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MUHLENBERG OUTLASTS WYOMISSING 61-55

Berks I and Berks II faced off in Wyomissing Tuesday night.  Muhlenberg from Section I took advantage of the Section II Spartan turnovers and poor free throw shooting,   The Mules held off a late Spartan  rally for a 61-55 win,

Leading all scorers was Muhlenberg’s Trey Flynn and hi s 20 points,  Jahmeire Evans added 15 and Donte Simmons 9.   Wyomissing was led by Dom Wise and his 16 points.  Deshaun Wilson tacked on 12 points,

Muhlenberg jumped out early and never trailed.  Wyomissing made several runs throughout the game, but could never put any long run together.  Tough luck from the free throw line plagued the Spartans.  They finished hitting only 12 of 24 from the charity stripe.

The Mules now (1-3) take on Fleetwood in another cross section clash Thursday  It does not get any easier for Wyo.(2-2).  They face Exeter on Thursday

 

 

Hempfield Turns Away Spring-Ford In Saturday Afternoon Affair

Don’t be taken by surprise if the most popular phrase uttered around Landisville this winter is “What can you do for an encore?” The question of course being asked about the Hempfield Black Knights boys basketball program. A task that may seem easier said than done when you consider that the Knights were able to advance all the way to the Elite Eight of the PIAA playoffs last year in the inaugural year of the 6A classification. And although graduation saw the loss of some key members of last year’s squad, the core nucleus of that team is returning for yet another season and thus far, the early returns have yielded nothing but positive results as Hempfield had roared out of the gates to an undefeated record. On Saturday, fresh off a victory over Conestoga Valley, the Black Knights went back to work by welcoming a tough bunch of Rams from Spring-Ford. And once again, the beat continued on with Hempfield notching yet another victory.

Despite the long bus ride coming out of Royersford, the Rams got off to a quick start putting Hempfield behind the 8 ball. After a pair of Robert Bobeck free throws, Spring-Ford was in command with the 8-4 advantage with just three minutes of game action having gone by. Their early “commanding” lead was short-lived however as senior guard Anthony Alston, who had a monster game contributing 17 points to the winning effort, scored back to back lay ins to put Hempfield back in front 11-10.

Held scoreless until the waning moment of the first quarter, Hempfield’s prolific senior forward Ryan Moffatt, tallied his first bucket of the contest with a tough bucket inside to put the Black Knights up 13-12, but that lead too was not one to stand the test of time as a triple by Spring-Ford’s Ryan Hagan gave the lead right back to the visiting Rams as the quarter expired with Spring-Ford in front 15-13.

Spring-Ford and Hagan were able to continue to their hot start as the junior point guard splashed another trey to start the second frame with fellow junior Noah Baker following suit to increase the Spring-Ford lead to 20-13, leading to a Hempfield timeout.

Whatever message that was relayed by Hempfield head coach Danny Walck in the timeout seemed to provide the right medicine as the Black Knights responded by going on to surpass the Rams throughout the remainder of the second quarter. Coming out the break, Moffatt was able to chip in two more to his game-high total off 22 points with a sweet Euro-step move to bring the Black Knights within 5 at 20-15 before Elijah Washington contributed a hoop of his own before the Knights and Rams were eventually deadlocked at 20-20 with 4:35 left in the half.

Hempfield then continued to head back across the pond to find their offense as yet another Euro-step move to the tin, one of several displayed by a handful of Black Knights in the first half with these honors going to junior guard Elijah Washington, put Hempfield back in front at 24-21 which was the score at the break once the last remaining minute ticked off the clock.

After a back and forth start between the two squads to begin the second half, Hempfield was able to get the first type of separation on the scoreboard in the third quarter when Ryan Moffatt was able to finish through contact to give the Knights the 31-27 lead in the early portions of the third stanza.

Although getting in a third quarter hole, this tough crew of Rams refused to back down from this Saturday afternoon fight. After a Ryan Hagan floater in the lane, good for two of his 12 points on the afternoon, things were again all square at 31-31 with 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter. But when the going got on tough on this day, Hempfield called on Ryan Moffatt to carry the load who was more than willing and able to do the job.

After a hard-charging drive to the cup, Moffatt stepped outside and promptly knocked down a 3 ball from behind the arc which saw the Hempfield lead swell to 40-33 with the third quarter starting to wind down. Hempfield would then see their lead grow to an eight point margin following a stick-back by senior forward Donovan Green, but Spring-Ford continued to stick around, refusing to go down easy as evidenced by a trifecta by senior guard Nestor Diaz which brought the Rams back within 3 at 42-39 when the third quarter clock hit zeros.

When the fourth quarter began, Spring-Ford rattled off a 4-0 run which was capped off by a tough bucket in the paint by Noah Baker, Spring-Ford’s leading scorer on the afternoon who chipped in 17 points, put the Rams back in front 43-42. But the seesaw battle raged on from there as a nifty reverse lay in by Anthony Alston put the Black Knights back in the driver seat at 44-43, wrapping up an exciting first minute of action in the final frame.

Following a three point play by Ryan Moffatt shortly thereafter, it appeared that Hempfield may have finally found the final answer to the Spring-Ford riddle as Moffatt put Hempfield back in front 47-45 with 5:43 left to play. But that only turned out to be wishful thinking.

Spring-Ford continued to display why they will likely be a headache for other teams in the Liberty League this season as a baseline bucket by Harrison Pierce cut the Hempfield lead down to slimmest out of margins at 50-49.

Needing to stop another possible Spring-Ford rally, Hempfield found their man in Elijah Washington as his take to the rack pushed the Black Knight lead up to 3 at 52-49, forcing a Spring-Ford timeout with 2:43 left to go. That’s the when Hempfield was able to put this one in the bag.

After another bucket by who else, Ryan Moffatt, the Black Knight senior star showed off his basketball IQ by stealing the inbounds pass to effectively steal the wind out of the Spring-Ford sails.

One of the key factors that separates a good team from a great team is their ability to finish teams off from the foul line, specifically with the game on the line heading down the final furlong. And on Saturday, Hempfield was able to show why they fit into the description of the latter adjective as the Black Knights were able to seal it from the stripe with the key cog being Teagan Hazel.

With the Black Knights leading 54-49 with just over one minute left, the senior forward went to line and proceeded to calmly knock down the pair of free throws placed before him, then following that up with another 2-2 trip from the line to give Hempfield the separation that was needed to send them home a winner. Drew Groft was then able to put a bow on the Hempfield victory as the senior guard drove to hole for a lay in in the final minute which put the finishing touches on this 67-55 Black Knight triumph over a hard-nosed Spring-Ford crew.

NEXT UP: Hempfield, as does the rest of the L-L League, now begin preparations for the first week of a Monday, Wednesday, Friday section schedule. The Black Knights’ week will consist of trips to Penn Manor and Warwick sandwiched between a monster game back at home against longtime rival and fellow unbeaten, Manheim Township.

Spring-Ford will look to regroup from Saturday’s battle as the Rams welcome the Warriors from Methacton for a home date on Tuesday evening.

Dell’s Column Dec. 17th

Dec 17th column

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LLhoops.com coverage…
Normally I would recap some games that I have seen in this slot. However, since LLhoops.com has been posting via wraps or podcasts, I’ll skip the recaps as most can be found under Andy’s take and Dell’s column. Teams observed this weeks LL teams include: Spot, Penn Manor, Cocalico, Ephrata, Etown, Crest, McCaskey, Hempfield, LS, Lancaster Cath, and Donegal. Eleven out of the LL’s 24 teams is a great start. Our part-time photographer and web-master, Kirk N, is starting to get out to games as well. He gets credit for our newest pict. on the right side of all pages.

Dell’s take…so far
As stated in the twitter world, Section 1 appears to be a bitter struggle. Crest, Hempfield, and TWP all have zero losses at this point- that will change next week as teams will play against each other. I checked out PM multiple times due to keeping the scorebook – one can never take the place of a legend (Joe Herman)- for the Comets. PM has potential for disrupting teams on the defensive end. The Comets have speed galore (Kevin Roldan, 5”11” jn., Luis Tamayo, 5’7” jn, Anthony Rosario 5’9” jn.) They will need to develop consistent scoring in order to compete at the top level in Section 1. Off guard, Ty Erisman, 6’1” jn, wrote us this week on our poll- we can only put in 4 teams – and stated that PM should be there. As I tell everyone “that’s why we play” 🙂

Section 2
I like LS a lot, but I have not seen other Section 2 teams. Ryan Smith, 6’10” sn, put on a double display vs. Lancaster Cath. last week – something like 24 pts and 15 rebounds and 5 blocks. From afar, contenders seem to be Spot and Ephrata.

Section 3
Lancaster Cath. was checked out 3 times by this reporter last week. The Crusaders are very balanced, play hard, have some height, and, as always, are well coached. Coach Joe Klazas has over 240 wins in his pocket—that total will increase this season. Lancaster Mennonite is hanging around as usual. Surprise teams, maybe, are AC (a group of seniors that have played a LOT of varsity ball) and Northern Lebanon. The Vikes established themselves as legit with a big 60-55 win over AC last week.

We normally don’t get into other leagues in the District 3 area but….A very special congrats goes to Adam Freese, 6’3” sn, of Kennard Dale (@KDHoops717 @adamfreese13) on his 1000 point this week. I saw him in person vs. PM. Andy Herr mentioned him early and he did not disappoint as he tossed in 31 vs. the Comets. 1000 points is a great accomplishment for any players….not only that but his family gave us all sorts of new followers this week 🙂

Crest/York at the Wells Fargo Center….
Coach Smith got us a contact number for the game. Dell and long time helper/friend/confidant Mike Wildisin headed down the “express-way” on Friday. We left Lancaster at 11:15 and asked our on-star advisor for directions. We headed down Rt 41 when the on-star lady told us to take a right….well, finally we did thinking it would cut off time….that would be a “no” as we crawled along the “Surekill” at 15 mph. ..We got nestled in just in time for the 2:15 tip.

Check out Podcast for the game wrap, and Coach Smiths interview after the game.

I participated in 2 of these trips while coaching at Penn Manor. The games are exciting and stressful all at the same time. The game was played in front of about 300 people – scrimmage atmosphere – and at 2:15 in the afternoon on a huge, well –lit NBA court. Something always seems to go wrong (like the shot clock going off in the first possession). Both teams took awhile to crank up the level of play, but the game was close and came down the stretch. York High got to the rim late in the fourth, and Crest was not real good from the line, 6/17. Both coaches cleared the benches towards the end of the game giving all players a chance to play on the big floor.

Aside…went home a different way and ..well only a 3 ½ hr trip home- snow, ice, traffic, more snow (counted 6 cars in ditches on the way). No double headers for llhoops Friday night. J…AND we were watched by Cedars Crest elementary class, Mr Rohrbach’s class @ebenezerB118 on the whiteboard = priceless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LLhoops.com site-me
I try to get some feedback on what we are doing well or not…for example
“What to you think of the “podcasts” – “love it” “don’t do that stuff”  … guess one can never trust the twitter polls 🙂

We will keep the podcasts and see how it goes. I know new things take time. Andy Herr gave us a great wrap this week.

We figured out the standings section. I’ll sort them by LL wins….not percentages. In the end it will all work out.

Berksbeat opens…thanks Bruce B for expanding our coverage- great videos from Berks Co games and LL games. The plans, as of now, are to have Andy and Bruce double team an LL game on Friday. We will be sure to tweet our where abouts on game day.  @llhoops @andybrackets @BadgleyBruce..also our friend at @LancLebsports covers an LL game.

Neast Beat—welcome back Jon K@LLHoopsNEPbeat After some growing pains, it seems like Jon k is up and running….COLORS will appear this week.

 

 

 

The week ahead…
Key games= All LL games 🙂

Monday Dec 18: Spot at Ephrata, ELCO at LMHS

Wed. Dec 20:
TWP at Hempfield, Donegal at Spot, Lanc. Cath at AC

Friday Dec. 22:
TWP @ Crest, LS @ Spot, Columbia at Lanc. Cath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LL Trivia
No answers to last weeks trivia? We can usually count on Nate G., @nateg0875 to take a stab at the answer: Perhaps folks can put a guess in the comments section on this post?

“LL trivia: Coach Joe Klazas has over 200 wins in the LL. Besides Coach Powell, McCaskey (over 400), what coach has the most LL victories with his CURRENT team?”

That would be Geoff Groff of Lancaster Mennonite: 2 stints totally 384 (not counting this year). On his second stint he leads all current LL coaches with 147 wins.

LL trivia: McCaskey has the most wins (785) since the LL started in 1972. Can you name the next TWO programs with the most W’s?

Thought of the week:
“Perfection is impossibility but striving for perfection is not. Do the best you can. That is what counts.” – John Wooden, UCLA

Funniest thing this week: I asked long time Warwick scorer, Tom Clausen, who I should concentrate on (like their best player) and he said watch #10. I watched the entire game #10 did not play. I checked the book and ….there is no #10 🙂

Twitter Quote of the week: from @HempStudSec18 and the winners of an LLhoops lanyard. Replying to a tweet saying Hempfield stunned Carlisle… “Stuns” is not the right word, if you guys knew what you were talking about you would have known we were gonna win

A big thanks to our twitter friends with scores. Will list some of our “go to” folks next column.

~dell jackson

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHILLY TEAMS RULE HOOP GROUP READING CLASSIC

I broke the seal on the #berksbeat for LLHoops with a double header in the Hoop Group Reading Classic at Albright College Friday night.  The Classic was a matchup of marquee Philly and Reading high schools.  St. Joe Prep handled Berks Catholic 48-25 and hot shooting from LaSalle College turned away Reading High 68-45

Game one featured Philly’s St. Joe Prep and Berks Catholic from Reading.  The game was delayed by almost 90 minutes due to travel problems for Prep getting to Reading.

Both teams came out sluggish most likely due to the delay.  Cold shooting hindered BC and after one Prep held a 10-5 lead.  Prep began to pull away in quarter two but thanks to some hot shooting from Louis Garcia BC hung in.  The Hawks D came to play all night long and gave up nothing in the paint.  The momentum from the good D did not transfer over to the O as Prep had difficulties scoring too.  We went to half with Prep up 19-11.

Prep star Ed Croswell exited with his fourth foul midway through the third.  BC took advantage and drew to within 21-16.  That was as close as BC got.  Prep got hot on both ends of the floor.  At the end of the third the Hawks held a 41-20 edge.  Prep kept up the pressure throughout quarter four and cruised to a 48-25 win.  Game MVP for St. Joe Prep was Jake O’Connel.  Jake had 10 points and was a force on the defensive end.

LaSalle College and Reading High met in game two.  LC came out with a hot hand beyond the arc and Reading just could not drop some easy shots.   After one LC was up 24-10.  LC kept up the hot shooting in quarter two, and Reading the pressing D could not provide any of their famous runs.  LaSalle held a 43-20 lead at the half.

In the 2nd half every time Reading would get some momentum, the LaSalle shooting turned the Red Knights away.  It was a 54-31 lead for LC after three and the final was 68-45 on the favor of the Explorers  Hot shooting Sean Simon had 17 points and was game MVP.

 

 

 

 

 

L-S Starts Fast, Cruises Past Donegal To Go 1-0 In Section Play

Although the 2017-18 high school hoops season only became a week old on Friday night, it has not been without its share of early headlines. Perhaps none nearly as eye-catching across the LLhoops landscape than that of the Donegal Indians. Starting off a season 3-0 may seem like old hat to some programs year in and year out, but this year’s impressive beginning is especially memorable considering what the school from Mount Joy has endured the last handful of seasons on the hardwood. Ever since that memorable playoff ride of 2013 that included victories over the likes of Allentown Central Catholic and Neumann-Goretti, the last team to beat Neumann Goretti in the state playoffs as a matter of fact, the winters have likely seemed a little longer and a little colder for Indians hoops fans ever since with wins not being nearly as plentiful. But all that has appeared to change after a sensational start to this season that has breathed new life to a program eager for its chance to break back out and challenge once again for section supremacy. And the Indians would get their shot right out of the gate as Donegal navigated the tricky roadways on a slick and icy Friday evening around the county for a matchup against the L-S Pioneers. An L-S program that seems to always be in the running for section title races, district playoff spots, and yes, state playoff appearances on an annual basis with this year appearing to be no different in Lampeter.

Although Donegal’s hot start to this season would be the narrative entering the evening, it would prove to be L-S who would define starting fast within the actual contest. The Pioneers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after a 3 ball was cashed in by L-S’ Jordan Sweger before Andrew Stwalley was able to counter with one of his own which put Donegal on the board all while cutting the Pioneer lead down to size at just two. From that point on however, L-S ran away with it. Both literally and figuratively.

Aided by a barrage of triples and a superb display of transition offense from the likes of Chase Broderick and Jordan Sweger, the Pioneers proceeded to blitz their guests, jumping out to a quick 12-3 lead, forcing Donegal to call time with half the quarter left to go.

But unfortunately the timeout would not provide the relief that it was originally intended for as the Pioneers went on to rattle off a separate 5-0 scoring punch that was capped off by a triple in the corner from Seth Beers which made it a commanding 17-3 Pioneer advantage.

To their credit, Donegal continued to scrap and claw their way back into things as a triple from Donegal star senior guard Avery Walker stopped the powerful Pioneer charge before three more Donegal points, all racked up from the charity stripe by Stwalley, trimmed the L-S lead down to just ten at 19-9. After the Stwalley freebies however, L-S was there to answer as yet another triple, this one from junior marksman Chase Broderick, announced the Pioneer retaliation and allowed L-S to go on and enjoy a 23-12 lead after the first quarter.

Even a change in quarters did nothing to cool off L-S’ blistering-hot shooting touch early on. Once the second stanza got underway, it was senior guard Isaac Beers who stepped out behind the arc and promptly splashed home a triple of his own to put L-S up by two touchdowns at 28-14 with 6:20 left to go in the half. And although L-S largely relied upon the performance of their guards in the opening quarter, the second quarter also saw the emergence of Ryan Smith, L-S’ ultra-talented 6’10” senior center. Shortly after the Beers’ triple, Smith found himself around the tin, seemingly plucking the ball out of thin air to tally an offensive rebound, but also proceeding to lay it up and in for the putback which made it a 31-14 Pioneer advantage.

The inside out game of L-S continued on as the second quarter progressed with Broderick getting loose for yet another trifecta, only to be followed by teammate Marc Wilson from close range as the Pioneer senior who battled hard all night inside, collected an offensive board and putback to only increase the L-S advantage. Fortunately for Donegal however, Avery Walker was on the scene to make sure that the Pioneers did not get too far out in front as Walker sunk a triple from the top of the key to answer the Wilson stickback as Donegal found themselves now within a dozen at 39-27 going into the halftime intermission.

Although L-S was not able to start nearly as fast as they had in the previous two quarters, Donegal was not able to either as the Indians were held scoreless in the second half until a pair of free throws converted at the line by senior Michael Lyons with 5:13 left in the third made it a 41-29 contest in favor of L-S. Despite their slow start in the second half, the Pioneers began to find their footing as the third quarter progressed when Seth Beers collected a steal and raced all the way to the other end for the finish to put the Pioneers up 48-34 with 2:45 now showing on the third quarter clock.

The L-S lead only continued to grow from there as yet another tough battle won inside by Marc Wilson was good enough for more high-percentage Pioneer points as a Wilson stickback pushed the L-S lead out to 50-34, leading to a Donegal timeout.

Following the timeout, Avery Walker responded with a pair of buckets to keep Donegal within shouting distance but Donegal was still down by 14 at 52-38 as the game moved into the fourth quarter.

In the early stages of the final frame it had appeared that perhaps Donegal was on the verge of creating something to spark a late-game comeback when a steal and drive to the cup by Michael Lyons got the Indians off to a fine start. But once again however, L-S would have a rebuttal. Once more, another 3 ball, this one from Ryan Smith who both defined the L-S inside/outside game to a T in just that snapshot, stepped beyond the arc to rain down another Pioneer 3 ball to up the L-S lead to 55-41 as the final quarter trudged along.

Although Donegal would climb back to within a baker’s dozen later on at 57-44 following an Avery Walker trey, L-S would go on to close this section opener out in style.

Without question, the play of the night came shortly thereafter when Jordan Swegar went behind the back in midair for a sensational move for another Pioneer deuce in the waning minutes. Sure, the move itself was pretty sweet, but it took on a whole different dynamic considering Swegar was forced to exit the game just a few minutes prior after suffering a scary spill hard onto the deck after hustling to secure a defensive board.
It then seemed only fitting that the Pioneers were able to close this one much in the same the same way they started it as a fast break layup in transition from Seth Beers to Chase Broderick put L-S up by 19 at 67-48 before Cam Niemeyer offered up the last highlight of the night with a steal and finish at the tin to put the finishing touches on L-S’ impressive victory to start Section 2 play 1-0 as the Pioneers bested Donegal 73-52.

NEXT UP: L-S is back at it again on Saturday evening as the Pioneers rekindle their current out of league series with Octorara. A phrase that will go by the wayside of course when Octorara fully comes on board next year. After Saturday’s tilt against the Braves from Atglen, the Pioneers will reenter Section 2 play against E-Town, Solanco, and Garden Spot respectively before going off to play in the Middletown Holiday Tournament.

Although Donegal suffered their first loss of the season on Friday night, it is important that the Indians put this one in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible heading into next week with a schedule that features dates with Manheim Central, Garden Spot, and Ephrata before the holiday break. If nothing else, it is apparent that this is a different Donegal basketball team. One that seems rejuvenated and eager to take on the likes of Section 2 on a nightly basis. Starting with the talented and scrappy backcourt of Avery Walker and Elijah Swanigan coupled with key cogs such as Michael Lyons and Andrew Stwalley, the pieces seem to be in place for Donegal to be a team that can be heard from all winter long.

Scores/Schedule Dec 11-17

Week 2 Dec 11-17

 

Sat Dec 16

All non-league
McCaskey 54 Harrisburg 81
Exeter 58 Warwick 53 (OT)
LS 88 Octorara 55
Sus-nock 39 M Central 57
Solanco 40 K-Dale 58
Spring- Ford 55 Hempfield   67

Leb. Cath 52 York Christian 51

 

 

Fri. Dec 15

LL Games

Sec 1
CV 40 Hempfield 65
Lebanon 40 TWP 75

Section 2
Spot 55 Cocalico  48
Donegal 52 LS 73
Etown 48 Ephrata 61
M Central @ Solanco  PPd

 

Section 3
AC 59 N. Leb. 63
LMHS 67 Columbia 58
Lanc. Cath 60 ELCO 55
PV 54 Leb. Cath. 44

Non-league
Crest 48 York  55 at Philly 2:15 tip

 

Thurs Dec 14

LL Games
Crest 61 McCaskey 46
Warwick 42 Penn Manor 54

Non-league
LMHS 46 Trinity 59
Antietam 58 PV 70

 

Wed Dec 13

Solanco 39 CV 64
TWP 59 Central Dauphin 42
K- Dale 50 Penn Manor 44
Ephrata 59 Warwick 57 (OT)
Cocalico 44 Wilson 56
Dallastown 71 Etown 62
Covenant @ Leb. Cath. ppd
N Lebanon 67 C Weiser 59
Gov Mifflin 60 Lebanon 58 OT

 

 

Monday Dec. 11

Crest  57 M. Central 39

Chester 78 McCaskey 54

Penn Manor 44 Ephrata 46

 

Tues. Dec. 12

CV 51 LMHS 52 (OT)

Exeter 43 Cocalico 46

Columbia 65 Donegal 72 (OT)

Gov. Mifflin 59 Spot 46

Lanc. Cath. 41 LS 53

ELCO 53 Manheim Central 48

AC 63 Tulpy 37

PV 37 Twin Valley  66

Northern Lebanon @ Middletown ppd

 

 

 

Sat Dec 16

All non-league


McCaskey @ Harrisburg 2:30
Exeter @ Warwick 1:30
LS @ Octorara
Sus-nock @ M Central
Solanco @ K-Dale
Leb. Cath @ York Christian