Lebanon Sports Buzz
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 BY JEFF FALK

 MYERSTOWN – It’s extra cool when success leads to new opportunities. Sometimes, that’s all that teams can really ask for in athletics.

 But the Elco girls’ basketball team wasn’t content to simply measure its progress or find out where it stands. The Raiders wanted to seize the opportunity.

 On Friday night, the red-hot Raiders met their match in mighty Lancaster Catholic, during a 68-44 Lancaster-Lebanon Section Four home setback. Behind some blistering shooting and the all-around play of senior superstar Kiki Jefferson, the Crusaders jumped on Elco early, opened a 20-point lead late in the first half and never allowed the thought of an upset to enter its head.

 The outcome snapped Elco’s seven-game win streak and dropped it to 12-3 on the campaign and 6-2 in Section Four. It was also Lancaster Catholic’s 47th straight victory and pushed the reigning PIAA Class AAAA champions to 15-0 overall and 8-0 in the circuit.

 With five league games remaining, the Crusaders now have a two-game cushion over the Raiders in the Section Four standings. Elco, currently seated fourth in the District Three Class AAAA power rankings, hasn’t won a section championship since 2001.

 “Our approach was that this was a great opportunity,” said Elco head coach Ashli Shay. “We’ve been playing with confidence and winning close games. They (her players) have shown so much resiliency. We wanted to see where we stand against one of the top teams in the state. We had nothing to lose. It was like, ‘Let’s go out there and play our guts out and see what happens.’

 “We absolutely thought we could win the section,” continued Shay. “But we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Our goal, if we were going to be realistic, was to finish in the top two in the section. And that’s still not easy. We’re going to get our heads on straight and get back on track.” 

 It was the Crusaders’ famous full-court, man-to-man pressure that set the stage for the rout.

 Lancaster Catholic tallied the first five points of the game and then opened an 11-2 lead midway through the opening quarter. The first period ended with the Crusaders up 13-5.

 “We weren’t knocking shots down,” said Shay of her side’s opening act. “We looked scared to shoot. We were stagnant. Offense was our biggest struggle. Number 11 (Peyton Jaquis) is unbelievable. Kiki is unbelievable. But if we knock a few shots down, we think we could’ve knocked it (the lead down) to five.

 “In spots (against the Crusaders’ pressure), we were fine,” added Shay. “In other spots, it didn’t look like we wanted the ball in our hands. You know you’re going to get that from them.”

 A jumper from freshman Kailey Eckhart and a three-pointer by senior Julia Nelson pulled the Raiders to within 17-10 of Lancaster Catholic early in the second stanza. But the Raiders went nearly five minutes without a point, as the Crusaders built their advantage to 30-10.

  “We’ve played a lot of games from behind, but not against a team of the caliber we played tonight,” said Shay. “Once they heated up, they didn’t cool down. They’re as advertised. They’re one of the best teams in the state. They just wear you down.

 “Our struggle was playing so hard on defense, we didn’t have a lot of energy left on offense,” Shay continued. “How do you combat that? The effort was great. But to sustain the energy, especially playing from behind, it’s tough. There’s not many teams that can stand up to that.”

 Senior captain Ryelle Shuey poured in 16 points for Elco, while sophomore Amanda Smith struck for ten. Jaquis finished with seven three-pointers and 25 points, and Jefferson notched 14, before fouling out for the first time this season.

 From three-point land, the Crusaders outscored the Raiders 30-6. Elco made good on 14 of its 18 free throw attempts.

 “She hit some when she was challenged,” said Shay of Jaquis. “She hit some tough shots that were tightly contested. And she hit some open shots. Kiki garners so much attention that others benefit. I thought we did a good job on her.

 “We need 50 (Shuey) to stay on the floor,” Shay added. “She’s been getting into foul trouble. But she did much better tonight. She stepped up. She was a senior tonight.”

 Elco’s second-half run never materialized.

 The closest the Raiders could come was 30-16, on two foul shots from Smith, 1:36 into the third quarter. Jaquis hit three straight ‘triples’ late in the third, and a fourth, 20 seconds into the final stanza, that gave Lancaster Catholic a 52-24 bulge.

 “I will never discount the effort,” said Shay. “They (her players) play their butts off all the time. In spurts, I thought our defense was decent.

 “Obvioulsy this puts them (the Crusaders) in a heck of a great position,” concluded Shay. “They’re going to have to lose a bunch of games. Is it (the section race) over for us? Heck, no. We’re going to keep battling.”

 

 

 

 

  

 To purchase images in this article email jfkalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Elco Girls’ Basketball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
12/07
6:00 pm
Susquehanna Township
Elco
at Middletown Tip-Off Tournament
22
46
 
12/08
7:30 pm
Elco
Middletown
at Middletown Tip-Off Tournament
46
55
 
12/11
7:30 pm
Fleetwood
at Elco
24
34
 
12/14
7:30 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
39
57
 
12/17
7:30 pm
Elco
at Manheim Central
49
33
 
12/19
7:30 pm
Solanco
at Elco
39
40
 
12/21
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lampeter-Strasburg
32
39
 
12/27
4:30 pm
Elco
Pine Grove
at Pine Grove Holiday Tournament
47
30
 
12/28
6:00 pm
Elco
Kennett
at Pine Grove Holiday Tournament
43
36
 
1/04
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
12
75
 
1/08
7:30 pm
Elco
at Donegal
63
59
 
1/11
6:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
31
19
 
1/12
2:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
51
28
 
1/15
7:30 pm
Elco
at York Catholic
51
46
 
1/18
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
   
1/22
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
   
1/25
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Elco
   
1/26
6:30 pm
Elco
at Oley Valley
   
1/29
6:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
   
1/30
7:30 pm
Conrad Weiser
at Elco
   
2/01
7:30 pm
Garden Spot
at Elco
   
2/05
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Four Standings
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PS PA
Lancaster Catholic 8 0 100.00 15 0 100.00 1045 523
Elco 6 2 75.00 12 3 80.00 709 549
Northern Lebanon 4 4 50.00 8 7 53.33 608 520
Donegal 3 6 33.33 9 8 52.94 929 891
Octorara 0 8 0.00 0 13 0.00 229 813
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAA Power Rankings
 
 
AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Bishop McDevitt 14- 0- 0  0.838792  1.000000  0.641759  15.9  194.1  0.0  108.4
2 Lancaster Catholic 14- 0- 0  0.812715  1.000000  0.583812  15.7  177.8  0.0  126.8
3 Kennard Dale 15- 2- 0  0.744142  0.898667  0.555279  16.9  178.3  1.9  142.8
4 Eastern Lebanon County 12- 2- 0  0.735614  0.880000  0.559143  13.2  169.7  1.8  133.8
5 Eastern York 10- 6- 0  0.664140  0.684524  0.639226  11.5  213.2  5.3  120.3
6 Bermudian Springs 9- 4- 0  0.628778  0.685393  0.559582  9.2  176.8  4.2  139.2
7 Susquehanna Township 7- 6- 0  0.621019  0.601533  0.644835  7.9  197.9  5.2  109.0
8 Big Spring 8- 5- 0  0.586869  0.653696  0.505190  8.4  138.7  4.5  135.9
9 Fleetwood 8- 6- 0  0.568968  0.625899  0.499386  8.7  142.3  5.2  142.7
10 Wyomissing 8- 6- 0  0.553963  0.628788  0.462511  8.3  137.3  4.9  159.5
11 Northern Lebanon 7- 7- 0  0.541694  0.559859  0.519491  8.0  155.3  6.3  143.6
12 James Buchanan 7- 6- 0  0.518994  0.580524  0.443790  7.8  124.4  5.6  155.9
13 Oley Valley 8- 6- 0  0.512148  0.565517  0.446920  8.2  132.4  6.3  163.9
14 Littlestown 7- 8- 0  0.509445  0.465347  0.563343  7.1  181.7  8.1  140.8
15 West Perry 7- 7- 0  0.508137  0.503623  0.513654  7.0  148.6  6.9  140.7
16 Middletown Area 5- 8- 0  0.489576  0.409594  0.587331  5.6  173.9  8.0  122.2
17 Boiling Springs 5- 9- 0  0.438948  0.395105  0.492535  5.7  143.5  8.7  147.9
18 Hamburg Area 6- 9- 0  0.433619  0.412811  0.459051  5.8  141.3  8.3  166.5
19 Schuylkill Valley 6- 10- 0  0.430219  0.412903  0.451383  6.4  129.8  9.1  157.7
20 Octorara Area 0- 13- 0  0.273162  0.000000  0.607026  0.0  167.6  12.1  108.5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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