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BY JEFF FALK

LITITZ – In a scholastic season that’s shaping up to be down and somewhat disappointing for Lebanon County overall, the Lebanon boys’ have been a beacon of hope, a source of pride.

Yesterday, the Cedars competed in the most meaningful basketball game involving a local club, to this point of the COVID-19 campaign. Hopefully, there’ll be more significant games as the season unfolds.

On Saturday afternoon at Warwick High School, Lebanon fell to the hometown Warriors 62-55, in an intense Lancaster-Lebanon Section Two contest that felt like a playoff game, mostly because of its playoff and championship implications. After placing Warwick firmly on its heels during the first half, Lebanon was outscored 42-31 in the second 16 minutes of action.

The showdown served as both the Cedars’ and the Warriors’ L-L Section Two – but not regular-season – finale, and the outcome created a co-champion situation between the two clubs. Lebanon is now 11-3 overall and 7-1 in Section Two, while Warwick is 10-2 on the year and 7-1 in the circuit.

But which team will represent Section Two in the revised Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs in 11 days will be determined by the District Three Class AAAAAA power rankings, where the Cedars were ranked 11th and the Warriors ninth, following the conclusion of the contest. Both Lebanon and Warwick have a handful of non-league games remaining on their regular-season schedules, which will impact their power rankings in various ways.

Of course in a normal year, crossover games against Section One would count against the Cedars’ Section Two record, a tie atop the final regular-season standings would necessitate a playoff and both Lebanon and Warwick would compete in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. It is usually at this point that someone reminds somebody that we’re just fortunate to be playing scholastic basketball games, in the face of the on-going Coronavirus crisis.

Eight days earlier, on Feburary 5 in Lebanon, the Cedars had defeated the Warriors 58-43.

“The district power rankings will determine who goes to the league playoffs, but we have not been given a deadline,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “We’ve just got to wait and see. It’s not over. The section is determined as co-champions, it’s just a matter of who goes to the league playoffs.

“It is what it is,” added Speraw. “COVID-19 changed a lot of things in many lives. If we don’t get to play a section championship (tiebreaker) game, that’s the least of our worries. There are more important things going on in the world.”

The Warriors enjoyed early leads of 6-1, 8-4 and 14-9, before Lebanon’s Luke Collins converted a steal into a lay-up and teammate Braden Allwein drained a buzzer-beating three-pointer to tie the score.

In the second stanza, Marquis Ferreira notched all of the Cedars’ points during a late 8-3 spurt that gave Lebanon a 24-20 intermission edge.

“I think my kids play hard every night,” said Speraw. “But there was something added to this one. We knew we could win the section out right. You don’t want to share it.

“I thought we played well, we just didn’t knock down enough shots,” Speraw added. “I thought my kids played as hard as they could. They’re spent. It was a good high school basketball game.”

Ferreira poured in a team-high 21 points, while Collins contributed 19 points to the Cedar cause. Ryan Landis tallied 27 points for Warwick, and Kai Cipalla collected 22 points.

Warwick converted 17 of its 23 free throw attempts and outscored Lebanon by a dozen points at the line.

“It’s a new game,” said Speraw of the earlier meeting with the Warriors. “You learn stuff the first time you play. I knew they’d make adjustments.”

Early in the third quarter, Ferreira extended the Cedar lead to 26-20 and three minutes later, Kevin Smith’s three-pointer gave Lebanon a 29-24 margin. But the Warriors outscored Lebanon 9-2 over the final two minutes of the third to carry a 41-34 advantage into the final period.

“You could tell there was a little more focus taking the ball out of my guards’ hands in the second half,” said Speraw. “There was more focus on Isaiah (Rodriguez). But it still comes down to making shots.”

Warwick’s lead reached 50-37, 2:43 into the fourth quarter, before Collins recorded six straight points to provide Lebanon hope and draw it to within nine points of the lead. But the Warriors drilled nine-of-13 free throws over the game’s final 4:20.

“It’s not over,” said Speraw. “There’s still a lot of games left. We just have to do what we normally do and get ready for Monday.”

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

2021 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/11
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon
58
70

Nonleague
1/08
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon
57
58

League
1/11
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
48
55

League
1/16
12:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lower Dauphin
43
59

Nonleague
1/18
7:30 pm
Garden Spot
at Lebanon
31
47

Nonleague
1/19
8:00 pm
Lebanon
at Elizabethtown
54
39

League
1/23
2:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hershey
Postponed
Nonleague
1/26
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata
58
20

League
1/29
8:00 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township
43
55

Nonleague
1/30
1:30 pm
Palmyra
at Lebanon
52
54

Nonleague
2/02
7:30 pm
Governor Mifflin
at Lebanon
Postponed
Nonleague
2/03
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon
32
41

League
2/05
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
43
58

League
2/06
1:30 pm
Exeter
at Lebanon
47
57

Nonleague
2/09
8:00 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
54
42

League
2/11
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
Postponed
Nonleague
2/13
1:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick

League

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Wilson (3)14-0-0 0.821296 1.000000 0.602880 16.10 123.50 0.00 81.35
2Reading14-1-0 0.802515 0.957020 0.613676 16.70 140.90 0.75 88.70
3Central Dauphin11-1-0 0.792653 0.948276 0.602446 13.75 108.35 0.75 71.50
4Cedar Cliff7-0-0 0.770230 1.000000 0.489400 8.15 68.10 0.00 71.05
5Central York10-2-0 0.751252 0.881481 0.592082 11.90 115.90 1.60 79.85
6Lebanon11-2-0 0.741918 0.889273 0.561816 12.85 120.65 1.60 94.10
7Muhlenberg9-2-0 0.738184 0.864253 0.584100 9.55 123.80 1.50 88.15
8Cumberland Valley10-3-0 0.736918 0.846416 0.603087 12.40 115.25 2.25 75.85
9Warwick9-2-0 0.727919 0.876543 0.546267 10.65 85.60 1.50 71.10
10Hempfield (3)7-2-0 0.727875 0.852217 0.575901 8.65 79.10 1.50 58.25
11Red Lion11-1-0 0.724979 0.944853 0.456245 12.85 84.20 0.75 100.35
12Central Dauphin East8-3-0 0.708595 0.816327 0.576923 10.00 106.50 2.25 78.10
13Manheim Township8-3-0 0.690341 0.814815 0.538207 9.90 73.25 2.25 62.85
14Harrisburg4-4-0 0.647064 0.625000 0.674032 5.00 135.75 3.00 65.65
15Dallastown7-6-0 0.616602 0.626459 0.604554 8.05 115.50 4.80 75.55
16Waynesboro7-5-0 0.615199 0.646341 0.577135 7.95 109.80 4.35 80.45
17Governor Mifflin5-7-0 0.610887 0.518018 0.724393 5.75 176.10 5.35 67.00
18J P McCaskey4-6-0 0.596004 0.526316 0.681179 5.00 125.95 4.50 58.95
19Carlisle6-6-0 0.592724 0.615385 0.565029 7.20 104.05 4.50 80.10
20Conestoga Valley6-6-0 0.570129 0.583333 0.553991 7.00 100.30 5.00 80.75
21Cedar Crest2-5-0 0.493451 0.387597 0.622828 2.50 91.40 3.95 55.35
22William Penn3-9-0 0.480618 0.322430 0.673958 3.45 129.40 7.25 62.60
23Penn Manor1-10-0 0.359203 0.129944 0.639409 1.15 112.60 7.70 63.50
24Chambersburg Area0-9-0 0.343783 0.000000 0.763963 0.00 136.10 6.85 42.05
25York County School of Technology0-11-0 0.241336 0.000000 0.536301 0.00 117.45 10.75 101.55

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