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BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – Expectations are always interesting. No matter how much we know or how much we think we know, things never quite pan out the way we plan or expect.

At the beginning of the season, the postseason was very much on the Annville-Cleona boys’ basketball team’s radar. But the Little Dutchmen didn’t anticipate facing as many as difficulties as they have along the way.

On Saturday afternoon at Annville-Cleona High School, the Little Dutchmen took a crucial and positive step towards those anticipated playoffs, with a 69-56 home triumph over Oley Valley. Annville-Cleona made its hay during the middle stanzas, when it outscored the Lynx by a combined margin of 35-23.

The late-season game pretty much amounted to a playoff contest for Annville-Cleona, With three regular-season games remaining, the Little Dutchmen are now 10-9 on the season.

Annville-Cleona is perilously perched in the eighth spot of the power rankings for a AAA classification that takes eight for its District Three tournament.

With the loss, Oley Valley dropped to 6-14 overall.

“We control our own destiny,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Jason Coletti. “If we win, we take care of ourselves. We’re OK right now. We’ve got three big ones left.

“At the beginning of the season, I thought we’d have a team that wanted to repeat (last year’s trip to districts),” continued Coletti. “I didn’t think we’d have to battle like this. We lost some games early on that put us in this position.”

Following a back-and-forth start to the contest, the Little Dutchmen got a leg up on Oley Valley late in the opening stanza. Annville-Cleona ripped off the final nine points of the period, on seven points from Adam Long and a pair of foul shots by Andrew Long, to open up a 21-12 lead.

“It was tight at the beginning,” said Coletti. “But at the end of the first quarter, we went on a little run. Then in the second quarter, we expanded the lead. But in the third quarter, I thought we relaxed a little bit. I was proud of the effort, coming off a big win Thursday (at home over Lancaster Mennonite).

“I thought we played pretty well,” Coletti added. “This is more about an effort game, a noon start on a Saturday. I thought we needed to be ready. The last four games we’ve had really good effort, and I think that continued today.”

It was more of the same for the Little Dutchmen in the second quarter.

Protecting a seven-point margin, Annville-Cleona tallied the final six points of the first half and took a 38-25 lead to the locker room. Josh Speraw converted a lay-up, Andrew Long drain a couple more free throws and Adam Long took it strong to the hoop.

“I thought our 1-3-1 zone was pretty good,” said Coletti. “I think our length bothered them a little bit, especially their shooters.

“We’re looking for the consistency,” Coletti continued. “We had a big win against Palmyra (Jan. 15), then the execution wasn’t the same after it. It took us a little while to get some chemistry and get into a groove. But I think they’ve (his players) found it.”

With Andrew posting 22 and Adam registering 18, the Long twins combined for 40 of the Little Dutchmen’s total points. Cade Horning supported them with 14 points.

Annville-Cleona outscored the Lynx 18-12 from beyond the arc.

“Our goal is always going to be to get to the playoffs,” said Coletti. “Everyone starts in mid-Novementer, and that’s what they’re shooting for. It’s a reward for a good season, and if you do make it, the community really gets behind you. It’s just a great experience.”

A couple of Andrew Long buckets to start the third quarter moved the A-C advantage to 42-25. Then later in the third, Junior Bours drilled a three-pointer and Andrew Long turned a steal into a lay-in, to move the Little Dutchmen’s lead to 54-33.

“We got a little sloppy at the end,” said Coletti of the fourth quarter. “We had a good-sized lead and we relaxed a little bit. It comes with growth and experience. We need to close out teams better.”

The result was never in doubt, but Oley Valley did cut its defict to 59-47 early in the final period. It was at that time that Horning scored ten straight Little Dutchmen points.

“Absolutely, I do feel like we are worthy of a playoff spot,” said Coletti. “We beat Mennonite. We beat Hanover, who are right on the bubble like we are. We played a lot of the top teams (in Class AAA). We’ve had a tough schedule. Ours is right up there with a lot of the top teams. I definitely feel like we belong.”

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

2019-20 Annville-Cleona Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
Brandywine Heights
at Hamburg
34
52

Nonleague
12/07
TBD
Annville-Cleona
Northern Lehigh
at Hamburg
53
50

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
49
70

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Annville-Cleona
59
50

League
12/17
6:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
45
42

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Country Day
59
52

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
51
54

League
12/21
3:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Hanover
67
56

Nonleague
12/27
TBD
Annville-Cleona
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
42
36

Nonleague
12/28
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
Littlestown
at Northern Lebanon
44
58

Nonleague
1/02
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
37
58

League
1/09
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Columbia
66
80

League
1/11
1:30 pm
Northern York
Annville-Cleona
at Manheim Central
67
46

Nonleague
1/15
7:30 pm
Palmyra
at Annville-Cleona
46
55

Nonleague
1/17
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
35
58

League
1/21
7:30 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Annville-Cleona
54
51

League
1/25
6:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
46
30

Nonleague
1/30
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
48
60

League
2/01
12:00 pm
Oley Valley
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague
2/03
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Kennard-Dale

Nonleague
2/04
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic

League
2/06
7:30 pm
Middletown
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Trinity (3)16-2-0 0.717931 0.882022 0.517375 15.7 194.3 2.1 181.3
2Camp Hill12-6-0 0.608114 0.662857 0.541206 11.6 215.4 5.9 182.6
3Columbia14-6-0 0.606288 0.689840 0.504170 12.9 208.6 5.8 205.1
4Upper Dauphin Area13-4-0 0.579582 0.703470 0.428163 11.2 164.7 4.7 219.9
5Lancaster Mennonite11-9-0 0.539099 0.536111 0.542750 9.7 231.7 8.4 195.2
6Brandywine Heights Area13-7-0 0.536371 0.647208 0.400904 12.8 164.1 7.0 245.2
7Tulpehocken11-9-0 0.487531 0.540609 0.422658 10.7 172.6 9.1 235.7
8Annville Cleona9-9-0 0.471047 0.483051 0.456377 8.6 194.9 9.2 232.1
9Hanover11-9-0 0.469834 0.525641 0.401626 10.3 175.4 9.3 261.3
10Oley Valley6-13-0 0.389982 0.308483 0.489591 6.0 202.3 13.5 210.9
11Pequea Valley7-14-0 0.360572 0.284635 0.453384 5.7 186.3 14.2 224.6
12Kutztown Area5-14-0 0.330090 0.247911 0.430530 4.5 179.0 13.5 236.7
13Biglerville3-17-0 0.303605 0.154412 0.485952 3.2 210.2 17.3 222.3
14Susquenita0-18-0 0.191616 0.000000 0.425814 0.0 168.8 21.0 227.6

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Four Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Columbia901.0001460.70012381065
Lancaster Mennonite720.7781190.55011511119
Annville-Cleona540.556990.500918941
Lancaster Country Day360.3337130.35010551034
Pequea Valley360.3337140.3339721175
Lebanon Catholic090.0006130.316805995

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