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IMG_6086BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – Same, but different. Unique, but similar. Identical, but opposite.

Emmi and Nikki Wagner have been twin sisters for so long that they don’t even realize how much, or in what ways, they’re alike. The same can be said for the ways in which they are different.

But they are linked physically, mentally and emotionally in ways that non-twins could never understand.

IMG_5808Nikki and Emmi Wagner are both senior combo guards for the highly-successful Cedar Cedar girls’ basketball team. For the past three years, the Wagners, from a personnel standpoint, have been twice as nice, and a double pleasure to coach.

“It’s hard to say,” said Nikki, “because we’ve been doing it so long together, it’s not necessarily special. It’s the way it is. We’ve always done it this way.”

“We’ve been playing together our whole life,” said Emmi. “We’ve been playing together since the second grade. (Assistant) Coach (Scott) Laicha says for the most part people can tell us apart if they’re with us for a while. We look different. We act different. We have different personalities.”

“They don’t back down,” said Cedar Crest head coach Jim Donmoyer of the Wagner twins. “If they get pushed, they’ll push back. But I don’t see much competitiveness between them.

IMG_5775“I do believe there’s a connection between them, on and off the court,” added Donmoyer. “If you’re with someone 24/7 for 17 years, it’s normal to look for each other. They know where they’re going to be.”

On the court, Nikki is the Falcons’ starting point guard, while  Emmi provides a spark and instant offense off the bench.

Nikki might be a bit better ‘off the bounce’ and has more of a pass-first-shoot-second mentality. Emmi is a catch-and-release shooter and one of Cedar Crest’s best defenders.

But they’re both tough, scrappy and compete with heart.

“They bring different skill sets to the game,” said Donmoyer. “Nikki, as the point guard, she handles the ball. She can get to the basket or she can shoot from the outside. Emmi has the best shot on the team, without a doubt. But she doesn’t get to the basket as much. They’re very similar on defense.”

“She’s an all-around good player,” said Emmi, who’s five minutes older than Nikki. “She’s a good ball handler. She’s a good shooter. She’s aggressive and she plays good defense.

IMG_6077“We both have a passion for sports,” continued Emmi. “We share the same room. We hang out together. We’re best friends.”

“We’re both really competitive,” said Nikki. “Personally, I think she has the best shot on the team. And I don’t think she has bad ball handling skills either. Her defensive game is much better than mine.

“School-wise, she’s very determined to get good grades,” Nikki continued. “She makes good decisions, on and off the court. She can be funny, sometimes.”

IMG_6084N. Wagner, a four-year varsity player, and E. Wagner, a three-year varsity player, are also part of a Class of 2015 that has returned the Cedar Crest girls’ basketball program to prominence. Over the past four seasons, the Falcons have increased their win totals from five to nine to 19 to their current total of 18.

“They came up through our junior high program together,” said Donmoyer. “Nikki’s first year on varsity was my first year as the head coach, and Emmi has played the last three years. When you look back, you have to wonder where the time goes, and you look how they have progressed as players. Ninety-nine percent of the time with both of them has been positive.

“They’re 46-14 since their sophomore year, that’s pretty good,” added Donmoyer. “They’ve been two of the key contributors from that class (along with Rachel Miller and Alex Rich). That class stuck together. They were the kids coming through. It came true for them. It’s bitter-sweet. It’s sweet where they came from and bitter that it’s going to end soon.”

“I think she’s louder than me,” said N. Wagner of E. Wagner. “We’re both out going and not afraid to talk to people. It’s hard to say how we’re different. We’re a lot alike. It’s hard to think what’s different about us.”

IMG_5784“She’s an all-around fun person,” said E. Wagner of N. Wagner. “She knows how to have a good time. But she can be serious when she needs to be.”

Cedar Crest is on the downside of an 18-4 campaign, but still very much alive for Lancaster-Lebanon League and District Three Class AAAA championships. When it does finally end for the Falcons, the Wagners will lose a small part of time with each other that they’ll never be able to get back.

“We started off kind of rough,” said Emmi of the 2014-15 season. “But we pulled it together and won 14 straight games. It’s been a good experience, to be able to do it with my twin sister.”

“The beginning of the season was kind of rough,” said Nikki. “Everyone thought we were done and weren’t going anywhere. Winning 14 straight was huge, and beating Palmyra was a big step for us.”

IMG_5796“Emmi is more happy-go-lucky,” said Donmoyer. “I relate their personalities to the basketball court. They want to play. They want to compete. They want to win. But Nikki is a little more serious.

“They both seem to get along well with other kids,” continued Donmoyer. “They seem socially able to make their way. But they take this sport seriously. Being around each other all the time, I think their personalities rub off on each other.”

The youngest of two older sisters, the Wagners are planning to attend Millersville University as a pair. Nikki is looking to play lacrosse in college, while Emmi is undecided.

IMG_6075“We are pretty much best friends,” said Nikki. “During our junior year we decided we weren’t going to the same college. Then halfway through our senior season we realized we wanted to go to the same school.

“We’re closer than our older sisters,” added Nikki. “If I had to pick my favorite sister, it would be my twin. We’re closer in age. When you have a twin you’re with them all the time, so it’s like you’re best friends.”

“I wouldn’t say we think the same things at the same time,” said Emmi. “But we randomly do the same things at the same time. We’re very similar. We get along with the same people. We have the same friends.”

IMG_6072“I know the difference between the two,” said Donmoyer. “But one time, in a quick, busy practice, I called ‘Emmi, Nikki.’ Emmi politely reminded me that she was Emmi. But they could switch jersey numbers, and I’d know the difference.”

Cedar Crest Girls’ Basketball 2014-15 Results

 

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/05
Boyertown
7:30 PM L 38-51
12/06
@Muhlenberg
6:00 PM W 55-42
12/12 *
Solanco
7:30 PM W 67-37
12/15 *
@Ephrata
7:30 PM W 55-41
12/17 *
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 45-19
12/19 *
@McCaskey
7:30 PM L 48-49
12/23 *
Hempfield
7:30 PM L 42-45
12/26 #
@Spring Grove
6:00 PM W 67-23
12/27 #
@Conrad Weiser
7:30 PM W 61-57
01/02 *
Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM W 55-32
01/06 *
@Warwick
7:30 PM W 71-50
01/09 *
Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 62-31
01/12 *
@Garden Spot
7:30 PM W 91-36
01/14 *
Elizabethtown
7:30 PM W 61-29
01/16 *
Lebanon
6:00 PM W 41-31
01/20 *
McCaskey
7:30 PM W 51-34
01/22 *
@Hempfield
7:30 PM W 43-28
01/27 *
@Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM W 51-28
01/28
Palmyra
7:30 PM W 65-61
01/30 *
Warwick
7:30 PM W 56-39
02/03 *
@Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 56-25
02/05 *
@McCaskey
6:00 PM L 47-58
IMG_5816

District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School W L T Rating

1 Palmyra Area 20- 2- 0 0.823729

2 Cumberland Valley 20- 1- 0 0.806947

3 Central Dauphin East 20- 1- 0 0.792950

4 Cedar Crest 18- 3- 0 0.789167

5 Mechanicsburg Area 20- 2- 0 0.763141

IMG_57576 Dallastown Area 17- 5- 0 0.757877

7 Red Lion Area 15- 6- 0 0.756518

8 Central York 18- 4- 0 0.747692

9 Hempfield 15- 7- 0 0.744313

10 Lebanon 17- 5- 0 0.742630

11 Red Land 17- 5- 0 0.740391 0.844538

12 J P McCaskey 16- 6- 0 0.735721

13 Governor Mifflin 16- 6- 0 0.731887

14 Ephrata Area 16- 6- 0 0.719940

15 New Oxford 16- 6- 0 0.717198

IMG_607916 Cocalico 16- 6- 0 0.692722

17 Cedar Cliff 13- 9- 0 0.686195

18 Harrisburg 12- 9- 0 0.677720

19 Daniel Boone 13- 9- 0 0.677025

20 Exeter Township 12- 9- 0 0.658345

21 Central Dauphin 9- 11- 0 0.641318

22 Manheim Township 10- 12- 0 0.629668

23 Hershey 11- 11- 0 0.621600

24 Muhlenberg 10- 12- 0 0.611765

IMG_580925 Lower Dauphin 10- 11- 0 0.608203

26 York Country Day School 16- 5- 0 0.59918

27 South Western 8- 13- 0 0.549923

28 Wilson Senior 6- 15- 0 0.539303

29 Elizabethtown Area 8- 14- 0 0.536014

30 Penn Manor 7- 15- 0 0.526221

31 William Penn 7- 15- 0 0.519693

32 Warwick 6- 16- 0 0.504665

33 Conestoga Valley 7- 15- 0 0.494249

34 Shippensburg Area 7- 15- 0 0.486946

35 Solanco 5- 17- 0 0.444533 0

36 Chambersburg Area 3- 19- 0 0.422036

37 Reading 3- 19- 0 0.420592

38 Spring Grove Area 2- 20- 0 0.372861

39 Waynesboro Area 3- 16- 0 0.3526

40 Carlisle 1- 21- 0 0.324840

41 Garden Spot 0- 21- 0 0.278677

 

 

 

 

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