of course Cam, Caleb, and Alex have been leaned on heavily to shoulder much of the scoring. It’s exciting for the kids to finally start hitting some of the goals we identified 2 years ago when I arrived here. It’s been an awesome process thus far, and it’s taken a lot of help from the kids, parents, community, and of course, my staff that does an awesome job, year round! “

Lancaster Mennonite has dropped 2 LL games: OT to Lanc Cath and a 1-point loss to NL. Coach Groff quietly has LMHS prepped for another D3 run. LMHS continues to improve. The Blazers are not real big as far as height goes, but get after it on the defensive end and love to run. They are led by John Gillespie (12 ppg) and Carter Hurst (12ppg).

 

District 3
The LL has a bunch of teams listed in the D3 power points page. We are very impressed with the site as scores are posted quickly. Here’s the site.

We will do more breakdown on the Districts in the next few weeks.

As of 1/25/18
1A: 1 Lancaster Country Day, 7 Conestoga Christian, 10 Lancaster Christian
3A: 5 LMHS
4A: 1 Lanc. Cath., 5 N Lebanon
5A: 1 LS, 11 Ephrata, 12 Spot, 14 Donegal, 15 Manhiem Central
6A: 2 Hempfield, 3 Crest, 6 TWP

LLhoops news:
We continue to do some post game interviews with coaches. We are averaging about 100 plays per interview on soundcloud.

Andy Herr completed the LL tour last week. He saw EVERY LL team play at least one time for the 4th season in a row. Congrats to him.

Bruce Badgley continues his berks beat videos. He is introducing replay locker at various games he attends. This is ground breaking technology that he used for football. Basically, fans at the game can use their phones for replays on his video shots.

Thanks to Mark22 for some GREAT game shots the last few weeks.

Jerry Shenk, PA guru for HS hoops, is producing his district 3 rankings every week. The newest listings appear, usually on Mondays.

Jon K is leading the pack as far as number of hits per week for LLhoops.com. He has a great following in the NEast.

Breaking records: Last week, llhoops set records for twitter impressions and hits on the website on the same day. Thanks to all our followers. I’m thinking come playoff time, we’ll being seeing more and more followers.

Advertisers: If anyone wants to join us, please email.

Our current list includes:
Scott Lucas: Horace Mann Insurance, John Lichty CPA services, Steve Lewis: Nationwide , SportyFox, PJ Whelihans, Iron Valley Tubing, Liberty Bell Drone

LL trivia
Last week: Trivia #4
Who is the all time leading scorer for the LL?
Mike Wisler, Columbia : 2837..and Columbia had a 100 year celebration this week!

Trivia #5
How many times has Northern Lebanon appeared in the LL playoffs since 2010?

Tweet of the week
“January is exhibiting a sort of bipolar behavior” @MUweather
Thinking LL AD’s would agree with that …🙂

This and that:
How neat is it to see a ex-District 3 player light it up on a national stage? Lonnie Walker IV had Dickie V’s attention Jan 24, 2018. The connection LLhoops.com made with Coach P of Reading led Andy and Dell to court-side of the PIAA finals last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach Perez: Reading, soon after PIAA championship

 

We have been having some fun handing out LLhoops lanyards to student section twitter handles. Always good meeting tomorrows leaders. …and getting some love as we give out some passes for Iron Valley Tubing.

Small world…I gave out a pass at TWP last week. The recipient was Steve Taylor, ex-PM star. ..that same night our friend at LNP, John Walk, snapped a pict. and posted it to his twitter handle – only to be repeated and replied to by an ex-student and current teacher, Alissa Bradfield: @Bradfield_Etown .

LNP’s John Walk is doing some video on game nights, post game and a weekly video with Jeff Rienhart on the LL. I enjoy his weekly features a LOT. The LL is lucky to still have a media outlet that is covering/posting/featuring hoops on their site. We use the site to check out standings/schedules/scores.

Tick tock…
That my friends is the playoff clock!

Enjoy some hoops the next few weeks!

~Dell Jackson

 

 

 

 

 

District 2 Boys Division Recaps

 

DISTRICT 2 BOYS DIVISION ANALYSIS

    (games through 1/24)

 

 

WYOMING VALLEY CONFERENCE

   

DIVISION 1

Hazleton Area (8-0, 12-1)  6A

Dallas (6-1, 11-2)  5A

Crestwood (6-2, 10-4)  5A

Wyoming Valley West (2-5, 4-9)  5A

Pittston Area (1-7, 2-12)  5A

Wilkes-Barre Coughlin (0-7, 2-11)  5A

 

Hazleton Area remained perfect in Division 1 at 8-0 with crossover wins over Tunkhannock (73-38), Nanticoke Area (83-65) Tuesday night, and Wilkes-Barre GAR (77-50) Wednesday night.  Jeff Planutis netted 16 points while Scott Shamany and Joey Grula combined for 23 for the Cougars (who jumped out to a 42-12 halftime lead).  Then, on Saturday night, they participated in the much-anticipated Geigle Classic against Reading.  The Cougars had things going to their liking through the first period (leading 16-10) but then trudged through a combination of offensive woes in the paint, poor defensive rebounding, and 0-fer from the free throw line to trail 29-20 at the break.  As expected, Mike Joseph’s squad did rally to trim the gap to four points 53-49 midway through the final quarter, but could not sustain the momentum after Josh Samec (15 points) fouled out and the Red Knights went on to seal the 65-56 upset win from the charity stripe.  HA got 21 points and 10 board from Joey Grula, 10 points from Jeff Planutis, and 15 caroms from Da’Mir Faison.  Reading was led by Xavier Starks (15 points) and Wesley Butler (14 points).  Their wins over Nanticoke and GAR will be recapped next week, but, in both games the Cougars found themselves in a tight battle through intermission.  They are definitely getting everyone’s attention and best effort.  Dallas (6-1) defeated GAR 66-40 as Alex Charlton netted 18 while Nick Kocher and Joey Parsons teamed up for 22.  The Mountaineers then notched a big road victory, 72-51 over Wyoming Area.  One of the division teams to watch out for going forward is Crestwood.  The Comets came away with crossover wins over Meyers, Wyoming Area, and Tunkhannock (Tuesday night).  In their 50-36 win over Meyers, the Comets pulled away in the final stanza as they got 18 from Ryan Petrosky and 14 from Camden Boris (with 4 triples).  In their 59-45 win over Wyoming Area, Crestwood got off to a quick start as Petrosky again led the way with 19 while Boris and Sean Murphy combined for 23.  Tuesday night they topped Tunkhannock 55-39.  Crestwood also traveled for a non-league Saturday matchup as they rallied for a 55-45 win over highly-regarded Danville.  Mike Palmiero hit 19, Boris 17, and Murphy 14 in the game that was tied 25-25 at the break.  The Ironmen got 17 from Jordan Bickhart and 10 from Shane Kozick.  Wyoming Valley West rallied in the second half from a 20-point halftime deficit, but came up short against Wyoming Area, 71-61.  The Spartans got 28 points (with 4 triples) from Draig Ruff and 17 (with 3 triples) from Justus Simpson.  Monday night WVW dropped a 69-48 loss to Berwick.  Pittston Area, with just one division win, played very competitively in crossover losses to Nanticoke Area, Wilkes-Barre Meyers, and Berwick.  Naseem Guillaume netted 27 points (with 4 triples) in their 56-49 loss to the Trojans.  Tuesday they fell to Meyers 45-42 and then went into overtime before coming up short to Berwick 68-64 on Wednesday night.  Game details on both of those matchups next week.  Wilkes-Barre Coughlin is still looking for their first division win.  The Crusaders got 8 points from Aaron Bennett in a 48-31 loss to Berwick.  On Tuesday, they lost to Wilkes-Barre city rival Coughlin, 64-53.  Coming up on Friday, Crestwood hosts Nanticoke Area in a premier matchup while Dallas entertains surging Wilkes-Barre Meyers.  Also Friday, Hazleton Area hosts Berwick as they will honor their 1992-1993 team (29-2) which reached the state championship.                                                                                

 

 

DIVISION 2

Nanticoke Area (6-2, 10-3)  4A

Wilkes-Barre Meyers (6-2, 7-6)  4A

Berwick (6-3, 9-5)  4A

Tunkhannock (4-3, 7-5)  4A 

Wyoming Area (5-4, 9-4)  4A

Wilkes-Barre GAR (4-4, 6-7)  4A

 

Wilkes-Barre Meyers, fresh off a 48-40 win over Holy Redeemer Wednesday night, has pulled into a Division 2 first place tie with Nanticoke Area (both at 6-2).  The Mohawks began last week with a 50-36 loss to Crestwood, although they only trailed by a basket (33-31) heading into the final period.  Jawane Buckner netted 15 and Blake Masker added 8.  Tuesday night, Meyers edged Pittston Area 45-42.  In a non-league game on Saturday, Meyers trailed by 10 early (15-5) but controlled the middle periods (35-16) to post a 56-51 victory over Central Columbia.  Buckner scored 18 while Kendall Brewster added 13.  Dominic Coombe hit 41 for the Bluejays.  Nanticoke Area converted 16 of 19 free throws and got another stellar effort from Nate Kreitzer (30 points with 4 treys) plus a dozen from Trahjan Krupinski in a 56-49 win over Pittston Area.  The Trojans then dominated the middle stanzas (37-17) as they got a 69-48 win over MMI Prep as Kreitzer hit 17.  Tuesday night, GNA played a very inspired game against Hazleton Area, but dropped an 83-65 loss to the Cougars.  Berwick, playing a bit under the radar, came within a whisper of leading the division following wins over Coughlin (48-41), Wyoming Valley West (69-48) Tuesday night, and Pittston Area (68-64 in overtime) Wednesday night.  Their only loss was a 41-40 loss to MMI Prep in which they led 33-30 going into the final eight minutes.  Damon Beckhorn (17 points) and Alec Markle (15 points with 3 triples) led the way in the win over Coughlin.  In the loss to MMI, Beckhorn, Markle, and Ken Marshman teamed up for 32 points.  Recaps of their wins over Valley West and Pittston Area will be posted next week.  Tunkhannock got 9 points from Tyler Faux in a 73-38 loss to Hazleton Area. Faux then connected on 4 treys (24 points) and Sean Harder added 13 as the Tigers defeated Lake-Lehman, 62-31.  Tuesday night, they dropped a 55-39 loss to Crestwood.  Wyoming Area got a 71-61 win over Wyoming Valley West as Sam Greenfield hit 34 points, Kyre Zielinski 15, and Dylan Melberger 9 (on three triples).  Against Crestwood, the Warriors trailed 18-8 after the first quarter and lost to the Comets 59-45 as they got 17 from Aaron Zezza and 13 from Sam Greenfield.  Tuesday night WA dropped a home game to Division 1 contender Dallas, 72-51.  GAR dropped to 4-4 in division play after then dropped loses to Dallas (66-40) and Hazleton Area (77-50) wrapped around a win over city rival Coughlin (64-53).  In their loss to Dallas, Will Johnson hit 15 and Simon Peter 14 (with 4 triples).  On Friday night, Nanticoke Area visits Crestwood, Meyers travels to Dallas, and Berwick plays at Hazleton Area.                 

 

 

DIVISION 3

Wyoming Seminary (7-2, 12-3)  3A

Holy Redeemer (5-3, 9-4)  3A

Hanover Area (3-5, 8-6)  4A

MMI Prep (2-6, 6-8)  1A

Northwest Area (1-8, 4-10)  2A

Lake-Lehman (0-8, 1-13)  4A

 

Wyoming Seminary and Holy Redeemer got together for their first showdown of the season with the Blue Knights coming away with a 46-41 win and first place in Division 3Dimitri Gnall scored 17 and Jeremy Callahan 10 in the win while the Royals got 8 each from Bryan Yencha and Collin Cook plus 14 from Joey Judge.  The Blue Knights also gained wins over MMI Prep (49-23) Tuesday night and Northwest Area (77-64) Wednesday night.  Holy Redeemer rebounded with a 68-54 win over Hanover Area Tuesday night, but then fell to surging Wilkes-Barre Meyers Wednesday night, 48-40.  Hanover Area picked up a pair of wins over Lake-Lehman and Northwest before dropping the loss to Holy Redeemer Tuesday night.  In their 76-37 victory over L-L, they placed three into doubles (Mike Piscotty 21, Evan Matera 11, and Tyler Thomas 10).  The Black Knights got 26 combined from Donald Thompson, Nate Salus, and Max Paczewski).  Hanover then got 19 with 3 triples from Matera, 14 with 4 treys from Piscotty, and 13 from Asad Whitehead in a 70-40 win over Northwest Area.  The Rangers got 27 combined from Bryce Koser, Jaxson Yaple, and Sam Saxe.  MMI Prep picked up a pair of wins last week, 51-35 over Lake-Lehman and 41-40 over Berwick.  Matt Marchetti scored 25 and Marcus Kassick 14 in the win for the Preppers.  The Black Knights got 14 from CJ Cerone and 11 from Paczewski.  In their win over Berwick, Marchetti netted 23.  Marchetti also hit 18 and George Palermo 12 in a 69-48 loss to Nanticoke.  On Friday night, Holy Redeemer visits Northwest Area while Wyoming Seminary hosts Lake-Lehman.                             

 

 

 

LACKAWANNA LEAGUE

  

DIVISION 1

Scranton Prep (7-0, 12-3)  4A

Abington Heights (6-1, 13-2)  5A

Scranton (5-2, 10-5)  6A

Valley View (2-5, 10-6)  4A

West Scranton (2-5, 7-8)  5A

 

In Division 1, Scranton Prep (7-0) continues to lead the way.  Abington Heights moved into sole possession of second place following their historic win over Scranton Friday night in which head coach Ken Bianchi captured win #758 to become the all-time District 2 leader, passing Julius Prezelski, the legendary Forest City coach who retired in 1993.  Scranton Prep raced out to a 31-9 lead, placing a dozen players into the scoring column, led by Leo O’Boyle with 20 (and 3 triples) as the Cavaliers topped North Pocono 73-37.  Then, in another crossover matchup, Prep took an early 20-4 lead and then held off a final period run by Wallenpaupack for a 63-53 win.  Again, the Cavs got everyone involved on the scoresheet, led by O’Boyle (21), Greyson Schermerhorn (9), and Wes Simons (8).  On Saturday afternoon, Prep traveled to the Lehigh Valley to battle 6A Parkland (8-8 overall).  The Cavs downed the Trojans 72-66 as O’Boyle (30 points, 5 treys) again played spectacular while Simons added 13.  Parkland got 17 from Logan Rindock, 16 from Jared Kucharczyk, and 14 each from Jake Bartholomew and Dylan Rhoads.  Tuesday night, Prep rolled over Western Wayne 85-59 in another crossover tilt.  Last Friday, Abington Heights controlled the middle periods and hit 14 of 16 free throws as they eventually shook off a talented Scranton squad, 68-56.  The Comets, minus Trey Koehler (ankle/foot injury) for a few weeks got a superb effort from Jackson Danzig (27 points with 4 triples) and George Tinsley (23 points).  They also got 8 each from Jack Nealon and Corey Perkins.  The Knights received balanced scoring from Marcus Bauman (14), Robbie McAndrew (11 with 3 triples), and Ky’Ron Harbin (with 10).  AH then got 18 from Perkins while Danzig and Tinsley combined for 24 as the Comets got by Honesdale at home 59-33 in a Monday makeup crossover game.  Tuesday night they defeated Valley View 57-38.  Scranton sandwiched wins over Delaware Valley (62-41) and North Pocono (71-49) around their loss to AH.  In their crossover win over Del-Val, the Knights held a commanding 48-26 lead before the Warriors began to narrow the final gap.  Harbin (16), McAndrew (15), Tyjay Ash (13 with 3 treys), and Bauman (9) paced Scranton. Valley View split a pair of games last week.  They defeated Western Wayne 62-38 as Marc Kudrich scored 17, Dylan Howanitz 14, and Bobby Craig 10.  The Cougars then got 12 each from Jaden Duplessis and Howanitz plus 11 from Chase Combs in a 64-47 loss to West Scranton.  West got 24 points (with 3 triples) from Shayne Merrifield, 18 from Josh Hart, and 12 from Jalen Gregory.  Speaking of the Invaders, they experienced both the thrill victory (a 46-45 OT win over North Pocono) and agony of defeat (52-49 loss to Delaware Valley at the buzzer).  In their win over the Trojans, Merrifield netted 14 and Hart 12.  Friday night Scranton Prep hosts West Scranton, Valley View entertains Scranton, and Abington Heights travels to play Wallenpaupack.                                     

 

 

DIVISION 2

Delaware Valley (5-2, 10-6)  6A

Honesdale (3-4, 9-7)  4A

Wallenpaupack (2-5, 9-7)  5A

Western Wayne (2-5, 6-8)  4A

North Pocono (1-6, 3-13)  5A

 

Delaware Valley, aided by yet another stellar effort from Blake Gearhart, defeated West Scranton on the road Tuesday night (52-49) to open up a 2-game lead in Division 2.  Last week the Warriors split a pair of games.  Gearhart hit 16 with 3 triples and Zach Klapak added 12 in their 62-51 loss to Scranton.  Then, in a pivotal battle against Honesdale, Del-Val was able to hold off a come bid from the Hornets to secure a 46-42 victory.  Gearhart netted 17 while Dylan Kelly added 8.  Honesdale got 12 from Anthony DeGori, 11 from Joey Scarfalloto, and 8 from Colin Rickard.  Honesdale, who was tied with Del-Val a week ago, fell two games off the pace following losses this week to Abington Heights (59-33 Monday) and Wallenpaupack (47-37 on Tuesday).  Against AH, the Hornets trailed 15-2 after the first stanza as they got 14 points from Rickard.  Wallenpaupack won a pair of division game following their 63-53 crossover loss to Scranton Prep last week.  In the loss to the Cavs, the Buckhorns got a combined 33 points from Elijah Rosenthal, Gabe Springer, and Alex Pillar.  Paupack then used a 35-16 advantage through the second and fourth periods in a 56-45 victory over Western Wayne as four players reached doubles (Rosenthal 15, Derrick Vosburg 12, Springer 11, and Pillar 11).  The Wildcats got 18 from Dahlton Frisbie (with 5 treys), 12 from Zachary Rovinsky, and 9 (on 3 triples) from Lucas Scott.  Monday night they topped Honesdale.  Western Wayne got 9 points from Rovinsky in a 62-38 loss to Valley View.  North Pocono got 18 from Chris McLafferty and 10 from Alec Ciaglia in their overtime (46-45) loss to West Scranton.  Friday night, Delaware Valley visits Western Wayne, Honesdale hosts Western Wayne, and Wallenpaupack entertains Abington Heigths.                              

 

 

DIVISION 3

Holy Cross (4-1, 8-6)  2A  (1-0 crossover)                                  

Mid Valley (4-1, 8-6)  3A  (1-0 crossover)                                  

Riverside (4-2, 6-8)  3A  (0-0 crossover)                       

Dunmore (3-2, 7-6)  3A  (1-0 crossover)            

Carbondale (2-3, 7-7)  3A  (0-0 crossover)                          

Old Forge (1-4, 5-9)  2A  (1-0 crossover)          

Lakeland (0-5, 3-10)  3A  (1-0 crossover)                    

 

After Mid Valley got by Dunmore Tuesday night, 45-40, the Spartans have moved into a Division 3 first place tie in first half play (say that ten times fast).  Holy Cross remained co-leader following their 73-39 crossover victory over Blue Ridge.  Things could get very interesting depending on what happens Thursday night when Holy Cross visits Carbondale, Mid Valley hosts Old Forge, and Dunmore travels to Lakeland.  We could have anything from an outright first half winner to a completely chaotic 4-way jam.  Last week, the Crusaders came away with wins over Dunmore and Old Forge.  They had a big first half jumping out to a 39-24 lead on the Bucks in the 55-39 win as Patrick Galvin (13), Kieran Burrier (13), and Tom Montefour (12) led the way.  Dunmore got 7 each from Noah O’Malley and Nate Fangio.  Holy Cross followed that with another strong start racing out to a 17-2 advantage before doubling up Old Forge 62-31.  Tyler Mozeleski netted 16 while Burrier and Dom Possanza combined for 23.  Joey Verespey and Michael DiGregorio combined for 22 for the Blue Devils.  Mid Valley topped Lakeland 50-40 as Collin Scherer (19 points with 5 triples), JJ Glinsky (12), and Shane Rosencrans (9) paced the Spartans who hit all 9 of their free throws.  The Chiefs, who are still looking for their first division win, led at the break 16-15 as they got 11 each from James Lewis and CJ Dippre.  Mid Valley also got a 59-24 crossover victory over Mountain View as they got 16 from Scherer, 13 (with 3 treys) from Rosencrans, and 13 from Colin Hazelton.  Riverside dropped a game off the lead after splitting a pair of games as they completed first half action.  First, they lost to Dunmore 59-48 as Evan Carrubba had a huge game hitting 27 points for the Vikes.  Dunmore got 17 from Fangio, 13 from Daniel Walsh, and 12 from O’Malley.  The Vikings rebounded against top rival Old Forge, 57-52, as Marcos Esheverria (18), Razen Reyes (16), and Carrubba (11) led the way.  The Devils got 16 from Kevin Walsh, 13 (with 3 triples) from Brandon Nee, and 11 from Verespey.  Carbondale picked up their second division win as they rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Lakeland 62-53.  The Chargers placed four into doubles (Bobby Salitsky 22. Andrew Manarchuck 12, Mike Zazzera 12, and Bailey Rumford 10).  Lakeland got 18 points including 4 triples from Rodney LaBorde while Nick Bertholf, Lewis, and Dippre combined for 28 more.  Carbondale also defeated Forest City in a non-league tilt as Manarchuck and Salitsky teamed up for 22 points.  And Old Forge picked up their first division victory Tuesday night with an overtime 62-58 win over Lakeland.  Stop back later in the week for updates and possible first half playoff scenarios.                                   

         

 

DIVISION 4

Montrose (5-1, 8-6)  3A  (0-0 crossover)                       

Susquehanna (4-1, 7-7)  1A  (0-1 crossover)                

Elk Lake (3-2, 8-6)  2A  (0-0 crossover)                       

Lackawanna Trail (3-2, 3-11)  2A  (0-1 crossover)                    

Forest City (2-3, 2-11)  2A  (0-1 crossover)            

Mountain View (1-4, 3-10)  2A  (0-1 crossover)                

Blue Ridge (0-5, 0-12)  2A  (0-1 crossover)                        

 

In Division 4, Montrose clinched a tie for first half honors following their 67-52 victory over Lackawanna Trail Tuesday night.  Susquehanna can pull into first place and force a playoff if they can defeat Forest City at home Thursday night.  Montrose split their games last week, defeating Forest City (50-41) before being upset by Mountain View (59-51).  In the win over Forest City, the Meteors were led by Jacob Peck (14 points), Evan Snyder (13), and Tyler Rebello (9).  The Foresters got 10 points each from Dakota Knehr-Cook and Jordan Non.  Against Mt. View, Montrose got 13 from Snyder, 12 from Andrew Rapisardi, and 11 from Brennan Gilhool.  The Eagles, who pulled away in the final period, got great efforts from Kyle Streich (22 points with 5 triples), Mikey Schermerhorn (14 points) and Alex Showalter (13).  Susquehanna had a big week picking up wins over Lackawanna Trail (50-48 in OT), Elk Lake (64-43), and Mountain View (52-37) Monday night.  Mason Deakin netted 20 and Eric Lee added 15 in their win over LT.  The Lions, who led by 8 at the break, got 21 combined points from Shawn Jones and Josh Rzucidlo.  The Sabers then got 26 from Bryce Baldwin, 20 from Deakin, and 10 from Lee in the victory over Elk Lake.  The Warriors got 34 of their 43 points from Rierdan Reyan (who also connected on 3 triples).  Lackawanna Trail dropped out of the first half race following their loss to Montrose Monday night.  The Lions got 26 from Jones, 17 (plus 3 triples) from Rzucidlo, and 9 from Zac Cost in a 69-54 win over Blue Ridge.  The Raiders got 18 (with 5 treys) from Sam Cosmello and a dozen from Kaleb Folk.  Elk Lake picked up their third win of the half Tuesday night with a 66-50 win over Forest City.  Speaking of the Foresters, they had a busy week.  They defeated winless Blue Ridge 62-53 as Dakota Knehr-Cook (20 with 3 triples), Noah Yates (17), and Eric Paulin (13) led the way.  The Raiders got 25 combined from Folk and Cosmello.  Forest City also dropped a 51-40 non-league loss to Carbondale as Yates and Knehr-Cook each tallied 16 points.  Mountain View dropped a crossover game to Mid Valley 59-24 as Preston Petts scored 7 for the Eagles.  Finally, Elk Lake topped Towanda 70-55 pulling away in the final quarter as Reyes had another monster game hitting 31 points (with 3 treys) while Drew Arnold and Kevin Valvanolo teamed up for 24.   

 

 

                                 

WYOMISSING WINS OT BATTLE OVER KUTZTOWN 54-47

The Kutztown Cougars came into Wednesday nights matchup with the Wyomissing Spartans riding high.  15 straight wins and number one in the District Three AAA power rating.  Wyomissing entered with only five wins and was still searching for team chemistry.  So I guess the writing was on the wall for this one, or was it.  Wyomissing fought the Cougars tough all night long.  The Spartans forced OT and then let Dom Wise take over.  Wyomissing upset Kutztown 54-47 Wednesday night.

Dominic Wise was a one man wrecking crew for the Spartans and got better as the game wore on.  12 of Wise’s game high 26 points came in the overtime.  Wise also had 15 rebounds. Dominic was tasked to guard Cougar standout Lorencz Jean-Baptiste  LJP ended with only two field goals, but did tally 15 points.

After a very slow start both teams finally settled in.  Kutztown picked up the pace toward the end for the quarter and held an 11-7 advantage after one.  Things turned around in the Spartans favor in quarter two.  Some deliberate offensive sets and key free throws vaulted the Spartans to a 21-17 halftime lead.

Kutztown made a run to start the second half.  LJP and Brayden Eck made some nice moves to the basket and the Cougars were solid from the charity stripe.  At the end of three it was Kutztown 32 Wyomissing 26.  Wyo got back in the game early in the final quarter and it went back and forth the rest of the way. Both teams had a shot to win in regulation but failed.  It was extra basketball time and time to shine for Dom Wise.  Wise controlled the defensive end and the Spartan offensive flowed through him the entire extra period.  The Cougars had no answer for Mr. Wise and the Spartans pulled away for the 54-47win.

Kutztown (15-2) now needs to regroup against Oley Valley on Friday.  Wyomissing (6-10) meets up with a much improved Twin Valley on Friday as well.

Total Team Effort Allows Lancaster Catholic To Hold Back Annville Cleona In Battle Between Two Former State Champions

A league championship and a district championship. For most programs, those two accomplishments rarely ever come together as a package deal. But sure enough, they did last year for Lancaster Catholic.

In fact, the Crusaders have seemed to make a habit of literally putting the two together considering Catholic was able to capture both L-L and District 3 gold along the way before winning the ultimate prize, the PIAA championship in 2003. And although last year’s Crusader team would fall short of matching their former brethren after dropping an opening round state game against a dramatically under-seeded West Philadelphia Speedboys outfit, the questions had swirled throughout the offseason as to how the Crusaders would be able to pick up the pieces after losing such a talented and valuable senior class. A senior class which led them to heights the program had not seen in over a decade. But if this year’s Lancaster Catholic team is any indication, “reload” is simply not a term that exists in the Crusaders’ vocabulary.

Sure, things might not have gotten to the quickest of starts given the fact that the Crusaders dropped their third game of the season on the road at L-S. But as we have seen throughout the duration of the season to this point, Lampeter-Strasburg can make as strong a case as anyone as to why they are the best team in the L-L League. And based on Lancaster Catholic’s response since the early season loss in Lampeter, it appears to be a matchup that we may very well see again in just a few weeks as both teams are on a beeline toward the league playoffs.

Coming into Tuesday’s night matchup against Annville Cleona, the Crusaders had been playing like they were on a mission. How’s this for a resume? Unbeaten in L-L Section 3 and sitting atop of the District 3 4A standings with a 16-2 overall record. So yeah, it hasn’t been so much of a rebuild. Try reload this year in Lancaster city.

Ironically, their opponent on this night would look up into the rafters at Lancaster Catholic and not be intimidated in the least by a certain banner that read “State Champions.” No, because Annville Cleona need only go back to their own gym to look up see one that reads the same. And although this year’s A-C team may not resemble that infamous 1999 squad, the Dutchmen have been anything but an easy out for anyone who matches up with them on the schedule.

In fact, Annville’s season started off in similar fashion as Lancaster Catholic’s, if not better. Following an early season championship that was earned in the Hamburg Tip Off Tournament, the Dutchmen continued their scintillating start by besting Tulpehocken to jump out a quick 3-0 start. From there, A-C went on to claim victories over fellow Section 3 combatants Pequea Valley, Lebanon Catholic, and Columbia, a state tournament team from last year with a lot of talent returning, before heading into Tuesday night’s scrap with Lancaster Catholic with a 7-9 overall record. Yet even though A-C was sitting below the .500 mark, the Dutchmen were still hanging right around the cutline of the District 3 3A standings, making the Tuesday roadtrip into Lancaster of the upmost importance if the Dutchmen were to return home with a signature win.

However it quickly became apparent that Lancaster Catholic would have none of that.

With both teams starting off ice cold from the field, any sort of initial run to start the contest would likely do wonders for either one of the two squads. Well, check and mate to the Crusaders.

After a pair of free throws got Lancaster Catholic on the board, the first field goal of the game was put home by Catholic’s Johnny Besecker as the 5’11” junior guard was able to finish through contact while adding the free throw on top of it to put the Crusaders in front 5-0 with 1:30 gone by in the first quarter.

However the shooting must have been contagious in the gym from there as evidenced by Annville’s Ryan Mathews quickly answering back with a traditional three pointer of his own to close the gap down to two and get A-C on the board. From there on out however, it quickly became a Lancaster Catholic firestorm.

After Besecker was able to counter back with a triple of his own, an RJ Van Tash run out pushed the Crusader lead up to 10-3, forcing Annville Cleona to burn their first timeout of the ballgame with 5:42 left in the first. But things did not get much better for the Dutchmen following the timeout.

In fact, the 5-0 run following the Mathews triple ballooned itself into a 10-0 run with A-C being forced to call yet another timeout, now looking up and staring at a big hole to the tune of 15-3 with now 4:01 left in the first period.

Fortunately for Annville Cleona, this timeout would yield more positive results. After the quick break, A-C’s Roarke Miller was finally able to put a stop the Lancaster Catholic flurry as the 6’0” senior guard drilled a step in jumper along the baseline which preceded a Dashaun Archer trifecta as the Dutchmen had suddenly closed the gap to within single digits at 18-7. But that would turn out to be all the closer Annville would get for the remainder of the first quarter and even the game.

Over the course of the next several minutes, Lancaster Catholic began to create their separation with buckets on the offensive end which were undeniably driven by stellar work turned in on the defensive end. With A-C being besmirched by the turnover bug thanks to the frantic style of defense employed by Lancaster Catholic in the opening stanza, the Crusader lead would swell to a dozen following an old fashioned three point play authored by Andrew Miklos as the sophomore guard put Catholic on top 22-10 which was the score when the first quarter clock finally expired with the Dutchmen being held to just four first quarter field goals in the opening eight minutes.

The second quarter only proved to be more the same for Lancaster Catholic. Stellar defense to compliment an offense which appeared to be humming along nicely. In fact, the Crusaders were able to have both work hand in hand as LC jumped out to a 6-0 run to start the second stanza as a Denzel Kabasele dunk fittingly put a bow on the quick Catholic surge.

And just like in the first quarter, Annville would have a hard time going against the stingy Catholic D. Although it took longer than originally anticipated, a Donald Friday 3 ball finally quenched A-C’s thirst by closing the books on the Lancaster Catholic run albeit with the Crusaders firmly in command as evidenced by the 28-13 score in their favor at the 4:40 mark of the second quarter.

And although it was a totally team effort defensively for Lancaster Catholic, one cannot simply overlook the presence that David Kamwanga played in all of it. If Kamwanga was not rising up to block a Dutchmen shot, he was certainly altering them as countless A-C bunnies from close range went begging in the face of Catholic’s imposing 6’6 sophomore rim-protector. But Kamwanga wasn’t just a one-trick pony on this night. Down on the offensive end, Kamwanga was seen doing damage there too as his spot up jumper in the lane at the 2:30 mark made it a 32-13 Lancaster Catholic lead.

From there, his front court partner in crime was able to unleash his own wrath as a spot jumper by 6’4” junior forward Dwayne Caine followed suit as the Crusader lead had suddenly exploded to a mystifying 20 point gap by virtue of the 34-14 count. But Catholic wasn’t satisfied just there. No, the Crusader lead would eventually expand to 24 at the halftime break as a Denzel Kabasele baseline drive just before the horn sent Catholic into the dressing room in possession of the 40-16 advantage.

However to their credit, Annville Cleona came out and began to show everyone the same types of signs that have made them a serious threat to those that have lined up against them all season. Although Noah Myers was held scoreless during the first half, the 6’5 senior center wasted no time in showing why he is one the best big men in the entire L-L League by stepping out from behind the arc to bury an early trey to cut into the Lancaster Catholic lead down somewhat at 42-21 two minutes into the third.

Following the Myers 3 ball, Annville was then able to take their game inside as a determined drive to the cup was finished off nicely through contact by sophomore guard Andrew Long before Ben Miller would go on to have the final honors with the ensuing free throw with Long being forced to exit due to a cut on his arm earned during the fray.

Annville Cleona only continued to keep playing hard from there as a nice floater was put up and in by A-C’s Donald Friday, cutting the Catholic lead down to 20 at 46-26 at the three minute in the third. On the night, Friday had indeed come early for Annville Cleona as the 6’ senior guard was able to wrap up team-high scoring honors with a 13 point outing.

However Dwayne Caine wasn’t about to let A-C have all the fun in the third quarter. With the third quarter clock now ticking under one minute, the junior forward took off in transition and suddenly looked he had found a trampoline amongst the floor as the talented junior quickly exploded into midair before throwing down a thunderous one-handed tomahawk jam to put a bow on the third quarter of play. A quarter which saw the Crusaders head into the fourth leading 48-28.

And just like they were able to do at the onset of the second quarter, a quick Lancaster Catholic charge defined the early going of the final period. Although Catholic’s second quarter flurry would be to the tune of a half dozen, this early surge was of the 5-0 variety as a Connor Engle runout in transition got the Crusaders off and running. Literally.

Now the nice part of about playing with such a big lead, aside from the fact that it aides coaches from avoiding a few extra gray hairs, is the fact that those who sacrifice for your team day in and day out that may not necessarily get the headlines are rewarded with their opportunity to step on the floor and show what they can do. And as far as Lancaster Catholic is concerned, there appears to be anything but a drop off all the way throughout the supporting cast.

The first to make his imprint on the game would be Brendan Bowen as the 6’ senior guard became the beneficiary of a nice inbounds play under the basket for the easy deuce before Bowen would go on to finish the evening with another bucket, tallying 4 points the victorious Crusader effort when all was said and done.

Next, the spotlight shined bright for 5’10” junior guard Andy Santiago. Santiago checked into the game and promptly sank a nice floater in the lane to push the Crusader lead up to 64-37 with three minutes and change remaining in the contest. On the night, Santiago too would go on to finish with a 4 point night at the office to finish alongside Bowen in the scoring column.

And just like Bowen and Santiago before him, Trey Wells checked in and got his name in the scorebook as well as the sophomore center played physical under the rim before getting fouled and going to stripe where he would knock one down to join an eye-popping 13 Crusaders in the scoring column who all chipped in something to the victorious Crusader effort. The very definition of a true team outing.

And although Lancaster Catholic would go on to finish this one out, Annville Cleona still had time for one last highlight as senior guard Christian Hernandez entered the contest and proved to be money from behind the arc by drilling a trifecta down the stretch before the Crusaders went on to close this one out over their guests from Annville-Cleona, 69-42.

NEXT UP: As far as Lancaster Catholic is concerned, just continue rowing the boat in the same direction. With their win on Tuesday night over Annville, the Crusaders continue to remain unblemished in section play as they begin to see the finish line in sight amidst their second tour through Section 3 this season. From here, the Lancaster Catholic will begin preparations for Columbia on Friday night atop the Hill for one the L-L’s best rivalries inside arguably the league’s best setting. Rest assured, the records can surely be tossed out for the hour or so that the Crusaders and Crimson Tide do battle at Columbia. After their Friday night slugfest, Catholic will look off onto the horizon and see other top dogs in Section 3 waiting for them on the other side in Northern Lebanon and Lancaster Mennonite respectively with a matchup against Lebanon Catholic squeezed in the middle. Get ready Crusader Nation. It appears that another lengthy postseason run could again be in the works.

As mentioned, Annville Cleona came in with high hopes of possibly stealing a landmark victory to help bolster their district playoff resume. And although those chances took a significant hit on Tuesday night, all is not lost for the Dutchmen. Starting on Friday night, Annville will begin their final push against a dangerous ELCO team before finishing off with Mennonite, Pequea Valley, and Lebanon Catholic in that order. If they can finish strong, the Dutchmen can be assured of two things. A fighting chance to sneak into the postseason party, but more importantly, sending this veteran crop of senior Dutchmen out the right way. As winners.

WILSON’S CLUTCH FOURTH QUARTER SENDS EXETER DOWN 47-43

Tuesday night it was “Grudge Match II” between Wilson WL and the Exeter Twp.  hoops squads.  Exeter took a hard fought tight game earlier in the year at Wilson.  Now it was Wilson’s turn to try and spoil the party at Exeter.  Wilson controlled the first half.  Fell behind in the third quarter and roared back late in the fourth to beat Exeter Twp. 47-43

Mr. Clutch down the stretch for the Bulldogs tonight was Logan Horst.  Logan led Wilson in scoring with 16 points,  Horst also hit three three-pointers in the fourth quarter to propel the Bulldogs to the win.  Josh Figura chipped in 10.  Alex Javier’s 11 of his team high 15 points were put up in quarter three in quarter three for Exeter.

Exeter was down  Senior big man Riley Dobraniecki and it showed early.  Wilson drove the ball repeatedly down the lane to start.  Exeter had trouble getting any offensive rhythm early.  After one Wilson was up comfortably 15-8.  The Bulldogs let Exeter hang around despite a bigger, more physical and experienced squad.  Wilson was up 22-15 at the break.

Right from the start of the third quarter it became the Alex Javier club for Exeter.  NIce jump shots and drives turned “big mo” back to the Eagles in quarter three.  Wilson had a dreadful shooting third quarter and  yada, yada, yada, after three Exeter was up 32-28.  Exeter kept Wilson at bay most of quarter four.  Late in the fourth, you guessed it  that dredded foul line showed up, The Eagles “missed” there chance to close this one out while Wilson got hot from behind the arc.  Logan Horst hit the game a game winning three with :13 on the clock.  Then Horst’s two free throw’s and the Bulldogs  iced it for the Bulldogs 47-43

The 11-5 Bulldogs face conference foe Muhlenberg on Friday.  It is re-group time for the Eagles(10-7).  Exeter is very much in a must win, post season situation vs Governor Mifflin on Friday