Category Archives: SPORTS

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2018-19 FAB15 All-Star B-Ballers Named

Sponsored by PaHoops.org
BIG 60 COLLEGE EXPOSURE SHOWCASES

By Joe Gilloway
Executive Editor, Linglestown Gazette Sports

Spring sports have sprung, and high school basketball season is behind us. So it’s time that we at Linglestown Gazette Sports unveil our 2018-2019 FAB15 all-star lists.

Five-member panels, comprised of individuals with an extensive knowledge of the area’s players, were assembled for both the boys and girls sides, and met at the conclusion of the District-3 tournament. They used very few outside sources to help compile the lists. Sitting in gyms and watching basketball games is primarily what brought about the results. Players were assessed on both offensive and defensive prowess, along with the value they brought to their team.

No member of the Linglestown Gazette Sports staff had any greater influence on the process than did any other panel members. Majority ruled, and in the case of ties there were thorough discussions amongst all members to decide who we ultimately felt deserved the recognition.

Players of the Year are denoted in parentheses. Please note there are four on the girls’ side. Our committee attempted to narrow it down to less, but despite all their labors could not remove any player from the list. If you follow local high school basketball, you’ll understand.

Below are our the FAB15 (including Players-of-the-Year), NEXT12 (Honorable Mention), and FUTURES (Freshmen and Sophomores), listed alphabetically.

BOYS FAB15

TY BANACH – 6’1″ Sr. G Cumberland Valley – Amongst the conference leaders in multiple offensive categories, Banach was instrumental in helping to put the Eagles’ program back on the Central PA boys basketball map. He has the size and strength to contribute in the paint, and the leadership skills to come up big in key moments. This multi-faceted player’s production and presence will be tough to replace.

 

WILL BOWEN – 6’6″ Sr. F Lower Dauphin – For years Bowen has been one of the most versatile players in the conference, and this season was no different. Averaging roughly 16pts and 12rb per game, he was a main focal point on every team’s scouting report. He was powerful down low, but also a threat from the perimeter. Basketball is not Bowen’s only sport, and he’s opted to play football at the University of Delaware. This is Will’s second year on the FAB15.

TYLER COLLIER – 6’8″ Sr. F/C Chambersburg – One of the most improved players in the area, Collier took on a leadership role this season, and was a major part of his Trojans team capturing the Mid-Penn Commonwealth division title. He can handle the ball, shoot the jumper, and take his man inside. Collier was a two-sport star at Chambersburg, and will be making a decision between playing basketball or football at the next level.

TARAJAE DAVIS – 5’10” Sr. G Bishop McDevitt – When watching Davis play, one word comes to mind….determination. He’s the backbone of a very successful ’18-’19 McDevitt team who captured this year’s District-3 4A title. Davis applies extreme pressure on defense, and attacks the basket with acrobatic finishes. He’ll have an opportunity to play at the next level, and could be a steal for college coaches looking for an “It” player.

BILL FOLK – 6’4″ Sr. F Susquehanna Township – Folk is a high-octane scorer who can heat up and hit from anywhere on the court. He was the leading scorer for an inexperienced Indians team who clawed their way into the PIAA state tournament. Bill has the tools to become a very enticing prospect, and we’ll watch closely to see where he ends up.

LUKE HEDRICK – 5’10” Sr. G Lower Dauphin – Hedrick plays at an incredible pace, and as hard as anyone we’ve seen, but always under control. He’s one of the best shooters in the Mid-Penn, and one of the toughest players to defend. His leadership presence and perimeter play helped his Falcons to the program’s first-ever District-3 championship gold.

AMIR JACKSON – 5’10” Jr. G Central Dauphin East – Jackson may have been the most versatile scorer in the entire conference. We like to call him “Backpack”, because he did all he could to keep his Panthers competitive in a season of challenges. The two-year starter is well on his way to back-to-back seasons as one of the Mid-Penn’s leading scorers. He’s crafty with the ball, and loves to use his mid-range game to his advantage.

JAKE KELLY – 6’4″ Jr. G/F Bishop McDevitt – Kelly is a tough matchup for defenses who can hurt you inside and out. He plays the offensive game based on what his opponents are giving him. Jake stepped into a leadership role this season, and took on the challenge of playing big on an undersized District-3 champion Crusaders team. His success this season elevated him from last years LG Sports “FUTURES” list straight to the FAB15.

DAVON LEE (PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR) – 6’1″ Jr. G Harrisburg – A relentless scorer who stays in attack mode, “Dink” has taken over as arguably the top player in the area. He has the ability to score 20+ on any given night, or play the facilitator on a team with multiple scoring threats. In his first season as a Cougar he and his team walked away with District-3 6A gold. The best is yet to come for this young man.

JOSH PARRA – 6’4″ Jr. F Milton Hershey – On a team depleted of top-level talent from 2018 graduation, Parra’s presence helped to keep his Spartans in the mix as one of the area’s top teams. He’s one of Central PA’s premier two-sport athletes, and still has a year remaining to represent his school on both the hardwood and gridiron.

JAKE PERRY – 5’10” Jr. G Camp Hill – Perry is a tough, athletic guard who knows how to help his team win in pressure situations. One of the area’s leading scorers, the three-year letterman has been a Lions team leader since his freshman season. Jake doesn’t take nights off, and it will be exciting to see what he adds to his game next year.

HOWIE RANKINE – 5’11” Sr. G Carlisle – On a team short on premier scorers, Rankine provided the spark needed to win some big games in a very competitive Mid-Penn Commonwealth division. We loved his energy and competitiveness, along with his ability to take over games offensively. Howie is a player that any coach would want in their lineup.

PATRICK WALKER – 6’4″ Sr. F Trinity – Walker is a guy who just finds ways to get the job done. He attacks the glass, plays great D, and connects from the free throw line. His leadership was invaluable for a Shamrocks team who enjoyed more success than the program has experienced in years. Patrick was the Mid-Penn tournament MVP for a team who won the Capital Division, Mid-Penn tourney, and District-3 trifecta.

CHANCE WESTRY – 6’4″ Fr. G Trinity – Westry is a player who everyone needs to see. He’s crafty with the ball in his hands, and sees the court as well as any player we’ve watched this season. A selfless distributor on offense, but can also score when his team needs it. Chance may have the highest ceiling of any player in the state. He currently holds offers from both Dayton and Penn State, with plenty more to come.

JOEY ZVORSKY – 6’1″ Jr. G Cedar Cliff – It wasn’t easy to replace the production lost from the departure of key players from last year’s Colts team, but Joey delivered a season which kept his young squad competitive. A great shooter and attacker of the basket, he will look to become one of the top players in the entire district next year.

NEXT12

SETH BROUSE – Chambersburg
DYLAN BUZALKA – Cumberland Valley
STEFFON CHAMBERS – Harrisburg
ERIC DICKEY – Steel-High
MEHKI FLOWERS – Steel-High
RYNELL GANTT – Harrisburg
MAKHI JONES – Susquehanna Township
RANCE RUSSO – Central Dauphin
ETHAN SHREFFLER – Chambersburg
JARAUD SMITH – Central Dauphin
BRIAN SWIST – Lower Dauphin
OMAR TANDIR – Cumberland Valley

FUTURES

KEVIN COLEMAN – Susquehanna Township
KENYON ELLIOT – Bishop McDevitt
DA’VON HAGGINS – Central Dauphin
AARON JONES – CD East
DERRICK LOVE – Cedar Cliff
JACKSON MASCARI – Hershey
JOHN McNEIL – Harrisburg
RYAN SMITH – Central Dauphin
VASHON SPENCER – Steel-High
CHRIS WALLS – Steel-High

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UPCOMING PA HOOPS SPOTLIGHTS
June 30 at Lancaster Bible College
August 11 at Spooky Nook
November 3 at Spooky Nook

Get info at PaHoops.org

__________________________________________________________________

GIRLS FAB15

AMELIA BALDO – 5’6″ Sr. G Palmyra – All energy all the time at both ends of the court, this selfless point guard battled through regular season injury to help turn her team around and lead them on a magical district gold medal run. Baldo will go down as one of the top players in the history of the Palmyra program.

DAJAHNAE BRANNON (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 5’10” Sr. F Harrisburg – Runs the court as well as any forward you’ll see, Brannon has been playing at a high level since she broke into the varsity game as a freshman. She helped her team to three 20+ win seasons, which included a 2018 district title. Oh, and for an encore, this legendary Cougar broke her school’s all-time scoring record back in February.

RYLEE EVERETT – 5’5″ Sr. G Mechanicsburg – Everett helped turn around a Wildcats program who just a season ago finished six games under .500 and close to the bottom of their division. She earned first team Keystone division all-star honors, and guided her team to a huge victory over a Bishop McDevitt team who were 18-0 at the time.

OLIVIA FASICK (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 5’8″ Sr. G Bishop McDevitt – When you talk about players who can do it all, Fasick comes straight to mind. She helped lead her Lady Crusaders to a Mid-Penn Keystone division title, and finished amongst the conference leaders in every offensive and defensive category along the way. She’s a legend in a school known for girls basketball legends.

KATE FITZPATRICK – 5’5″ Jr. G Middletown – Fitzpatrick led the entire conference in scoring, and was called on to do a whole lot more for her inexperienced Blue Raiders squad. One of only three players on our FAB15 list not graduating this spring, she hit the 1,000 point mark for her career just over a month into the ’18-’19 season. She works as hard as any player we know, and the rewards keep coming.

TREASURE GEORGE-MORROW – 5’7″ Sr. G Bishop McDevitt – Along with teammate Fasick, George-Morrow was co-court general for a Crusaders team who captured their division, went to the 4A district championship game, and won two games in the state tourney. She capped off her career by scoring her 1,000th point in Reading High’s hallowed Geigle Complex gym.

SAM GRESS (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 5’9″ Sr. G Central Dauphin – Tasked this season with leading a Rams team very short on varsity-level experience, the area’s top multi-sport athlete improved her own game and everyone’s around her. She passed the career 1,000 point mark in January, after being nominated for the McDonald’s All-American team just days earlier. Gress opted for the diamond at the next level, and will pitch and play shortstop at North Carolina State after her stellar 3-sport high school career comes to an end.

ASHLEY HOAGLAND – 5’4″ Sr. G Cedar Cliff – Hoagland sees as many minutes on the floor as any player around, and never stops moving. She took over this season as the Colts’ team leader after an en masse loss of key players to graduation, and guided them to a top-4 finish in a very difficult District-3 6A tourney field. Along with Baldo (above), she’s our “Energizer Bunny Player of the Year”. Just all hustle.

KASSIDY INGRAM – 5’9″ Sr. F Trinity – “Forward” is just a label for this player, as she runs the court with the best of them. Ingram possessed the tools to help her talented Shamrocks team in the paint AND in the open court. When we think valuable offensive rebounds, Ingram comes straight to mind.

JULIE JEKOT – 5’10” Soph. G Cumberland Valley – Some players just want the ball in the most crucial situations, and Jekot is a first-teamer in this category. She made clutch play after clutch play with games on the line, and was a guiding force for her young team’s march to Mid-Penn Commonwealth and District-3 titles. The sky’s the limit for this multi-faceted pure baller.

KENNEDY KUFFA – 5’9″ Sr. G/F Cumberland Valley – One of the area’s more well-rounded players, Kuffa’s leadership was immeasurable on a team whose top eight players were predominantly underclassmen. She had the ability to contribute in whichever way her team needed her on a given night, and was usually assigned to cover the opposing team’s best offensive weapon.

SUNSHINE McCRAE (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 6’0″ Sr. F Trinity – On a team loaded with talent, McCrae was the player who stood on top. She had the size to battle down low, and a shot from the perimeter as good as many teams’ best shooters. She got better as the season progressed, and was a main cog in her Shamrocks trifecta of titles on the season…Mid-Penn Capital, Mid-Penn tournament, and District-3 3A.

ABBIE MILLER – 5’10” Soph. G Cumberland Valley – One of only two sophomores to make our list (along with teammate Jekot), Miller followed up a brilliant freshman campaign with an even better season this year. One of the area’s better mid-range shooters, she also has the strength to play well in the paint. And if you like a player who adds a bit of physicality, Miller is it.

OLIVIA RICHARDSON – 6’0″ Sr. F Palmyra – Richardson plays the game the way it was designed. Constantly moving on offense, she can contribute from both the perimeter and the paint. She’s as smart and hard-working as they come, and knows when her team needs her to step up. Richardson had a great ending to a great Palmyra career, as she hit the 1,000 point milestone in February, before helping her team to a district title the following month.

SERENITY VIDOT – 5’4″ Sr. G Steel-High – One of only three girls players in the Mid-Penn conference to average over 20 points per game, Vidot didn’t stop there. She was the leader of a Rollers team who finished the season at 17-3, and behind only Trinity in the Capital division. This is a player who will be tough to replace.

NEXT12

JASMINE CHISHOLM – Bishop McDevitt
MAHOGANY COLLINS – Steel-High
ALAYAH COWAN – Harrisburg
GRACE DAY – Lower Dauphin
MADDIE LaFRANCE – Central Dauphin
JAYLIN MOORE – Trinity
ARIEL PETERSON – CD East
SHERIDAN REID – Camp Hill
AZIYAH RORIE – Steel-High
NATALIE SASSANO – Cedar Cliff
HANNAH SAUVE – Cumberland Valley
AVA STEVENSON – Trinity

FUTURES

TAJA COLBERT – CD East
MARY COTTER – Hershey
TALIA GILLIARD – Mechanicsburg
LAUREN KIRSCH – Lower Dauphin
KENDAL McCALL – Camp Hill
MIRANDA KELLER – Bishop McDevitt
KAYLA LEMELLE – Harrisburg
CAROLINE SHIERY – Central Dauphin
ZOE SMITH – Hershey
LAUREN TRUMPY – Trinity
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Photo Credits: Photo of Sam Gress by Neil Renaldi. PennLive.com was the source of all other photos.

Lady Rams lacrosse rolls to win over Wildcats

Game report and post-game player interview video submitted by Central Dauphin Rams Girls Lacrosse Team.
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Central Dauphin Lady Rams lacrosse varsity team rolled over the Mechanicsburg Lady Wildcats on Saturday at home 18-5.

This contest was pretty much decided in the first half with the Rams breaking out to an 11-2 lead by the break.

The Rams had to start a freshman in goal, Tyler Hollister, who just took up the sport this year and earned the win with five saves.

Skyler Oken and Marley Kostelec each had four goals.

In the JV game, the Rams and Wildcats tied 7-7.

POST-GAME INTERVIEW
Doing the honors post-game for Lady Rams were (l. to r.) junior Haley Lackner, senior Sadie Smith and senior Erin Zieber.

Rams dominate Wildcats in road lacrosse win

Game report and post-game player interview video submitted by Central Dauphin Rams Boys Lacrosse Team.

By Mike Tyndale

The third game of the Ram’s season Saturday ended with a 19-6 victory over the Mechanicsburg Wildcats that improved the team’s record to 3-0.

The offense was sharp from the first whistle and put on a show for the CD fans in attendance with nine first-quarter goals.

The team was quick and physical all afternoon, keeping the game in their favor throughout. The defense had another strong performance, giving the Wildcats few scoring chances.

The Rams had eight players find the back of the net with six multi-goal scorers.

Next up is a road rivalry game with Cumberland Valley on Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m.

STATS
Brenden Yingling – 5 goals, 1 Assist
Max Anderson – 4 goals, 4 assists
Gavin Yingling – 2 goals, 3 assists
Derrick Hillman – 3 goals, 2 assists
Adam Burkhart – 1 goal, 7 ground balls
Kyle Tyndale – 4 ground balls, 4 takeaways

POST-GAME INTERVIEW
Senior midfielder Adam Burkhart, #46, and sophomore midfielder Brody Rock weigh in on Saturday’s win over Mechanicsburg.

CD Rams Boys Lacrosse rolls over Polar Bears

Game report and post-game player interview video submitted by Central Dauphin Rams Boys Lacrosse Team.

By Mike Tyndale

The second game of the season Thursday for the Rams featured some better weather and another dominant performance that resulted in an 11-3 win over Northern York Polar Bears out of Dillsburg.

The Rams didn’t repeat the slow start they experienced Monday in the season opener by jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter.

The scoring slowed for the Rams but the defense held strong despite a few penalties to make the score 5-0 at the half. The third quarter saw Northern York pull the game back within reach to 5-2. The offense quickly responded and put the game away early in the final frame.

The defense was solid again and gave the Polar Bears very few scoring chances all afternoon. David DeSousa had another strong game in the net and the man-down unit was impressive again.

Offensively CD moved the ball very well all afternoon and had Northern scrambling to match-up. Through two games CD has outscored their opponents 24-5.

Saturday’s game is away against the Mechancisburg Wildcats at 11:00 a.m. The field is located at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Park, 1 Memorial Park Drive, Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055.

POST-GAME INTERVIEW

Rams defenders (l. to r.) Ben Berger, #23, and Kyle Tyndale, #26, give their take on the win over Northern York.


STATS
Brenden Yingling – 5 goals, 2 assists
Max Anderson – 3 goals
Ben Berger – 9 ground balls
Dawson Smith – 5 ground balls

Rams boys lacrosse crushes Trojans in season opener

Game report and post-game player interview video submitted by Central Dauphin Rams Boys Lacrosse Team.

By Mike Tyndale and Jeff Kolakowski

The Rams started the 2019 campaign with a 13-2 victory over the Chambersburg Trojans on a cold and rainy afternoon.

A stingy defense gave up few chances and dealt some punishment for the few opportunities the Trojans had. The defensive clears and relentless midfield pressure proved to be too much for Chambersburg.

The midfield dominated ground balls and transition opportunities to keep CD in an uptempo pace throughout the game. The ball movement on the offensive side of the field was fun to watch for the home Rams crowd. The attack unit for CD turned it on in the second half to create a multitude of scoring opportunities to put the game out of reach. A balanced attack saw six Rams find the back of the net with five multi-goal scorers.

The defense was stellar as it was holding the Trojan shooting to a minimum. When they did get a shot off the goalie play was solid. CD won a majority of the face off battles. Dylan Hess led the ground ball game coming up with 11. Max Anderson led the scoring effort with 4 goals and 4 assists.

The Rams controlled the afternoon in all three phases and set the tone for the 2019 season.

Next up is a home game with Northern York on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.
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RAMS STATS
Max Anderson 4 Goals 4 Assists
Brenden Yingling 2 Goals, 2 Assists
Gavin Yingling 2 Goals, 2 Assists
Dylan Hess 11 Ground Balls
David DeSousa 12 Saves
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Post-game interview with senior midfielder Derek Krug, #18, and junior attackman Max Anderson, #7.

CD Boys Lacrosse records preseason win

Submitted by Central Dauphin Boys Lacrosse Coach Bob Miller

CD Boys Lacrosse entered preseason games on the road Tuesday against Exeter Township and Conestoga Valley in a doubleheader and came how with two Ws.

Below is a post-game interview with junior David DeSousa and sophomore Dawson Smith, and game reports are below the video.

The Rams were down 1-0 early in the first game with Exeter Township, but quickly gained control of the game and won 4-2 thanks to strong face-work and ground ball play.

In a game that had a lot of transition play, Ram midfielders dominated ground balls and possessions on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Solid goalie play saw the game stay under CD’s control.

The second game of the evening had numerous early scoring opportunities for the green and white but failure to find the back of the net. This would allow Conestoga Valley to take a 2-0 lead and the momentum into the second half.

CD’s offense got in rhythm and took control of the game to put them ahead 4-2 down the stretch. Despite numerous penalties throughout the game, the Rams defense, particularly the man down unit, held strong to complete the come-from-behind win.

Central Dauphin Boys Lacrosse next game will be March 22 when they travel to Trinity High School for the season opener.

CD Rams advance four to state wrestling championships

Central Dauphin Rams finished fourth in the PIAA District 3 Individual Wrestling Championships with 80.5 points. They trailed Chambersburg (103), Dallastown (120.5), and first-place Cedar Cliff (124.5).

Top finishers for the Rams who advance to the PIAA wrestling championships in two weeks at Hershey’s Giant Center are listed below:

Josh Miller finished second in 113 pounds. He narrowly lost the final to Cumberland Valley’s Ben Monn 5-4.

In 138 pounds, Tye Weathersby finished third by defeating Brooks Gable of Dallastown 2-1.

CD’s Jackson Talbott came in fourth in 195 pounds. Big Springs’s Hunter Hefflefinger defeated Jackson 5-4 in the consolation match.

And in 220 pounds, Marques Holten brought home a silver medal. He was pinned by Dallastown’s Jamal Brandon at 7:48 in the championship match.
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Josh Miller is pictured battling Cumberland Valleys’s Ben Monn in the District 3 3A individual wrestling championship finals Saturday at Hersheypark Arena. Photo by PennLive.

CD Rams win team title in sectional wrestling

Central Dauphin Rams Wrestling brought home six gold medals to win the team title Saturday at the PIAA District-3 Class 3A sectional tournament held at Hempfield High School in Lancaster County.

Here’s a summary of CD’s top finishers this weekend:

CD’s Josh Miller defeated Ethan Ketner of Hershey 5-3 to win the 113-pound class

In the 132-pound weight class, CD’s Bryce Buckman took third place by defeating Owen Rohrer of Penn Manor 12-3

CD Ram Tye Weathersby won the 138-pound class by defeating Manheim Central’s Conner Zeamer 17-3.

At 145 pounds, Mitchell Arch grabbed another gold medal for the Rams by defeating David Over of Manheim Township 12-4

CD’s Hunter Bentz finshed third in the 152-pound class by defeating Hempfield’s Ian Edwards 10-4

Ethan Pae of CD grabbed fourth place in the 160-pound class.

CD Ram Tim Smith brought home the gold in 170 with a 1-0 win over Milton Hershey’s Darius Briggs

CD’s Nathaniel Mosey finished fifth in 182.

Jackson Talbott won the 195-pound class with a 16-5 victory over T.J. Keener of Penn Manor

Bringing home another gold medal at 220 for CD was Marques Holten with a 6-3 decision over Tyler Phenegar of Lampeter-Strasburg

And Jayden Baylor of the CD Rams finished second in the 285-pound class

Next up for the Rams is the district tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23 at Hersheypark Arena.

Rams Wrestling gets 4th place in D-3 team tourney

Article revised Saturday, 2/2/19 at 10:15 pm with updated info for the PIAA Team Championships – see last paragraph. 

Central Dauphin Rams wrestling competed for the bronze medal Saturday afternoon in the District 3 Class 3A team championships against arch rival Cumberland Valley Eagles.

Going into the final bout at Spartan Center at Milton Hershey School, CD led Cumberland Valley 28-24.

The Eagles needed something special to happen in the final match. And CV’s Jacob Lucas earned a 20-5 technical fall over CD’s Ethan Pae in the 182-pound class. The decision pushed the Eagles past the Rams by a point, 29-28.

Cedar Cliff Colts won the 3A title by defeating top-seeded Dallastown 39-28 to win the District 3 Class 3A team title.

Despite losing to CV, the Rams earned a spot in the state Team Wrestling Championships. They are scheduled to compete in a preliminary round dual Monday, 7:30 pm against District 11 second seed Northampton at Catasauqua High School in Northampton.

Freshman plays key role in Lady Rams’ win

By Joe Gilloway

CD HIGH SCHOOL (Feb. 1) – Mid-Penn Commonwealth, meet Caroline. In a game where Central Dauphin coach Randy Gambelunghe was looking for a bit more toughness out of his Lady Rams players, freshman forward Caroline Shiery was all in.

Shiery controlled the boards all night in CD’s 54-44 win over the Harrisburg Lady Cougars, and joined teammates Sam Gress and Maddie LaFrance in double-figure scoring with 10 points that didn’t come easy. Gress finished with 17, most in the paint, and LaFrance with 12, which included two big 3-pointers.

The Rams defense was ferocious throughout, holding all-state forward Dajanae Brannon to just 5 second half points, and 11 for the game. Delaney and Haleigh Lackner did what they do best … disruption.

The Rams move to 14-6 on the season, 9-5 in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth division. Up next for them is a trip to Mifflin County on Tuesday, before closing out their season with a Senior Night home game next Friday.
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CD freshman forward Caroline Shiery, #11, is pictured. Photo by Neil Renaldi.

CD Boys Hoops defeat CV in thriller

By Joe Gilloway

CENTRAL DAUPHIN HS (Jan. 28) — Two rules for the high school basketball fan … (1) If you’re on the fence, go to the game. You never know what you may miss. And (2) if you think it’s over, stick around anyway. It may not be.

In arguably the biggest game in recent Central Dauphin boys basketball history, you had to be there, and you had to stay ’til the end. The Rams executed a frenzied 9-2 run down the stretch to overtake their cross-river rival, Cumberland Valley, and come away with a 62-61 brink-of-elimination win. Had things gone the other way, it was wave bye bye to a chance at the Commonwealth division title.

Senior captain Ben Stubljar led the way for the Rams with 19, matching the offensive output of CV senior Omar Tandir. It was a tale of two 19s though. Stubljar knocked down 12 of his in the second half, while 11 of Tandir’s came before the break.

The Eagles led by as much as 17 in the first half, but whatever CD coach Wayne Fletcher was putting down during their locker room breather, his team picked it up. They came out an altogether different team, and outscored CV 18-10 in the third, to cut the lead to two at the end of three. It was Disruption 101, and it carried over to the fourth quarter.

CD Rams senior forward Jaraud Smith (Photo by Neil Renaldi)

The Eagles spent most of the final 8:00 pushing back everything the Rams had to offer. They’d had the lead since 5-4 in the first, and played like a team who would somehow find a way to not give it up. But the Rams out-hustled and out-gutted the Eagles over the final three minutes, and a short baseline running jumper by CD’s Rance Russo with :03 left tied it at 61s. Oh yeah, and the foul!

After a Cumberland Valley timeout, Russo stepped to the line and coolly drained his and-1 shot. It was his team’s first lead since 4-2 … much, much earlier. CV then threw a 3/4-court inbounds pass that wasn’t able to get the Eagles the look they were hoping for. Buzzer sounds. Rams win. Court is rushed. Packed gym goes nuts.

Senior forward Jaraud Smith was an anchor for the Rams, scoring 11, playing great defense, and grabbing some crucial rebounds down the stretch. On the Eagles side, seniors Dylan Buzalka and Ty Banach had 14 and 11, to go along with teammate Tandir’s 19.

Noteworthy was both team’s execution from the free throw line. The Rams went 17-20 (85%), and the Eagles 20-26 (77%). The Eagles attempted 20 first-half free throws, but just six in the third and fourth quarters combined.
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Pictured at top is the senior Rams captain Ben Stubjlar. (Photo by Neil Renaldi.)

CD boys top CD East in b-ball rivalry

By Bill Bostic

The Central Dauphin Rams boys basketball team lead throughout a 79-61 win Tuesday in a rivalry game against the Central Dauphin East Panthers at the CD High gym

TV broadcasters on High School Sports Live credited CD’s Da’von Haggans, a sophomore power forward, for providing the Rams the spark they needed to outscore the Panthers 27-13 in the third quarter and seal the victory. He scored eight in the quarter.

Other keys to CD’s victory were only turning over the ball seven times and using full-court pressure at various times to force numerous giveaways by the Panthers.

The Rams’ top scorer was Rance Russo with 16. Other Rams who hit double-digits were Ryan Smith (15), Nick Chimienti (12), and Haggans (12).

The Panthers were led by Amir Jackson (15), Aaron Jones (11), and Xavier Samuels (10).

The win allows CD to stay at or close to the top spot in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth division with an 8-3 record (12-4 overall).

On Friday, the Rams travel to Chambersburg to take on the Trojans, and the Panthers (3-8 division, 6-8 overall) host Altoona.
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Pictured is CD junior Nick Chimienti who contributed 12 points Tuesday against CD East. (Photo by Neil Renaldi)