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Lebanon Catholic's revamped lineup is gelling quickly. 

 IMG_6160BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – Something seems different about the Lebanon Catholic girls’ basketball team this season.

The Beavers aren’t quite as focused on the District Three championship as they usually are. There are a couple of more immediate – dare we say pressing – things which have grabbed their attention.

On Wednesday night at Elco High School, Lebanon Catholic looked very much like serious players in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and Section Three races by pulling away from the hometown Raiders for a 63-46 triumph. After a back-and-forth first half, the talented and athletic Beavers used a late second-quarter flurry to establish a little working margin, and then just kept coming over the second 16 minutes of action.

IMG_6135The victory was Lebanon Catholic’s fifth straight and left it 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Section Three of the L-L. Elco, which again was without top finisher Ryelle Shuey, slipped to 4-3 on the campaign and 1-2 in the section.

The Beavers have not won an L-L section title in 20 years, and their only league championship came during the winter of 1980-81.

“Right now, that’s our focus,” said Lebanon Catholic head coach Patti Hower of the section. “It’s like a tale of different seasons. There were years where we felt like we couldn’t compete with a Lancaster Catholic. But this year, we think we can compete.

“I think we feel like we can compete for a section title,” continued Hower. “Especially after beating Northern Lebanon (on Monday), it puts us right there. Elco thought they could play with us, and they can play with us.”

IMG_6150“Sure. Absolutely. Why not?,” said Elco head coach Ashli Shay, when asked if the Beavers could win the section. “They’re athletic. They get their hands all over everything. They rebound. They’re relentless.”

Lebanon Catholic was engaged in a fierce battle with the Raiders before asserting itself late in the first half. The Beavers stared down a seven-point deficit before making their move.

Lebanon Catholic outscored Elco 15-3 over the last three minutes of the second stanza to carry a 32-27 margin to the locker room. The decisive run featured seven points by Celine Mars and a Hannah Callihan three-pointer, but was accentuated by two athletic open-floor buckets from Alexis Hill.

“She does a nice job of getting in front of and getting her hands on balls,” said Hower of Hill. “That was the spark we needed. She definitely has a different gear and she turned it on. Your defense makes your offense a lot of the time.

“I’m pleased with where we’re at,” Hower continued. “We have things to work on. But we’re getting better with our communication between coaches and players. It’s good to be 5-1 going into Christmas.”

IMG_6086“I do think we’re doing better,” said Shay. “I think people who have stepped into her (Shuey’s) role are getting better. We’re attacking on offense and getting to the rim. I think that’s something we’ve worked on in practice. Up until tonight, we out rebounded every team we played.”

The Beavers kept the Raiders at arm’s length through most of the second half.

A Neesha Pierre steal and subsequent lay-in, a pair of charity tosses from Mars and a jumper by Jayden Shellehamer added up to a 6-2 LC run to start the third quarter, and a 38-29 lead. A driving lay-in by Hill and a three-pointer from Callihan in the middle of the final quarter gave Lebanon Catholic a 54-42 advantage.

“After the Northern Lebanon game, I told the girls we can not have a letdown,” said Hower. “We came out a little flat, but Elco made us play that way. Our defense kind of set the tone for our offense.

“We talked about not having a letdown,” added Hower. “We’re in a position now where teams have to catch us. So we can not let our guard down.”

IMG_6147“I thought we played really hard,” said Shay. “At the end, we kind of ran out of gas. I thought we got tired and weren’t able to get into passing lanes. That’s what happens when you’re short on players. Some of these kids might not get a break.”

Mars led all scorers with 20 points, Hill tallied 16 points and Callihan pumped in a dozen. Jalissa Nolt recorded 16 Elco points, while teammate Taylor Bossert registered ten.

Lebanon Catholic outscored Elco 46-22 inside the arc.

“Neesha is doing a great job at the point,” said Hower of Pierre. “I can’t give her enough credit because of how much of her game she’s given up. She is getting better at it.

“Callihan definitely picked it up,” Hower added. “They (the Raiders) were sitting in a zone and she’s a good shooter. We have seven or eight good players.”

“We have to get used to it,” said Shay of Shuey’s absence. “Does it affect us? Sure. That’s a potential double-double every night, and she’s active on defense.”

Mars notched the Beavers’ first seven points, and when teammate Jasmine Turner scored on a lay-in 4:21 in, Lebanon Catholic had itself a 9-4 margin.

But Elco responded with an 11-2 run to forge a 15-11 lead. During the outburst, Julia Nelson drained four free throws, Adrianna Sonnen and Bossert connected on three-balls and Nolt canned a charity toss.

Then when Bossert drilled another three-pointer 3:33 before the break, it was the Raiders who had a 24-17 advantage.

IMG_6054“It was a good team victory,” said Hower. “Against Northern Lebanon, Alaina (Kline) hit two big threes. It’s nice to get those contributions off the bench. But it all depends on the match-ups and who’s playing well.

“They’ve (the Raiders) got a lot of nice young players who are quick,” continued Hower. “They have more speed than it looks like they have. They’re really tough.”

“Every game is a big game,” said Shay. “They’re (the Beavers) obviously the team that’s hot right now. But we want to compete every night out.”

 

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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/?nggpage=4.

 

 

 

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 2016-17 Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/13
@Mahanoy Area
7:00 PM L 29-44
12/14
Trinity
7:30 PM W 56-33
12/16 *
Pequea Valley
7:30 PM W 62-35
12/17
Christian School of York
6:00 PM W 62-12
12/19 *
Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM W 45-42
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
12/21 *
@Elco
7:30 PM Elco High School
12/27
@Marian Catholic
2:15 PM Marian Catholic High School
12/29 #
Linden Hall
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/03 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Lancaster Mennonite High School
01/06 *
@Columbia
7:30 PM Columbia High School
01/09
Lititz Christian
6:00 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/10 *
Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/13 *
Annville-Cleona
6:00 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/14
High Point Baptist
6:00 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/17 *
@Pequea Valley
7:30 PM Pequea Valley High School
01/20 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM Northern Lebanon High School
01/24 *
Elco
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/27 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/31 *
Columbia
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
02/03 *
@Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM Lancaster Catholic High School
02/07 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:30 PM Annville-Cleona High School

 

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2016-17 Elco Girls’ Basketball Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/09 #
Boiling Springs
6:00 PM W 53-27
12/10 #
@Middletown
7:30 PM W 62-58
12/13
@Manheim Central
7:30 PM
12/14
Fleetwood
7:30 PM L 42-56
12/16 *
Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM L 51-66
12/19 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
12/21 *
Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/03 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:30 PM Annville-Cleona High School
01/04
Palmyra
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/06 *
Pequea Valley
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/10 *
Columbia
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/13 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM Northern Lebanon High School
01/16
@Hamburg
7:30 PM Hamburg High School
01/17 *
@Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM Lancaster Catholic High School
01/20 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/24 *
@Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM Lebanon Catholic School
01/27 *
Annville-Cleona
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/31 *
@Pequea Valley
7:30 PM Pequea Valley High School
02/03 *
@Columbia
7:30 PM Columbia High School
02/07 *
Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM Elco High School

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Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PS PA
Lebanon Catholic 3 0 100.00 5 1 83.33 317 212
Lancaster Catholic 2 0 100.00 3 1 75.00 249 195
Northern Lebanon 2 1 66.67 6 1 85.71 375 226
Columbia 2 1 66.67 2 4 33.33 273 321
Elco 1 2 33.33 4 3 57.14 347 350
Lancaster Mennonite 1 2 33.33 1 6 14.29 256 350
Annville-Cleona 0 2 0.00 3 2 60.00 200 193
Pequea Valley 0 3 0.00 3 3 50.00 316 274

 

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