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BY JEFF FALK

ASSUMPTION HILL – Back in the day, it was all about section and division games. But as scholastic basketball has evolved, so has the importance of non-league contests.

It’s really become just a matter of perspective.

On Monday night on Assumption Hill, the Lebanon Catholic boys’ basketball squad scored an important non-league 37-29 victory over York Country Day. After overcoming a somewhat sluggish start, the Beavers pulled away from the Greyhounds during the second half of play.

The result was crucial for Lebanon Catholic’s bid to qualify for the District Three Class A postseason. The Beavers entered the fray position tenth in the Class A power rankings, while York Country Day came in holding down the 11th spot.

The top ten teams qualify for the District Three playoffs.

Lebanon Catholic is now 6-7 overall, and 6-3 in non-league tilts. York Country Day slipped to 4-6 on the year.

The Beavers have not sniffed the District Three postseason since before the Wee Sanchez era began.

“I don’t think any one game is more important than another,” said Sanchez, Lebanon Catholic’s head coach. “We want to compete in Section Five (of the Lancaster-Lebanon League). We want to bring Lebanon Catholic back to prominence. We have to step up if we want to get to districts. Yes, they’re (non-league tilts) very important.

“At this school, the boys’ program has been successful,” continued Sanchez. “But we’e gone down the other way. For me selfishly and for my players, I want them to taste it (the district playoffs). We want to bring Lebanon Catholic back, just to feel it. They (his players) deserve to feel it. Then it snow balls and gets contagious. They want to get it.”

Protecting a three-point halftime margin, the Beavers turned up the intensity in the third quarter.

Lebanon Catholic held the Greyhounds score-less for a key 3:19 stretch to open a 25-15 advantage. Junior Mark Gates netted seven of the Beavers’ resulting nine unanswered points, while teammate Nicolas Cruz-Buck contributed a bucket.

“We’re a man-to-man team and we get after it,” said Sanchez. “I thought the effort wasn’t there in the first and second quarters. But we picked it up in the third quarter. It was in our hands. It’s easy when the baskets are going in. I’ve got a bunch of kids who are sophomores, and we have to work through adversity.

“We’ve got shooters,” Sanchez continued. “I told them at halftime, ‘Our shots just aren’t falling. We need to go figure it out.’ I wanted them to take the lay-up first and then shoot their shots. I’m glad they listened. They worked the ball around a little and got the shots we wanted.”

The Beavers put the Greyhouds away with an 8-0 burst early in the final stanza, as Gates tallied seven more points and Carter Dodson knocked down a free throw. It was 35-21 Catholic with 3:35 remaining.

“The number-one thing for us is effort,” said Sanchez. “We’ve got to bring the effort every day. If we bring that, we’ll be OK. We have basketball IQ. We have players who can play the game. If we do it for 32 minutes, we can compete with the best out there.”

Gates notched a game-high 17 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Lebanon Catholic outscored York Country Day 12-0 from beyond the arc.

“York Country Day is well-known for slowing things down,” said Sanchez. “They did that, and our shots didn’t fall early. In the third quarter, we went to the rim. But I wasn’t happy with the way we started the game.

“They’re (the Greyhounds) number 11 in the power rankings and we’re number ten,” added Sanchez. “For us to make a move, these are the games we need to win. This was a must-win for us. York Country Day is a well-coached team and they run their offense well.”

The Beavers went the first 6:13 of the contest without a point, and the Greyhounds raced out to a 6-0 lead. LCS got off the schneid with a stickback from Dodson and a driving lay-in by Cruz-Buck, then pulled to within 9-7 of the lead on a Cruz-Buck three-pointer a minute into the second stanza.

“We’re very good offensively against man-to-man,” said Sanchez. “But against zones, if our shots aren’t falling, we need to find a basket to build our confidence. We built some confidence and our shots started to fall. In the third quarter, we made the defense work.”

Lebanon Catholic registered the final nine points of the first half to take a 16-13 lead to the break. Dodson accounted for four of those points, while Gates also knocked down a three-pointer.

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

2019-20 Lebanon Catholic Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/07
7:30 pm
Veritas
at Lebanon Catholic
27
55

Nonleague
12/11
7:30 pm
Lititz Christian
at Lebanon Catholic
65
26

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon Catholic
66
49

League
12/14
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Christian School of York
62
45

Nonleague
12/16
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Lebanon Catholic
59
35

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Lebanon Catholic
85
36

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Dayspring Christian Academy
at Lebanon Catholic
44
47

Nonleague
12/27
TBD
Lebanon Catholic
West Shore Christian
at West Shore Christian Academy
54
49

Nonleague
12/28
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Lititz Christian
at West Shore Christian Academy
31
36

Nonleague
1/02
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
37
58

League
1/07
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Pequea Valley
Postponed
League
1/09
7:30 pm
Susquenita
at Lebanon Catholic
36
62

Nonleague
1/11
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Conestoga Christian
46
58

Nonleague
1/13
7:00 pm
York Country Day
at Lebanon Catholic

Nonleague
1/14
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Country Day

League
1/17
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Mennonite

League
1/21
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Columbia

League
1/23
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at York Country Day

Nonleague
1/27
7:30 pm
Mount Calvary
at Lebanon Catholic

Nonleague
1/31
7:30 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Lebanon Catholic

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic

League
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Antietam

Nonleague

PIAA District Three

Class A Power Rankings

ASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Lititz Christian School9-1-0 0.622906 0.843750 0.352985 6.8 71.0 1.3 130.1
2Mount Calvary Christian School9-2-0 0.554914 0.751351 0.314823 7.0 72.9 2.3 158.6
3Halifax Area8-3-0 0.542296 0.670051 0.386150 6.6 96.8 3.3 153.8
4LINVILLE HILL CHRISTIAN5-2-0 0.519420 0.612403 0.405773 4.0 74.5 2.5 109.1
5Greenwood8-4-0 0.510728 0.640351 0.352300 7.3 88.9 4.1 163.4
6Lancaster County Christian8-3-0 0.505515 0.655738 0.321910 6.0 57.3 3.2 120.7
7Conestoga Christian School8-3-0 0.503093 0.623116 0.356399 6.2 71.9 3.8 129.8
8Harrisburg Academy6-4-0 0.407895 0.478723 0.321328 4.5 68.3 4.9 144.2
9High Point Baptist Academy3-3-0 0.403243 0.381356 0.429994 2.3 67.0 3.7 88.8
10Lebanon Catholic School5-6-0 0.388341 0.370892 0.409668 4.0 100.0 6.7 144.1
11York Country Day School4-4-0 0.356879 0.375000 0.334730 3.0 63.9 5.0 127.0
12Lancaster Country Day School4-9-0 0.347134 0.242915 0.474512 3.0 113.1 9.4 125.3
13West Shore Christian Academy5-6-0 0.336068 0.333333 0.339409 3.8 73.6 7.5 143.2
14Covenant Christian Academy4-5-0 0.319443 0.324324 0.313477 3.0 58.2 6.3 127.4
15Dayspring Christian Academy4-8-0 0.283709 0.232558 0.346226 3.0 73.4 9.9 138.6
16Berks Christian School2-10-0 0.262901 0.111111 0.448423 1.5 89.6 12.0 110.2
17Christian School Of York3-8-0 0.244251 0.186722 0.314564 2.3 69.6 9.8 151.6
18Harrisburg Christian School1-6-0 0.190580 0.092025 0.311036 0.8 45.8 7.4 101.5
19Veritas Academy0-8-0 0.187891 0.000000 0.417537 0.0 70.0 10.0 97.7
20New Covenant Christian School0-7-0 0.147189 0.000000 0.327087 0.0 57.6 8.8 118.5

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Five Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Columbia601.000950.643872786
Lancaster Mennonite510.833860.571817776
Annville-Cleona330.500670.462664713
Pequea Valley230.400580.385605700
Lebanon Catholic040.000570.417540628
Lancaster Country Day050.000490.308701666

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