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IMG_2202BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – Sure it woiuld’ve been nice to have the full complement of competitors from the start. And yeah, they’ve won some big games short-handed, along the way.

But the gang’s all back now, and in plenty of time to see exactly what they can accomplish together.

No regrets!

On Monday night, for one of the first times this season, the Northern Lebanon boys’ basketball team had its best athletes on the floor together, during a 55-42 road triumph at Annville-Cleona. Though there were times of struggle against the gutsy Little Dutchmen, the Vikings flashed signs of what they can be during a decisive portion of the final period.

The Vikings’ victory lifted them to 12-4 overall and 8-1 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, and kept them a game behind front-running Lancaster Catholic in the circuit. In the last District Three Class AAAA power rankings, Northern Lebanon was seated fifth.

IMG_2381The Little Dutchmen aren’t in as good of shape in Section Three, but they can still qualify for the District Three Class AAA tournament. Now 7-9 on the year and 3-6 in the section, Annville-Cleona is currently situated ninth in the District Three Class AAA power rankings.

Back on December 15th in Fredericksburg, the Vikings beat the Little Dutchmen 63-59.

“Our injuries have been really tough. We’ve had a number of kids out,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Chris George. “This was our first tough game where we’ve had everybody. What you see is our defense is better, but our offense is going to take some time. We’ve got six games left in the regular season, and now we’ve got to start figuring out our offense. We have to share more minutes, and some of those guys haven’t played together yet.

“Michigan’s (Daub) just rusty,” continued George. “He needs a little conditioning. He’s trying to get that burst back that makes him a special athlete. We’re pointing towards a playoff run, and Michigan is just going to get better and better. He’s given us things right away. He’s given us defense, and the other stuff will come. We just hope he keeps improving.”

IMG_2369Following a back-and-forth three quarters of play, Northern Lebanon used its defense to assert itself early in the fourth.

The Vikings held Annville-Cleona without a point for a key 5:30 span, during which they rattled off 16 straight points to turn a one-point deficit into a 53-38 advantage. Cameron Gensler tallied ten of those Northern Lebanon points, while running mates Alex Yeager and Caleb Light netted the rest.

“I thought we made a nice run in the second quarter, and then the same thing in the fourth,” said George. “Both were started by our defense. I thought (Christian) Trader and (Thomas) Folmer  were really big sparks off the bench. Our three main scoring horses (Light, Yeager and Gensler) came up big too. They got it going.

“Maybe that’s our seniors saying, ‘Hey, let’s go make some plays’,” George continued. “We didn’t always do it consistently. It’s almost guaranteed any more. It’s maturity. They don’t force it quite as much. They let it come to them, and they play together.”

With Yeager canning back-to-back trifectas, the Vikings extended a four-point halftime lead to 29-21 early in the third stanza. But on six points by Noah Myers, four points from Donald Friday and a hoop by Andrew Long, Annville-Cleona spilled over a 12-0 run into the final period to assume a 38-37 edge.

“We challenged our guys,” said George. “We have a lot at stake this week. We’ve got the league playoffs on the line. If we play well, we can get there.

“I’m a guy who tries not to look too far into the future,” added George. “But I like to give these guys a reminder of what’s at stake. I wish we would’ve played a little better tonight, but it’s a tough gym to play in. Give Annville-Cleona credit. Their zone (defense) bothered us. A lot of our points came out of turnovers and defense.”

The Vikings’ ‘Big Three’ accounted for all but six of their team’s points. Light popped for 21 points, Yeager registered 15 points and Gensler recorded 13.

IMG_2458Annville-Cleona was led by Ryan Matthews’ 11 points and Myers’ ten. Northern Lebanon outscored the Little Dutchmen 18-6 from ‘downtown’.

“Myers is really tough,” said George. “He was a big focal point for our defense. For a big guy, he’s so talented. You can lose him inside and you can lose him outside. He’s the kind of kid who can take us out of our normal defense. We challenged our guys tonight.”

It was all Annville-Cleona early.

On a pair of buckets from Friday, a couple of baskets by Matthews and a steal and lay-in from Dashaun Archer, the Little Dutchmen tallied ten of the first 12 points. Over the game’s first 6:04, Annville-Cleona limited Northern Lebanon to a Yeager pull-up.

IMG_2404“For coaches, it feels like a grind,” said George. “We’re playing seven games in nine days. To have the kids where we want them it’s difficult. But let’s be real. These kids are here to play basketball. For them, I’m sure it’s tough. The bus ride is tough. The long days can be a little tough.”

Northern Lebanon got it going late in the opening quarter, with a Josh Bowers hoop. It sparked a Northern Lebanon 8-0 run that culminated in a short jumper by Yeager and a ten-all tie, early in the second.

Later in the second quarter, the Vikings ran off 13 straight points – which featured nine points by Light and back-to-back buckets by Trader – to grab a 23-15 margin.

 

 

 

 

 

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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 Northern Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

Date Teams Results
12/08
6:00 pm
Palmyra
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal
37
49
12/09
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal
52
55
12/13
7:30 pm
Conrad Weiser
at Northern Lebanon
59
67
12/15
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
59
63
12/18
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
80
36
12/20
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Northern Lebanon
48
56
12/22
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
83
45
12/27
7:30 pm
Daniel Boone
at Northern Lebanon
55
66
12/28
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Northern Lebanon
54
51
1/09
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Northern Lebanon
62
63
1/11
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
38
61
1/12
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
44
45
1/18
7:30 pm
Middletown
at Northern Lebanon
71
61
1/19
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
35
76
1/20
2:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Tulpehocken
74
52
1/22
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
1/23
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Columbia
1/25
7:30 pm
Manheim Central
at Northern Lebanon
1/26
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Northern Lebanon
1/30
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
2/02
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Mennonite
2/06
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
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 2017-18 Annville-Cleona Boys’ Basketball Results
Date Teams Results
12/08
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
Northern Lehigh
at Hamburg H.S.
42
35
12/09
3:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
Brandywine Heights
at Hamburg H.S.
63
44
12/12
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Tulpehocken
63
37
12/15
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
59
63
12/18
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Columbia
54
70
12/20
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
51
43
12/28
12:00 pm
Lancaster County Christian
at Annville-Cleona
48
76
12/28
6:00 pm
Halifax
at Annville-Cleona
54
47
1/02
7:30 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
75
68
1/06
3:00 pm
Middletown
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Valley College
68
48
1/09
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
65
47
1/10
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
53
87
1/12
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
37
51
1/13
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Kutztown
52
61
1/19
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Annville-Cleona
64
74
1/22
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
1/23
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Catholic
1/26
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
1/27
2:30 pm
Oley Valley
at Annville-Cleona
1/30
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
2/02
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
2/06
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
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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 14- 2- 0  0.721540  0.883436  0.523668  14.4  167.1  1.9  152.0
2 Berks Catholic 11- 2- 0  0.681898  0.852399  0.473508  11.6  113.1  2.0  125.7
3 Boiling Springs 10- 4- 0  0.670858  0.755102  0.567893  11.1  172.1  3.6  131.0
4 Littlestown 9- 3- 0  0.639480  0.768908  0.481292  9.2  140.9  2.8  151.8
5 Northern Lebanon 11- 4- 0  0.625060  0.754386  0.466995  10.8  147.2  3.5  168.0
6 Middletown 7- 5- 0  0.603195  0.607438  0.598008  7.4  171.2  4.8  115.1
7 Kennard Dale 9- 4- 0  0.601307  0.732852  0.440531  10.2  134.5  3.7  170.8
8 Susquehanna Township 9- 7- 0  0.600121  0.618902  0.577165  10.2  179.0  6.3  131.1
9 Bishop McDevitt 6- 7- 0  0.571265  0.537549  0.612473  6.8  197.4  5.9  124.9
10 Eastern York 7- 9- 0  0.519053  0.496711  0.546360  7.6  167.4  7.7  139.0
11 Eastern Lebanon County 7- 9- 0  0.499658  0.463816  0.543465  7.1  173.8  8.2  146.0
12 Schuylkill Valley 5- 7- 0  0.445723  0.455752  0.433466  5.2  131.0  6.2  171.2
13 Biglerville 6- 9- 0  0.430055  0.402730  0.463453  5.9  133.2  8.8  154.2
14 Wyomissing 4- 10- 0  0.379418  0.304000  0.471595  3.8  142.0  8.7  159.1
15 James Buchanan 3- 14- 0  0.377740  0.191919  0.604853  2.9  184.5  12.0  120.5
16 Oley Valley 2- 10- 0  0.313124  0.182609  0.472644  2.1  138.7  9.4  154.7
17 Bermudian Springs 1- 14- 0  0.302054  0.061818  0.595676  0.9  175.0  12.9  118.8
18 Hamburg 1- 12- 0  0.280619  0.078652  0.527469  1.1  158.9  12.3  142.4
19 Susquenita 0- 14- 0  0.216222  0.000000  0.480493  0.0  142.3  15.2  153.8
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 PIAA District Three
 Class AAA Power Rankings
AAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Kutztown 14- 1- 0  0.705184  0.948454  0.407855  13.8  114.8  0.8  166.6
2 York Catholic 11- 3- 0  0.696395  0.789286  0.582863  11.1  170.4  3.0  122.0
3 Trinity 10- 3- 0  0.681948  0.771536  0.572453  10.3  135.7  3.1  101.4
4 Steelton Highspire 9- 5- 0  0.666260  0.697080  0.628590  9.6  190.4  4.2  112.5
5 Lancaster Mennonite 10- 5- 0  0.638688  0.688963  0.577241  10.3  185.2  4.7  135.6
6 Camp Hill 7- 8- 0  0.554198  0.494810  0.626784  7.2  177.9  7.3  105.9
7 Delone Catholic 7- 7- 0  0.541046  0.533582  0.550168  7.2  164.0  6.3  134.1
8 Brandywine Heights 9- 6- 0  0.499275  0.593220  0.384454  8.8  109.8  6.0  175.8
9 Annville Cleona 7- 8- 0  0.479412  0.435540  0.533034  6.3  166.2  8.1  145.6
10 Hanover 7- 7- 0  0.475602  0.480469  0.469655  6.2  134.7  6.7  152.1
11 Columbia 6- 8- 0  0.443311  0.407407  0.487193  5.5  143.6  8.0  151.2
12 Upper Dauphin 7- 8- 0  0.428533  0.405751  0.456377  6.4  133.7  9.3  159.2
13 Tulpehocken 3- 11- 0  0.318231  0.207746  0.453267  3.0  127.3  11.3  153.6
14 Pequea Valley 2- 12- 0  0.310769  0.126866  0.535539  1.7  169.2  11.7  146.7
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Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Lancaster Catholic 9 0 100.00 15 2 88.24 1034 775
Northern Lebanon 8 1 88.89 12 4 75.00 979 815
Lancaster Mennonite 6 2 75.00 11 5 68.75 974 821
Elco 4 5 44.44 7 9 43.75 903 874
Annville-Cleona 3 6 33.33 7 9 43.75 900 896
Columbia 2 5 28.57 6 8 42.86 838 754
Pequea Valley 2 6 25.00 3 12 20.00 675 975
Lebanon Catholic 0 9 0.00 2 9 18.18 422 739

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