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IMG_0457BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – It’s blended youthful talent with veteran leadership.

It’s become more than just competitive.

It’s learned to win consistently.

IMG_0358Actually, there’s only one more logical, next step for the Elco girls’ basketball team to take.

On Wednesday evening on the road, the Raiders’ push towards the postseason picked up steam with a gritty 40-37 Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three-Four crossover triumph over Annville-Cleona. While neither side led by more than seven points all night, Elco found a way to win it at the end with its defense.

After the Raiders misfired on a one-and-one free throw opportunity that would’ve made it a two-possession game, the Little Dutchmen parlayed an Elco turnover into two decent, last-ditch, three-point field goal attempts that could’ve extended the game. But both, which came with less than 12 seconds remaining, were off the mark.

IMG_0354“It’s not something we talk about everyday,” said Elco head coach Ashli Shay of a potential playoff appearance. “But it’s something that we put in the back of their (her players’) minds. The end result is we want to be in the postseason. We need to take it one game at a time. I haven’t given them a number (of wins) or anything like that, but we have mentioned where we’re at in the District Three rankings. We’re sitting at a pretty good spot, and we’ve worked hard to get there.

“It would be a goal,” continued Shay. “It’s been a year since we’ve been to districts. It would certainly be a great experience, for a young team to get a taste of it. For that youth, they would want more. If we could get there, that could be big for our program.”

IMG_0399“It’s one game at a time,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Roger Hayes of his club’s postseason possibilities. “But there’s winnable games in our future. If we take care of those games, the district stuff will take care of itself.

“It’s extremely important to us,” Hayes continued. “It’s one of our preseason goals. It’s something we strive for. It was a unanimous goal for us.”

The win was Elco’s fourth straight and lifted it to 9-5 on the campaign and 6-4 in Section Three of the L-L. The Raiders were rated 14th in the latest District Three Class AAA power rankings, and the top 18 qualify for the postseason tournament.

Annville-Cleona’s sixth loss in its last seven outings dropped it to 3-11 on the season and 2-8 in Section Four. The Little Dutchmen were rated 13th in the latest District Three Class AA power rankings, and the top ten qualify for that particular playoff dance.

IMG_0382“The ball wasn’t supposed to go there, and it went out of bounds,” said Shay of the Raider turnover with four seconds left that gave A-C one more shot. “We had some fouls to give. I’m definitely disappointed they (the Little Dutchmen) got it off. I’m just happy to get a win on the road. A win’s a win. This is a hard place for us to play.

“At this point, every game is a big game,” added Shay. “The word we’ve been using is ‘focus’. We still have a large portion of our schedule to go. You’re winding down here. Every single possession has got to be important.”

“We had good looks,” said Hayes. “I thought that last play we executed well. It (the shot) rimmed in and out.

“I thought the game unfolded exactly the way we thought it would,” Hayes added. “It was definitely tight to the end. It was just unfortunate the shots didn’t drop. They (the Raiders) executed one more shot than us.”

IMG_0425The Raiders led most of the way, but just couldn’t shake the Little Dutchmen.

When Elco senior Chandelle Keller converted an inside move 1:15 into the final quarter, the Raiders had the biggest advantage of the evening, 33-26. But midway through the fourth, Annville-Cleona pieced together five unanswered points, on a Meredith Bachman hoop, a Chloe Inman foul shot and a Michaela Singer lay-in, to pull within 38-37 with 2:34 to go.

Actually, the last basket of the game was a lay-up from Raider Jordan Rosengrant, with 1:57 remaining.

“You saw us miss a lot of shots we’ve been making,” said Shay. “But I thought we had a lot of nice ‘takes’ to the basket. The bottom line is we didn’t finish. I thought they (the Little Dutchmen) stepped up tonight, and knocked down some jump shots. I thought both teams battled really hard.”

IMG_0412“I’m very pleased,” said Hayes. “Our criterion is effort. There’s been half-a-dozen games like this one, where it’s been close. Something just happens that it doesn’t go our way. It’s a combination of things. It’s maybe a turnover at the wrong time. A missed boxing-out assignment. And we’re struggling shooting.”

A drive by Bachman in the middle of the third quarter moved Annville-Cleona to within 25-23 of the Raiders’ lead. But the Raiders tallied the next two baskets – thanks to an inside maneuver by Shuey and a lay-in by Julia Nelson – before carrying a 31-26 advantage to the last stanza, courtesy of another Shuey bucket.

“It was one of those games where we couldn’t get anything going,” said Shay. “But it’s not like we didn’t get open shots.

“I thought they (the Little Dutchmen) battled,” continued Shay. “I thought they played really tough. Every time we seemed to pull away, they hit a shot. They really did a good job of making shots in key moments.”

IMG_0292“I thought we did reasonably well defensively,” said Hayes. “I thought we played a little better defensively in the second half than the first. Overall, I was pleased with the effort.

“I see that they’re (the Raiders) well-coached,” Hayes continued. “They’ve got a nice combination of some older players with an infusion of younger players. Elco’s been having a good year.”

Shuey and Alexis Thomas led the Raiders’ balanced scoring attack. Bachman and Chloe Inman combined for 24 of Annville-Cleona’s total.

IMG_0313Elco’s four-of-14 foul shooting also allowed the Little Dutchmen to hang around until the end.

“We’ve had some really nice wins,” said Shay. “We just need to continue to get better. I think we’ve seen a lot of progress from Game One. We want to keep pushing ourselves. Road games are always tough, and hopefully we can continue putting the ball in the basket. And we need to take care of the ball. That’s the stuff we need to do on a consistent basis.”

After Elco had notched the first five points of the game on a Nelson trey and a Shuey jumper, the Little Dutchmen replied with an 11-2 spurt to assume an 11-7 margin. During the burst, Bachman notched six A-C points, C. Iman tallied four and Singer sank a free throw.

But Elco got a three-pointer from Taylor Bossert to close out the opening period, and a conventional three-point play from Thomas to open the second, to grab a two-point lead. The Raiders also scored the final four points of the second stanza – a stick-back from Keller and a put back by Thomas – and carried a 21-17 margin to the intermission.

IMG_0406“As I look back at last year, I couldn’t tell you we had half-a-dozen games that were close,” said Hayes. “This year we’ve had more games that were close and competitive. We’re in games. We’re getting there. When I look back, there were a lot of games that could’ve gone our way.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0330Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Northern Lebanon 9-1 14-1
Cocalico 8-2 12-2
Elco 6-4 9-5
Lampeter-Strasburg 6-4 8-7
Donegal 4-6 6-9
Manheim Central 3-7 4-10

 

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IMG_0432Section Four Standings 

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Lancaster Catholic 10-0 13-1
Lebanon Catholic 7-3 11-3
Pequea Valley 3-7 5-11
Columbia 2-8 5-11
Annville-Cleona 2-8 3-11
Lancaster Mennonite 0-10 0-14

 

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IMG_03682015-16 Elco Girls’ Basketball Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/09
@Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 50-34
12/11 *
@Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM W 45-42
12/14 *
Columbia
7:30 PM W 55-29
12/16 *
@Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM L 27-70
12/18 *
Cocalico
7:30 PM L 49-56
12/21 *
@Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM L 41-48
12/23 *
@Manheim Central
7:30 PM W 47-35
12/28 #
@Blue Mountain
3:00 PM L 37-57
12/29
@Donegal
3:00 PM W 59-33
01/05 *
Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM L 34-51
01/08 *
@Donegal
7:30 PM W 46-42
01/09
Middletown
6:00 PM W 64-54
01/11 *
Pequea Valley
7:30 PM W 66-43
01/13 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:30 PM W 40-37
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/15 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/19 *
@Cocalico
7:30 PM Cocalico High School
01/22 *
Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/23
@Conrad Weiser
2:30 PM Conrad Weiser High School
01/25 *
Manheim Central
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/28 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM Northern Lebanon High School
01/30
Hamburg
2:30 PM Elco High School
02/02 *
Donegal
7:30 PM Elco High School

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IMG_03712015-16 Annville-Cleona Girls’ Basketball Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/04 #
Tri-Valley
4:00 PM L 35-49
12/05
@Hamburg
6:00 PM W 43-35
12/11 *
Cocalico
7:30 PM L 31-52
12/14 *
@Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM L 50-58
12/16 *
Donegal
7:30 PM L 34-52
12/18 *
@Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM L 27-46
12/22 *
@Pequea Valley
1:00 PM W 47-43
12/23 *
@Columbia
7:30 PM L 38-47
12/28 #
Littlestown
6:00 PM L 13-31
12/29
Halifax
4:00 PM L 46-50
01/05 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM W 40-29
01/08 *
Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM L 23-61
01/11 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM L 24-53
01/13 *
Elco
7:30 PM L 37-40
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/15 *
@Manheim Central
7:30 PM Manheim Central High School
01/16
@Pine Grove
7:30 PM Pine Grove High School
01/19 *
Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM Annville-Cleona High School
01/22 *
@Pequea Valley
7:30 PM Pequea Valley High School
01/25 *
Columbia
7:30 PM Annville-Cleona High School
01/28 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Annville-Cleona High School
01/30
Oley Valley
1:00 PM Annville-Cleona High School
02/02 *
@Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM Lancaster Catholic High School

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IMG_0460District Three Class AAA

 Power Rankings

AAA School  W  L  T  Rating
1 Berks Catholic 10- 2- 0  0.812866
2 Northern Lebanon 14- 0- 0  0.771965
3 Boiling Springs 12- 1- 0  0.759278
4 Susquehannock 12- 2- 0  0.749996
5 Bishop McDevitt 10- 3- 0  0.746116
6 York Suburban 13- 2- 0  0.738467
7 Greencastle Antrim 11- 1- 0  0.730541
8 Lancaster Catholic 12- 1- 0  0.717074
9 Conrad Weiser 8- 4- 0  0.714296
10 Fleetwood 10- 2- 0  0.710506
11 West Perry 11- 4- 0  0.665928
12 West York 9- 5- 0  0.659761
13 Susquenita 11- 2- 0  0.655414
14 Eastern Lebanon County 8- 5- 0  0.622218
15 Milton Hershey 7- 3- 0  0.614674
16 Twin Valley 8- 6- 0  0.597706
17 Lampeter Strasburg 7- 7- 0  0.573719
18 Middletown 7- 8- 0  0.553789
19 James Buchanan 6- 7- 0  0.550951
20 Donegal 6- 8- 0  0.542520
21 Gettysburg 6- 8- 0  0.532760
22 Susquehanna Township 4- 9- 0  0.529935
23 Eastern York 5- 9- 0  0.527494
24 Littlestown 7- 7- 0  0.511428
25 East Pennsboro 4- 9- 0  0.470207
26 Northeastern 4- 9- 0  0.462025
27 Kennard Dale 4- 8- 0  0.461486
28 Big Spring 4- 10- 0  0.453231
29 Manheim Central 4- 9- 0  0.436071
30 Dover 3- 11- 0  0.424388
31 Schuylkill Valley 4- 9- 0  0.419982
32 Hamburg 3- 11- 0  0.410718
33 Bermudian Springs 5- 10- 0  0.408075
34 Northern York 3- 10- 0  0.386418
35 Pequea Valley 4- 11- 0  0.383703

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IMG_0384District Three Class AA

 Power Rankings

AA School  W  L  T  Rating
1 Camp Hill 10- 2- 0  0.676072
2 Delone Catholic 11- 2- 0  0.675488
3 Wyomissing 13- 2- 0  0.657298
4 York Catholic 11- 4- 0  0.618242
5 Linden Hall 9- 1- 0  0.611849
6 Oley Valley 7- 4- 0  0.579524
7 Steelton Highspire 6- 5- 0  0.572258
8 Trinity 3- 7- 0  0.499241
9 Columbia 5- 10- 0  0.430251
10 Brandywine Heights 5- 8- 0  0.428277
11 Upper Dauphin 6- 6- 0  0.399467
12 Hanover 4- 9- 0  0.393892
13 Annville Cleona 3- 10- 0  0.365656
14 Biglerville 3- 10- 0  0.339065
15 Kutztown 3- 8- 0  0.330623
16 Fairfield 1- 10- 0  0.250573
17 Tulpehocken 1- 11- 0  0.250553
18 Lancaster Mennonite 0- 13- 0  0.245707

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