Crunch time has officially arrived for the Elco girls' basketball team. And it appears that no one really needed to tell the Raiders about that.

In a game it simply had to have to enhance its hopes of qualifying for the Lancaster-Lebanon League and District Three Class AAA playoffs, the Raiders ground out a very important 37-31 road win over Garden Spot in a key Section Three tussle in New Holland on Tuesday night.

Now 11-7 overall and 8-4 in the section, Elco stayed a game back of Northern Lebanon for second place in Section Three and the league playoff spot that goes with it, and also likely improved on a precarious 17th-place spot in the latest District Three Class AAA power rankings.

And the Raiders ended the evening with improved playoff hopes in both thanks to a 15-7 fourth-quarter run that erased a 24-22 deficit.

Cheyenne Hassler led Elco down the stretch, pumping in eight of her game-high 15 points in the final period, and Sydnie Parker came up with nine big points in support of her.

Garden Spot (8-8, 7-5 Section Three) was led by 13 points from Hailey Fricke.

Elsewhere Tuesday night:

Girls'

basketball

roundup

  • Northern Lebanon 23, Manheim Central 22: In Fredericksburg, the scrappy Vikings pulled out a low-scoring affair despite the continued absence of Emily Brandt and Morgan Phillips because of injury.

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    Northern Lebanon (12-6, 9-3 Section Three), which maintained sole possession of second place in Section Three with the win, was led by eight points from Mariah LiBrandi and triumphed despite missing five of its eight free throw attempts.

  • Lebanon 52, Conestoga Valley 33: At LHS, the Cedars used a 36-point first half as the catalyst for their second straight win.

    Now 8-10 overall and 5-7 in Section Two, Lebanon used its big first half to lead by 24 at intermission and cruised from there behind a balanced attack led by 13 points apiece from Shaela Shellehamer and Brittany Ulrich.

    Lauren Chambers contributed 11 points for the Cedars, who went scoreless - 0-for-5 - from the foul line.

  • Lancaster Catholic 64, Annville-Cleona 48: In Lancaster, A-C gave a decent account of itself in the loss to the mighty Crusaders.

    Now 10-8 overall and 7-5 in Section Four, Annville-Cleona trailed 28-15 at the half but pretty much played the Crusaders even over the final two quarters behind 21 points from senior forward Elaina Wanamaker.

    Alex Siebecker added 15 points, and Kayla Parks pitched in with 11 for A-C, which benefited from Lebanon Catholic's loss to Lancaster Mennonite to maintain a two-game lead for second place in Section Four.

  • Lancaster Mennonite 60, Lebanon Catholic 59 (OT): In a Section Four battle on Assumption Hill, the Beavers let one get away to last-place Mennonite despite a 26-point explosion from Abby Shay.

    Catholic (9-8, 5-7 Section Four) led 25-17 at the half and 37-32 after three quarters before Mennonite rallied to force the extra session, where it outscored the home team 9-8.

    Helene Reist added 19 points in a losing cause for the Beavers. Mady Reeser led Mennonite with 16.

  • Manheim Township 54, Cedar Crest 29: In Neffsville, the Falcons had a rough night courtesy of Section One heavyweight Township and fell to 6-11 overall and 5-7 in Section One.

    Maria Battle paced the Falcons with nine points.