Lebanon Sports Buzz
Breaking News

BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – Boxing out on rebounds.

Taking a charge with the game on the line.

Making that one extra free throw.

Attention to details.

The way the Northern Lebanon boys’ basketball team’s got it figured, some small things can go a long, long way.

They can be the difference between victories and defeats.

They can be the difference between qualifying for the postseason and not.

They can be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful season.

“It was the same as the year before. Almost a carbon copy,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Chris George, of a close-but-no-cigar campaign in 2019-20. “We lost five or six games in the last minute, and in nine or ten of our losses, we had a chance to win, which is a little frustrating. With all of our starters back, hopefully that’s a good thing. It was really good experience. It was really competitive.

“When there’s nine or ten games that go like that, it’s a lot of different things,” continued George. “The awesome thing is, when you have a year like that, it’s a learning thing. The kids grew, and as a coach, you learn which kids you can lean on. Some of it is coaching, us trying to figure them out.”

By the numbers, the Vikings went 7-15 a year ago. Given the closeness of those results and the fact that Northern Lebanon has everybody back, it certainly bodes well for the Vikings’ chances in a pandemic altering 2020-21 season.

“I think it matters,” said George of last season. “I don’t think we were a seven-win team. I think we were more around .500. It matters how you compete. How you play matters.

“Assuming we’ll have it (a season amid the COVID-19 crisis), we’re optimistic,” George continued. “We’re one of the schools who had an off-season. We’d like to have it. We’ve been circling 20-21 for a few years. But our section (four) is one of the most competitive in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.”

This year’s version of the Vikings appears to be built from the outside in.

Offensively, Northern Lebanon will rely heavily on the sharp shooting and slick play of guards junior Peyton Wolfe and senior Owen Treadway. Another guard, combo senior Nate Shirk will also be asked to contribute in a variety of ways.

“We have Owen and Peyton, who last year combined to shoot the highest number of ‘threes’ among guards in the league,” said George, who’s in his sixth season at the Vikings’ helm. “Teams know what we’re going to do with those guys. We’re also going to push it a little bit. Shirk, (Rasheed) Beldor and (Simon) Grimes will make things happen. Hopefully, our big guys will play off the guards and slashers.

“I feel like our roles are pretty set,” added George. “It’s all sort of mixing well together. We have most of our guys back. We kind of know who we are right now. We’ve got to go play the games. We’ve got to make the shots. Our M.O. has been to grind some games out.”

With Beldor and Grimes firmly in the mix, look for the Vikings to go about eight deep this year. Josh Clemmer, Ian Herman, Jacob Martino and Tyler Wolfe are all in the mix, battling for playing time.

“For us, we’ve just got to finish,” said George. “We had a ton of opportunities last year. That’s OK. Maybe we weren’t supposed to win some of those games we lost. We’ve just got to knock down that big shot at the end. We’ve just got to figure out a way to execute.

“We’re not physically imposing when we walk into a gym,” George added. “But we want to make noise in the section. To do that, you’ve got to get on a roll.”

Of course all of the Vikings’ best laid plans for this season are contingent upon the direction of the Coronavirus. The uncertainty of the year will make each and every competition a blessing.

Northern Lebanon is scheduled to open its campaign on Saturday, December 12th, at home against Pine Grove.

“Our goal is to play games,” said George. “We’re trying to get these kids as many games as we can. There are so many things going on that are different. In a normal year, you’d only be worrying about Game One. Right now, we’re focused on December. But we have hopes to get into districts. We hope to get into the playoffs somewhere.

“In a lot of our meetings early on, we’ve been talking about COVID-19,” continued George. “But ultimately, I hope we’re going to stop talking about it. It’s the elephant in the room. It’s always going to be there. I tell our guys, ‘Feel lucky you’re getting a chance to play. When you’re in a gym, just focus on playing basketball, compete and try to get better.'”

2020 Northern Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Schedule

Date/Time OpponentLocationResultStatusLeague 

Sat Dec 12
1:00 PM
Pine Grove Area High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
N
Tue Dec 15
7:30 PM
Williams Valley Junior/Senior High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
N
Wed Dec 23
7:30 PM
Hamburg Area High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
N
Mon Dec 28
5:30 PM
TBANorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
T
Mon Dec 28
7:30 PM
TBANorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
T
Tue Dec 29
5:30 PM
TBANorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
T
Tue Dec 29
7:30 PM
TBANorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
T
Sat Jan 2
1:30 PM
Conrad Weiser High SchoolCONRAD WEISER HIGH SCHOOL
Gymnasium
L
Fri Jan 8
7:30 PM
Donegal Senior High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
L
Wed Jan 13
7:30 PM
Lancaster Catholic High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
L
Tue Jan 19
7:30 PM
Eastern Lebanon CountyEastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Gym
L
Fri Jan 22
7:30 PM
Octorara Area High SchoolOctorara Area High School
Octorara High School Gym
L
Sat Jan 23
6:00 PM
Annville-Cleona High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
N
Mon Jan 25
7:30 PM
Lancaster Catholic High SchoolLancaster Catholic High School
Berger Gym
L
Sat Jan 30
7:00 PM
Susquehannock High SchoolSusquehannock High School
Main Gym
N
Tue Feb 2
7:30 PM
Eastern Lebanon CountyNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
L
Wed Feb 3
7:30 PM
Schuylkill Valley High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
N
Thu Feb 4
7:30 PM
Octorara Area High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
L
Mon Feb 8
7:30 PM
Donegal Senior High SchoolDonegal Senior High School
Gym
L
Wed Feb 10
7:30 PM
Manheim Central School DistrictManheim Central High School
Main Gym
L
Fri Feb 12
7:30 PM
Lampeter-Strasburg High SchoolLampeter-Strasburg High School
HS Competition Gym
L
Tue Feb 16
7:30 PM
Cocalico Senior High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
L
Thu Feb 18
7:30 PM
Garden Spot High SchoolGarden Spot High School
New High School Gym
L
Sat Feb 20
7:30 PM
Solanco High SchoolNorthern Lebanon MS/HS
Gym (HS)
L

Leave a Reply

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


× 1 = eight