Lebanon Sports Buzz
Lebanon_Advertising_Banner
Breaking News

 IMG_7224BY JEFF FALK

HERSHEY – It’s important for teams to do their best and to reach their potentials. For the Northern Lebanon girls’ basketball, early on it became apparent that that meant getting to the state tournament.

It was the purest vehicle for the Vikings to realize their true identity.

On Tuesday evening at Hershey High School, Northern Lebanon qualified for the PIAA postseason by knocking off West Perry 51-38 in a District Three Class AAAA consolation semifinal game that doubled as an elimination contest. In addition to playing their trademark man-to-man defense, the Vikings got key offensive contributions to complement the scoring of stars Zara Zerman and Liz Voight.

IMG_7201The state playoff appearance will represent the third straight for a Northern Lebanon program which is in the midst of its most successful stretch in school history. But up first for the fourth-seeded Vikings, now 19-6, will be a fifth-place/sixth-place seeding game with Kennard-Dale, on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Cumberland Valley High School.

West Perry, the ninth seed, ended its year at 16-9.

“For these kids, to say they made it to states, it’s very important,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Ken Battistelli. “At the beginning of the season, we knew we could play. But not many others thought we could. We’re going to states, and it kind of cements them as a team. It’s the only thing we can hang our hats on. We’re not allowed to win the section (Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League). We’re not allowed to win the league. We’re not allowed to win the district.

“What we did last year (winning the District Three Class AAAA title) was unbelievable,” continued Battistelli. “All schools, kind of like us, we whip them. We don’t have any hardware, but I’ll remember what this team has accomplished. We fought a lot of battles with an inexperienced group.”

IMG_7279The Vikings faced only one deficit – 2-0 – and a subsequent 10-0 run took care of that. Voight accounted for seven of those points with a three-pointer and two driving lay-ups, while Zerman also connected from downtown.

And when sophomore Lindsay McFeaters notched the last basket of the opening period, and the first one of the second quarter, Northern Lebanon had itself a 16-8 margin.

“Every season there’s ebbs and flows,” said Battistelli. “Right now, we’re finding some of our intensity and fight. The last two games, Northern Lebanon’s grit has started to show. I think our offense really has some upside to it.

“We haven’t played well on offense in 20 years, it feels like,” continued Battistelli. “We have some other kids who can step up and hit some jump shots. We can be pretty good now that the grit has come back.”

With the defense clamping down on West Perry, Northern Lebanon closed the first half with a modest 5-0 spurt to take a 23-15 advantage to the break. Zerman drilled another triple and Tabitha Hubbard, a fellow sophomore, contributed a jumper.

“These kids are motivated because it’s the only way we do things,” said Battistelli. “Our goal is to win everything, to be great. We’re Northern Lebanon. We think that’s a big deal.

“Today we said, ‘We want to go to states,’” added Battistelli. “Everything fuels us. We just go into the gym and work because we don’t know what else to do.”

Zerman rang up a game-high 20 points, while Voight chimed in with 13. Inside the arc, the Vikings outscored West Perry 42-20.

IMG_7190“Initially, you’ve got to feel out their (the Mustangs’) strengths,” said Battistelli. “In the second half, we said, ‘We’re OK here’, and we went out pressured the ball. We felt safe on defense and were able to extend. Everybody was doing their jobs, and having everyone else’s backs.”

The closest the Mustangs would come in the second half was 23-18, early in the third stanza.

The Vikings held West Perry to a mere two points for a span of nearly seven minutes after that, while they were opening a 35-20 bulge. During the stretch, Zerman and Voight were doing their things,with help from McFeaters and Jenna Wentling.

“A huge part of it is mental fatigue,” said Battistelli. “If you look at our team, we’re about as physically imposing as a bunch of candlesticks. We have 19 wins now. But we won’t knock your socks off.”

A free throw from Casssie Ray and two more by Voight early in the final period made it 38-23 Northern Lebanon, and pretty much settled the issue.

“Our kids always play hard,” said Battistelli. “But that little extra attention to detail is the thing I’m calling ‘grit’. It’s so easy not to rotate and take that extra half-step on defense, but with grit, you want to do it.”

IMG_7039

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7273

 

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

 

 

 

IMG_7018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7090

 2017-18 Northern Lebanon Girls’ Basketball Results

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
38
47
2/23
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Bishop McDevitt
33
37
2/27
6:00 pm
West Perry
Northern Lebanon
at Hershey
IMG_7282

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7127PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Consolation Semifinal

 (at Hershey High School)

Northern Lebanon 51, West Perry 38

West Perry (38)

Reisinger 1 0-0 2; Morrow 0 0-0 0; Heckert 0 0-0 0; Frederick 3 1-3 8; Johnson 0 0-0 0; Kimmel 1 5-8 7; Urich 1 0-0 2; McBride 0 0-0 0; Cockley 1 0-0 3; Brown 6 0-0 16. Three-point goals: Brown 4, Frederick, Cockley. Totals: 13 6-12 38.

Northern Lebanon (51)

Ray 0 6-8 6; Voight 4 4-4 13; Wentling 1 0-0 2; Kelliher 0 0-0 0; Zerman 6 6-10 20; McFeaters 3 0-0 6; Papson 0 0-0 0; Hubbard 1 0-0 2; Lessing 1 0-0 2; Kupstas 0 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Zerman 2, Voight. Totals: 16 16-22 51.

IMG_7094West Perry 8 7 8 15 – 38

Northern Lebanon 14 9 12 16 – 51

 

 

 

 

IMG_7289

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7122

 

 

 

 

IMG_7300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7217

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7178

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7114

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


five + 3 =

© 2013 Lebanon Sports Buzz