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 IMG_9327BY JEFF FALK

WRIGHTSVILLE – Sure the Cedar Crest girls’ basketball team has bigger fish to fry. But a championship is a championship.

If they’re going to keep score, the Falcons want to win it. And besides, there are only so many games, so much time and so many opportunities.

On Wednesday night, Cedar Crest captured the championship of the 26th annual Eastern York Christmas tournament in relatively routine fashion, routing the home-standing Golden Knights 60-41 in the title game. Behind the play of juniors Ariel Jones and Alyssa Austin, the Falcons outscored Eastern York in each of the first three quarters, on their way to a 55-34 lead.

IMG_9434It was the Falcons’ third straight tournament championship at this particular event, and their second of the season. Cedar Crest improved to 9-1 overall, while Eastern York fell to 3-7 on the year.

“It gets you out of Lebanon County,” said Cedar Crest head coach Jim Donmoyer. “It gets you away from the Lancaster-Lebanon League. It’s just a break from the normal things we do. We get to play different teams. They really do a nice job of running this event.

“Our goals are always the same – a section (One) championship, a league (Lancaster-Lebanon) championship, the district playoffs and the state playoffs,” continued Donmoyer. “Those are the four goals. Those will always be the goals as long as I’m here. Winning this was nice. That feels good. We’re well on the path for making those goals become real.”

IMG_9350With Jones controlling the perimeter and the open floor and Austin owning the paint, the Falcons were dominant from the opening tap, or at least after the Golden Knights tallied the first basket of the contest four seconds in.

With the Falcons nursing a 12-8 lead four minutes in, Cedar Crest notched the last six points of the first quarter – four charity tosses from Jones and a steal and lay-up from Skyanne Yancey – to open its first double-digit lead of the evening. Then the Falcons began the second quarter with ten more unanswered points, four of which came from Austin and four by Jones.

It all added up to a game-changing 16-0 run and a 28-8 advantage, 4:42 before halftime. The Cedar Crest man-to-man defense also held Eastern York without a point for a period of 8:28.

IMG_9401“We played in spurts,” said Donmoyer. “When we needed to play well, we played well. Everyone played. All 11 girls got in. I had the starting five on the bench with three minutes left in the third quarter. But when they were in, they played well.

“We’re good,” Donmoyer continued. “I feel as good as I did last year. We lost six seniors, but we’re more of a team this year. We’re checking our egos at the door. They know they’ll get their’s. Overall, I really like the way the kids feed off each other. And we always have Ariel and Alyssa.”

Jones edged Austin for the tournament’s MVP award, while the latter was named to the all-tournament team. Jones ran the show and posted 14 points in three quarters of action, and Austin registered a triple double – 16 points, 12 blocks and 11 rebounds.

IMG_9357Another key for the Falcons was Yancey’s shooting, especially in the first half. Her fourth trey of the opening half beat the buzzer and gave Cedar Crest a 36-21 locker room margin. She finished with 16 points.

“That’s the best she played all year,” said Donmoyer of Yancey. “She can shoot the ball, but tonight was the first time she shot it consistently. We talked about Alyssa’s passing. If we kick it inside and she kicks it back out, we’re going to have a shot. And if we kick it back into her, she’s going to be more open.

“Ariel’s our floor general,” added Donmoyer. “She’s one of our two go-to players. She’s our catalyst. She’s the engine that makes us go. She puts so much pressure on the defense. She’s tough to stay in front of. As they (Jones and Austin) go, we go. Then we have complimentary players who fit in well.”

The Golden Knights did manage to whittle the Cedar Crest lead down to 43-30 midway through the third period. But the Falcons answered with a 10-2 burst and opened their biggest lead of the contest with 1:57 left in the third, 53-32 courtesy of a Yancey lay-up.

IMG_9426With eight seconds left in the third quarter, the Falcons matched that, at 55-34.

“I give them credit,” said Donmoyer of the Golden Knights. “They were scrappy. They played hard. They just lacked some size and experience.

“You’ve got to play to your strength,” Donmoyer added. “Our strength is having the ball in number two’s (Jones’) or number 43’s (Austin’s) hands. They play off each other. Together, they’re averaging 30 points a game. But I only graduate two seniors, so it’s not like we’re old.”

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

 

 

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IMG_93802015-16 Cedar Crest Girls’ Basketball Schedule

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/04 #
Reading
6:00 PM W 57-39
12/05 #
@Muhlenberg
7:30 PM W 47-26
12/11 *
@Solanco
7:30 PM W 63-37
12/14 *
Ephrata
7:30 PM W 50-34
12/16 *
@Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 63-34
12/18 *
McCaskey
7:30 PM W 70-55
12/21 *
@Hempfield
7:30 PM W 57-52
12/23 *
@Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM L 49-50
12/29 #
Conrad Weiser
6:00 PM W 52-31
12/30 #
@Eastern York
7:30 PM W 60-41
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/05 *
Warwick
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
01/08 *
@Penn Manor
7:30 PM Penn Manor High School
01/11 *
Garden Spot
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
01/13 *
@Elizabethtown
7:30 PM Elizabethtown High School
01/14 *
@Lebanon
7:30 PM Lebanon High School
01/19 *
@McCaskey
7:30 PM McCaskey High School
01/22 *
Hempfield
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
01/25 *
Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
01/27
@Palmyra
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/28 *
@Warwick
7:30 PM Warwick High School
01/30
Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
02/02 *
Penn Manor
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School

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IMG_9336 (2)Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Cedar Crest 5-1 9-1
McCaskey 5-1 8-2
Manheim Twp. 5-1 6-5
Hempfield 4-2 8-4
Warwick 4-2 6-6
Penn Manor 0-6 1-10

 

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