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IMG_5426BY JEFF FALK

LITITZ – There exists a personal-responsibility approach to basketball, and the cause-and-effect relationship between scoring and defense that says: ‘If you play good defense, an opponent won’t shoot well. And if you don’t play good defense, an opponent will shoot well’.

But there are things that are out of our control. And sometimes you’ve just got to tip your cap to the other guy.

On Monday night at Warwick High School, the Cedar Crest boys’ basketball team was felled by a barrage of Ephrata Mountaineer three-pointers during an emotional 84-69 setback, in the opening round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. The Mountaineers connected on amazing 14 three-point field goals in outscoring the Falcons 42-6 from downtown, and opening a 21-point halftime bulge.

Though Cedar Crest made a couple of second-half runs at Ephrata, it never fully recovered from the deficit caused by the Mountaineers’ hot shooting. For a Falcon program that had been to the L-L League championship tilt four times over the past seven years, it never saw this one coming.

IMG_5538With the result, the Falcons, the runners-up from Section One, slipped to 18-5 on the year. Cedar Crest’s next action will come on Friday, February 23rd in the District Three Class AAAAAA postseason, when it hosts the winner between Manheim Township and Conestoga Valley at 7 p.m. as the fourth seed.

Last night represented the most points Cedar Crest has given up all season, and the Falcons have yielded 70 points or more in three of their five losses.

Ephrata, the runner-up from Section Two, will carry an 18-5 overall mark into Wednesday’s semifinal round of the L-L League playoffs.

“Nope,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith, when asked if he had ever seen a team shoot that well against his club. “And not only did they (the Mountaineers) make 11 (three-pointers) in the first half, I think they only took 12. With their shooting early, you think it’s going to even itself out eventually, and it never did. I thought they took some ill-advised threes, and they went in. They were open, and they knocked them down.

IMG_5526“I thought Ephrata shared the ball well,” continued Smith. “We didn’t contain the ball well. They made the extra passes. I don’t think for one second it was a lack of effort on our part. We competed. They made tough shots all night.”

Cedar Crest led once all evening, 5-0, on a Cole Laney flush and a Laney three-pointer. The Mountaineers hit the Falcons with an ensuing and overwhelming 25-6 burst that featured seven three-pointers, four of which came from Zach McGillan – including a first-quarter banked buzzer-beater from just inside the half-court line that gave Ephrata a 25-11 lead.

“I knew they were a dangerous team,” said Smith of the Mounts. “Not one of us in that locker room took them lightly. Give them credit. They shot the ball very well.

“It stinks,” Smith continued. “Not only did I think we had the team to get to the championship game, I thought we had what it takes to win it. It’s difficult.”

Ephrata’s shooting did not cool in the second quarter.

The Mounts drained four more trifectas in the period, and opened a 38-17 bulge on a three-pointer from McGillan in the middle of the second. Teammate Dilyn Becker beat the second-quarter buzzer with a step-back jumper, to send Ephrata to the locker room with a 46-25 cushion.

“I told them I was proud of their fight,” said Smith of his troops. “They (the Mountaineers) were hot at the beginning. But we didn’t give up one time.

“We believe in playing the next play, and our kids did,” added Smith. “Our kids just kept playing. I thought our kids kept chipping away.”

McGillan finished with eight three-pointers and a game-high 30 points, while Bradly DaBella tallied 22 Ephrata points and Becker and Xavian Rodriguez chipped in with 13 and 12, respectively.

IMG_5614With 20 points, Laney showed the way for the Falcons, and senior Dylan Miller popped for 18 points. Logan Horn tossed in 15 points for Cedar Crest, while Jaiden Melendez struck for 12.

Cedar Crest was whistled for two intentional fouls and one technical foul.

“It’s the first round of the playoffs, it’s going to be emotional,” said Smith. “Our kids competed, competed at a high level. We couldn’t chip away fast enough. The kids are emotional now. They hate to lose. Their expectation was to play on Wednesday (in the semifinals).”

A Horn-and-Laney-led 10-0 run early in the second half pulled the Falcons to within 55-39 of the lead. But Ephrata ended the third quarter on a 9-4 burst.

IMG_5546“We turned up the pressure,” said Smith. “I thought we got them out of their rhythm, and we were able to play in transition.

“The pressure was getting to them,” Smith added. “We got it to nine (-point deficit) and the referee called a technical foul. It took a little wind out of our sails.”

With Horn registering five, Miller dropping in a deuce and Brandon Showers working inside, Cedar Crest netted the first nine points of the final stanza to move to within 64-52 of the lead. Two charity tosses from Miller made it 70-60, with 2:25 to go.

“We scored 68 points. We’re OK offensively,” said Smith. “We need to get better every single day. Every opportunity we’re going to get better. I’ve got a hungry group of kids. They’re going to get better. We’re never satisfied with where we’re at.”

 

 

 

 

 IMG_5382To 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 Results

Date Opponents 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
49
70
12/29
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
38
50
1/05
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
39
41
1/06
7:00 pm
Lower Dauphin
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon Valley College
68
73
1/09
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
66
35
1/12
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
64
62
1/18
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
55
54
1/19
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
54
50
1/20
3:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Williamsport
at Reading
59
55
1/23
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
41
81
1/26
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
76
73
1/30
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
55
72
2/02
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
51
62
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
53
61
2/12
7:00 pm
Ephrata
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
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IMG_5394
PIAA District Three
 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings
AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Reading 19- 2- 0  0.803017  0.937630  0.638490  22.6  282.5  1.5  160.0
2 HEMPFIELD 20- 2- 0  0.778654  0.942748  0.578094  24.7  258.4  1.5  188.6
3 Chambersburg 17- 4- 0  0.741221  0.870021  0.583800  20.8  255.5  3.1  182.2
4 Cedar Crest 18- 4- 0  0.737863  0.875502  0.569638  21.8  263.6  3.1  199.2
5 Manheim Township 17- 5- 0  0.719875  0.847561  0.563814  20.9  265.5  3.8  205.4
6 Harrisburg 15- 6- 0  0.704563  0.798715  0.589489  18.7  240.6  4.7  167.6
7 Wilson (3) 14- 8- 0  0.693423  0.720524  0.660299  16.5  318.0  6.4  163.6
8 Central York 14- 7- 0  0.691194  0.743764  0.626942  16.4  274.4  5.7  163.3
9 Dallastown 13- 9- 0  0.647378  0.676087  0.612290  15.6  293.0  7.5  185.5
10 Carlisle 12- 10- 0  0.646649  0.662162  0.627688  14.7  293.4  7.5  174.0
11 Cedar Cliff 13- 9- 0  0.619855  0.661504  0.568951  15.0  274.0  7.7  207.6
12 Conestoga Valley 11- 11- 0  0.610826  0.600457  0.623499  13.2  298.5  8.8  180.3
13 Cumberland Valley 9- 13- 0  0.593288  0.525943  0.675598  11.2  317.7  10.1  152.6
14 York County School Of Technology 14- 7- 0  0.585153  0.681265  0.467683  14.0  205.5  6.6  233.9
15 Governor Mifflin 9- 13- 0  0.581018  0.512136  0.665208  10.6  326.8  10.1  164.5
16 Red Lion 10- 12- 0  0.575743  0.544601  0.613805  11.6  293.0  9.7  184.4
17 Central Dauphin East 8- 13- 0  0.550907  0.488778  0.626842  9.8  272.3  10.3  162.1
18 Lebanon 7- 15- 0  0.524796  0.416667  0.656953  8.3  316.8  11.6  165.4
19 Warwick 6- 15- 0  0.502135  0.385224  0.645027  7.3  301.6  11.7  166.0
20 Penn Manor 6- 16- 0  0.483947  0.358974  0.636692  7.0  308.7  12.5  176.2
21 J P McCaskey 3- 19- 0  0.422410  0.203804  0.689594  3.8  332.4  14.7  149.6
22 Central Dauphin 3- 19- 0  0.400260  0.198370  0.647016  3.7  307.9  14.8  168.0
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 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section One Standings
League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Hempfield 13 1 92.86 21 2 91.30 1374 1070
Cedar Crest 11 3 78.57 18 5 78.26 1414 1197
Manheim Township 10 4 71.43 17 6 73.91 1459 1294
Conestoga Valley 6 8 42.86 11 11 50.00 1153 1237
Lebanon 5 9 35.71 7 14 33.33 1136 1190
Warwick 5 9 35.71 6 15 28.57 1161 1218
Penn Manor 3 11 21.43 6 16 27.27 1043 1167
McCaskey 3 11 21.43 3 19 13.64 1338 1516
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IMG_5428Lancaster-Lebanon League Quarterfinal Playoffs (at Warwick High School) Ephrata 84, Cedar Crest 69

Ephrata (84)

McGillan 10 2-2 30, DaBella 5 8-9 22, Becker 5 3-4 13, Rodriguez 3 5-8 12, Haws 1 2-4 4, Cable 1 0-1 3, Basenga 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 20-28 84.

Cedar Crest (69)

Thomson 0 1-2 1, Miller 6 6-9 18, Horn 7 1-4 15, Melendez 4 4-4 13, Laney 7 5-5 20, Showers 1 0-1 2, Eberhart 0 0-0 0, Dunlop 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 17-25 69.

Ephrata 25 21 18 20 -84

Cedar Crest 11  14 18 26 – 69

Three-pointers: E – McGillan 8, DaBella 4, Rodriguez, Cable; CC – Laney, Melendez

 

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