The big news Monday in L-L League girls basketball circles: The playoffs got started, as Section 2 co-champs Elizabethtown and Ephrata got together for a wildly entertaining 1-game playoff to get into the league bracket. But that wasn’t the only game in town; there were six other tilts on Monday’s docket, as head-to-head section play wraps up, and teams start really jostling for District 3 playoff position with that deadline approaching quickly. Here’s the roundup, with plenty of notables …
SECTION 1-2 CROSSOVERS
Hempfield 62, Conestoga Valley 37 — It was a playoff primer for the Section 1 champs, and the Black Knights (7-1, 12-4) jetted to a 31-19 halftime lead and beat the host Buckskins. Lauren Moffatt (season-high 18 points), Ava Baer (season-high 11 points with three 3’s) and Jess Weinoldt (10 points) paced Hempfield, which prepped for its L-L League semifinal on Thursday at home vs. Section 5 champ Lancaster Mennonite with a W. Laela Robinson drilled three 3’s and bucketed 13 points for CV (1-7, 2-10) — which was back on the court for the first time since its odyssey against E-town last Saturday.
Warwick 32, Cedar Crest 27 — It’s a must-win kind of week for the Warriors, and they got it started off on the right foot. Lauren Pyle hit four 3’s and popped in 18 points, and Warwick — which started the week directly on the bubble in the D3-6A power ratings — overcame a sluggish start and a 16-11 halftime deficit to rally past the host Falcons. The Warriors (4-4, 7-5) closed the game on a 21-11 blitz to win it. Reese Glover, Sarah Batra and Kaya Camasta scored 6 points apiece for Cedar Crest (6-2, 9-6). ... FYI: Pyle has been scorching for Warwick; she's scoring at a 15.7 clip with 11 3's in her last three games — all Warriors' victories — and Pyle is at 791 career points.
RIP to former Cedar Crest all-star and 1,000-point scorer Alyssa Austin. Thankful I got to cover her entire Falcons' career and watch her play. Condolences to the Austin family.#PaGirlsHoops #LLsports @crestgirlshoops @CCHSFalcons pic.twitter.com/y9LK8G0QQH— Jeff Reinhart LNP (@JeffReinhart77) February 22, 2021
Penn Manor 48, Lebanon 42 — Morgan Miller (17 points) and Kamia Goodley (15 points) paced the offense, and the host Comets (2-6, 5-8) overcame a 19-18 halftime deficit to race past the Cedars; Penn Manor, which snapped a 2-game slide, went 30-23 in the second half to grab the lead for good, including a 17-9 third-quarter run to ice it. Giahny Correa scored 16 points for Lebanon (1-7, 2-15).
SECTION 3-4 CROSSOVER
Lampeter-Strasburg 67, Donegal 34 — Looking to put a stamp on their D3-5A playoff slot, the host Pioneers (6-2, 8-5) had a 23-point first-quarter outburst, and closed the game on a 14-4 clip to subdue the Indians. Emma Drouillard dropped a season-best 21 points and Katie Ranck chipped in with 13 points for L-S, while Victoria Burton banked 8 points for Donegal (0-6, 0-12).
Pequea Valley 60, Octorara 20 — The Braves are still in line for a D3-3A playoff bid, so every game down the stretch is large. PV got an all-important dub on Monday, as Rebecca Cox (17 points), Brooke Liney (10 points) and Deena Stoltzfus (season-high 10 points) paced the offense. The host Braves (4-5, 5-8) bolted to a 31-16 lead at the break, and then used a 21-2 third-quarter spree to cap it. Chase Decker popped in a season-high 6 points for Octorara (0-9, 0-11).
The Section 4 race is over; Lancaster Catholic earned the outright crown Monday compliments of a hard-fought victory over Elco. The win puts the Crusaders in the league semifinals on Thursday, as they’ll now go for their fourth L-L League title in a row. Here’s the story …
Meanwhile, Section 2 co-champs Elizabethtown and Ephrata squared off in a 1-game playoff for a spot in the league bracket on a neutral court at Cocalico. The Mountaineers sure looked large and in charge in the third quarter. But the Bears came all the way back for an exhilarating victory — and a spot in the league’s main playoff bracket. Here’s the game story, plus a PHOTO GALLERY …
* The L-L League quarterfinal game — E-town at Cocalico — highlights Tuesday’s slate. … Ephrata, which couldn’t slam the door Monday night vs. the Bears, is right back at it, now gearing up for the D3-6A playoffs with a home crossover date vs. Penn Manor. … Garden Spot, which has won four out of five during its blistering-hot, stretch-drive finish, is at Donegal in another crossover clash. … Four nonleague dates on Tuesday; Lancaster Country Day (2A), L-S (5A), Northern Lebanon (4A) and Pequea Valley (3A) could all use wins to either stay safe or — more importantly — gain ground in the D3 power ratings, as several L-L League outfits are hanging around the cut-line here at the start of the week.
L-L LEAGUE QUARTERFINAL
Elizabethtown at Cocalico, 6 p.m. (LNP coverage)
SECTION 1-2 CROSSOVER
Penn Manor at Ephrata, 7:30 p.m.
SECTION 3-4 CROSSOVER
Garden Spot at Donegal, 7:30 p.m.
Lancaster Country Day at Daniel Boone, 6:30 p.m.
Palmyra at Annville-Cleona, 7:30 p.m.
Lampeter-Strasburg at Conrad Weiser, 7:30 p.m.
Pequea Valley at Northern Lebanon, 7:30 p.m.