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 IMG_3500BY JEFF FALK

LANDISVILLE – They used it to transform a climate, to change their culture. It has  become their trademark.

The Falcons just aren’t the Falcons when they’re not playing defense.

On Tuesday night at Hempfield High School, the Cedar Crest boys’ basketball team was not on top of its defensive game, during a decisive 72-55 setback to the home-standing Black Knights. With Hempfield imposing its will on the Falcons’ man-to-man defense, the Black Knights outscored the Falcons 46-17 during the middle periods to carry a 64-34 lead into the final eight minutes of play.

The outcome all but assured the Lancaster-Lebanon Section One championship for Hempfield.

With two regular-season games remaining, Hempfield is 17-2 overall, 11-1 in the section and owns a two-game lead over Cedar Crest. The Falcons, who edged the Black Knights 41-39 in South Lebanon on January 5th, slipped to 16-4 on the winter and 9-3 in the league.

IMG_3407The Falcons are guaranteed a spot in next month’s L-L league playoffs, but the loss was their most lopsided of the season.

Cedar Crest was rated third in the most recent District Three Class AAAAAA power rankings.

“I thought we played well at times,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith, of his side’s defensive effort. “They (the Black Knights) shot very well. It wasn’t our best game defensively, but it wasn’t awful.

“I want to play faster, but this is a game we wanted to play slow,” continued Smith. “They beat us at our own game. Tonight we weren’t making shots, and they were playing in transition.”

The first quarter was played in a manner that most expected.

After the Black Knights tallied nine of the game’s first 11 points, Cedar Crest outscored them 15-6 over the next four minutes to take a 17-15 edge, on a Jaiden Melendez pull-up. During the stretch, Blake Thomson notched four Falcon points, Jason Eberhart converted a three-point play, Cole Laney canned a pair of foul shots, Dylan Miller scored on a drive and Melendez stroked a different short jumper.

IMG_3421But Hempfield star Ryan Moffat tossed in a three-point Hail Mary from half court to beat the first-quarter buzzer, and it was all down hill for the Falcons after that.

“It did a little bit,” said Smith of the effect Moffat’s buzzer-beater had on the flow of the game. “He makes that shot, but the biggest thing is that if he didn’t, we have the momentum going into the second period. That was one possession. There were 79 others in the game.

“They (the Black Knights) got to loose balls,” Smith continued. “They came up with most of the 50-50 balls. We didn’t get defensive rebounds. We gave them open shots.”

If Moffat’s buzzer-beater was a jab, then the Black Knights delivered the knock-out punch in the second stanza.

It was a 22-19 game, thanks to a Laney inside move three minutes into the quarter. But from then to halftime, the Black Knights outscored Cedar Crest 19-4 to take a 41-23 bulge to the locker room.

“We talked about how it’s just one game,” said Smith of the post-game address to his charges. ” ‘Don’t let it define a season.’ I don’t think they’re better than us. They were better than us tonight.

“They (the Black Knights) were good,” added Smith. “They were very good. They shot the ball very well. We couldn’t get consecutive ‘stops’ to stop their runs.”

Thomson registered 12 points for the Falcons and Laney complemented him with 11. Moffat, a versatile do-everything talent, notched a game-high 23 points, while teammate Anthony Alston contributed 16 points to the Hempfield cause.

Hempfield outscored Cedar Crest 21-6 from beyond the arc.

IMG_3502“He’s tough, but Blake battled him,” said Smith of Moffat. “We made him earn his baskets. If you talked to Ryan Moffat, he’d tell you he didn’t get any easy ones. He’s a heck of a player. He’s a tough check for anyone.

“They (the Black Knights) played with a sense of urgency,” Smith added. “They had momentum for most of the game. But I’m proud of my guys. They fought. It just snowballed on us. We couldn’t put runs together, and they did. They’re (his players) upset, but they’re a proud group. With that margin of defeat, they’re hurting. But they’re resilient.”

Cedar Crest threatened to make it a game when it notched the first five points of the second half, to pull to within 41-28 of the lead. But the Falcons couldn’t sustain it.

Hempfield tallied 23 of the final 29 points of the third quarter, to open a 30-point advantage.

“We play this game to win, every game,” said Smith. “We’re going to try to get these next two (regular-season games) to create momentum for the league playoffs. There’s a lot we’re playing for. I’m not conceding the section, but we’re not controlling our own destiny any more.”

Smith took most of his regulars out with 3:10 remaining, and the Black Knights ahead 72-49.

“We’ll talk about it,” said Smith. “We’ll watch film. We’ll learn. We’ve got to get better. We have a lot to play for.”

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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 Results

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
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
2/02
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
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 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings
AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Reading 16- 1- 0  0.814395  0.961832  0.634194  18.9  225.9  0.8  130.3
2 HEMPFIELD 16- 2- 0  0.769185  0.929245  0.573557  19.7  215.6  1.5  160.3
3 Cedar Crest 16- 3- 0  0.744365  0.891455  0.564589  19.3  218.8  2.4  168.7
4 Chambersburg 14- 4- 0  0.728913  0.845771  0.586087  17.0  210.2  3.1  148.5
5 Wilson (3) 12- 6- 0  0.709075  0.750000  0.659056  14.1  256.9  4.7  132.9
6 Manheim Township 13- 5- 0  0.700046  0.808673  0.567279  15.9  225.6  3.8  172.1
7 Harrisburg 14- 6- 0  0.696945  0.787330  0.586474  17.4  193.0  4.7  136.1
8 Central York 11- 7- 0  0.670508  0.696237  0.639061  13.0  231.5  5.7  130.8
9 Cedar Cliff 11- 7- 0  0.633450  0.682065  0.574032  12.6  228.4  5.9  169.5
10 Dallastown 10- 8- 0  0.632573  0.645161  0.617187  12.0  242.4  6.6  150.4
11 Carlisle 9- 9- 0  0.624870  0.620787  0.629861  11.1  242.2  6.8  142.3
12 Cumberland Valley 9- 11- 0  0.616290  0.565990  0.677768  11.2  257.5  8.6  122.4
13 Red Lion 10- 9- 0  0.611834  0.615385  0.607495  11.6  237.5  7.3  153.5
14 Governor Mifflin 8- 10- 0  0.600712  0.546512  0.666958  9.4  267.5  7.8  133.6
15 Conestoga Valley 9- 10- 0  0.595318  0.571046  0.624985  10.7  252.2  8.0  151.3
16 Central Dauphin East 7- 9- 0  0.585080  0.551613  0.625983  8.6  222.9  7.0  133.2
17 York County School Of Technology 11- 6- 0  0.577872  0.659701  0.477858  11.1  167.8  5.7  183.4
18 Lebanon 6- 12- 0  0.531105  0.429448  0.655353  7.0  269.4  9.3  141.7
19 Penn Manor 6- 13- 0  0.506076  0.405797  0.628638  7.0  254.9  10.3  150.6
20 Warwick 5- 13- 0  0.492256  0.373457  0.637455  6.1  249.5  10.2  141.9
21 J P McCaskey 3- 16- 0  0.436708  0.232198  0.686664  3.8  274.7  12.4  125.4
22 Central Dauphin 2- 15- 0  0.388950  0.177936  0.646856  2.5  253.6  11.6  138.5
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IMG_3484Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Hempfield 11 1 91.67 17 2 89.47 1104 859
Cedar Crest 9 3 75.00 16 4 80.00 1222 1009
Manheim Township 7 4 63.64 14 5 73.68 1167 1028
Lebanon 5 6 45.45 7 11 38.89 953 986
Warwick 5 7 41.67 6 13 31.58 1063 1099
Conestoga Valley 4 8 33.33 9 11 45.00 1043 1147
Penn Manor 3 9 25.00 6 14 30.00 941 1052
McCaskey 3 9 25.00 3 17 15.00 1204 1345

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