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BY JEFF FALK

SHIREMANSTOWN – To stay true to itself, the Annville-Cleona boys’ basketball team had to do the best it could and control the things that it could control. Unfortunately, there were a number of things out of the Little Dutchmen’s control.

It wasn’t a great way to go out. But then again, there never is.

On Monday night at Trinity High School, during the quarterfinal round of the District Three Class AAA playoffs, Annville-Cleona endured a disappointing, season-concluding 72-32, mercy-rule loss to the home-standing Shamrocks. The Little Dutchmen didn’t get off to a bad start, only to be overwhelmed by Trinity’s athleticism, defense and shooting early in the second stanza.

Eighth-seeded Annville-Cleona closed its season at 12-11. Trinity, the top seed in Class AAA, improved to 19-2 overall.

Last year, in the exact same round of the exact same playoffs, at the exact same venue, Trinity defeated Annville-Cleona 66-25.

“We didn’t meet our goals,” said Jason Coletti, Annville-Cleona’s second-year head coach. “It was a success because we made it to districts. These guys made back-to-back district appearances for the first time in a long time. Winning’s hard, but we didn’t win as many games as we should have. They’re excellent kids.

“It’s a special group,” continued Coletti. “Adam and Andrew Long are the best athletes in the school. Hopefully, the younger guys will learn from them.”

Early on, the Little Dutchmen executed their stuff and a Josh Speraw three-pointer and an Andrew Long pull-up had the scored tied at five, three minutes in. But it was around that time that the Shamrocks asserted themselves, initially with an 11-0 burst.

Later in the opening quarter, Andrew and Adam Long drained back-to-back treys to pull Annville-Cleona to within 20-14 of the lead.

“I thought we got off to a really good start,” said Coletti. “Once they (the Shamrocks) got a couple of steals and those uncontested lay-ups, and a couple of dunks, our heads went down. It just snowballed, it snowballed quick. If they get out in transition, you’re not going to catch them.

“We were looking to slow the game down and hang around a little bit,” continued Coletti. “If you can do that, that puts the pressure on them (the Shamrocks). The first three or four minutes, we played the way we needed to. We needed to shoot the lights out, not the turn the ball over and rebound like crazy. That would be the perfect storm, for us to hang around.”

Pounding the glass and generating easy shots, the Shamrocks hit their stride in the second period.

It started with a devastating 16-0 run that turned an eight-point advantage into a 38-14 bulge. It concluded with a 12-1 ending to the first half that gave Trinity a 55-19 cushion at intermission.

“We knew it was tough coming in,” said Coletti. “They (the Shamrocks) have a great basketball program. It’s tough to deal with. Those (seven A-C) seniors, two summers ago, I couldn’t find them in Annville, and Annville isn’t that big.

“We felt there were a couple of games early in the season that got away from us and hurt our seeding,” added Coletti. “We didn’t want to be the number eight and have to come to Trinity.”

With 11 points, Andrew Long was the lone Little Dutchmen scorer to reach double digits. Trinity outscored Annville-Cleona 52-12 on two-point baskets.

“We didn’t see their (the Shamrocks’) length in Section Five (of the Lancaster-Lebanon League),” said Coletti. “They’re not a Section Five team. Their length, their athleticism, probably every one of their players plays basketball year-round. In Section Five, the small schools don’t have that luxury.

“We wanted to be in the league playoffs,” Coletti added. “We wanted to be in the race for the section championship. We really only started coming around the last week or ten days.”

Facing a continuously running game clock, Annville-Cleona didn’t score for the initial 6:12 of the second half. During that time, the Shamrocks were pushing their advantage to 59-19.

“What we want the younger guys to take from the seniors is just their hard work,” said Coletti. “We never had to ask Adam Long to play hard. If you’re not going to be skilled, you’ve got to play hard. Hopefully, during the off-season, we’ll be able to start developing some of the younger guys.”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

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
67
46

Nonleague
1/15
7:30 pm
Palmyra
at Annville-Cleona
46
55

Nonleague
1/17
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
35
58

League
1/21
7:30 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Annville-Cleona
54
51

League
1/25
6:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
46
30

Nonleague
1/30
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
48
60

League
2/01
12:00 pm
Oley Valley
at Annville-Cleona
56
59

Nonleague
2/03
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Kennard-Dale
54
45

Nonleague
2/04
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
55
31

League
2/06
7:30 pm
Middletown
at Annville-Cleona
51
41

Nonleague
2/17
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Trinity

Playoff

PIAA District Three

Final Class AAA Power Rankings

AAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1***Trinity (3)18-2-0 0.730746 0.893401 0.531945 17.6 224.8 2.1 197.8
2***Camp Hill15-6-0 0.637704 0.711491 0.547520 14.6 244.6 5.9 202.1
3***Columbia16-6-0 0.620837 0.715686 0.504911 14.6 233.9 5.8 229.4
4***Upper Dauphin Area15-6-0 0.556121 0.647643 0.444260 13.1 200.9 7.1 251.3
5***Brandywine Heights Area14-8-0 0.528593 0.630841 0.403623 13.5 186.1 7.9 274.9
6***Lancaster Mennonite11-11-0 0.515119 0.482500 0.554986 9.7 265.2 10.4 212.7
7***Hanover13-9-0 0.498049 0.573733 0.405547 12.5 189.4 9.3 277.6
8***Annville Cleona12-10-0 0.490769 0.528037 0.445219 11.3 210.7 10.1 262.6
9Tulpehocken11-10-0 0.470209 0.513253 0.417600 10.7 186.5 10.1 260.1
10Oley Valley7-15-0 0.387881 0.311659 0.481041 7.0 222.7 15.4 240.2
11Pequea Valley8-14-0 0.372951 0.310680 0.449059 6.4 206.5 14.2 253.4
12Biglerville4-18-0 0.316167 0.175676 0.487878 3.9 227.4 18.3 238.7
13Kutztown Area5-17-0 0.313332 0.211905 0.437299 4.5 203.7 16.6 262.1
14Susquenita0-22-0 0.188592 0.000000 0.419093 0.0 198.7 25.3 275.4

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