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IMG_9482BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – It was similar to the kind of effort that they’ve been giving all season. So nothing really got fixed.

But on this night, it was good enough. And given where they are right now, the Cedars will take what they can get.

On Thursday night, during the opening round of the Cedar Crest Holiday Tournament, the Lebanon boys’ basketball team garnered a much-needed 58-48 triumph over York Country Day. Still searching for the passion, energy and intensity that have always been their trademark, the Cedars led by varying amounts most of the way, but experienced difficulties putting York Country Day away.

The win was Lebanon High’s second straight and moved it to 3-5 on year and into the championship game of the event, opposite the host Falcons. It’s the same Cedar Crest club which handed Lebanon a 49-46 setback in the title tilt of its tip-off tournament, back on December 9th.

IMG_9507“I don’t think we played well,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “We were very sloppy, very unfocused at times. We did what we needed to do to win, but that effort isn’t going to win most nights in Section One (of the Lancaster-Lebanon League).

“Yeah, it’s been a  lot of the problem in a bunch of our games,” Speraw continued. “We’re not as focused as we should be and not ready to play a game. You can blame that on the holiday. You can blame that on a lot of things, but its inexcusable.”

It was a 13-2 run that began in the middle of the first period and spilled over into the early portions of the second that got the Cedars the lead for good. When it started, Lebanon was in an early 9-6 hole, and when it concluded, the Cedars were up 17-11.

Sincere Scott sparked the Cedar spurt with five points, while Luis Aquino-Rios, Jahlil Young and Scottie Porter all helped with single buckets. Then on a couple of Aquino-Rios drives and a Scott put-back, Lebanon netted the final six points of the first half to take a 25-14 lead to intermission.

IMG_9646“The game of basketball is a game of spurts,” said Speraw. “You just try to maximize your spurts and limit your opponent’s. We were just way too sloppy tonight.

“It was important because we were 2-5,” Speraw added. “The importance is we simply need wins. We have to get ourselves focused for tomorrow night.”

With 21 points, Aquino-Rios led all scorers. Scott went for 12 points, a total matched by Porter off the bench.

Lebanon made good on just nine of its 20 free throw attempts.

“I thought we played hard,” said Speraw. “For the most part, we got very good effort. It’s making sure we’re putting the time in mentally, so it limits our mistakes on the court.

“We’re trying to get better every day,” continued Speraw. “But we can’t wait too long to do it. We’ve got to keep working at it. The section isn’t getting any easier. There are no easy outs.”

The Cedars appeared poise to resolve the issue in the third quarter.

A three-pointer from Carlos Rivera and a drive by Aquino-Rios to open the second half extended Lebanon’s lead to 30-14. Rios canned a short jumper and Porter stroked a longer one, as the Cedars carried a 46-29 advantage into the final eight minutes of action.

IMG_9601“It’s too early to change any of those goals,” said Speraw. “But they’re a lot more difficult to obtain. Last year at this time we were sitting with a ‘zero’ in the loss column. The bottom line is we’ve got to get better.”

Though the outcome was never in doubt, York Country Day notched 12 of the fourth quarter’s first 17 points to pull within 51-41, with 3:27 to go. The Cedars converted only three of their 12 foul shots in the final stanza.

“I wasn’t trying to take them out and leave them out,” said Speraw, of a fourth-quarter stint on the bench for his starters. “I was looking for different combinations. I thought our bench gave us a spark tonight.”

 

 

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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 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Schedule

Date Teams Results
12/08
6:00 pm
Red Lion
at Lebanon
51
59
12/09
7:45 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
49
46
12/13
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Governor Mifflin
58
60
12/15
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township
40
75
12/18
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Lebanon
59
56
12/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick
51
58
12/22
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Lebanon
31
44
12/28
6:00 pm
Lebanon
TBA
at Cedar Crest
12/29
TBD
Lebanon
TBA
at Cedar Crest
1/05
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon
1/06
5:00 pm
Palmyra
Lebanon
at Lebanon Valley College
1/09
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hempfield
1/12
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
1/16
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Lebanon
1/19
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
1/22
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
1/23
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
1/26
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Lebanon
1/27
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hershey
1/30
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
2/02
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Lebanon
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest

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