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BY ETHAN SWIECH

Photos from Jeff Falk

SOUTH LEBANON – Style points don’t matter when a title is on the line, having more points than the other team does. Cedar Crest’s overall performance against McCaskey on Friday night at home wasn’t pretty, but the Falcons locked up the Lancaster-Lebanon Section One championship with a hard-fought 53-52 win over the Red Tornado.

Cedar Crest’s journey came full circle too. The Falcons opened their season in December’s Lebanon High Tip-Off Tournament, where they routed Red Land before edging Elco for the championship.

It ended with all the Crest players and coaches cutting down the nets on their home court.

“We haven’t won a section championship in a long time and we’ve been so close, so close,” said Cedar Crest head coach, Tom Smith.

It was Senior Night at the Falcon Cage and ironically, it was Cedar Crest’s senior trio of Ileri Ayo-Faleye, Grant Allwein and Jason Eberhart that orchestrated the offense. This threesome combined for 12 field goals and each finished with 11 points, accounting for 63 percent of the Falcons’ scoring output.

Ayo-Faleye went five of eight from the free throw line while slamming home a pair of dunks. Ayo-Faleye’s first slam came early in the opening quarter, setting the tone and getting the crowd on its feet.

Eberhart penned five field goals and capped the third quarter with consecutive layups, including a buzzer-beater that stretched the Crest lead to six. Meanwhile, Allwein had four makes of his own, including a three.

Despite these heroics, the Red Tornado kept closing the gap, thanks to the play of junior forward, Samir Gordon, and senior guard, Elijah Terry. This duo combined for 30 points during McCaskey’s January 14th win over the Falcons and both were determined to lead the Tornado to a sweep.

Gordon tallied nine of his game-high 14 points in the first half, preventing Cedar Crest from turning the contest into a runaway. Terry, on the other hand, had a hot second half, where he registered eight of his 10 points.

Fortunately, Falcons’ senior forward, Cole Miller, came alive in the fourth quarter. Miller inked eight points and five of those came during the final period.

When the Falcons struggled to put the game away down the stretch, Miller answered on a game-sealing free throw with 4.4 seconds remaining. McCaskey answered with a three at the horn, but the outcome was already decided and the fans stormed the court in triumph.

“We let them slip through our fingertips, so finishing the season off with winning the section championship, putting ourselves in a good place going into the playoffs, it means the world to these seniors,” Smith said. “They busted their tails and they deserve this light, I’m so proud of them.”

The feeling was glorious, but extra special at the same time since Cedar Crest won its first section title since 2015. The Falcons have now won five in-a-row to improve their record to 19-2 for the season. Crest soars into the playoffs with a ton of confidence, but they look to win number 20 in Tuesday’s regular-season finale at Manheim Township.

McCaskey had won 10 of its last 11 prior to last night’s loss to the Falcons. With three regular season games remaining, the Red Tornado, now 13-6, looks to win them all going into the playoffs. This stretch includes two non-league contests with Exeter and CD East as well as the final league encounter, which takes place this Tuesday night against Hempfield.

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

2019-20 Cedar Crest Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
6:00 pm
Red Land
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
29
70

Nonleague
12/07
7:30 pm
Elco
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
55
59

Nonleague
12/09
7:30 pm
Wyomissing
at Cedar Crest
47
59

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elizabethtown
45
41

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
55
57

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Ephrata
57
26

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
50
55

League
12/21
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Palmyra
60
40

Nonleague
12/27
7:30 pm
Oxford
at Cedar Crest
38
51

Nonleague
12/28
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
49
59

Nonleague
1/02
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Conestoga Valley
52
46

League
1/04
4:30 pm
Cedar Crest
Lower Dauphin
at Lebanon Valley College
46
58

Nonleague
1/08
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
47
61

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
70
40

League
1/11
3:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Bishop McDevitt
at Manheim Central
58
55

Nonleague
1/14
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
48
62

League
1/17
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
49
58

League
1/22
7:30 pm
Carlisle
at Cedar Crest
43
56

Nonleague
1/24
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
56
51

League
1/28
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
52
65

League
1/31
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
52
53

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township

League

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section One Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Cedar Crest1110.9171920.9051196985
McCaskey930.7501360.68412941109
Manheim Township660.5001180.5791074978
Hempfield480.3335150.2508971027
Penn Manor3100.2318120.4009711111

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Wilson19-1-0 0.841476 0.967949 0.686898 22.7 299.4 0.8 136.5
2Cedar Crest18-2-0 0.769432 0.930736 0.572282 21.5 239.5 1.6 179.0
3Central York17-3-0 0.769320 0.892070 0.619292 20.3 259.7 2.5 159.7
4Cumberland Valley17-3-0 0.759426 0.902597 0.584438 20.9 238.1 2.3 169.3
5Reading13-5-0 0.751770 0.803665 0.688344 15.4 265.2 3.8 120.1
6Central Dauphin14-5-0 0.735231 0.818402 0.633579 16.9 262.7 3.8 151.9
7J P McCaskey13-5-0 0.734367 0.803483 0.649892 16.2 271.9 4.0 146.5
8Warwick15-4-0 0.725110 0.846154 0.577167 18.2 236.4 3.3 173.2
9Governor Mifflin13-7-0 0.714175 0.741706 0.680525 15.7 297.9 5.5 139.9
10Harrisburg12-6-0 0.703359 0.764398 0.628755 14.6 254.3 4.5 150.2
11Central Dauphin East11-6-0 0.689117 0.737265 0.630268 13.8 259.5 4.9 152.2
12Chambersburg Area13-6-0 0.685641 0.772397 0.579606 16.0 233.9 4.7 169.7
13Manheim Township11-8-0 0.664659 0.684755 0.640097 13.3 264.2 6.1 148.6
14Dallastown12-8-0 0.654282 0.687500 0.613681 14.3 264.7 6.5 166.6
15Exeter Township10-9-0 0.628293 0.619178 0.639433 11.3 272.8 7.0 153.8
16Lebanon11-10-0 0.602824 0.621749 0.579693 13.2 247.5 8.0 179.5
17Waynesboro Area10-9-0 0.575811 0.588859 0.559862 11.1 235.5 7.8 185.1
18Penn Manor8-12-0 0.552557 0.508108 0.606884 9.4 259.2 9.1 167.9
19Red Lion8-11-0 0.546778 0.498615 0.605644 9.0 251.1 9.1 163.5
20Carlisle6-14-0 0.526733 0.413408 0.665242 7.4 280.1 10.5 141.0
21HEMPFIELD5-15-0 0.491347 0.340000 0.676327 6.0 297.6 11.6 142.4
22Conestoga Valley5-14-0 0.464048 0.333333 0.623811 5.6 272.2 11.1 164.2
23York County School Of Technology4-14-0 0.312617 0.208791 0.439515 3.8 168.4 14.4 214.8

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