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BY JEFF FALK

MANHEIM – The high school basketball season is broken down into three distinct stages – beginning, middle and end – with a little holiday cheer sprinkled in along the way. The Annville-Cleona boys are entering into the ‘Getting Ready for the Big Push’ phase of their campaign.

On Saturday afternoon at Manheim Central High School, the Little Dutchmen’s season got a little bit shorter, with a 67-46 loss to Northern York at the Lancaster-Lebanon Versus Mid-Penn Showdown. After suffering through a slow start, Annville-Cleona made a number of spirited runs at the athletic Polar Bears, only to fall short.

The loss dropped Annville-Cleona to 6-7 on the year. With nine regular-season contests remaining, the Little Dutchmen are seated eighth in the power rankings for a AAA classification which takes eight for its District Three postseason.

Northern York, which currently sits on the fourth line of the power rankings for District Three Class AAAAA clubs, improved to 12-2 overall.

“It is a grind,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Jason Coletti. “But for me personally, if you love basketball, it’s not the dog days of the season. You want to get in the gym. You want to get better. You’re starting to get energized if you want to get to the playoffs. We have a lot of basketball to play.

“We’re solidly on the eighth spot,” continued Coletti. “But we want to get off the seventh or eighth line. The message after the game was, ‘Let’s start to get on a roll.’ It’s the second half of the season, we want to make a push.”

On this particular afternoon, the Little Dutchmen certainly weren’t served well by their start.

With four different shooters knocking down three-pointers, the Polar Bears opened leads of 16-7 and 21-12. Brothers Andrew and Adam Long accounted for all 14 of the Little Dutchmen’s first-quarter points.

“Early in the game, we lost some of their shooters,” said Coletti of his side’s defensive effort. “They got open looks and knocked them down. But the focus was there. We played with great effort.

“I thought we played very well,” added Coletti. “Northern York is a good team. They can shoot the ball. We’ll use this game to get better. We came to compete. This game does nothing but help us.”

Northern York’s lead expanded to 30-18 early in the second quarter, before Annville-Cleona employed a fullcourt zone press to claw back into it. The Little Dutchmen rattled off eight straight points, on five points from Adam Long and an Andrew Long three-point, to close to within 30-26 of the Polar Bears.

But Northern led 35-26 at the break.

“We were trying to throw anything at them,” said Coletti. “We’re not starting games well and it’s become a problem. We changed up defenses just to give them a little different look.

“We’d go two or three possession and cut it (the deficit) to single digits,” added Coletti. “Then they’d have two or three possessions. There were momentum changes.”

With Adam netting 18 points and Andrew notching 15 points, the Long twins accounted for 33 of Annville-Cleona”s total of 46. The Little Dutchmen were outscored 24-15 from beyond the arc, as five different Polar Bears connectd on three-point field goals.

“We need more scoring,” said Coletti. “We have Adam and Andrew, and the other guys are scoring two or three points. We need other guys to score. We need more contributions.”

The Little Dutchmen went the first 3:20 of the second half without a point, as the Polar Bears pushed their advantage to 40-26. A three-pointer from Andrew Long, with 2:03 left in the third period, got Annville-Cleona to within 42-33, but that would be the closest it would come.

“I think so,” said Coletti, when asked if qualifying for districts was a criterion for a successful season. “It was our goal at the beginning of the season. We got a taste of it last year. We want to improve our seed and go from there. We know we can play with most of the teams in Class AAA.

“There are two areas where we need to get better,” Coletti added. “Getting more scoring from other players, and defensively it’s keeping people out of the lane. It’s been killing us.”

When Cade Horning and Adam Long converted inside looks, two minutes into the final quarter, the Little Dutchmen were still hanging around, down 54-44. But Annville-Cleona managed just two more points the rest of the way.

2019-20 Annville-Cleona Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
Brandywine Heights
at Hamburg
34
52

Nonleague
12/07
TBD
Annville-Cleona
Northern Lehigh
at Hamburg
53
50

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
49
70

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Annville-Cleona
59
50

League
12/17
6:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
45
42

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Country Day
59
52

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
51
54

League
12/21
3:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Hanover
67
56

Nonleague
12/27
TBD
Annville-Cleona
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
42
36

Nonleague
12/28
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
Littlestown
at Northern Lebanon
44
58

Nonleague
1/02
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
37
58

League
1/09
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Columbia
66
80

League
1/11
1:30 pm
Northern York
Annville-Cleona
at Manheim Central

Nonleague
1/15
7:30 pm
Palmyra
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague
1/17
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley

League
1/21
7:30 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Annville-Cleona

League
1/25
6:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague
1/30
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona

League
2/01
12:00 pm
Oley Valley
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague
2/03
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Kennard-Dale

Nonleague
2/04
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic

League
2/06
7:30 pm
Middletown
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague

PIAA District Three

Class AAA Power Rankings

AAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Trinity (3)9-2-0 0.663562 0.799043 0.497975 8.4 98.4 2.1 99.2
2Camp Hill7-3-0 0.623326 0.700000 0.529614 6.7 123.4 2.9 109.6
3Columbia9-4-0 0.608009 0.684647 0.514340 8.3 122.0 3.8 115.2
4Brandywine Heights Area8-3-0 0.589978 0.734884 0.412870 7.9 101.1 2.9 143.7
5Tulpehocken7-4-0 0.539561 0.636364 0.421246 6.7 103.1 3.8 141.7
6Lancaster Mennonite7-6-0 0.539489 0.532468 0.548071 6.2 134.3 5.4 110.7
7Upper Dauphin Area7-4-0 0.509278 0.562791 0.443873 6.1 108.0 4.7 135.3
8Annville Cleona6-6-0 0.476403 0.474138 0.479171 5.5 120.2 6.1 130.7
9Oley Valley4-7-0 0.419926 0.355556 0.498601 4.0 124.7 7.3 125.4
10Hanover5-6-0 0.398942 0.417840 0.375843 4.5 86.4 6.2 143.4
11Pequea Valley4-8-0 0.374580 0.280702 0.489320 3.2 113.4 8.2 118.4
12Kutztown Area4-9-0 0.361326 0.290456 0.447945 3.5 107.4 8.6 132.3
13Biglerville2-7-0 0.316219 0.214689 0.440310 1.9 96.5 7.0 122.6
14Susquenita0-10-0 0.196266 0.000000 0.436146 0.0 105.7 11.8 136.7

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Four Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Columbia601.000950.643872786
Lancaster Mennonite510.833760.538749731
Annville-Cleona330.500660.500618646
Pequea Valley230.400480.333571669
Lebanon Catholic040.000560.455494570
Lancaster Country Day050.000480.333643586

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