NEW KINGSTOWN - Nearly 50 miles from home and settled into a neutral site Tuesday, the Lebanon boys basketball team was nonetheless victimized by a familiar foil.
And so for their second straight district tip-off, the Cedars once again suffered a familiar, sour fate.
Unable to keep its turnovers at a minimum, 11th-seeded Lebanon let a halftime lead slip against No. 7 Carlisle during a 52-39 defeat in a District 3 Class AAAA consolation game at Cumberland Valley.
Thundering Herd junior DeShawn Millington poured in a game-best 23 points, including 19 after halftime. The Cedars (16-10) coughed up the ball on four of their first five possessions following intermission and never reclaimed the lead over the last nine and a half minutes.
"Not taking care of the ball has been a problem all year; just lazy passes or dumb passes leading to them finishing at the other end," Lebanon coach Tim Speraw said. "It just can't happen."
The Cedars are now locked into a rematch with league foe McCaskey in the tournament's seventh-place game Thursday. Lebanon lost its regular-season visit to the Red Tornadoes, 82-71, six weeks ago. Carlisle will meet No. 9 Hempfield to decide fifth place - both sites and times are to be determined.
Lebanon took care of business at Tuesday's outset, forcing the Herd to play on Cedar terms through an effective 2-3 zone. Carlisle tallied seven misses and a pair of turnovers before finally connecting from the field 4:35 after tip-off on a Tyler Greene trey. Greene's 3-pointer, however, finished as the only Herd field goal of the quarter and was later matched by a 3-pointer from Lebanon senior Logan Blouch when he stood on the outskirts of NBA range at 0:03 left in the period.
A sloppy second quarter next ensued, featuring three straight Cedar possessions that resulted in turnovers, but only two points for Carlisle at the other end. Lebanon maintained at least a five-point edge throughout the period, buoyed by a couple fortunate putbacks and more dogged defense.
But the second-half putbacks, and timely buckets, almost exclusively belong to the Thunder Herd post-intermission and then so did victory.
"That was the slowest start we could possibly come out and have," Carlisle coach Andre Anderson said. "We got some stops on defense and got our transition game going. That's what fuels these guys and gets the crowd going."
Millington was the largest beneficiary of the Herd's faster pace, as he managed to outscore the Cedars all by himself during the second half until its final moments. Carlisle's Ki Barnes supplied the night's final go-ahead basket at 1:32 left in the third, which was later followed by a ridiculous buzzer-beating layup by Gavyne Barnes.
Despite twice closing within a possession during the fourth via the foul line, Lebanon effectively had its fate sealed when Millington netted back-to-back buckets around the 3-minute mark.
"Once we got up, we wanted them to play us 1-on-1," Millington said, "that way we could beat them (off the dribble), then kick out or finish."
The high-scoring junior also nabbed his 1,000th career point Tuesday and multiple boards off missed Cedar foul shots. Carlisle attempted 26 free throws to Lebanon's 13.
The Cedars allowed McCaskey to take 22 over their regular-season clash this year.
"It doesn't really matter who we play anymore. It's more about us," Speraw said. "We've just got to play better. We're just not mentally tough on the court and focused. And that's why we've lost the last two games."
Carlisle 52, Lebanon 39
Benn Milligan 0 0-0 0, Tyler Greene 1 0-0 3, Gavyn Barnes 1 1-4 3, DeShawn Millington 7 8-14 23, Ki Barnes 1 4-4 6, Nate Barnes 2 0-2 4, Jordan Purcell 5 2-2 13, Ethan Houston 0 0-0 0, Chuckie Nist 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 15-26 52.
Daniel Cariacabeur 2 0-0 6, Justin Baker 2 1-2 5, Shaq Ortiz 2 0-2 4, Allan Escoto 3 2-2 8, Logan Blouch 2 0-0 6, Dante Vargas 0 0-0 0, Matty Lopez 0 4-4 4, Sebastian Sierra 0 0-0 0, Cam Shaak 0 0-0 0, Khalique Washington 1 1-2 3, Luis Aquinos Rios 1 1-1 3. Totals — 13 9-13 39.
Lebanon_ 12_ 8 _ 8_ 11 — _ 39
Carlisle_ 3_ 10_ 19_ 20 _ — _ 52
3-point goals — Leb 4 (Blouch 2, Caricabeur 2), Car 3 (Greene, Millington, Purcell)