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 BY JEFF FALK

 LEBANON – Every year –  year-in, year-out – the Lebanon boys’ basketball progam’s goals are to win a section championship, win a league championship, qualify for districts and possibly make it to states.

 Please consider the possibility that these Cedars are doing the best they can.

 On Monday night, Lebanon High was dealt a crushing blow in its quest for the postseason, as LHS dropped a critical 61-56 non-league decision to Garden Spot. Behind 34 points from slick guard Keontae Nunn, the Spartans established a working margin late in the opening quarter and then held off a furious Cedar rally over the game’s final minutes.

 The outcome put Lebanon in a tough spot going forward. With four regular-season games remaining, the Cedars are 7-10 overall, and 3-6 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Lebanon was seated 20th in the latest District Three Class AAAAAA power rankings.

 The victory lifted Garden Spot to 9-7 on the year.

  “I don’t know that, at Lebanon, you can say you didn’t make the playoffs and you had a good season,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “That’s not how it is in my mind. We feel like we should be in the postseason every year. If you don’t meet your goals, you can’t say you had success.

 “The effort is there. That’s the one thing I’m proud of with this group,” cotninued Speraw. “We play hard every night. It’s more the mental aspect of it. We’re trying to raise the level of their (his players’) mental focus. Not having Scottie (leading scorer, Porter) hurts us. We can’t replace him.”

 After trailing most of the evening – and its season perhaps on the line –  Lebanon mounted a furious comeback with less than four minutes to go. Facing a 60-46 deficit, the Cedars ripped off ten unanawered points and pulled to within 60-56, on a three-pointer from Jean-Carlos Gonzalez-Belen, with 35 seconds remaining.

 Also included in the run were five other points by Gonzalez-Belen, a Raylin Pena driving lay-in and five missed free throws.

  “If we knock down a couple of those foul shots – some of them – we’re in the game,” said Speraw. “The score’s closer or we have the lead. It changes the whole complexion of the game. Playing with the lead and playing down eight are two different games.”

 There was alos the matter of Nunn. At one point, from late in the third period into the early moments of the fourth, he tallied 11 straight Spartan points, and Garden Spot enjoyed leads of eight to 14 points.

 “We had bad turnovers at times,” said Speraw. “We weren’t taking care of the ball and we just missed too many assignments on 20 (Nunn). And he made us pay. He shot well. We couldn’t find an answer for him.

 “He gets a lot of the credit for it,” added Speraw. “He made plays. He was very efficient. It’s not like he took 30 shots to get 34 points.”

 Nunn got his on 11 two-pointers and four three-pointers. For Lebanon, Gonzalez-Belen poured in a team-high 23 points, Pena pumped in 12 and Jahlil Young dropped in ten.

 The Cedars, who were without Porter because of an injury, made just seven of their 20 free throw attempts.

 “Give them a lot of credit, especially Nunn,” said Spearaw of the Spartans. “He balled tonight. He put on a show. That was worth the price of admission for the fans.”

 Lebanon turnovers helped swing the momentum in Garden Spot’s favor late in the opening period. But an inside move from Isaiah Rodriguez and a three-pointer by Luke Collins drew Lebanon to within 20-14 of the lead.

 Later in the second stanza, the Cedars pulled to within 26-20 of the Spartans, on a Young drive, and then 28-23, on a charity toss from Gonzalez-Belen. Garden Spot enjoyed a 34-27 margin at the break.

 “We know we have to come close to being perfect to have any shot at districts,” said Speraw. “We just wanted to stay on the winning track. We needed a win for a ton of different reasons. We didn’t get it done. They were things that can’t happen if you want to win close games.

 “Districts is probably a very long shot,” concluded Speraw. “Leagues is more realistic. But if we play like we did tonight, I don’t think we’ll be playing in any postseason tournaments.”

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
12/07
8:00 pm
Red Land
at Lebanon
42
70
 
12/08
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
53
43
 
12/11
7:30 pm
Governor Mifflin
at Lebanon
40
66
 
12/14
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
54
65
 
12/17
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
56
46
 
12/19
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hempfield
49
51
 
12/21
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Lebanon
46
61
 
12/28
6:00 pm
Halifax
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
42
61
 
12/29
7:30 pm
Lebanon
Cedar Crest
at Falcon Tournament (at Cedar Crest)
52
58
 
1/03
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
46
59
 
1/05
5:30 pm
Palmyra
Lebanon
at Lebanon Valley College
36
42
 
1/08
7:00 pm
Manheim Township
at Lebanon
69
59
 
1/11
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Elizabethtown
53
66
 
1/12
6:00 pm
Wilson
Lebanon
at Garden Spot
58
52
 
1/15
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick
41
53
 
1/17
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon
33

49

 
1/21
7:30 pm
Garden Spot
at Lebanon
   
1/22
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata
   
1/29
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon
   
2/01
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
   
2/05
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings
 
 
 
AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Wilson 13- 2- 0  0.807548  0.908309  0.684394  15.9  215.6  1.6  99.4
2 Cedar Crest 15- 2- 0  0.776652  0.921260  0.599909  17.6  196.8  1.5  131.3
3 Cumberland Valley 12- 3- 0  0.744219  0.866469  0.594801  14.6  186.5  2.3  127.1
4 Central Dauphin 11- 4- 0  0.740364  0.812689  0.651966  13.5  211.4  3.1  112.9
5 Waynesboro Area 11- 2- 0  0.728892  0.879859  0.544377  12.5  165.3  1.7  138.4
6 Harrisburg 9- 4- 0  0.724029  0.783972  0.650765  11.3  195.8  3.1  105.1
7 Reading 11- 5- 0  0.720716  0.771341  0.658840  12.7  193.6  3.8  100.3
8 Chambersburg Area 12- 4- 0  0.715473  0.827586  0.578446  14.4  176.1  3.0  128.3
9 Central York 12- 5- 0  0.694441  0.778082  0.592213  14.2  190.9  4.1  131.5
10 Warwick 11- 5- 0  0.684424  0.762857  0.588561  13.4  186.3  4.2  130.2
11 Manheim Township 9- 6- 0  0.679361  0.701587  0.652195  11.1  202.8  4.7  108.2
12 HEMPFIELD 9- 6- 0  0.677172  0.704918  0.643261  10.8  221.7  4.5  123.0
13 J P McCaskey 7- 7- 0  0.643591  0.610714  0.683774  8.6  218.5  5.5  101.1
14 Carlisle 7- 8- 0  0.633278  0.590444  0.685631  8.7  223.6  6.0  102.5
15 Penn Manor 9- 7- 0  0.629690  0.663522  0.588341  10.6  196.8  5.4  137.7
16 Exeter Township 7- 7- 0  0.625083  0.594697  0.662222  7.9  211.1  5.4  107.7
17 Dallastown 8- 7- 0  0.619953  0.618893  0.621248  9.5  209.1  5.9  127.5
18 Governor Mifflin 7- 8- 0  0.612230  0.573883  0.659098  8.4  214.8  6.2  111.1
19 Central Dauphin East 5- 7- 0  0.580309  0.539474  0.630219  6.2  190.2  5.3  111.6
20 Lebanon 7- 9- 0  0.574681  0.537162  0.620537  8.0  210.3  6.9  128.6
21 Red Lion 7- 8- 0  0.559610  0.546392  0.575767  8.0  194.4  6.6  143.2
22 York County School Of Technology 10- 5- 0  0.552759  0.655518  0.427164  9.8  138.7  5.2  186.0
23 Conestoga Valley 3- 12- 0  0.407131  0.256917  0.590726  3.3  190.5  9.4  132.0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Two Standings
 
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PS PA
Warwick 9 0 100.00 11 5 68.75 879 826
Elizabethtown 5 3 62.50 10 7 58.82 1066 994
Lebanon 3 6 33.33 7 10 41.18 913 875
Conestoga Valley 1 8 11.11 3 13 18.75 762 950
Ephrata 0 8 0.00 1 14 6.67 655 830

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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