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BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – Through hard work and dedication, the Cedar Crest boys’ basketball team has put itself in a position to have success at this time of the season. Right now for the Falcons, it’s pretty much league championship or bust.

On Monday night at ‘The Cage’, Cedar Crest appeared very business-like while registering a somewhat routine 59-36 triumph over Cocalico, in the quarterfinal round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League postseason. Following a bit of a slow start, the Falcons gained confidence, comfort and momentum as the contest wore on.

The Section One champions and the overall number-one seed in the tournament, Cedar Crest moved to 20-3 and into a Wednesday semfinal game at 6 p.m. at Hempfield, against Section Three champion Lampeter-Strasburg, a 64-61 winner over Elizabehtown.

At this point, the Falcons aren’t even thinking about the quarterfinals of the District Three Class AAAAAA postseason on Friday, February 21st, when they will host either Manheim Township or Central Dauphin, as the number-four seed.

With the loss, Cocalico, the runner-up from Section Three, slipped to 12-13 overall.

“I think you could ask anyone in that locker room and they would tell you that’s our goal,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith of a league championship. “If we don’t meet that goal, it’s a failure – the league tournament not the season.

“Playing at home is huge,” continued Smith. “We have a great following. We have great support. We have a great community. We have that ‘sixth’ man. We practice here every day. We’re comfortable here.”

Following a six-day lay-off, Cedar Crest traded punches with Cocalico early. Three-pointers from Grant Allwein and Chris Danz gave the Falcons a little traction and helped them to a 13-9 first-quarter edge.

“Maybe. I hope not,” said Smith of the extended lay-off. “It might have been a little bit of that. We had a longer break than we’re used to. But we worked our way through it.

“I thought defensively we played well all game,” Smith continued. “Offensively, we were a little slow. We didn’t play at the pace we wanted to play at. They (the Eagles) started in a zone and it slowed us down.”

Cedar Crest picked up the pace in the second period.

A short jumper from Ilerri Ayo-Faleye, a Cole Miller three-pointer and Jason Eberhart’s inside hoop pushed the Falcon advantage to 20-9, 3:11 into the stanza. And when Eberhart scored on a driving lay-in and Amani Jones tallied a deuce, Cedar Crest had itself a 24-13 margin.

“Some of our guys came in off the bench and knocked down some shots,” said Smith. “Those early shots got them (the Eagles) out of the zone. We talked at halftime about making lay-ups and picking up the pace.

“I think we were feeling ourselves out (at the start),” added Smith. “We made some reminders about what we do and then we went and did them. The pace of the game slowed us down. I told our guys that we have to control the tempo.”

The Falcons’ balanced scoring was led by Eberhart’s 16 points and Miller’s 11. Cedar Crest outscored Cocalico 32-16 on two-point field goals.

Carter Nuneville accounted for 26 of the Eagles’ total points.

“Defensively, we were spot on with our assignments,” said Smith. “Number four (Nuneville) is good, and we wanted him to earn his points. I think they had ten outside of him.

“Grant (Allwein) studies film,” Smith added. “He comes to me and tells me about the players he’s going to defend. He has the will to be better than the guy in front of him. I told him, ‘You played a heck of a game.’ When you take away their best guy, you can focus on the other players.”

Cedar Crest put the outcome to rest in the third period. It started with free throws from Miller and Allwein.

And it ended with an overwhelming 11-4 run that jacked the Cedar Crest lead to 40-27. Eberhart collected six of those points, while Miller, Carson Perlaki and Jones also contributed points.

“It’s just kind of switched roles, a lot,” said Smith of his Falcons going from a guard-oriented attack to an inside-heavy look. “It’s more inside-out now. Our guards understand it and they do what they need to do.”

The Falcons sucked any remaining life out of the Eagles with an inside move by Ayo-Faleye and a Miller three-pointer to start the final quarter. That made it a 45-27 game.

“At this point of the season, it’s win or go home,” said Smith. “You have to have that extreme sense of focus. The effort’s got to be greater. These are the fun games. We have a great group of seniors.

“Lampeter-Strasburg is, year-in and year-out, one of the top dogs in the league,” continued Smith. “They’re going to be ready for us. I know they shoot the heck out of the basketball.”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2019-20 Cedar Crest Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
6:00 pm
Red Land
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
29
70

Nonleague
12/07
7:30 pm
Elco
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
55
59

Nonleague
12/09
7:30 pm
Wyomissing
at Cedar Crest
47
59

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elizabethtown
45
41

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
55
57

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Ephrata
57
26

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
50
55

League
12/21
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Palmyra
60
40

Nonleague
12/27
7:30 pm
Oxford
at Cedar Crest
38
51

Nonleague
12/28
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
49
59

Nonleague
1/02
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Conestoga Valley
52
46

League
1/04
4:30 pm
Cedar Crest
Lower Dauphin
at Lebanon Valley College
46
58

Nonleague
1/08
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
47
61

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
70
40

League
1/11
3:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Bishop McDevitt
at Manheim Central
58
55

Nonleague
1/14
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
48
62

League
1/17
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
49
58

League
1/22
7:30 pm
Carlisle
at Cedar Crest
43
56

Nonleague
1/24
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
56
51

League
1/28
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
52
65

League
1/31
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
52
53

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
42
61

League
2/10
7:00 pm
Cocalico
at Cedar Crest

Playoff
2/21
7:00 pm
TBA
at Cedar Crest

Playoff

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1***Wilson21-1-0 0.845478 0.970930 0.692147 25.1 332.3 0.8 147.8
2***Central York18-3-0 0.777853 0.897704 0.631368 21.5 291.9 2.5 170.4
3***Reading15-5-0 0.763853 0.825581 0.688407 17.8 298.7 3.8 135.2
4***Cedar Crest19-3-0 0.757581 0.906375 0.575722 22.8 269.2 2.4 198.4
5***Central Dauphin17-5-0 0.749759 0.846311 0.631750 20.7 301.3 3.8 175.6
6***Cumberland Valley18-4-0 0.749476 0.880478 0.589362 22.1 277.0 3.0 193.0
7***Warwick17-4-0 0.736006 0.861635 0.582460 20.6 264.0 3.3 189.3
8***J P McCaskey15-7-0 0.720153 0.773859 0.654513 18.7 307.9 5.5 162.5
9***Chambersburg Area16-6-0 0.704769 0.807377 0.579358 19.7 270.9 4.7 196.7
10***Governor Mifflin13-9-0 0.692080 0.692478 0.691594 15.7 339.4 7.0 151.4
11***Harrisburg13-8-0 0.684596 0.725400 0.634724 15.9 281.5 6.0 162.0
12***Manheim Township13-8-0 0.681031 0.720824 0.632394 15.8 291.9 6.1 169.7
13Central Dauphin East14-8-0 0.678537 0.717842 0.630497 17.3 296.1 6.8 173.5
14Exeter Township13-9-0 0.658504 0.681193 0.630774 14.9 301.1 7.0 176.3
15Dallastown13-9-0 0.653224 0.680617 0.619745 15.5 294.1 7.3 180.5
16Lebanon12-10-0 0.609194 0.642857 0.568050 14.4 270.3 8.0 205.5
17Waynesboro Area12-10-0 0.585746 0.611872 0.553815 13.4 259.9 8.5 209.4
18Red Lion10-12-0 0.566558 0.533019 0.607551 11.3 287.3 9.9 185.6
19Carlisle8-14-0 0.563937 0.485294 0.660056 9.9 317.9 10.5 163.7
20Penn Manor8-14-0 0.530882 0.463054 0.613782 9.4 296.2 10.9 186.4
21HEMPFIELD6-16-0 0.505033 0.365979 0.674987 7.1 334.0 12.3 160.8
22Conestoga Valley7-15-0 0.482745 0.401515 0.582027 8.0 276.6 11.9 198.6
23York County School Of Technology4-15-0 0.306571 0.197403 0.440000 3.8 178.8 15.5 227.5

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Final Section One Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Cedar Crest1120.8461930.86412381046
McCaskey1030.7691570.68215261310
Manheim Township760.5381380.61912001075
Hempfield490.3086160.27310091165
Penn Manor3100.2318140.36410661230

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