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IMG_9542 BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – Yet another practical application of social media.

The Lebanon boys’ basketball team had just taken care of its end of the bargain against visiting Penn Manor. Though the Cedars had a little celebratory idea in the back of their minds, they needed confirmation from South Lebanon in order to proceed.

Following a few awkward moments in which time seemed to stand still,  eventually word of the Falcons’ loss to Manheim Township came through on those little, hand-held electronic devices. Then the ladder and scissors came out, and the nets had no chance.

IMG_9635On Friday night, Lebanon High celebrated its 2016-17 Lancaster-Lebanon Section One championship by cutting down the nets on its home floor, following a 61-39 triumph over the Comets. The Cedars jumped out to an early double-digit lead and then protected it with another staunch defensive effort.

The victory assured Lebanon at least a tie for the section crown. Cedar Crest’s 61-57 setback at the hands of Manheim Township gave the Cedars the title out right. But not only did Lebanon win the L-L Section One championship, it did it in dominating fashion.

With three section games remaining in the regular season, Lebanon is 15-3 overall, 11-0 in Section One and owns a four-game lead on the rest of the circuit. The Cedars have won seven in-a-row and 14 of their last 15 outings.

Lebanon, last season’s Section Two champions, were rated third in the latest District Three Class AAAAAA power rankings.

The loss left Penn Manor 5-14 on the year and 1-10 in the section.

“We could only take care of our part of the deal,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “We did that. Then we were just waiting to find out what happened at Cedar Crest.

“It was special for the kids to experience that,” Speraw continued. “There’s a whole lot of teams that aren’t able to do that (cut down the nets on their home court). It was nice to be able to do it on our home floor.

“There were certainly feelings of anxiousness,” said Lebanon senior guard Camryn Shaak. “It definitely means a lot. I don’t think anyone expected us to run the table to the section championship. I feel like it’s just because we’ve been playing together since the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. We have plenty of scoring, and we play good defense. We’re a unit. We’re a family.”IMG_9533The first ingredient in Lebanon’s formula for success this season has been a fast start.

Against Penn Manor, that came in the form of a 13-3 lead, five minutes in, one the Cedars would never relinquish. Junior guard Luis Aquino-Rios netted six points in LHS’ opening volley, while Khalique Washington contributed five points and Dante Vargas added a bucket.

“We knew this was going to be a year where we could do something special or fight issues all year,” said Speraw. “They (his players) decided they wanted to do something special. We’ve had a lot of guys step up.

“As a group, we’re pretty consistent,” Speraw continued. “That’s a credit to our depth. If someone isn’t playing well, someone else will come in and pick him up. The guys are giving us great minutes.”

“I don’t think we played our best, but we did well enough to get the job done,” said Shaak. “I feel like my job is to keep the unit together, to keep our team on track. Be a leader, almost.

“There’s definitely more than one leader,” added Shaak. “You can lead in more than one aspect. It’s not just one guy.”

The Cedars really opened things up in the second stanza. Shaak scored on a drive and Washington laid in a deuce, as Lebanon registered the last two buckets of the half and took a 27-13 margin to the locker room.

“I thought we played well for the most part,” said Speraw. “There’s some things we need to clean up. But we knocked down shots when they made a little run at us, shots that killed those runs. As a coach, you’re always going to say you can play better.

IMG_9695“It’s going well,” Speraw added. “After two straight losses in mid-December, we had a lot of stuff we had to get better at. We had to make better decisions and we had to take care of the ball better.”

With 16 points, Aquino-Rios led the way for Lebanon, and Shaak struck for 13. The Cedars, who were without injured senior captain Shaq Ortiz, outscored the Comets 36-16 in and around the paint.

“When I first got the job I was hoping to be here as long as I could,” said Speraw, of the 100th career coaching victory he picked up on Tuesday. “Obviously things have changed. Life happens. But a hundred wins is not something I looked at. I look at the kids and what they do outside of the floor. I’d say in coaching, yeah this was a pretty special week. To win the section, that means a lot to us.

“We’re more focused on Tuesday,” Speraw added. “We make it a point not to look past the next game. It’s senior night. Obviously that (going undefeated in the section) would make it all the more special. But our next goal is to make a run at the L-Ls (Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs).”

On the strength of a trio three-pointers – two by Shaak and one by Sebastian Sierra – Lebanon outscored the Comets 9-1 during a 1:25 span of the middle of the third quarter, to extend its lead to 38-19.

IMG_9644After that, Penn Manor took advantage of a Lebanon lull to close to within 47-35, halfway through the final period. But the Cedars ended the game on a 14-4 spurt, which featured seven points from Aquino-Rios and four from Sabu Pereyra.

“This is our first goal,” said Shaak of the section. “I think we can win the Lancaster-Lebanon League. We’ve got a shot in districts. And we want to make a run in states. We’re the team to beat. The sky’s the limit.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-12/.

 

 

 

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Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One Standings

League Overall
W L PCT W L PCT PS PA
x-Lebanon 11 0 100.00 15 3 83.33 1132 924
Cedar Crest 7 4 63.64 12 5 75.00 957 864
Hempfield 7 4 63.64 12 6 66.67 984 861
Manheim Township 6 5 50.00 9 8 50.00 954 913
Warwick 5 6 45.45 8 11 42.11 1103 1162
McCaskey 5 6 45.45 6 10 37.50 975 1034
Conestoga Valley 2 9 18.18 3 16 15.79 999 1089
Penn Manor 1 10 9.09 5 14 26.32 842 1050

x-clinched section championship.

 

 

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 2016-17 Lebanion Boys’ Basketball Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/09 #
Red Lion
7:30 PM W 52-39
 
12/10 #
Cedar Crest
7:30 PM L 42-58
 
12/14
Governor Mifflin
7:30 PM L 50-54
 
12/16 *
Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM W 64-52
 
12/19 *
@McCaskey
7:30 PM W 68-58
 
12/21 *
Warwick
7:30 PM W 79-56
 
12/29
Cedar Cliff
6:00 PM W 67-50
 
12/30
Camp Hill
6:00 PM W 68-44
 
01/03 *
@Penn Manor
7:30 PM
 
01/06 *
@Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM
 
01/07
@Palmyra
5:30 PM L 73-75
 
01/10 *
Hempfield
7:30 PM
 
01/13 *
@Cedar Crest
7:30 PM W 60-41
 
01/17 *
@Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM
 
01/20 *
McCaskey
7:30 PM
 
01/23
@Ephrata
7:30 PM
 
01/24 *
@Warwick
7:30 PM
 
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/27 *
Penn Manor
7:30 PM Lebanon High School
01/31 *
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM Lebanon High School
02/03 *
@Hempfield
7:30 PM Hempfield High School
02/04
Hershey
2:30 PM Lebanon High School
02/07 *
Cedar Crest
7:30 PM Lebanon High School

 

 

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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

 

AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP
1 Governor Mifflin 14- 2- 0  0.791034  0.917582  0.636364
2 Reading 14- 2- 0  0.784640  0.900000  0.643644
3 Lebanon 14- 3- 0  0.746081  0.883721  0.577854
4 Harrisburg 13- 4- 0  0.734040  0.837270  0.607869
5 Carlisle 12- 6- 0  0.721640  0.765625  0.667881
6 Central Dauphin East 11- 5- 0  0.721164  0.783237  0.645296
7 Cedar Crest 12- 4- 0  0.708426  0.822857  0.568567
8 Wilson (3) 10- 6- 0  0.672058  0.709091  0.626796
9 Dallastown Area 12- 6- 0  0.670660  0.742268  0.583140
10 HEMPFIELD 11- 6- 0  0.666818  0.746556  0.569360
11 Central York 12- 7- 0  0.661527  0.709677  0.602676
12 Chambersburg Area 10- 7- 0  0.659368  0.693878  0.617189
13 Manheim Township 8- 8- 0  0.618577  0.616352  0.621297
14 Cumberland Valley 7- 10- 0  0.591122  0.529781  0.666094
15 Central Dauphin 7- 9- 0  0.588371  0.551613  0.633298
16 Warwick 8- 10- 0  0.584499  0.545455  0.632219
17 J P McCaskey 6- 10- 0  0.578881  0.496689  0.679339
18 Penn Manor 5- 13- 0  0.477306  0.357595  0.623619
19 Red Lion Area 4- 14- 0  0.442341  0.287500  0.631592
20 Cedar Cliff 3- 14- 0  0.423173  0.220339  0.671081
21 Conestoga Valley 2- 16- 0  0.365290  0.135135  0.646590
22 York County School Of Technology 3- 14- 0  0.335341  0.174312  0.532154

 

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