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2 weeks ago
All is Not Lost

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 BY JEFF FALK

 SOUTH LEBANON – Making three straight foul shots with the outcome on the line is athletically hard. Losing three tense, tight games is emotionally difficult.

 Just when they thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. But it wasn’t the worst-case scenario for the Cedar Crest boys’ basketball squad.

  During Tuesday night’s regular-season finale at ‘The Cage’, the Falcons dropped their third nail-biter in five days, when they endured a difficult 61-60 loss to Manheim Township. With :00 showing on the fourth-quarter game clock, senior Logn Horn made two of three free throws – missing a third which would’ve sent the game to overtime – after being fouled on a three-point attempt at the buzzer.

 After Cedar Crest had trailed by as many as 13 points late in the third quarter, Jason Eberhart had pulled the Falcons to within 61-58 of the lead, on a lay-in with 32 seconds remaining. Horn’s first two chartity tosses were true, but his game-tying attempt rimmed out.

 It was less than a week ago that Cedar Crest seemed to have a firm grip on the Lancaster-Lebanon Section One championship, up two games in the standings with three league tilts remaining. But the Falcons lost on a buzzer-beat at McCaskey on Friday and endured a 43-41 loss at Penn Manor on Monday.

 The three consecutive defeats – by a total of four points – dropped the Falcons to 17-5 on the year, and to 8-5 and into second place in the circuit. Cedar Crest earned the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff berth that goes with the runner-up spot when McCaskey fell at Hempfield on Tuesday night.

 All the standing shuffling gave Manheim Township, now 14-7 overall and 9-4 in the league, the Section One crown. The Falcons had defeated the Blue Streaks 69-66 in Neffsville on January 17.

 “These kids are warriors,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith. “The ball just hasn’t gone in for us. It’s not a lack of effort. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. But the guys have stayed together. I think in the long run, this is going to make us stronger.

  “But I guess it could’ve been worse,” continued Smith. “We could’ve been out of the league playoffs altogether. There are no moral victories in losses. The section was our number-one goal. But there’s more basketball to be played. We get a chance.”

 The Falcons trailed by a couple of possessions in the first half, and 46-33 with 2:46 left in the third quarter.

 But Cedar Crest embarked on a 14-3 journey that pulled it to within 49-47 of the lead, three minutes in the final stanza. Then, three-pointers from Trey Shutter and Horn, and a Shutter foul shot, gave Cedar Crest a 54-52 edge, with 2:24 to go.

 The Falcons’ last lead of the evening came at 56-55, with 1:30 remaining, courtesy of an inside move by Ileri Ayo-Faleye.

  “There’s no one I’d rather have at the line than Logan,” said Smith. “I’d take him ten out of ten times, a hundred out of a hundred. The ball (on the third free throw) was halfway down. It was just unlucky, unfortunate. We never would’ve been as close as we were without him. There’s no one hurting more than him. But we’re here for him because he’s our brother.

 “The shots (during the comeback) were falling,” Smith continued. “Their shots (the Blue Streaks’) weren’t. We tell our kids that there’s no 14-point shot in basketball. We had to go one possession at a time.”

 After the Falcons trailed 35-27 at the break, the Blue Streaks netted the first five points of the second half to extend their lead to 13 points.

 “We thought we played pretty well in the first half,” said Smith, whose team was situated second in the latest District Three Class AAAAAA power rankings. “We thought we made some shots early. It’s (Manheim Township) a good basketball team. They had 35 points, but they earned them. That’s what we wanted.

 “We were happy,” added Smith. “We told our guys, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing.’ There weren’t too many adjustments to be made.”

 With four scorers reaching double digits, Cedar Crest’s offense was extremely balanced. Horn showed the way with 15 points, Ayo-Faleye and Eberhart followed closely behind with 13 points and Shutter tossed in ten.

 Manheim Township star Tyler Crespo poured in a game-high 30 points, including 11 of his side’s 15 fourth-quarter points. The Blue Streaks converted 16 of their 24 free throw attempts, while Cedar Crest went 13-for-23 at the line.

 “I don’t think we’re scoring the ball as well,” said Smith. “We’re struggling offensively. I’m blaming Mother Nature on that. We haven’t had a lot of practices. But the effort is there. We played well enough defensively to win.”

 The Blue Streaks opened a 17-10 lead six minutes into the contest, on a pair of charity tosses from Crespo. But an inside move by Eberhart 1:38 into the second quarter drew the Falcons to within 19-17 of the lead.

 “It’s tough,” said Smith. “We played well enough to win. That’s a good basketball team. It’s gut-wrenching for all of us.

 “These kids commit themselves for years,” Smith added. “They play so hard. It’s tough to take when you lose games like that. I hate losing more than I like winning. The boys feel the same way.”

 Despite Horn scoring seven straight Cedar Crest points, the Falcons trailed 33-26 late in the the first half.

 “They’ll be fine,” said Smith of his troops. “They’re tough kids. They’ll respond. This is only building character for us. They only know one thing, and that’s compete their tails off.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Cedar Crest Boys’ Basketball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
12/07
6:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Elco
at Lebanon
67
36
 
12/08
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
53
43
 
12/10
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Wyomissing
73
47
 
12/14
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Cedar Crest
47
74
 
12/17
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
56
46
 
12/19
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Cedar Crest
41
58
 
12/21
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
42
52
 
12/22
6:30 pm
Palmyra
at Cedar Crest
46
63
 
12/28
7:30 pm
Mount Carmel
at Cedar Crest
56
79
 
12/29
7:30 pm
Lebanon
Cedar Crest
at Falcon Tournament (at Cedar Crest)
52
58
 
1/03
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
40
65
 
1/05
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Lower Dauphin
at Lebanon Valley College
54
49
 
1/08
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
49
54
 
1/11
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
30
48
 
1/12
3:00 pm
Red Land
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Central
59
81
 
1/15
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
52
64
 
1/17
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
69
66
 
1/23
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Carlisle
49
37
 
1/25
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
41
62
 
2/01
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
58
60
 
2/04
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
41
43
 
2/05
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings
 
 
AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Wilson 18- 2- 0  0.815091  0.931330  0.673021  21.7  298.4  1.6  145.0
2 Cedar Crest 17- 4- 0  0.747870  0.869848  0.598787  20.1  261.6  3.0  175.3
3 Harrisburg 14- 5- 0  0.735881  0.815348  0.638756  17.0  253.7  3.9  143.5
4 Reading 14- 6- 0  0.735482  0.782609  0.677882  16.2  281.1  4.5  133.6
5 Chambersburg Area 16- 4- 0  0.733467  0.866071  0.571394  19.4  236.1  3.0  177.1
6 Cumberland Valley 15- 5- 0  0.723745  0.825792  0.599021  18.3  250.9  3.9  168.0
7 Central Dauphin 13- 6- 0  0.723106  0.776156  0.658268  16.0  283.5  4.6  147.2
8 Central York 16- 5- 0  0.717259  0.823529  0.587373  18.9  248.4  4.1  174.5
9 Warwick 14- 6- 0  0.692020  0.772727  0.593377  17.0  246.4  5.0  168.9
10 Waynesboro Area 14- 4- 0  0.691461  0.818653  0.536004  15.8  218.1  3.5  188.8
11 Manheim Township 12- 7- 0  0.690325  0.730864  0.640777  14.8  260.7  5.5  146.2
12 HEMPFIELD 12- 9- 0  0.670768  0.676123  0.664224  14.3  303.7  6.9  153.5
13 J P McCaskey 11- 9- 0  0.663631  0.659314  0.668908  13.5  293.5  7.0  145.3
14 Governor Mifflin 10- 11- 0  0.612843  0.583942  0.648167  12.0  282.1  8.6  153.1
15 Penn Manor 11- 10- 0  0.607417  0.628916  0.581141  13.1  255.2  7.7  183.9
16 Dallastown 10- 10- 0  0.601550  0.590000  0.615667  11.8  277.1  8.2  173.0
17 Lebanon 10- 11- 0  0.595097  0.574307  0.620507  11.4  275.4  8.5  168.4
18 Carlisle 8- 12- 0  0.593542  0.523810  0.678770  9.9  293.5  9.0  138.9
19 Central Dauphin East 8- 11- 0  0.582842  0.532213  0.644721  9.5  274.2  8.4  151.1
20 Exeter Township 8- 11- 0  0.582168  0.512968  0.666745  8.9  284.9  8.5  142.4
21 Red Lion 10- 11- 0  0.558970  0.554745  0.564134  11.4  250.3  9.2  193.4
22 York County School Of Technology 13- 8- 0  0.539701  0.615572  0.446970  12.7  197.7  7.9  244.6
23 Conestoga Valley 3- 16- 0  0.380695  0.203762  0.596948  3.3  252.3  12.7  170.4
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Lancaster-Lebanon League

  Section One Standings

 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Manheim Township 9 4 69.23 14 7 66.67 1304 1155
Cedar Crest 8 5 61.54 17 5 77.27 1323 1058
McCaskey 8 5 61.54 11 10 52.38 1285 1328
Hempfield 7 6 53.85 13 9 59.09 1160 1056
Penn Manor 5 8 38.46 11 10 52.38 1064 1053
 
 

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