ANOTHER GREAT SEASON IS BEHIND US
Congratulations to all the coaches and players for their successes during the 2018-2019 basketball season. Successes fall under a large range of accomplishments. It might be as simple as making the team, or making the starting line-up or even just filling a role on the team. But if you look at each team, you will find a wide variety of successes that will highlight the season.
Not all teams win championships. But a team that played to their potential, was coachable, demonstrated sportsmanship and class, and learned many life lessons can chalk up the season as successful. These teams developed championship qualities that can last a lifetime. The basketball team experience is like taking an advanced class in Life Skills. Here in the Lancaster Lebanon League we have many great coaches who deliver this message.
Let’s look at the League Champions Manheim Township, Section Two Champion Warwick and District Three A Champion Lancaster Country Day. Township entered the season as the Section One and League favorite. People did not hesitate to mention them as the favorite based on the returning talent that included 4 year starter Tyler Crespo and returning varsity veterans Brandon Mellot, Tyler Vicidomini, Will Greiner, and Zack Oldac. But this journey was anything but simple. The Blue Streaks played every night with a target on their back and they entered the last night of the league season with a possibility of not making the league or district play offs. But the team, hung together and Coach Matt Johns’ squad was able to win a close crucial game at Cedar Crest and not only clinched a league and district playoff spot, but clinched the Section One Title outright. A couple of weeks earlier, it looked like Township’s season was not going to be what they had hoped for. The team came together at the right time to win that game and then win three in a row the following week to win their first ever LL League Championship in boys basketball. I am sure this team will not only remember that championship game, but they will remember the adversity they overcame and how the team totally came together down the stretch to be a complete team. Winning a Section Title and winning a Lancaster Lebanon League Title is a very hard thing to do.
Lancaster Country Day just completed their first season in the Lancaster Lebanon League. Under Coach Jon Shultz, LCD finished with an impressive 7-3 record in Section 5 and an impressive overall record of 19-5. As they entered the season most people were not exactly sure how they would fare in the LL Section 5. But they certainly proved that they belonged and they carried their section success into a nice playoff run to win a District Championship at the Giant Center. Congratulations to Coach Shultz and his LCD team.
And how about the season that the Warwick Warriors had! Coach Chris Christenson’s team showed a complete dedication to the “ We Bought It” concept as the Warrior team played with togetherness, grit, and focus all season long. Warwick won their first Section Title since 1991 and advanced to the Lancaster Lebanon League Championship game for the first time since 1988. Coach Christenson is developing a very good program built for the long haul and remember they were undefeated in the league cross over games vs the Section One teams. The Section Two Champions Warwick Warriors have a lot to be proud of.
Recently I was able to see all of the state championship games at the Giant Center. Elite teams like Kennedy Catholic, Imhotep Charter, Archbishop Wood, and Bonner-Prendergast, Sankofa Freedom, Lincoln Park, Bishop Guilfoyle and Harrisburg’s Trinity were there. Many of these private schools were loaded with size and some Division One recruits, including Pennsylvania’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 6’9 Oscar Tshiedwe of Kennedy. Tshiedwe was in the starting line up with two other Division One recruits with 6’8 Mattia Austin and 6’5 Maceo Austin. But is was 6’3 freshman Chance Westry of Trinity that put on the best individual performance as he scored 40 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, had 7 steals, and 7 assists in Saturday’s AAA final.
Facing teams with this amount of size and talent is going to be a tough combination for a Lancaster Lebanon team to beat. However, the two teams that perhaps could be a model for a Lancaster Lebanon League team were Moon from Western PA and Pennridge of District 1. Yes both of these teams had a future Division One player in Moon’s Donovan Johnson and Pennridge’s Sean Yoder(Navy), but the toughness and togetherness that both of these teams had with numerous role players gave everyone in the Giant Center somebody to cheer for. Both of the teams were well coached and totally played together on offense and played with extreme effort on defense. It’s a similar game plan that Coach Danny Walck’s Hempfield team used in victories over Allentown Allen, Williamsport, and Coatesville in recent PIAA tournaments.
Again, congratulations to all of the coaches and players for their successes during the 2018-2019 season. We have a league to be proud of for the outstanding players and coaches. The Section races and the LL League Tournament make for a lot of excitement. Our local media does a fantastic job in helping promote the game we all love. And a loud cheer for Del Jackson who has developed this website –LL Hoops—through dedication and hard work. Another loud cheer for Andy Herr’s work and dedication to the site. Andy and Dell are everywhere trying to cover all of the action in our league. A job well done by them. Enjoy the spring!
LL Champions Manheim Township
Section One Champions Manheim Township
Section Two Champions Warwick
Section Three Champions Lampeter Strasburg
Section Four Champions Lancaster Catholic
Section Five Champions Lancaster Mennonite