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Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 059BY JEFF FALK

She said, where’d you wanna go?

How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can miss

I want something just like this – The Chain Smokers.

DOWNINGTOWN – The pinnacle of high school sports, state championships are an exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 061It was a feeling that the Lebanon Catholic girls’ basketball team discovered first-hand last year. It was also a feeling the Beavers appreciated, in an entirely different fashion, yesterday.

On Saturday afternoon at Downingtown West High School, LCS fell short of its goal of repeating as state champion, when it endured a 50-46 setback at the hands of Jenkintown, in the semifinals of the PIAA Class A tournament. The Beavers rallied from an early double-digit deficit, only to be outplayed by the Drakes down the stretch.

There are those who believe the senior-laded Beavers were a better team this year than the one that captured the Class A state championship as mostly juniors last season. But Lebanon Catholic, the champions of District One, concluded its campaign at 25-7, and a game short of a possible repeat.

Jenkintown, the District One champ which had lost to Lebanon Catholic in the same round of states last season, moved to 27-1 and into Tuesday’s PIAA Class A championship game opposite District Six champion Juniata Valley. It was Juniata Valley which the Beavers had beaten to win the 2016-17 state championship.

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 068“It’s hard,” said Lebanon Catholic head coach Patti Hower, fighting back tears. “It’s been a great two years. It’s been a great four years. They’re (her players) great people. They accomplished a lot. To maintain that level is a credit to them. I knew this day was doing to come, Even though it isn’t Tuesday, I would’ve felt the same way. They’re kids. They’ll bounce back. When you were there last year, you want to go back.

“To have them four years and have this run was amazing,” continued Hower. “It certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort. They’ve got to keep their heads up. They’ve still got those four district medals, and no one will ever be able to take last year’s state championship away from us. But we wanted to play one more game.”

“I’m just sad,” said Lebanon Catholic senior star Alexis Hill. “I can’t believe it’s over. I’m not knocking them (the Drakes). We’re a good team and they happened to win. They won.”

After fighting their way back into the game, the Beavers certainly had their chances in crunch time. But Jenkintown iced it in the final 13 seconds, after Lebanon Catholic was unable to secure the rebound of a Drakes’ missed free throw and J-town’s Ashley Kemp nailed two subsequent charity tosses.

Six seconds earlier, the Beavers had pulled to within 47-46 of the lead, on a trey from senior Jasmine Turner. A Turner stick-back with 1:32 left got Lebanon Catholic to within 43-42, but Lebanon Cataholic was never able to gain the lead in the fourth quarter.

Jenkintown grabbed a 38-34 advantage on a three-pointer by Jennifer Kemp, 39 seconds into the final stanza. The Drakes scored their final eight points from the charity stripe, on eight-of-11 shooting.

“Last year we pulled it out at the end,” said Hower of the last encounter with Jenkintown. “We took a one-point lead and they responded. Our kids battled the whole way. I told them (her players) that it’s a long game. We had some missed opportunities, but Jenkintown responded when they had to.

“Pretty much all day, they (the Drakes) were quick to loose balls,” added Hower. “We had a shot. I liked our effort. But Jenkintown did a good job of not letting us get inside.”

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 057Lebanon Catholic began the second half with a 16-7 spurt that erased its eight-point halftime deficit.

The burst began with a Jayden Shellehamer three-pointer and ended with a Neesha Pierre put-back that gave Catholic a 34-33 lead. In between, Hill tallied five points, Pierre scored four more and senior Celine Mars converted a driving lay-up.

“We didn’t make foul shots,” said Hill. “They did. They were able to finish.”

Hill, the Northeastern University-bound star, tallied a game-high 16 points in her final scholastic contest, and Pierre posted 12 points. The Beavers, a 51 percent foul-shooting team throughout the season, converted seven of their 11 free throws, but were outscored by eight points at ‘The Stripe’.

Jenkintown also enjoyed a 15-6 scoring margin from beyond the arc.

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 074“Neesha’s a great leader,” said Hower. “More than her basketball ability, we’re going to miss her leadership. Jasmine and Alexis fit in so well. They grew together as a team. They’ve had some success. They accomplished a lot.

“I did seem them (the Drakes) in  person (during scouting),” Hower continued. “They had size. They had quickness. They had the ball handlers to beat us. They were definitely more confident (than last year). They’re a very good team. I would kind of compare them to Lampeter-Strasburg. They’re perimeter-oriented, but I think Jenkintown had a few more weapons.”

“We’ve been close, even since last year,” said Hill of her teammates. “There’s been some ups and downs, but we always came back together. The fact that we were so close helped us on the court. I love everyone on the team. We’re friends on and off the court, and we’re going to stay in touch.”.

Despite two baskets from Hill and one by Pierre, Jenkintown opened a 20-6 advantage 1:34 into the second stanza. During that time, the Drakes were deliberate and patient offensively, while the Beavers’ half-court offense was characterized by turnovers.

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 082“We could’ve rolled over in the first quarter,” said Hower. “We didn’t. We made some bad passes and some bad decision. I’m just really proud of the effort.

“We gave them a couple of easy baskets,” continued Hower. “They (the Drakes) were going to delay the game, delay the game. Give them credit.”

“We were trying to catch up the whole game,” said Hill. “When we went zone (defense), that’s when we started coming back.”

Lebanon Catholic finally got un-tracked in the middle of the second quarter.

Hill and Taylor Bossert converted consecutive Beaver baskets to pull Catholic to within 20-10. Then, thanks to four free throws from Pierre, a three-pointer by Bossert and a Hill foul shot, the Beavers closed the first half on an 8-2 burst that brought their deficit to 26-18.

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 026“At halftime I just said, ‘We’ve started to pull back into it,’,” said Hower. “It wasn’t out of reach. We didn’t make any major changes at halftime.

“I thought we didn’t play well in the first quarter,” added Hower. “I don’t know if it was nerves. But we didn’t finish.”

“I thought the season was a success,” said Hill. “My two years at Lebanon Catholic were amazing. We played good, but it’s over. You can’t go back and change it.”

The Beavers graduate eight seniors from this season’s club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 039To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 077

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 046

2017-18 Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball Results

Date Opponents 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
49
38
1/26
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Mennonite
67
40
1/30
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Columbia
66
37
2/02
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
65
52
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
68
30
2/10
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Manheim Township
61
59
2/13
6:00 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
Lebanon Catholic
at Warwick
29
38
2/15
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
Lebanon Catholic
at Manheim Township
59
49
2/23
7:00 pm
Greenwood
at Lebanon Catholic
20
58
2/27
6:30 pm
Christian School of York
Lebanon Catholic
at Manheim Township
23
68
3/01
4:00 pm
Linden Hall
Lebanon Catholic
at Giant Center
36
46
3/10
4:30 pm
Cowanesque Valley
Lebanon Catholic
at Milton Hershey
16
65
3/14
6:00 pm
Greenwood
Lebanon Catholic
at Milton Hershey
24
54
3/17
12:00 pm
The Christian Academy
Lebanon Catholic
at Garden Spot
33
50
3/24
1:00 pm
Jenkintown
Lebanon Catholic
at Downingtown West
Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 004

 

Most Prolific Scorers in Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball History
1. Becky Hower (2001) 2,445 points
Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 0312. Catherine Andrews (2004) 1,670 points
3. Abby Minder (1995) 1,587 points
4. Lauren Boyer (2005) 1,544 points
5. Joni Brown (1991) 1,417 points
6. Jaime Podjed (2000) 1,346 points
7. Sarah Wade (1995) 1,248 points
8. Ann-Marie Fick (1985) 1,147 points
9. Lauren Fortna (2003) 1,065 points
10. Jenna Uhrich (2000) 1,062 points
Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball: A History of Champions
PIAA Class A Championships

2017-18

Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 0081994-95

1991-92
District Three Class A Championships
2017-18
2016-17
2015-16
2014-15
2011-12
2008-09
2007-08
2006-07
2003-04
2002-03
2001-02
2000-01
1999-2000
Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 0801998-99
1995-96
1994-95
1993-94
1992-93
1991-92
1988-89
1979-80
Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships
1980-81
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Championships
1994-95
1993-94
1992-93
1991-92
1984-85
1981-82
Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 0421980-81
Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 070
 Lebanon Catholic Girls' Basketball 037PIAA Class A Semifinal
 (at Downingtown West High School)

Jenkintown 50, Lebanon Catholic 46

Lebanon Catholic (46)

Pierre 4 4-4 12, Hill 7 2-5 16, Turner 2 0-0 5, Shellehamer 1 0-0 3, Mars 2 1-2 5, Bossert 2 0-0 5. Totals: 18 7-11 46

Jenkintown (50)

J. Kremp 2 9-11 14, M. Kolb 6 1-2 13, A. Kremp 5 2-2 16, N. Kolb 1 2-5 4, Walsh 0 0-0 0, Arena 0 0-0 0, Mulvaney 1 1-2 3. Totals: 15 15-22 50.

Lebanon Catholic 6 12 16 12 – 46

Jenkintown 13 13 9 15 – 50

3-pointers: LC – Bossert, Shellehamer, Turner, J – J. Kremp, A. Kremp 4.

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