Led by 26 points and seven 3-pointers from Mason Bossert, the Raiders improved to 6-0 with a 67-51 victory over the Crusaders..


In Elco’s dribble-drive offense, the ball handler drives into the paint, then kicks to the open shooter on the arc for a wide-open … layup?

That’s almost what it feels like for Raiders coach Brad Conners, who watched his red-hot club continue its unbeaten start to the 2015-16 boys’ basketball season with a 67-51 takedown of Lancaster-Lebanon League crossover foe Lancaster Catholic Wednesday night in Myerstown.

Elco (6-0, 3-0 in Section 3) canned 14 3-pointers, including seven by junior Mason Bossert, to bury Joe Klazas’ Crusaders (2-3, 1-2 Section 4).

“If you let our shooters see the rim, it’s almost a layup,” said Conners, the Raiders’ sixth-year coach. “We joke about it all the time, but if you give them that little bit of a look, that’s all they need. You can close them out, but once they catch, if they can see it and get into it, they can shoot. What a luxury.”

Bossert’s game-high 26 points featured him sinking seven of 13 from the arc. Caleb Buchmoyer (14 points) knocked down four of his six 3-pointers, and Colton Lawrence (12 points) shook off a slow start and delivered a pair of treys.

Devin Stoops added another 3-ball in the fourth quarter for Elco, which raced to leads of 8-2 and 16-4 in the opening stanza. Overall, the team made 14 of 29 from the arc.

“We move the ball,” said Buchmoyer, who also distributed a game-high nine assists, many on kick-outs to Bossert.

“That’s our main purpose. Get everybody open. We’ve got shooters all over the floor. Get them open, and get them going. We got Mason going tonight.”

With Lawrence, the Raiders’ electric 1,000-point scorer, being guarded admirably by Lancaster Catholic’s Sean Landis (team-high 13 points), it was Bossert and Buchmoyer igniting the early explosion.

The duo combined for 17 of Elco’s 19 points in the first quarter, when the Raiders dropped 70 percent of their shots, including five treys.

Klazas’ crew, down as many as 15 in the first half, clawed to within 32-25 early in the third after a 6-0 spurt to begin the frame. That included four points from Andrew DeBord.

But then Bossert grabbed the torch with a trio of 3-pointers, and Lawrence, who didn’t score his first bucket until 1:25 remained in the half, hit a 3-pointer and added a steal and ferocious dunk.

That was all part of a 22-4 run that all but sealed Elco’s sixth straight triumph.

“That’s just momentum,” Bossert said of Lawrence’s thunder. “Once he steals it, we know he’s going to go up and dunk it. That gets the crowd going, and that gets everybody else going.”

Bossert also gave a shout-out to the Raiders’ student section, which showcased a toga theme Wednesday night.

So the Elco train keeps right on rolling, with a monstrous visit to Section 3 power Cocalico on tap Friday night.

“It’s believing in ourselves,” Conners said. "And we've talked about it since Day 1. I believe in these kids. The coaching staff believes in them. We believe we have something special. The kids are starting to believe and buy in, and I think you're starting to see that confidence on the floor, the confidence in shots, the confidence in each other. I think it's huge.

"In years past, we'd win a few games, and we're afraid to talk about the win streak or the possibilities. And I think this year we're embracing it. We want those expectations. Casting that vision for the kids and letting them think about it and actually hear us talk about it, I think it's been good for them."

Lawrence added a game-high nine rebounds, four assists and three steals for Elco, with seven more caroms from 6-6 center Ryan Eshleman and six from Buchmoyer. Chad Wenger’s 11 points and four steals backed Landis’ team-high effort for Lancaster Catholic.

Elco 67, Lancaster Catholic 51

Lancaster Catholic (51)

Cole Portz 0 0-0 0, Jon Ware 1 0-2 2, Kenny Huhn 0 0-0 0, Bryan Downey 1 0-0 3, Mark Cannon 1 0-0 2, Chad Wenger 5 0-0 11, Dylan Atkinson 1 0-0 2, Andrew DeBord 2 2-2 6, Thomas Gonzales 3 1-1 7, Sean Landis 6 1-2 13, Danny Bomberger 1 0-0 3, Shawn Henry 0 0-0 0, Kurt Harnish 1 0-0 2, Noah Thomas 0 0-0 0.Totals — .22 4-7 51

Elco (67)

Mason Bossert 9 1-2 26, Joseph Ginder 0 0-0 0, Caleb Buchmoyer 5 0-0 14, Nathan Beamer 1 2-3 4, Devin Stoops 2 0-0 5, Blake Weary 0 0-0 0, Colton Lawrence 4 2-4 12, Jeffery Lorah 0 0-0 0, Ryan Eshleman 2 0-0 4, Dylan Stoops 1 0-0 2.  Totals — .24 5-9 67

Lancaster Catholic _ 12 _ 7 _ 13 _ 19 _ — _ 51

Elco _ 19 _ 13 _ 22 _ 13 _ — _ 67  

3-point goals — LC: Downey, Wenger, Bomberger., E; Bossert 7, Buchmoyer 4, Lawrence 2, De.Stoops.

JV score —  Lancaster Catholic 47, Elco 30

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