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BY JEFF FALK

LANCASTER – The Elco boys’ basketball team doesn’t resemble a bridesmaid.

It doesn’t look good in silver.

It doesn’t particularly like the view from behind.

The Raiders aren’t built that way. It’s not part of their character.

But because of that, Elco may have some harsh realities to face.

On Tuesday night at Lancaster Catholic, the Raiders were beaten 65-50 by the home-standing Crusader in a regular-season finale that decided the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Four championship. Elco fell victim to scoring dry spells at the ends of each of the first two quarters, and never came within six points the rest of the way.

A Raider triumph would have forced a tie atop the standings and a playoff for the section crown. But as it is, Elco will carry an 18-4 overall mark into the postseason, which begins on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Warwick, against Section Two runner-up Elizabethtown in a play-in game to the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.

There is also the District Three Class AAAA postseason for the Raiders to look forward to. In the latest power rankings for that event, Elco was seated third.

Last night marked Elco’s second loss of the campaign to the talented Crusaders, and was eerily similar to a 69-55 setback to Lancaster Catholic in Myerstown back on January 17th.

Lancaster Catholic improved to 19-2 with the result.

“The section is something we wanted,” said Elco head coach Brad Conners. “To have that opportunity on the last night of the regular season speaks volumes of our guys. Now it’s on to the league playoffs. The goal stays to get better every day, and see where it takes us.

“I thought coming into this one that we didn’t have to do anything drastically different, because we had improved,” Conners continued. “I thought we could come out and be ourselves. If we play them a third time, we’ll change some things around.”

The first Crusader run came at the end of the opening quarter and put Elco in a trail position for good.

The Raiders had enjoyed an early 7-5 edge on a Bryce Coletti jumper and a 10-9 lead on an Evan Huey three-pointer. But Elco did not score during the final 4:05 of the first period, which ended with Lancaster Catholic up 18-10.

“I just thought for a moment there late in the first and early in the second we looked like we were shook,” said Conners. “I thought to myself, ‘What can we do to get our guys an easy look?’ But I thought our defense looked good early.

“I’m not satisfied with what we did,” Conners added. “I thought we got out coached. I thought we got out hustled. They beat us in every facet of the game. That’s two games now where they’ve shut down our offense.”

The second decisive Lancaster Catholic run was of the 8-0 variety and it staked them to a 33-16 halftime bulge.

A Bryce Coletti three-pointer had pulled Elco to within 25-16 of Lancaster Catholic. But the Raiders went score-less over the final 5:21 of the first half.

“It was a combination of things,” said Conners. “I take a lot of it on myself. They’re (the Crusaders) a really good defensive team. They had so many people in the lane. There were no lanes to the basket. We’ve got to loosen them up early.

“I think we can play a lot better,” added Conners. “The message after the game was not to be satisfied. There are bigger things to be had. I want this to sting and our guys to leave with a chip on their shoulders.”

If there was any consolation for the Raiders it was that their scoring was extremely balanced. Asher Kemble led Elco with 13 points, Huey tallied 11 points and Coletti and Braden Bohannon each contributed ten.

Lancaster Catholic outscored Elco 38-12 on two-point buckets.

“It was similar to the first time we played them,” said Conners. “We had a hard time scoring the basketball. We were down double-digits. We tried changing some match-ups. But again, our perimeter shots weren’t falling like they normally do. We’re going to have to find a way.”

The Raiders played their most inspired basketball of the evening in the third quarter.

In the middle of the period, Elco pieced together a 16-9 stretch to draw within 46-40 of the lead. Huey, Coletti and Bohannon all drained three-pointers during the span, and Kemble and Luke Williams also collected counters.

“They can throw a couple of big guys at you,” said Conners of the Crusaders. “But some of their mismatches can turn into mismatches for us. When I think about what they do, it’s their defense. Because of their size, there are not a lot of opportunities to be had.”

The Crusaders short-circuited Elco’s comeback bid at the beginning of the final period, when they scored the first six points to re-extend their lead to 52-40.

“We’ve just kept getting better, one game to the next,” said Conners. “We’ve kind of been a second-half team all year. Looking back at it, I’m thinking we need to do something better.

“I just want to keep playing,” added Conners. “I’m not sure what’s coming. We’re excited to play Elizabethtown.”

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

2019-20 Elco Boys’ Basketball Results

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

Nonleague
12/07
7:30 pm
Elco
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
55
59

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
49
70

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
41
60

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Elco
at Manheim Central
73
71

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Solanco
at Elco
47
62

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lampeter-Strasburg
50
54

League
12/28
7:30 pm
Elco
Spring Grove
at Eastern York
76
52

Nonleague
12/30
7:30 pm
Elco
Eastern York
at Eastern York
75
51

Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Octorara
at Elco
42
49

League
1/04
1:30 pm
Oley Valley
at Elco
48
62

Nonleague
1/08
7:30 pm
Camp Hill
at Elco
60
72

Nonleague
1/09
7:30 pm
Elco
at Donegal
87
55

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
34
81

League
1/15
7:30 pm
Wyomissing
at Elco
44
49

Nonleague
1/17
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
69
55

League
1/21
7:30 pm
Elco
at Octorara
59
48

League
1/24
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Elco
34
58

League
1/28
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
73
39

League
1/29
7:30 pm
Conrad Weiser
at Elco
58
81

Nonleague
1/31
7:30 pm
Garden Spot
at Elco
44
72

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic

League

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Four Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Lancaster Catholic1210.9231920.9051253985
Elco1030.7691840.81814271117
Octorara760.5381480.63613321167
Northern Lebanon390.2507130.3509061126
Donegal0120.0002190.0959071295

PIAA District Three

Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Lancaster Catholic18-2-0 0.761020 0.919811 0.566942 19.5 247.3 1.7 188.9
2Bishop McDevitt15-2-0 0.749117 0.907859 0.555100 16.8 209.8 1.7 168.2
3Eastern Lebanon County18-3-0 0.731257 0.884876 0.543500 19.6 246.5 2.6 207.0
4Susquehanna Township13-6-0 0.663573 0.724816 0.588720 14.8 253.7 5.6 177.2
5Littlestown18-4-0 0.642374 0.823256 0.421297 17.7 190.3 3.8 261.4
6Eastern York14-8-0 0.626398 0.686364 0.553107 15.1 249.7 6.9 201.8
7Wyomissing16-6-0 0.619655 0.765766 0.441076 17.0 193.5 5.2 245.2
8Octorara Area13-8-0 0.594053 0.662818 0.510008 14.4 223.0 7.3 214.2
9Susquehannock11-10-0 0.588969 0.574572 0.606565 11.8 277.2 8.7 179.8
10Berks Catholic School11-8-0 0.568570 0.589610 0.542854 11.4 221.1 7.9 186.2
11James Buchanan11-10-0 0.542365 0.571776 0.506419 11.8 211.1 8.8 205.7
12East Pennsboro Area9-11-0 0.518868 0.475124 0.572333 9.6 244.1 10.6 182.4
13Schuylkill Valley9-10-0 0.493165 0.482667 0.505995 9.1 211.0 9.7 206.0
14Boiling Springs7-12-0 0.484674 0.416431 0.568084 7.4 236.6 10.3 179.9
15Middletown Area6-13-0 0.469766 0.337731 0.631142 6.4 277.5 12.6 162.2
16Northern Lebanon7-13-0 0.456833 0.380597 0.550011 7.7 244.7 12.5 200.2
17Kennard Dale6-15-0 0.434356 0.316049 0.578953 6.4 261.6 13.9 190.3
18Bermudian Springs7-14-0 0.387701 0.333333 0.454150 6.9 198.6 13.7 238.7
19Fleetwood7-14-0 0.386527 0.368675 0.408347 7.7 169.8 13.1 246.0
20West Perry5-15-0 0.371298 0.258794 0.508803 5.2 215.3 14.8 207.9
21Hamburg Area5-16-0 0.360797 0.244656 0.502749 5.2 219.5 15.9 217.1

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