Jahlil Ortiz threw down monster dunks in each of the Lebanon boys’ basketball team’s first two games of the season. And while both only counted two points on the scoreboard, it was that type of inspired play which spurred the Cedars on to a pair of victories.
Ortiz’s leadership by example also earned him the Most Valuable Player award from the Lebanon Booster Club’s Tip-Off Tournament.
On Friday night, after battling early foul difficulties, Ortiz came on in the second half to tally 16 of his team-high 18 points in a 63-54 triumph over Lancaster Mennonite. On that night, Ortiz’s dunk came in the midst of a third-quarter burst when Lebanon was distancing itself from the Blazers.
Then on Saturday evening, Ortiz recorded 13 points and a bunch of boards during the Cedars’ 48-38 win over Elco, in the championship game of the event. Just as important as Ortiz’s points and ‘throw down’ was the defensive effort he provided to help contain Raider star Colton Lawrence.
More and more it appears that if Lebanon High is going to get where it wants to go this season that it will be Ortiz who will have to lead the way.
– Jeff Falk