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 IMG_3917BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – Both the Cedar Crest and Lebanon High boys’ basketball teams are entertaining lofty goals for this season. But no matter what happens from here on out – the thrilling victories and the agonizing defeats – both will always be able to look back and remember playing each other.

Because there is nothing in Lebanon County scholastic sports quite like the Cedar Crest-Lebanon rivalry.

On Friday night, before more than a full house at ‘The Cage’ – some 50 people were actually turned away – it was the Falcons who created the fonder memory, dispatching their nemesis, 59-42. Try as they may, the Cedars simply couldn’t match Cedar Crest’s depth,experience and will to win.

IMG_3930The Falcons gained control of the result late in the first quarter, did all the little things to keep Lebanon at bay and then ultimately iced the outcome in the fourth quarter.

For Cedar Crest, it was its 16th straight win to start the season – a school record – and moved it to 11-0 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Falcons, the top-ranked Class AAAA squad in District Three, are now 55-8 over their last 63 games, over three seasons.

The loss was Lebanon’s third of the week, all which came against the powers of Section One – Hempfield, McCaskey and the Falcons – and left it 9-7 overall and 5-6 in Section Two of the L-L. Despite its sub .500 league mark, Lebanon is still in first place in Section Two and remains on the cusp of the District Three Class AAAA postseason.

IMG_3908“That’s definitely on our goal list, every single year,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith of the importance of beating Lebanon. “But win or lose, it doesn’t make or break our season. This ranks right up there, with what we want to do, every single year.

“This rivalry is awesome,” Smith continued. “Our administration told me that they think this is the most people we’ve ever had here. It’s a Lebanon County rivalry. People outside of Lebanon don’t know it and don’t understand it. Tonight, people saw four good basketball teams at one venue.”

“It’s a rivalry game,” said Cedar Crest star Evan Horn. “Everybody says Cedar Crest hates Lebanon and Lebanon hates Cedar Crest. But that’s just the fans. We have a lot of respect for them (the Cedars).”

IMG_3851“It’s deep,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “I’ve played in it. I’ve coached in it. I went to games when I was five years old and sat on metal bleachers. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve been to. To fill this gym like we did, it was something special for Lebanon County basketball.

“Yeah, I think we’re ready to get back to Section Two play,” continued Speraw. “Even though we try not to look ahead, the kids are going to look ahead to Cedar Crest. I thought against Hempfield and McCaskey we played very well. But we have to get better.”

IMG_3894After Lebanon High experienced some early success from distance, Cedar Crest went inside to 6-7 senior Andrew Eberhart and athletic 6-3 junior Ramie Ferreira to turn the tide.

Eberhart and Ferreira combined for 13 Cedar Crest points from the middle of the opening session into the early moments of the second. And when Horn converted a pair of free throws and senior guard Josh Bucher stroked a three-ball, Cedar Crest had itself a 20-10 margin, 3:27 before the intermission.

“I think we’re doing pretty good with staying hungry and humble,” said Smith. “Our kids work hard everyday. They’re not satisfied. It’s a challenge to bring your ‘A’ game every night. Sixteen games, and they (his players) want more.

“To game-plan us, you can’t take one player away,” Smith continued. “If you do that, we just fill in the spots. It’s a testament to them (his players). They’re so unselfish. We went to our man offense against their zone, and we started to attack.”

IMG_3949“It was a crazy atmosphere,” said Horn. “We played them (the Cedars) in front of crowds like this before. But we were a little nervous at first.”

“They’re different,” said Speraw, when asked to compare this season’s version of the Falcons to last year’s. “Obviously not having (graduated senior Zach) Gristick hurts, because he used to stretch it (a defense). This (CC) team isn’t about day-to-day or game-to-game. This is a testament to these kids and how they’ve worked their butts off for the last two or three years. You can tell how strong they are and how hard they’ve worked.”

With 13 points, Eberhart led all scorers. Horn contributed ten points to the Cedar Crest cause, as did Bucher.

IMG_3826Sanders counted a dozen Cedar points, on a quartet of three-pointers, while Jahlil Ortiz supported him with ten points, following some early foul difficulties. Lebanon was once again plagued by some shoddy foul shooting, eight-for-19 to be exact.

“I thought they were going to play zone, but they’re not a bad man (-to-man) team,” said Smith of the Cedars. “Nick (Miller) did a nice job of working against the zone. He did a nice job of playing strong inside. When he gets the ball in deep, he’s difficult to stop.

“Raymie was huge off the bench tonight,” Smith added. “He just made play after play for us. And he cleaned the glass.”

“I thought Jahlil played well for us all week,” said Speraw of Ortiz. “It would’ve been nice to have gotten a win, but he really carried us this week.

“I thought we did a really good job on him (Horn),” added Speraw. “I thought our zone contained him.”

IMG_3835Thanks to an Ortiz bucket, the third quarter ended the way it began, with Cedar Crest holding a ten-point lead.

A Bucher trey 2:06 into the second half capped an 11-4 Falcon run and pushed their lead to 34-19. But Ortiz registered a total of eight points in the quarter to keep the Cedars within shouting distance.

“I thought we played a nice game,” said Smith. “It wasn’t our best game, but we were able to adjust. Defense is where it starts.”

“I just thought I could beat my man,” said Horn, who placed a greater emphasis on getting to the rim in the third quarter. “When I got in the lane, I kicked it out. But that’s how our team is going to be, balanced.”

IMG_3922“I don’t think we dropped down as well (defensively) in the second half,” said Speraw. “It’s the nature of the beast when you play them. If you take something away, you’re going to give away something else.”

The Cedar Crest lead reached 48-32, 3:39 into the final stanza, on a jumper from Dom Garloff.

“I thought we played well in spurts,” said Speraw. “And then we played really bad in spurts. This is a game where you have to control your emotions, and we didn’t in the first half, and that’s when it got away from us.

IMG_3969“We missed some shots we should’ve made,” Speraw continued. “They (the Falcons) turned up the (defensive) pressure a little bit. But it’s not like we were taking bad shots.”

Thanks to a couple of treys in rhythm from Sanders, Lebanon High raced out to early leads of 6-2 and 8-4. But it was at that point that the Falcons made a conscious effort to pound the ball inside.

“They (his players) responded well,” said Smith of the Cedars’ early advantage. “I think they were angry at themselves because they knew it (Sanders’ shooting) was part of the scouting report. But they (the treys) came in the flow of the game. It was really no big deal.”

“It was a rough week, but they’re alright,” said Speraw of his troops. “We are improving. The kids are starting to find their roles a little more. It makes you better when you don’t over extend yourself.”

IMG_3858Lebanon (42)

PLAYER FGM FTM FTA 3PM PTS_TOT FT%
Logan Blouch 0 0 0 0 0
Luke Eisenhour 2 0 0 4 0
Allan Escoto 1 0 0 2 0
Felix Kortright 1 1 3 3 0.333
Matty Lopez 1 5 11 7 0.455
Jahlil Ortiz 4 2 5 10 0.4
Shaquell Ortiz 2 0 0 4 0
Devaughn Rodriguez 0 0 0 0 0
Noah Sanders 4 0 0 4 12 0
Dante Vargas 0 0 0 0 0

Cedar Crest (59)

PLAYER FGM FTM FTA 3PM PTS_TOT FT%
Josh Bucher 3 2 2 2 10 1
Andrew Eberhart 5 3 6 13 0.5
Raymie Ferreira 4 1 2 9 0.5
Soren Frost 0 0 0 0 0
Dominic Garloff 1 0 0 2 0
Ryan Gonzales 1 0 0 1 3 0
Evan Horn 4 2 4 10 0.5
Jimmy Kern 0 3 5 3 0.6
Marq Kintzer 0 1 2 1 0.5
Nikolai Madsen 0 0 0 0 0
Nick Miller 4 0 0 8 0

IMG_3862

Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Lebanon
8 7 15 12 42
Cedar Crest
12 13 15 19 59

Cedar Crest 2014-15 Results 

 

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/05
@Palmyra
6:30 PM W 62-44
12/06
CD East
5:00 PM W 70-60
12/10
@Central York
7:30 PM W 50-48
12/12 *
@Solanco
7:30 PM W 65-27
12/15 *
Ephrata
7:30 PM W 68-53
12/17 *
@Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 74-45
12/19 *
McCaskey
7:30 PM W 57-48
12/23 *
@Hempfield
7:30 PM W 46-43
12/29 #
Camp Hill
7:30 PM W 80-61
12/30 #
Hershey
7:30 PM W 53-42
01/02 *
@Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM W 58-56
01/06 *
Warwick
7:30 PM W 55-33
01/09 *
@Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 45-44
01/12 *
Garden Spot
7:30 PM W 66-23
01/14 *
@Elizabethtown
7:30 PM W 67-52
01/16 *
Lebanon
7:30 PM W 59-42

IMG_3834Lebanon High 2014-15 Results 

 

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/05
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM W 63-54
12/06
Elco
7:30 PM W 48-38
12/10
Governor Mifflin
7:30 PM W 45-43
12/12 *
Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM L 42-61
12/15 *
@Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 52-46
12/17 *
Warwick
7:30 PM L 37-53
12/19 *
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 58-45
12/23 *
@Ephrata
7:30 PM L 44-49
12/27 #
@Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM L 40-55
12/29
Littlestown
6:00 PM W 63-40
01/02 *
Solanco
7:30 PM W 70-54
01/06 *
Elizabethtown
7:30 PM W 57-40
01/09 *
@Garden Spot
7:30 PM W 58-40
01/12 *
@Hempfield
7:30 PM L 47-50
01/14 *
McCaskey
7:30 PM L 56-59
01/16 *
@Cedar Crest
7:30 PM L 42-59

IMG_3877

 Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section One Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Cedar Crest 11-0 16-0
McCaskey 10-1 12-4
Hempfield 9-2 12-4
Warwick 8-3 11-6
Manheim Twp. 6-4 7-8
Penn Manor 2-8 4-12

Section Two Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Lebanon 5-6 9-7
Elizabethtown 4-6 7-8
Conestoga Valley 4-6 6-10
Solanco 2-9 5-12
Ephrata 2-9 3-12
Garden Spot 1-10 3-12

IMG_3891

District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School W L T Rating

1 Cedar Crest 15 0 0 .842875
2 William Penn 12 3 0 .795506
3 Northeastern 13 0 0 .795292
4 Cedar Cliff 13 2 0 .788204
5 J P McCaskey 11 4 0 .782527
IMG_38156 Central Dauphin East 9 3 0 .763352
7 Hempfield 11 4 0 .762238
8 Harrisburg 10 4 0 .740422
9 Carlisle 10 4 0 .740369
10 Reading 10 4 0 .729523
11 Central York 9 5 0 .725425
12 Exeter Township 11 3 0 .718485
13 Warwick 10 6 0 .711113
14 Hershey 8 5 0 .705419
15 Red Lion Area 9 5 0 .702180
16 Shippensburg Area 10 3 0 .694957
17 Spring Grove Area 7 4 0 .683864
18 Central Dauphin 7 7 0 .664668
19 Cumberland Valley 8 7 0 .664423
20 Manheim Township 7 8 0 .652742
21 Lebanon 9 6 0 .651474
22 Lower Dauphin 8 7 0 .648255
IMG_389723 Governor Mifflin 7 6 0 .646309
24 Waynesboro Area 7 5 0 .626465
25 Dallastown Area 7 8 0 .601714
26 Elizabethtown Area 7 8 0 .596612
27 Mechanicsburg Area 5 9 0 .575859
28 Wilson Senior 5 9 0 .563692
29 Conestoga Valley 6 10 0 .546064
30 Greencastle Antrim 4 9 0 .540998
31 Northern York 5 9 0 .518374
32 Chambersburg Area 3 9 0 .518363
33 Red Land 4 10 0 .517556
34 Penn Manor 4 12 0 .509605
35 Solanco 5 11 0 .484431
36 South Western 3 9 0 .477572
37 Ephrata Area 3 11 0 .454337
IMG_389338 Garden Spot 3 11 0 .442163
39 New Oxford 2 12 0 .402962

 

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