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IMG_2672BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – The environment.

The electricity,

The competitive fire.

It felt like a playoff game.

The Lebanon  Catholic girls are well versed in them. And for Elco, it was one.

IMG_2725In front of a raucous crowd on Tuesday night at Elco High School, the Beavers used their big game experience to beat the Raiders 49-38, in a Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three affair that Elco simply had to have. The contest was much more hotly contested than the final score might indicate, as Lebanon Catholic used its athleticism, tenacity on the glass and ability to get to the free throw line to pull away from the Raiders down the stretch.

The outcome was significant on a number of fronts.

The triumph was Lebanon Catholic’s 12th in its last 13 outings and moved its overall record to 14-4 and its Section Three mark to 8-2. The Beavers have all but wrapped up a spot in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs and still entertain hopes of a Section Three title.

The setback was the Raiders’ sixth in their last seven outings and dropped them to a disappointing 6-10 on the year and 3-7 in the circuit. Ranked 12th in a District Three Class AAAA field that takes ten for its tournament, Elco almost has to win out to extend its winter.

IMG_2799Back on December 12th on Assumption Hill, Lebanon Catholic defeated Elco 66-53.

“Down nine. Fight back,” said Lebanon Catholic head coach Patti Hower. “Hang on. And make free throws. Absolutely this is going to help us. I’m going to give our players credit.

“It was a great atmosphere,” continued Hower. It was loud. They had a great student section. We had some fans and they had some fans. It was exciting.”

“Every game is an important game,” said Elco head coach Ashli Shay. “We’re getting close to do-or-die. We’re working every game to get better. The effort has been better. We’ve just got to learn how to close out these close games.”

“We’re not one of these teams who can show up, not play and go home with a win,” Shay continued. “We get these kids in November. We lose them in February and get them again in November.”

Lebanon Catholic began the second half on a 7-2 burst to push their two-point halftime margin to 29-22. Beaver senior ace Alexis Hill netted five of those points, while Celine Mars contributed a bucket.

But Elco came roaring back with an 8-2 run to pull to within 31-30 of the lead, as junior Ryelle Shuey netted a couple of baskets, as did freshman spark plug Katelyn Rueppel.

“I thought Elco played a very good game and got us out of sync,:” said Hower. “We missed a lot of shots we should’ve made. I don’t want to take anything away from Elco, but we didn’t play our best game. But we came through.”

“I thought we fought hard and gave them a good game,” said Shay. “I wasn’t overly pleased with any aspect. I thought we rebounded well in the first half. I think we caved a little more and gave them (the Beavers) put-backs in the second half. They just battle. They’re like non-stop energy.

IMG_2810“We’re getting better,” added Shay. “I’m proud of their (her players’) effort.”

With the Raiders still hanging around – thanks in part to a Rueppel three-pointer – Lebanon Catholic embarked on the run that would prove to be decisive. Hill scored on a stick-back, Taylor Bossert drained a couple of charity tosses and Neesha Pierre converted a three-point play to put Lebanon Catholic up 41-33.

The Beavers also notched the final seven points of the game, courtesy of foul shots and Hill turning a turnover into a lay-up and three-point play.

“I think when they (the Raiders) went man-to-man we got some lay-ups,” said Hower. “I felt like we could get them whenever we wanted. But we weren’t patient.”

IMG_2749“I thought one of the differences was offensive rebounds and giving them extra opportunities,” said Shay. “Their post players look for each other. I thought they took advantage of that really well. They’re a good team.”

With 15 points, Hill continued her inspired play, while Pierre supported her with ten points. Both Shuey and Julia Nelson tallied ten points for Elco.

Lebanon Catholic made just 14 of its 30 free throw attempts, but still outscored the Raiders by ten points there.

IMG_2746“It was a great inter-county game,” said Hower. “But because of re-alignment, it might be one of the last ones. We asked Elco to play us non-league, and they said, ‘no’. We asked Northern Lebanon to play us non-league, and they said, ‘no’. The county rivalries aren’t going to be there.

“They (the Raiders) improved since the first time we play them,” Hower continued. “They have some young players. Shuey is a force inside. They ‘almost’ every game. They just don’t finish, that’s the way it appears from the box scores.”

“They’re very good,” said Shay of the Beavers. “They’re talented. They have a ton of athletes. They’re a team that plays all year long. They’ve got a lot of big-game experience. They’re district champs. They’re state champs.”

The Raiders could do no wrong at the outset.

Thanks in part to the play of Nelson, Elco raced out to a 13-4 lead, on a driving lay-up from Emily Bideslspach. But Lebanon Catholic held the Raiders scoreless for the rest of the first period, and received points from Pierre, Bossert and Mars to gain its first lead of the evening.

IMG_2633“When you’re the underdog like they were, and it’s on their court, they did have that adrenaline going,” said Hower. “We gained some composure. But that momentum was on their side.

“We had such a huge win over Northern Lebanon (on Friday),” added Hower. “I was worried about a letdown. The girls promised there would be no letdown. Elco jumped on us early. At times I felt like we had to bring it up a notch.”

“I thought the energy was fantastic,” said Shay. “We were focused. Coming into big games, sometimes it’s hard to be focused. Getting on the boards turned into some offense.

“We were getting open looks,” Shay added. “We just weren’t knocking them down.”

An inside move by Shuey gave Elco an 18-17 edge in the middle of the second quarter. But Pierre scored on a driving lay-up and Jasmine Turner canned a three-pointer to swing the score back the Beavers’ way, at 22-18.

IMG_2544“We have to win,” said Shay. “We’ve got some big games coming up. We’ve got to take it one game at a time. We’ve got to focus. We’ve got to plan. We’ve got to close these close games. We’ve got to take the next step. Even though we start juniors and seniors, we don’t have that much high school experience.

“Do we need to make districts for the season to be a success? No,” added Shay. “But we want to because that’s our goal. These kids have been absolutely fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun coaching a group of kids. From top to bottom, they’re all nice kids. But would it be great to make it to districts? Yes.”

 

 

 

 

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To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

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2017-18 Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball Results

Date Teams Results
12/11
7:30 pm
Mahanoy Area
at Lebanon Catholic
61
51
12/13
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Trinity
66
69
12/15
7:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Pequea Valley
71
53
12/16
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Christian School of York
62
41
12/18
6:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
57
52
12/20
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
53
66
12/22
6:00 pm
High Point Baptist
at Lebanon Catholic
16
77
12/27
6:30 pm
Marian Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
37
57
12/29
7:30 pm
Mount Calvary
Lebanon Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic Tournament
26
76
12/30
7:30 pm
Linden Hall
Lebanon Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic Tournament
24
56
1/02
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Lebanon Catholic
55
81
1/05
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Lebanon Catholic
43
73
1/09
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Catholic
35
53
1/11
6:00 pm
Veritas Academy
at Lebanon Catholic
26
76
1/12
6:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
21
53
1/18
6:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon Catholic
62
82
1/19
8:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
35
43
1/23
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
1/26
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Mennonite
1/30
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Columbia
2/02
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
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2017-18 Elco Girls’ Basketball Results
Date Teams Results
12/08
6:00 pm
Elco
Conestoga Valley
at Middletown Tournament
41
45
12/12
7:30 pm
Manheim Central
at Elco
29
38
12/13
7:30 pm
Elco
at Fleetwood
34
27
12/15
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
45
60
12/18
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
42
61
12/20
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
53
66
12/22
7:30 pm
Elco
at Wyomissing
33
51
12/27
3:00 pm
Blue Mountain
Elco
at Pine Grove Tournament
43
48
12/28
6:00 pm
Elco
Pine Grove
at Pine Grove Tournament
21
38
1/02
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
23
51
1/09
7:30 pm
Elco
at Columbia
55
58
1/11
7:00 pm
Elco
at Pequea Valley
42
49
1/12
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
58
54
1/18
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
57
42
1/19
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
57
50
1/23
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
1/26
7:30 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
1/30
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
1/31
7:30 pm
Hamburg
at Elco
2/02
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Elco
2/06
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
2/08
6:00 pm
Boiling Springs
Elco
at Middletown Tournament
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PIAA District Three

 Class A Power Rankings

A School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  TWPL  OWPW  OWPL
1 Lebanon Catholic School 13- 4- 0  0.658851  0.736334  11.5  0.564150  168.9  4.1  130.5
2 Christian School Of York 11- 2- 0  0.590984  0.767442  8.3  0.375313  89.9  2.5  149.6
3 Harrisburg Christian School 8- 2- 0  0.540355  0.722892  6.0  0.317256  53.0  2.3  114.0
4 Linden Hall 7- 4- 0  0.537677  0.605381  6.8  0.454927  97.7  4.4  117.0
5 Veritas Academy 10- 3- 0  0.514995  0.666667  7.5  0.329619  76.9  3.8  156.4
6 Lancaster Country Day School 9- 4- 0  0.496865  0.606987  7.0  0.362272  111.0  4.5  195.4
7 Lititz Christian School 7- 4- 0  0.456245  0.567568  5.3  0.320185  79.6  4.0  168.9
8 Greenwood 7- 9- 0  0.430375  0.388889  6.0  0.481081  146.9  9.4  158.4
9 Mount Calvary Christian School 6- 7- 0  0.374590  0.350195  4.5  0.404407  99.1  8.4  146.0
10 New Covenant Christian School 4- 4- 0  0.373826  0.375000  3.0  0.372391  78.5  5.0  132.3
11 LINVILLE HILL CHRISTIAN 3- 4- 0  0.340344  0.343066  2.4  0.337017  54.9  4.5  108.0
12 Conestoga Christian School 5- 7- 0  0.300921  0.300000  3.8  0.302047  65.7  8.8  151.7
13 Covenant Christian Academy 4- 7- 0  0.299663  0.255319  3.0  0.353861  71.3  8.8  130.1
14 High Point Baptist Academy 3- 5- 0  0.299548  0.264706  2.3  0.342134  62.9  6.3  120.9
15 Dayspring Christian Academy 6- 9- 0  0.296977  0.289389  4.5  0.306251  72.8  11.1  164.8
16 West Shore Christian Academy 4- 8- 0  0.293266  0.234375  3.0  0.365244  82.6  9.8  143.6
17 Halifax 3- 14- 0  0.270803  0.138211  2.6  0.432860  135.6  15.9  177.6
18 Harrisburg Academy 2- 8- 0  0.262363  0.131579  1.5  0.422210  78.7  9.9  107.7
19 Lancaster County Christian 2- 10- 0  0.216504  0.112782  1.5  0.343276  71.4  11.8  136.5
20 Millersburg 1- 14- 0  0.213017  0.043732  0.8  0.419921  126.9  16.4  175.3
21 Lancaster Mennonite School-Hershey Campus 1- 10- 0  0.194184  0.058824  0.8  0.359625  73.0  12.0  129.9
22 Berks Christian 0- 11- 0  0.171417  0.000000  0.0  0.380928  73.5  13.8  119.5

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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Lancaster Catholic 15- 0- 0  0.807666  1.000000  0.572590  15.5  172.6  0.0  128.8
2 Bishop McDevitt 12- 4- 0  0.729304  0.803468  0.638660  13.9  197.3  3.4  111.6
3 Wyomissing 14- 2- 0  0.695150  0.892405  0.454061  14.1  140.6  1.7  169.1
4 York Suburban 11- 4- 0  0.685525  0.782748  0.566697  12.3  188.2  3.4  143.9
5 Berks Catholic 10- 3- 0  0.669171  0.798535  0.511059  10.9  142.1  2.8  136.0
6 Northern Lebanon 13- 3- 0  0.663230  0.809375  0.484608  13.0  155.9  3.1  165.8
7 West Perry 9- 4- 0  0.605843  0.691120  0.501616  9.0  155.2  4.0  154.2
8 Kennard Dale 7- 6- 0  0.588554  0.600000  0.574564  8.0  191.1  5.3  141.5
9 Eastern York 7- 8- 0  0.566897  0.531353  0.610339  8.1  201.9  7.1  128.9
10 Susquehanna Township 5- 8- 0  0.518333  0.440329  0.613671  5.4  202.5  6.8  127.5
11 Schuylkill Valley 8- 8- 0  0.493618  0.518987  0.462610  8.2  144.5  7.6  167.8
12 Eastern Lebanon County 6- 9- 0  0.479489  0.414239  0.559239  6.4  182.2  9.1  143.6
13 Bermudian Springs 6- 8- 0  0.467954  0.431655  0.512320  6.0  160.1  7.9  152.4
14 Littlestown 6- 10- 0  0.420077  0.380645  0.468272  5.9  143.9  9.6  163.4
15 James Buchanan 5- 11- 0  0.407906  0.363333  0.462384  5.5  136.8  9.6  159.0
16 Lancaster Mennonite 4- 11- 0  0.396782  0.247423  0.579332  3.6  186.4  11.0  135.4
17 Boiling Springs 3- 12- 0  0.357052  0.235495  0.505622  3.5  148.4  11.2  145.1
18 East Pennsboro 2- 10- 0  0.344407  0.181818  0.543127  2.2  158.1  9.9  133.0
19 Hamburg 1- 13- 0  0.257703  0.069853  0.487297  1.0  148.7  12.7  156.4

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Lanncaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Lancaster Catholic 10 0 100.00 17 0 100.00 1020 573
Northern Lebanon 8 2 80.00 14 3 82.35 814 642
Lebanon Catholic 8 2 80.00 14 4 77.78 1126 770
Pequea Valley 4 5 44.44 8 6 57.14 857 749
Columbia 3 6 33.33 6 9 40.00 631 789
Elco 3 7 30.00 6 10 37.50 713 745
Lancaster Mennonite 1 7 12.50 4 11 26.67 687 865
Annville-Cleona 1 9 10.00 3 13 18.75 418 659

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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