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 BY JEFF FALK

 LITTLESTOWN – It is a concept that youth sometimes finds hard to grasp.

 Because we all are allotted only a certain amount of it, time and what we do with it becomes precious. How we spend our time reveals our character, our values and the depth of our upbringing.

 Now, having said that, the Elco boys’ best basketball may be ahead of them.

 On Wednesday night at Littlestown High School’s ‘Thunderdome’, the Raiders capped a successful 2018-19 campaign with a disappointing 68-34 setback at the hands of the hometown Thunderbolts, in the fifth-place game of the District Three Class AAAA postseason tournament. Elco missed out on an early opportunity to make some hay, gave ground and then was never able to get it back.

 With the outcome, the Raiders concluded their somewhat uneven season with a 14-12 mark. After finishing second in Section Four of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, sixth-seeded Elco dropped four of its final five outings.

 The result earned the now 24-3 and fourth-seeded Thunderbolts District Three’s final Class AAAA berth into the PIAA playoffs.

  “A state berth would’ve been nice,” said Elco head coach Brad Conners. “I think the kids had a nice season. We competed with the best the district had to offer. We had some really good games. We had a couple of really nice wins. We’ve been in some really tough games. And we got some experience.

 “I think that’s what it was (facing an elevated level of competition as the season wore on),” Conners continued. “We were consistent throughout. The competition definitely had something to do with it.”

 Elco had a chance to put Littlestown under some early duress. And when the Raiders fanned, they were not afforded a second one.

 The Raiders held the Thunderbolts without a point for the initial 5:16 of the contest. But during that time, all Elco could come up with was a 4-0 lead, thanks to buckets from Braden Bohannon and Bryce Coletti.

 Elco was still up 7-5, with 1:27 left in the opening quarter, thanks to a Asher Kemble jumper. But the Thunderbolts netted 11 unanswered points over the next 2:04 to take a 16-7 lead and firm control of the flow.

 “It was there,” said Conners. “With their (the Bolts’) senior-laden group, that had to weigh on you. I thought it was an opportunity for us. But we couldn’t extend it (the lead).

 “They played with more urgency than us,” continued Conners. “They wanted it more. I thought the home court was huge. We had to make this (90 minute) drive. You don’t always want to say you’re going to get it next year. When the opportunity is there, you’ve got to take it.”

 Now with momentum squarely with the home team, Littlestown hit the Raiders with a hay-maker at the end of the half.

 First, Evan Huey drilled a three-pointer to pull Elco to within 16-10 of the Bolts. But after that, Littlestown rattled off 13 straight, critical points to extend its lead to 29-10, mere seconds before the intermission.

 “We struggled throughout the season to score points, at times,” said Conners. “For whatever reason, we can’t get what we want. We’re in the playoffs now. Teams are going to take advantage of it.

 “The game plan early was to sag in the paint and not let them (the Bolts) get anything easy,” added Conners. “When you get down, you’ve got to come out, and if you don’t come up with it, bad things can happen. You’re chasing, and the next thing you know, you’re out of position and not able to rebound.”

 Bohannon’s 13 points led the Raiders and represented the only Elco scorer to reach double figures. The Bolts outscored the Raiders 21-12 from ‘distance’ and 15-4 at the foul stripe.

 “Bo is a kid who we ask an awful lot of,” said Conners. “All year long he’s playing guys who are 6-4, 6-5, and he always draws the other team’s best defender. He just competes. He’s our guy. We look to him.

 “We were really disappointed at halftime,” Conners added. “I felt like we weren’t executing. That was a little bit concerning. I thought we could’ve came out with more enthusiasm, more energy. We’re still looking for that vocal guy. They (his players) still look to me. Hopefully, that’s something that naturally occurs.”

 Littlestown began the second half with back-to-back three-pointers, as its lead expanded to 35-12. The closest Elco could get after that was with 5:06 remaining, when Bohannon nailed a three-pointer to draw the Raiders to within 50-34 of the Bolts.

 “There’s no doubt about it,” said Conners, when asked if the Raiders’ best basketball is ahead of them. “I think everybody knows what we have here. Let’s take some time off, but this is a big off-season for us. Now is the time to get better. If we do that, then the wins will take care of themselves.

 “It’s always emotional. I always have a hard time in the locker room after the last game,” concluded Conners. “We talked a little bit about the game. You get choked up. All of our juniors have been talking about it. They talk about districts and they want to go to states. Hopefully next year, we can look back and say that there was a lot of learning going on this year.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2018-19 Elco Boys’ Basketball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
12/07
6:00 pm
Cedar Crest
Elco
at Lebanon
67
36
 
12/08
6:00 pm
Red Land
Elco
at Lebanon
37
60
 
12/11
7:30 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
67
47
 
12/14
7:30 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
42
39
 
12/17
7:30 pm
Manheim Central
at Elco
31
62
 
12/19
7:30 pm
Elco
at Solanco
61
55
 
12/21
7:30 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Elco
51
31
 
12/28
7:30 pm
Elco
at Eastern York
65
70
 
12/29
6:00 pm
Elco
Spring Grove
at Eastern York Holiday Tournament
72
39
 
1/04
7:30 pm
Elco
at Octorara
50
54
 
1/05
1:30 pm
Oley Valley
at Elco
36
64
 
1/08
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Elco
42
52
 
1/09
7:30 pm
Elco
at Camp Hill
57
67
 
1/11
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
31
40
 
1/16
7:30 pm
Elco
at Wyomissing
38
54
 
1/18
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
40
42
 
1/22
7:30 pm
Octorara
at Elco
37
42
 
1/25
7:30 pm
Elco
at Donegal
66
50
 
2/01
7:30 pm
Elco
at Garden Spot
48
51
 
2/02
2:30 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
55
36
 
2/05
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
51
56
 
2/06
5:00 pm
Elco
at Conrad Weiser
41
54
 
2/08
6:00 pm
Elco
Elizabethtown
at Warwick
48
64
 
2/21
7:00 pm
Elco
at Berks Catholic
34
36
 
2/25
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
48
51
 
2/27
7:00 pm
Elco
at Littlestown
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Final Class AAAA Power Rankings
 
 
AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Eastern York 19- 3- 0  0.735926  0.891489  0.545793  21.0  256.9  2.6  213.8
2 Bishop McDevitt 19- 3- 0  0.726609  0.886266  0.531472  20.7  247.4  2.7  218.1
3 Berks Catholic School 17- 4- 0  0.710619  0.836066  0.557296  17.9  243.7  3.5  193.6
4 Littlestown 21- 1- 0  0.696752  0.965116  0.368751  20.8  167.8  0.8  287.3
5 Lancaster Catholic 14- 8- 0  0.624728  0.678733  0.558722  15.0  267.6  7.1  211.4
6 Eastern Lebanon County 13- 9- 0  0.575598  0.634529  0.503571  14.2  239.7  8.2  236.3
7 Octorara Area 13- 9- 0  0.567520  0.640969  0.477748  14.6  222.8  8.2  243.5
8 Susquehanna Township 11- 11- 0  0.566762  0.557870  0.577630  12.1  273.5  9.6  200.0
9 Schuylkill Valley 13- 9- 0  0.556119  0.590278  0.514370  12.8  234.5  8.9  221.4
10 Boiling Springs 9- 12- 0  0.540810  0.480916  0.614014  9.5  280.9  10.2  176.6
11 Wyomissing 11- 11- 0  0.518417  0.535047  0.498092  11.5  235.0  10.0  236.8
12 West Perry 12- 10- 0  0.517557  0.551111  0.476545  12.4  217.4  10.1  238.8
13 Fleetwood 11- 10- 0  0.506159  0.557178  0.443802  11.5  195.9  9.1  245.5
14 Susquehannock 6- 16- 0  0.445345  0.298507  0.624813  6.0  293.1  14.1  176.0
15 Kennard Dale 7- 15- 0  0.430445  0.348341  0.530794  7.4  250.8  13.8  221.7
16 James Buchanan 5- 17- 0  0.408107  0.257353  0.592362  5.3  266.8  15.2  183.6
17 East Pennsboro Area 6- 16- 0  0.407318  0.293578  0.546333  6.4  248.8  15.4  206.6
18 Northern Lebanon 6- 16- 0  0.404600  0.298578  0.534182  6.3  254.0  14.8  221.5
19 Bermudian Springs 6- 15- 0  0.372088  0.277635  0.487531  5.4  217.0  14.1  228.1
20 Middletown Area 2- 18- 0  0.358273  0.109375  0.662483  2.1  285.0  17.1  145.2
21 Hamburg Area 2- 20- 0  0.294607  0.088785  0.546166  1.9  254.7  19.5  211.6
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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