Four takeaways from the latest in Lebanon County high school hoops:
Justifiably so, Mason Bossert of the Elco boys basketball team has received a great deal of attention for his 3-point shooting exploits this season.
What you may or may not know is that Mason isn't the only long-distance shooter in the Bossert family. Younger sister Taylor of the Elco girls team can fill it up from beyond the arc as well, something she emphatically proved this past week.
In two games - a loss to Cocalico and a win over Lampeter-Strasburg - Bossert scored a combined 30 points, all from beyond the arc on 10 3-point baskets. Tuesday, she hit for 18 points on 6 3s vs. Cocalico, then added four more treys and 12 points in the win against L-S.
It shouldn't be a surprise that the Bossert siblings can shoot the rock, given their bloodlines. Dad Darrin Bossert, the former Cedar Crest head coach, was a collegiate standout at Niagara, while mom Jen (Nelson) Bossert starred for the Cedar Crest girls in the early 90s.
A lot of potential for some heated 2-on-2 games in the Bossert family.
Championship Week ahead for Cedar Crest, NL girls?
If everything goes well, and admittedly there is still a chance it won't, the Cedar Crest and Northern Lebanon girls could be calling themselves section champions by this time next week.
Crest currently owns a one-game lead over Manheim Township for the top spot with three games left, and can clinch a tie for the crown with a win at home against Township on Monday night. The Blue Streaks did, however, knock off Cedar Crest 50-49 on Dec. 23, so a lot can happen yet,
The path is a good deal clearer for Northern Lebanon, which is two games in front of second-place Cocalico with three to play. That means a Northern Lebanon win at Lampeter-Strasburg on Monday would assure it of a tie for the Section 3 title, while a win and a Cocalico loss to Donegal would give NL the section title outright, its first since 1986.
Nothing is assured yet, but they might want to start making some space in the trophy cases at Cedar Crest and Northern Lebanon.
Raiders' course changes, the danger they pose remains
There is one reason why no matter its deficit, the Elco boys basketball should always be within reach of victory: shooting.
The Raiders, saddled with three prolific scorers in their starting lineup, are as dangerous an offensive team as you'll find in the league. Despite a loss Friday at Lampeter-Strasburg, they still control their own destiny with regards to the L-L playoffs. But the hopes of a Section 3 title are largely gone, thanks to a two-game standings deficit and only a smattering of league tip-offs left.
As the Pioneers proved Friday, it takes a stable of tough individual defenders to corral Elco, a boast most other L-L teams cannot make. Even then, Elco nearly completed a 13-point comeback on two occasions. Now the Raiders may hold a small chance at getting a third shot at their section foes down the road--if they can take care of business down the stretch
Lebanon ready to claim Section Two
The Cedars may be out of the woods just yet.
After working through a week full of rugged Section One competition without top shooter Cam Shaak, the Lebanon boys basketball team has rebounded to make major strides in its quest of a section title. The Cedars dispatched second-place Conestoga Valley, 58-45, Tuesday and earned an expected win over Ephrata on Thursday.
Settled into its new rotation, which has recently yielded more scoring from Allan Escoto and Dante Vargas, it's hard to figure Lebanon does anything but continue to ride the upswing it enjoyed before Shaak's injury. And after only two more wins, that upswing can be rewarded with the Section Two crown.