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DENVER – It is not enough to simply improve. The improvement must be significant, it must be tangible.

Nearly five weeks in, and the Palmyra boys’ basketball team’s improvement has been measurable. But that improvement has yet to translate into victories.

On Friday night at Cocalico High School, the Cougars took another step forward, but again it wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard, as they found themselves on the wrong side of a 41-31 non-league setback to the hometown Eagles. Playing hard, smart and disciplined, the Cougars were very competitive with Cocalico, but they couldn’t come up with enough plays when the result was on the line.

The loss was rebuilding Palmyra’s fifth straight and it dropped it to 1-7 on the year. Cocalico evened its overall mark to 4-4.

IMG_9096“I am pleased,” said Palmyra head coach Pete Conrad. “We have guys who won’t back down from a challenge. The outside judges you on your outcomes. I have no doubt they’ll continue to work. We certainly have improved. But we haven’t realized it in the outcomes. We can’t be defined by that, but it is important. I have a lot of confidence in this group’s ability to improve.

“That’s every team,” continued Conrad. “Cocalico is 4-4 and they’re talking about getting better tomorrow. Listen, whatever the outcomes are, we as coaches are always looking to get better. Our guys should be proud of the jump we’re making. We’re not talking about process any less than we were last year.”

Two minutes into the second half, Palmyra knotted the score at 23 on a three-pointer from Jake Bender. But the Cougars managed just a Jake Wagner drive the rest of the third quarter and faced a 31-25 deficit heading into the fourth.

“We had some opportunities, obviously,” said Conrad. “One thing we’ve gotten better with is our discipline. For the most part, we were disciplined with the basketball. That’s the way for our team to play. This team is tough with the basketball.

IMG_9160“We’ve been playing in the tempo we need to play in,” Conrad continued. “There’s some sacrifices involved with that. Everybody has to make some sacrifices. We’ve been limiting the other team’s possessions and making sure we’re getting the right shots.”

With Nick Morder draining a trifecta and Jake Wagner canning a free throw, the Cougars pieced together a 6-2 run and pulled to within 33-31 on a driving lay-in by Kasey Shughart with 2:54 remaining. But it would be the last point Palmyra would score, as the Eagles went four-for-eight at the charity stripe down the stretch.

“I think this group has been really resilient,” said Conrad. “They can see how much they’ve improved. They were looking for another opportunity to compete. They were ready for a chance to validate what they’ve been doing.”

The Cougars did come up with a fair share of hustle plays, but generally experienced difficulties scoring close to the basket. Half of Palmyra’s 12 field goals were three-pointers and the Cougars attempted just two free throws the entire night.

No Palmyra scorer reached double-digits, but Jelliff did lead it in scoring with nine points.

‘We certainly limited tempo,” said Conrad. “But they (the Eagles) were at 50 percent shooting at halftime. They didn’t score a lot of points because they didn’t have a lot of possessions. It’s all tied together.”

IMG_9202Cocalico tallied six of the contest’s first eight points. But Palmyra responded with a 13-2 burst that gave it 15-8 margin early in the second quarter.

The run lasted nearly seven minutes and featured six points by Jelliff, a three-point field goal by Bender and buckets from Wagner and Morder.

“I think our guys are doing a great job of continuing to improve,” said Conrad. “We really had some chances. We’ve just go to keep trying. We’ve been really close against some good teams. We’ve got to keep persevering.”

The Eagles’ matched the Cougars’ 13-2 run with one of their own in the second period, and opened a 21-17 lead 46 seconds before the break.














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2017-18 Palmyra Boys’ Basketball Schedule

@Northern Lebanon
6:00 PM
7:00 PM
12/12 *
7:30 PM W 40-38
12/15 *
@Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM L 19-64 Box Score
Milton Hershey
7:00 PM L 50-82 Box Score
12/18 *
Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM L 50-59 Box Score
12/20 *
Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM L 56-64 Box Score
7:30 PM Cocalico High School
2:00 PM Elco High School
01/02 *
Red Land
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/05 *
7:30 PM Hershey High School
6:00 PM Lebanon High School
01/09 *
Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/12 *
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/16 *
Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/19 *
@Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM Cedar Cliff High School
@West York
3:45 PM West York High School
01/23 *
@Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM Bishop McDevitt High School
01/26 *
@Red Land
7:30 PM Red Land High School
01/30 *
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
02/02 *
@Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Lower Dauphin High School















































































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