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The Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball program reaches the pinnacle of scholastic sports, just a handful of seasons removed from the lowest point in its storied history. 

IMG_5549BY JEFF FALK

NEW HOLLAND – ‘Are we having fun yet?’

It is not enough to simply remember the journey, no matter the destination. It is extremely important to take a step back, enjoy the moment and experience it – sense it, taste it, feel it.

The Lebanon Catholic girls’ basketball team genuinely seems to be enjoying the ride. No matter how much the Beavers’ latest moment tested their resolve to do so.

On Tuesday night at Garden Spot High School, Lebanon Catholic advanced to its third state championship game in program history, with a tense 41-37 triumph over Jenkintown in the Eastern Final. After they had dominated the entire way and led by as many as 14 points late in the third period, the Beavers were forced to hold off the Drakes, and hang on.

IMG_5647Ultimately, the Beavers got it done with their man-to-man defense, as they protected a 39-37 edge in the final six seconds by getting a finger on a Jenkintown inbound, scrambling for the resulting loose ball and then forcing a last-ditch air ball. Fittingly, Catholic junior Alexis Hill provided the game’s final points with free throws, with under a second to go, after she had missed front-ends of one-and-ones, 26 and 36 seconds earlier.

A three-pointer from Jenkintown’s Jennifer Kremp had made it a one-possession game with 29 ticks to go.

But missed free throws down the stretch – junior point Neesha Pierre also misfired on a front-end with a minute left – was just part of Lebanon Catholic’s difficulties. Jenkintown had hijacked the Beavers’ mojo when Hill was forced to the bench with foul trouble late in the third period.

“I think we’ve become very business-like,” said Lebanon Catholic head coach Patti Hower. “But I think they’ve (her players) been able to enjoy it.

IMG_5606“I don’t care who we play (in the state final),” continued Hower. “It’s been 22 years. This is a great group of kids. I want them to enjoy this. It’s a lifelong experience. We’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity.”

“This is a big deal for me,” said Hill. “I’m still in awe. It’s crazy. It’s been a good journey so far. I’m ready to go back to Giant Center. I just want to cry right now, I’m so happy.

“I can’t even imagine what it’s like,” Hill continued. “I’ve never even seen a state championship game. I can’t wait until Friday. I’m nervous already.”

The outcome was Lebanon Catholic’s eighth playoff triumph in-a-row and pushed its overall record to 24-7. The Beavers will take on District Six runner-up Juniata Valley, which downed Bishop Carroll, 46-33 in the Western Final, on Friday at noon at Hershey’s Giant Center, for the PIAA Class A championship.

Lebanon Catholic captured state gold in 1991-92 and 1994-95.

IMG_5543Jenkintown, the champions of District One, closed out its campaign at 25-6.

“They were stoic, but they weren’t panicking,” said Hower of  her players in the waning seconds. “We took those couple of time-outs. They switched on picks. They were very business-like. We were all business. It’s just a good win.

“How many times do I say, ‘We’ve got to make foul shots’,?” added Hower. “We’re not a good foul-shooting team. But it’s not like we don’t practice them. I think it might have been a little mental.”

“That’s hard,” said Hill of shooting free throws with the game on the line. “I try to block out the crowd and put the pressure aside. The first two times I couldn’t do that. The third time I did.

IMG_5509“It was stressful,” Hill added. “I’m just glad my team pulled through.”

Hill picked up her fourth foul with 1:40 of the third quarter remaining and went to the bench with the Beavers up 36-22. Lebanon Catholic did not score over the next 5:22  – until Hill netted a foul shot with 4:18 remaining.

During that time, the Drakes closed to within 36-31 of the lead. Two minutes later, Hill scored inside to push the Beavers’ advantage back to 39-34.

“We know what kind of player Alexis is,” said Hower. “When she goes out of the game, we’re not as strong. She can do it all. Neesha is now sort of out there by herself. They (her players) handled it well, but obviously we were out of sync without her. We were just letting it slip away.

“We wanted to take good shots,” Hower added. “They (the Drakes) had to take a lot of time off the clock, and that helped us. On the bench, I said, ‘If we can keep it (the lead) at ten, we’ll be OK.'”

“Once they got me out of the game, the momentum changed,” said Hill. “But the whole team was able to keep playing defense, and hold it down until I got back in there.”

Hill registered 13 of her game-high 20 points in the first half. Teammate Jasmine Turner notched eight points in the first half, but did not score in the second.

IMG_5516Lebanon Catholic finished seven-for-12 at the charity stripe.

“I thought we had a chance to get to the final,” said Hower. “I thought we were as good as anyone in the East. I would’ve been disappointed if we weren’t able to do it.”

“Since the first game, we’ve come a long way with chemistry,” said Hill. “We love to share the ball. There’s never a selfish moment. We play as a team, and it gets our offense going.”

With Hill notching four points, Turner knocking down a jumper and Pierre scoring on a drive, Lebanon Catholic opened an early 8-0 lead. Then the Beavers closed the opening quarter on a 7-2 run – Pierre converted a three-point play, Hill turned a steal into a lay-up and Turner canned another ‘J’ – to push their advantage to 17-8.

“I thought we played well  in the first half,” said Hower. “We ran the court well. We played good defense. We wanted to build on the lead.

“But it (the lead) went from 12 to five in a hurry,” she added.

IMG_5627“We like to get off to a fast start,” said Hill. “And we did that, from the first shot. But they (the Drakes) were still in it.”

The Beavers suffered through a score-less drought over the first 4:06 of the second period, as Jenkintown closed to within 17-13. But Hill tallied seven points, Turner drained a jumper and Jayden Shellehamer laid in a deuce, as Lebanon Catholic ended the period on an 11-3 burst, and with a 28-16 halftime margin.

“It took us a while to get the chemistry going on the court,” said Hower. “But I think we started picking that up. It takes a while. With those two state championship teams, it took four years to jell.

“We lost in the Eastern final three times,” continued Hower. “We’ve had some teams we felt like could’ve made it back (to the state championship game).”

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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2016-17 Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball Results

Date Opponents Outcome
12/13
7:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Mahanoy Area
29
44
12/14
7:30 pm
Trinity
at Lebanon Catholic
33
56
12/16
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon Catholic
35
62
12/17
6:00 pm
Christian School of York
at Lebanon Catholic
12
62
12/19
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
42
45
12/21
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
63
46
12/27
1:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Marian Catholic
39
52
12/29
7:30 pm
Linden Hall
at Lebanon Catholic
39
53
12/30
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Lebanon Catholic
51
43
1/03
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Mennonite
60
37
1/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Columbia
52
42
1/09
6:00 pm
Lititz Christian
at Lebanon Catholic
22
71
1/10
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
42
41
1/13
6:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
26
48
1/17
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Pequea Valley
75
50
1/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
31
44
1/24
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
35
59
1/27
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Lebanon Catholic
43
57
1/31
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Lebanon Catholic
38
57
2/03
8:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Catholic
39
49
2/06
6:00 pm
High Point Baptist
at Lebanon Catholic
16
71
2/07
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
46
27
2/09
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Cocalico
at Warwick
43
42
2/11
7:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Cedar Crest
54
63
2/24
7:00 pm
Christian School of York
at Lebanon Catholic
35
58
2/28
8:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Linden Hall
at Lower Dauphin
53
31
3/03
3:15 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Halifax
at Giant Center
55
27
3/11
6:30 pm
Galeton
Lebanon Catholic
at Warwick
29
53
3/16
6:00 pm
Faith Christian
Lebanon Catholic
at Tulpehocken
33
68
3/18
1:00 pm
Pottsville Nativity
Lebanon Catholic
at Hamburg Area H.S.
38
58
3/21
6:00 pm
Jenkintown
Lebanon Catholic
at Garden Spot

 

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Most Prolific Scorers in Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball History
1. Becky Hower (2001) 2,445 points
2. Catherine Andrews (2004) 1,670 points
3. Abby Minder (1995) 1,587 points
4. Lauren Boyer (2005) 1,544 points
5. Joni Brown (1991) 1,417 points
6. Jaime Podjed (2000) 1,346 points
7. Sarah Wade (1995) 1,248 points
8. Ann-Marie Fick (1985) 1,147 points
9. Lauren Fortna (2003) 1,065 points
10. Jenna Uhrich (2000) 1,062 points
Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball: A History of Champions
PIAA Class A Championships

IMG_56561994-95

1991-92
District Three Class A Championships
2016-17
2015-16
2014-15
2011-12
2008-09
2007-08
2006-07
2003-04
2002-03
2001-02
2000-01
1999-2000
1998-99
1995-96
IMG_56751994-95
1993-94
1992-93
1991-92
1988-89
1979-80
Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships
1980-81
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Championships
1994-95
1993-94
1992-93
1991-92
1984-85
1981-82
1980-81

IMG_5630Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 SINGLE GAME RECORDS

Most points scored in a game by L.C.            —          106  vs. PequeaValley  (2000-2001)

Most points scored in a game by Opp.           —          94  Allentown Central Catholic  (1990-1991)

Fewest points scored in a game by L.C.         —          9  vs.  Columbia  (1985-1986)

Fewest points scored in a game by Opp.        —          11  Pequea Valley  (1982-1983)

Most points in a game                                     —          Becky Hower 45 vs Donegal (2000-2001)

Most foul shots made in a game                     —          Joni Brown  15 for 20  vs. McDevitt  (1990-1991)

IMG_5676Lauren Boyer 15 for 19 vs. Lancaster Catholic (2004- 2005)

Most offensive rebounds in a game                —          Myra Kline  14  (1980-1981)

Most defensive rebounds in a game               —          Lisa Simpson  19  (1985-1986)

Most total rebounds in a game                        —          Hailey Carangelo  22  (2007 – 2010)

Most assists in a game                                     —          Marie Schlegel  15  vs. Columbia  (1994-1995)

Most steals in a game                                      —          Becky Hower 14  vs. Lancaster Christian  (1998-1999)

Most 3 point shots made in a game                —          Becky Hower   7  (1999-2000)

 

Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 SINGLE SEASON RECORDS

IMG_5637Offensive Rebounds               —          Myra Kline                  191                  (1980-1981)

Defensive Rebounds               —          Alicia Barlet                240                  (1980-1981)

Total Rebounds                       —          Myra Kline                  402                  (1980-1981)

Steals                                       —          Becky Hower              153                  (1998-1999)

Assists                                     —          Marie Schlegel            221                  (1994-1995)

Field Goals Made                   —          Joni Brown                  292                  (1990-1991)

Free Throws Made                  —          Joni Brown                  125                  (1990-1991)

Total Points                             —          Becky Hower              731                  (1999-2000)

Average                                   —          Joni Brown                  24.6ppg.          (1990-1991)

Free Throw %                         —          Sam Carangelo            89%                 (2005-2006)

IMG_5623Field Goal %                           —          Meghan Orr                 57%                 (2007-2008)

3 Point Shots Made                —          Becky Hower              82                    (2000-2001)

 

Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 CAREER RECORDS

Offensive Rebounds               —          Myra Kline                  362

Defensive Rebounds               —          Becky Hower              709

Total Rebounds                       —          Becky Hower              1017

Steals                                       —          Becky Hower              519

Assists                                     —          Marie Schlegel            766

Field Goals Made                   —          Becky Hower              712

Free Throws Made                  —          Abby Minder              343

IMG_5523Becky Hower          —     343

Total Points                             —          Becky Hower              2445

Free Throw %                         —          Sam Carangelo            77%

Field Goal %                           —          Sarah Wade                 50%

Becky Hower              50%

Average                                   —          Becky Hower              20.6

3 Point Shots Made                —          Becky Hower              226

 

Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 TEAM RECORD SEASON TOTALS

IMG_5587L.C. highest average points per game             —          66.2     (2000-2001)

Opp. highest average points per game            —          58.0     (2005-2006)

L.C.  lowest average points per game             —          35.0     (2013-2014)

Opp. lowest aveage points per game              —          37.5     (2009-2010)

Offensive Rebounds                                       —          603      (1980-1981)

Defensive Rebounds                                       —          825      (1980-1981)

Total Rebounds                                               —          1428    (1980-1981)

Steals                                                               —          584      (2001-2002)

Assists                                                             —          596      (1980-1981)

Field Goals Made                                           —          780      (1980-1981)

IMG_5662Free Throws Made                                          —          384      (2001-2002)

Total Points                                                     —          2101    (1999-2000)

3 Point Shots Made                                        —          118      (2000-2001)

Free Throw %                                                 —          69%     (1993-1994)

Field Goal %                                                   —          46%     (1990-1991) (2000-2001)

Consecutive Lanc.-Leb. League Section 3 Wins  —  44  1/20/92 to 1/27/95

Consecutive Home Wins        —          46        12/27/90 to 12/7/95

Longest Winning Streak         —          29        2/20/92 to 2/25/93

Most Wins in a Season            —          28-2     (l994-1995)

Fewest Wins in a Season        —          3          (1975-1976)

Most Losses in a Season         —          18        (2013-2014)

Fewest Losses in a Season      —          2          (1992-1993, 1994-1995)

 

Farthest Advancement in PIAA/State Tournament  —

 

Eastern Semi-Finals    (1980-1981, 1984-1985, 1988-1989, 1995-1996, 2000-2001, 2001-2002)

Eastern Finals              (1993-1994, 1999-2000, 2002-2003, 2016-17)

State Champion          (1991-1992, 1994-1995)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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