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 BY JEFF FALK

 PALMYRA – Nothing has been decided. Nothing has slipped away. Everything is still fluid.

 But the Palmyra boys’ basketball team needs to make its move soon.

 On Tuesday night, the Cougars’ season became a little more urgent, in the face of their 59-51 home defeat at the hands of Cedar Cliff. Palmyra got off to an ice cold start, on its way to being outscored over each of the first three quarters.

   The result made the Cougars 5-8 overall and 3-6 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference. With nine regular-season contests remaining, Palmyra was situated 23rd in the latest District Three Class AAAAA power rankings.

 With the victory, Cedar Cliff improved to 4-10 on the season and 2-6 in the division. Back on December 11th, Palmyra had scored a 50-43 triumph at Cedar Cliff.

 “That’s certainly the goal,” said Palmyra head coach Pete Conrad of the postseason. “We had a couple in there (the middle of the season) we would’ve liked to have had. And we have some coming up we’d like to have. This was one we thought we could win. That’s (the playoffs) certainly still the goal.

 “Yeah, I would say that we’ve improved,” continued Conrad. “We’ve got guys who really work. We’ve got competitive guys. There are improvements. Any time you’re trying to rebuild you always hope it’s two steps up and one step back.”

 After falling into a deep hole early, the Cougars faced an uphill battle the entire way. Employing some full-court pressure defense, Palmyra mounted a spirit comeback in the middle of the fourth period.

 Down a dozen points, the Cougars rattled off six straight, courtesy of a Kasey Shughart three-pointer and free throws from Braeden Drescher and Christopher Edwards, to pull within 48-42, with three minutes left. But Palmyra missed some key foul shots down the stretch, and the Colts righted their ship.

 “We got reasonable pressure on the basketball,” said Conrad of his club’s fourth-quarter spurt. “It was probably a more adequate defensive effort than offensive effort. But I thought our guys did a great job of getting Cedar Cliff in foul trouble.

 “It’s always a double-edged sword,” added Conrad. “If you’re going to pressure the basketball, you’re going to give up some easy stuff.”

 The Colts’ largest lead of the evening came at 42-24, with 1:58 left in the third quarter. But Palmyra tallied the final five points of the period, on a Shughart driving lay-in, a Josh Mark bucket and a foul shot from Anthony Alviani.

  “We beat them down there,” said Conrad. “We thought this was a win-able game. I don’t think we were over confident.”

 Shughart’s 17 points led all Palmyra scorers. The Cougars made 24 of their 37 foul shots and outscored Cedar Cliff by nine points at the charity stripe, but the Colts outscored Palmyra 18-9 from three-point land.

 Palmyra did not score directly off an offensive rebound, and the Cougars experienced difficulties generating much offense in transition.

  “Our offense would be a lot better if we could get stick-backs and points in transition,” said Conrad. “If we could get points behind our offense.”

  Certainly the outset played a key role in the outcome.

  Feasting off Cougar turnovers, Cedar Cliff opened the game on an overwhelming 18-3 run, one that carried over into the initial moments of the second quarter. Palmyra stemmed the tide with Shughart free throws and a drive by Nick Morder, but the damage had been done.

 “I thought we were passive at the beginning,” said Conrad. “We needed to be aggressive. But we did not quit.”

  With 2:04 left in the first half, Palmyra pulled to within 22-14 of the Colts on a driving lay-in from Jake Wagner. But Cedar Cliff led 27-17 at the break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2018-19 Palmyra Boys’ Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent Result
12/912:30a
Location: Donegal High School
(W) 61 – 28
12/117:30p
Location: Cedar Cliff High School
(W) 50 – 43
12/147:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
(L) 62 – 44
12/1812:30a
Location: Red Land High School
(W) 50 – 41
12/21TBA (L) 58 – 39
12/22TBA (L) 63 – 46
12/2212:30a
Location: Palmyra High School
(L) 58 – 39
1/512:30a
Location: Lower Dauphin High School
(L) 51 – 45
1/510:30p (L) 42 – 36
1/8TBA (L) 55 – 37
1/125:00p (W) 69 – 54
1/157:30p
Location: Palmyra High School
 
1/187:30p
Location: Bishop McDevitt High School
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 William Penn 12- 1- 0  0.788382  0.942373  0.600172  13.9  174.5  0.9  116.3
2 Lampeter Strasburg 12- 1- 0  0.762959  0.947368  0.537569  13.5  155.3  0.8  133.6
3 Northern York 12- 1- 0  0.755404  0.939502  0.530395  13.2  144.4  0.9  127.9
4 Lower Dauphin 10- 2- 0  0.742372  0.878788  0.575642  11.6  159.1  1.6  117.3
5 West York Area 11- 2- 0  0.725853  0.880702  0.536594  12.6  159.1  1.7  137.4
6 New Oxford 11- 3- 0  0.722017  0.843333  0.573740  12.7  172.0  2.4  127.8
7 Muhlenberg 10- 4- 0  0.717343  0.793103  0.624747  11.5  185.1  3.0  111.2
8 Northeastern 11- 4- 0  0.698038  0.795666  0.578716  12.9  164.5  3.3  119.8
9 Shippensburg 7- 4- 0  0.644578  0.699531  0.577414  7.5  160.6  3.2  117.5
10 Elizabethtown Area 8- 7- 0  0.618347  0.637288  0.595197  9.4  171.0  5.4  116.3
11 Gettysburg Area 8- 7- 0  0.607886  0.599327  0.618348  8.9  183.0  6.0  113.0
12 Milton Hershey 5- 3- 0  0.601986  0.639241  0.556453  5.1  137.8  2.9  109.8
13 Dover 8- 7- 0  0.595092  0.581940  0.611167  8.7  181.7  6.3  115.6
14 Cocalico 8- 5- 0  0.591827  0.666667  0.500357  8.9  140.0  4.5  139.8
15 Big Spring 8- 5- 0  0.591469  0.663968  0.502860  8.2  118.7  4.2  117.4
16 Garden Spot 7- 6- 0  0.583571  0.600000  0.563491  8.0  165.3  5.3  128.1
17 Hershey 6- 6- 0  0.562396  0.572650  0.549863  6.7  150.8  5.0  123.5
18 Daniel Boone 6- 8- 0  0.546841  0.496000  0.608981  6.2  176.3  6.3  113.2
19 Mechanicsburg Area Senior 5- 8- 0  0.536163  0.461847  0.626993  5.8  173.1  6.7  103.0
20 Manheim Central 6- 8- 0  0.529209  0.500000  0.564908  6.8  162.8  6.8  125.4
21 York Suburban 6- 7- 0  0.514254  0.498024  0.534091  6.3  150.4  6.4  131.2
22 Conrad Weiser 6- 8- 0  0.507383  0.496296  0.520934  6.7  146.2  6.8  134.5
23 Palmyra Area 5- 7- 0  0.506581  0.482609  0.535880  5.6  138.9  6.0  120.3
24 Greencastle Antrim 4- 9- 0  0.447543  0.346320  0.571260  4.0  145.5  7.6  109.2
25 Cedar Cliff 3- 10- 0  0.429291  0.293617  0.595115  3.5  166.9  8.3  113.6
26 Solanco 3- 11- 0  0.413534  0.269531  0.589537  3.5  171.9  9.4  119.7
27 South Western 2- 13- 0  0.361266  0.150198  0.619237  1.9  178.7  10.8  109.9
28 Spring Grove Area 1- 12- 0  0.358381  0.103139  0.670344  1.2  203.6  10.0  100.1
29 Twin Valley 3- 11- 0  0.340475  0.236000  0.468166  3.0  129.1  9.6  146.6
30 Red Land 1- 12- 0  0.333659  0.101322  0.617626  1.2  175.9  10.2  108.9
31 Ephrata Area 1- 12- 0  0.326658  0.107981  0.593930  1.2  170.3  9.5  116.4
32 Donegal 0- 14- 0  0.268912  0.000000  0.597582  0.0  175.5  12.2  118.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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