LL boys finals: preview

Written by: on Friday, February 16th, 2018


LL finals- Preview
Game is at TWP, 7pm.

LS (2-1) vs. Lancaster Catholic (3-1) – click teams for rosters, past games

How we got to this point…
beat LMHS in the first round of the LL. Ryan Smith shined as he garnered a career-high 39 points. LMHS led for most of the game, but Smith’s performance was too much for the smaller Blazers. The Pioneers defeated Hempfield 47-45 in the LL semis on Wed. In that contest, LS got off to a 19-2 start. Hempfield clawed all the way back, using a trapping defense in the 4th quarter- had the ball down 2 a few times late in the game, but LS hung on with some defensive stops and some fouls shots down the stretch. Isaac Beers (22pts) provided some scoring punch, along with Ryan Smith (16 pts), to lead the Pioneers into their first ever LL title game.

LL History- 13th LL tournaments. First title game.

Check out Andy’s wrap of this game.

Lancaster Catholic defeated Garden Spot in the first round of the LL’s. Spot was giving LC all it could handle until the start of the 4th. Catholic clamped down on Spots three point shooters and held the Spartans to 2 points in the 4th to advance to the semis. Lancaster Catholic took on the hot shooting Ephrata Mounts at Penn Manor and won 44-42. The game was close throughout. Each team putting together mini runs but neither team could pull away from the other. Ephrata was up early 14-7, but LC continued to play tough defense to inch their way back in the game. Catholic would take a 4-point lead early in the fourth only to see Ephrata come back on a 3 ball by Brad DaBella. RJ Van Tash would hit a jumper at the 3:29 mark to even the game. Catholic would take the lead on a a steal and a super sweet drive and layup by David Kamwanga. Ephrata ties on the next possession a bucket by Dilyn Becker. The Crusaders milked the clock for the last minute plus. After a timeout, LC worked the ball inside to Kamwanga in the post. He missed but Ephrata was called for a foul (lots of controversy on this one)—Kamwanga sank both to propel the Crusaders to the finals.

LL History- 22nd LL tournaments. 7th title game. 2 LL titles (returning LL champs)

Check out Dell’s podcast of the wrap of this game.

By the numbers… info from LNP
Lancaster Catholic (22-2) is averaging 61 ppg, giving up 45, making 66% of its foul shots, and averaging 3.8 threes a game.

Projected starters: Johnny Besecker (11ppg), RJ VanTash (10 ppg), David Kamwanga (9 ppg), Dwayne Caine (7 ppg) Miles McCaskey(7 ppg)

LS (22-2) is averaging 61 ppg and giving up 41 ppg, making 62% of its foul shots, and averaging 5.4 threes a game.

Projected starters: Ryan Smith (20 ppg), Isaac Beers (12 ppg) Chase Broderick (6 ppg) Jordan Sweger (5 ppg) Peyton Denlinger (2 ppg)

Thoughts from the sidelines.
Both teams are excellent on the defensive end. LS will use a ¾ passive trap with Ryan Smith protecting the basket, ½ court man, and can switch into zone and combos. Catholic is usually straight man with a BUNCH of help on drivers, but they will switch over to zone and some variations. If you like defense, you will like both of these teams.

On the offensive end, LC is the most balanced team in the LL. It seems each year the Crusaders preach and demand balanced scoring. I believe this is in part based on the defensive end where they get some steals and share the ball well going on breaks. Johnny Besecker is Catholics top three-point shooter. The development of Big man David Kamwanga (6’6” soph) has been fun to watch – some “wow” factor here. Dwayne Caine (‘Dr Dunk’- my nickname) is excellent along the baseline. Miles McCaskey, point, came up with some well- timed points vs. Ephrata. RJ Van Tash continues to make huge plays on both ends of the floor.

LS starts and ends with Smith. Smith commands attention wherever he get the ball. When in the post, he will score or pass out of double teams. LS uses a barrage of three point shooters to beat doubles in the post. LS will also spread the floor, putting Smith on the perimeter, where he can pop threes….and the guards now have room to drive and kick. Isaac Beers (recent Lancaster Bible College commit) has developed into an excellent handling pt and can drive and score from the perimeter.

LS will need to pop some threes to loosen up the Catholic defense.
Can David Kamwanga battle Smith in the post?
Will foul trouble on either big be key?
Turnovers will be key. If LC can limit turnovers and/or create them…
Can LC draw LS away from the basket by getting up and spreading the floor.
Catholic runs one of the best spreads/control off end in the LL…
Which of our “GLUE” guys will play a key role?
Thinking higher scoring game favors LS. and lower favors LCHS


Should be a good one. Andy and Dell will double team the game. Periscope up dates by Dell…Tweets and wraps by both (audio by Dell—written by Andy)

~dell jackson




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