For the first time this winter, all 25 Lancaster-Lebanon League women’s basketball teams this week must be in action at the same time in this postponed, protocol-laden, and truncated season.
Several teams have been dealing with quarantines and closures since the jump in early January, but every team is scheduled to be on the floor this week. And that’s a good thing, as the section races start to take shape, and the battle for District 3 power points starts to heat up.
Here are some key matches to play in the coming days, plus some news, notes, facts and statistics to share from across the league when the calendar reaches the end of January. …
MONDAY, JAN. 25
Lampeter-Strasburg in Manheim Central, 7pm: The Pioneers started the week alone in first place on top of the Part 3 pile, and they will have an incredibly hot Barons side with a four-game winning streak. LS streaked 5-0 in Saturday’s non-league game at Twin Valley, but missed out on TV. LS again beat Central 46-29 on January 13 at Lampeter; Katie Ranck and Emma Drouillard dropped 15 points each for the Pioneers at W. Key child: LS Maddie Visniski has 24 points in the last two games, and he did 12 rebounds in his first-place bout win against Cocalico last Thursday.
Lancaster Catholic in North Lebanon, 7:30 pm: Crusaders and Vikings will collide a second time; Catholics win their first meeting 56-33 on January 13, and first-place Crusaders can open up more breathing room in Part 4 with a road win here against their old enemy. And yes, the two were supposed to meet in the PIAA-4A state quarter-finals last March, but… yes. Key child: Defensive stopper NL Rachel Papson are on 10.5 points in the last two games, including a season-high 12 points in the win over Donegal on Saturday.
TUESDAY, JAN. 26
Annville-Cleona in Columbia, 7:30 pm: It’s been a long time since AC / Columbia became a must-see game, but there’s a lot of good going on both of these programs this winter. The Dutch and Crimson Tide open this week in second place in Section 5 behind front runner Lancaster Mennonite, so the winners here remain in the lead with the Blazers, who don’t return to league games until Friday with a trip to Annville. Circle that game too. The Dutch opened the week with a 2 match winning streak; the Tide had his 4-man snapped on Saturday with a non-league setback across the river in Eastern York. Key child: AC Brittany Nye has scored double digits in all four games, and he’s done a lot of the tough job.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27
Elizabethtown in Conestoga Valley, 7:30 pm: The Bears haven’t played since January 11 and the Buckskins haven’t played since – take a sip January 8th, so these two squads will have trouble this week. CV will only play its second game on Monday, the non-league tilt at Donegal, and when the Bucks welcome the Bears, only first-place possession in Part 2 will be at stake. In case of rescheduling error, E-town will welcome CV on Friday for their second meeting in 48 hours. Key child: Main bearer Ainsley Raybold has five three-pointers in two games. … And this: Certainly not a huge sample size by any means, but E-town (2-0) and CV (1-0) opened this week as the only team unbeaten in the LL League.
THURSDAY, JAN. 28
Linden Hall at Lancaster Catholic, 7pm: Exciting non-league combat here, with several District 3 champions reigning over the Crusader home grounds. Much talent is showcased in this fight, as the Lions and Crusaders face each other for the second year in a row. Key child: Catholic freshman points custodian Mary Bolesky (10,8, 4 3) continues to impress.
FRIDAY, JAN. 29
Cedar Crest in Hempfield, 7:30 pm: The Black Knights start the week riding an 18-winning streak of the league, and the Falcons cover line 2 behind Hempfield in Part 1, so there should be plenty of travel when Cedar Crest gets on the gas onto the bus and comes to Landisville. Key child: The basic threat of the Falcons Sarah Batra scored a career-high 25 points in last Thursday’s win over McCaskey.
Warwick in Ephrata, 19:30: While E-town and CV will battle for our first place in Part 2 on Wednesday, Mountaineers and Warriors – who haven’t played since January 13 – are looking to jump into that ultimate pack. Always a good time when these backyard rivals collide. Key child: Warwick snipers Lauren Pyle (14,3, 8 3) requires 18 points to join the club 700 points.
* Lots of matches on Saturday, January 30th, with 10 matches at stake. Circle Cocalico in Warwick in the backyard of scrap nonleague makeup, and Lancaster Catholic in Manheim Central in Sections 3-4 crossover slopes.
LEADING SCORER: Maddie Knier from Manheim Central (22.3), Mariah Wilson from Lancaster Mennonite (21.4), Giahny Correa from Lebanon (18.2), Brie Droege from Colombia (17.8), Hannah Custer from Cocalico (17, 4), Brittany Nye of Annville-Cleona (16,8), Jasmine Griffin of Ephrata (15.0).
MOST 3 POINTERS: Cara Tiesi from Ephrata (11), Kiersten Shipton from Cocalico (10), Emma Drouillard from LS (9), Genesis Meadows from Lancaster Country Day (8), Lauren Pyle from Warwick (8), Giahny Correa from Lebanon (7) , Paige Phillips of Solanco (7).
NOTABLES: Two seniors joined the club 700 points last week; Amanda Smith (726) of Elco and Hannah Custer (706) of Cocalico are now chasing 800 career points. … Towson University performs Mariah Wilson rose up to 1,508 career points for Mennonite, 145 points behind the Blazers program record-breaking. … Giahny Correa, the other senior, sits with 944 points for Lebanon, 56 points under 1,000. The Cedars, who have not played since January 18, will return to play this week. … Pequea Valley Coach Jason McDonald has 93 career wins, seven under 100 for the Braves. … Seven LL League teams – McCaskey (0-6), Lebanon (0-5), Garden Spot (0-4), Solanco (0-5), Donegal (0-5), Pequea Valley (0-3) and Octorara (0-5) – open this week still promising for their first win of the season. … After many delays and matches rescheduled, there are only a couple of PPD clashes still on the main schedule: Lancaster Country Day vs. Lancaster County Christian (from 23 January) and the Pequea Valley vs. Middletown’s Monday is still marked as PPD, and awaiting the makeup game’s info. Stay here. … More important career point totals heading into this week: Penn Manor junior Morgan Miller (559), a sophomore at Manheim Central Maddie Knier (558), Cedar Crest senior Reese Glover (541). … Nothing official, but hearing the wheels start turning about the potential LL League playoff bracket. Please sit.
And this … Lancaster Catholic has a 62-match winning streak in the PIAA which was ended last week by Chartiers Valley. The Colts ended up running their dub strings to 64 in a row, before Char Valley fell to Trinity (Washington, PA) 49-42 on Saturday.