McCaskey vs Hempfield-LL Boys Basketball

McCaskey takes on Hempfield during second half action of an LL section 1 boys basketball game at Mccaskey High School in Lancaster Friday Jan. 8, 2021.

Twenty Lancaster-Lebanon League boys basketball teams were in action over the weekend. Eighteen of those competed in season-openers. Below is the first of a weekly installment of the L-L boys basketball notebook, recapping some of the top games, scorers, highlights and news items from the previous week of action.

Getting off on the right foot: Seventeen L-L teams were in action Friday. For 15 of those, the contests were season-openers, since Lebanon and Northern Lebanon competed in a season-opener back on Dec. 11. And of Friday’s nine games involving L-L teams, all but one was a league-opener. Those are a lot of moving parts of which to make sense. But long story short, eight L-L teams picked up league-opening wins Friday: Cocalico, Hempfield, Manheim Township, Lebanon, Elizabethtown, Lampeter-Strasburg, Northern Lebanon and Lancaster Catholic.

Ten L-L teams were in non-league action Saturday, with seven of those earning wins, two in season-openers: Warwick, Penn Manor.

Friday’s top L-L individual scorers: Lampeter-Strasburg freshman Tyler Burton (28 points), Cocalico senior Carter Nuneville (24 points), Manheim Township senior Zach Hartz (20 points), Lebanon senior Isaiah Rodriguez (19 points), Donegal junior Khalil Masden (18 points), Northern Lebanon junior Peyton Wolfe (16 points), Elco senior Braden Bohannon (15 points), Lebanon junior Luke Collins (14 points), Elizabethtown senior Lukas Pierson (14 points), Northern Lebanon senior Nate Shirk (14 points), Lancaster Catholic senior Ross Conway (14 points).

Saturday’s top L-L individual scorers: Elco’s Bohannon (26 points) and juniors Corey Attivo (15 points) and Luke Williams (14 points), Manheim Central sophomore Trey Grube (26 points), Donegal junior Khalil Masden (24 points), Conestoga Valley senior Luke Rumbaugh (21 points), Warwick senior Kai Cipalla (20 points), Conestoga Valley junior Cameron Swinton (18 points), Solanco sophomore Tyler Burger (17 points), Donegal senior Levi Sites (15 points), Hempfield sophomore Michael Hester (14 points) and Northern Lebanon senior Nate Shirk (14 points).

L-L League boys basketball standings

Game-winners: As reported by Lebanon Daily News’ veteran sports editor and all-around good guy Pat Huggins, Lebanon’s Marquis Ferreira's steal off a hustling defensive effort by Kevin Smith turned into the game-winning points with 7.6 seconds left in the Cedars’ season-opening 58-57 L-L Section Two win over Conestoga Valley on Friday night.

The Buckskins responded Saturday with a nail-biting 64-63 non-league road win at Eastern York in which the Buckskins led by eight points with under a minute left and hung on for the victory.

Nail-biters: A year ago, Cocalico and Manheim Central split their head-to-head meetings, with each contest won on a buzzer-beater. The teams went again went back-and-forth in Friday’s season-opener. As reported by and overall L-L boys basketball fanatic Andy Herr, Cocalico’s Carter Nuneville dished a pass to teammate Carson Nash to put the visiting Eagles up 49-42 with 59.6 seconds left. It gave Cocalico some breathing room, as the Eagles were held scoreless the rest of the way and held on for a 49-46 L-L Section Three win.

Quotable: In a postgame interview Friday night, McCaskey third-year coach Freddy Ramos had this to say when asked how good it felt to be back playing basketball: “Oh, my goodness. This is the best thing. I could barely sleep last night. I was so excited for today. Before Monday, last week was tense, wondering if the shutdown would be extended. For our guys, they’re really embracing safety. We talked about if it goes away tomorrow, how are we going to feel? During the game, I hear bench players yelling at guys on the floor, ‘Pull your mask up.’ I’m like, ‘Wow. I want them to say, ‘Put your hands up.’”

McCracken out: As reported by LNP|LancasterOnline veteran sports reporter Mike Gross, Warwick star senior point guard Joey McCracken has opted out of the basketball season to focus on football, where he hopes to play at the next level. McCracken had blown out his knee in February of last basketball season, leading to a delayed comeback at the start of football season in the fall. He would have been a fourth-year starter on the hardwood, and among the best players in the league. He ends his hoops career with 764 points.

Career points watch: With 41 points through Elco’s first two games, senior guard Braden Bohannon is now at 1,129 career points, moving into fifth-most in program history, surpassing Elco 2007 alumna Brent Nolt’s career total of 1,122 career points.

Top dunks: Warwick senior Kai Cipalla...

Elizabethtown 6-foot, 7-inch freshman Matthew Gilhool...

In case you missed it: LNP|LancasterOnline covered two boys basketball openers on Friday: Hempfield topping McCaskey, and Manheim Township thumping Cedar Crest...and on Saturday, Penn Manor beating Solanco, and Warwick defeating Garden Spot.

The week’s top upcoming games: Among the week’s upcoming games...Monday has an intriguing non-league tilt between Lancaster Catholic (1-0, 1-0) at Lancaster Mennonite and a good L-L Section Two matchup of E-town (1-0, 1-0) at Warwick (0-0, 1-0). ...Tuesday has a top-flight L-L Section Five and season-opener in Section Five (Columbia at Lancaster Mennonite). ...Wednesday features an interesting Section Three clash of L-S (1-0) at Manheim Central (0-1, 1-1) ...and Friday includes appealing games in Section Four (Octorara at Lancaster Catholic) and Section Five (Pequea Valley at Columbia).

What we’re working on: LNP|LancasterOnline colleague Mike Gross is working on a feature about some of the talented freshman L-L boys basketball hoopsters. ...I’m working on a feature about the many E-town College ties between the Conestoga Valley and E-town High School coaching staffs, ahead of their meeting on the hardwood this Thursday. And, without spoiling it, there’s a longform feature I’ve been piecing together since November that involves an L-L hoopster whose mother is still recovering from a near-fatal car accident that happened more than a year ago.

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