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It’a extremely difficult to win a state championship. It’s even harder to win one with a first-year point guard.

That the Lebanon Catholic girls’ basketball team accomplished the feat is a tribute to head coach Patti Hower’s vision and coaching. And Neesha Pierre’s team spirit, hard work and willingness to learn.

On Friday afternoon at Hershey’s Giant Center, the Beavers did indeed win their third state championship, with a 55-43 triumph over Juniata Valley. Pierre was a big reason why Lebanon Catholic was able to obtain scholastic sports’ ultimate goal.

As you she had done all regular and post-season long, Pierre was in the middle of everything that went right for the Beavers – directing traffic, competing at both ends of the floor and hauling down 12 rebounds.

During preseason practice, Pierre, a former two-guard, was moved to the point when Mariah Sholly did not come out for the team. A bit uncomfortable there at first, Pierre grew into her new role.

sportsbuzzIt seemed as Pierre became more accustomed to her, job Lebanon Catholic got better and better as the year progressed.

Then of course there was the matter of leadership. Her teammates came to rely on her, look to her, even though she wasn’t necessarily the best player on the squad.

 – Jeff Falk


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