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BY ETHAN SWIECH

PHOTOS FROM JEFF FALK

LEBANON – We had a thriller on our hands when the ELCO Raiders squared off against the Lebanon Cedars on Friday night, during the season-opening, 21st edtion of the Lebanon Athletic Booster Club’s boys’ basketball tournament. Lebanon had the home-court advantage, but ELCO got the win on Braden Bohannon’s buzzer-beating three.

Bohannon’s heroics lifted the Raiders over the Cedars, 56-53.

Electricity filled the entire gym, and the student sections were geared up and ready to go with a tournament championship berth on the line. Right when the ball was tipped, nobody knew what kind of treat they would be in for.

“He put in the work, so he has the confidence,” said Elco head coach Brad Conners of Bohannon. “You can feel it, our kids didn’t want to give up. I’m really proud of them. But we just want to keep getting better and better, and let’s see where we go.

“I worked with him all season long,” continued Conners. “That’s the shot. Make it or miss it, it’s the work you put in. It was on time tonight.”

This contest resembled a track meet more than it did a basketball game. It was up and down all the way and neither side surrendered an inch. Every time one team had the momentum, the other took it away and that was the case for the full 32 minutes.

However, it was the final minutes where things really got interesting. The Raiders appeared to have victory locked up, but the Cedars mounted a rally and tied the score at 53. Despite the effort, ELCO had the ball with a chance to win it.

Bohannon’s first attempt at the winning three missed its mark, but the Raiders retained possession and head coach, Brad Conners, called a time out with 2.4 seconds remaining. The tension was building and it looked like overtime was a definite possibility.

As soon as both teams broke their huddles and took the court, Bohannon received a clean pass and clean path at the three. He released the shot at the top of the key and it fell through the net as time expired.

Just like that, we saw a pouring volcano of blue jerseys storming the court and mobbing Bohannon. The junior guard lifted his game to another level with a 25-point performance, an effort that included five threes.

“In the timeout, we talked about no wanting him to catch it,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw of Bohannon. “We didn’t do our job. We were going to switch everything. But give him credit, he’s got to catch and turn and shoot. He knocked it down.

“I’m not a coach who believes in moral victories,” Speraw added. “We played hard. We played well at times. We either win or we lose, and tonight we lost. But I’ll take that effort every night.”

Of course, both teams were effective at shooting the three-ball all night long. ELCO and Lebanon combined for 19 conversions from beyond the arc and Cedars’ sophomore guard, Luke Collins, had four of his own while topping the Lebanon scoring chart with 14 points.

“A five-point lead felt like a ten-point lead tonight,” said Conners. “Both teams know each other. It was neat that it went down to the wire. Tim really gets everything out of those kids. They battled all night.”

The Cedars’ other top performers included Marquis Ferreira, who finished with 13 points, and Isaiah Rodriguez, who scored 10 of his own. When everything was said and done, it was that one chance, that one shot, that made the difference.

“We were good defensively, in spurts,” said Speraw. “There were little things we didn’t do well. We didn’t close out well on Bohannon at the three-point line. We didn’t get back a couple of times. The little things can add, and that’s what you get.”

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

2019-20 Elco Boys’ Basketball Schedule

DateTeamsScore
12/06
7:30 pm
Elco
Lebanon
at Lebanon
56
53

Nonleague
12/07
TBD
Elco
TBA
at Lebanon

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

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Cocalico
at Elco

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

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Solanco
at Elco

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

League
12/28
TBD
Elco
TBA
at Eastern York

Nonleague
12/30
TBD
Elco
TBA
at Elco

Nonleague
1/03
12:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco

League
1/04
1:30 pm
Oley Valley
at Elco

Nonleague
1/07
7:30 pm
Elco
at Donegal

League
1/08
7:30 pm
Camp Hill
at Elco

Nonleague
1/10
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco

League
1/15
7:30 pm
Wyomissing
at Elco

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

League
1/21
7:30 pm
Elco
at Octorara

League
1/24
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Elco

League
1/28
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon

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

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

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

League

2019-20 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Schedule

DateTeamsScore
12/06
7:30 pm
Elco
Lebanon
at Lebanon
56
53
Nonleague
12/07
TBD
TBA
at Lebanon

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Governor Mifflin

Nonleague
12/13
12:00 pm
McCaskey
at Lebanon

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Lebanon

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Penn Manor

League
12/27
6:00 pm
Emmaus
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest

Nonleague
12/28
TBD
TBA
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest

Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata

League
1/04
6:00 pm
Palmyra
Lebanon
at Lebanon Valley College

Nonleague
1/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon

League
1/11
3:00 pm
Conrad Weiser
Lebanon
at Garden Spot

Nonleague
1/14
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon

League
1/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley

League
1/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Garden Spot

Nonleague
1/21
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon

League
1/25
2:30 pm
Hershey
at Lebanon

Nonleague
1/28
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Elizabethtown

League
1/31
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon

League

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