Cedar Crest s Andrew Eudy loses his balance as he tries to get rid of the ball during the Falcons  49-46 double OT victory against Lebanon on Wednesday
Cedar Crest s Andrew Eudy loses his balance as he tries to get rid of the ball during the Falcons 49-46 double OT victory against Lebanon on Wednesday night. Defending on the play is Lebanon s Blayde Reich. (LEBANON DAILY NEWS EARL BRIGHTBILL)
The Cedar Crest boys' basketball team has an 18-hour rule, as in victories can be enjoyed for up to 18 hours and then it's time to cease the giddiness and move on.

In light of the events of Wednesday night, perhaps head coach Tom Smith will consider relaxing that rule by a few minutes.

If not, the Falcons are sure to take up to 17 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to bask in the glow of their latest triumph, a 49-46 double-overtime victory at the expense of crosstown rival Lebanon in front of a capacity crowd at the Falcon Cage.

Give 'em a break. You'd be excited too if your team didn't score a single point in the second quarter and still managed to secure local bragging rights for another year.

That's exactly what Cedar Crest did en route to the physically and emotionally draining triumph, setting aside the second-quarter goose egg behind some clutch crunch-time shooting from senior guard Killian Klopp and a generous portion of team-wide mental and physical toughness when it was needed most.

It wasn't really a good win for the Falcons, given their at-times horrific offensive play. But somehow it ended up being a great one.

"They've been through these close ones one too many times and ended up on the wrong side," Smith said of his squad's growing ability to pull out close games, something that was also in evidence in a narrow victory against Central York last week. "There's definitely growth.


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We were down in the second half, and (the lead was) going back and forth, and not one time did our kids back down and really tuck their tails and run. That's a testament to them and the hard work they've put in."

It's also a testament to good old-fashioned perseverance. The Falcons needed quite a bit of it after the disastrous second quarter that bled into the third and featured a demoralizing 10-plus minute scoring drought.

It all began well enough for Cedar Crest (4-2, 2-1 Section One), with the home team getting on the board a mere eight seconds in, courtesy of a bucket from Andrew Eudy (10 points) off a feed from Clay Penchard.

Another teamwork-heavy tally that featured Evan Horn setting up Denzel Pierre just before the first-quarter buzzer provided a 9-6 lead and optimism that the Falcons were settling in after the opening adrenaline rush that typically comes with Cedar Crest-Lebanon battles.

And then the Falcons went into a shell, forced there by the Cedars' extended zone defense keyed by rangy senior forward Josh Spaulding.

It led to missed shot after missed shot, turnover after turnover, and a ghastly 16-9 - yes, 16-9 - halftime deficit that didn't figure to decrease after intermission.

Lebanon s Drey Murray drives to the basket against the tight defense of Cedar Crest s Killian Klopp in a showdown of crosstown rivals at a jam-packed
Lebanon s Drey Murray drives to the basket against the tight defense of Cedar Crest s Killian Klopp in a showdown of crosstown rivals at a jam-packed Falcon Cage on Wednesday night. Murray pumped in a game-high 17 points, but the Cedars couldn t overcome Klopp s four second-half 3-pointers that led to a 49-46 double-overtime victory for Cedar Crest. (LEBANON DAILY NEWS EARL BRIGHTBILL)

Despite all that, the Falcons' halftime talk wasn't as testy as one might imagine. Not there wasn't some prodding going on from Smith.

"He was satisfied with us holding them to 16, but he wasn't happy about us not being aggressive on the offensive side," said Klopp, who ended up leading the charge with a team-high 13 points after not scoring in the first half. "They started playing zone and that's our weakness. But we started picking up (in the second half), running our 'Gun' offense and getting in the lane and getting easy shots."

"That was crazy, I've never seen that before," Smith said, with a shake of the head, of the scoreless second quarter. "But to be honest with you, I was all right at halftime. I just said, 'You're digging in on defense and doing all the things we ask you to do, but offensively you guys need to be aggressive.' We got very passive against their zone. They wanted to sit and set up in the halfcourt and we were allowing them to."

Lebanon, led by Drey Murray's game-high 17 points, wasn't exactly an offensive juggernaut prior to halftime, either.

But three 3-point bombs from Evan Zimmerman provided the seven-point halftime cushion, and another trey from Jeremy De La Cruz a minute and a half into the third quarter made it a 10-point game and put the Falcons deeper into offensive despair.

Or so it seemed. A Clay Penchard layup finally pried the lid off the basket a little over a minute later, and Josh Bucher and Zach Gristick provided a needed spark off the bench with a pair of 3-pointers to bring the Falcons back to within 20-17 after three.

It wasn't an explosion, by any means. But it left a dent in Lebanon's defensive armor that became a gaping hole during Klopp's late hot streak, which featured three fourth-quarter triples and a fourth bomb with 2:30 left in the second OT that put the Falcons up for good.

"I think we had a lineup in there where we had a couple kids out of place, and we just didn't find Killian," Lebanon coach Tim Speraw said. "He was obviously a focus for us, and I think we did a great job on him in the first half. You can't give him any open looks. We just missed our assignments, and he knocked down the shots."

"I started hitting my shots in the fourth quarter and then we got momentum," Klopp said. "And we just kept going and going and going."

To its credit, Lebanon (3-3, 1-2 Section Two) never wilted in terms of emotion and intensity behind Murray's inspired play. The senior guard dropped in 11 of his 17 in the fourth quarter, including a free throw with 52 ticks left that forced the first OT.

He also put Lebanon up 44-43 with 2:40 left in the second overtime, only to see Klopp answer seconds later with the go-ahead "3."

The Cedars hung around until the bitter end, though, taking advantage of some free throw misses by Klopp down the stretch.

Lebanon began its last possession with 10.6 seconds left but had to go the length of the floor to tie and was unable to do so after Murray's off-balance "3" missed the mark at the horn.

Just a typically titanic Cedar Crest-Lebanon boys' basketball tussle. Sort of.

"In a game like this, you pretty much throw everything out the window and just hope at the end of the game you have more points than they do," said Speraw, who spent most of the game fighting off a migraine headache. "Tonight that didn't happen. I gotta give (Cedar Crest) credit for coming out on top, I gotta give my kids credit because they left everything they had out on the court."