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 BY JEFF FALK

 ROBESONIA – The season is at the top of the stretch, and the Northern Lebanon boys’ basketball team’s playoff life hangs in the balance. The Vikings may or may not qualify for the postseason.

 Adding to that ambiguity is the question of whether or not prolonging the season will define its success.

 On Saturday afternoon, Northern Lebanon’s postseason hopes took a hit, with a 54-29 non-league road setback at Conrad Weiser. The Vikings never got out of the gate, falling behind by double-digits in the first quarter, and never mounting a charge.

 The contest was the second in 17 hours for Northern Lebanon and it came on the heels of Friday night’s 48-43 home victory over Donegal, which snapped a five-game losing skein. 

 With seven regular-season contests remaining, the Vikings are now 5-10 overall. Northern Lebanon was seeded 15th in the latest District Three Class AAAA power rankings.

 Now winners of seven its last ten games, Conrad Weiser moved to 8-8 overall.

 “Class AAAA probably has an opening or two at the nine- or ten-seed,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Chris George. “The tough thing for us is that we had three games we were leading or tied in the last three minutes, and we didn’t get them. We’ve been off and on in close games. Mathematically, we’re still alive. We’ve got six potentially win-able games left. We’ve got to get four out of six to have a shot. Four could get us to ten (seed). Right now, we’re not talking too much about it. We’ve just got to play better.

 “I’m not really focused on results,” continued George. “I’m focused on how we do it. Districts to me isn’t going to matter with this team. At the beginning of the season, we knew it was going to be tough. When we were hanging around .500, we started focusing on results a little bit. When you focus on the finish line, you forget about the next step. We’ve been letting our eyes drop a little bit and getting tripped up a little bit. We’ve got seven more games, and it’s a great chance for the kids to play hard and play better.”

 To say that the Vikings got off to a sluggish start would be kind. Northern Lebanon experienced difficulties turning the ball over and making shots against the Scouts’ trapping zone defense.

 Conrad Weiser tallied the first 15 points of the game, all on shots within three feet of the basket. It took the Vikings all of the first 7:56 to score, a streak that was broken by Peyton Wolfe’s three-pointer near the end of the first stanza.

 Northern Lebanon was guilty of ten first-quarter turnovers.

 “Last night’s (Friday) win over Donegal was big,” said George. “We really played sloppy, but we got a win – which is opposite of what we’ve been doing. Last night we finally got a win, but it was an odd feeling. We knew this was going to be a tall task, going back-to-back. Win or lose, we said, ‘Let’s improve off of last night and play with a little more focus.’ We just didn’t show up. At some point, it’s on us as coaches.”

 The Scouts also ran off the first eight points of the second quarter, to extend their lead to 23-3. That tide was stemmed by an Ethan Borcky three-point-field goal and Eyan Margut’s steal and lay-up, but the half ended with the home team ahead 28-8.

 “They ran a little trap on us,” said George. “Their length gave us trouble. We weren’t strong with the ball, and our margin for error is much smaller than a lot of teams. When we’re just a little off, things can look real bad.

 “They’re (the Scouts) very athletic, long and bigger than us,” added George. “Our game is to take care of  the ball, knock down shots and play good defense. We didn’t take care of the ball.”

 On four three-point field goals, Borcky led Northern Lebanon in scoring with a dozen points. As a matter of fact, seven of the Vikings’ ten total field goals came from three-point land.

 But on two-point field goals, Northern Lebanon was outscored 44-6.

 “A good word is ‘snow-balled’,” said George. “Two mistakes turned into three mistakes, and four. These are the kinds of things young kids do. We really haven’t done that much of it this season, but we got back to it today.”

 Northern Lebanon certainly played much better in the second half, especially offensively, but never seriously threatend Conrad Weiser’s lead.

 A trey by Borcky late in the third quarter made it a 41-14 game. But the Scouts tallied the last basket of the period and the first bucket of the final quarter to push their advantage to 45-17.

 “It was early,” said George of the start of his team’s day. “We had a battle last night. We went to bed, and we had to be back in the gym and had a walk-through at nine o’clock. The bus left (NLHS) at 9:30 a.m. and the JV game started at 11. It was definitely a quick turnaround, but that’s not an excuse.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Northern Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
12/07
6:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
Camp Hill
at Bermudian Springs
35
49
 
12/08
6:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Bermudian Springs
31
28
 
12/11
7:30 pm
Williams Valley
at Northern Lebanon
52
57
 
12/14
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lampeter-Strasburg
36
52
 
12/17
7:30 pm
Cocalico
at Northern Lebanon
46
48
 
12/19
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Garden Spot
23
51
 
12/21
7:30 pm
Solanco
at Northern Lebanon
37
36
 
12/27
7:30 pm
Tulpehocken
at Northern Lebanon
53
71
 
12/28
7:30 pm
Littlestown
Northern Lebanon
at N. Lebanon Holiday Tourn.
75
27
 
1/04
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
62
30
 
1/07
7:30 pm
Pine Grove
at Northern Lebanon
53
47
 
1/11
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
31
40
 
1/15
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Octorara
43
57
 
1/18
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Northern Lebanon
43
48
 
1/19
12:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Conrad Weiser
   
1/22
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
   
1/24
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Manheim Central
   
1/29
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
   
2/01
7:30 pm
Octorara
at Northern Lebanon
   
2/02
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Palmyra
   
2/05
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal
   
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAA Power Rankings
 
AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Bishop McDevitt 13- 2- 0  0.726160  0.892744  0.522556  14.2  162.8  1.7  148.7
2 Berks Catholic School 11- 2- 0  0.715800  0.853480  0.547525  11.7  167.1  2.0  138.1
3 Eastern York 13- 3- 0  0.711804  0.847305  0.546190  14.2  178.9  2.6  148.6
4 Littlestown 16- 0- 0  0.709361  1.000000  0.354135  15.7  116.9  0.0  213.2
5 Lancaster Catholic 11- 6- 0  0.627863  0.689150  0.552957  11.8  185.6  5.3  150.1
6 Octorara Area 9- 6- 0  0.580547  0.661238  0.481924  10.2  157.3  5.2  169.1
7 Susquehanna Township 8- 7- 0  0.580062  0.584192  0.575013  8.5  169.6  6.1  125.4
8 Fleetwood 9- 5- 0  0.572790  0.663121  0.462386  9.4  132.2  4.8  153.7
9 Eastern Lebanon County 9- 7- 0  0.563226  0.604294  0.513032  9.9  171.3  6.5  162.6
10 Wyomissing 9- 7- 0  0.552232  0.603226  0.489907  9.4  157.8  6.2  164.3
11 Schuylkill Valley 8- 7- 0  0.547022  0.549153  0.544417  8.1  167.0  6.7  139.8
12 West Perry 9- 6- 0  0.534367  0.596091  0.458926  9.2  137.2  6.2  161.7
13 Boiling Springs 5- 10- 0  0.505054  0.379061  0.659044  5.3  207.5  8.6  107.4
14 Kennard Dale 6- 9- 0  0.457161  0.432056  0.487845  6.2  132.5  8.2  139.1
15 Northern Lebanon 5- 10- 0  0.435666  0.358885  0.529509  5.2  175.4  9.2  155.9
16 Susquehannock 4- 11- 0  0.431602  0.280443  0.616351  3.8  198.7  9.8  123.7
17 James Buchanan 3- 10- 0  0.418026  0.266376  0.603376  3.1  180.5  8.4  118.7
18 East Pennsboro Area 4- 11- 0  0.399215  0.274914  0.551139  4.0  160.9  10.6  131.0
19 Bermudian Springs 5- 11- 0  0.390111  0.313793  0.483387  4.6  156.4  10.0  167.2
20 Middletown Area 1- 13- 0  0.327354  0.078947  0.630962  1.1  188.5  12.3  110.3
21 Hamburg Area 1- 14- 0  0.276750  0.064846  0.535742  1.0  171.3  13.7  148.4
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Four Standings
 
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PS PA
Lancaster Catholic 7 1 87.50 11 5 68.75 948 689
Elco 5 3 62.50 9 7 56.25 837 762
Octorara 5 4 55.56 9 6 60.00 840 842
Northern Lebanon 2 6 25.00 5 9 35.71 563 698
Donegal 0 9 0.00 0 16 0.00 651 959
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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