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IMG_7265BY JEFF FALK

ASSUMPTION HILL – It’s a special type of orientation. But the more time members of the Lebanon Catholic boys’ basketball team spend together, the better the Beavers will be – both collectively and individually.

On Monday night, a brand-new crop of Beavers played like it was their first time performing as a unit, as they dropped a 50-45 decision to visiting Lancaster County Christian. Given the unique set of circumstances, Lebanon Catholic did well, but its unfamiliarity with each other showed during critical junctures of the contest.

IMG_7226With the game on the line down the stretch, the Beavers failed to score a basket over the game’s final 3:51, and managed only a charity toss from Joe Gates in the contest’s last two minutes. Four free throws by the Lions’ Will Sloyer over the same period of time proved to be decisive.

The non-league affair served as the season opener for Lebanon Catholic, which dressed five transfers new to the program. The result made Lancaster County Christian 2-1 in the early going.

“They beat us because they executed down the stretch,” said veteran Lebanon Catholic head coach Scott Clentimack. “You’ve got to execute. Once we understand and start executing and managing the game, I think we’re going to be OK. The question is: Can I get through to them?

IMG_7230“The effort was great,” continued Clentimack. “We just didn’t execute because we’ve never been in that situation before. We’ve got to understand game management. Our execution killed us. Lancaster County Christian matched our effort and they were better in execution.”

The Beavers trailed most of the second half, but never by more than a couple of possessions.

Miguel Escobar drained a trey midway through the final stanza to pull Lebanon Catholic to within 43-42 of the lead, but the Lions matched that with one of their own a minute-and-a-half later. And the Beavers just couldn’t piece anything together out of their half-court offense after that.

IMG_7271“We’re still figuring it out,” said Clentimack. “They’ve (the transfers) never played with our guys and they’ve never played together. It takes time, and I’ve been preaching that. They (his players) have more success in practice than they should have, and it doesn’t translate to the game.

“It (the weekend) gave us some extra time together,” added Clentimack, “and it gave me an opportunity to see some other teams play. Did the fact that they (the Lions) had two games under their belts hurt us? I don’t know.”

Lebanon Catholic got a driving three-point play from Joe Gates and a steal and lay-in by Luke Frattaroli out of the second-half locker room to establish a 31-28 edge. But all the Beavers could manage over the next six minutes was a Gates trey, and they would never lead again.

“When it was 31-28, I thought that could’ve been a point where we were starting to come together,” said Clentimack. But then we started gambling on defense. They (the Lions) ran off like eight straight and we never tied it again.

IMG_7296“That’s (press and create tempo) what we want to do,” Clentimack added. “But there has to be discipline. It can’t be gym class. We’re not looking to steal the ball. We’re looking to wear teams down and turn up the tempo.”

Davian Perez paced Lebanon Catholic with 17 points, and Gates tallied 15. The Beavers could not take advantage of Lancaster County Christian’s nine-for-20 shooting at the charity stripe.

“If we can execute and focus on the game, we can be pretty good in single-A,” said Clentimack. “If we’re always going to be upset when we lose, then we can’t be very good. Everyone we play is going to play hard.

“If we can get that mental aspect under control, we can be very, very competitive,” Clentimack continued. “If we don’t change our approach, nothing’s going to happen. Things aren’t always going to go our way.”

IMG_7294After falling into an early second-quarter, 20-15 hole, the Beavers clawed their way out of it courtesy of a Sabul Pereyra drive and a Perez three-pointer. Lebanon Catholic tied it at 23 on a trey from Gates, and at 26 on a couple of foul shots from Gates, and that’s how both teams went to the break.

“I’ve never been in this situation before,” said Clentimack. “This is the first time in 18 years I don’t know how we’re going to be. We haven’t been together long enough. If, if, if, this comes together, we can be pretty good. If, if, if this doesn’t happen, then we won’t. It’s not about talent all the time.

“I have never been big on drills in practice,” continued Clentimack. “I’m big on doing a lot of live-game situations in practice. After a while, kids will begin to understand things. It’s repetition.”

IMG_7308Perez notched seven points during a first period which ended with Lancaster County Christian ahead 14-13.

 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to see more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-ten/.

 

 

 

 

IMG_72332015 Lebanon Catholic Boys’ Basketball Schedule 

DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
12/09
Harrisburg Academy
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
12/11
@Elco
7:30 PM Elco High School
12/14
Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
12/16
@Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM Lampeter-Strasburg High School
12/18 *
Annville-Cleona
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
12/21 *
Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
12/23 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Lancaster Mennonite High School
12/23 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
12/28
@Mount Calvary
7:30 PM Mount Calvary Christian School
12/29
@Mount Calvary
7:30 PM Mount Calvary Christian School
01/04
Veritas Academy
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/05 *
@Pequea Valley
7:00 PM Pequea Valley High School
01/08 *
Columbia
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/11
Donegal
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/13
@Manheim Central
7:30 PM Manheim Central High School
01/15
Cocalico
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/19 *
@Annville-Cleona
6:00 PM Annville-Cleona High School
01/19
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/22 *
@Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM Lancaster Catholic High School
01/23
@West Shore Christian
7:30 PM West Shore Christian Academy
01/25 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Lancaster Mennonite High School
01/28 *
Pequea Valley
7:00 PM Lebanon Catholic School
02/02 *
@Columbia
7:30 PM Columbia High School

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