2022 Penn State Harrisburg at Lancaster Bible College

Jordan Shewbridge (30) of Lancaster Bible College drives to the hoop against Zegary Scott III of Penn State Harrisburg during basketball action at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022.

College basketball’s Big Dance continues this month without Lancaster County’s five men’s teams, only one of which played an NCAA tournament game. But most of them figure to bring loads of talent into 2023-24.

The following is a recap of the local season and a look ahead at next year:

Lancaster Bible

Season: 21-8, United East Conference regular season and tournament titles, reached second round of NCAA Division III tournament.

Leaving: G Jordan Shewbridge, F Ethan Beachy, perhaps others (see below).

Returning: G Grant Sareyka, G Seth Beers, perhaps others (see below).

The skinny: A dramatic defeat of NYU last week was the first NCAA tournament win in program history. The Chargers had won 18 of 19 before falling to Mount Union, which play in the national semifinals tonight, in the second round.

“We’ve built our program to the point of winning a first-round game,’’ said coach Jon Mack. “Even against Mount Union, we punched first. When we lost, it was devastating. But the whole four years with these seniors, all that experience helped us get to the NCAAs and have a great experience.’’

Mack said Shewbridge, the leading scorer in program history, and Beachy will definitely not return. Three other seniors – G Ty Erisman, C Adam Stoltzfus and C Andrew Zentner – could return and take their COVID year of eligibility.

Add that group to incoming freshmen Trey Grube (Manheim Central) and Connor Storr, a 6-6 forward from New Jersey Mack called, “a difference-maker right away.’’ Mack is also in the hunt for Ben Wert, the Lampeter-Strasburg forward who missed most of this season with a torn ACL, and Linville Hill Christian forward Daniel King.


Season: 18-11, tied for second in PSAC East, lost in first round of PSAC playoffs.

Leaving: F Justin Nwosu, G Mekhi Hendricks, F Ryan Davis.

Returning: All-PSAC East F Matt Dade, past all-PSAC G Jaden Faulkner, G Day Waters, G Keith Mency, C Drew Stover, G Jahme Ested.

The skinny: After losing four all-conference seniors from a 2021-22 season that included 25 wins and an NCAA bid, the Marauders had a transitional season that has to be deemed a success.

“We did overachieve a little,’’ said coach Casey Stitzel. “If you go back to September (of 2022), I probably didn’t foresee 18 wins.’’

Having more than just survived 2022-23, the Marauders have a chance to be a handful next season. Faulkner, who sat out this season after a second ACL surgery, is a 6-4 guard who can do almost everything. They’ll play through him.

Dade and his backup, Stover, were this season’s two leading scorers. If they can thrive together – Dade as more of a power forward, Stover improving his defense and rebounding – look out. 

Stevens Tech

Season: 12-10, 8-7 Seaboard Conference. Lost in first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III tournament.

Leaving: F Malik Murphy, F Chris Sherman, G Namir Simmons.

Returning: G Gabriel Matos-Morales (Conestoga Valley HS), F Matt McCleary (Columbia), G Marcus Benning (McCaskey), G Levon Brown.

The skinny: Stevens lost four straight over the holidays but finished strong, winning seven of 10 to earn a regional playoff bid and host a first-round game of the NJCAA tournament.

The three departing sophomores will be missed. They led the team in minutes and averaged a combined 39 points per game.

Coach Ken Stone recruits the Lancaster-Lebanon League heavily and has one local commitment for next year, Dylan Mahlandt, a 6-2 G from Ephrata.

“All in all, the year was a step in the right direction for the program,’’ said Stone. “We have a lot of guys back and somebody always shows up in the fall (unrecruited) who can play.’’ 

Franklin & Marshall

Season: 12-14, 7-11 Centennial Conference. Lost to Gettysburg in first round of CC playoffs.

Leaving: F Mark Suchy. 

Returning: F Josh Parra, G John Seidman, G Omar Nichols, G Jaylen Green, Jr. F Riiny Giir.

The skinny: The Diplomats had some moments. They got two wins over 2022 NCAA tournament teams in a showcase in Las Vegas over the holidays, then came home and beat 18-win Muhlenberg and pushed Swarthmore, now in the D3 Final Four, to double overtime.

There was also Parra’s buzzer-beater in the regular-season finale at McDaniel to clinch a Centennial Conference playoff berth. Parra, a low-block banger from Milton Hershey, averaged 13 points and eight rebounds and made second-team all-CC.

“(Next season) will be the first time in five years we’ll be in the upper end of the league experience-wise,’’ said coach Nick Nichay. “I’m excited about where we’re going and we’ve told our guys they need to have an ‘uncomfortable,’ offseason.’’

Elizabethtown College

Season: 10-14, 4-10 Landmark Conference.

Leaving: G Tamir Robinson.

Returning: Second team all-Landmark Conference G Rance Russo, F Dylan Rowe, F Niko Georgelis, G Jared Archer, G Tyreke Herbert.

The skinny: The Blue Jays went without starting point guard Jared Archer (broken arm) for all but the first three games. Another possible starter, 6-4 G Alon Gorham, missed the entire year with an ACL tear.

Russo (18 ppg), a sophomore from Central Dauphin who has grown three inches to 6-5 since high school, emerged as an elite offensive player.

E-town was erratic, but beat NCAA second-rounder Lancaster Bible, and beat and/or went to the wire with the best teams in the Land-mark (Scranton, Susquehanna, Juniata). And virtually everybody’s back.

“For a lot of our guys, this was their first time through it in the league,’’ said coach Britt Moore. “We lacked the experience, as a group, to deal with the setbacks. But we showed glimpses of the ability to get it done versus anybody.’’

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