Anyone who’s a basketball fan certainly got their money’s worth with an action-packed night of boys hoops Friday as Lancaster-Lebanon League play opened.
Here’s a few leftover items from Friday and from the first full week of the regular season in Lebanon County boys action, as well as a look-ahead to some of top games coming up this week.
Falcons maintain balanced scoring, slow down Cruz
In Friday’s epic 72-66 overtime win over McCaskey, Cedar Crest did have someone emerge as a possible “go-to” candidate, with Cole Laney’s clutch game-tying 3 in the waning seconds of regulation – but they also maintained its scoring depth.
While Laney finished with 15 points and now leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game, Tate Seyfert led the Falcons with a game-high 17 points, including 7 of 9 from the charity stripe. Blake Thomson finished with 14 points, including 9 of 10 from the foul line - 5 of 6 to help seal the win in the extra session.
Cedar Crest also did a much better job handling McCaskey’s Ricky Cruz, despite him finishing with 16 points, as Cruz was held to just three points by halftime. Cruz was also held to three points in the fourth, but did score five points in overtime.
Now that his team has shown they can “grow up” in a big game against a league rival, Cedar Crest coach Tom Smith wants to continue challenging his team with that message.
“The thing we talked about is that we can’t just do it against McCaskey,” Smith said. “We need to do it against everyone. Consistency is going to be our biggest key. Showing up Monday night (at Warwick) and doing it is going to be a tell-tale sign of this team. Are they really growing up?”
Dutchmen are the early “surprise” team
Don’t look now, but this Annville-Cleona team is off to an impressive and perhaps unexpected 4-0 start after Friday’s 56-49 win over Northern Lebanon.
It’s been a team effort as well for the Dutchmen, led Friday by Noah Myers with 18 points, Cameron Hoch with 12 points, and Donald Friday with 10 points. Dashaun Archer also had a pair of key steals in the third quarter, helping A-C outscore NL by 10 in the second half.
Besides their on-court play, Myers and Hoch can bring an interesting dynamic to their leadership on and off the court – playing the role of the underdog.
This isn’t the first time Myers and Hoch have been on a team classified as such – just go back to what they did in leading the football team a share of the section title - the school's first since 2004.
That was something no one saw coming then.
Maybe they can do it again on the basketball court.
Cedars starting to feel progress
Lebanon evened their record with a 64-52 win Friday over Manheim Township, thanks to a hot start shooting.
The Cedars drained six threes in the first 10 minutes to build a 35-11 lead.
Though it let Township get back in it thanks to a 21-3 run, Lebanon responded with some big shots down the stretch, and eventually took over in the paint to pull away.
More consistent shooting was there, and then the Cedars found a way to answer an opponent trying to make a furious comeback. They’ll be an interesting watch as the season rolls on.
Elco in trouble
Looking at the schedule, it wasn’t going to be an easy road for the Raiders to begin the season.
Elco so far has faced teams like Lebanon, Cedar Crest, and its latest loss at Lancaster Catholic.
But staring at an 0-4 start, Elco needs to find a way to win this upcoming week.
The Raiders face Lancaster Mennonite at home Monday before a road date with Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday. Stay tuned for a full preview between the Raiders and Beavers later this week.
This week’s notable matchups
Monday is another good slate of games, including Elco and New Covenant Christian looking for their first wins of the year. Monday is also the Flames’ home opener. The night also features a few pivotal division and section matchups.
As mentioned earlier, Wednesday features the Elco-Lebanon Catholic matchup, along with Palmyra facing another road test against the defending division champion, as well as a second time a Lebanon County team faces Warwick.
Monday, Dec. 19
Cedar Crest at Warwick, 7:30
Lancaster Mennonite at Elco, 7:30
Lebanon at McCaskey, 7:30
Mount Calvary at New Covenant Christian, 7:30
Palmyra at Cedar Cliff, 7:30
Wednesday, Dec. 21
Elco at Lebanon Catholic, 7
Palmyra at Bishop McDevitt, 7:30
Warwick at Lebanon, 7:30