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5 years ago
STATE CHAMPIONS!

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IMG_6025 BY JEFF FALK

HERSHEY – All championships are special. But there is absolutely, positively nothing like a state championship.

Not only does it stay with you for the rest of your life, it has the power to set the tone for adulthood. Win a state championship in a high school sport and you feel like there is nothing you can’t accomplish.

On Friday afternoon at Hershey’s Giant Center, the Lebanon Catholic girls’ basketball team ascended to the pinnacle of high school athletics by besting Juniata Valley 55-43 in the PIAA Class A championship contest. Following a slow start, the Beavers grabbed control of the outcome in the second quarter, then weathered a couple of Hornet swarms.

IMG_5816The state title was Lebanon Catholic’s third overall, but first in 22 years. The Beavers also won PIAA Class A championships in 1991-92 and 1994-95. The Annville-Cleona and Lebanon boys’ are the only other basketball programs from Lebanon County to win state titles.

The PIAA championship also concluded a four-month odyssey that began in November for the Beavers, one that was fueled by juniors Alexis Hill and Jasmine Turner transferring from Lebanon High. In fact, all six Beaver players who competed yesterday are juniors, a fact that will provide legitimacy for a run at a state championship repeat next season.

The Beavers, who finished third in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and captured their 19th District Three crown three weeks ago at the same venue, concluded their year on an eight-game playoff win streak and with a 24-8 overall record. Juniata Valley, the runner-up from District Six, ended its campaign at 24-6.

“They’re all great,” said Lebanon Catholic head coach Patti Hower of the three state titles. “Every team I’ve had has been about great kids. I got a lot of notes this week from past players. They said they were ready to share the tradition. They wanted us to win. It’s nice to have that support.

IMG_5748“They (her players) can work on their foul shots,” Hower added. “But we hit some down the stretch. There’s always room for improvement, but we’re starting (next season) at a high level. They really came together as a team.”

“I love her,” said Hill of Hower. “She coaches really well. And I love this school. I’m glad I transferred. I was confident we’d get here. And I’m sure Jasmine is glad we both made the decision.

“The first couple of games we were a good team,” added Hill. “But then we started jelling together. Throughout the season we got better and better.”

The Hornets’ final push at Catholic came early in the fourth quarter, when they whittled the Beavers’ double-digit advantage down to 37-31. But Lebanon Catholic repelled that one the same way it had the previous.

During crunch time, the Beavers got two key hoops inside from Celine Mars and a put-back by Hill. Over the last three minutes – including 1:38 of which came with a fouled-out Neesha Pierre watching from the bench – Hill,  Mars, Hannah Callihan and Jayden Shellehamer combined to go ten-for-16 at the charity stripe.

IMG_5803“I finally felt comfortable when they had to foul us at the end,” said Hower. “Foul shooting is not that great for us. But we made some big ones down the stretch.

“We talked about boxing out,” continued Hower. “We come out of the zone and went man (-to-man). We’ve pretty much been playing man-to-man all year. But we thought they (the Hornets) had some players who could go to the basket strong. But their inside game wasn’t as strong as I thought it was going to be.”

“I feel great,” said Hill. “I’ve got a gold medal around my neck and I’m part of the best team ever. But I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet.”

After owning the first 16 minutes of play, the Beavers went the first 2:25 of the second half without a point, as the Hornets pulled to within 20-15 of their lead. Two minutes later, Juniata Valley moved to within 25-21, before Lebanon Catholic re-asserted itself with the final six points of the third stanza.

IMG_5967Pierre netted two buckets and Hill scored on a hard cut to the hole, as the Beavers extended their advantage to 31-21.

“I thought it was going to be an even game,” said Hower. “We had some spurts and they had some spurts. We just had more of them.

“That’s (attacking the basket) one of our strengths,” Hower continued. “Celine has a quick first step and I thought she played really well. That’s not just this game. That’s us all the time, especially when a team plays man (-to-man) like that.”

“I wasn’t concerned throughout the game,” said Hill. “Except at the end when Neesha fouled out. But we pulled through. I wasn’t worried, as long as we played defense.”

Hill, who established herself as one of the top Class A players in the state during the PIAA tournament, poured in a game-high 20 points on seven-for-12 shooting from the field and six-for-eight free throwing, and pulled down 14 rebounds. Mars recorded 14 points on five-of-eight shooting, while Pierre corralled a dozen caroms.

Lebanon Catholic held Juniata Valley to 23 percent shooting from the field, and won the rebound battle 42-35. The Beavers outscored the Hornets 20-11 at the foul stripe.

IMG_5890“I think our length does help us defensively,” said Hower. “They (the Hornets) had good guards and good big people. I was happy my team played competitively when they made runs. We didn’t give them second or third shots. They didn’t really crash the boards.

“In the first half, they (the Hornets) had some open looks, but they weren’t hitting their shots,” added Hower. “But we were getting rebounds. We thought zone was the way to go against this team.”

“It was just good defense,” said Hill. “We did play well. Everybody played good defense. It was just a good win.”

Juniata Valley scored the first six points of the contest. But after that, it was all Beavers.

In fact, Lebanon Catholic held the Hornets to a single point over an incredible 13:13 stretch, during which time Lebanon Catholic was opening a 20-7 second-period bulge.

IMG_5942“They seemed OK before the game, in the locker room,” said Hower of her troops. “I was very, very concerned about their (the Hornets’) team speed. But I don’t think we gave them a lot in transition.

“I think in the league playoffs I first thought this was possible,” Hower continued. “Maybe even before then. We played with Lancaster Catholic and we beat Northern Lebanon.”

“It was big,” said Hill. “We were ready for this game. When we tipped off, I was ready, all the nerves were out. We pulled it out. We got it.”

Hill netted seven straight Catholic points early, and when Turner laid in a deuce late in the opening period, the Beavers had themselves an 11-6 margin. Then a Shellehamer jumper capped a 9-0 that gave Lebanon Catholic a 13-point lead.

“I’ll remember the entire season and how we got better as a team,” said Hower. “How much we really improved.

“Obviously, Alexis is going to be a good addition for any team,” added Hower. “But the players had to make it happen. We played well and we came together. They’re great people.”

“That’s the thing,” said Hill. “I’m sure these teams didn’t play teams as good as Northern Lebanon and Lebanon Catholic. It helps.

“I do what my dad tells me to do – work hard and have fun,” Hill added. “I’m humble. I don’t let that (the publicity) get to me. I do what I do. My parents are proud of me. But before this game, my mom was more nervous than I was.”

 

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

 

 

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JUNIATA VALLEY (43)

Sydney Reed 2-14 3-4 9, Hayden Taylor 2-9 2-2 7, Taylor Leidy 3-17 0-0 7, Halee Smith 3-14 3-4 9, Maddie Mattas 4-7 3-3 11, Lexie Reed 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Jefferis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-61 11-13 43.

LEBANON CATHOLIC (55)

Neesha Pierre 2-12 5-7 9, Alexis Hill 7-12 6-8 20, Jasmine Turner 2-6 0-0 5, Jayden Shellehamer 1-2 1-2 3, Celine Mars 5-8 4-7 14, Hannah Callihan 0 4-8 4. Totals: 17-40 20-32 55.

Juniata Valley 7 3 11 22 – 43

Lebanon Catholic 13 7 11 24 – 55

Three-point field goals: JV – Reed 2-13, Taylor 1-4, Leidy 1-4, Smith 0-1; LC – Turner 1-4. Rebounds: JV 35, LC 42. Turnovers: JV 12, LC 17. Fouls: JV 22, LC 12. Fouled out: JV – Smith, Mattas. LC – Pierre.

 

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2016-17 Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball Results

Date Opponents Results
12/13
7:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Mahanoy Area
29
44
12/14
7:30 pm
Trinity
at Lebanon Catholic
33
56
12/16
7:30 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon Catholic
35
62
12/17
6:00 pm
Christian School of York
at Lebanon Catholic
12
62
12/19
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
42
45
12/21
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
63
46
12/27
1:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Marian Catholic
39
52
12/29
7:30 pm
Linden Hall
at Lebanon Catholic
39
53
12/30
7:30 pm
Donegal
at Lebanon Catholic
51
43
1/03
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Mennonite
60
37
1/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Columbia
52
42
1/09
6:00 pm
Lititz Christian
at Lebanon Catholic
22
71
1/10
7:30 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
42
41
1/13
6:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
26
48
1/17
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Pequea Valley
75
50
1/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
31
44
1/24
7:30 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
35
59
1/27
7:30 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Lebanon Catholic
43
57
1/31
7:30 pm
Columbia
at Lebanon Catholic
38
57
2/03
8:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Catholic
39
49
2/06
6:00 pm
High Point Baptist
at Lebanon Catholic
16
71
2/07
7:30 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
46
27
2/09
6:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Cocalico
at Warwick
43
42
2/11
7:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Cedar Crest
54
63
2/24
7:00 pm
Christian School of York
at Lebanon Catholic
35
58
2/28
8:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Linden Hall
at Lower Dauphin
53
31
3/03
3:15 pm
Lebanon Catholic
Halifax
at Giant Center
55
27
3/11
6:30 pm
Galeton
Lebanon Catholic
at Warwick
29
53
3/16
6:00 pm
Faith Christian
Lebanon Catholic
at Tulpehocken
33
68
3/18
1:00 pm
Pottsville Nativity
Lebanon Catholic
at Hamburg Area H.S.
38
58
3/21
6:00 pm
Jenkintown
Lebanon Catholic
at Garden Spot
37
41
 
3/24
12:00 pm
Juniata Valley
Lebanon Catholic
at Giant Center
43
55

 

 

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Most Prolific Scorers in Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball History
1. Becky Hower (2001) 2,445 points
2. Catherine Andrews (2004) 1,670 points
3. Abby Minder (1995) 1,587 points
4. Lauren Boyer (2005) 1,544 points
5. Joni Brown (1991) 1,417 points
6. Jaime Podjed (2000) 1,346 points
7. Sarah Wade (1995) 1,248 points
8. Ann-Marie Fick (1985) 1,147 points
9. Lauren Fortna (2003) 1,065 points
10. Jenna Uhrich (2000) 1,062 points
Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball: A History of Champions
PIAA Class A Championships

IMG_57932016-17

1994-95

1991-92
District Three Class A Championships
2016-17
2015-16
2014-15
2011-12
2008-09
2007-08
2006-07
2003-04
2002-03
2001-02
2000-01
1999-2000
1998-99
IMG_57311995-96
1994-95
1993-94
1992-93
1991-92
1988-89
1979-80
Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships
1980-81
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Championships
1994-95
1993-94
1992-93
1991-92
1984-85
1981-82
1980-81
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Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 SINGLE GAME RECORDS

Most points scored in a game by L.C.            —          106  vs. PequeaValley  (2000-2001)

Most points scored in a game by Opp.           —          94  Allentown Central Catholic  (1990-1991)

Fewest points scored in a game by L.C.         —          9  vs.  Columbia  (1985-1986)

Fewest points scored in a game by Opp.        —          11  Pequea Valley  (1982-1983)

Most points in a game                                     —          Becky Hower 45 vs Donegal (2000-2001)

Most foul shots made in a game                     —          Joni Brown  15 for 20  vs. McDevitt  (1990-1991)

Lauren Boyer 15 for 19 vs. Lancaster Catholic (2004- 2005)

Most offensive rebounds in a game                —          Myra Kline  14  (1980-1981)

IMG_5796Most defensive rebounds in a game               —          Lisa Simpson  19  (1985-1986)

Most total rebounds in a game                        —          Hailey Carangelo  22  (2007 – 2010)

Most assists in a game                                     —          Marie Schlegel  15  vs. Columbia  (1994-1995)

Most steals in a game                                      —          Becky Hower 14  vs. Lancaster Christian  (1998-1999)

Most 3 point shots made in a game                —          Becky Hower   7  (1999-2000)

 

Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 SINGLE SEASON RECORDS

Offensive Rebounds               —          Myra Kline                  191                  (1980-1981)

Defensive Rebounds               —          Alicia Barlet                240                  (1980-1981)

IMG_5951Total Rebounds                       —          Myra Kline                  402                  (1980-1981)

Steals                                       —          Becky Hower              153                  (1998-1999)

Assists                                     —          Marie Schlegel            221                  (1994-1995)

Field Goals Made                   —          Joni Brown                  292                  (1990-1991)

Free Throws Made                  —          Joni Brown                  125                  (1990-1991)

Total Points                             —          Becky Hower              731                  (1999-2000)

Average                                   —          Joni Brown                  24.6ppg.          (1990-1991)

Free Throw %                         —          Sam Carangelo            89%                 (2005-2006)

Field Goal %                           —          Meghan Orr                 57%                 (2007-2008)

3 Point Shots Made                —          Becky Hower              82                    (2000-2001)

 

IMG_5983Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 CAREER RECORDS

Offensive Rebounds               —          Myra Kline                  362

Defensive Rebounds               —          Becky Hower              709

Total Rebounds                       —          Becky Hower              1017

Steals                                       —          Becky Hower              519

Assists                                     —          Marie Schlegel            766

Field Goals Made                   —          Becky Hower              712

IMG_6012Free Throws Made                  —          Abby Minder              343

Becky Hower          —     343

Total Points                             —          Becky Hower              2445

Free Throw %                         —          Sam Carangelo            77%

Field Goal %                           —          Sarah Wade                 50%

Becky Hower              50%

Average                                   —          Becky Hower              20.6

3 Point Shots Made                —          Becky Hower              226

IMG_6003

Lebanon Catholic Girls’ Basketball

 TEAM RECORD SEASON TOTALS

L.C. highest average points per game             —          66.2     (2000-2001)

Opp. highest average points per game            —          58.0     (2005-2006)

L.C.  lowest average points per game             —          35.0     (2013-2014)

Opp. lowest aveage points per game              —          37.5     (2009-2010)

Offensive Rebounds                                       —          603      (1980-1981)

Defensive Rebounds                                       —          825      (1980-1981)

Total Rebounds                                               —          1428    (1980-1981)

IMG_5725Steals                                                               —          584      (2001-2002)

Assists                                                             —          596      (1980-1981)

Field Goals Made                                           —          780      (1980-1981)

Free Throws Made                                          —          384      (2001-2002)

Total Points                                                     —          2101    (1999-2000)

3 Point Shots Made                                        —          118      (2000-2001)

Free Throw %                                                 —          69%     (1993-1994)

Field Goal %                                                   —          46%     (1990-1991) (2000-2001)

Consecutive Lanc.-Leb. League Section 3 Wins  —  44  1/20/92 to 1/27/95

Consecutive Home Wins        —          46        12/27/90 to 12/7/95

IMG_5759Longest Winning Streak         —          29        2/20/92 to 2/25/93

Most Wins in a Season            —          28-2     (l994-1995)

Fewest Wins in a Season        —          3          (1975-1976)

Most Losses in a Season         —          18        (2013-2014)

Fewest Losses in a Season      —          2          (1992-1993, 1994-1995)

 

Farthest Advancement in PIAA/State Tournament  —

 

Eastern Semi-Finals    (1980-1981, 1984-1985, 1988-1989, 1995-1996, 2000-2001, 2001-2002)

Eastern Finals              (1993-1994, 1999-2000, 2002-2003, 2016-17)

State Champion          (1991-1992, 1994-1995, 2016-17)

 

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