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IMG_0657BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – Much has been written about the Cedar Crest-Lebanon rivalry over the years. So much so that there’s not a lot left to be said.

But it is more than just a game.

It’s a celebration of basketball.

It’s a celebration of scholastic athletics.

IMG_0689It’s a celebration of community.

It’s a celebration of life.

On Friday night at Lebanon High’s sold-out gymnasium, the premiere rivalry in Lebanon County certainly brought out the best in Evan Horn and his Falcons, as they pulled away from the hometown Cedars for a coveted 44-32 victory. Horn authored another chapter in ‘The Rivalry’, and his legacy, by asserting himself in the third and fourth quarters, when he scored 18 of his game-high 24 points, and 72 percent of Cedar Crest’s second-half output.

It was Horn’s fifth straight win over Lebanon High, in his stellar hardwood career. Overall, the Falcons have not lost to the Cedars since 2010.

It also lifted Cedar Crest to 14-2 overall, and kept the Falcons in first place in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, with a 10-1 mark. Cedar Crest was rated fourth in the most recent District Three Class AAAA power rankings.

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Despite the loss, Lebanon, now 11-5 overall and 8-3 in the league, remained in first place in Section Two of the L-L. In those same Class AAAA power rankings, the Cedars were situated 11th.

“It’s awesome,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tommy Smith of the rivalry with Lebanon. “Any time you beat Lebanon in a rivalry game it’s great. There’s nothing like coming over to this gym and getting a win. (Lebanon head coach, Speraw) Tim does a great job. Their guys were ready.

“That was an Evan Horn night,” continued Smith. “I thought he pressed a little early. We were short-handed. But he settled in. We told him to let the game come to him, and he did.”

IMG_0698“It’s huge,” said Speraw of ‘The Rivalry’. “It’s 5:30 (p.m.) and there’s like ten seats left in the gym. I don’t know if Lancaster has a game like this. We have it every year.

“The schools are so close,” added Speraw. “They’re like a mile apart. These kids grew up knowing each other. You see guys who went to Cedar Crest wearing Lebanon clothing, and guys who went to Lebanon wearing Cedar Crest clothing. There’s a whole lot of blood. It’s something special. It’s a great stage.”

Employing his aggressive style of play, Horn literally took over the game in the third quarter, at a time when the outcome was still being decided. Going to the rim, and going to the rim hard, Horn tallied all ten of the Falcons’ third-quarter points, as they extended a four-point halftime margin to 29-20.

IMG_0667The highlight was a hard ‘take’ with his left-hand midway through the stanza, one he followed up with a drop-step spin to the rim.

“He made some steals and got some lay-ups,” said Smith of Horn. “He does everything we ever asked him to do. He’s a coach on the floor. He knows what to do.

“We’re getting better everyday,” Smith added. “Our young kids are growing up. They understand assignments. They understand game plans. I think this will go a long way for us down the stretch.”

IMG_0692“Evan played well. He played really well,” said Speraw. “This is his team now. There were times when he put them on his back and carried them. But we expected that.”

The Cedars opened the final quarter with two free throws from Matty Lopez and a bucket by Alan Escoto, to get to within 29-24 of the Falcons. But two minutes later, Horn tallied two buckets in a matter of nine seconds, on another spin move, a steal and a lay-up, to bump the Cedar Crest lead to 36-26.

For an ensuing three-plus minutes of crunch time, Lebanon managed just two Felix Kortright charity tosses against the Falcons’ physical man-to-man defense, as the Cedar Crest lead grew to 44-30.

“I think we had eight straight possessions where we got a foul called on us defensively,” said Smith. “That’s our style. But the kids pulled through. That’s what gets us through when we’re struggling with our offense.”

IMG_0788“Honestly, I don’t know why we struggled offensively,” said Speraw. “I thought we got a lot of good shots, at times. I thought there was a heck of a lot of contact at times. We were just bad offensively. I have to watch the film and figure it out. They (the Falcons) pressured us a decent amount. When their hands are on us, it’s tough to get around them.

“Evan is probably the best defender in the league,” Speraw added, “if not the best defender.”

IMG_0722In addition to Horn’s ten field goals and four free throws, Cedar Crest got a trio of three-point bombs and 12 points from Iziah Trimble. The Falcons, who were without the services of ineligible big man Raymie Ferriera, limited Lebanon to a total of just 11 field goals.

No Cedars scored more than Dante Vargas’ nine points. Lebanon was without  shooting guard Camryn Shaak, who’s been lost for the season to a right leg injury.

“We had to talk through some things offensively,” said Smith. “Big players make big plays, and he (Trimble) did it again for us. Teams are so focused on Evan, and they lose track of other guys. But now that we’re in the second half of the season, guys are playing like seniors.

IMG_0738“We’ve been working our tails off in practice,” Smith added. “But the thing that got it going for us tonight was our play in transition.”

“I thought we matched up well with them,” said Speraw. “Everyone knows you’ve got to stop Evan. But Trimble knocked down two huge ‘threes’. Give them credit. They played well, and we didn’t.”

Cedar Crest grabbed an early 7-4 margin thanks to a modest 5-0 run fueled by a Horn basket, a Tate Seyfert foul shot and a Trimble drive. But Lebanon answered with an 11-2 run, one which included five points from Vargas, a lay-up from Logan Blauch, a lay-in from Escoto and a hoop from Shaquell Ortiz, to assume a 15-9 advantage.

IMG_0712“We work on that a lot. We preach patience at times,” said Speraw. “Because we fast break, we feel we’ve got to go fast all the time, and that’s not the case. When you miss shots from in close, it’s tough to get a win.”

Trimble’s huge, back-to-back treys came within 27 seconds of one another, late in the first half and gave Cedar Crest a 19-15 lead at the break. It also culminated a 10-0 Falcon spurt, one that started with a Blake Thomson post move and a Horn lay-up.

“When we started getting turnovers and getting into transition,” said Smith, “I think it took the anxiety out of everyone.

IMG_0676“We’re one game at a time,” Smith continued. “Next week we go back to Section One play, and we have McCaskey on Tuesday and Hempfield on Friday. We’re certainly not looking past anyone. But the nice thing is we control our own destiny.”

“What I take from this week is just that our schedule stinks,” said Speraw of a Hempfield-McCaskey-Cedar Crest week. “We’ll take some good out of it. We’ll figure it out. These kids care. They want to get better. Defensively, I thought we did a great job. If you would’ve told me before the game they’d score 44 points and we wouldn’t win, I’d be surprised. At the end of the day, it’s just one loss.”

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

 

 

 

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IMG_0776Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Cedar Crest 10-1 14-2
McCaskey 9-2 11-4
Hempfield 8-3 11-5
Manheim Twp. 6-5 8-8
Penn Manor 3-8 6-9
Warwick

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IMG_0762Section Two Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Lebanon 8-3 11-5
Conestoga Valley 7-4 12-5
Garden Spot 5-6 8-7
Solanco 4-7 8-9
Elizabethtown 2-9 4-12
Ephrata 2-9 3-12

 

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IMG_06912015-16 Cedar Crest Boys’ Basketball Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/05
@CD East
4:30 PM W 74-68
12/11 *
Solanco
7:30 PM W 58-38
12/14 *
@Ephrata
7:30 PM W 55-49
12/16 *
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 52-46
12/18 *
@McCaskey
7:30 PM L 55-84
12/19
Central York
7:30 PM L 69-75
12/21 *
Hempfield
7:30 PM W 58-53
12/23 *
Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM W 59-49
12/28 #
Conrad Weiser
7:30 PM W 70-44
12/29 #
Camp Hill
7:30 PM W 58-46
01/02
Central Dauphin
7:30 PM W 55-49
01/05 *
@Warwick
7:30 PM W 72-43
01/08 *
Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 66-53
01/11 *
@Garden Spot
7:30 PM W 50-34
01/13 *
Elizabethtown
7:30 PM W 66-46
01/15 *
@Lebanon
7:30 PM W 44-32
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/19 *
McCaskey
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
01/22 *
@Hempfield
7:30 PM Hempfield High School
01/25 *
@Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM Manheim Twp. High School
01/28 *
Warwick
7:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
01/30
@Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Lower Dauphin High School
02/02 *
@Penn Manor
7:30 PM Penn Manor High School

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IMG_07102015-16 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Schedule 

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/04 #
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM W 69-56
12/05 #
Elco
7:30 PM L 60-61
12/11 *
@Manheim Twp.
7:30 PM W 45-32
12/14 *
Penn Manor
7:30 PM W 74-56
12/16 *
@Warwick
7:30 PM W 75-46
12/18 *
@Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 60-45
12/21 *
Ephrata
7:30 PM W 68-51
12/23 *
@Solanco
7:30 PM W 63-45
12/29 #
@Boiling Springs
3:30 PM W 53-28
12/30 #
@Mechanicsburg
7:00 PM W 45-37
01/02
@Governor Mifflin
1:00 PM L 40-50
01/05 *
@Elizabethtown
7:30 PM L 61-64
01/08 *
Garden Spot
7:30 PM W 64-57
01/11 *
Hempfield
7:30 PM W 62-56
01/13 *
@McCaskey
7:30 PM L 71-82
01/15 *
Cedar Crest
7:30 PM L 32-44
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/19 *
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM Lebanon High School
01/22 *
@Ephrata
7:30 PM Ephrata High School
01/25 *
Solanco
7:30 PM Lebanon High School
01/28 *
Elizabethtown
7:30 PM Lebanon High School
02/02 *
@Garden Spot
7:30 PM Garden Spot High School
02/04
@Hershey
7:30 PM Hershey High School

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IMG_0734PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating
1 Harrisburg 9- 1- 0  0.828348
2 Central York 13- 2- 0  0.819725
3 Carlisle 10- 2- 0  0.803835
4 Cedar Crest 13- 2- 0  0.792105
5 Spring Grove 10- 1- 0  0.791823
6 Northeastern 12- 1- 0  0.789016
7 J P McCaskey 11- 3- 0  0.785046
8 Central Dauphin East 9- 5- 0  0.748681
9 Hempfield 10- 5- 0  0.747938
10 Reading 12- 3- 0  0.747637
11 Lebanon 11- 4- 0  0.727943
12 Wilson 9- 4- 0  0.712036
13 Conestoga Valley 11- 5- 0  0.704198
14 William Penn 8- 6- 0  0.702345
15 Cedar Cliff 9- 4- 0  0.689469
16 Cumberland Valley 6- 9- 0  0.688999
17 Greencastle Antrim 8- 4- 0  0.684970
18 Governor Mifflin 8- 6- 0  0.659756
19 Garden Spot 8- 6- 0  0.657038
20 Dallastown 7- 6- 0  0.656889
21 Chambersburg 6- 7- 0  0.648945
22 Manheim Township 7- 8- 0  0.634868
23 Red Lion 6- 8- 0  0.626955
24 Mechanicsburg 7- 6- 0  0.618715
25 Red Land 7- 7- 0  0.614445
26 Shippensburg 8- 6- 0  0.610845
27 Penn Manor 6- 8- 0  0.606111
28 Solanco 7- 9- 0  0.594275
29 Northern York 6- 7- 0  0.585014
30 Hershey 5- 8- 0  0.553706
31 New Oxford 6- 10- 0  0.553653
32 Warwick 4- 12- 0  0.541076
33 Exeter Township 6- 9- 0  0.539613
34 Central Dauphin 3- 11- 0  0.505883
35 Elizabethtown 4- 11- 0  0.501930
36 Lower Dauphin 3- 12- 0  0.460768
37 Muhlenberg 3- 11- 0  0.453404
38 Ephrata 2- 12- 0  0.425925
39 Waynesboro 2- 11- 0  0.396047
40 South Western 1- 11- 0  0.367598
41 York County School Of Technology 3- 10- 0  0.361466
42 Daniel Boone 0- 13- 0  0.285852

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