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Cedar Crest girls snag Section 1 title

The Falcons also gave coach Jim Donmoyer his 100th career win and improved to 21-0 with Friday night's win over Penn Manor

The Cedar Crest girls basketball team had a lot to celebrate on Friday night. The way things are going for the still unbeaten Falcons there may well be plenty more opportunities for post-game merriment before all is said and done this season.

Cedar Crest enjoyed a two-for-one celebration Friday, wrapping up its second straight Lancaster-Lebanon Section One title and giving head coach Jim Donmoyer his 100th career win with a convincing 50-30 thrashing of Penn Manor at the Falcon Cage.

The Falcons' 21st win against zero defeats was all but sewn up after a 23-7 pleasure cruise through the first quarter led by 12 of senior point guard Ariel Jones' game-high 16 points.That outburst set the tone for a typically dominant Section One win for the back-to-back champs, who've faced few serious challenges to date.

The only undefeated basketball team, boys or girls, in the wide swath of District 3, Cedar Crest has enjoyed 20 of its 21 wins by double digits, with the lone exception being Tuesday's 53-44 win over Hempfield. The Falcons will go for a perfect 22-0 regular season on Tuesday night at home vs. Elizabethtown, before setting their sights on the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs and a date with either the Section 2 or 3 third-place finisher next Saturday in the quarterfinals.

But first things first. There was a little matter of two well-deserved celebrations to enjoy before the Falcons turn their attention back to the rest of their season.

"This is what it's about," a grinning Donmoyer said after the obligatory net-cutting and picture-posing had ended. "They took me along for the ride. They got me here. Players get coaches where coaches get. I'm giving the credit to them, and I'm just glad I was along for the ride."

The Falcons' ride has been a smooth one so far, thanks to the devastating 1-2 punch of Jones and senior center Alyssa Austin, as well as key contributions from fellow starters Rachel Witherite, Raven Morgan and Gracen Donmoyer, the head coach's daughter.

But for all of that success, until Friday night, Cedar Crest didn't have anything tangible to show for it. This just in: It does now.

"It's really, really cool," said Witherite, who contributed 9 points on a trio of 3-point bombs. "I hope we get our trophy soon. But it's cool to have something to show for it, finally."

"We're checking boxes," Donmoyer said. "We start off with a simple, 'Hey, let's win a tip-off tournament', then 'Lets's see where we are at Christmastime, let's win a Christmas tournament.' The next goal is a section championship. We checked off the section box, now Tuesday night I hope we can check off the undefeated regular season box."

The Falcons have approached all of those goals with quiet confidence and determination. Not an overly emotional team on the outside, Cedar Crest just gets the job done, game after game after game.

"We just take things one game at a time," said Witherite, who also noted that "playing as a team and not worrying about individual success" has been the key to Cedar Crest's run. "We're just worrying about winning as a team every game. We know we get everybody's best shot every night, but we don't really feel that much pressure at all."

After Friday night's contest, the only thing the Falcons and their head coach were feeling was elation.

"This night, this season, the six years that I've coached have been about the girls," Donmoyer said. "We didn't talk about my 100 wins (before the game). It's not about me tonight, it's not about me the last six years. It's about the kids I've coached, very talented, hard-working kids. We didn't talk about 100 wins, we talked about coming out here and playing a solid game and winning back-to-back section championships. And that's exactly what they did."

Cedar Crest 50, Penn Manor 30

Penn Manor (30)

Greggs 1 0-0 2, Heisey 1 2-2 5, Levato 3 6-8 12, Carroll 0 0-0 0, Stackhouse 3 1-2 7, Wissler 2 0-0 4. Totals: 10 9-12 30

Cedar Crest (50)

Jones 7 0-1 16, Donmoyer 0 0-0 0, Witherite 3 0-0 9, Morgan 2 2-4 6, Austin 4 3-3 11, Guth 0 0-0 0, Rolon 0 0-0 0, Bucher 1 0-0 2, Kline 0 4-4 4, Thomson 1 0-0 2, Rambler 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 9-12 50.

Penn Manor 7 2 8 13 - 30

Cedar Crest 23 7 12 8 - 50

3-point field goals: PM- Heisey, CC - Witherite 3, Jones 2