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Around one's neck, silver is much heavier than gold. 

 IMG_1654BY JEFF FALK

NEFFSVILLE – They all hurt. Some more than others.

And the ones that hurt the worst have the power to make us stronger. Because kids are resilient.

But what was especially distressing about this one for the Lebanon boys’ basketball team was that it afforded it a glimpse of how it might end.

On Friday night at Manheim Township High School, the Cedars were upset by Lancaster Catholic 49-47, in the 46th annual Lancaster-Lebanon League championship game. In a physical and emotional defensive struggle, Lebanon played hard, but was outplayed by the Crusaders – especially during crunch time.

Two free throws from Luis Aquino-Rios with 33 seconds to go gave Lebanon a 47-46 edge. But the Crusaders netted the eventual game-winner 18 seconds later on ‘big’ Sean Landis’ strong, quick move along the baseline, and a turnover on their next possession precluded the Cedars from getting off another shot.

IMG_1784A charity toss by Landis with two seconds remaining provided the final outcome, and Lebanon didn’t have enough time to go the length of the court.

“I told the guys, ‘It’s going to hurt,'” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “You put in a certain amount of time and energy, and you’re just two points short. You’ve got to let it hurt. You’ve got to see it as making you stronger. But the sun is going to come up tomorrow.

“There’s no consolation,” continued Speraw. “We don’t have moral victories. We lost the game. I feel like we always play hard, like we always compete. Tonight we just didn’t score enough points.”

The loss dropped Lebanon, the champions of Section One, to 20-5 overall and 8-5 all-time in Lancaster-Lebanon championship games. The Cedars will take a week off before they host the winner between C.D. East and Chambersburg, on Friday at 7 p.m. at home, in the quarterfinal round of the District Three Class AAAAAA postseason.

For Lancaster Catholic, the now 21-4 runner-up from Section Three, it was its second L-L title overall.

“They got something baseline,” said Speraw of the decisive final seconds. “We were a little slow rotating over. Earlier we had those two turnovers in-a-row. They were just two bad turnovers, and then they (the Crusaders) came down and hit two threes. That was a turning point.

IMG_1702“It seemed like we couldn’t get in sync,” added Speraw. “We couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively. A lot of credit to them (the Crusaders). They play tough defense.”

Every possession seemed to matter, as neither side led by more than six  points all evening.

That lead was held by Lancaster Catholic, at 46-40 with 2:14 to go. But Khalique Washington nailed a rare three-pointer for Lebanon and Ortiz worked his way inside for a deuce to set the stage for Aquino-Rios’ foul shots and the final frantic seconds.

“Tonight he started carrying us a little more,” said Speraw of Washington. “It was a very physical game. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

“They (the Crusaders) packed it in a little more on us,” Speraw continued. “I thought we got too focused on going inside. And they (the Crusaders) focused on us inside.”

Staring down a 28-23 hole early in the second half, the Cedars went inside to get the lead. The Cedars’ 8-0 run was made up of six points by Washington, a driving lay-in by Ortiz and by holding the Crusaders without a point for a span of 3:22.

“I figured it was going to be a defensive struggle,” said Speraw. “They (the Crusaders) put a lot of pride in their defense. We had a couple of costly turnovers. We didn’t do what we needed to do, with the lead or down the stretch.”

IMG_1764Washington paced the Lebanon attack with 15 points, while Ortiz collected 11. Lebanon went 10-for-17 at the foul line.

“I thought we did a really good job on (Lancaster Catholic’s Danny) Bomberger, limiting his touches and making him take tough shots,” said Speraw. “They’re (the Crusaders) tough. They’re balanced. They have eight or nine guys who can do a lot of the same things.”

A Camryn Shaak three-pointer, an Ortiz trey and a Sabu Pereya lay-in added up to an 8-2 run and a 21-19 Lebanon lead, 3:42 before intermission. But the Cedars didn’t score during the rest of the first half, and Lancaster Catholic carried a 24-21 edge to the locker room.

IMG_1599“Before the season, I said we could be pretty good or we could be .500,” said Speraw. “It depended on how the kids came together. They decided to come together. They work hard. They listen, we come out and compete.

“I’d say maybe a quarter of the way through the season, after the losses to Governor Mifflin and Cedar Crest, we started to roll a little bit,” Speraw added. “We got a little more confidence. We felt like we could compete with anyone.”

With Shaak, Washington and Felix Kortright doing work for Lebanon, the game was tied at six four minutes in. But Lancaster Catholic outscored the Cedars 6-3 over the remainder of the opening period, then assumed a 14-9 margin early in the second.

“It’s just about time,” said Speraw. “It’s just going to take some time. But we’ll get back on track.”

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IMG_1749To purchase images in this article email jkifalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

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 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

Date Teams Score
12/09
7:30 pm
Red Lion
Lebanon
at Lebanon
39
52
12/10
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
58
42
12/14
7:30 pm
Governor Mifflin
at Lebanon
54
50
12/16
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Lebanon
52
64
12/19
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
68
58
12/21
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
56
79
12/29
6:00 pm
Cedar Cliff
at Lebanon
50
67
12/30
6:00 pm
Camp Hill
at Lebanon
51
68
1/03
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Penn Manor
74
53
1/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
58
45
1/07
7:00 pm
Palmyra
at Lebanon
75
73
1/10
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Lebanon
51
65
1/13
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
60
41
1/17
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township
73
68
1/20
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Lebanon
50
59
1/23
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata
50
40
1/24
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick
69
44
1/27
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Lebanon
39
61
1/31
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon
60
71
2/03
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hempfield
47
50
2/04
2:30 pm
Hershey
at Lebanon
54
55
2/07
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
48
53
2/13
7:00 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
50
52
2/15
7:00 pm
Lebanon
Lancaster Mennonite
at Cedar Crest
59
48
2/17
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon
2/24
7:00 pm
TBA
at Lebanon

 

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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

 

AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP
1 Reading 18- 2- 0  0.790497  0.921053  0.630930
2 Governor Mifflin 18- 4- 0  0.767302  0.877551  0.632554
3 Lebanon 18- 4- 0  0.746144  0.876494  0.586828
4 Harrisburg 16- 5- 0  0.733279  0.836518  0.607098
5 Carlisle 14- 7- 0  0.719543  0.766147  0.662582
6 Central Dauphin East 14- 8- 0  0.692541  0.736842  0.638395
7 HEMPFIELD 15- 7- 0  0.689586  0.776151  0.583784
8 Cedar Crest 15- 7- 0  0.686966  0.771368  0.583810
9 Central York 15- 7- 0  0.682047  0.752119  0.596405
10 Manheim Township 14- 8- 0  0.677018  0.737069  0.603623
11 Chambersburg Area 13- 8- 0  0.668032  0.722864  0.601015
12 Dallastown Area 14- 8- 0  0.655782  0.714894  0.583534
13 Wilson (3) 12- 9- 0  0.645385  0.665083  0.621309
14 Central Dauphin 8- 13- 0  0.566369  0.491228  0.658207
15 Warwick 8- 14- 0  0.540091  0.466019  0.630623
16 J P McCaskey 6- 14- 0  0.539183  0.414365  0.691739
17 Cumberland Valley 7- 14- 0  0.539133  0.443570  0.655933
18 Conestoga Valley 5- 17- 0  0.452162  0.297927  0.640672
19 Cedar Cliff 5- 17- 0  0.451948  0.283163  0.658241
20 Penn Manor 5- 17- 0  0.446531  0.300532  0.624974
21 Red Lion Area 4- 18- 0  0.417238  0.238342  0.635890
22 York County School Of Technology 4- 17- 0  0.335463  0.1854

 

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Lancaster-Lebanon League

Past Boys’ Basketball Champions

1973: McCaskey

1974: Cocalico

1975: Ephrata

1976: Cedar Crest

1977: Cocalico

1978: Lebanon

1979: Lebanon

1980: McCaskey

1IMG_1710981: Warwick

1982: McCaskey

1983: McCaskey

1984: Hempfield

1985: Lebanon

1986: Lebanon

1987: Warwick

1988: Warwick

1989: Columbia

IMG_17421990: Columbia

1991: Conestoga Valley

1992: Hempfield

1993: McCaskey

1994: Solanco

1995: Hempfield

1996: Lebanon

1997: Lebanon

1998: Lebanon

IMG_16941999: Hempfield

2000: Hempfield

2001: McCaskey

2002: McCaskey

2003: Lancaster Catholic

2004: Lebanon

2005: McCaskey

2006: McCaskey

2007: McCaskey

2008: McCaskey

IMG_16802009: Conestoga Valley

2010: Hempfield

2011: Hempfield

2012: McCaskey

2013: McCaskey

2014: Cedar Crest

2015: Cedar Crest

2016: McCaskey

2017: Lancaster Catholic

 

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