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 BY JEFF FALK

 FREDERICKSBURG – The Elco and Northern Lebanon girls’ basketball teams are friendly rivals. Currently, the Vikings are scratching and clawing to prolong their season into the playoffs.

 But please excuse the Raiders if they don’t have a lot of empathy for Northern Lebanon’s plight. Elco has its own aspirations to worry about.

 On Saturday afternoon, it was the Raiders who furthered their interests, as they took down Northern Lebanon 49-26 in a battle of county clubs jockeying for playoff positioning. Elco established a foot hold on the outcome in the second quarter, then methodically pulled away from the Vikings in the second half.

 The result reinforced what is turning into an outstanding season for Elco. With their fifth straight win, the Raiders improved to 17-3 on the year and 10-2 in Section Four of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

 Elco was situated fourth in the latest District Three Class AAAA power rankings.

 On the other side of the coin, Northern Lebanon fell to 10-9 overall and 5-6 in the circuit. The Vikings, who stand a precarious tenth in those same District Three Class AAAA power rankings, had endured a 31-19 setback at the hands of the Raiders in Myerstown, back on January 11th.

  “The last time we were 17-3, we’d have to look it up,” said Elco head coach Ashli Shay. “I’m really proud of this group. I feel it’s really special how they play for one another. They’ve made it an exciting season, and we’re going to keep going. At the start of the season, we felt this could be the situation. We thought we could take some people by surprise.

 “Ken’s (Northern Lebanon head coach Battistelli) a good guy. He’s my buddy,” Shay continued. “This game was really big for them. They’re hanging on. We have a lot to play for too. But we want more.

 “We were tenth. We’re on the bubble,” said Battistelli. “We have been playing well lately. Until today, we’ve been playing our best basketball. If you would’ve asked me before the game, I would’ve said I felt really, really good. After the game, I’m feeling really, really bad.

 “I think a lot of it is coaching,” Battistelli added. “Ash (Shay) is doing a much better job with her team than I’m doing with my team. Their team is flowing with confidence, and when that happens, more people can step up. When you believe in yourself, lots of shots go in.”

 The two sides traded punches from the opening bell.

 Elco’s Julia Nelson was on fire early, and her second three-pointer of the game 3:07 in staked Elco to a modest 8-6 edge. Meanwhile, Ashlyn Messinger notched Northern Lebanon’s first nine points, including the three-pointer that gave the home team a 9-8 margin.

 “We made a lot of perimeter shots,” said Shay. “Jules hit some big shots. They (the Vikings) wanted to play a sagging defense to take Rye (Shuey) out of the game.

 “After the first quarter,” Shay added, “I thought we played really consistent.”

   “With this team, it’s all mental,” said Battistelli. “When they (his players) kind of experience what they’re expecting, they do fine. When they meet with mental adversity, they don’t play with the same focus.

  “It’s a team that doesn’t know how to grind,” added Battistelli. “We’ve always been a team that can grind.”

 Elco held Northern Lebanon to a single point for a 6:42 stretch of the second period, during which time it extended its lead to 24-12. Nelson nailed another three-pointer during the stretch, while teammate Kailey Eckhart knocked down a jumper, Shuey drained a couple of foul shots and Jordan Rosengrant scored on a driving lay-in.

 “What is it? It’s been a lot of things,” said Shay. “I think it’s the seniors. They’ve been fantastic leaders. But the underclassmen have done their part as well. These kids have bought in and they’ve jumped on the backs of the seniors. The biggest thing we ask of them is effort. It’s seemed to come together as a group.”

  “Their depth, size and athletcism are impressive,” said Battistelli of the Raiders. “Elco is a great measuring stick because they represent. They’re a normal school that’s coached well and who has a ton of ability. They do the best they can and they do it as hard as they can. You would think if they play their ‘A’ game and we play our ‘A’ game, it should be a very good game.”

 With each sides’ leading scorers struggling just a little bit offensively, both teams had other players step up. For Elco, Nelson canned 13 points, and for Northern Lebanon, Messinger pumped in ten.

 Elco outscored Northern Lebanon 30-12 on two-point field goals and 15-3 on three-pointers.

 “That’s a credit to their defensive game plan,” said Shay of the Vikings. “Their game plan is to stop Ryelle. But Jules really stepped up. She shot the ball with a lot of confidence. I thought Jordan Rosengrant hit some big shots too. It’s all confidence. But I thought that opened it up for us inside in the second half.”

  “Ash (Messinger) is doing a pretty good job,” said Battistelli. “She’s going to be a nice player. She’s definitely a bright spot.”

 The third quarter was when Elco began to pull away.

 During a remarkable span of 11:15 from early in the third period to late in the fourth, Elco went off on a 19-1 run to open a 43-19 bulge. Six different Raiders scored during that stretch, including Shuey, who pumped in six points, Amanda Smith, who struck for four, and Cassie Johson, who drained a three-pointer.

 “I think this team is absolutely capable of continuing through each playoff level,” said Shay. “I think we can win a few league playoff games. I think we’re capable of winning a couple of district games. I think this team is capable of getting to states. We want to trust the process and get better every day. We’re not thinking ahead.”

 “If we win them all, we’re in,” said Battistelli of his team’s remaining regular season games and the playoffs. “If not, we’re not. I thought today was win-able. I thought we had a good game plan in place.

 “The one thing that’s important about districts is that if you make the playoffs, anything can happen, and you can go to states,” continued Battistelli. “I think with our team in districts, we can beat anyone if we play well. You want to make districts, because if you play your ‘A’ game, you can win stuff. But more importantly, kids need to take steps. When you make the playoffs, you just open another door.”

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Elco Girls’ Basketball Schedule

 
 
Date Oppponents 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
68
44
 
1/22
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
68
13
 
1/25
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Elco
59
78
 
1/26
6:30 pm
Elco
at Oley Valley
50
27
 
2/01
7:30 pm
Garden Spot
at Elco
38
54
 
2/02
1:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
   
2/05
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 2018-19 Northern Lebanon Girls’ Basketball Results
 
 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
12/07
6:45 pm
Milton Hershey
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon Tip-Off Tournament
8
34
 
12/08
6:45 pm
Palmyra
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon Tip-Off Tournament
43
25
 
12/12
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at West Perry
39
49
 
12/14
7:00 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Northern Lebanon
43
34
 
12/17
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cocalico
37
35
 
12/19
7:00 pm
Garden Spot
at Northern Lebanon
32
45
 
12/21
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Solanco
36
58
 
12/27
6:00 pm
New Oxford
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Holiday Tournament
52
38
 
12/28
6:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
McCaskey
at Lebanon Holiday Tournament
45
33
 
1/04
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
30
64
 
1/05
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at East Pennsboro
41
33
 
1/09
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Middletown
52
37
 
1/11
6:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
31
19
 
1/15
6:00 pm
Octorara
at Northern Lebanon
9
71
 
1/18
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal
62
42
 
1/22
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
65
43
 
1/24
7:00 pm
Manheim Central
at Northern Lebanon
24
45
 
1/26
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
30
56
 
2/02
1:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
   
2/05
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Northern Lebanon
   
2/07
7:00 pm
Tulpehocken
at Northern Lebanon
   
2/08
6:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Octorara
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAA Power Rankings
 
AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Lancaster Catholic 20- 0- 0  0.812023  1.000000  0.582274  22.3  231.3  0.0  165.9
2 Bishop McDevitt 18- 2- 0  0.799384  0.926606  0.643892  20.2  257.8  1.6  142.6
3 Kennard Dale 18- 2- 0  0.745649  0.914027  0.539853  20.2  216.4  1.9  184.5
4 Eastern Lebanon County 16- 3- 0  0.734408  0.864865  0.574960  17.6  232.6  2.8  172.0
5 Eastern York 14- 7- 0  0.675323  0.719101  0.621816  16.0  267.4  6.3  162.6
6 Bermudian Springs 13- 5- 0  0.641332  0.717033  0.548810  13.1  230.5  5.2  189.5
7 Susquehanna Township 11- 10- 0  0.613999  0.593381  0.639200  12.6  265.3  8.6  149.8
8 Big Spring 11- 6- 0  0.604635  0.689150  0.501340  11.8  177.8  5.3  176.8
9 Wyomissing 12- 7- 0  0.585946  0.681440  0.469231  12.3  186.1  5.8  210.5
10 Northern Lebanon 10- 8- 0  0.558445  0.608696  0.497029  11.2  204.9  7.2  207.4
11 James Buchanan 10- 7- 0  0.535597  0.619718  0.432781  11.0  159.4  6.8  208.9
12 Fleetwood 9- 10- 0  0.526870  0.533875  0.518307  9.9  195.4  8.6  181.6
13 Oley Valley 11- 8- 0  0.519988  0.576227  0.451252  11.2  169.4  8.2  206.0
14 West Perry 8- 9- 0  0.491361  0.472303  0.514655  8.1  199.3  9.1  188.0
15 Littlestown 8- 12- 0  0.468799  0.395000  0.558999  7.9  234.5  12.1  185.0
16 Schuylkill Valley 9- 11- 0  0.467465  0.487113  0.443450  9.5  171.0  10.0  214.6
17 Middletown Area 6- 11- 0  0.455897  0.377465  0.551760  6.7  188.2  11.1  152.9
18 Boiling Springs 6- 11- 0  0.426908  0.391931  0.469659  6.8  176.9  10.6  199.7
19 Hamburg Area 7- 13- 0  0.406860  0.368280  0.454014  6.9  182.7  11.8  219.7
20 Octorara Area 0- 17- 0  0.273638  0.000000  0.608084  0.0  222.7  16.2  143.5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Four Standings
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Lancaster Catholic 12 0 100.00 21 0 100.00 1449 786
Elco 10 2 83.33 17 3 85.00 1008 712
Northern Lebanon 5 6 45.45 10 9 52.63 778 688
Donegal 3 8 27.27 9 11 45.00 1092 1103
Octorara 0 10 0.00 0 17 0.00 328 1083
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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