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IMG_7299BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, revenge was the least of what the Cedar Crest boys’ basketball team was out for last night.

On Tuesday night at ‘The Cage’, the Falcons earned their most meaningful victory to date, with their most complete effort of the season. The Falcons played with intensity on both ends of the floor, got off to a good start and never relented, then pulled away from nemesis Hempfield for a 55-36 triumph.

Cedar Crest, which had been handed its worst loss of the season, 57-42, by the Black Knights on January 4, outscored Hempfield in each and every quarter and carried a 42-28 advantage into the final eight minutes of action.

The triumph tied Cedar Crest, now 16-3 overall and 11-2 in the circuit, with Hempfield and McCaskey atop the Lancaster-Lebanon Section One standings. It also solidified the Falcons’ chances of qualifying for a league playoff spot, as well as their standing in the District Three Class AAAA rankings.

With three regular season games remaining, the Black Knights fell to 13-5 on the year and 11-2 in the section.

IMG_7294“The most important thing is we came out played our best basketball game of the season,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith. “You want to be playing your best basketball down the stretch. We have a number of goals we have set for ourselves, and for us to achieve them I think it’s important for us to be playing our best.

“I would say this was probably our most complete game of the year,” continued Smith. “Would’ve I expected to win it by 20? I don’t know. From start to finish, I thought we did play our best game. We’re on a four-game playoff run. If they (his players) come focused like this every night, we’ll be fine. We were mentally focused tonight.”

While the Cedar Crest defense was a constant all night, it first helped the Falcons to cause separation from the Black Knights in the second period.

With the scored knotted at 11 early in the stanza, the Falcons held Hempfield to a mere basket over the final six minutes of the half, and took a 26-13 bulge to the break. Andrew Eudy started the 15-2 run with a couple of foul shots, and tallied a total of seven points during it, while Josh Bucher concluded it with a trey, his second during the burst.

IMG_7378“Tonight was awesome,” said Smith, speaking specifically of the defensive effort. “We put the game plan in. The kids believed in it. And the kids executed it. At halftime, we didn’t change one thing defensively. These kids compete, night in and night out. That’s what we have to do on the defensive end.”

The Falcon advantage reached 37-19 on a Nick Miller lay-in with 3:19 to go in the third quarter. It was at that point that Smith sat his starters, went with a guard-heavy reserve lineup and spread the Black Knights out with a little cat-and-mouse game of keep away.

The result was time coming off the clock, starters getting rest for the fourth quarter and the Falcons maintaining their established advantage in the personal foul category.

“It just kind of how it happened,” said Smith of the end of the third quarter. “We have a deep bench. We were at 16 points (lead). We had starters on the bench and we had the fouls in our favor. We weren’t trying to kill the clock. We didn’t think they could guard us. It was just our game plan, and every kid on my bench and execute it.”

IMG_7409On a team with no established stars, last night was Bucher’s night to shine. The junior guard poured in four three-pointers and a game-high 16 points and also contained Black Knight dynamic guard Dylan Bleacher to 12 points, some 11 below his average.

Horn supported Bucher’s scoring with 12 points of his own, while Eudy chipped in with 11.

“That was the start of our defensive game plan,” said Smith of Bucher’s job on Bleacher. “We had a defensive game plan and everyone executed it. I think Bleacher is the best player in the league, and Josh got the assignment

“Josh Bucher is no slouch on the defensive end,” Smith continued. “There’s a relationship between Josh and Bleacher, and Josh has a chip on his shoulder. But I thought Evan’s (Horn) match-up with (Tyrell) Wickersham was tough too.”

IMG_7436If the outcome was in doubt in the fourth quarter, Cedar Crest settled it by holding Hempfield to a single point over the opening 4:16 of it. Horn and Bucher scored on drives, Horn found Miller under the basket for a deuce, Bucher hit a three-pointer, and when Miller stroked a charity toss, the Falcons had themselves a 52-29 bulge.

“I’ll be honest, out of this group, I expected it,” said Smith of his team’s success. “This group last year, some of them were JVs, and they pushed the varsity. The success we’re having with this group is not surprising.”


Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One

 

Cedar Crest 11 – 2 – 0 16 – 3 – 0
Hempfield 11 – 2 – 0 13 – 5 – 0
McCaskey 11 – 2 – 0 13 – 6 – 0
Manheim Twp. 9 – 4 – 0 10 – 8 – 0
Penn Manor 5 – 8 – 0 7 – 12 – 0
Warwick 5 – 8 – 0 6 – 12 – 0

 

IMG_7458District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

 (Top 20 qualify for playoffs)
RANK SCHOOL NAME POWER RATING
1 Central York (15-2) 0.816202 0.921182 (18.7-1.6) 0.687893 (273.3-124)
2 Wilson (16-2) 0.809126 0.935185 (20.2-1.4) 0.655053 (246.3-129.7)
3 Cedar Crest (15-3) 0.789973 0.901869 (19.3-2.1) 0.653211 (249.2-132.3)
4 Hempfield (13-4) 0.755641 0.856410 (16.7-2.8) 0.632479 (236.8-137.6)
5 Red Lion Area (16-3) 0.753271 0.894009 (19.4-2.3) 0.581258 (217.1-156.4)
6 Cumberland Valley (13-4) 0.752841 0.854922 (16.5-2.8) 0.628076 (224.6-133)
IMG_74647 Reading (12-6) 0.739735 0.814815 (15.4-3.5) 0.647971 (229.9-124.9)
8 Harrisburg (13-5) 0.739399 0.812834 (15.2-3.5) 0.649644 (209.9-113.2)
9 J P McCaskey (12-6) 0.727444 0.785714 (15.4-4.2) 0.656224 (240.9-126.2)
10 Mechanicsburg Area (12-5) 0.726738 0.793296 (14.2-3.7) 0.645388 (238.6-131.1)
11 William Penn (12-5) 0.717475 0.793296 (14.2-3.7) 0.624805 (240.8-144.6)
12 Carlisle (11-6) 0.708185 0.755814 (13-4.2) 0.649972 (228.4-123)
13 Hershey (12-6) 0.702792 0.752688 (14-4.6) 0.641807 (235.8-131.6)
14 Lower Dauphin (12-6) 0.700539 0.731959 (14.2-5.2) 0.662137 (248.5-126.8)
15 Waynesboro Area (14-4) 0.696069 0.808989 (14.4-3.4) 0.558056 (186-147.3)
16 Lebanon (13-5) 0.695984 0.816832 (16.5-3.7) 0.548281 (199.3-164.2)
17 Exeter Township (11-6) 0.688798 0.756906 (13.7-4.4) 0.605556 (228.9-149.1)
18 Central Dauphin East (10-7) 0.684790 0.723164 (12.8-4.9) 0.637888 (228.3-129.6)
19 Manheim Township (9-8) 0.663848 0.701220 (11.5-4.9) 0.618171 (215-132.8)
20 Shippensburg Area (12-6) 0.653672 0.739130 (13.6-4.8) 0.549223 (201.4-165.3)
21 Central Dauphin (10-9) 0.651087 0.638889 (11.5-6.5) 0.665995 (231.5-116.1)
22 Lampeter Strasburg (12-6) 0.649396 0.711340 (13.8-5.6) 0.573686 (210.6-156.5)
IMG_741623 Daniel Boone (9-9) 0.632683 0.607955 (10.7-6.9) 0.662906 (246.8-125.5)
24 Dallastown Area (9-8) 0.632183 0.628743 (10.5-6.2) 0.636387 (245.2-140.1)
25 Cedar Cliff (9-9) 0.601869 0.583333 (10.5-7.5) 0.624523 (229.2-137.8)
26 Cocalico (7-9) 0.590743 0.585526 (8.9-6.3) 0.597118 (223.8-151)
27 Penn Manor (7-11) 0.585847 0.523529 (8.9-8.1) 0.662012 (256-130.7)
28 Spring Grove Area (7-10) 0.577832 0.514793 (8.7-8.2) 0.654881 (255.6-134.7)
29 Ephrata Area (8-10) 0.569462 0.574713 (10-7.4) 0.563043 (207.2-160.8)
30 Warwick (6-11) 0.563063 0.484076 (7.6-8.1) 0.659603 (245.9-126.9)
31 Governor Mifflin (6-13) 0.533730 0.402367 (6.8-10.1) 0.694286 (267.3-117.7)
32 Red Land (5-12) 0.495085 0.338235 (4.6-9) 0.686789 (253.7-115.7)
33 Solanco (5-12) 0.480660 0.428571 (6.3-8.4) 0.544325 (197.1-165)
34 South Western (4-13) 0.478860 0.313725 (4.8-10.5) 0.680690 (252.4-118.4)
35 Muhlenberg (4-14) 0.458366 0.298701 (4.6-10.8) 0.653512 (248.4-131.7)
36 Northern York (6-13) 0.447908 0.354286 (6.2-11.3) 0.562336 (213.8-166.4)
37 New Oxford (4-13) 0.427665 0.253623 (3.5-10.3) 0.640384 (240.4-135)
38 Garden Spot (4-11) 0.424922 0.287770 (4-9.9) 0.592551 (213.2-146.6)
39 Chambersburg Area (2-15) 0.405511 0.201681 (2.4-9.5) 0.654638 (219.5-115.8)
IMG_738740 Conestoga Valley (2-16) 0.374475 0.175676 (2.6-12.2) 0.617451 (232.1-143.8)
41 York County School Of Technology (6-12) 0.349953 0.253165 (4-11.8) 0.468249 (146-165.8)
42 Elizabethtown Area (1-16) 0.335547 0.085271 (1.1-11.8) 0.641441 (245.8-137.4)

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