Andy's Take!

ED Note: LLhoops welcomes Andy Herr. An ex-Warwick player, Andy gives LLhoops a new veiwpoint. Enjoy! @andybrackets

Past Reports

Dec 9-10

Week of Dec 12th- 18th


Hastings Helps Power Solanco Past York Suburban 65-39


The Solanco Basketball team opened their season last weekend in the Lancaster Catholic Tip Off Tournament. After two trips to the neighborhood of Rossmere last Friday and Saturday night, the Golden Mules returned home 1 up and 1 down. The Mules first succumbed to an initial dominating performance by one of the top squads in the YAIAA, the Central York Panthers to the tune of 72-34, before answering the bell 24 hours later by turning in their own dominating performance by taking care of Penn Manor 59-30. On Monday night, Solanco opened the doors to the home folks from Quarryville and the Black Hole for the first time this season, although the Solanco student section decided to don white attire for this evening, as their team faced yet another opponent from the York-Adams League in York Suburban.


Early on, it was apparent that York Suburban would have extreme difficulty matching up against the soon-to-be Lafayette Leopard, Dylan Hastings of Solanco. The towering 6'9 center for the Mules made his presence felt on the first possession of the game be registering a block as the Trojans tried to take it inside. If he wasn't busy displaying his defensive skills, he was showing off his offensive prowess which is what he did when spotted up from the foul line and knocked it down to give Solanco the early 4-3 lead. Eager to get their own names in the scoring column, junior Braden Redcay collected an offensive rebound and put it back in for the deuce, followed shortly thereafter by senior Robbie McHugh's drive to the tin to make it 8-3 Mules with 3:20 left in the opening quarter. Hastings had time for one last highlight in the opening eight minutes as he dove on the floor to maintain possession for Solanco before Jon Rush finished off the trip with a layup to help propel Solanco to the 14-8 lead after the first.


Turnovers and the three point shot. If there were two factors that helped contribute to Solanco pulling away from their visitors in the second eight minutes, it was hard to find two larger. Hastings got the party started with a trey to extend Solanco's lead to 19-13, before Collin Kilgore would add one of his own off great Golden Mule ball movement to add to the SLC lead at 26-15. Braden Redcay then took the party back inside with his lay in following a York Suburban turnover as Hastings would put more salt in the wound with two rejections on two consecutive YS trips down the floor. Hastings had time more heroics before the half was in the books as he contributed another 3 ball to help Solanco run off into the locker room with the 36-20 advantage.


New half, same Dylan Hastings. The Mule big man got it rolling early on for his teammates as he stole the Trojan pass and raced to the other end with it for the one-handed jam to get everyone on their feet. Clearly in a groove, Hastings hoisted it up from deep and find success there too as he splashed in two 3s to go on his own 8-0 run to start the second half. After Robbie McHugh's steal and finish, Hastings was back at it again with a nice inside move to hit 10 points in the quarter. Hastings added yet another trifecta later on after a nice Jon Rush take to the tin, and followed it up with a swat on the ensuing YS possession. 


When the dust settled this night in Quarryville, Hastings would end the evening with 26 points as he and his Golden Mule teammates notched their first winning streak of the 2016-17 campaign by besting York Suburban 65-49.


Strong Final Quarter Helps Veritas Academy Surge Past Lebanon Catholic At Spooky Nook


Walk into the Spooky Nook Sports Complex outside of Manheim on an average Tuesday night and you will immediately be met with the sound of basketballs pounding and sneakers squeaking on the palatial hardwood courts at “The Nook.” This past Tuesday night was no different, but there was one notable exception. While the run of the mill pickup games that feature severe cherry-picking and shots that even the likes of Steph Curry would find outrageous were taking place on adjacent courts, there was serious business to attend to as Lebanon Catholic made the trip south to take on the Monarchs of Veritas Academy in anything but a traditional setting.


The Beavers of Lebanon Catholic were the first to score as Humberto Valerio knocked down a free throw with Kyle Kauffman adding two of his own following an offensive rebound to make it 3-2 Beavers with 5:45 to go in the first. The going got tougher as the quarter progressed for Lebanon Catholic however. Following each Monarch bucket, Veritas would throw a 1-3-1 press at LC which led to turnovers both of the forced and unforced variety. When the Beavers were able to break free from the shackles of the Veritas press game, Valerio was usually the one to do it as he did later in the opening stanza with a beautiful drive and finish to contribute to the Beaver effort. 


The other factor that Lebanon Catholic was able to counter with was their imposing size as compared to their counterparts. If it was not junior Kyle Kauffman mixing it up inside, it was fellow junior Nate Hatzfield doing the dirty work for his Lebanon Catholic squad cleaning up the glass. Although the Beavers were scrapping, it was Veritas that jumped out to the 13-8 lead after the first quarter.


The Beavers started the second quarter off with a bang beginning with a Kyle Kauffman layup after Lebanon Catholic was able to get past the aforementioned Monarch press. Nate Hatzfield would go to show great determination in close as his tough bucket inside knotted the score up at 13-13 early on in the second. 


Humberto Valerio continued to be the engine that made Lebanon Catholic go as he was an absolute force taking it to the cup, picking up the traditional three point play in the process midway through the quarter, with another drive after that. Vertias would respond by stepping outside and hitting two consecutive triples to aid their cause before Kyle Kauffman answered the Monarch run with a layup and 3 ball of his own off the inbound play to make it 23-19 Beavers. Veritas would go on a run to tie LC with the half wrapping up, but Nate Hatzfield had the last say of the first half as his bucket inside made it 27-25 Lebanon Catholic through 16 minutes of play.


The back and forth affair continued when the third quarter began between Veritas and Kyle Kauffman. Literally. The junior forward for the Beavers nabbed a steal and capped it off with a reverse layup to begin the half and later added another lay in to make it 31-27 Beavers. As mentioned, Veritas was there to respond with four straight points of their own to knot the score back up at 31 apiece. Veritas would later add to their run by catapulting past LC to make the score 35-31, before Kauffman hit another key trey to make it 35-34 Veritas heading into the final quarter.


Needing more than a one man wrecking to take down their opponent, the Lebanon Catholic task grew taller as Humberto Valerio was hit with his fifth foul with 6:53 still left to play to in the game. Kyle Kauffman did his best to will his team to victory by first knocking down a step back triple to keep it within range at 40-37 Veritas, but the Monarchs came back with their own trifecta to push their lead back up to 6, before Nate Hatzfield had the LC answer to make it 43-39. Unfortunately for the Beavers, that would be all the closer they would get as Veritas would hold on to prevail in this out of conference matchup 47-39.


Wilson Puts the Clamps on Cocalico with 49-27 Road Win


Coming into Wednesday night's contest between Wilson and Cocalico, both teams were eager to shake free from the losses that had beset them during the first handful of games this season. Cocalico, starting a new era under coach Seth Sigman, came in reeling from an 0-2 trip in the Hershey Tipoff Tournament, as well as a narrow loss on the road to Exeter the night before, while Wilson who was winless as well after falling short against Easton and Pottsville respectively, was looking to build some of that all-important team chemistry in the beginning of the year. While important for all teams to accomplish that in the infancy of a season, it may be even more vital for Wilson as the Bulldogs still have a bevy of familiar faces getting their basketball legs back under them coming off the gridiron after helping lead their school to a state semifinal football appearance just two weeks ago.


If there are two main traits that have described Bulldog Basketball over the last handful of years, it is patient and disciplined offense, coupled with a suffocating defensive effort. Although the year is young, it certainly looks as though those characteristics will still ring true in 2016-17 based on the midweek performance in Denver. 


The Dawgs only surrendered a free throw from Cocalico's Nick Lucky through the first five minutes of the ballgame which saw Wilson jump out to a 4-1 lead after a Grayson Kline bucket inside and a Mason McElroy layup. The Bulldog effort defensively was still top notch in the early going as David Awurumibe had a monster block as Cocalico was still searching for success from the field. 


That success finally came as Brad Heck knocked down the first Cocalico hoop with two minutes left in the first quarter, but Wilson would have the final answer in the first eight minutes of action as Michael Jackson found Awurumibe off the nice pass to add to Wilson's lead which saw the Bulldogs up 7-4 at the end of one.


With the game still ripe for the taking, the early portion of the second quarter was controlled by the visitors from West Lawn. The second quarter flurry began with Dominique Diaz-Cruz dumping it off to teammate Sean McAndrew inside for the Bulldog bucket as McAndrew would later go on to score another two inside off of great Wilson ball movement. Wilson continued to own the paint as Foday Jalloh's hoop from close range put Wilson up 14-5. 


Cocalico sharpshooter Aidan Trynosky tried to rally the troops with his trey to keep the Eagles within striking distance, however a Brian Wright take to the rack allowed Wilson to double-up Cocalico once again at 16-8 with two minutes to go in the first half. The Bulldogs would eventually gointo the break holding serve with the 18-9 lead, limiting Cocalico to just two field goals in the first 16 minutes.


As the second half began, Aidan Trynosky tried to do his part in willing his Eagle teammates by raining in the 3 ball to get the Eagles back within reach, but Wilson seemingly always had the answer to whatever question Cocalico posed. David Awurumbie answered the Trynosky trey with one of his to help lengthen Wilson's margin to 23-14 with five minutes to go in the third quarter. Nick Montelone had a nice follow for Cocalico, but Wilson refused to yield yet again.


A pair of Wilson wideouts were getting it done on the hardwood shortly thereafter as Mason McElroy found Brian Wright in transition to now make the score 28-16 in favor of Wilson. Michael Jackson was then all net on a 3 following the McElroy to Wright fast break bucket. Cocalico's Connor Mack would knock home a 3 to keep it within 10, but McElroy added a steal with the finish to close the quarter with the Dawgs on top 33-21.


For a brief moment, it appeared that Cocalico might conjure up some of the magic that propelled them to an out of nowhere victory the last time Wilson got off on the bus in Denver two years ago as Nick Montelone hit the Eagle 3 ala Tucker Lescoe on the first possession of the final quarter to get the score within single digits. You guessed it, Wilson had the remedy for a Cocalico comeback. Dominque Diaz-Cruz notched two buckets in a row to make it 37-24 Bulldogs with McElroy going on to find another member of Wilson Football receiving corps as he hit Foday Jalloh for the layup to make it 41-21 Wilson with the Bulldogs seemingly scoring at will as the game neared its conclusion. McElroy would hit a pullup jumper for two more points on the evening before Cocalico's Austin Harvin scored from long range late, but it was too little too late as Wilson got the job done for their first victory of the season by topping Cocalico 49-27.


Ephrata Continues Early Season Success with Dominating Win Over E-Town


Friday night in Lancaster Lebanon League basketball brought with it the opening night of Section games. Even with the meat and potatoes of the season just getting underway, there were still plenty of early season storylines that had been formulated throughout the first week of the regular season. One of those stories has been the emergence of the Ephrata Mountaineers. The Mounts opened the season with a bang by taking the Exeter tipoff tournament and following that up with a gritty win on the road at Section 1 foe Penn Manor. The only cavity on the Ephrata schedule thus far had been a Wednesday night setback to rival Warwick by just two points. On Friday night, the Mounts were out to reverse their midweek shortcoming as they made the trek to E-Town to take on the Bears who were looking to generate some momentum of their own.


From the first possessio of the game, it was apparent that Ephrata would try to put their stamp on the game defensively as the visitors played with great intensity forcing E-Town to seemingly run their offense exclusively between the rings, not being able to get below the foul line. That worked out just fine for E-Towns Adam Peifer as he sank a triple to give the home-standing Bears the early 5-2 lead. Ephrata on the other hand, leaned on the efforts of forward Xavian Rodriguez as the sophomore collected Ephratas first four points before a Zach McGillan putback made it a 6-5 Ephrata advantage with 2:15 to go in the first quarter. E-Town would later regain the lead as freshman Ryan Parise threw the long outlet pass to Peifer for the fast break layup to make it a 9-8 Bear lead. It was impossible to predict at the time, but that would be the last time E-Town would hold the lead in the game as Dilyn Becker's 3 pointer just before the first quarter horn made it an 11-9 Ephrata lead when play resumed in the second quarter.


After a timeout in the early stages of the second quarter, Bradley DaBella became the recipient of a perfectly executed lob play out of bounds from just in front of the scorers table to ignite the Ephrata fireworks. The onslaught was in full effect moving forward as Ephrata increased their lead with plays such as Micah Krauter's sweet dish inside to Xavian Rodriguez, as well as Krauter doing all the dirty work for his teammates, including snaring two offensive rebounds in the same trip for the Mounts in Q2. Before anyone could blink, it was suddenly a 7-0 run to start the quarter for the Mounts, forcing E-Town to burn a timeout.


E-Town would respond out of the huddle as freshman Ryan Parise splashed in a trey to stop the Ephrata run. However as fate would have it, that would be the last Bear highlight of the first half as Ephrata went on a tear to close the half.


The march began as Larson Kopp was all net on his spot-up J with the Mounts eventually leading to an E-Town turnover the next time down the floor. Xavian Rodriguez was a huge contributor to the late-half Ephrata close as well. He was first the beneficiary of a nice dish by Dilyn Becker as he then translated his offense into defense with a steal on the other end. After a Rodriguez follow and a Brendan Holbritter trey, Rodriguez would go on to add yet another deep ball to make it a commanding 30-12 Ephrata lead. Kopp would go on to put the exclamation mark on the first half with a nice drive to end the second quarter scoring 21-4 in favor of Ephrata as the Mounts had an extra bounce in their step heading into the half leading 32-13.


As the second half got underway, it was clear that E-Town would have to claw their way out the massive hole that had been created. Brendan Holbritter did no favors to help the cause as the sharpshooter hit a 3 in the corner to get the half underway and added a layup after a Bear turnover just one minute into the half.

Much like in the first half, Ephrata's defensive intensity was unparalleled in the second half as well. Never was this more apparent than when Micah Krauter gave himself up and took the charge, just one of many subtle intangibles that the senior forward brought to the table to help put his team over the top on this night. Holbritter got loose once again from behind the arc and knocked another one down to make it a 10-0 Mount run to start the second half, with Holbritter contributing 8.


Micah Garber would prove to be a bright spot for E-Town in the third quarter as the senior knocked in two freebies at the line to get the Bears on the board with 5:10 left in the third. After two more FTs, Garber would go on to add an NBA 3, before the quarter would end with more Ephrata heroics. After a Becker 3 ball went home, an errant inbound E-town pass saw the ball end up in the hands of sophomore Zach McGillan as he hoisted it up from range to beat the clock as Ephrata rattled off back to back triples to end the third with Ephrata in front 59-24 with both teams being able to empty their benches to close the game.


As the fourth quarter began, the E-Town youth movement was on full display as freshman Ryan Parise launched the long baseball pass from the other end of the court to find the waiting hands of sophomore Larry Locker for the E-Town deuce. Eddie Myers would add another layup for E-Town before senior Anderson Ortiz hit a trey to make it a 59-31 game with time winding down.


In a game that was colored Purple and Yellow from start to finish, it was only fitting that Ephrata would end the game with some highlights of their own. Tyler Mercer was perhaps the biggest reason for that as the sophomore chipped in four straight points to the Mountaineer effort which saw a successful road trip to Bear Country end with a dominating 63-39 victory.


 This Week's Starting Five

1. Dylan Hastings (Solanco)

2. Humberto Valerio (Lebanon Catholic)

3. Dilyn Becker (Ephrata)

4. Micah Krauter (Ephrata)

5. Kyle Kauffman (Lebanon Catholic)