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BY JEFF FALK

ROBESONIA – The Elco girls’ basketball team thinks it’s deserving of a District Three playoff berth. Now all that’s left for the Raiders to do is prove that they are worthy.

On Wednesday night at Conrad Weiser High School, Elco continued to straddle the playoff fence, with a key 48-39 non-league road victory over the hometown Scouts. The Raiders jumped on the home team early and never allowed Conrad Weiser to seriously threaten their lead.

The result means Elco is now 11-9 overall, with two regular-season games remaining. In the latest power rankings, the Raiders were situated ninth in an AAAA classification that takes the top ten teams for its District Three tournament.

The loss dropped Conrad Weiser to 7-13 on the year.

“For this group of athletes, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t make it,” said Elco head coach Ashli Shay. “I do think we can compete with most everybody we play. There have been times throughouth the season where our youth has shown. All you have to do is get yourself in. Play hard, and who knows what will happen. I think we do deserve a shot to be there.

“The experience of it all is important,” continued Shay. “Everyone wants to continue their season. They want to compete with the best. It’s also a great confidence builder. It’s good to build mental toughness and physical toughness. You’ve sort of got to will your way through this part of the season.”

Some 24 hours after enduring a close loss at rival Northern Lebanon, the Raiders surprisingly started the contest with a lot of energy, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

Elco held Conrad Weiser score-less over the first 6:28 of the game, and it allowed the Raiders to build a seven-point lead. On offense, junior Amanda Smith fueled Elco with a three-pointer and two drives to the bucket.

“I thought we did a nice job of setting the tone,” said Shay. “I was worried. I was not sure how fast we were going to recover emotionally from last night. But kids are resilient. You have to focus on each possession. We got off to a good start and established a lead.

“I thought our defense was solid for most of the game,” Shay continued. “I’m very happy with our defense and rebounding, for the most part. Overall, I’m really happy with the effort, especially coming off a tough game last night.”

In the second quarter, the Raiders kept playing defense and kept extending their lead.

Rebecca Sargent drained a couple of charity tosses, Olivia Balsbaugh scored on a stick-back and Kailey Eckhart converted a lay-in, as Elco pushed its advantage to 13-2. Then Elco tallied the final five points of the first half, on an Emma Fox drive and Ashley Yoh’s three-point play, to take an 18-7 bulge to the locker room.

“We always want to attack,” said Shay. “As we settled in against the zone, we started having seven, eight, nine passes on each possession. That’s the way you want to play against a zone. When you don’t make them move, you’re going to settle for jump shots. I thought we played a little smarter on offense.”

Eckhart popped for 16 Raider points, while Smith tallied a total of 11. Elco went a blistering 16-for-18 at the foul line.

“Obviously we’re a pretty young group,” said Shay. “I think everybody has improved, across the board, but in rebounding especially. It’s been a point of emphasis for us. We’ve done a really good job of out rebounding most of our opponents.

“I can’t complain about them (her players),” added Shay. “They work so hard. We haven’t had more than two or three games where we’ve lost by more than four or five points. It’s really encouraging, and it’s developing their confidence.”

The Raiders came out of the intermission on a 9-3 run, one that stretched their lead to 27-10. Eckhart started it with three moves around the bucket and junior Katelyn Rueppel finished it with a three-pointer.

“It got a little funky with a couple of those possessions in the fourth quarter,” said Shay. “Maybe we could’ve put them away. Maybe it could’ve gotten out of hand. But they (her players) all knocked down big foul shots. At the beginning of the season, we were shooting up around 73 percent from the line, but we’ve regressed a little the last three games.”

While the result was never in doubt, Elco did not finish particularly well. Conrad Weiser closed to within 43-36 with a minute left, while the Raiders were going 11 for 13 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

“We do talk about it,” said Shay of the District Three power rankings. “I usually go back and forth in my mind, ‘Do I want to bring it up with them?’ But I think it’s something they should know.

“We’re fighting for our playoff lives,” added Shay. “We still have a chance. We had to come out here and get after it. They chose to keep it together, with no preparation. We didn’t get to practice for this team.”

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

2019-20 Elco Girls’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
6:00 pm
Susquehanna Township
Elco
at Middletown Tip-Off Tournament
51
38

Nonleague
12/07
6:00 pm
Elco
Boiling Springs
at Middletown Tip-Off Tournament
41
24

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Elco
at Fleetwood
30
32

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
37
32

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Manheim Central
at Elco
46
50

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Elco
at Solanco
28
34

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Elco
53
58

League
12/23
7:30 pm
York Catholic
at Elco
36
53

Nonleague
12/27
2:00 pm
Blue Mountain
Elco
at Pine Grove Holiday Tournament
45
40

Nonleague
12/28
2:00 pm
Elco
William Allen
at Pine Grove Holiday Tournament
53
64

Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Elco
at Octorara
48
25

League
1/09
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Elco
65
62

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
53
45

League
1/11
1:30 pm
Lebanon
at Elco
42
60

Nonleague
1/17
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
28
63

League
1/21
7:30 pm
Octorara
at Elco
15
70

League
1/24
7:30 pm
Elco
at Donegal
65
50

League
1/25
4:00 pm
Oley Valley
at Elco
33
54

Nonleague
1/28
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
35
37

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

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

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

League

PIAA District Three

Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Lancaster Catholic15-3-0 0.753483 0.852500 0.632463 17.1 261.7 3.0 152.1
2Northern Lebanon17-2-0 0.710491 0.909308 0.467493 19.1 184.8 1.9 210.5
3Bermudian Springs16-3-0 0.699465 0.839895 0.527827 16.0 222.4 3.1 199.0
4Eastern York15-6-0 0.689944 0.767981 0.594566 16.6 249.5 5.0 170.1
5Susquehanna Township15-5-0 0.685461 0.794811 0.551810 16.9 221.0 4.4 179.5
6Wyomissing15-4-0 0.649071 0.810026 0.452347 15.4 173.0 3.6 209.5
7Kennard Dale12-8-0 0.621762 0.655172 0.580927 13.3 239.4 7.0 172.7
8Fleetwood11-8-0 0.584392 0.641161 0.515009 12.2 196.5 6.8 185.0
9Eastern Lebanon County11-9-0 0.577424 0.599502 0.550440 12.1 228.4 8.1 186.5
10Bishop McDevitt8-9-0 0.576403 0.528875 0.634493 8.7 223.5 7.8 128.8
11Schuylkill Valley13-7-0 0.571293 0.684080 0.433442 13.8 166.6 6.4 217.7
12Big Spring8-9-0 0.519790 0.525373 0.512966 8.8 181.0 8.0 171.9
13Littlestown10-9-0 0.518251 0.520107 0.515983 9.7 217.1 9.0 203.7
14Boiling Springs8-9-0 0.490920 0.516129 0.460108 8.8 178.2 8.3 209.1
15James Buchanan7-11-0 0.456477 0.416667 0.505134 7.3 187.0 10.2 183.2
16Middletown Area4-14-0 0.382403 0.231214 0.567191 4.0 223.7 13.3 170.7
17West Perry5-13-0 0.379016 0.280556 0.499356 5.1 193.9 13.0 194.4
18Oley Valley6-12-0 0.373426 0.320225 0.438450 5.7 173.1 12.1 221.7
19Hamburg Area5-15-0 0.359957 0.267196 0.473332 5.1 187.7 13.9 208.9
20Octorara Area2-16-0 0.330895 0.129944 0.576502 2.3 205.4 15.4 150.9

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Four Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Lancaster Catholic1101.0001530.8331084809
Northern Lebanon920.8181720.895838564
Elco650.5451090.526896800
Donegal470.3648120.40010121090
Octorara1110.0832170.1055371189

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