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BY JEFF FALK

NEW HOLLAND – The more meaningful games it plays, the more meaningful games become. The Lebanon boys’ basketball team just wants to play meaningful games.

Of course, if you ask the Cedars, they’ll tell you they’re all meaningful.

On Monday night at Garden Spot High School, Lebanon assured itself of more meaningful games to come, with a crucial 52-48 non-league road triumph over the hometown Spartans. After grinding for the first three quarters of the contest, the Cedars flipped a switch in the fourth.

The result injected energy into Lebanon’s late-season push for the playoffs. The Cedars, who improved to 10-7 overall, were situated 17th in the latest power rankings for a AAAAAA classification that takes 12 for its postseason.

The loss dropped Garden Spot to 5-11 on the year.

“In all honesty, I think we have to almost win out to make the playoffs,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “We’re just taking it one game at a time. That’s all we can do.

“I wouldn’t say that if we didn’t make the playoffs that the season wouldn’t be a success,” continued Speraw. “Playoffs are goals. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to do the best we can to raise young men. If we can get them being good teammates and good people, that’s our success. But we’re Lebanon and those are our goals.”

After trailing by as many as seven points two minutes into the final period, Lebanon High emerged down the stretch by caring for ‘the rock’, getting the ball inside and by generating ‘stops’.

Mathematically, it was a 15-3 switch that did the trick, turning a 40-33 deficit into a 48-43 advantage, with 2:28 to go. Raylin Pena notched seven points during the decisive stretch, while junior Isaiah Rodriguez contributed four points, Jean-Carlos Gonzalez-Belen collected three and Marquis Ferreira added a foul shot.

With six seconds left, Pena iced it with a couple of free throws.

“I don’t think we found our groove over the first three quarters,” said Speraw. “We were in it. Raylin kept us in it. They (the Spartans) dictated what happened during the first three quarters, but in the fourth quarter we dictated.

“We started getting Isaiah involved more,” added Speraw. “Once he got involved, it opened some things up outside. And we knocked down foul shots.”

Down 27-22 in the middle of the third period, Lebanon High fought back on the strength of a Pena three-pointer, a Rodriguez inside bucket and a Luke Collins driving lay-in. But the stanza ended with the Spartans up 34-31.

“It was a tough game,” said Speraw. “The (Andrew) Zertner kid is a player. He’s got good size. I’m just proud of my kids. They knocked down shots and got ‘stops’ at the end. We’ll take it.”

Pena buried a total of six three-pointers and poured in a career-high 24 points, and Rodriguez popped for ten points. Zertner accounted for 25 of the Spartans’ total of 48 points.

The Cedars outscored the Spartans 18-9 from three-point land.

“I couldn’t be happier for him,” said Speraw of Pena. “He’s a great kid. He’s fun to be around. He was in the gym all summer working on his shot. But give Garden Spot credit, they never stopped.

“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Speraw continued. “Credit to Isaiah for stepping up and being a force inside.”

After Garden Spot registered the first five points of the contest, Lebanon countered with an 11-2 spurt. Pena drilled a trio of treys during the flurry and Ferreira scored a deuce.

“We just need to keep winning,” said Speraw. “We know our playoff life is at stake. Dropping close games, we put ourselves in a tough spot.”

Garden Spot netted the first ten points of the second stanza to build a 19-13 lead. But the Cedars tied it with baskets from Ferreira, Gonzalez-Belen and Rodriguez.

“We could always shoot free throws better,” said Speraw. “And we’ve had inopportune turnovers in tough spots. We’re still a young team. We’re still growing.”

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

2019-20 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
57
53

Nonleague
12/07
TBD
Red Land
at Lebanon
39
70

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Governor Mifflin
53
60

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Lebanon
63
61

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

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Lebanon
47
51

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Penn Manor
58
53

League
12/27
6:00 pm
Emmaus
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
61
69

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

Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata
59
22

League
1/04
6:00 pm
Palmyra
Lebanon
at Lebanon Valley College
41
42

Nonleague
1/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township
58
56

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon
63
46

League
1/11
3:00 pm
Conrad Weiser
Lebanon
at Garden Spot
48
49

Nonleague
1/14
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
69
50

League
1/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
60
50

League
1/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Garden Spot

Nonleague
1/21
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon

League
1/25
2:30 pm
Hershey
at Lebanon

Nonleague
1/28
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Elizabethtown

League
1/31
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon

League

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Wilson14-1-0 0.843736 0.957020 0.705277 16.7 233.2 0.8 97.5
2Cumberland Valley12-1-0 0.787931 0.951768 0.587685 14.8 172.8 0.8 121.2
3Central York14-2-0 0.784962 0.913043 0.628418 16.8 198.8 1.6 117.6
4Cedar Crest15-2-0 0.759740 0.917313 0.567150 17.8 185.6 1.6 141.7
5Reading10-4-0 0.751211 0.795918 0.696569 11.7 213.2 3.0 92.9
6Central Dauphin10-3-0 0.749419 0.842105 0.636137 12.0 191.0 2.3 109.3
7Governor Mifflin10-4-0 0.740380 0.796053 0.672336 12.1 223.4 3.1 108.9
8J P McCaskey11-4-0 0.734142 0.811209 0.639950 13.8 202.8 3.2 114.1
9Warwick12-4-0 0.707826 0.815642 0.576051 14.6 184.3 3.3 135.6
10Chambersburg Area11-4-0 0.707164 0.807808 0.584155 13.5 165.9 3.2 118.1
11Central Dauphin East6-4-0 0.670744 0.688073 0.649564 7.5 197.5 3.4 106.6
12Harrisburg7-5-0 0.667588 0.690083 0.640095 8.4 188.7 3.8 106.1
13Exeter Township9-6-0 0.663949 0.690236 0.631820 10.3 206.7 4.6 120.5
14Manheim Township8-8-0 0.632421 0.608974 0.661079 9.5 216.9 6.1 111.2
15Dallastown8-7-0 0.629888 0.622951 0.638367 9.5 207.2 5.8 117.4
16Waynesboro Area8-5-0 0.626959 0.681992 0.559695 8.9 172.8 4.2 135.9
17Lebanon9-7-0 0.621600 0.661585 0.572729 10.9 195.1 5.6 145.6
18Red Lion7-8-0 0.577083 0.543253 0.618431 7.9 203.0 6.6 125.3
19Penn Manor7-9-0 0.568529 0.543333 0.599324 8.2 204.0 6.9 136.4
20HEMPFIELD5-10-0 0.541947 0.435897 0.671564 6.0 219.4 7.7 107.3
21Carlisle4-10-0 0.524441 0.395161 0.682449 4.9 209.0 7.5 97.3
22Conestoga Valley4-12-0 0.454504 0.316547 0.623119 4.4 215.4 9.5 130.3
23York County School Of Technology4-8-0 0.359269 0.322034 0.404779 3.8 110.1 8.0 161.9

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Two Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Warwick720.7781240.750946723
Elizabethtown620.7501150.6881013936
Lebanon540.556970.563883844
Conestoga Valley180.1114120.250836938
Ephrata080.0000160.000614930

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