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BY JEFF FALK

LANCASTER – For the Northern Lebanon girls’ basketball team, a Lancaster-Lebanon Section Four championship is a reward, not a goal.

The Vikings’ goal is to play well, always. A section championship is how they know they’ve played well.

On Tuesday night at Lancaster Catholic High School, Northern Lebanon did not put its best foot forward in a key L-L Section Four contest and fell to the mighty hometown Crusaders 42-35. The Vikings missed out on an early opportunity to grab control of the outcome, then paid for it the rest of the way.

The result all but assured Lancaster Catholic another section title.

With four games remaining on its Section Four slate, the Vikings are now 14-2 overall, 7-2 in the circuit and two games behind the Crusaders in the standings. Lancaster Catholic pushed its record to 13-2 on the year and 9-0 in Section Four.

It was the same Lancaster Catholic outfit which had handed Northern Lebanon its initial setback of the season back on January 3rd, 50-47 in overtime in Fredericksburg.

The Vikings were positioned second in the latest District Three Class AAAA power rankings, where the Crusaders held the top spot.

“I would certainly think so,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Ken Battistelli, to the notion that the outcome all but sewed up the section title for the Crusaders. “It’s never something we talk about. Our goals are really simple and vague.

“We want to be the best at some point,” continued Battistelli. “Ultimately, we want to be the best at the end. We don’t reflect and talk about things. When we talk, we won’t even talk about the section. We just want to win, game after game after game. It’s not any more complicated than that.”

Northern Lebanon, statistically the best defensive team in the Lancaster-Lebanon League by far, did the unthinkable by shutting out Lancaster Catholic for the entire opening quarter – actually the first 9:08 of the contest. But during that stretch, the Vikings managed only two Zara Zerman buckets, a Lindsay McFeaters free throw and a 5-0 lead.

“It was frustrating because we should’ve been up ten or twelve points,” said Battistelli. “We were playing good defense. But you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities. We don’t think anybody should score against us. We’re supposed to play good defense.

“After that, we had a whole bunch of defensive breakdowns,” added Battistelli. “I think a lot of that starts from our offensive issues.”

Then, over the next 2:40 of the second period, Lancaster Catholic posted 13 points, to establish a 13-5 lead. But Northern Lebanon fought back with an 8-2 spurt, highlighted by four points from Zerman and two apiece by McFeaters and Ashlyn Messinger, to close to within 15-13 of the lead.

“You expect them to go on runs and get hot,” said Battistelli. “They’re so good and have so many different players who can hurt you. We could’ve made runs, but we missed 11 foul shots. If we make seven of those, we’re right there.

“We think we’re good too,” Battistelli continued. “We could go on another streak of not giving up points and Zeke (Zerman) could get hot. At halftime, we were down five. No big deal. But we didn’t get any chemistry or rhythm on offense in the second half.”

Zerman, who battled foul difficulties throughout, registered 18 points for the Vikings.

Northern Lebanon went to the charity stripe 24 times, compared to the Crusaders’ five. But Lancaster Catholic outscored Northern Lebanon 34-16 on two-point field goals.

“There’s not much I can tell you,” said Battistelli. “We didn’t play well at all. It’s unusual. In a game like this, you’ve got to play your best, and we didn’t play our best.

“They’re very good, but we didn’t play well,” Battistelli added. “You could compare it a lot to Elco. Maybe it was emotions. If I had an idea, I’d tell you. I’m sure anxiety or excitement has a lot to do with it. Sometimes it manifests itself in an unhelpful manner.”

Lancaster Catholic extended its lead to 26-17 three minutes into the second half. But Zerman tallied the final five points of the third quarter to make it a 31-27 game.

“It’s important for the kids because they hate Lancaster Catholic,” said Battistelli. “Right now, I don’t feel like jumping off a bridge, or anything like that. It’s important because we don’t like what they stand for.”

The Crusaders reasserted themselves with the first five points of the fourth quarter. Northern Lebanon got within 40-35 of Lancaster Catholic, on lay-ups by Messinger and McFeaters, but it did not score over the final 2:23 of the contest.

“Tonight doesn’t make an impact on anything,” said Battistelli. “It’s Lancaster Catholic, and therefore it is an important game. But there are no further ramifications for the big-picture things. Once the regular season is over, we’ll see where we’re at. Then comes tournament play, and we’ll talk about stuff like that. But we’re not there yet.”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2019-20 Northern Lebanon Girls’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
6:45 pm
Ephrata
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon Tip-Off Tournament
43
48

Nonleague
12/07
7:00 pm
Palmyra
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon Tip-Off Tournament
29
41

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
West Perry
at Northern Lebanon
19
35

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lampeter-Strasburg
38
26

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Cocalico
at Northern Lebanon
31
37

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Garden Spot
48
17

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Solanco
at Northern Lebanon
19
35

League
12/27
6:00 pm
New Oxford
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Holiday Tournament
27
45

Nonleague
12/28
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
McCaskey
at Lebanon Holiday Tournament
44
41

Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
50
47

League
1/04
2:30 pm
East Pennsboro
Northern Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon Middle School
22
44

Nonleague
1/08
6:30 pm
Middletown
at Northern Lebanon
15
38

Nonleague
1/10
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
53
45

League
1/14
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Octorara
54
17

League
1/17
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Northern Lebanon
39
65

League
1/18
2:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Tulpehocken
Postponed
Nonleague
1/21
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic

League
1/23
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Manheim Central

League
1/25
4:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague
1/28
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon

League
1/31
7:30 pm
Octorara
at Northern Lebanon

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal

League

PIAA District Three

Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Lancaster Catholic12-2-0 0.757450 0.873418 0.615711 13.8 188.5 2.0 117.7
2Northern Lebanon14-1-0 0.726205 0.943620 0.460475 15.9 146.5 1.0 171.7
3Bermudian Springs13-2-0 0.720851 0.866221 0.543177 13.0 182.1 2.0 153.2
4Eastern York13-4-0 0.718693 0.811966 0.604693 14.3 203.6 3.3 133.1
5Susquehanna Township12-4-0 0.678742 0.791667 0.540724 13.3 167.3 3.5 142.1
6Kennard Dale11-6-0 0.646151 0.696275 0.584888 12.2 189.7 5.3 134.6
7Wyomissing11-4-0 0.621715 0.755932 0.457671 11.2 141.1 3.6 167.2
8Bishop McDevitt6-6-0 0.585070 0.559322 0.616540 6.6 170.4 5.2 106.0
9Schuylkill Valley11-6-0 0.573270 0.673469 0.450804 11.6 137.5 5.6 167.5
10Fleetwood8-7-0 0.566248 0.589831 0.537424 8.7 163.4 6.1 140.6
11Littlestown8-6-0 0.540756 0.555556 0.522667 7.5 177.6 6.0 162.2
12Eastern Lebanon County7-8-0 0.529637 0.518644 0.543073 7.7 179.4 7.1 150.9
13Big Spring6-8-0 0.498393 0.481752 0.518732 6.6 144.0 7.1 133.6
14Boiling Springs6-8-0 0.469130 0.478571 0.457590 6.7 137.3 7.3 162.8
15James Buchanan5-8-0 0.454273 0.412245 0.505641 5.1 145.7 7.2 142.4
16Middletown Area4-10-0 0.412165 0.300752 0.548337 4.0 177.3 9.3 146.0
17West Perry4-11-0 0.372104 0.265781 0.502054 4.0 158.9 11.1 157.6
18Hamburg Area4-12-0 0.363784 0.260000 0.490631 3.9 155.8 11.1 161.8
19Oley Valley4-9-0 0.350503 0.292490 0.421408 3.7 134.1 9.0 184.1
20Octorara Area1-13-0 0.302025 0.083333 0.569314 1.2 163.5 12.7 123.7

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Four Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Lancaster Catholic901.0001320.867893671
Northern Lebanon720.7781420.875708482
Elco540.556880.500741680
Donegal360.3336100.375761872
Octorara190.1001150.063415995

2 thoughts on “Vikings Will Look Past Section for Gratification

  1. “It’s important for the kids because they hate Lancaster Catholic” and “It’s important because we don’t like what they stand for.” Keeping it classy! Hate? Why would a coach foster this kind of attitude with young women? Coaching is about so much more than winning.

  2. How can this man be allowed to coach high school girls basketball or be around kids of any age with that attitude? What, exact does Lancaster Catholic stand for that they “hate”? Religion? Values? Life lessons taught by coaches and staff? Where are the school officials on this? Why hasn’t he been reprimanded? He would’ve been fired immediately if I was on that school board! I would certainly hope he doesn’t speak for them! Isn’t there enough hate in the world without a coach of our future spewing hate? Where does the league, district or even the PIAA stand on these comments?

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