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Northern Lebanon girls' hoops, Lebanon Catholic girls' hoops 019 BY JEFF FALK

LAMPETER – For the Northern Lebanon girls’ basketball, what happens from here on out is just icing on the cake. But that doesn’t mean the Vikings don’t want to have their cake and eat it too.

On Saturday afternoon at Lampeter-Strasburg High School, Northern Lebanon’s bid for its just desserts fell short, in a 47-38 setback to the hometown Pioneers, during the opening round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. The Vikings fell behind 12-0 at the start and although they made a number of spirited runs at Lampeter-Strasburg, they never fully caught up.

For the Vikings, the success of the 2017-18 season has already been secured. With the result, Northern Lebanon, the runner-up from Section Three, slipped to 18-5 on the season.

As the presumed fifth seed, the Vikings will open play in the District Three Class AAAA tournament on Friday, Feb, 23, likely at Bishop McDevitt, at a time to be announced. Northern Lebanon is the reigning District Three Class AAA champ.

Lampeter-Strasburg, the champion of Section Two, moved to 21-2 on the winter and into Tuesday’s semifinal round of the L-L league playoffs.

Northern Lebanon girls' hoops, Lebanon Catholic girls' hoops 070“I don’t think anything could make this thing unsuccessful,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Ken Battistelli. “We want to put our best team in the playoffs. It’s not like we’re going to face a team that we’re better than. We have to play well and they have to play well. Every game we would win would be a cherry. But nothing could make us feel negative about this season. A couple more celebrations would be nice.

“We haven’t lost to a public school our size since the state quarterfinals three years ago,” continued Battistelli. “I hate that we didn’t play well tonight. I think our team has done a great job this season. We’re doing good, we just didn’t do good today.”

After trailing by seven points at the break, Northern Lebanon just couldn’t get over the hump in the second half.

Northern Lebanon girls' hoops, Lebanon Catholic girls' hoops 042The Vikings got to within 30-24 of the Pioneers on a Zara Zerman three-pointer, two minutes into the third quarter. And a Zerman charity toss with two minutes left in the stanza pulled Northern Lebanon to within 33-27.

“I thought if we would’ve followed the game play, we would’ve been in great, great shape,” said Battistelli. “I wanted us to do what we were prepared to do. It’s like we couldn’t get squared away.

“Nerves causes a whole lot of stuff to occur,” Battistelli continued. “Things affect everybody differently. The second time we played Lebanon Catholic, this was the same game. That’s rough.”

With Lampeter-Strasburg playing good defense and being deliberate on offense, the Vikings went without a point for the first 4:39 of the final quarter.

A three-point play from senior Liz Voight ended the drought and got the Vikings to within 40-30. Another three-point play, this one from Zerman, with 1:51 to go, made it 44-35.

“I don’t know,” said Battistelli. “I’m kind of like a weirdo, but the game against Elco (regular-season finale) felt like the most important game in the world. I don’t know how the kids think about it. For me, they’re all kind of the same.

“We are what we are,” added Battistelli. “We’re proud of who we are. You just want your team to look like your team. You know they don’t go on forever. We try to take every game really, really seriously.”

Zerman led the Vikings with 18 points, and Voight tallied ten. Lampeter-Strasburg outscored Northern Lebanon 16-9 at the foul line and 18-9 from beyond the arc.

“When you play defense, teams don’t shoot the ball well,” said Battistelli. “When you don’t play defense, teams shoot the ball well. We went through a period when we started to play the right defense, they didn’t score and we cut it (the deficit) to four.”

Northern Lebanon girls' hoops, Lebanon Catholic girls' hoops 068Northern Lebanon went without a point for the game’s opening 5:29, while the Pioneers were opening their 12-0 lead. But courtesy of a Cassiah Ray three-pointer, the Vikings closed to 15-8 by the end of the first quarter.

“A gut-punch? I don’t know,” said Battistelli. “At no point in the game did we resemble us. It’s easy to tell when a team is not locked into a game plan.

“It was disappointing that we weren’t trying to score on offense and we weren’t following the game plan on defense,” continued Battistelli. “I was worried at that point. It wasn’t happening, by any stretch of the imagination.”

Late in the second quarter, the Vikings got two free throws from Zerman and an inside move from her, to pull to within 23-19 of the lead. But the Pioneers ended the first half with Emma Gochnauer’s buzzer-beating three-pointer from a couple of steps inside half-court, to take a seven-point cushion to the locker room.

“I didn’t say very much to them,” said Battistelli of the post-game address to his team. “There’s no reason to talk about that stuff now. We have a wait until districts start. What I’m anxious for is the next two weeks, to see if we’re ready to do what we need to do. We have some things to clean up.”

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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 Girls’ Basketball Outcomes

Date Opponents Results
12/08
6:45 pm
Kennard-Dale
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon Tournament
19
39
12/09
6:45 pm
Palmyra
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon Tournament
38
35
12/12
7:30 pm
Middletown
at Northern Lebanon
42
56
12/15
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
44
19
12/18
6:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
57
52
12/20
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Columbia
51
39
12/22
7:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Northern Lebanon
53
65
12/27
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
Lebanon
at Lebanon Tournament
51
15
12/28
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
New Oxford
at Lebanon Tournament
49
38
1/03
7:30 pm
Garden Spot
at Northern Lebanon
39
59
1/09
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Mennonite
58
48
1/10
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
51
25
1/12
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
58
54
1/19
8:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
35
43
1/20
1:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Tulpehocken
39
31
1/22
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
22
37
1/23
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Northern Lebanon
39
56
1/25
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Manheim Central
38
26
1/26
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
45
42
1/30
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
41
57
2/02
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Northern Lebanon
36
56
2/06
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
27
41
2/10
2:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lampeter-Strasburg

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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 20- 0- 0  0.804330  1.000000  0.565178  20.1  249.3  0.0  191.8
2 Berks Catholic 16- 4- 0  0.698397  0.830189  0.537319  17.6  222.5  3.6  191.6
3 Wyomissing 19- 3- 0  0.684596  0.880282  0.445424  18.8  202.0  2.6  251.5
4 Bishop McDevitt 14- 7- 0  0.684419  0.721604  0.638971  16.2  290.7  6.3  164.3
5 Northern Lebanon 18- 4- 0  0.668808  0.818182  0.486240  18.0  229.7  4.0  242.7
6 Kennard Dale 13- 9- 0  0.614336  0.646396  0.575151  14.4  277.1  7.9  204.7
7 York Suburban 13- 9- 0  0.610664  0.649554  0.563133  14.6  272.5  7.9  211.4
8 Susquehanna Township 12- 10- 0  0.604263  0.603604  0.605068  13.4  290.1  8.8  189.4
9 West Perry 15- 7- 0  0.597943  0.674888  0.503899  15.1  232.6  7.3  229.0
10 Eastern York 11- 11- 0  0.581621  0.556306  0.612561  12.4  297.0  9.9  187.9
11 Eastern Lebanon County 11- 11- 0  0.522123  0.500000  0.549161  11.3  258.6  11.3  212.3
12 Schuylkill Valley 11- 11- 0  0.495770  0.525000  0.460046  11.6  212.2  10.5  249.0
13 Bermudian Springs 9- 13- 0  0.462689  0.407834  0.529733  8.9  247.2  12.9  219.5
14 Littlestown 9- 13- 0  0.437791  0.417051  0.463141  9.1  212.4  12.7  246.2
15 Lancaster Mennonite 7- 15- 0  0.419968  0.305046  0.560429  6.7  261.3  15.2  205.0
16 James Buchanan 6- 16- 0  0.385046  0.312500  0.473713  6.5  218.5  14.3  242.8
17 Boiling Springs 5- 16- 0  0.377711  0.279236  0.498070  5.9  225.8  15.1  227.6
18 East Pennsboro 2- 19- 0  0.315083  0.107579  0.568699  2.2  250.0  18.3  189.6
19 Hamburg 1- 20- 0  0.247442  0.047382  0.491959  1.0  224.9  19.1  232.2

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Northern Lebanon girls' hoops, Lebanon Catholic girls' hoops 059Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PF PA
Lancaster Catholic 14 0 100.00 22 0 100.00 1374 770
Lebanon Catholic 11 3 78.57 18 5 78.26 1440 1001
Northern Lebanon 11 3 78.57 18 5 78.26 1073 877
Pequea Valley 7 7 50.00 12 10 54.55 1320 1161
Elco 6 8 42.86 11 11 50.00 1023 984
Lancaster Mennonite 3 11 21.43 7 15 31.82 996 1240
Columbia 3 11 21.43 7 15 31.82 924 1189
Annville-Cleona 1 13 7.14 4 18 18.18 639 972

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