A big third quarter enabled the Vikings to pull to within a game of second place in Section Three.
How a team handles a speed bump can go a long way in determining just how good it is. For the Northern Lebanon boys' basketball team, it passed another test with flying colors.
The Vikings, two days after battling first-place and unbeaten Donegal tooth and nail before falling, regrouped Wednesday night and picked up a quality win over Lampeter-Strasburg, 65-58. The win over the second-place Pioneers improved NL's record to 9-4 overall and 5-3 in Section Three.
Trailing 32-30 at halftime, Patrick Stevens scored 11 of his team-high 18 points in the third quarter to carry the Vikings to a 49-43 lead entering the final quarter.
Sam Light added 17 points for Northern Lebanon and Isaac Ray contributed 14 against L-S, which is now 8-5 overall and 6-2 in league play.
Elsewhere Wednesday night:
Lebanon Catholic 71, Pequea Valley 54: On Assumption Hill in Lebanon, the Beavers stretched their winning streak to six games by rolling to the victory over the Braves. Catholic is now 11-2 overall and 6-2 in Section Four.
The Beavers led 32-29 at halftime before using a 22-12 spurt in the third quarter to break the game wide open. Anthony Pletz led Catholic with 23 points on the strength of five 3-pointers, while Timmy Orr added 22 points and Alex Frattaroli chipped in with 13.
Cedar Crest 57, Penn Manor 32: In South Lebanon, the Falcons snapped a four-game slide by waxing the Comets behind a balanced scoring effort that saw six Crest players score seven or more points. The win makes the Falcons 6-7 overall and 3-5 in Section One and snaps a 21-game losing streak to Section One foes.
Crest bolted out to a 15-8 first-quarter lead, led 26-14 at halftime and was in charge at 47-23 by the start of the final period. Andrew Eberhart led the offense with 11 points, while Killian Klopp and Andrew Eudy both added 10.
Ephrata 42, Lebanon 39 (OT): In Ephrata, the Cedars stormed back from a 24-13 halftime deficit to force overtime only to fall to the Mounts in the extra session. Blayde Reich scored six of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter to help fuel the comeback.
Lebanon (5-7 overall, 3-5 Section Two) also got 12 points from Jorian Ginnetto in the loss.
Donegal 55, Elco 47: In Myerstown, the Raiders fell into an early 19-7 hole they could not dig out of before ending the game with a 22-13 run that made the final score respectable. Elco dropped to 3-10 overall and 1-7 in Section Three.
Colton Lawrence hit for a game-high 24 points for the Raiders, 10 of which came in the final period.
Columbia 72, Annville-Cleona 55: In Columbia, the Tide jumped out to a 16-8 first-quarter lead and outscored the Little Dutchmen in every quarter en route to the Section Four triumph. The loss sends A-C to a 4-10 overall mark and a 2-6 record in league play.
Paxson Hayes sparked the Dutchmen's offense with 20 points, and Matt Light contributed 19.