ed note: Info gathered from LL insider and LLhoops.com
Feb 12, 2017
Monday Feb 13.
Ephrata (2-3) 16-7 vs Lebanon (1-1) 18-4
Second year Coach Charlie Fisher led the Mounts to a 10-4 LL record. The rebuilding job is/was next to spectacular. The Mounts are led by a bunch of players on the offensive end (not one star as such). Ephrata will use a variety of defenses- man, some ¾ traps, a 1-3-1. On the offensive end, the Mounts use a cutting and slicing man offense, with some screening action either in or next to the mid- lane area. The LLhoops staff is calling Micah Krauter (10 ppg), 6'3" sn, the glue/heart-and-soul of the Mounts for the 2016-17 year.
The Cedars went wire to wire in Section 1. Coach Tim Speraw had the Cedars in the PIAA tournament last year, so this group (many returned from last years team) is used to playoffs type games. Lebanon will use basically a man-to-man defense, although they have shown some full court traps and man pressure up the floor. This team can handle the ball as they have 4 players who can handle pressure using the dribble. The penetrate and score/kick game is outstanding. Khalique Washington, 6'5" sn, is a big presence who can use either hand in the post. Luis Aquino- Rios, 6'2" sn, and sharp-shooting Camyrn Shaak, 5'9" sn, lead the Cedars in scoring at 12 ppg
LMHS (3-1) 20-2 vs TWP (1-3) 14-8
The Blazers are no strangers to the LL in recent times. They have qualified for the last 5 years. LMHS is a very tough out at home- the @LMSuperfans get the gym ramped up. Can a coach who wins over 300 games be underrated? We think so. Coach Groff has seen a lot during his tenure at LMHS. The Blazers feature a fast break team - they like to get up and down the floor. On the defensive end the Blazers go man most of the time. They are led by Javan Terry (16ppg), 5'11" sn, a doing -everything type of player. LMHS is undersized going into the game with TWP, but they played a much taller Trinity team earlier in the year, so have some experience playing vs. bigs.
TWP is hot. The Streaks won their last 7 games to get into the LL's and needed every one of the games. This is the first trip to the LL's since 2012. TWP was in a lot of close games and seemed to find a way to lose them early in the season and win them late. Tyler Crespo (18 ppg), 5'10" soph, is a dynamo at the point/shooting slot for the Streaks. TWP also features the best hi-lo game in the LL. Nick Vicidomni (12ppg) , 6'7" sn, can score inside and out. Defensively the Streaks will be mostly man. TWP has a lot going for them – speed, shot blocking, balance, and rebounding.
Lanccaster Cath. (3-2) 18-4 vs. LS (2-1) 16-7
LS—surprise surprise surprise. The Pioneers hung in the weeds as M.Central and Ephrata battled it out for first and headlines and media love......but in the end LS beat MC and Ephrata at home, had Spot beat the Barons for the second time, and forced a 1 game playoff for the Second 2 title. Coach Ed Berryman gathers a Section 2 crown in his first year! LS is a, no doubt about it, bombs away team. We saw them 2 times down the stretch and at least 6 players popped 3 balls. The key for the Pioneers will be rebounding-a HUGE ;) improvement in this stat line as the season progressed. Ryan Smith (16ppg), 6'5" jn provides shot blocking, rebounding and a 3-ball/post presence (yes both). Ben Sandberg (14ppg), 6'4" sn, is an athlete supreme- good on both ends- and normally is good for a dunk or 2 or 3 a game - and sometimes a miss too J. The Pioneers will use a variety of defenses. The offensive end will feature some drive and kick. If the Pioneers can hit their normal 10-15 threes, they will be a factor in this tournament.
Lancaster Cath. gives us a veteran team (12 seniors) with a solid coach, solid defense, and a solid offensive. I guess we could say they are 'Vanilla". No matter, the Crusaders qualify for the LL for an 18th time. Think about that number. 18 years in a row the Crusaders have been right here at start of the LL's. Coach Joe Klazas has seen most, if not all, of these games as an assistant and the head guy. The Crusaders lost to LMHS 2 times this season to finish the LL with only 2 losses. They are not adverse to running some clock and keeping the score in the low 50's or high 40's in a close game. They mainly rely on a solid man on the defensive end. Offensively, the Crusaders work the ball, reverse the ball, skip the ball—prodding the defense for weaknesses—drives off the back side are a constant when watching LCHS play. Although this is a no star-type team, Danny Bomberger (13 ppg), 6'3" sn, provides consistent scoring from the perimeter.
Hempfield (1-2) 15-7 vs. Manhiem Central (2-2) 19-4
Hemfield Black Knights have grown a LOT from earlier in the season. Some key injuries early in the season limited the Knights to Ryan Moffatt (18ppg), 6'4" jn, and the midgets – sorry midgets. The Knights are hot. They seemed to gain some big time mo-jo coming off the 5 OT game win vs. Warwick. The Knights followed that up with a win at the buzzer over Lebanon (only Section 1 loss) and then a beat down of rival McCaskey. Hempfield has several players who can score in a variety of ways. The development of David Martin-Robinson, 6'4" jn, has given the Knights a player who is a tough guard- pops threes, drives and posts- one could say the same about Moffatt as well. Offensively, pass, pass, pass- then attack. Defensively, the Knights run a packed in man (one can hear Coach Walck hollering encouragement on the def. end no matter where you sit in the stands). The Knights are another hot team (5 in a row) and hot at the right time.
Manhiem Central features all-star Tyler Funk (23 ppg), 6'9" St Joe's bound sn). Funk can shot and pass and of course dunk. He plays within himself at all times. He is used to getting banged around but still can post 20 point games. Central led Section 2 for most of the year, but stumbled a bit late (losses to LS and Spot (2x) and then LS). Coach Sherwood has been in the LL the last few years and the PIAA as well. He is a seasoned coach who is a bit old school- not a bad thing at all. The inside joke within the media is the over under on the first timeout, as Coach believes in stopping runs and giving quick insights/adjustments early in the game (Coach Mike Gaffey, McDevitt, training for sure). On the defensive end, the Barons will run a 1-3-1, some ¾ traps, and man. MC probably has more defensive sets then any of the other teams in the LL- making it difficult to prepare for them. The Barons need "others" to help with scoring as they proceed in playoff time.
The week that was---LLhoops style..
Feb 7th : Hempfield 77 McCaskey 62
McCaskey vs Hempfield....The Knights took care of McCaskey on senior night at Hempfield. Coach Walck played all his seniors early. With 3 balls flying all over the place, Hempfield led 16-13 after one.
The Knights crushed it in the 2nd period running out to a 38-19 halftime lead. The Knights got scoring from 6 different players in the period, but they were led by Ryan Moffatt- 10 points.
McCaskey cut it to 12 at one point, but, basically, the Knights took care of business and qualified for the LL Section 1 second-place slot.
Feb 9th LS 68 MC 63
MC/LS playoff game for Section 2 title.
Game 3..both teams split in the regular season.
LS played MC's high scoring G/F a funky defense. MC tried to use a 1-3-1 vs the Pioneers. The result was that LS got some open shots and nailed 'em. LS hit 5 triples in the first quarter to lead 17-13 at the break.
The Barons went on a 9-2 run to take a 22-19 lead in the mid 2nd period. The Barons started to run some clock but failed to score. LS scored on a layup by Smith and a triple by Ben Sandberg, 6'4" sn, to re-take the lead only to see MC's Trevor Hossler, 6' sn, pop a three ball at the buzzer. MC 25-24 at the break.
This game was going back and forth—no big or little runs Then, mid-way in the 4th a 5 point play swung the game around. A three ball by LS (Peyton Denglinger) and a pushing foul off the ball (1 plus- Jordan Swegar)- both made, gave the Pioneers a 51-46 lead, which they never gave up.
Very Unofficial Stats:
Rebounds MC 13, LS 17
Tovers: MC 3, LS 8
MC : Tyler Funk 24
LS: Ben Sandberg 21, Ryan Smith 12, Jordan Swegar 10
Feb 10 th: Ephrata 43 Columbia 39
Columbia/Ephrata LL playin game - FIRST EVER LL playin game.
LLhoops had the game covered with write-ups from Andy Herr(check his blow by blow write up in his weekly wraps section on llhoops) and some photos from Kirk Neidenmyer.
I sat next to Mike Gross of LNP (@MikeGrossLNP) on press 'row'/table covering the game with the stats. Neither of us could see the time well and took turns checking during timeouts J
Some thoughts.....In a typical LL playoff game, there was not a lot of scoring. Both teams prodded and shot but neither team could take control. 7-4 Columbia after 1; 19 -17 Ephrata at the half: 32-23 Eprhata after 3.
Ephrata took control in the 3rd period as their 1/2 court trap produced multiple turnovers and easy buckets for the Mounts.
Columbia came back keyed by some defensive stops and run-outs. Columibia's Jaden Neal drove to the basket trying to draw a foul (non called) flipped the ball over his head for a bucket (play of the year for the games LLhoops covered) during this run. The Tide played the foul game down the stretch and had the ball under their own basket down by 2 with 10 seconds to go. Columbia got the ball in but turned it over – Ephrata run down and scored as the clock ran out.
Stats- very unofficial:
Rebounding: Ephrata 28 Columbia 22
Tovers: Ephrata 13, Columbia 18
Blocks: Eph 4 Columbia 2
Columbia : Jaden Neal 12
Ephrata: Micah Krauter 12, Xavian Rodriguez 10
Jaden Neal - right AFTER he flipped the ball over his head
for the "LL Shot of the Year"
Photo by Kirk Neidermyer
Click HERE for offical score book!
LL playoffs....stay tuned for updated brackets and sites as the week progresses. @HempStudSec2017 pushed LLhoops into having LL trivia this week so we complied with a poll on @llhoops each day until Friday, Some interesting/fun facts. Kirk N @Kirkneidermyer provides us with some of his picts on game shots. Andy Herr covers the playoffs using tweets and blow-blow coverage on his weekly wraps section in LLhoops.com. As always, thanks to all our followers/tweeters(?) J.
Misc....Seems like we always find some 'old" schoolers and 'new" schoolers to talk to at games. This week, Doug Kraft (@kraftsmanship), took in the Hempfield game and pointed out previous Warwick coach (Coach Silcox) to LLhoops. After some discussion, Doug contacted AD Landis at Warwick and got confirmation. He also introduced me to Nick Vicidomini (TWP). We had a short discussion on his future in hoops at the college level (All the best to him and others going down that path).....Bobby Young (all everything at Hempfield) sat down with me after a game to discuss futures of players in the LL. Its always interesting to get his take- Hemp grad, Ship grad, and all around bball junky......Mike Gross always is very helpful to us and gives us some historical perspective on LL and PSU football! (Go Nits!)....AD Zac Kraft talked with us about communications (llhoops is to use email J) and gave us a tip on a good place for the LLhoops staff to meet.....Coach Herr (CV) talked with us about his twitter account (none)!....Plug for Rosario's Pizza (5 stars) on Route 23. Great service, wifi (a must), excellent buffalo chicken salad, and a great place for an LLhoops.com staff meeting!
LLhoops news? ....New logo compliments of the Dessie Jackson art group (plug for daughter but it is pretty cool J) ..probably new web design coming out in April....stay tuned as there are lots of decisions to be made—like what to do with LLhoops 1000 'old" files?.....Jerry Shenk's district rankings are posted on Sundays.....We should be getting to some District 3 games in the next few weeks- thanks to District 3 committee for recognizing LLhoops.com as an important media outlet....To move forward and to get better, we need advertisers.... SO if your business likes the idea of very local advertising, please contact us @webmaster.llhoops.com. Team pages, main pages, Andy's wraps, standings, etc....Gratitude to our long time advertisers John Lichty, CPA and Steve Lewis of Nationwide in Millersville. We could not survive without them. ....Polls? You like or not? Let us know when we are out and about or some tweets directed to @llhoops (we always respond except for input on the refs)....Jon K- Neast (@LLHoopsNEPbeat) beat will be getting lots of love the next few weeks as teams will be looking for any info they can during PIAA tournament....Curtis W gives us some info for our Delaware friends.
Fun week ahead for fans!
District 3 info NEXT week!