Lebanon Sports Buzz
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IMG_5938BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – Basketball is not a complex game.

Play defense, box out, work the fundamentals, play together. And the rest will take care of itself.

Well, it’s not quite that simple. But you get the idea.

It’s a concept that the Northern Lebanon girls’ basketball team has embraced. And one that Annville-Cleona is starting to figure out.

On Friday night, the Vikings practiced what they’ve been preached to, during a 56-24 dismantling of the Little Dutchmen. Northern Lebanon notched 14 of the game’s first 15 points and never had its double-digit lead threatened.

IMG_5966The contest was the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three opener for a couple of squads which entered the fray undefeated – the Vikings expectedly, the Little Dutchmen not so much. With the outcome, Northern Lebanon improved to 5-0 overall, while Annville-Cleona slipped to 3-1.

“I’m not going to pretend. I’m pretty happy,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Ken Battistelli. “We have issues that when we discuss them, they (his players) try to fix them. We’re still making five-games-in mistakes. It doesn’t seem like our killer instinct is gone. But you’re never as good as you could be.

“It’s just kind of the way we get caught up in things,” added Battistelli. “We had a successful season last year, and we just got caught up in the season. They (his players) played a nice game. They took care of business.”

IMG_5929“Regardless of what’s on that scoreboard, all of our goals are ahead of us,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Roger Hayes. “Three-and-oh is a great start for us. Three-and-one is a great start for us. We need to fix some things and we’ll be just fine.”

Already ahead 4-1, the Vikings used their physical man-to-man defense to rip off ten unanswered points late in the opening quarter to open a 13-point margin. Senior Zoe Zerman accounted for five of those points, sister Zara Zerman drained a couple of foul shots, Amber Kintzer knocked down a jumper and Liz Voight added a charity toss.

“I get so worried my team is going to rest on their laurels,” said Battistelli. “It’s nice to see when you talk to the kids and they listen.

“I still think Annville-Cleona presented a very unique challenge that we haven’t faced to this point,” Battistelli added. “They have four kids on the floor who can shoot the ball. We did a nice job against it. You could see if those kids are free, they’re going to hit shots. That’s why I was pleased with the defense.”

IMG_5911“They are a huge measuring stick,” said Hayes of the Vikings. “They’re obviously one of the best teams in a loaded Section Three, if not the best team. It’s a big rivalry game. Whenever you play Northern Lebanon, the sport is irrelevant.”

Little Dutchmen sniper Arianna Clay disrupted Northern Lebanon’s rhythm with a three-pointer 42 seconds into the second quarter, one that pulled her side to within 14-4. But the Vikings held Annville-Cleona scoreless over the final 5:03 of the first half and tallied seven points of their own to all but settle the issue.

That spurt began with a Kintzer jump shot, continued with an inside maneuver from Megan Brandt, and when Zoe Zerman nailed a three-pointer, the Vikings had a 25-7 bulge.

IMG_5987“Like tonight, it didn’t seem like they (the Little Dutchmen) were trying to take one particular player away,” said Battistelli. “So we hit the open player. That is tough to defend. We’re unselfish enough to let anyone who’s hot score. We have the nature to rise.”

“They’re (the Vikings) excellent defensively,” said Hayes. “They were the best team I saw on film, and they did not disappoint tonight. Their defense affected the beginning of the game. We have a young team.”

Northern Lebanon’s scoring was ridiculously balanced. Zoe Zerman, Brandt and Kintzer all notched a dozen points, while Voight canned ten.

Clay collected ten points for the Little Dutchmen. But Annville-Cleona was held to only eight field goals and just six two-pointers.

“I notice in practice they don’t like each other,” said Battistelli of the Zerman sisters. “When I’m mad at one, I’ll yell at the other, and she’ll say, ‘She’s not my sister.’ On the floor, they’ve got a Zerman connection. It’s a cool dynamic. There’s a lot to like about Zoe. My favorite part is how competitive she is. She’s ultra-competitive. She’s very athletic and very strong, and when you combine that with her competitiveness, it makes her pretty tough.

“Zara can be our deep shooter,” Battistelli continued. “She can run point. As another dynamic guard, it allows us to mess around with Zoe and move her inside.”

“I thought we played OK,” said Hayes. “I thought we played well defensively. Obviously their pressure took us out of what we wanted to do.”

IMG_5941The Little Dutchmen didn’t reach double digits on the scoreboard until 3:55 of the second half had elapsed, when Clay canned another three-pointer. By that time, the Vikings were sitting on a 27-point cushion.

Northern Lebanon’s lead reached an even 30 points, 47-17, on a Zara Zerman jump shot with 5:50 remaining.

“You can see the youth,” said Battistelli of the Little Dutchmen. “And they’re quick kids. The thing that’s in their way, you can see when inexperience bubbles up. I think you can see they’re getting better.

IMG_5999“Three-and-one is a good start,” continued Battistelli. “But they didn’t get off to a good start tonight and it shook their confidence. They’re going to grow up fast.”

“We have to execute better,” said Hayes. “Their defensive pressure got to us. We’re going to get better and we’re going to see them again.”

 

 

 

 

 

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To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to www.

 

 

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 2016-17 Northern Lebanon Girls’ Basketball Schedule

Date Teams Score
12/09
7:00 pm
Littlestown
at Northern Lebanon
22
56
Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Palmyra
at Northern Lebanon
24
43
Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Middletown
67
52
Nonleague
12/14
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Garden Spot
53
23
Nonleague
12/16
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
League
12/19
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
League
12/21
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Northern Lebanon
League
12/27
6:00 pm
McCaskey
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon
Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
League
1/06
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
League
1/10
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Northern Lebanon
League
1/13
7:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
League
1/17
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
League
1/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
League
1/21
7:30 pm
Tulpehocken
at Northern Lebanon
Nonleague
1/24
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Columbia
League
1/26
7:30 pm
Manheim Central
at Northern Lebanon
Nonleague
1/27
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Northern Lebanon
League
1/31
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
League
2/03
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Mennonite
League
2/07
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
League
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 2016-17 Annville-Cleona Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Date Teams Score
12/09
4:00 pm
Tri Valley
Annville-Cleona
at Hamburg
23
38
Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Hamburg
47
36
Nonleague
12/13
6:30 pm
Tulpehocken
at Annville-Cleona
25
52
Nonleague
12/16
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
League
12/19
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Columbia
League
12/21
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
League
12/28
6:30 pm
Littlestown
at Annville-Cleona
Nonleague
12/29
TBD
Annville-Cleona
at TBD
Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
League
1/06
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
League
1/10
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
League
1/12
7:30 pm
Middletown
at Annville-Cleona
Nonleague
1/13
6:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
League
1/14
7:30 pm
Pine Grove
at Annville-Cleona
Nonleague
1/17
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
League
1/20
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Annville-Cleona
League
1/24
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Catholic
League
1/27
7:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
League
1/28
1:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Oley Valley
Nonleague
1/31
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
League
2/03
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
League
2/07
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
League
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LEBANON SPORTS BUZZ’S

 2016-17 Preseason All Lebanon County Girls’ Basketball Rankings

1. Cedar Crest

2. Northern Lebanon

3. Palmyra

4. Lebanon Catholic

5. Elco

6. Annville-Cleona

7. Lebanon

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Lebanon Sports Buzz’s

 2016-17 Preseason All-Lebanon County Girls’ Basketball Team

Ariel Jones of Cedar Crest; Alyssa Austin of Cedar Crest; Zoe Zerman of Northern Lebanon; Megan Brandt of Northern Lebanon; Alexis Hill of Lebanon Catholic

 

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