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IMG_8682BY JEFF FALK

ASSUMPTION HILL – They are the cavalry, riding in on the their white horses to save the day.

They are a present-day bridge linking the program’s glorious past with a now more certain future.

They are, dare we say, a God-send.

They are also freshmen, eight in number.

IMG_8707The Lebanon Catholic School’s Class of 2018 is one of the biggest in the history of the Beaver girls’ basketball program, and their arrival on the varsity scene couldn’t be better timed. For this group of ninth graders has come at a time when they have never been needed more.

Lebanon Catholic is coming off a 2013-14 campaign which was the worst in Patti Hower’s 37-year tenure as the head coach. With just six eligible players, the Beavers struggled – successfully – to avoid forfeits, and ultimately to a 4-18 overall record.

It marked the first time that a Hower-coached team didn’t qualify for the District Three Class A playoffs.

But hope is on the horizon in the form of eight fresh-faced, enthusiastic, wet-behind-the-ears freshmen. And while freshmen will be freshmen, it appears that it’s just a matter of time until Lebanon Catholic returns to District Three prominence.

IMG_8679“I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on them,” said Hower. “I don’t want to give them too much too soon. It’s a nice mix. They all have something they can add. Neesha Pierre is so athletic and long, and we can use that in so many ways. I’m anxious to see how we do.

“They’ve definitely rejuvenated my coaching,” Hower continued. “There’s a lot more teaching going on, and I like that part of it. It’s a nice group of girls to work with. I like coming to practice because of their attitude. I really enjoy this group. If this group of freshmen wasn’t so easy to work with, my career might be coming to a close. But I want to see this group through.”

Freshmen represent eight of the 11 players on Lebanon Catholic’s roster, and consider this: 11 of the 30 girls in the ninth-to-12th grade who attend LCS play basketball. This year’s freshman class will also allow the Beavers to play a JV schedule this season.

IMG_8738“And if you look below in the younger grades, there’s some good players coming up,” said Hower. “But this is our biggest class. I see that they have a future. I know it’s going to take some time. But we want to win for (seniors) Hayley  (Witmer) and Monica (Pastal). We owe them our best shot. I don’t want to get to that point (of putting pressure on the freshmen). You can tell they’re freshmen. I think we can compete with everyone in our section, besides Lancaster Catholic.

“You don’t know how they’re going to do,” added Hower. “You see the potential. But if they don’t work at it, they won’t realize that potential. We want to do it correctly, from Day One. They have shown improvement. But now is when we want to correct things.”

IMG_8643Pierre appears to be at the head of Catholic’s freshmen class, but guard Mariah Sholly, guard Hannah Callihan, forward Celine Mars, forward Alaina Kline, forward Faith Kostoow, guard Mary Harding and guard Gabby Andrews don’t appear to be too far behind. When everything is said and done, this group could evolve into a versatile, flexible and balanced force.

“Obviously, skill-wise they’re really raw,” said Hower. “They need to refine their skills. They need to learn the game – when to dribble, when to shoot, when to pass – those types of things.

“I like the fact that they are young, enthusiastic and eager to learn,” Hower continued. “There’s a lot of teaching going on. But I like their approach and intensity. It’s going to take some time, but we also want to win for the seniors. It’s a nice group. There’s some nice balance.”

While Hower and her staff will provide guidance and support from the bench, seniors Witmer and M. Pastal will show the way on the court. Witmer will be competing in a scholastic sport for the first time in a year, after having her eligibility revoked by the PIAA, and indirectly because of the Elco school district.

IMG_8650“The way she handled last year, I admire her tremendously,” said Hower of Witmer. “I admire her character. She was so positive. I can’t give her enough credit. I think that’s the reason we’re all excited for the season as well. I’m glad she’s going to get the opportunity to play for Lebanon Catholic.

“I was proud of last year’s group,” added Hower. “Their legacy to Lebanon Catholic girls’ basketball was that they allowed the program to survive. They worked hard, no matter what the outcome was. Looking back, if we could’ve won one more game, we would’ve done all right in districts. But only two of them played last year, so there’s really no carry-over.”

IMG_8687Providing depth off the Beaver bench will be sophomore guard Leah Pastal. That depth will be vital if Lebanon Catholic is to return to its trademark pressing, trapping, full court game.

“We have to stay away from sickness and injuries,” said Hower. “I have a solid five, but depth isn’t really there yet. We want to run, we want to press, but I don’t have a lot of depth. I’m trying to get that first group really ready, but I know I’ve got to get that second group ready too. It’s a very intelligent group of girls and they’re picking things up quickly.”

LEBANON CATHOLIC CAREER SCORING LEADERS

 

PLAYER                       YR.GRAD.                   POINTS

1.  Becky Hower                    2001                            2445

2.  Catherine Andrews           2004                            1670

3.  Abby Minder                    1995                            1587

4.  Hailey Carangelo              2010                            1546

5.  Lauren Boyer                    2005                            1544

6.  Joni Brown                        1991                            1417

7.  Jaime Podjed                     2000                            1346

8.  Sarah Wade                       1995                            1248

9.  Ann-Marie Fick                 1985                            1147

10.  Lauren Fortna                  2003                            1065

11.  Jenna Uhrich                    2000                            1062

12.  Stevie Fortna                    2012                            1044

13.  Sam Carangelo                 2008                            1002

14.  Shannon Brandt               1989                              953

15.  Iris Heilman                     1992                              946

15. AmyJo Rushanan              1992                              946

16. Maggie McDonnell           1982                              897

17. Alicia Barlet                      1981                              880

18. Shirlene Hains                   1989                              868

19.  Emily Minder                   1992                              865

20.  Marie Schlegel                 1996                              847

21.  Vickie Fick                       1988                              841

22.  Tina Litz                           1994                              816

23.  Ashley Bozzo                   2001                              809

24.  Myra Kline                       1982                              787

25.  MaryAnn Nugent             1985                              774

26.  Abby Shay                       2013                              736

27.  Helene Reist                     2014                              705

28.  Rose Mohl                        1981                              699

29.  Kate Pastal                       2012                              687

30.  Steph Batz                       1995                              681

31.  Heather Toomey              1988                              671

32.  Leslie Brandt                   1998                              647

33.  Anna Wengert                  2008                              645

34.  Angie Savant                   1990                              630

35.  Katie Parise                      1996                              549

36.  Rachel Kleinfelter            2011                              538

37.  Lindsey Fortna                 2001                              521

38.  Kelsey Boehmer               2009                              508

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SINGLE GAME RECORDS

 

Most points scored in a game by L.C.            —          106  vs. PequeaValley  (2000-2001)

Most points scored in a game by Opp.           —          94  Allentown Central Catholic  (1990-1991)

Fewest points scored in a game by L.C.         —          9  vs.  Columbia  (1985-1986)

Fewest points scored in a game by Opp.        —          11  Pequea Valley  (1982-1983)

Most points in a game                                     —          Becky Hower 45 vs Donegal (2000-2001)

Most foul shots made in a game                     —          Joni Brown  15 for 20  vs. McDevitt  (1990-1991)

Lauren Boyer 15 for 19 vs. Lancaster Catholic (2004- 2005)

Most offensive rebounds in a game                —          Myra Kline  14  (1980-1981)

Most defensive rebounds in a game               —          Lisa Simpson  19  (1985-1986)

Most total rebounds in a game                        —          Hailey Carangelo  22  (2007 – 2010)

Most assists in a game                                     —          Marie Schlegel  15  vs. Columbia  (1994-1995)

Most steals in a game                                      —          Becky Hower 14  vs. Lancaster Christian  (1998-1999)

Most 3 point shots made in a game                —          Becky Hower   7  (1999-2000)

 

SINGLE SEASON RECORDS

 

Offensive Rebounds               —          Myra Kline                  191                  (1980-1981)

Defensive Rebounds               —          Alicia Barlet                240                  (1980-1981)

Total Rebounds                       —          Myra Kline                  402                  (1980-1981)

Steals                                       —          Becky Hower              153                  (1998-1999)

Assists                                     —          Marie Schlegel            221                  (1994-1995)

Field Goals Made                   —          Joni Brown                  292                  (1990-1991)

Free Throws Made                  —          Joni Brown                  125                  (1990-1991)

Total Points                             —          Becky Hower              731                  (1999-2000)

Average                                   —          Joni Brown                  24.6ppg.          (1990-1991)

Free Throw %                         —          Sam Carangelo            89%                 (2005-2006)

Field Goal %                           —          Meghan Orr                 57%                 (2007-2008)

3 Point Shots Made                —          Becky Hower              82                    (2000-2001)

 

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CAREER RECORDS

 

Offensive Rebounds               —          Myra Kline                  362

Defensive Rebounds               —          Becky Hower              709

Total Rebounds                       —          Becky Hower              1017

Steals                                       —          Becky Hower              519

Assists                                     —          Marie Schlegel            766

Field Goals Made                   —          Becky Hower              712

Free Throws Made                  —          Abby Minder              343

Becky Hower              343

Total Points                             —          Becky Hower              2445

Free Throw %                         —          Sam Carangelo            77%

Field Goal %                           —          Sarah Wade                 50%

Becky Hower              50%

Average                                   —          Becky Hower              20.6

3 Point Shots Made                —          Becky Hower              226

 

TEAM RECORD SEASON TOTALS

 

L.C. highest average points per game             —          66.2     (2000-2001)

Opp. highest average points per game            —          58.0     (2005-2006)

L.C.  lowest average points per game             —          35.0     (2013-2014)

Opp. lowest aveage points per game              —          37.5     (2009-2010)

Offensive Rebounds                                       —          603      (1980-1981)

Defensive Rebounds                                       —          825      (1980-1981)

Total Rebounds                                               —          1428    (1980-1981)

Steals                                                               —          584      (2001-2002)

Assists                                                             —          596      (1980-1981)

Field Goals Made                                           —          780      (1980-1981)

Free Throws Made                                          —          384      (2001-2002)

Total Points                                                     —          2101    (1999-2000)

3 Point Shots Made                                        —          118      (2000-2001)

Free Throw %                                                 —          69%     (1993-1994)

Field Goal %                                                   —          46%     (1990-1991) (2000-2001)

Consecutive Lanc.-Leb. League Section 3 Wins  —  44  1/20/92 to 1/27/95

Consecutive Home Wins        —          46        12/27/90 to 12/7/95

Longest Winning Streak         —          29        2/20/92 to 2/25/93

Most Wins in a Season            —          28-2     (l994-1995)

Fewest Wins in a Season        —          3          (1975-1976)

Most Losses in a Season         —          18        (2013-2014)

Fewest Losses in a Season      —          2          (1992-1993, 1994-1995)

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Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Three Championships  —      7

 

1980-1981  (Section 1), 1981-1982,  1984-1985,  1991-1992,  1992-1993, 1993-1994,  1994-1995

 

 

Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships  —          1

 

1980-1981

 

PIAA District 3 Class A Championships  —       16

 

1979-1980, 1988-1989,  1991-1992,  1992-1993,  1993-1994,  1994-1995,  1995-1996, 1998-1999

1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2006 – 2007, 2008 – 2009, 2011-2012

 

PIAA Class A State Championships  —    2

 

1991-1992, 1994-1995

 

 

Fartherest Advancement in PIAAState Tournament  —

 

Eastern Semi-Finals    (1980-1981, 1984-1985, 1988-1989, 1995-1996, 2000-2001, 2001-2002)

Eastern Finals              (1993-1994, 1999-2000, 2002-2003)

State Champion          (1991-1992, 1994-1995)

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