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Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 074BY JEFF FALK

NEW HOLLAND – The Lebanon Catholic girls’ basketball team has its sights firmly focused on the prize. The Beavers want to win their second straight state championship, in the worst way.

That’s the competitive side of things. But on a more emotional, more personal note, the Beavers truly care about each other and enjoy each other’s company, they seem to understand how special this opportunity is and that they’ll never get another one exactly like it again, and they want to maximize their time together.

On Saturday afternoon at Garden Spot High School, Lebanon Catholic assured itself at least three more days together, while keep the big trophy very much in reach, with a 50-33 triumph over Christian Academy, in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class A playoffs. Although they weren’t necessarily on top of their game – perhaps because of the unusual noon starting time – the Beavers made enough plays in the open court, played enough defense and got enough scoring from varied sources to advance.

Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 053The outcome was its closest among three state postseason contests to date, but things figure to get increasingly more difficult for Lebanon Catholic from here on out. That should come as soon as Tuesday – at a site and time to be announced – against District One champion Jenkintown, in the state semifinal.

After opening the year 2-3, the District Three champion Beavers have gone 23-3 since, to improve to 25-6 overall. With the result, Christian Academy, the third-place finisher out of  District One, closed out its season.

“I think we’ve improved,” said Lebanon Catholic head coach Patti Hower. “Taylor (Bossert) was new to the system and it took some time for her to learn things. But everybody has upped their games a little bit. The goal is to make it to that state final.

“Win or lose (when the end comes), I’m going to cry,” continued Hower. “This is a great group of kids. They’re a pleasure to work with. It’ll (the end) be a high and low.”

Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 012“I think we are better,” said Lebanon Catholic senior forward Celine Mars of her side’s improvement. “We thought we had to be better because of all the targets on our back. We have a better feel for the game. We’re better at running the plays. We definitely improved.

“It (the possibility of the end) hasn’t hit me yet,” Mars continued. “It won’t until the state championship game. I think it’s because we’re so focused on what we need to do to get to the championship game.”

Following a bit of a sluggish start, Lebanon Catholic found its stride in the middle of the opening quarter.

Eight straight Beaver points snapped a seven-all deadlock and gave them a 15-7 advantage they would never relinquish. Neesha Pierre, Alexis Hill and Mars were in the middle of things offensively for Lebanon Catholic.

“A win is a win. It wasn’t the prettiest win,” said Hower. “They’re (the Crusaders) very scrappy, they’re very patient and I think that slowed us down a little bit. But we got some easy stuff. We got some great balance. It was a nice team win.

“It wasn’t our best performance of the year,” added Hower. “But we’re going to need that for our next game.”

“It was definitely not one of our better games,” said Mars. “But we kept up the tempo enough to get the win. We could’ve done better battling on defense. We didn’t switch fast enough, automatically. We were just second-guessing ourselves. But we really want to get to the Giant Center.”

Mars tallied four points, Jasmine Turner laid in a deuce, Hill scored on a driving lay-in and Pierre converted a charity toss, as Lebanon Catholic embarked on a 9-2 journey that gave it a 27-15 advantage late in the second stanza. The Beavers’ margin at halftime was eight points.

“I’m focused more on executing,” said Hower. “I’m focused more on us. I hope that’s what they’re (her players) doing. Sometimes there’s no lead big enough.

Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 092“We emphasized good shots,” Hower added. “We didn’t have to score.”

“For the fans, we went so far last year that we beat those expectations,” said Mars. “But we got more and more expectations.”

The Beavers’ attack was ridiculously balanced and featured 14 points apiece from Hill and Turner. Mars struck for 11 points, as did Pierre.

Lebanon Catholic outscored Christian Academy 6-0 from downtown and 8-1 from ‘The Stripe’. The Beavers also outscored the Crusaders in each of the four quarters.

“She did step up,” said Hower of Pierre. “That’s her game, running the court, and she beat her man off the dribble. She sparked us. But I though Jasmine had a nice offensive game too. We got nice balance. We didn’t have to get Alexis to score 25.

“That’s her (Pierre),” continued Hower. “She makes good decisions. It has to be there for her to take it. She’s feisty out there with her teammates.”

Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 004Lebanon Catholic held the Crusaders score-less for a 3:23 span during the middle of the third period, when it extended its lead to 38-21. The Beavers’ nine straight points came courtesy of Hill, Turner and Mars.

“I felt like we were going to win the game,” said Hower. “But I still like to look efficient. I like to look good. At no point did I think we were going to lose. But I’d like to look stronger.

“Because we made it to the state final last year, it would be disappointing not to make it this year,” Hower added. “Once you’re there, you want to get back.”

Lebanon Catholic didn’t immediately put Christian Academy away.

The Crusaders notched the first six points of the final period, and twice pulled to within seven points of the Beavers’ lead. But ignited by Pierre, the Beavers registered the last ten points of the contest.

Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 082“It was definitely nerve-racking,” said Mars. “Not that we weren’t expecting a good game from them (the Crusaders). We just didn’t have as much energy as we typically do. We wanted to win just as bad as they did. They kept up.”

“I’m a little nervous,” said Hower. “It brought us back down a notch or two. I think it’ll make us focus more.

“Jenkintown’s very good,” added Hower. “They’re better than they were last year. But we think we’re better than we were last year.”

 

 

 

 

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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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2017-18 Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball Results

Date Opponents Results
12/11
7:30 pm
Mahanoy Area
at Lebanon Catholic
61
51
12/13
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Trinity
66
69
12/15
7:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Pequea Valley
71
53
12/16
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Christian School of York
62
41
12/18
6:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
57
52
12/20
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
53
66
12/22
6:00 pm
High Point Baptist
at Lebanon Catholic
16
77
12/27
6:30 pm
Marian Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
37
57
12/29
7:30 pm
Mount Calvary
Lebanon Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic Tournament
26
76
12/30
7:30 pm
Linden Hall
Lebanon Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic Tournament
24
56
1/02
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Lebanon Catholic
55
81
1/05
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Lebanon Catholic
43
73
1/09
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Catholic
35
53
1/11
6:00 pm
Veritas Academy
at Lebanon Catholic
26
76
1/12
6:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
21
53
1/18
6:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon Catholic
62
82
1/19
8:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
35
43
1/23
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
49
38
1/26
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Mennonite
67
40
1/30
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Columbia
66
37
2/02
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
65
52
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
68
30
2/10
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Manheim Township
61
59
2/13
6:00 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
Lebanon Catholic
at Warwick
29
38
2/15
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
Lebanon Catholic
at Manheim Township
59
49
2/23
7:00 pm
Greenwood
at Lebanon Catholic
20
58
2/27
6:30 pm
Christian School of York
Lebanon Catholic
at Manheim Township
23
68
3/01
4:00 pm
Linden Hall
Lebanon Catholic
at Giant Center
36
46
3/10
4:30 pm
Cowanesque Valley
Lebanon Catholic
at Milton Hershey
16
65
3/14
6:00 pm
Greenwood
Lebanon Catholic
at Milton Hershey
24
54
3/17
12:00 pm
The Christian Academy
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

Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 0382017-18

1994-95

1991-92
District Three Class A Championships
2017-18
2016-17
2015-16
2014-15
2011-12
2008-09
2007-08
2006-07
2003-04
2002-03
2001-02
2000-01
Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 0781999-2000
1998-99
1995-96
1994-95
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
Lebanon Catholic girls' basketball 0951984-85
1981-82
1980-81
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 PIAA Class A Quarterfinal

 (at Garden Spot High School)

Lebanon Catholic 50, The Christian Academy 33

The Christian Academy (33)

Gormley 8 0-3 16, Sareyka 1 0-0 2, Burley-Chambers 4 0-0 8, Haseltine 3 0-0 6, Dike 0 1-2 1, Cryan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 1-5 33.

Lebanon Catholic (50)

Pierre 4 3-6 11, Hill 6 2-2 14, Turner 5 2-4 14, Mars 5 1-2 11, Bossert 0 0-0 0, Callihan 0 0-0 0, Kline 0 0-0 0, Purcell 0 0-0 0, Woodward 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 8-14 50.

The Christian Academy 11 8 6 8 – 33

Lebanon Catholic 18 9 11 12 – 50

Three-pointers: LC – Turner 2

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