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IMG_9717BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – On the right track, on the right path, the Cedar Crest boys’ basketball team is in a good place right now. But the good news for the Falcons is that there’s plenty of room for improvement, and that they’re not quite exactly sure how good they can be.

On Thursday night at ‘The Cage’, during the opening round of its own Holiday Tournament, Cedar Crest’s evolution as a pretty good basketball team continued, during a 70-49 triumph over Camp Hill. The Falcons used a crippling second-quarter run to gain control of the outcome, then refused to loosen their stranglehold on it the rest of the way.

The win moved Cedar Crest to a very respectable 7-2 on the year, and it set up a coveted match-up with rival Lebanon for the championship of the event. The Falcons and Cedars will square off Friday at 7:30 p.m. back at ‘The Cage’.

Earlier this year, Cedar Crest shaded the Cedars 49-46 to capture the championship of Lebanon’s Tip-Off tournament.

IMG_9773“I think we’re in a good spot,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith. “We’ve got the meat of our schedule coming up. But we’ve been taking care of business. We need to get healthy. We had two starters out tonight. I think good things are going to happen for us down the stretch.

“Offensively, we just want to continue to get better,” continued Smith. “We’ve played well lately. But I think there’s still room for growth. Defensively, I think we need to be more consistent. I think we can be very good on that side of the ball. For us to reach our goals, we need a full effort every possession.”

While the Falcons were good most of the night,  they were at their best during a 6:19 stretch before halftime, when they put some distance between themselves and the visiting Lions. It was then that Cedar Crest outscored Camp Hill 19-5 to stretch a three-point edge to 37-20.

IMG_9688The Falcons played good team defense and offense, and scored in a variety of ways. Cole Laney tallied eight points during the decisive outburst and Blake Thomson netted five, while Logan Horn, Brody Dunlop and Brandon Showers – on a halftime buzzer-beating stick back – all contributed a pair apiece.

“We were getting defensive stops and taking care of the defensive boards,” said Smith of the decisive span. ‘We were getting out in transition. And we were getting good looks at the basket. But it started with the defense.”

The Falcons’ first 12 points of the game came from three-point land – three of which were drained by Laney – as they opened an early six-point advantage. And when Adam Loehr scored on back-to-back in-close baskets to close out the opening stanza, Cedar Crest had itself an 18-10 margin.

“I thought we played well,” said Smith. “We shot the ball very well. When the ball is going in the basket, it makes a huge difference.

“Our last game we lost,” Smith continued. “We wanted to get that winning taste back. We want to win our holiday tournament. Plus Lebanon won the game before, so this set up another opportunity for us to play our rival.”

Laney concluded the evening with a game-high 22 points, on five two-pointers and a quartet of trifectas. Thomson pumped in 16 points and Horn dropped in 15.

In all, Cedar Crest made nine three-pointers, and held Camp Hill to a lone free throw.

“I think he’s starting to figure it out again,” said Smith of Laney. “He played football this fall for the first time, and he’s just getting his basketball legs back. He’s starting to feel it. The last three or four games he’s been a force.

IMG_9723“Our last three games we’ve gotten to 70 (points),” Smith added. “I think we’re starting to share the ball really well. Hopefully we’re just going to keep doing the things that got us to this point.”

For the most part, the Falcons maintained their comfortable double-digit lead through the third quarter. That is until Horn tallied five straight points to move Cedar Crest’s lead to 50-29, with 4:13 left in the stanza.

“We’ve done pretty well defensively,” said Smith. “A lot of our goals, game in and game out, revolve around playing defense. I thought we played well. Sometimes we were a little lax. But when you hold a good team under 50 points, you’re going a good job.”

Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Thomson scored on a driving lay-up to move the Falcons’ margin to 67-45.

 

 

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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 Cedar Crest Boys’ Basketball Schedule

Date Teams Results
12/08
7:45 pm
Cedar Crest
Elco
at Lebanon
68
44
12/09
7:45 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
49
46
12/11
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Central
57
39
12/14
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
61
46
12/15
TBD
Cedar Crest
York
at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
48
55
12/18
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
40
52
12/20
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Conestoga Valley
73
39
12/22
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
77
71
12/28
7:30 pm
Camp Hill
at Cedar Crest
12/29
TBD
TBA
at Cedar Crest
1/05
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
1/06
7:00 pm
Lower Dauphin
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon Valley College
1/09
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
1/12
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
1/16
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
1/19
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
1/20
3:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Williamsport
at Reading
1/23
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
1/26
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
1/30
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
2/02
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
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