Lancaster Catholic wins L-L League Title

The Lancaster Catholic Crusaders (24-0) are still undefeated because they are really good. Really good at changing gears when the tires appear to be falling off.

They overcame a double digit lead held by the Lebanon Catholic Beavers, by opening the second half with a 19-5 run to stay ahead for good and win their 13th L-L League Title tonight at Manheim Township High. The final score was 59-49.

The Crusaders are the L-L League champions for the 13th time. They last won it all in 2016 and their first was in 1975. They lead the league in such things.

Lebanon Catholic (19-6) was playing for their second L-L title. They won their first in 1981 and last appeared in the 2000 title game.

The first half was dominated by Lebanon Catholic’s Alexis Hill and her partners Neesa Pierre and Celine Mars. They kept the game moving at a fast pace and put on a rebounding clinic on both the offensive and defensive side of the court. And they forced 15, count ’em, 15 Crusader turnovers in the first half.

Up 30-21 with a minute and a half to go before the break, and with Jefferson sitting with foul trouble of her own, the Beavers surrendered a 7-2 Crusader run to close the half. It culminated with a Peyton Jacquis 3 just before the buzzer to make it a 32-28 game at the break.

The Crusaders kept that momentum up and came out roaring in the second half.

Led by Kiki Jefferson’s 17 points and amazing rebounding efforts, the Crusaders kept up a relentless pace. Jefferson had sat out most of the second quarter in foul trouble. But in the second half she ignited a team fire that was also fueled by Casie Peris, who came off the bench and scored 16 points and had multiple key rebounds.

The Beavers were not helped by the fact that Alexis Hill fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

For the Beavers, who are ranked number one in District 3 Class 1A, this is tune up in their district and state title runs. They are the reigning District 3 and state PIAA Class 1A title holders.

For the Crusaders who remain undefeated, who knows how far they can go? But it will be fun to watch. Stay tuned.

This was fun to watch. Great show. Enjoy highlights.

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Finals seconds and interview with Crusaders Kiki Jefferson and Lauren Mills:

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