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BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON -If getting better is a daily focus, then playoffs are after-thoughts. Scholastic basketball teams improve with this time in mind.

For the Cedar Crest boys, it’s all led up to this.

On Wednesday night at ‘The Cage’, the Falcons tuned up for the upcoming stretch that will define their season by wearing out Carlisle 66-43, in a non-league tilt. Following a rough start to the game, Cedar Crest pulled itself together in the second quarter, before pulling away from the Thundering Herd in the second half.

With the result, Cedar Crest improved to 16-2 overall. With four Lancaster-Lebanon Section One contests remaining in the regular season, the Falcons have their sights firmly set on championships and postseason glory.

The Falcons were situated fourth in the latest District Three Class AAAAAA power rankings

With the loss, Carlisle dropped to 5-11 on the year.

“I don’t think we’ve peaked yet,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith. “I think our best basketball is in front of us. All of our section games are in front of us. We were in the same position last year and things didn’t turn out the way we would’ve liked. Hopefully we’ll learn from that.

“First things first, and that’s the section,” continued Smith. “But even before that is winning in Landisville (against Hempfield) on Friday. If we want to win the section, we’re going to have to win on the road.”

The Falcons got off to a somewhat shaky start last night, as the Thundering Herd tallied nine of the game’s first 11 points. Carlisle led 14-4 five minutes into the contest.

“I remember us getting good defensive possessions and then giving up offensive rebounds,” said Smith. “We came out slow and they jumped up big on us. Then we started to play. They’re (the Thundering Herd) a physical team, and I told our guys they do have to box out.”

When they did flip the switch late in the opening quarter, the Falcons lit up the entire gym. Cedar Crest pieced together a devastating 31-3 run over the next ten minutes, one that turned that ten-point deficit into a 35-17 cushion.

Highlighting that stretch was a seven-point CC trip generated from a Carlisle technical foul, 14 Illeri Ayo-Faleye points and sticky, in-your-grill defense. The Falcons also got 11 points from Trey Shutter during the run, a couple of buckets from Cole Miller and a Grant Allwein lay-in.

“We started to rebound and we were able to play in transition,” said Smith. “And we were able to stretch the lead. Other than our start, I’m pleased. We played a good three-and-a-half quarters.

“I thought we played very well defensively,” added Smith. “Minus the defensive reboudning early, we did well. We did put Illeri on number 24 (Carlisle big James Barlow). We forced them to make some tough, contested shots.”

Shutter posted a game-high 21 points, which included a trey and eight-for-eight foul shooting, while Ayo-Faleye counted an amazing six jams among his 20 points.

The Falcons outscored the Thundering Herd 44-14 on field goals inside the arc.

“I would say he’s improved in all aspects of the game,” said Smith of the athletic Ayo-Faleye. “He’s into the game plan. He’s on his assignments. He is making better decisions with the basketball. Defensively, he’s locked in. His attention to detail has been better.”

A Shutter lay-in and a three-pointer by Allwein extended the Falcon advantage to 40-22, minutes after the break. Later in the third period, two foul shots from Shutter made the Cedar Crest lead 46-30.

Then the Falcons opened the final quarter on an 8-2 spurt – fueled by a couple of Ayo-Faleye baskets, a Shutter pull-up and an inside move by Jason Eberhart – to increase their cushion to 54-34.

“We’re getting down to the stretch of the season and that’s when you want to play your best basketball,” said Smith. “We’ll take the win. We have the second part of our Section One schedule coming up, and that’ll be big.”

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

2019-20 Cedar Crest Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
6:00 pm
Red Land
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
29
70

Nonleague
12/07
7:30 pm
Elco
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
55
59

Nonleague
12/09
7:30 pm
Wyomissing
at Cedar Crest
47
59

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elizabethtown
45
41

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
55
57

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Ephrata
57
26

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
50
55

League
12/21
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Palmyra
60
40

Nonleague
12/27
7:30 pm
Oxford
at Cedar Crest
38
51

Nonleague
12/28
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
49
59

Nonleague
1/02
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Conestoga Valley
52
46

League
1/04
4:30 pm
Cedar Crest
Lower Dauphin
at Lebanon Valley College
46
58

Nonleague
1/08
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
47
61

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
70
40

League
1/11
3:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Bishop McDevitt
at Manheim Central
58
55

Nonleague
1/14
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
48
62

League
1/17
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
49
58

League
1/22
7:30 pm
Carlisle
at Cedar Crest

Nonleague
1/24
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield

League
1/28
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest

League
1/31
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township

League

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Wilson15-1-0 0.846011 0.959459 0.707352 17.8 244.9 0.8 101.3
2Cumberland Valley13-1-0 0.793890 0.955357 0.596542 16.1 186.3 0.8 126.0
3Central Dauphin12-3-0 0.767445 0.864865 0.648376 14.4 205.6 2.3 111.5
4Cedar Crest15-2-0 0.764971 0.917313 0.578775 17.8 203.2 1.6 147.9
5Central York14-3-0 0.762942 0.872727 0.628760 16.8 214.3 2.5 126.5
6Reading10-4-0 0.753197 0.795918 0.700983 11.7 224.7 3.0 95.9
7Governor Mifflin10-5-0 0.722899 0.758621 0.679240 12.1 239.5 3.9 113.1
8J P McCaskey11-5-0 0.718945 0.776836 0.648190 13.8 215.8 4.0 117.1
9Warwick13-4-0 0.715854 0.826772 0.580288 15.8 199.3 3.3 144.2
10Chambersburg Area11-4-0 0.712782 0.807808 0.596640 13.5 182.9 3.2 123.7
11Harrisburg8-5-0 0.689136 0.719101 0.652511 9.6 202.1 3.8 107.6
12Exeter Township10-6-0 0.675913 0.710692 0.633406 11.3 219.0 4.6 126.8
13Central Dauphin East7-5-0 0.665837 0.678295 0.650610 8.8 197.2 4.2 105.9
14Manheim Township9-8-0 0.647515 0.637982 0.659166 10.8 228.5 6.1 118.2
15Lebanon11-7-0 0.643952 0.703209 0.571528 13.2 205.6 5.6 154.1
16Dallastown9-7-0 0.642428 0.649390 0.633920 10.7 221.7 5.8 128.0
17Waynesboro Area8-6-0 0.605326 0.640288 0.562594 8.9 187.0 5.0 145.4
18Penn Manor8-9-0 0.586957 0.578462 0.597340 9.4 215.6 6.9 145.3
19Carlisle5-10-0 0.555686 0.450549 0.684186 6.2 221.3 7.5 102.2
20Red Lion7-9-0 0.555636 0.513072 0.607659 7.9 203.9 7.5 131.7
21HEMPFIELD5-11-0 0.530107 0.413194 0.672999 6.0 233.8 8.5 113.6
22Conestoga Valley4-12-0 0.455836 0.316547 0.626078 4.4 232.4 9.5 138.8
23York County School Of Technology4-9-0 0.347179 0.295720 0.410073 3.8 123.4 9.1 177.5

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section One Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Cedar Crest810.8891520.882966787
McCaskey720.7781150.6881105971
Hempfield450.4445110.313724807
Manheim Township460.400980.529983902
Penn Manor370.300890.471826926

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