We’re about three-quarters of the way through the Lancaster-Lebanon League schedule. And with 26 teams split up across five sections combined with two-and-a-half weeks of games remaining in the regular season, it can be challenging to keep up to speed on everything.
We’ll try to make sense of it in this week’s L-L boys basketball notebook, recapping some of the highlights of last week’s games and looking ahead to this week’s action:
Lancaster Country Day senior guard Andrew Williams dropped 18 points in Tuesday’s win, while Elizabethtown senior forward Larry Locker put up 19 points in Wednesday’s victory. With their efforts, both Williams and Locker surpassed 1,000 career points.
Pioneers are streaking:
Many coaches harp on trying to get their team to play unselfish. That’s oftentimes easier said than done. Then there’s Lampeter-Strasburg (15-1 overall, 8-0 league), a team with skill across the board where each player truly doesn’t care who scores a basket running an offense that remains patient until it finds the open shot. The Pioneers are fun to watch and play the game beautifully. It’s no wonder their win streak now sits at 14 games in a row. By the way, L-S can clinch at least a share of the Section Three crown with two more league wins.
Warriors making history:
L-L Section Two leader Warwick (11-5, 9-0) is putting together a historic campaign. First off, with a win at Penn Manor last Friday, Warwick has beaten each Section One team in its crossover games this season. Secondly, the Warriors already clinched a spot in the L-L playoffs for the first time since 2007. Third, a win at second-place E-town on Tuesday would give the Warriors the Section Two crown outright. The last time Warwick won a section title was 1991.
Taking the throne:
Cedar Crest picked up a pair of important league wins over McCaskey and Manheim Township, the latter in a 69-66 overtime effort on Thursday night, to move atop the L-L Section One standings. The Falcons (15-2, 7-2) are strong at every position and are making the case for being the league’s top team so far this season.
The top two teams in each of the five sections at the end of the regular season will qualify for the 10-team league tournament. WIth that in mind, here’s top matchups to keep an eye on this week...
- Tuesday: in L-L Section One, second-place McCaskey (8-7, 6-2) hosts third-place Manheim Township (10-6, 5-4); in L-L Section Two, first-place Warwick (11-5, 9-0) travels to second-place E-town (10-7, 5-3); and in Section Four, third-place Octorara (9-6, 5-4) is at second-place Elco (9-7, 5-3). Tuesday's full schedule
- Thursday: In L-L Section Three, second-place Garden Spot (8-7, 5-3) visits third-place Cocalico (9-6, 5-4). Thursday's full schedule
- Friday: Six league games and one non-league on tap for Friday. Here's Friday's full schedule
He said it:
A collection of some interesting quotes from postgame interviews conducted throughout last week:
Cedar Crest coach Tom Smith following Tuesday’s 64-52 win over McCaskey: “We needed a complete game. I think this is our most complete game we’ve played front to back. Maybe not our most clean but our most complete.”
Cedar Crest 6-7 junior forward Jason Eberhart after scoring 13 of his 16 points in the second half, to go along with 16 rebounds, on his 17th birthday in Tuesday’s win over McCaskey: “I missed some easy ones (layups) in the first half. The coaches told me at halftime just to attack the rim.”
McCaskey coach Freddy Ramos following Tuesday’s loss at Cedar Crest trying to keep his team focused on a possible playoff berth: “We haven’t been in this position in awhile. I know we didn’t come in overthinking that part. Once they come in the locker room their heads are sinking. I reminded them we have a lot of basketball left. I have to remind them, we’re on to the next play, the next game.”
Lancaster Catholic coach Joe Klazas on going deep into his bench in Friday’s win over Elco as Crusaders are nursing injuries or illnesses: “We had to give guys experiences. We have some hurt kids. This time of year it’s important to do things to build confidence. We played 10 or 11 guys in the first half, we played 7 or 8 in the second half. We’re trying to build confidence.”
Lancaster Catholic guard Johnny Besecker on the Crusaders staying atop L-L Section Four with Friday’s win over Elco: “It’s huge. You start to see the importance of it. We didn’t start out too well this season. It’s been a grind to get to the top we just hope we can stay there.”
Elco coach Brad Conners following Friday’s 42-40 loss at Lancaster Catholic in which the Raiders nearly won it on a 3-pointer at the buzzer: “We talked about uglying the game. We wanted to score in the 40s. This is the game we were looking for. We talked about it on the bus ride here that if the first quarter score is 7-6 I’m happy. In the 40s is what we wanted. We had a couple opportunities in the end we just couldn’t come up with it.”
In case you missed it
For the weekly hoops feature, we took a trip to Thaddeus Stevens College, where the Bulldogs’ starting five consists of L-L League alums Marqel Wansley (Columbia), Mason Bossert (Elco), Tyler Owens (McCaskey), Darris Bair (Lancaster Mennonite) and Jon Ware (Lancaster Catholic):