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IMG_4167BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – The winter season hasn’t gone exactly the way the Lebanon boys’ basketball team had hoped. But while it is running down, there’s still time for the Cedars.

Their destiny is still in front of them, and well within their reach. What it may come down to is whether or not Lebanon wants it enough.

On Thursday night, the Cedars played for their postseason lives with varying degrees of urgency, and emerged with a crucial 58-52 triumph over Ephrata. Lebanon High was forced to overcome not one but two significant deficits, before attacking the rim to win it in crunch time.

IMG_4227The victory snapped the Cedars’ four-game slide and kept their playoff dreams alive. With four regular-season tilts remaining, Lebanon High stands at 10-8 overall, 6-7 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and 23rd in the latest District Three Class AAAA power rankings. Ephrata, which had beaten the Cedars 49-44 back on Dec. 23rd, dropped to 4-14 on the season and 3-10 in the section.

“That’s what we’re focused on, winning the next game,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “We’re one game back (in Section Two). We’ve just got to keep trying to win.

“Obviously our goals start with winning the section, getting into leagues and and getting into districts,” Speraw added. “I don’t know if our season has been a success just yet.”

IMG_4235After erasing a 13-point second-quarter deficit and an eight-point third-quarter deficit, the Cedars won it down the stretch behind 10 Jahlil Ortiz points in the fourth quarter. In fact, Lebanon scored its final 24 points from the free throw line and in.

A drive by Allan Escoto two minutes into the final stanza put Lebanon up 44-43, and an inbound play to Ortiz put the Cedars ahead 46-45. But it was back-to-back inside moves from Ortiz, at the midway point of the quarter, that moved the Cedars in front to stay, at 50-47.

IMG_4242Then with Noah Sanders slicing to the hole, Ortiz converting four straight one-and-ones and Luke Eisenhour knocking down a pair of foul shots, Lebanon pieced together a late 8-2 burst to open a 58-50 advantage, with 18 ticks left.

“I think they (his players) know it, but just on the surface,” said Speraw of the immediacy of the moment. “I don’t know if they fully comprehend that they’ve got to bring it every second they’re on the court. But I think they’re beginning to realize it.

“There’s games we could’ve won, we should’ve won,” Speraw continued. “Last week was a rough week. We were in games that were big. We’ll take this win and go check out scores from the L-L. We’ve just got to keep plugging away.”

Down a deuce at the break, the Cedars were hit by a 5-0 Mountaineer run out of the locker room. But courtesy of a Sanders’ three-pointer and a stick back and lay-in from Escoto, Lebanon outscored Ephrata 7-1 over the final two-and-a-half minutes of the third period to forge a 38-all deadlock.

IMG_4217“I think the difference was just a better focus,” said Speraw. “And we turned the pressure up a little bit. We’re deep, and I think that helped. It was just getting after it and getting to the rim more.”

With seven field goals, five-for-seven free throwing and 19 points, Ortiz was the only Lebanon scorer to hit double-digits. But the Cedars got other types of contributions from other sources.

“Allan (Escoto) gave us great minutes,” said Speraw. “Danny Caricabeur gave us great minutes. Camryn Shaak gave us great minutes. Devaughn Rodriguez gave us great minutes. We had great minutes from a bunch of guys off the bench. We’re deep. Tonight, a couple guys stepped up.

IMG_4205“It’s just good to get out of here with a win,” continued Speraw. “I don’t care what Ephrata’s record is. They play us tough every night. They came out of the gates strong, and we didn’t.”

Lebanon struggled early on both ends of the floor, and Ephrata notched 16 of the game’s first 21 points. Then two minutes into the second stanza, the Mountaineers lead reached 20-7.

But the Cedars went to a little full court pressure, and it was an 18-5 run over the next six minutes which ensued. Shaak nailed back-to-back treys in a matter of 37 seconds, Caricabeur drained one of his own, Ortiz notched three points, Rodriguez canned a couple of charity tosses and the second of Matty Lopez’s two lay-ups tied the score at 25, 37 seconds before the intermission.

“Right now, everything is a playoff game, every game,” said Speraw. “We’ve got to come with a better mental toughness. I thought we had it from the second quarter on. But we’ve got to be better, from the opening tap to the final horn.”

IMG_4187

Ephrata (52)

PLAYER FGM FTM FTA 3PM PTS_TOT FT%
Sam Cable 1 0 0 2 0
Micah Krauter 0 0 0 0 0
Matthew McGillan 5 5 6 15 0.833
Christian Miles 3 0 0 2 8 0
Ben Molchany 4 0 0 1 9 0
Nate Zimmerman 5 6 10 2 18 0.6

Lebanon (58)

PLAYER FGM FTM FTA 3PM PTS_TOT FT%
Daniel Caricabeur 2 0 0 1 5 0
Luke Eisenhour 0 2 2 2 1
Allan Escoto 4 0 0 8 0
Matty Lopez 3 0 0 6 0
Jahlil Ortiz 7 5 7 19 0.714
Shaquell Ortiz 1 0 0 2 0
Devaughn Rodriguez 1 2 2 1 5 1
Noah Sanders 2 0 0 1 5 0
Camryn Shaak 2 0 0 2 6 0

IMG_4208

 

  • Team 1 2 3 4 Final
    Ephrata
    16 11 11 14 52
    Lebanon
    5 20 13 20 58
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
   Section Two Standings
TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Elizabethtown 7-6 10-9
Conestoga Valley 7-6 9-10
Lebanon 6-7 10-8
Ephrata 3-10 4-14
Solanco 2-11 5-14
Garden Spot 1-12 3-14

  IMG_4132 Lebanon High 2014-15 Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/05
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM W 63-54
12/06
Elco
7:30 PM W 48-38
12/10
Governor Mifflin
7:30 PM W 45-43
12/12 *
Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM L 42-61
12/15 *
@Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 52-46
12/17 *
Warwick
7:30 PM L 37-53
12/19 *
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 58-45
12/23 *
@Ephrata
7:30 PM L 44-49
12/27 #
@Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM L 40-55
12/29
Littlestown
6:00 PM W 63-40
01/02 *
Solanco
7:30 PM W 70-54
01/06 *
Elizabethtown
7:30 PM W 57-40
01/09 *
@Garden Spot
7:30 PM W 58-40
01/12 *
@Hempfield
7:30 PM L 47-50
01/14 *
McCaskey
7:30 PM L 56-59
01/16 *
@Cedar Crest
7:30 PM L 42-59
01/20 *
@Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM L 42-48
01/22 *
Ephrata
7:30 PM W 58-52
IMG_4136

District Three

 Class AAAA Rankings

AAAA School W L T Rating
1 Cedar Crest 16 1 0 .824989
2 William Penn 13 3 0 .806040
3 Cedar Cliff 15 2 0 .794840
4 J P McCaskey 13 4 0 .790108
5 Northeastern 16 0 0 .789640
6 Hempfield 13 5 0 .757789
7 Harrisburg 12 4 0 .755819
8 Central Dauphin East 11 4 0 .748258
9 Reading 12 4 0 .746148
10 Exeter Township 13 3 0 .735399
11 Carlisle 11 5 0 .730133
12 Central York 11 6 0 .728996
13 Warwick 12 6 0 .726064
14 Spring Grove Area 9 5 0 .689909
IMG_417515 Shippensburg Area 12 4 0 .687992
16 Red Lion Area 9 6 0 .686958
17 Hershey 9 7 0 .679222
18 Cumberland Valley 9 8 0 .655260
19 Governor Mifflin 9 8 0 .634160
20 Central Dauphin 7 9 0 .627881
21 Dallastown Area 8 8 0 .621861
22 Manheim Township 7 10 0 .621665
23 Lebanon 9 8 0 .617686
24 Elizabethtown Area 9 9 0 .613583
25 Lower Dauphin 8 10 0 .609225
26 Waynesboro Area 8 7 0 .604882
27 Mechanicsburg Area 7 10 0 .603034
28 Chambersburg Area 5 9 0 .581042
29 Conestoga Valley 8 10 0 .579464
30 Wilson Senior 6 10 0 .571784
IMG_416131 Greencastle Antrim 5 11 0 .533800
32 Red Land 5 12 0 .521897
33 South Western 4 10 0 .509304
34 Northern York 5 11 0 .488907
35 Penn Manor 4 14 0 .488600
36 Ephrata Area 4 13 0 .472384
37 Solanco 5 13 0 .461510
38 New Oxford 4 13 0 .461446
39 Garden Spot 3 13 0 .422163
IMG_418940 Muhlenberg 2 14 0 .383902
41 Daniel Boone 1 16 0 .300509
42 York County School Of Technology 2 13 0 .294386

 

 

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