Before we begin to review the upcoming 2017-’18 basketball season let’s take a look at last year’s L-L League Champion and District 3, 4A title winner, the Lancaster Catholic Crusaders.
They became the new champions LL League champions after beating the favored Lebanon Cedars 49-47 in the 46th annual Lancaster-Lebanon League championship game held at Manheim Township High last February.
Sean Landis and the Crusaders put it all on the line in the final minute of play and came away with a 49-47 win.
With a minute left, Lebanon took a 47-46 lead on a pair of free-throws from Luis Aquino-Rios, then Landis took a pass in the corner and drove to the rim for the game-winning score with seconds left.
“We didn’t have a game-plan for it, we just wanted to get a good shot up,” Landis said afterward.
“We practice situations a lot and I like to let the kids be comfortable in the flow of the game,” said Crusaders’ coach Joe Klazas. “We thought we were pretty good off the dribble and we thought we definitely could attack the fringe and finish plays out of it.”
Both Danny Bomberger and Jon Ware were in foul trouble in the second half but Catholic refused to give in. Chad Wenger and Mark Cannon picked up the slack. Wenger nailing 12 points as well. The bottom line was that Lebanon simply could not break the Crusaders’ defense to get their high octane offense in gear.
Watch the final minute of play to appreciate Catholic’s swarming defense.
One could say this was a David and Goliath story. Who would argue? Lebanon is a 6A team after all.
Lebanon (20-4), the Section One champion, possesses one of the best offenses in the league averaging 61.2 points a game. While Catholic (20-4), the second place team in Section Three, enjoys one of the best defenses in the league holding teams to 45.6 points per game.
This is the second L-L League Tournament Title for Catholic. The last one was the 35-0 team in 2003 who were both District and State champions.
FINAL MINUTE OF PLAY WITH GAME TIED HIGHLIGHTS:
Lancaster Catholic 12 12 10 15 – 49
Lebanon Cedars 9 12 12 14 – 47
Lancaster Catholic Crusaders (49)
Landis 13, Wenger 12, Cannon 7, Ware 6, Bomberger 5, McCaskey 4, Thomas 2
3-pointers: Wenger 2, Bomberger 1, Cannon 1,
Lebanon Cedars (47)
Washington 15, Ortiz 11, Shaak 9, Rios 4, Pereyra 3, Vargas 3, Kortright 2
3-Pointers: Washington 1, Vargas 1, Ortiz 1, Shaak 1
Final Boys 2016’17 Basketball Standings: