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We’ll spare you all the punny rhetoric about how Madison Rakow is a ‘big’ reason why the Lebanon girls’ basketball team is headed to the state playoffs. Let’s just say there’s a lot of people who look up to Rakow.

Seriously! Her hard work. Her budding confidence. Her improvement.

The strides the Cedars have made this year have mirrored Rakow’s growth, or perhaps more accurately, Lebanon and its 6-2 junior center have run parallel courses. Not sure how many onlookers knew at the beginning of the season that the Cedars would qualify for the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs or understood what kind of player Rakow could become.

This week, Rakow was in the middle of a great defensive effort by Lebanon High, one that propelled it into the state postseason. In a PIAA qualifier at Warwick High School on Thursday, Rakow and the Cedars shut down Lancaster-Lebanon League foe Hempfield 37-26 to claim seventh place in District Three and the final state berth that goes with it.

Rakow’s improvement from December to March can not be overstated. She’s more aggressive and confident on both the offensive and defensive ends, she has gone from a part-time reserve to a full-time starter whose presence is missed when she’s not in the game and she’s developed a shooting range that now reaches beyond the three-point line.

 – Jeff Falk

 

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