At long last, the 2020-21 L-L League girls basketball season got started on Friday night, with eight games on the slate — including some mighty interesting head-to-head section openers and a tasty nonleague clash.
Here’s a roundup, plus some news and notables sprinkled in there along the way …
Hempfield 59, McCaskey 29 — The defending section champs picked up right where they left off. Orianna Edmond (15 points) and Autumn Cook (14 points) paced a balanced attack, and the host Black Knights jumped out to a commanding 16-4 lead after the first quarter, led 37-9 at the break, and breezed past the Red Tornado. Hempfield used a 19-8 third-quarter run to put the game on ice. Eliana Foley popped in 7 points for McCaskey, which closed the contest on a 12-3 clip to take some momentum into Saturday’s nonleague game at York.
Cedar Crest 36, Manheim Township 23 — In Lebanon, Reese Glover drilled three 3-pointers and scored 16 points, and the host Falcons outscored the Blue Streaks 23-12 in the middle two quarters to earn the W. Cedar Crest’s 13-5 third-quarter spurt was the difference, as the Falcons earned a victory in coach Will Wenninger’s return to the bench for his second stint as Cedar Crest’s skipper. Gracie Martin scored 13 points for Township, the runner-up behind Hempfield in this race last winter. FYI: Hempfield at Cedar Crest next Thursday. Hang a star next to that matchup.
Elizabethtown 48, Ephrata 42 — In a battle of the last two Section 2 champs, the host Bears got an early leg-up in this season’s race with a hard-fought victory over the defending-champ Mountaineers. Ainsley Raybold splashed four 3-pointers and scored 12 points to pace a balanced attack, and host E-town built a 22-17 lead at the half and then fended off Ephrata down the stretch. Jasmine Griffin poured in a game-high 20 points for the Mounts, who couldn’t quite get over the hump.
Conestoga Valley 77, Lebanon 65 — It was a point-fest in Witmer, where the host Buckskins outlasted the Cedars in a game that featured lopsided numbers aplenty. CV put four players in double-figures: Taylor Hehnly (15 points), Rebecca Hartranft (13 points), Camdyn Mahler (10 points) and Alexis Goldsborough (10 points) led the way in the scoring column for the Bucks, who had a 40-30 lead at the half. Giahny Correa pumped in a game-high 32 points for Lebanon, which had a 22-point fourth-quarter charge. But the Cedars couldn’t overtake the Bucks. Correa is up to 885 career points, and she’ll look to join the 900 club on Monday, when Lebanon visits Ephrata. Meanwhile, CV will host E-town next Thursday.
Cocalico 39, Manheim Central 35 — A clutch win for the host Eagles, who used a 20-8 third-quarter blitz to grab a 33-22 lead, and then withstood the Barons’ game-ending 14-6 run to pick up a key victory in the section chase. Hannah Custer bucketed 16 points for Cocalico, while Maddie Knier scored a game-high 19 points for Central, which had a runner-up finish in Section 3 last winter.
Lampeter-Strasburg 57, Garden Spot 39 — The visiting Pioneers put three players in double-figures, and L-S raced out to a commanding 36-16 at the half and zoomed past the host Spartans in New Holland. Lancaster Bible College commit Emma Drouillard (14 points; 3 3’s), Maggie Swarr (career-high 14 points; 4 3’s) and Hailey Leaman (13 points) paced the Pioneers, who drilled nine treys and got off to a quick 1-0 start in the section hunt. Erin Gonzalez (14 points) and Taylor Soehner (12 points) led Garden Spot, which outscored L-S 23-21 in the second half for a fast finish.
Warwick 40, Solanco 34 — An incredibly intriguing nonleague clash in Lititz, and the host Warriors won it, closing the game on an 18-8 rampage to top the reigning Section 3 champs. Lauren Pyle popped in three 3-pointers and scored 19 points, and Warwick overcame a 26-22 third-quarter deficit to storm past Solanco. Jade Eshleman scored 14 points for the Golden Mules, who are right back at it Saturday night with a nonleague game vs. Penn Manor. For Warwick, this means some serious momentum heading into Monday’s Section 2 showdown at E-town.
Also Friday, old foes Lancaster Catholic and Elco squared off in a juicy Section 4 opener in Myerstown, and the visiting Crusaders won — barely:
NOTABLES: Pequea Valley’s nonleague game on Monday at home vs. Oley Valley has been postponed, and we’re hearing it very likely will not be rescheduled. The Reading Eagle is reporting that Oley Valley postponed all of its winter sports events next Monday through Wednesday. … Get well soon Ashli Shay; Elco’s coach is nursing a partially torn Achilles tendon, and she spent Friday night pacing the sideline in a walking boot. … Pequea Valley coach Jason McDonald is also under the weather, and he’ll likely miss some time on the Braves’ bench; with Monday’s Oley Valley game off, PV is set to get started on Tuesday with its Section 5 opener at Octorara. … Games keep being added to the master schedule pretty much on a daily basis, including this one: Delone Catholic at Lancaster Catholic on Feb. 15; couple of reigning D3 champs getting together in that clash. Circle it.
McCaskey at York, 12:30 p.m.
Hempfield at Dallastown, 3:30 p.m.
Penn Manor at Solanco, 6 p.m. (LNP coverage)
Northern Lebanon at East Pennsboro, 7:30 p.m.