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IMG_3775BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – On Wednesday night, the Lebanon girls’ basketball team presented rival Cedar Crest with a huge gift. Last night, the Falcons declined to return the favor.

On Friday night at ‘The Cage’ – in what has truly become a Lebanon community event – Cedar Crest nudged its crosstown rival, 41-31, in the opener of a girls’/boys’ double dip. The Falcons notched their final 21 points of the affair from the foul line and in, to settle the dispute and stamp an exclamation point on the backyard brawl.

IMG_3635Ironically, it was Lebanon’s 53-50 road win at McCaskey on Wednesday that had put the Falcons back in control of their Lancaster-Lebanon Section One destiny. Cedar Crest, which is currently ranked sixth in the latest District Three Class AAAA power rankings, improved to 12-3 on the campaign and 9-2 in Section One, with its eighth straight victory.

The Cedars, who sit 13th in the Class AAAA ratings, are involved in their own scrap for first place, in Section Two. Lebanon High is now 11-5 overall and 8-3 in its circuit.

“It was good for us,” said Cedar Crest head coach Jim Donmoyer of the Cedars’ recent triumph over the Red Tornado. “It did us a favor. Now we are going to play McCaskey and Hempfield and we control our own destiny. It was very important. To their (the Cedars’) credit, they had a heck of a week. They played some tough games. It’s big for our section.

IMG_3786“We’ve got to win out,” continued Donmoyer. “Every game, we’ve got to win. We’ve been doing it for eight straight games. But we’ve got to beat McCaskey and we’ve got to beat Hempfield.”

“We were doing ourselves a favor,” said Lebanon head coach Ben Brewer of the win at McCaskey. “A road win at McCaskey was big. We’re learning we don’t have to shoot the ‘three’, but the win was huge. Everyone stepped up.

“Which (Section One team) is the best one?,” Brewer continued. “There’s going to be some heck of a good basketball games coming up. When Cedar Crest is hitting ‘threes’, it’s tough. It opens up your defense. But they all have their attributes.”

A three-pointer from Cedar senior point Brittany Ulrich three minutes into the second half had pulled her side to within 20-15 of the Falcons. But it was at that point that the Falcons decided to get the ball inside against LHS’ 3-2 zone, most notably to sophomore post Alyssa Austin.

IMG_3615Austin’s put back closed out the third period, and her stick back to open the final quarter put Cedar Crest ahead 27-20. Fellow ‘big’, senior Maddie Rakow, followed suit with a lay-in that pushed the Falcon lead to nine.

Except for a three-pointer from Cedar senior Alicia Haitos that made it 33-26, the rest of the fourth period belonged to Cedar Crest. The Falcons netted the next seven points – five which came from Austin – and extended their margin to 40-26 on a lay-up by Rakow.

IMG_3737“This rivalry is awesome,” said Donmoyer. “I wish my kids could play against teams with this type of crowd every night. It was electric. Them having a chance to play in front of a crowd like this, it’s awesome. Crosstown rivals, you can’t get any better than that.

“We’ve won eight straight,” added Donmoyer. “But I don’t think we’re where we could be. We’re not a finished product, by any means.”

“I was trying to control my emotions,” said Brewer. “It’s tough. I don’t care, you’re not going to find a better high school basketball atmosphere. I had three starters who had never experienced this before, and they were nervous. At the end of the first quarter I asked, ‘Is anyone still nervous?’ And two of them said, ‘yeah’.

“I think we’re improving a lot,” continued Brewer. “I thought we improved this week. I thought we played pretty darn good tonight. We’re absolutely improving. It’s impossible not to improve from a game like that. We have our sights set on getting even better.”

After some early foul difficulties, Austin poured in a game-high 16 points, and combined with Rakow to account for 26 points of the Falcons’ total. Haitos led Lebanon, which made good on just four of 11 foul shots, with ten points.

IMG_3644“Our defense was consistent,” said Donmoyer. “The difference was we adjusted to their zone, attacked it and got inside. Brittany (Ulrich) didn’t have a lot of points and neither did (Alexis) Hill. Those were the two girls we were worried about.

“They’re (the Cedars) gritty, tenacious,” Donmoyer added. “They get after you. They played a good defensive game too. They play with heart. They always have those characteristics. You know when you play them that it’s going to be a fight.”

“That’s what I figured they’d do at the beginning of the game,” said Brewer of the Falcons’ persistent pounding of the ball inside. “Austin’s tough. It was a lesson learned by Hill. She’s got to get stronger.

IMG_3603“Alexis is confident with her athleticism,” Brewer continued. “Her ability to contort herself in the air and use what God has given her is unbelievable. She needs to play against bigger girls. She needs to learn to box out. She’s a freshman who learns and soaks in what you give her. She’s very unselfish. She’s going to be a special player over the next few years. She already is.”

Nerves may have contributed to both sides’ sluggish offensive starts.

After Hill had drained a pair of charity tosses to give Lebanon an early edge, Cedar Crest answered with two Rakow foul shots and guard Ariel Jones’ coast-to-coast drive that beat the first-quarter buzzer. Cedar Crest 7, Lebanon 5, after eight minutes of action.

“Defensively, we played lights out,” said Donmoyer. “Yeah, I’m pleased with the way we played. In the first half, they (the Cedars) came out in a 3-2 zone, we hadn’t seen that this year and we didn’t expect it. In the second half, we attacked it better. Alyssa and Maddie carried us in the second half. That was our bread and butter down the stretch.

IMG_3605“We play defense all the time,” Donmoyer continued. “We’re going to try and build on that. We’re going to get after people.”

“I wanted to slow the game down,” said Brewer. “Do you know what I liked about the first quarter? When it was one-one. But they (his players) played great.

“It (Austin’s early foul trouble) gave us some pace,” Brewer added, “and it allowed us to throw it inside. But once they (the Falcons) got their mojo, they started doing what they’re good at.”

IMG_3798Cedar Crest’s man-to-man defense held the Cedars scoreless over the final 4:37 of the second quarter, and allowed it to carry a 15-12 cushion to the locker room. During that span, Falcon Emily Wagner drained a three-pointer and Alex Rich hit a free throw.

“After those two games, we had a 20-30 minute chat,” said Donmoyer of back-to-back losses to McCaskey and Hempfield. “We made a couple of lineup changes. We decided to focus on keeping people under 40 points a game and scoring 50. If you do that you’re going to win games.”

“Three tough teams,” said Brewer of a week that included outings against the elite of Section One, “and we got a good road win. At least we got a win.”

 

Lebanon (31)

PLAYER FGM FTM FTA 3PM PTS_TOT FT%
Alicia Haitos 4 0 0 2 10 0
Alexis Hill 2 3 6 7 0.5
Ary’Anna Ortolazo 1 0 0 2 0
Jayden Shellehamer 1 1 2 1 4 0.5
Jasmine Turner 1 1 5 3 0.2
Brittany Ulrich 2 0 0 1 5 0

IMG_3792Cedar Crest (41)

PLAYER FGM FTM FTA 3PM PTS_TOT FT%
Alyssa Austin 7 2 4 16 0.5
Ariel Jones 1 0 0 2 0
Rachel Miller 0 1 2 1 0.5
Madison Rakow 4 2 2 10 1
Alex Rich 0 1 2 1 0.5
Makaley Ruhl 0 0 0 0 0
Emmi Wagner 1 0 0 1 3 0
Nikki Wagner 3 1 2 1 8 0.5

 

Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Lebanon
5 7 8 11 31
Cedar Crest
7 8 10 16 41

 

   IMG_3617Lancaster-Lebanon League  Section One Standings
TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Hempfield 10-1 12-4
McCaskey 10-1 11-5
Cedar Crest 9-2 12-3
Manheim Twp. 6-5 8-8
Penn Manor 3-7 6-9
Warwick 2-9 5-12

 Section Two Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Ephrata 8-3 11-5
Lebanon 8-3 11-5
Elizabethtown 4-7 5-11
Conestoga Valley 3-8 5-11
Solanco 2-8 3-12
Garden Spot 0-11 0-16

IMG_3641Cedar Crest 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

IMG_3606Lebanon High 2014-15 Results 

 

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/05
@Muhlenberg
6:00 PM W 46-43
12/06
@Boyertown
7:30 PM L 28-59
12/10
@Governor Mifflin
7:30 PM L 28-31
12/12 *
Manheim Twp.
6:00 PM W 56-44
12/15 *
Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 40-30
12/17 *
@Warwick
7:30 PM W 45-26
12/19 *
@Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 50-35
12/23 *
Ephrata
7:30 PM L 44-46
12/27
Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM W 53-45
12/29
Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM W 51-40
01/02 *
@Solanco
7:30 PM W 60-30
01/06 *
@Elizabethtown
7:30 PM W 55-37
01/09 *
Garden Spot
7:30 PM W 55-27
01/12 *
Hempfield
7:30 PM L 36-53
01/14 *
@McCaskey
7:30 PM W 55-50
01/16 *
@Cedar Crest
6:00 PM L 31-41

IMG_3743 District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School W L T Rating
1 Palmyra Area 13 1 0 .839192
2 Central Dauphin East 13 0 0 .807828
3 Red Lion Area 11 2 0 .801002
4 Cumberland Valley 11 1 0 .792697
5 Mechanicsburg Area 13 1 0 .787456
6 Cedar Crest 11 3 0 .765390
7 Red Land 12 3 0 .765003
8 New Oxford 11 2 0 .764300
9 Governor Mifflin 11 3 0 .761574
10 Hempfield 11 4 0 .755859
11 Dallastown Area 10 4 0 .741579
12 Harrisburg 8 4 0 .719117
IMG_371313 Lebanon 11 4 0 .718377
14 Central York 11 4 0 .714013
15 J P McCaskey 10 5 0 .709880
16 Cedar Cliff 9 6 0 .690048
17 Cocalico 10 4 0 .686028
18 Ephrata Area 10 5 0 .684176
19 Lower Dauphin 8 6 0 .667838
20 Daniel Boone 8 7 0 .644530
21 Hershey 6 6 0 .632504
22 Manheim Township 7 8 0 .630665
23 Exeter Township 7 7 0 .623441
24 Muhlenberg 6 7 0 .607409
25 York Country Day School 9 3 0 .587953
26 Wilson Senior 5 8 0 .586326
27 Penn Manor 6 8 0 .584641
IMG_359528 Central Dauphin 4 6 0 .580286
29 South Western 5 7 0 .576424
30 Warwick 5 11 0 .523937
31 Elizabethtown Area 5 10 0 .506649
32 Chambersburg Area 2 10 0 .447419
33 Conestoga Valley 4 11 0 .444177
34 William Penn 3 12 0 .438195
35 Reading 2 11 0 .430178
36 Solanco 3 11 0 .420644
37 Waynesboro Area 3 8 0 .414022
38 Shippensburg Area 2 9 0 .397492
39 Spring Grove Area 1 11 0 .364082

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