Lebanon Sports Buzz
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BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – What was your favorite Cedar moment from last night?

A. Turning the tables on, and beating rival Cedar Crest, convincingly.

B. Celebrating the co-Section Two championship.

C. Commemorating the program’s longest tenured coach, Tim Speraw’s 150th career triumph.

D. All of the above.

Perhaps the only real question is: ‘How will the Cedars top this kind of emotional evening?’

On Wednesday night at Lebanon High School, the Cedars’ boys’ basketball team trounced its neighboring nemesis from Cedar Crest 68-31. Lebanon asserted itself in the second period when it limited the Falcons to a single basket and built a 20-point lead.

After the game, Lebanon presented Speraw with a plaque noting his milestone victory. Then, the Cedars proceeded to cut down the nets to recognize the Section Two title they’re currently sharing with Warwick.

Those two clubs, Lebanon and Warwick, will meet on Tuesday night at a time and site to be determined, to decide which will represent Section Two in the upcoming Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.

With the outcome, the Cedars improved to 12-3 on the year. It also solidified Lebanon’s 12th position in the District Three power rankings for an AAAAAA classification that takes 12 for its postseason.

On the other side, the loss was Cedar Crest’s fifth in its last six outings, it dropped them to 3-7 overall and ended the Falcons’ impressive streak of qualifying for the District Three Class AAAAAA over eight straight seasons. During that time, Cedar Crest had pretty much owned Lebanon in ‘The Rivalry’.

“It was a good night,” said Speraw, with a gleam in his eyes. “Any time you beat Cedar Crest, it’s a good night. We had already clinched a share of the Section, but we weren’t able to celebrate it on Saturday (after a loss at Warwick). This was our next home game, and as long as we got the win, we were going to cut down the nets. We’re always talking about putting another year on the banner. We’ve already accomplished one of our goals.

“I’d say the best part of it was just seeing the kids excited for each other,” continued Speraw. “That and being able to play everybody and seeing close to everyone score. It was nice seeing every kid happy. That’s not always the case, even when you win.”

“They’ve got a good set of guards,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith of the Cedars. “‘Mohawk’ (Isaiah Rodriguez) inside is tough. They play hard. They play well together. They can shoot it from the outside. They’re a tough basketball team to beat.”

Early on, the scrap was typical Lebanon-Cedar Crest. But late in the opening quarter, the Cedars netted six unanswered points, courtesy of buckets by Luke Collins, Rodriguez and Kevin Smith, to establish a 15-7 advantage.

“I thought we played well,” said Speraw. “We were pretty strong in most aspects. But as a coach, I’m always going to find things to get better at.”

“I give a lot of credit to Lebanon,” said Smith. “They’re a very good basketball team. They came out hungry and took it to us. We struggled to score early and then we fell into a deficit that was tough to come back from.”

The Cedars delivered the knock-out blow by limiting the Falcons to just Izaa Reyes-Vega’s driving lay-in for a first-and-second-quarter stretch of 9:14. During that time, Lebanon’s lead ballooned from 15-9 to 31-11.

Rodriguez tallied six points during that decisive run, including a halftime buzzer-beater off the glass. Demetrius Matthew chimed in with a pair of buckets, while teammates Collins, Smith and Kam Uffner contributed two points apeice.

“We turned them (the Falcons) over a couple of times, got a couple of steals and some easy baskets,” said Speraw. “And we started working Isaiah a little more. We just kind of pulled away. But I told the kids at halftime that it wasn’t over.”

“I thought we got good shots within our offense, and they weren’t falling,” said Smith. “They (the Cedars) were getting some second-chance opportunities. ‘Mohawk’ did a nice job inside.”

Rodriguez popped for 16 points to lead all scorers, Jefandry Pena notched 13 points off the Cedar bench and Collins hit for 11. Lebanon outscored Cedar Crest 42-16 on field goals that originated from inside the arc.

“Since Tommy and I have been coaching, they’ve definitely gotten the better of this,” said Speraw. “They’ve had a really good stretch of some really good teams. It’s a rivalry game. I told our seniors that it was the only time we were going to play them this year. Ten or 15 years down the road, they’ll remember this game.

“Obviously, they’re rebuilt,” added Speraw. “They graduated just about everybody who got significant minutes last year. You’re going to have these years. Tommy does a great job with the talent he has. It’s a tough spot to be in. I was joking with him before the game that he had never been in this spot before.”

“We’re used to winning this game,” said Smith. “I think we’ve lost to them three times in my tenure, with this one being the fourth. Losing this one stinks.”

Lebanon did not relent in the third period.

Another spurt, this one a 13-3 job, made the Cedars’ lead 48-19 late in the period. Rodriguez was responsible for four of those points, and Collins, Smith and Pena all had three.

Lebanon also scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, courtesy of back-to-back treys from Jaidyn Mercado and Matt Brown.

“I thought we were pretty solid on the defensive end,” said Speraw. “We’ll watch film, pick things out and try to correct some things. But they (his players) get to enjoy the night.”

“I told our guys at halftime, ‘One possession at a time’,” said Smith. “There’s no 20-point shot in basketball. I told them to just keep fighting. I told them ‘There’s only way to go. You’ve just got to dig yourself out of the hole.’ But I’m not sure we were able to put a run together in the second half.

“This week, I thought we took some steps forward,” Smith continued. “Tonight was not a step in the right direction. We’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to get it right for these kids. They deserve it.”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2021 Cedar Crest Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
1/08
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
21
61

League
1/14
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
47
44

League
1/16
12:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hershey
47
65

Nonleague
1/19
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
43
46

League
1/23
7:30 pm
Northern York
at Cedar Crest
Postponed
Nonleague
2/05
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
47
67

League
2/09
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
61
32

League
2/11
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Cedar Crest
59
44

Nonleague
2/13
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
59
63

Nonleague
2/16
7:00 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
56
42

League
2/17
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon

Nonleague

2021 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/11
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon
58
70

Nonleague
1/08
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon
57
58

League
1/11
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
48
55

League
1/16
12:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lower Dauphin
43
59

Nonleague
1/18
7:30 pm
Garden Spot
at Lebanon
31
47

Nonleague
1/19
8:00 pm
Lebanon
at Elizabethtown
54
39

League
1/23
2:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hershey
Postponed
Nonleague
1/26
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata
58
20

League
1/29
8:00 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township
43
55

Nonleague
1/30
1:30 pm
Palmyra
at Lebanon
52
54

Nonleague
2/02
7:30 pm
Governor Mifflin
at Lebanon
Postponed
Nonleague
2/03
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon
32
41

League
2/05
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
43
58

League
2/06
1:30 pm
Exeter
at Lebanon
47
57

Nonleague
2/09
8:00 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
54
42

League
2/11
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
Postponed
Nonleague
2/13
1:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick
55
62

League
2/17
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Reading17-1-0 0.806762 0.964286 0.614233 20.25 157.95 0.75 99.20
2Wilson (3)14-1-0 0.805886 0.955490 0.623038 16.10 146.85 0.75 88.85
3Central Dauphin12-1-0 0.798370 0.952381 0.610135 15.00 121.60 0.75 77.70
4Cedar Cliff8-0-0 0.773353 1.000000 0.496339 9.30 81.35 0.00 82.55
5Muhlenberg11-2-0 0.751205 0.887640 0.584451 11.85 139.45 1.50 99.15
6Central York10-3-0 0.738415 0.835088 0.620259 11.90 139.00 2.35 85.10
7Hempfield (3)8-2-0 0.737319 0.867257 0.578507 9.80 86.40 1.50 62.95
8Red Lion12-1-0 0.733429 0.949495 0.469349 14.10 99.15 0.75 112.10
9Central Dauphin East10-3-0 0.727439 0.847458 0.580749 12.50 117.05 2.25 84.50
10Warwick10-2-0 0.726606 0.888060 0.529274 11.90 90.40 1.50 80.40
11Cumberland Valley10-4-0 0.722047 0.805195 0.620423 12.40 132.15 3.00 80.85
12Lebanon11-3-0 0.715083 0.845395 0.555812 12.85 120.25 2.35 96.10
13Manheim Township8-3-0 0.692518 0.814815 0.543044 9.90 82.95 2.25 69.80
14Harrisburg5-4-0 0.684655 0.675676 0.695631 6.25 140.10 3.00 61.30
15Dallastown9-6-0 0.645785 0.683168 0.600093 10.35 128.45 4.80 85.60
16Waynesboro9-5-0 0.644806 0.700000 0.577346 10.15 123.35 4.35 90.30
17Governor Mifflin7-8-0 0.635843 0.565836 0.721408 7.95 196.80 6.10 76.00
18J P McCaskey5-6-0 0.619448 0.581395 0.665957 6.25 125.20 4.50 62.80
19Carlisle6-7-0 0.580199 0.573705 0.588135 7.20 120.95 5.35 84.70
20Conestoga Valley6-7-0 0.548998 0.549020 0.548973 7.00 102.85 5.75 84.50
21Cedar Crest3-6-0 0.523866 0.443787 0.621740 3.75 106.10 4.70 64.55
22William Penn4-10-0 0.505325 0.365079 0.676737 4.60 145.60 8.00 69.55
23Penn Manor1-11-0 0.358699 0.118557 0.652207 1.15 129.30 8.55 68.95
24Chambersburg Area0-10-0 0.342198 0.000000 0.760441 0.00 148.40 7.60 46.75
25York County School of Technology0-13-0 0.238431 0.000000 0.529848 0.00 132.25 12.95 117.35

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section One Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
McCaskey620.750660.500705661
Hempfield520.714830.727607528
Manheim Township530.625930.750717586
Cedar Crest240.333370.300422583
Penn Manor070.0001120.077587781

Section Two Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Warwick710.8751120.846790567
Lebanon710.8751230.800816676
Conestoga Valley350.375670.462706765
Elizabethtown350.375470.364503569
Ephrata080.0002110.154559679


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