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IMG_1065BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – They shot the ball very well, AND they got the rolls.

They played extremely well, AND things went their way.

Sometimes improving teams create their own good fortune.

On Tuesday night, the improving Elco boys’ basketball squad registered its most impressive victory to date, an 84-48 home blow-out of Columbia. Balanced, versatile and deep, the Raiders used an overwhelming 30-4 run through the third quarter to stun the Tide, and Elco ended up making half of its shots from the floor.

The triumph was the Raiders’ third straight, and fifth in their last six outings and moved their record to 6-5 overall and 4-2 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Elco’s 1-4 start is somewhere in the distant past.

The result left Columbia 5-6 on the year and 2-4 in the circuit.

IMG_1146“I don’t know that we saw that one coming,” said Elco head coach Brad Conners. “We’ve been playing better, but.. It was really neat to see. We made some adjustments at halftime, mainly defensively. When those adjustments started working, the kids got some confidence. Then it felt like we could get any shot we wanted.

“It’s improving,” continued Conners. “After the last three or games, there’s been noticeable improvements in every game. That’s awesome. Good for our kids.”

After the game was tied at halftime – Columbia actually netted the first field goal of the second half – the Raiders held the Crimson Tide score-less for a six-minute stretch through the heart of the third quarter. The result was 22 unanswered points by the Raiders – seven by Bryce Coletti, six by Braden Bohannon, four from Jeff Lorah, three from Blake Weary and two from Joey Ginder – and a 50-30 Elco lead.

“We shoot threes. We’re a team that shoots threes,” said Conners. “But we also like to get a little dribble penetration. It definitely makes life easier for us. Its the kind of threes we get when we penetrate the defense. I’ll take those threes.

“It was good,” Conners continued. “You have confidence in all of our kids. When they stroke it, you know it’s good. We have three or four kids, when they’re in rhythm, you can count it.”

Elco also pieced together a later 18-0 burst, one that began in the waning moments of the third quarter and spilled over into the first two minutes of the final period, one that extended its advantage to 68-32. Coletti netted 12 of those points, while Bohannon contributed four points and Asher Kemble nailed a short jumper.

IMG_1232“Every game is a big game for us. Every game,” said Conners. “That’s how we’ve been approaching it. This sets up another big game (at Northern Lebanon on Friday). It’s one we needed, and we got it.

“Every game we won, we expected to win,” added Conners. “We knew heading into the season that the first half of our schedule was really hard, especially opening with the Lebanon tournament. It’s nice to see the kids meet the bar. It’s fun.”

With six different shooters scoring them, the Raiders collected a total of 12 three-point field goals and outscored Columbia 36-12 from ‘downtown’. Elco also connected on 16 of its 18 free throws and outscored the Crimson Tide by 14 points there.

Coletti and Lorah tied for team-high scoring honors with 19 points apiece. Bohannon pumped in 16 points and Weary recorded ten.

It marked the third time this season that the Raiders surpassed the 80-point mark.

“Our kids really stepped up defensively,” said Conners. “(Columbia senior guard, Jade) Neal had 17 points at halftime (but only finished with 19 points). We talked about making sure he wasn’t the one who beats us. But it was a team thing. It was really cool to see.”

The first half was much more of a dogfight.

After Columbia tallied the first five points of the game, Weary led a subsequent 10-2 Elco run. He had half of the points in the spurt, Lorah drained a three-pointer and Kember threw in a jump hook.

IMG_1176“I don’t know if we see a real ceiling with this group,” said Conners. “We have a roster of first-year players who keep meeting the bar. We keep moving the bar up. Tomorrow it will be higher than it was today. But we’re not really looking at a ceiling.”

Lorah notched five points and Weary knocked down a trifecta, as the Raiders pieced together a 9-2 run to take a 20-15 edge early in the second quarter. But the half ended in a 28-all deadlock.

“With us looking like we do, we definitely can be one of the top three teams in the section,” said Conners. “We want to go to the league playoffs. Absolutely we can qualify for districts. We’ve been focusing on being one of the top three teams in our section, and if we do that, districts will take care of itself.”

 

 

 

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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 Elco Boys’ Basketball Schedule

 

Date Teams Results
12/08
7:45 pm
Cedar Crest
Elco
at Lebanon
68
44
12/09
6:00 pm
Red Lion
at Elco
52
43
12/12
7:30 pm
Manheim Central
at Elco
48
53
12/15
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
60
55
12/18
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
49
65
12/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
44
86
12/27
2:00 pm
Palmyra
Elco
at Ephrata
52
57
12/28
6:00 pm
Elco
at Ephrata
36
57
1/02
7:30 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
75
68
1/06
2:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
38
83
1/09
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Elco
1/12
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
1/13
2:30 pm
Solanco
at Elco
1/16
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
1/19
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
1/20
12:00 pm
Conrad Weiser
at Elco
1/23
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
1/24
7:30 pm
Elco
at Middletown
1/26
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
1/30
7:30 pm
Elco
at Pequea Valley
2/02
7:30 pm
Elco
at Columbia
2/06
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
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 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAA Power Rankings
AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Littlestown 6- 1- 0  0.704505  0.874074  0.497255  5.9  104.2  0.9  105.3
2 Lancaster Catholic 8- 2- 0  0.686101  0.819048  0.523610  8.6  112.6  1.9  102.4
3 Northern Lebanon 7- 2- 0  0.659194  0.815029  0.468728  7.1  101.6  1.6  115.1
4 Boiling Springs 7- 4- 0  0.644267  0.680000  0.600593  7.7  121.5  3.6  80.8
5 Kennard Dale 6- 2- 0  0.632071  0.793103  0.435253  6.9  80.5  1.8  104.5
6 Berks Catholic 7- 2- 0  0.613254  0.783784  0.404829  7.3  57.9  2.0  85.1
7 Bishop McDevitt 5- 4- 0  0.607150  0.624309  0.586177  5.7  135.7  3.4  95.8
8 Middletown 5- 4- 0  0.593653  0.581921  0.607991  5.2  112.6  3.7  72.6
9 Susquehanna Township 6- 5- 0  0.586210  0.606335  0.561612  6.7  120.6  4.4  94.1
10 Eastern York 5- 5- 0  0.553360  0.573684  0.528519  5.5  114.9  4.1  102.5
11 Eastern Lebanon County 5- 5- 0  0.535471  0.532258  0.539398  5.0  117.4  4.4  100.3
12 Biglerville 5- 5- 0  0.496603  0.521053  0.466720  5.0  87.7  4.6  100.2
13 Schuylkill Valley 3- 5- 0  0.442785  0.431507  0.456570  3.2  82.0  4.2  97.6
14 James Buchanan 1- 10- 0  0.346178  0.108808  0.636296  1.1  129.2  8.6  73.9
15 Bermudian Springs 1- 10- 0  0.338712  0.085427  0.648283  0.9  124.6  9.1  67.6
16 Wyomissing 2- 6- 0  0.338172  0.246377  0.450365  1.7  83.3  5.2  101.6
17 Hamburg 1- 8- 0  0.278206  0.109948  0.483854  1.1  93.7  8.5  99.9
18 Susquenita 0- 9- 0  0.236048  0.000000  0.524551  0.0  77.5  9.7  70.2
19 Oley Valley 0- 7- 0  0.209132  0.000000  0.464737  0.0  82.7  6.2  95.3
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IMG_1227Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Lancaster Catholic 5 0 100.00 9 2 81.82 642 511
Northern Lebanon 5 0 100.00 8 2 80.00 630 510
Lancaster Mennonite 4 1 80.00 8 4 66.67 723 616
Elco 4 2 60.00 6 5 50.00 581 552
Columbia 2 4 40.00 5 6 50.00 616 522
Annville-Cleona 1 4 20.00 5 6 45.45 628 592
Pequea Valley 1 5 16.67 2 10 16.67 538 779
Lebanon Catholic 0 6 0.00 2 6 25.00 289 532

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