Lebanon Sports Buzz
Breaking News

IMG_9518BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – You can sense it. It is thick in the air.

The Elco boys’ basketball team is on the brink of something very special. The Raiders have the capability to accomplish things that no other Elco squad has done before.

On Tuesday night, in front of a packed gymnasium on the road, the Raiders kept history in their sights with an 83-56 beat down of rival Northern Lebanon. After the Vikings used some hot shooting to tally 13 of the contest’s first 15 points, Elco outscored them 81-43 over the final 28 minutes of action.

IMG_9580With the win, Elco improved to 11-1 overall and 6-1 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Raiders have now won four straight since their only setback of the campaign, a 62-42 home defeat at the hands of Lampeter-Strasburg on December 21.

The loss was Northern Lebanon’s sixth in its last seven outings and dropped the Vikes to 5-7 on the year and 2-5 in Section Three.

“It’s a section game, a border war,” said Elco head coach Brad Conners. “This is a big rivalry for us. It’s tough coming up here and getting the win. We talk about winning the section, and for us to do that, we’ve got to come up here and get a win. I knew this was going to be a test for us.

IMG_9603“Absolutely, we can win the section,” continued Conners. “It’s a tough section. The top four teams, it could be any one of those teams. It’s going to be tough for anyone to go undefeated. It’s believing in it. It’s coming to practice and putting in the time.”

Elco hasn’t claimed a section title since 1992.

“It was against the best team in the county,” said Northern Lebanon first-year head coach Chris George of the Raiders. “For us, we wanted to play well in front of a big crowd on our home floor. That’s a team that’s probably going to be playing at Giant Center this year. To take a team like that down would be huge for us.

“I know those kids really well,” George continued. “That’s a heck of a squad. That team is built for winning championships. They’ve got all the pieces. Our goal was to play with them.”

Whether it was a case of the home team feeding off the crowd or the visitors experiencing jitters, it was all Northern Lebanon early.

IMG_9526Four different Vikings – Isaac Bicher, Shane Reese, Caleb Light and William Fellows – tickled the twines, as Northern Lebanon netted the first seven points of the game and led 13-2 on a Bicher trey 4:22 in. But Elco hit Northern Lebanon with a 14-5 spurt, thanks to two treys apiece by Colton Lawrence and Nate Beamer, and two free throws from Caleb Buchmoyer, to get to within 18-16 of the lead.

“Coming up here and playing in a packed gym against a rival, we knew we were going to have a battle,” said Conners. “They (the Vikings) had energy early. I didn’t think they’d go five-for-five on three-pointers in the first quarter. They were blistering.

IMG_9480“But I’m happy how the kids responded,” added Conners. “We didn’t let it snowball. With this win streak, we’ve had some things that didn’t go our way, but we’ve responded.”

“We called a couple of timeouts. We tried to slow it down,” said George of Elco’s counter-punch. “We tried to do everything to slow it down. We just didn’t do a good job on him (Lawrence). We didn’t find him. Somehow, some way, we just lost focus. Young kids are going to have growing pains.

“We didn’t answer the flurry,” George added. “They’re (the Raiders) OK being down. They’ve been down against good teams. They’re not going to quit. They’re just going to keep on playing basketball.”

Actually, the Raiders were just getting started.

Lawrence drained another trey to close out the opening quarter and Devin Stoops scored on a stick-back to open the second period of play, and it touched off an 18-0 Raider run that gave them a 34-20 bulge. During the decisive span, Lawrence hit a couple more ‘threes’ and Beamer notched seven points.

IMG_9530Elco carried a 40-28 advantage to the break.

“We can shoot it like that,” said Conners of his side’s ten-for-17 performance from distance. “We can go both ways. But I trust our shooters. We talk about going downhill and attacking the rim. I’m proud of the kids. I’m proud of the effort. I’m proud of the fight.

“They (the Vikings) were playing like they wanted to knock us down,” Conners continued. “We came  out a little timid. Our first two or three possessions were turnovers. We’re still getting used to playing in front of a packed house.”

IMG_9584“Our main goal was to slow down the big three,” said George of Lawrence, Buchmoyer and Mason Bossert. “We were doing the job on two of them. The three of them together are too good to slow down all three of them. I thought we were doing a heck of a job with the game plan early on.

“Beamer’s points were big,” added George. “When he’s in there, he gives them a little more of a dynamic.”

Lawrence buried seven three-point field goals and posted a game-high 35 points, while Beamer went off for 19 more Elco points. Bicher notched 13 points for the Vikings.

“We shot 58 percent from ‘three’. That’s pretty darn good,” said Conners. “Colton sort of took over in that quarter. The bigger the moment, we expect that from him.

IMG_9542“Giving up 20 points in the first quarter, we didn’t do very well,” continued Conners. “The second quarter got better. We want to hold teams under 12 points in a quarter.”

“Until tonight, we were playing pretty well,” said George. “Our biggest thing has been getting over the hump. We can play with Elco. We are making progress. We are dictating some things. It’s all about habits. But to beat teams like that, they need to be great.

“Well, we gave up 83 points,” George continued. “We couldn’t have done too well. Slow the big three and box out. We did not achieve those two goals.”

IMG_9512Courtesy of a ‘three’ from Bicher, Northern Lebanon was within 47-34 of the Raiders three minutes into the second half. But then Elco embarked on a Lawrence-inspired 21-5 journey to open an insurmountable 68-39 lead.

That lead eventually reached 79-46, on a charity toss from Dylan Stoops, with 3:39 to go.

“I think there’s definitely been growth,” said Conners. “We’ve grown a lot. You can see it in the confidence. With games like this in the past, when we got down, I’m not sure we would’ve come back like that. Some of the stuff we’re running is new. We’ve got a group of hard workers. When we had stuff in the off-season, they all showed up. That’s important.

“They’re (the Vikings) big. They’re strong. They’re fiesty,” Conners continued. “In Bicher, you’ve got an athletic kid. He’s a tough match-up. I really like Reese. He’s more than a space eater. I think that’s a good Northern Lebanon team.”

“I think the key is not to get too wrapped up in the scoreboard,” said George. “We didn’t execute on Lawrence and we didn’t box out. Second-chance points hurt us, and second-chance kick outs for threes. We really failed after the first quarter. If you don’t get your two main goals, you’re not going to do well. We’ve got to put a whole game together.

IMG_9611“We’ve been talking about districts,” concluded George. “We’re looking at (power ranking) points. We’re looking at games we’ve got to win. If you hang around .500, you give yourself a chance. But we’ve got to get a win against one of these tough teams.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9510Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Lampeter-Strasburg 7-0 10-0
Elco 6-1 11-1
Cocalico 5-2 8-3
Manheim Central 4-3 7-4
Donegal 2-5 3-9
Northern Lebanon 2-5 5-7

IMG_9548

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_95212015-16 Elco Boys’ Basketball Schedule

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/04 #
@Muhlenberg
6:00 PM W 78-35
12/05 #
@Lebanon
7:30 PM W 61-60
12/09
Conestoga Valley
7:30 PM W 69-61
12/11 *
Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM W 69-55
12/14 *
@Columbia
7:30 PM W 80-59
12/16 *
Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM W 67-51
12/18 *
@Cocalico
7:30 PM W 61-57
12/21 *
Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM L 42-62
12/23 *
Manheim Central
7:30 PM W 72-50
12/28 #
@Mahanoy Area
6:00 PM W 70-42
12/29 #
@Nativity BVM
7:30 PM W 74-44
01/05 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM W 83-57
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/08 *
Donegal
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/09
Tulpehocken
1:00 PM Elco High School
01/09
Tulpehocken
2:30 PM Elco High School
01/11
@Pequea Valley
7:30 PM Pequea Valley High School
01/13
Annville-Cleona
7:30 AM Elco High School
01/13
Annville-Cleona
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/15
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM Lancaster Mennonite High School
01/19 *
Cocalico
7:30 PM Elco High School
01/22 *
@Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM Lampeter-Strasburg High School
01/25 *
@Manheim Central
7:30 PM Manheim Central High School
01/28 *
Northern Lebanon
7:30 PM Elco High School
02/02 *
@Donegal
7:30 PM Donegal High School

IMG_9487

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_95012015-16 Northern Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Schedule

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/04 #
Middletown
5:30 PM L 52-58
12/05
@Annville-Cleona
12:30 PM W 44-39
12/07
Tulpehocken
7:30 PM W 44-25
12/11 *
Pequea Valley
7:30 PM W 68-45
12/14 *
@Lebanon Catholic
7:30 PM W 52-49
12/16 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:30 PM L 49-75
12/18 *
@Donegal
7:30 PM L 36-65
12/21 *
Cocalico
7:30 PM L 53-57
12/23 *
@Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM L 43-71
12/29 #
Daniel Boone
7:30 PM W 65-39
12/30 #
Penn Manor
7:30 PM L 51-59
01/05 *
Elco
7:30 PM L 56-83
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/08 *
@Manheim Central
7:30 PM Manheim Central High School
01/11
@Annville-Cleona
7:30 PM Annville-Cleona High School
01/13
Lancaster Catholic
7:30 PM Northern Lebanon High School
01/15
@Columbia
7:30 PM Columbia High School
01/16
@Hamburg
7:30 PM Hamburg High School
01/19 *
Donegal
7:30 PM Northern Lebanon High School
01/22 *
@Cocalico
7:30 PM Cocalico High School
01/25 *
Lampeter-Strasburg
7:30 PM Northern Lebanon High School
01/28 *
@Elco
7:30 PM Elco High School
02/02 *
Manheim Central
7:30 PM Northern Lebanon High School

IMG_9533

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9565

 

 

 

 

IMG_9596

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9491

 

 

 

 

IMG_9477

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9478

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9546

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9600

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9498

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


+ eight = 12