The Lancaster Catholic Crusaders have won their third Lancaster Lebanon League Title in 3 years. They defeated the Cinderella story of the playoffs, the Pequea Valley Braves 60-33.
The Braves had never won a girl’s basketball playoff game in their program until this tournament. Then they won three games in a row to get to the finals.
It was a very successful season for the Braves (20-6) who finished the regular season as the runner up in Section Five and tonight stand as the second best team in the league. They will now prepare for the District 3, 3A District playoffs where they are the number 3 seed. If they get to the District semifinals they get to play in the PIAA state playoffs.
For Lancaster Catholic it was what one might expect, if you have followed the Section Four champions this year.
A smothering defense. All night long, the Crusaders (22-3) kept two defensive players on the girl with the ball and it paid off. Their back court press culminated in 17 turnovers in the first half alone.
That’s all you really need to know. And they out rebounded the Braves 2 to 1.
The Crusaders are a team that distributes the shooting evenly. They have a lot of players who get between 7 and 11 points a game. All of their players are deadly from three point range and have the ability to drive to the basket at any moment whatever the traffic.
Catholic joins two other teams who have captured three league championships in a row: McCaskey, from 1982-84, and Manheim Township, from 1985-87. This is their league leading 15th L-L League championship.
As the number one seed, Catholic gets a bye in the District 3, 4A playoffs and will play February 21st against the winner of the Kennerd-dale/Fleetwood game at home.