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Spartans Finish Eighth in District Three Playoffs March 1, 2019

Garden Spot faced Elizabethtown on the road Tuesday night in a District Three Class 5A consolation semifinal game.

The Bears, on the strength of a dominant third quarter, downed the Spartans 63-46 and moved on to the fifth-place match for the district. Both Elizabethtown and Garden Spot went to 16-11 on the year with the result of Tuesday's game.

Garden Spot rallied in the second quarter and went into intermission leading by a point, 32-31. The Bears' 15-4 run in the third and the momentum which carried into the fourth doomed Spot.

Bears' Brody Beach led all scorers with 15 points.

Garden Spot's Andrew Zentner led his team with 14 points. Keontae Nunn poured in 12 points and John Dykie added five.

The Spartans, who entered districts as the 12th-ranked team, upset New Oxford in the opening round on February 18. The loss to fourth-ranked Northern York three days later relegated them to the consolation games.

The loss to E-town did not end the season for Garden Spot; it sent the team to battle for seventh place in the district against Northeastern.

The Spartans came up short against Northeastern despite a 16-point performance by Nunn. He sank a pair of three-point field goals and went 4-for-4 at the foul line in the 56-38 loss.

The Spartans (16-12) actually led going into the second quarter. Northeastern doubled up Garden Spot 24-12 to take a 32-24 halftime lead.

Zentner scored 11 for Garden Spot.

Northeastern's Nate Wilson led all scorers with 19 points, drilling the net six times from three-point range.


At the District Three Class-AAA championships, which were held on Friday and Saturday, February 22-23 in Hershey, the Spartans' Joshua Groff finished fourth in the 126-pound weight class.

Meanwhile, Dustin Swanson, who wrestled in the 220-pound bracket and Garrett Gehr (120) finished sixth in their weight classes.

Groff earned a 6-2 decision over Shippensburg's Dylan Ramsey in the opening round and posted an 8-3 victory against Dallastown rival Cael Trumbull, advancing to the semis.

Groff's loss to J.J. Wilson of Cedar Cliff sent him to the consolation semis where he got past Ramsey again, this time with a closer margin of 4-3.

In the third-place match, Cole Grove of Chambersburg registered a major decision, having Groff settle for fourth place.

Swanson's opening-round match was a pin, taking Darius O'Neil-Taylor of Milton Hershey to his back. He kept up the momentum with another second-period pin, this time while taking on Frank Veloce of West York.

It was a close 8-7 loss that sent Swanson to the consolation brackets. He came up one point short against Marques Holton of Central Dauphin.

T.J. Moore's 6-1 victory resulted in Swanson having to wrestle in the fifth-place consolation match where Tyler Phenegar of Lampeter-Strasburg came out victorious.

Also competing were Charles Martin at 285 and Jeremy Schilling at 106.

Martin rebounded from an opening-round loss, which was a 4-1 decision, to outlast Seth Worley of Spring Grove in overtime, 5-4. His second consolation match ended early in the second period on a fall to Jordan Espinosa of Gov. Mifflin.

Schilling suffered two defeats - Aiden Lewis of Cedar Cliff and Caden Dobbins of Dallastown.


In the District Three bowling qualifying round, Spartan senior Amanda Lynch finished 19th, compiling 1059 points on Saturday, February 23, at ABC North Lanes in Harrisburg. She had a high score of 195 in her six games and finished one point shy of 18th-place bowler Katelyn Welsh of Penn Manor.

The top bowler among the girls' was Paige Boyd, with 1252 points.

In the finals, Charlize Wanner won with a 256-207 score against Warwick's Ashley Sham.

Sophomore Trevor Courtney of Garden Spot finished 20th in the boys' qualifying rounds. He had a consistent string of games, rolling scores of 191, 190 and 198 games two through four and capping the day with a 203 as he racked up 1126 points.


Spartans Post 1 Win, 1 Loss in District Playoffs February 22, 2019

Garden Spot's boys' basketball team opened District Three play with a 41-39 defeat of New Oxford on the road Monday night, February 18, securing a spot in the Class 5A consolations. In the second round of districts, the Spartans went into the fourth quarter trailing by only one point at Northern York.

The home team went on an 18-11 run and topped the Spartans 46-38. The Spartans fell to 16-10 with the loss.

The Spartans entered the district playoffs as the 12th seed and upset the fifth-seeded Colonials on Monday. In that game, it was Garden Spot that came on strong in the fourth quarter, outscoring the home team 12-6.

Andrew Zentner scored 15 for the Spartans, leading all scorers. Jon Morales tacked on 10 points and Jesse Martin scored five.

In the Northern York game, Keontae Nunn's 25-point performance wasn't enough for Garden Spot. The Spartans weren't very successful from three-point range with Nunn's single three-pointer being the only one for the team.

Ryan McGill and Nate McGill each scored 15 for the fourth-seeded Polar Bears, who improved to 22-3. Garden Spot is scheduled to play in the consolation semis.


The Spartan wrestlers took to the mats at Governor Mifflin High School on Friday and Saturday, February 15-16, in the District Three Class-AAA Section 1 sectionals.

Garrett Gehr, Josh Groff and Dustin Swanson each claimed the gold in their respective weight classes while Charles Martin finished third in the 285-pound weight class and Jeremy Schilling finished fourth at 106.

"The top four at each weight class qualified for districts," head coach Adam Bunting explained. "In total, we had five qualify."

Schilling opened with a first-period pin, topping Conestoga Valley's Trent Ruble in 1:34.

"Jeremy avenged a loss to Ruble from three weeks ago," Bunting pointed out. "Jeremy came out on fire with an early takedown. He let him up and took him down again."

Though he lost a tough 3-2 decision in the semis to eventual champion Joey Asterino (Exeter), he won the consolation semis by blanking Muhlenberg's Edgar Holland before a pin late in the first period forced him to settle for fourth.

"Jeremy has held his own as a freshman but went through a rough stretch in late January," Bunting said. "He is turning it on at the right time now and has seemingly turned a corner."

Swanson, a sophomore, took first at 220. Following a first-round bye, he notched a pin in the quarterfinals, downing Ian Brightbill of Wilson at the 3:36 mark and Max Pachero of Conrad Weiser in the first period of his semifinal match.

In the title bout, he edged Cedar Crest's T.J. Moore by a 3-2 score. Swanson topped Moore in the League Championships.

"That was the third time he faced Moore this season," Bunting explained. "It's difficult to face the same opponent so many times in a short span and for Dustin to win all three matches against a tough opponent speaks to his consistency.

"Dustin has built off his impressive freshman season where he was third in sectionals," Bunting added.

Gehr's first-place finish in the 120-pound class included two major decisions. He topped Todd Fritz of Cocalio 15-1 and was rock solid against Mason Smith of Reading in the semis, winning 13-1. Gehr won the title match as Chase Stehman of Daniel Boone defaulted due to injury. Gehr, who collected his 30th win of the season, was ahead 6-2 at the time of the injury default.

"That's an impressive feat for a freshman in a very competitive weight class," Bunting said of Gehr's 30-6 record. "He is wrestling with a lot of confidence and is poised to make some noise at districts."

Groff's path to the title match at 126 was a dominant one. He posted a 16-0 technical fall over Reading's Corey Jenkins and pinned Mifflin's Davin Simpson 1:08 into the semifinal match.

Groff grabbed gold with a 4-0 defeat of Canton Dolla (Daniel Boone), earning his second sectional title in two years.

"He put together a workmanlike 4-0 match in the finals," Bunting said. "Josh is one of the hardest working kids on the team, putting in extra time both in and out of the season. He's peaking at the right time and has a career high 28 wins with his victory in the finals."

Martin's third-place finish at 285 was something the head coach called "The surprise of the tournament for our team."

Martin fought back from a semifinal round loss to Jordan Espinosa of Mifflin. He had pinned Nicholas Stout of Cedar Crest in 5:37 of the quarterfinal round before facing Espinosa.

"He had lost to Stout twice previously this season," Bunting pointed out. "He trailed 4-1 with about a minute to go before pancaking him to his back for the fall with 23 seconds left."

In the consolation semis, he downed Yodhe Desta of Conestoga Valley followed by Sam Torro or Reading in the third-place match by respective scores of 3-2 and 2-1. The victory over Desta was in quadruple overtime.

"Last year, Charles went 3-7 and was in and out of the lineup in an injury-plagued season," Bunting noted. "He has responded in a big way and has been on a tear lately, finishing fifth in the league tournament and pushing his record over the .500 mark coming into sectionals."

Mason Casey had a fifth-place finish at 113, bouncing back in a big way following a 7-2 loss.

Casey flexed his muscles in a consolation match, winning on a fall. He then pinned Braden Manderbach of Conrad Weiser in just 45 seconds. The consolation semis resulted in a major decision for Exeter's Jevin Guldin, resulting in another bounce-back win for Casey- a 13-3 major in the fifth-place match.

"He won the fifth-place match for his 20th win of the season and 50th of his young career," said Bunting. "It was not the result Mason wanted as he qualified for districts when he was a freshman, but moved up to a very competitive weight class this year. He is the type of kid that will learn from this and use it as motivation."

Alan Perez took sixth at 145. He suffered defeats at the hands of David Dariychuk in the first match of the tournament as well as the fifth-place match.

In between, Perez posted a 6-3 win over Chris Byler, of Cedar Crest and a 7-3 win over Michael Elphick of Daniel Boone.

He came up short against Connor Lender of Exeter in a close 3-2 final for the consolation semis, falling to 20-17 on the season.


Spartans Post Mixed Results in L-L Playoffs February 14, 2019

Winning a playoff game is always exciting. Advancing in the playoffs with an overtime victory is even more thrilling. That was what the Garden Spot boys' basketball team did, reaching the Lancaster-Lebanon League quarterfinal round with a 60-56 victory over Columbia on Friday, February 8.

In a wild overtime period, the Spartans outscored the Crimson Tide 19-15 in the opening-round game played at Warwick High School.

The Spartans, who were the runners-up in Section Three of the L-L League, wrapped up the regular season with a victory over Lampeter-Strasburg, which had been previously perfect in the league. The Spartans needed to stage a comeback in the fourth quarter at Warwick to tie Columbia at the end of regulation. They outscored the Tide 9-4 in the final stanza and carried the momentum into extra time.

Keontae Nunn topped all scorers with 21 points. The senior guard made eight baskets, including a three-pointer, and went 4-for-5 at the free throw line.

The offensive balance included a 12-point night by Andrew Zentner and seven points by Jesse Martin while both Joseph Sharp and Austin Skowood put up six points.

The Tide (9-13, 7-3 league) had taken a 26-19 halftime lead. Michael Poole was the Tide's leading scorer with 19 points.

The Spartans improved to 15-8 with the win, but saw their hopes of a league championship shattered on Wednesday night against Manheim Township in a 70-34 loss.

Head coach Nate Musselman partly blamed the high rate of turnovers for the defeat.

"You certainly want to give Township credit," he said. "But we had 27 turnovers in that game - 13 of them were just in the first quarter. You can't give away the ball that many times - especially to a team in the playoffs. Between missed layups and turnovers, we gave the ball away 45 times.

"We turned the ball over in the Columbia game too," he continued. "But we defended well. Columbia is a young team and not a senior-led team like Manheim Township."

The game was scheduled originally for Monday and was postponed to Tuesday due to weather conditions. It was rescheduled once again to Wednesday, where Township played host in the quarterfinal game.

The Blue Streaks topped Garden Spot 70-34, improving to 15-7 while the Spartans (15-9) were left to think about the District Three Class 5A playoffs. The 12th-seeded Spartans are scheduled to face New Oxford in the opening round.

The Streaks jumped out to an early lead and continued the surge in the second quarter. After taking a 23-11 lead into the second stanza, the Streaks outscored the Spartans 16-5 to build a 39-16 halftime lead.

Zentner and Nunn each scored 10 points to lead the Spartans.

Brendan Mellott scored 18 for Township.


The Lancaster-Lebanon League swimming championships took place at Wilson West-Lawn's Roy G. Snyder Natatorium over a two-day span - February 8 and 9.

Though the Spartans do not have a swim team, there were five swimmers representing the school, including sophomore Ashley Parry, who came away with a third-place finish.

Jennifer Horning, who's the volunteer coach for the Spartans, explained, "Since Garden Spot doesn't have a swim team, the swimmers compete as 'independents' during the regular season in hope of making the league cut or achieving district qualifying times.

"Since we are not part of a school team," Horning added, "our swimmers are required to train with a club team and are allowed to compete in two events that are PIAA sanctioned."

Parry had a third-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, swimming the event in 59.09 seconds.

"Ashley Parry qualified for the district meet in the 100 butterfly and the 500 freestyle," Horning said.

Parry's sixth-place time in the 500 freestyle was 5:21.17.

Junior Elizabeth Hasse took ninth (5:28.94) in the 500 free while her time of 25.9 was good for 10th in the 50 free.

Ashley Kerchner just missed earning a medal in the 100-yard breaststroke. She finished ninth at 1:19.17.

In the boys' competition, Eric Becker's time of 58.45 earned him ninth in the 100 fly while his 1:00.93 was good for 14th in the 100 backstroke.

Also finishing in the top-20 was Adam Horning. The junior was 17th in the 200 free (2:02.79).

"We are grateful to the league for providing the opportunity for these athletes to compete, despite not having a school team," said Horning. "They have all worked very hard in their sport and many swim throughout the year. To be able to represent Garden Spot was a real honor for them."


Kemper Paces Spartans in 2-pt Loss To Barons February 8, 2019

There are big rivalries in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Among those is that of Garden Spot and Manheim Central.

On Monday night, the two teams met in a Section Three contest at New Holland. The Spartans, who were coming into this game with only one league win, made it as close as possible before losing 47-45.

The close finish was due to the Spartans pouring in 20 points in the fourth quarter - a period they began while facing a deficit of 36-25.

Paige Kemper paced the Spartans, scoring 13 points. Karli Stoltzfus put up five baskets and finished with 10 points while Megan Fisher finished with eight.

Rachel Nolt of Central scored a game-high 15, hitting four shots from three-point range. Laura Good added 13 points.

The Spartans wrapped up the regular season the following night at Lampeter-Strasburg. The 39-18 loss dropped Spots' record to 6-16 (1-12 league).

The Pioneers' tight defense allowed only seven first half points. The Spartans' defense held the home team's scoring to single digits in each of the final three periods.

In this low-scoring game, Katie Varley scored four points for Garden Spot. Fisher, Karli Stoltzfus and Caroline Martin each added three points with Fisher's coming on a three-point basket.

Olivia Vranich of L-S scored eight points.


The Spartans competed in the Rally in the Valley on Saturday, February 2. The duals were held at Conestoga Valley High School. The Spartans faced the host school and lost a 51-26 match to the Buckskins.

The Buckskins' victory included a forfeit at the 113-pound weight class. Nearly every one of the other bouts was decided by a pin.

Garrett Gehr gave Garden Spot five team points with a technical fall at 120, winning the match 17-2. Joshua Groff's 3-0 decision at 126 and Jeremy Schilling (106) ending up on the short end of an 8-4 decision were the only other bouts not ending in a fall.

Garden Spot pins also included Alan Perez posting one against David Dariychuk 4:42 into the 145-pound match. Jacob Warner posted a pin 2:58 into the 195-pound match and Dustin Swanson's came 2:48 into the battle with Leo Marente at 220.


On their way to earning a spot in the L-L League playoffs, the Spartans topped Manheim Central and Lampeter-Strasburg in Section Three boys' basketball. The team wrapped up the regular season at 14-8, which included a 10-3 league mark.

In the close 42-38 win at Central, the Spartans nearly let a commanding lead slip away in the fourth quarter. Garden Spot outscored the Barons 27-14 over the second and third quarters, taking a 38-26 lead into the final stanza.

Keontae Nunn kept pouring it on in this game, finishing with a game-high 23. He was good from three-point range four times. Jesse Martin added eight points and Andrew Zenter chipped in with six.

Chase Marquette, with 14 points, led the Barons.

The regular season finale was so close that it required a second overtime period to determine a winner.

Garden Spot finally outscored L-S 10-4 in that extra period for a 63-57 win

The Spartans outscored the Pioneers by two points in the second quarter while the visitors held a one-point edge in each of the first and third quarters.

Nunn, with 17 points, led a trio of double-digit scorers. Matt Sharp and Zentner each scored 11 points while Austin Skowood came through with 10. Martin and Joseph Sharp each scored six.

Adam Stoltzfus led Lampeter-Strasburg with 17 points.


In an exciting finish, the Spartans edged Elizabethtown 491-490 on Wednesday at New Holland in air rifle competition. It was the Spartans' second win of the season.

The four shooters that finished with 98 points each, helped Garden Spot hang on. Each team had one shooter that recorded a score of 99 - Kyle Fox of Garden Spot and Matt Risbon of E-town

Lauren Wolfe, Aaron Good and Alex O'Neill each shot 98's as did Lani Duncan. However, the difference was the one score of 97 on the E-town side.

In another close match earlier in the week, Garden Spot came up short at Governor Mifflin. The Mustangs pulled off a 486-483 win.

O'Neill led the Spartans with a score of 99. Good finished with a 97 while Duncan and Jared Weaver each shot a 96. Wolfe capped the top-five with a score of 95.

Natalie Jones and Vince Moore, who shot 99 and 98, respectively, led the Mustangs.


Garden Spot's consecutive 7-0 victories helped the team secure second place in the Section Three standings in L-L League bowling. Garden Spot improved to 63-21 with Cocalico winning the section at 73-4.

Garden Spot was led by Owen Colby, who bowled a 588 on the day at Berks Lanes. He bowled a 210 in his second game of the day.

The Spartans went onto top Manheim Central by the same score on Thursday afternoon.


Spot Matmen Place Seventh at Leagues February 1, 2019

Garden Spot High School was the site of the Lancaster-Lebanon League wrestling championships, which were held on Friday and Saturday, January 25-26. It was the sixth year in a row that Garden Spot has hosted the league championships.

In the team standings, Manheim Central edged Northern Lebanon by a single point, winning 184.5 to 183.5. Garden Spot finished a solid seventh with 123 team points. Solanco (121) was eighth.

"We finished seventh overall out of 23 teams," head coach Adam Bunting noted. "We had seven medalists."

The wrestlers who did finish eighth place or better in their respective weight classes were Jacob Zook, Alan Perez, Charles Martin, Mason Casey, Josh Groff, Garrett Gehr and 220-pound weight class champion Dustin Swanson.

Swanson's first two matches resulted in the Spartan sophomore registering pins. He defeated Manheim Township's Josh Williams in only 53 seconds and needed only 45 seconds to pin Bailey Beamesderfer of Elco.

Swanson outlasted a tough Joey Coblentz of Pequea Valley in a 7-2 decision in the semis. Coblentz would go on to claim third in this weight class. Swanson then earned the title with a 4-2 victory over Tyler Pheneger of Lampeter-Strasburg.

"He had an impressive tournament, winning leagues as only a sophomore," Bunting remarked. "That runs his record to 23-4 with a whopping 16 wins by pin."

Speaking of youngsters with impressive finishes, Gehr, who's only a freshman, earned third place in the 120-pound class. His weekend included three pins and a major decision.

"Garrett made it all the way to the semifinals before losing a tough match," said Bunting.

In that semifinal match, No. Lebanon's Brandon Breidigan (eventual second-place finisher) defeated Gehr 5-2. Earlier in the tournament, he had posted a pin over Marshall Adams of Warwick and a 9-0 major against Arik Harnish of L-S.

The consolations had him against Elizabethtown's Cam Olson, whom he pinned at the 4:04 mark of the match. He then pinned Tanner Stafanick of Penn Manor to claim third place.

"It was an impressive finish for a freshman," the coach reiterated. "He's just behind Dustin Swanson for best record on the team at 23-6 on the season."

Groff was in the next weight class, finishing fifth at 126. The junior wrestler began by notching a pin over Pequea Valley's Zach Donlen. Groff gained momentum with a 6-0 shutout of Hempfield's Clay Gainer and in just 1:19 into his quarterfinals match, pinned Trent Brubaker of Elco.

The eventual champ Colin Leonard halted Groff's quest for the same, moving into the title match after a 10-2 defeat of Groff.

"He also made the semifinals and lost a hard-fought decision to the eventual champion," Bunting explained.

Andy Bliss of L-S won an even closer match, edging Groff 6-4 and forcing him to wrestle for fifth place. The Spartan junior pinned Conestoga Valley's Cameron Kistler to walk away with fifth place.

"Casey also made the semifinals and lost a close 6-4 match to the eventual champ," Bunting pointed out. This loss came at the hands of Matt Inman of Annville-Cleona in the 113-pound semis.

Casey's road to the semis included a 17-7 major against Colin McDonald of L-S and a fall against Jansen Fohr of Donegal.

In the consolations he won the fifth-place fight over CV's Keaton Fischer in a solid 6-1 decision.

Martin earned fifth in the 285-pound brackets. His second-round loss to Tyler Dougherty (champ at 285) of Central sent him into the consis after he had defeated his first opponent 11-4.

In the consolations, he pinned Thyago Alvarez of McCaskey in only 20 seconds. He then earned a 1-0 win against Hempfield's Zac Bicevskis only to lose 3-2 in a close battle with third-place finisher Nicholas Stout of Cedar Crest.

"Charles Martin continues to build on a much improved junior campaign," said Bunting. "He wrestled the eventual champ to a tough 3-1 decision."

In the fifth-place match, Martin came out and left no doubt he was earning that medal. He pinned Paul Omer of Octorara in a mere 47 seconds.

Perez (145) and Zook (170) each finished eighth in their classes. Zook battled back following a pin he suffered against eventual champ Ethan Herb of No. Lebanon.

He won a consolation over Owen Kahl of Elco and another via forfeit before he was pinned by Gavin Camarote of Octorara in overtime. In the seventh-place bout, Ben Bearinger of Cocalico notched a pin.

"Zook made his last chance at leagues count as he medaled for the first time," Bunting said.

Perez had a difficult time with Donegal's Joseph Fox, who defeated Perez 9-0 in their first bout of the tournament and again by a 15-0 score in the seventh-place match.

In between, Perez pinned Dan Klumpp of Cocalico, majored by a 13-3 score over Ryan Keman of Octorara and pinned Stephen Wiczalkowski of Elco before losing his next consolation match by a close 5-3 score. The winner of that match was third-place finisher Joel Dionne of Hempfield.

"Alan had a thrilling come-from-behind victory over his Elco opponent," explained Bunting. "He was trailing 6-0 before taking his opponent down to his back and pinning him. Perez is another wrestler that has continued to improve dramatically this season."

Also posting a consolation round win was Drew Finkey at 152. He lost his first match by a 5-2 score. He then pinned Cole Rice of E-town and Franklin Liriano of Lebanon before he was stopped by eventual fourth-place finisher Austin Sauder of MC.

Tyler Martin (182) pinned his first opponent - Luke Brown of Pequea Valley. The pin happened with only six seconds left in the match.

However, being on the losing end of the next two matches didn't allow the junior to go any further.


With the freezing temperatures hitting the region, the Spartans didn't play their scheduled league game this past Wednesday. Their lone game prior to wrapping up the week was a non-league contest at Wilson Saturday, January 26.

The Spartans fell to 11-8 with a 54-35 loss to the Bulldogs. Wilson held Spot to only eight first-quarter points and only four in the second stanza. The 30-12 halftime deficit was too big to overcome, despite a stronger second half by the visitors.

Keontae Nunn racked up 16 points to lead his team. Matt Sharp and Austin Skowood scored seven and six points, respectively.


The Spartans faced Cocalico and L-S this past week in Section Three bowling. With a 7-0 defeat of the Pioneers on Friday, January 25, the Spartans improved to 56-21 but failed to gain ground on Cocalico later as the Eagles downed Garden Spot 7-0 on Wednesday. Both were held at Dutch Lanes.

Cris Torres bowled a 569 against Cocalico.

The Eagles were led by KC Miller's overall score of 650, which included a high score of 235. Tyrus Current had a 233 on his way to finishing with an aggregate score of 606.

In the L-S games, Trevor Coutney was on fire, finishing with 289 in his second game and recording a 666 series. Amanda Lynch contributed a 248 in her third game and tallied 633 total.


Fisher Joins 1,000 Point Club, Spartans Top Cedars January 25, 2019

The Garden Spot girls' basketball team had a busy week, which included the Spartans' sixth victory of the season on Monday and wrapped up with a close loss to Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Cocalico at home.

The shooting was on the mark Monday night as Garden Spot improved to 6-11 with a 71-48 defeat of Lebanon in a non-league match. Garden Spot outscored the Cedars 35-16 in the first half and in a high-scoring third quarter, managed to top Lebanon 24-20 to extend the lead.

Megan Fisher joined the 1,000 point club with a game-high 38 points. She connected on four three pointers and was 8-for-9 at the foul line.

Karli Stoltzfus also reached double digits, scoring 12 points.

Giahny Correa and Destiny Infante led the Cedars with 20 and 15 points, respectively.

The next night, the Spartans were on the road, playing the top team in Section Three. In that contest, Solanco came out on top 56-22, holding Garden Spot to single digit scoring in each quarter. Solanco improved to 8-2 in the league while Garden Spot fell to 1-8 as Jess Cabrera led the Golden Mares with 20 points.

Erin Gonzalez scored seven points to lead the Spartans, hitting the team's lone three-pointer. Stoltzfus finished with five points.

Thursday's league game with Cocalico was much closer as a third-quarter comeback bid helped the Spartans close a halftime deficit to only eight points. However, the Eagles (10-7, 5-5 league) eked out a win 43-34.

Paige Kemper stepped up and scored 13 for the Spartans, making all four of her free throws on the night. Fisher (10 pts) and Kemper each nailed one three-point jump shot. Hanah Greenly's 19 points paced Cocalico.


The Garden Spot boys' team had a pair of big victories on consecutive nights, defeating Lebanon on the road Monday night to improve to 9-7, and posting a 68-50 victory over Section Three foe Solanco on Tuesday. The win over Solanco raised the Spartans' league mark to 6-3 as the team moved into 12th place for the District Three 5A power rankings.

The Spartans' strong effort at Lebanon put the team up 54-44 heading into the final period. However, a fierce fourth quarter almost nullified that lead. Garden Spot hung on for a 61-56 win.

The game's leading scorer was Spartan senior Keontae Nunn. He scored 34 on Monday, including four treys, Andrew Zentner and John Dykie scored nine and eight points, respectively, with Zentner scoring a pair of three-point baskets.

Jean Carlos Gonzalez poured in 23 for the Cedars, who fell to 7-10 overall.

Jon Morales had been the Spartans' leading scorer the previous Friday in a 66-47 loss to section rival Lampeter-Strasburg. In that game he put up 15 points and prompted L-S head coach Ed Berry man to remark, "We tried to keep Nunn out of the paint and were successful with that. Morales, for not being a big kid, played us tough inside."

The 15 by Morales and 13 by Jesse Martin, who made three treys, went along with 10 points by Zentner in that loss.

Morales topped Spot in scoring against Solanco, pouring in 23 points - mostly from inside the paint. Zentner complemented that with his 13 points while Matt Sharp tacked on nine. Nunn scored seven points.

Dawson Kreider led the Mules with 17 points.

Garden Spot's offense got on track early on, lighting up the scoreboard for 22 points. The offense was infectious as the visitors scored 18 before the Spartans slowed them down in the next three quarters.

With a 36-26 halftime lead, the Spartans regained momentum in the third quarter.


The Garden Spot grapplers posted a decisive 57-24 victory over Section Two rival Elizabethtown on Wednesday, improving to 5-2 in the league.

With seven pins plus a 4-1 decision in favor of Jeremy Schilling, who won the 106-pound match, the Spartans pulled ahead to a 45-0 lead before the Bears (1-6) even put up any points.

With 42 seconds gone in the second period of the 195-pound battle, Jacob Warner registered a pin. The 220 bout was an E-town forfeit, but Charles Martin earned another pin for the Spartans, needing only 30 seconds to do so at the heavyweight match.

Following Schilling's decision, Mason Casey (113) and Garrett Gehr (120) notched consecutive pins - both in the first period of their matches. Another forfeit pushed the Spartans' lead to 39-0 before Josh Groff (132) came on to pin Uriah Giner in 40 seconds. That made it 45-0.

Alan Perez helped the Spartans regain momentum at 145, notching a second-period pin. Drew Finkey's pin at 152 was the last of the scoring for the Spartans, who had a commanding 57-6 lead by then.

At the Denver Duals on Saturday, January 19, Swanson (220) and Luke Shirk (285) both came through with pins for the Spartans. However, the rest of the match belonged to Hamburg. The Hawks went on to post a 56-12 victory.

Gehr's loss at 120 was a close 5-2 decision. Groff was on the short end of another close decision as Dalton Gimbor (126) of Hamburg won by a 3-1 margin. Perez came up only one point short in a 5-4 decision at 145. Ethan Eberly suffered a 10-3 loss at 152.


On Thursday the Garden Spot air rifle team faced Manheim Township on the road. With three shooters recording the perfect score of 100, the Blue Streaks topped the Spartans 497-484.

Karlee Hartman led Garden Spot with a score of 99. Evan Emch and Tate Myers each shot 97's while Alex O'Neill and Jared Weaver finished at 96 and 95, respectively.

Andy Nguyen, Ben Fahrney and Jada Bender each hit the 100-point mark for Township.

Garden Spot fell to 1-9 on the year. Township improved to 8-2.

On Tuesday, O'Neill shot a 99 while Weaver and Kylie Fox each shot 98's at Manheim Central. That wasn't enough, however, as the Barons beat the Spartans 496-489.

Olivia Stone came away with a 100 for the Barons while three teammates - Ellie McCabe, Kami Groff and Brayden Groff - each shot 99's.

Garden Spot's Aaron Good finished with a 97 as did Lani Duncan.


The Spartans bowled their way to victory on Tuesday, defeating Lancaster Catholic at Dutch Lanes. The Spartans were led by Trevor Courtney, who bowled a 265 in his third game. Courtney finished with 715 on the day.

The Spartans (49-14 league; 54-16 overall) were coming off a 7-0 defeat of Manheim Central on Friday, January 18. In that match-up, Courtney led his team with 588 while T.J. Delp bowled a 562 on the day. Third on the team was Owen Colby (556).

The Barons were led by Brandon Henry's top score of 617.


Spartans Top Columbia, Zentner Scores 19 January 18, 2019

The Garden Spot Spartans turned away the Columbia Crimson Tide in a non-league boys' basketball game at New Holland on Tuesday, posting a 70-44 win.

The quick start was something head coach Nate Musselman and his coaching staff were trying to instill in the days leading up to this game.

"The week before this, we struggled for whatever reason, in the first quarters of our games," Musselman explained. "We hadn't done that earlier in the season.

"We changed some things up and our kids jumped out with 19 points in the first quarter," he added.

Garden Spot (8-6) carried a commanding 19-6 lead into the second quarter. The Spartans outscored the Tide by only a single point in that second stanza, making it 32-18 at halftime. However, a 25-6 run in the third quarter put this game out of reach.

Andrew Zentner scored a game-high 19 points. The 6-foot-7 Spartan junior made one three-pointer and was a perfect 6-for-6 at the foul line.

"Andrew was a sophomore last year on a very senior-oriented team," explained Musselman. "A lot of the scoring came from the senior guards.

"However, Andrew played his role and with that team playing in leagues and districts," added the coach. "He earned great experience as a sophomore. He contributes a lot on the floor."

The team does have a handful of seniors on this year's roster as well. Musselman gave credit to those upperclassmen.

"Our seniors, and the leadership they bring has helped instill what we are preaching," he said. "It spreads like wildfire through our team."

Keontae Nunn, who is one of those seniors, added 11 points, drilling a pair of treys in the process. Joseph Sharp poured in nine points while Jon Morales and John Dykie scored eight and seven points, respectively.

Matt McCleary and Michael Poole each scored 10 points for Columbia.


It was certainly going to be a battle with an arch rival as the Barons and the Spartans met on the mats at Manheim Central for a Section Two wrestling match on Wednesday. The Spartans came in with a 4-1 record, trailing the Barons whose 4-0 record had them tied for first with Lampeter-Strasburg.

And the match was as close as anticipated with Central leading by only six points heading into the final three bouts. That was where Dakota Thomas, Will Betancourt, and Cade Zeamer earned 12 points and a major decision to propel the home team to a 47-25 victory.

Thomas notched a pin for the Barons at 126. Betancourt turned in a major at 132 followed by Zeamer's first-period pin at 138.

Earlier in the match, the pins and decisions helped the Spartans put together a comeback. Alan Perez won the opening bout, earning a 21-14 decision over Central foe Conner Zeamer at 145.

After a Logan Hess pin at 152 put Central up 6-3, Clay Bedi earned a close 5-3 decision over Spot's Drew Finkey at 160.

The Barons earned 10 more points to go up 19-3, followed by Keegan McCord's pin at 195.

Dustin Swanson started the comeback with a pin at 220, which was offset by a Central pin at 285.

Jeremy Schilling earned six points (106) via forfeit followed by Mason Casey's (113) major decision and Garrett Gehr's pin at 120, closing the gap to 31-25.


While the boys' hoops team was putting up 19 points against Columbia in New Holland, the girls' team was busy pouring in 21 first-period points en route to a 66-42 non-league road win on Tuesday.

The win improved the Spartans' record to 5-10 on the year.

Megan Fisher had a tremendous game, scoring 30 points to lead all scorers. The 12 baskets she put up included a pair of three-pointers. She also was a perfect 4-for-4 at the foul line.

Paige Kemper went 8-for-9 at the foul line and finished with 17 points on the night. Lauryn Ashcroft and Erin Gonzalez each added five points.

Janeah Neal scored a team-high 18 for the Crimson Tide. Columbia's record fell to 6-8.

Taking the 21-10 lead into the second quarter, the Spartans increased their advantage to 31-17 by halftime. They outscored the home team 34-25 in the second half as they continued to dominate.


Palmyra Lanes was the site of a Section Three clash between Northern Lebanon and Garden Spot on Tuesday afternoon. The Spartans came in as the second-place team in the section. Despite a strong 622 by Trevor Courtney, they were unable to stop the Vikings, who claimed a 7-0 victory.

Northern Lebanon was led by Bryce Lentz, who bowled a 230 in his first game and a 234 in his second, eventually finishing with 676. Aliza Shirk had a 269 in the third game of the afternoon, tallying 643 on the day.

Courtney's top game was his third, where he registered a 225.

The Spartans, whose 37-12 league record has them in second place in the section, were coming off a 7-0 defeat of Elco at Dutch Lanes the previous week.

Courtney was crushing the pins at a count of 726 on that day. He peaked with a 268 in his second game, sandwiched by scores of 234 and 224.


The Spartans came within two points of winning their first air rifle match of the season when they hosted Conestoga Valley on Wednesday.

The team featured two shooters with perfect scores as Aaron Good and Lani Duncan each registered 100 points. Braden Reel and Karlee Hartman were very close with 99's and Jared Weaver finished at 97.

The Buckskins edged the Spartans 496-495 as Montana Habecker and Darren McGallicher each shot 100's.


Garden Spot Battles Cocalico, Falls in Overtime January 11, 2019

The Section Three boys' basketball game between Garden Spot and Cocalico turned into an overtime thriller in New Holland on Tuesday night. The Eagles and Spartans played evenly through regulation, looking up at a 48-48 scoreboard at the final buzzer. In overtime, the Spartans held the Eagles to only four points, but it was enough for Cocalico to edge Garden Spot 52-50.

The top scorers in the game were Peyton Stetter of Cocalico, who poured in 24 points, mostly off the six three-point field goals he made, and Kentae Nunn of Garden Spot, who finished with 23.

The Spartans fell to 4-2 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League (6-5 overall) while the Eagles (6-5) evened their league mark at 3-3.

One aspect of the Spartans' game that was a factor in a close contest like this was foul shooting. Spot connected on just 11 of 21. The Eagles were 7-of-12.

Garden Spot overcame an early deficit but did go into the locker room at halftime trailing 22-20. The two teams were tied at the final buzzers of the third and of course fourth periods.

Andrew Zentner finished with 11 points, hitting a pair of treys on the night. Jon Morales added six more points.

Connor Mack provided 17 points for the Eagles.

Garden Spot was coming off a convincing win the previous week - a Friday night barrage of points in which Nunn scored 34 in an 81-58 win at Solanco. Morales (14) and Jesse Martin, who nailed a pair of treys and tallied 16, also reached double figures. Zentner added eight points.


In a close battle with league rival Donegal, the Garden Spot wrestling team pulled off a 41-35 win on Wednesday night.

"I think both teams knew it was going to be a very close match that would come down to a couple of toss-up matches and who would secure more bonus points," said head coach Adam Bunting.

And the extra points did come for Garden Spot in a flurry of victories down the stretch. Following a forfeit at the 220-pound weight class, which went in favor of Spartan sophomore Dustin Swanson, Charles Martin earned a first-period pin in the heavyweight match, cutting the Indians' lead to 29-24.

The pin by Donegal's Ethan Herr (106) gave the Indians a 35-24 advantage, but back came the Spartans.

"At 106, Jeremy Schilling opened up a 2-0 lead going into the second period on returning league champion Ethan Herr," explained Bunting. "Herr then reversed Schilling and pinned him in an arm bar."

Mason Casey, earned a pin at 113; Garrett Gehr, notched a technical fall at 120, winning by a 21-6 score; Josh Groff, pinned Cooper Rollison in 34 seconds at the 126 bout.

"With three matches left, Mason Casey got us back on track with a huge pin at 113," Bunting remarked. "Freshman standout Garrett Gehr followed with a technical to tie the match at 35 all.

"It came down to team leader Josh Groff to clinch the victory," continued the coach. "He wasted no time planting Rollison in 38 seconds."

The match began at the 132-pound weight class with Donegal's Dylan Bowers earning a pin. Aaron Martin (138) returned the favor with a pin for Spot.

The Indians then pulled ahead with a close 6-4 win by Joseph Fox, topping Alan Perez at 145 and major decisions at 152 and 160. Will Small's pin at 170 and another by Cael Rapp at 182 made it 29-6 Donegal. That set the table for Garden Spot winning four of the final five bouts.

Bunting also referenced two of the losses and how his wrestlers losing only by a decision rather than a major or technical helped in the long run.

"This was a total team win," Bunting added. "I'm proud of the guys scrapping to save team points wherever we could. Alan Perez and Drew Finkey [12-2 loss at 160] saved important points by fighting out of predicaments that could have put the match out of reach. They kept us in it.

"The team never let the score deflate them," he continued, referring to the 29-6 deficit midway through the match. "It didn't change the way we approached the final seven matches."


Garden Spot came up short against Cocalico in a Section Three clash on the road Wednesday night.

Despite Megan Fisher scoring a game-high 13, the Spartans lost to the Indians 43-19, falling to 1-5 in the league.

Hannah Greenly (10 pts) and Hannah Custer, who scored nine, led the Indians in scoring as the team improved to 6-5 (3-3 league).

The girls were coming off a much closer match from the Friday before, having lost to Solanco 62-52.

The visitors came on strong in the fourth quarter with a 21-16 run to eclipse the Spartans, who had made an impressive comeback in the second quarter.

Fisher had a team-high 17 points in that game while both Kari Stoltzfus and Erin Gonzalez finished with nine points. Paige Kemper added seven.

Solanco's Grace Kreider poured in a game-high 18, which included three treys.

On Thursday the Spartans again came up short when they dropped a 62-52 decision to host Manheim Central.

The Spartans got off to a good start, building a 17-14 lead through the first quarter, but the Barons took command of the game with an 18-8 run in the second period to lead 32-25 at the break and then finished off the 10-point win with 17-15 and 13-12 advantages in the third and fourth quarters.

Fisher took scoring honors in the contest with 27 points on seven baskets and four three-pointers.


Governor Mifflin's air rifle team had three shooters finish with a score of 99. Garden Spot had three shooters finish with a score of 98. Hence, the Mustangs edged the Spartans by a 492-486 score on Thursday.

Alex O'Neill, Evan Emch and Braden Reel reeled off 98's while Jared Weaver scored 97 on the day. Aaron Good recorded a score of 95.

Natalie Jones, Austin Maple and Sydney Machion each shot a 99 for Mifflin.

Garden Spot fell to 0-7 on the year.

Earlier in the week, the Spartans lost another close one, this time a 494-488 loss at Elizabethtown on Tuesday.

Wever, Lani Duncan and Karlee Hartman shot 98's for the Spartans while Reel and Good each recorded a score of 97.

Matt Risbon had a perfect game, shooting 100 for E-town.


Hot on the heels of Cocalico in the Section Three standings, Garden Spot's bowling team improved to 30-5 with a 7-0 defeat of Columbia on Tuesday at Clearview Lanes. Meanwhile, Cocalico topped Lancaster Catholic by the same score, improving to 38-4.

In Tuesday's clash, the Spartans were led by Trevor Courtney's 670 total pin count, which included a score of 235 in his third game. Owen Colby came away with a 535 while T.J. Delp tallied 516, finishing with a 192 in his third game.

Shane Kinser rolled a 540 to lead the Crimson Tide.


Spartans Top Crest, Now 4-0 in Section Two January 4, 2019

With key victories by Drew Finkey and Alan Perez, the Garden Spot wrestling squad stayed unbeaten in Lancaster-Lebanon League competition with a 51-19 defeat of Cedar Crest last Wednesday. Tyler Martin also had a big victory, edging his opponent 8-6. The victory over the Section Two foe improved Garden Spot's record to 4-0 (3-0 league).

"Tyler Martin is another wrestler getting starting time for the first time this season," head coach Adam Bunting said of the junior, who won the 182-pound bout. "He picked up a thrilling win with a reversal at the buzzer. He has shown tremendous improvement this season and has become much more aggressive and physical on the mat."

Garden Spot got off to a quick 6-0 start at the 120-pound battle where Garrett Gehr won on a forfeit. It was the freshman's 13th win of the season. Joshua Groff's pin at 126 took only 53 seconds to accomplish, giving the Spartans a 12-0 lead

"It was a quick pin with a cradle to move his season record to 12-6," Bunting explained.

Crest's Taylor Gehman maneuvered a 10-2 major decision over Spot's Corey Leaman.

"Corey lost a hard-fought match at 132," Bunting remarked. "Aaron Martin battled one of Cedar Crest's better wrestlers to a 6-2 final. He is a guy who is showing improvements this year as a sophomore."

Though the Falcons could have picked up momentum in winning another hard-fought bout at 152, this one by a close 10-9 margin that Dylan Styver earned over Ethan Eberly, two Falcon forfeits at the 160- and 195-pound weight classes kept them from catching Garden Spot. Tyler Martin's 8-6 decision at 182, Dustin Swanson's pin at 220 and Jeremy Schilling's pin in only 30 seconds of 106 pound bout stretched the lead. Sophomore Mason Casey put the punctuation mark on the match with a pin that required only 12 seconds in the 113 weight class.

"Schilling is having a solid freshman campaign," said the coach. "Casey, who had a solid freshman year, continues to be a solid point scorer in the light weights.

"The marquee matchup of the night was at 220 pounds with Dustin Swanson facing against T.J. Moore," Bunting remarked. "Moore had edged Swanson in last year's dual. They met at the Penn Manor tournament earlier this season and Swanson won by a fall. This was round three in what might lead to several more face-offs before season's end.

"Swanson stopped a shot by Moore and then blasted him to his back with a headlock for the fall," continued the coach.

Swanson, who has a team-high 10 pins, raised his record to 12-4 on the year.

Overall, this team has had virtually every wrestler step into his role - some of which were vacancies created by graduation or injuries.

"We talked a lot early in the season as a team about 'next man up,' and the guys are looking at this as an opportunity for really developing into solid, middle-of-the-lineup wrestlers," Bunting said. "Alan Perez has stepped in as a result and is making the most of his opportunity and really developing into a solid wrestler. At 152, Ethan Eberly is doing the same."

Back on Saturday, December 29, the Spartans took part in the Trojan Wars. They finished with 86 team points, which was good for 25th place in the team standings. Southern Columbia won with 194 points with Chambersburg in second place at 166.

Casey (113) reached the quarterfinal round before losing to Luke Hart of Saint Christophers. Earlier, he notched a first-period pin and earned a 6-0 decision before having to head into the consolation brackets where he suffered a 9-2 defeat.

Groff (126) also reached the quarterfinals, suffering a 6-3 loss to Hamburg's Dalton Gimbor. Earlier he had won by major decision and a 4-3 decision. His consolation battles included a sudden victory before suffering a major decision defeat.

Charles Martin's battle in the heavyweight brackets included a close loss in the second round followed by a pair of pins in the consolations and a 1-0 decision before suffering a pin.

Swanson had a big day, winning a 9-4 decision, recording a pin in 28 seconds and, after suffering a late pin (5:51 into the match) registering a quick 13-second pin in the first round of consolations.

Tyler Martin (182) also had a consolation-round pin as did Finkey (170).

Eberly bounced back in the consolations with a pin and a win via medical forfeit.

Perez also pinned an opponent in the consolations.


The girls' basketball team improved to 4-6 with a consolation match victory on December 27, over Conrad Weiser at the Eastern York Holiday Tournament. The Spartans topped the Scouts 59-38, coming back from an early 16-10 deficit to do so.

Megan Fisher poured in 20 points for Garden Spot. The double-digit scoring also came courtesy of Karli Stoltzfus, who finished with 12 and Paige Kemper, who made four baskets and both of her free throws.

Also contributing was Olivia Usner with seven points.

The Spartans had suffered a 61-47 loss to the host school the previous night. The Golden Knights outscored the Spartans 15-7 in the second half, overcoming a slim deficit at the start of that stanza. They carried a 43-35 edge into the fourth quarter, finishing the game on an 18-12 run.

The Knights' Addison Malone led all scorers with 19 points.

Kemper led Garden Spot with 11 while Stoltfus added 10 more. Fisher finished with seven points and Usner added six.


The Spartans went to work immediately after Christmas, playing two non-league games on the road. On Wednesday, December 26, they edged Warwick 47-46 but suffered a 70-48 loss the following night at Bishop McDevitt.

Colby Weaver and Keontae Nunn, who led the Spartans in scoring against Warwick, were held to two points each in the loss to the Crusaders.

The Warwick game was close from start to finish. The Warriors took a 27-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Spartans' 9-6 run in the third quarter was crucial in helping to hold off the home team. The Warriors' Ryan Shirk tied Weaver for the game's top-scoring total of 17 points.

Weaver nailed a trio of three-point field goals. Nunn scored 10 of his 12 points from the field and converted a pair of foul shots as well.

Also adding to the point total was Jon Morales and Matthew Sharp, who scored seven each. Jesse Martin and Josiah Snader each put up one bucket.

The Crusaders charged ahead with an 18-4 opening period and took a 39-18 lead by halftime on the Spartans the following night.

Morales led Garden Spot with 12 points, Andrew Zentner's nine-point game included a three-point bucket. Austin Skowood, who had two three-pointers, Sharp and John Dykie each finished with six points.

The Spartans played four league games earlier in December, going 3-1. They carry that league mark (5-4 overall) as they prepare to play six more league games over their next nine scheduled games.


In a mid-December match-up with Manheim Township, the Spartans scored 486 points but were unable to out-shoot their league rivals. The Blue Streaks, who were led by the perfect scores of Cesar DeJesus and Hunter Modene, topped the Spartans 495-486 on December 19 in New Holland.

Returning Spartan senior Jared Weaver shot a 98 as did fellow senior Lani Duncan. Karlee Hartman turned in a 97 as did junior Aaron Good. Another returning senior on this year's squad is Alex O'Neill who recorded a 96 in the match.

The Spartans were coming off another league match from two days prior, having suffered a 497-483 loss to Manheim Central. The Barons were led by the perfect scores of Ellie McCabe and Braden Groff.

Hartman paced Spot with 99 points while Weaver racked up 98. Juan Romero, Braden Reel and Evan Emch rounded out the top five with respective scores of 97, 95 and 94.

Garden Spot fell to 0-4 on the year following these defeats.


With less than a week left until the holiday break, the Spartans played the Cocalico Eagles in a Section Three clash at Dutch Lanes. Garden Spot's bowlers were hoping to close the gap between their squad and the first-place Eagles, who came into the game holding a 3-0 record.

The Eagles prevailed 5-2, improving to 4-0 on December 20. Garden Spot fell to 3-1 in the L-L League (4-1 overall).

Trevor Courtney rolled a 658 on the day, finishing with scores of 211, 232 and 215. Spartan teammate Amanda Lynch tallied 631 on the afternoon, improving steadily and finishing with a 234 in her third game.

The Eagles were led by Nate Buckwalter's 608.

It was Garden Spot's second visit to Dutch Lanes in three days. On December 18, the Spartans had topped Elizabethtown 5-2 thanks to a tremendous 771 score by Courtney.

The sophomore rolled a 258 in his first game. After dipping to 234 in the second game, he crushed the pins to the count of an impressive 279. Lynch rolled a 596 to solidify the victory.

Patrick Hoffmaster's 605 was tops for the Bears.


Spot Volleyball Ends Season in District Consis November 4, 2018

It was an up-and-down week for the Garden Spot's volleyball team as the Spartans entered the District Three Class-AAA playoffs. The week included a victory in the quarterfinals followed by a 3-0 loss in the district semis, which led to Saturday evening's consolation match at Central York.

The quarterfinals were held as a doubleheader at Palmyra and at West York on Tuesday. The Spartans played the opening match at Palmyra where they topped Berks Catholic 3-1. Meanwhile, in the nightcap, the host school topped Fleetwood 3-0.

The Spartans held off the Saints in the first two sets by the identical margin of 25-16. The Saints (15-4) won the third set 25-9 and would not go down easily in the fourth and final set. The fourth-seeded Spartans prevailed 25-23, improving to 17-3.

Shawna Zeiset poured in 15 kills to spark the offense. The Spartans were also led by Sarah Shirk, who distributed 27 assists while Kelly Martin registered 18 digs and served up five aces, and Logan Martin notched three blocks.

Meanwhile, in the other doubleheader, which was held at West York, it was a battle of East and West - York, that is. West York, which entered the playoffs as the second-seeded team, topped Eastern York and sixth-seeded Dover defeated York Suburban. That set up the semifinal match won by West York, 3-0.

Garden Spot was not able to get past Palmyra in its semifinal match at Lower Dauphin on Thursday. The Cougars - the district's top-seeded team - managed to hold off the Spartans in three closely-contested sets, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-22.

Zeiset and Logan Martin each drilled seven kills onto the Cougars' side of the court while Kelly Martin led the team in aces and digs, registering three and 15, respectively. Shirk came through with 24 assists while Zeiset, Elyse Mundorff and Logan Martin each registered one block.

Taylor McInerney led the way for Palmyra, serving up four aces and pouring in 11 kills while Jackie Baker racked up five digs.

The Spartans' final chance to continue their 2018 campaign came on Saturday evening in the district consolation match. The top three teams from the district were guaranteed a spot in the PIAA Class-AAA state playoffs and it was between the Spartans and the Dover Eagles.

Another match with three close sets took place at Central York High School and again the result was not favorable to the Spartans as they ended their season with a 17-5 record. Dover downed Garden Spot 25-23, 25-20 and 25-20.


Spartans Faced a Tall Task Against the Barons October 21, 2018

It was not an easy task for the Garden Spot's football team, taking on the top team in the PIAA Class 5A power rankings on Friday night.

"Manheim Central is the top team in our section and the district for a good reason," head coach Zach Fullmer stated. "They're a very good football team."

The Barons went on to clinch the Section Two title with their 63-0 victory at Garden Spot, using some big plays on special teams as well as a defensive touchdown in the process. The win kept Manheim Central unbeaten (5-0) in the Lancaster-Lebanon League as well as overall at 9-0. The Spartans fell to 0-6 and 0-9.

"I thought we did a couple of good things, but also we gave up some big touchdowns," Fullmer said. "We can't make mistakes against a very good football team.

"The interception return hurt us too," he added. "That was after we forced a turnover and tried to make a big play. Unfortunately, it didn't work out."

The Barons' special teams put the visitors on the scoreboard first when Colby Wagner returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. Tyler Flick added a 14-yard rushing TD to make it 14-0 at the end of the opening period.

The Barons added five more touchdowns in the second quarter, including Wagner's 66-yard interception return and three more rushing touchdowns by Flick, who finished 107 yards on the ground on 11 carries. Chris Shaw added another 70 yards on 10 carries and scored one touchdown.

Jesse Martin completed six passes for 63 yards for Garden Spot. Zeb Fisher, who caught two of those passes for 21 yards, ran for 29 yards on seven carries. Martin also ran for 25 yards.

Fullmer talked about the effort by the Spartans despite the winless record thus far.

"I'm proud of how they're still working hard, even though the season isn't working out the way we wanted it to," he remarked. "Hopefully, we can build on this.

"There are some seniors we'll miss next year," continued the coach. "But there are young guys getting Friday night experience, taking their lumps and learning."


The Garden Spot girls' volleyball team earned a trip to the L-L League championship semifinals with a 3-0 defeat of Lancaster Catholic on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans held off the Crusaders in three straight sets with scores of 25-12, 25-17 and 25-15 in the quarterfinal match at New Holland.

The victory came three days following the Spartans' key victory at Elizabethtown, which clinched the Section Two title. It set up a semifinal match against Manheim Township slated for this week.

For the Spartans, it was yet another victory over a Lancaster-Lebanon League foe. The team had cruised through the regular season with a 10-0 league record and continued that streak into the playoffs

"There is certainly more pressure from her on out to win matches," Lei Williams, the head coach, stated. "The girls continue to play well as a team and have the goal to make it to the league finals. Our first goal was to win our section championship, which we did when we beat Elizabethtown on Wednesday."

The Spartans held off the Crusaders with the likes of Shawna Zeiset, Sarah Shirk, Olivia Usner and others leading the way.

Zeiset poured in 23 kills and registered one block in the match. User led the team in aces, serving up six. Shirk contributed to the offense with 34 assists. Meanwhile, Kelly Martin had a match-high 11 digs while Logan Martin also put up one block.

"We were able to keep a four- or five-point spread on for the most part," Williams said of the three sets. "They did get close as 10-8 at one point, but we were able to get some separation."

Garden Spot had improved to 9-0 by beating Lebanon on Monday at home. It was senior night for the Spartans.

"We had our seniors starting," Williams said. "Shawna Zeiset, Sarah Shirk, Alanna Billy, Mandy Rider and Ashley Good are a group of girls with different forms of leadership for the team."

In very dominant fashion, the Spartans defeated Lebanon 25-11, 25-9 and 25-7 with Kelly Martin racking up a dozen digs and serving up nine aces on the night. Zeiset tallied nine kills while Shirk dished out 21 assists. Logan Martin tacked on the only block by Garden Spot.

Williams said the team knew that the showdown at E-town was going to be intense with the section title on the line.

"We beat them the first time when they came to Garden Spot," she said. "We knew it was going to be scrappy and they would keep us on our toes in front of their fans on Wednesday. We served very well."

Zeiset, with 18 kills and Kelly Martin's 24 digs and five aces helped the Spartans serve up a victory over a tough opponent, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-21.

"The third game we came from behind to win," Williams noted. "Olivia was serving and Shawna was in the front row. We were tied 20-20 and pulled away."

Shirk came through with 27 assists while sophomore Elyse Mundorff racked up four blocks.


At the L-L League Championship meet at Ephrata on Tuesday, Spartan senior Jeremy Rissler finished 17th overall with a time of 17:58.2. Teammates Adam Horning (18:48.8) and Donovan Esbenshade (18:56.70) finished 86th and 95th, respectively.

Running at a 19:46.50 pace was Finn Wenrich, who finished at 128. Sam Schultz crossed the finish line at 21:23.10

The girls' team was led by Chloe Martin, who finished 46th in 21:44.90 while fellow sophomore Amanda Coblentz took 70th in the race at 22:26.80. Becca Rissler finished 85th with a time of 23:02.50

A trio of runners - Lauren Greenwalt, Samantha Davis and Bevalee Tshudy - posted respective times of 26:10.70, 26:11.70 and 26:22.60.


Spot Volleyball Remains Unbeaten in Section 2 October 14, 2018

For those following the exciting run by the Garden Spot girls' volleyball team, the script could not have been written much better. The Spartans won two more Lancaster-Lebanon League matches this past week to stay unbeaten in league play (10-0) while Elizabethtown stayed one back in the Section Two standings at 9-1. The twain shall meet in the regular season finale at E-town on October 17.

"We beat them in the first match we played them," noted head coach Lei Williams, referring to the 3-0 victory on September 25 at New Holland. "We have to play there in our last match and it will be tougher. It will be for the section title."

On Tuesday, Garden Spot defeated another tough section rival, hosting Manheim Central. The Spartans posted a 3-0 victory as Central fell to 4-6 in the league.

The first and third sets were close as Garden Spot won 25-17, 25-14 and 25-23.

Shawna Zeiset had a match-leading 14 kills. Also among the leaders was Olivia Usner, who tallied 15 digs and tied sophomore Elyse Mundorff for the lead in aces with three. Mundorff also led the team in blocks, registering three.

"Elyse is stepping into a new role," Williams explained. "She played outside for the jayvee team. She made immediate impact for us when she came in for varsity. She has good vertical jump. She's learning a new position and I think she'll be good in the middle with Logan Martin, another sophomore connecting well with our setter."

And that setter is Sarah Shirk. In the Central match, Shirk helped set up many key points as she compiled 26 assists.

Garden Spot went on to post a 3-1 victory at Solanco on Thursday, posting scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-10 following Solanco's opening set victory of 25-23.

Zeiset had 27 kills and three aces in the match as well as two blocks.

"Shawna's 27 kills against Solanco ties the Garden Spot record for third-most in a match," Williams noted. "She is always key for us. Having her in the front row to end the game is important.

"Olivia is also contributing very well," she added.

Usner came through with three aces and 24 digs and Abby O'Neill - another sophomore - dished out a total of 38 assists.

The Spartans went on to play at a tournament in Pottsville on Saturday, winning the tournament over the host school.

"There were 15 teams there," Williams explained. "That was great preparation for the upcoming week. We're also trying to get prepared for the playoffs.

"We beat Wilson in the semifinals," she added. "We lost to Pottsville in the first game and came back to win the next two in a best-of-three."

Garden Spot is currently fourth in the District Three Class-AAA power rankings. In beating Wilson at the Pottsville Tournament, the Spartans defeated the team ranked eighth in Class 4A.


Garden Spot visited Cocalico in a Section Two football game on Friday. The Eagles came in as the second-place team in Section Two, looking to keep pace with Manheim Central while the Spartans were looking for their first victory.

With some big rushing plays, where Ronald Zahm and Noah Palm found openings in the blocking ahead of them, the Eagles scored on four big rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and went on to win 55-21. Garden Spot fell to 0-8 (0-5 in LL) while Cocalico improved to 6-2, 3-1.

Zahm scored on rushing TD's of 27 and 67 yards - the Eagles' first and third TD's of the game. Palm's TD's in that opening period came from 26 and 23 yards out.

Palm scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter as the Eagles took a 48-0 lead into the locker room.

With a running clock in the second half, the Spartans' offense put together three successful scoring drives. They got on the scoreboard in the third quarter on Jesse Martin's 10-yard rushing TD. Running back John Dykie scored on a 15-yard carry in the fourth quarter and converted the ensuing two-point PAT. He also scored on a 58-yard dash to the end zone followed by Giannicola Ferrarelli's PAT kick.

The Spartans will look to upset first-place Manheim Central on Friday. The Barons improved to 8-0 (4-0 league) with a 48-7 defeat of Conestoga Valley on Friday.


The girls' soccer team upped its league mark to 3-4-3 and evened the overall record to 7-7-3 by splitting its two matches this past week. The Spartans lost a close 1-0 match to Ephrata at home on Tuesday, but came back for a 4-0 win on the road, topping McCaskey on Wednesday.

In Tuesday evening's defeat, Madison root scored for the Mountaineers 23 minutes into the game. Elizabeth King saved the other five shots that came her way while the Spartans were denied by Ephrata goalie Brooke Ludwing (3 saves).

The offense came alive again in the McCaskey match with Avery Stauffer recording a hat trick. Kassidy Hollinger added one more goal while Laura Bartels and Erna Hamzic each dished out an assist. The Spartans scored twice in each half, recording a total of 24 shots on goal.

King needed to only make one save to notch a shutout.


The Spartans ended the regular season on a down note, suffering close, heartbreaking defeats to Lampeter-Strasburg and Manheim Central as well as an 8-0 defeat to unbeaten Donegal. The team wrapped up the regular season with an overall winning record of 10-7-1 along with a 7-6-1 league record.

As a result, Garden Spot fell to 13th in the Class AA power rankings in District Three.

The L-S game on Monday afternoon was an overtime affair that ended when Daisy Frank scored at the 2:55 mark of the extra period, giving the Pioneers a 3-2 win.

Madison Casey and Megan Esh each scored a goal in the first half for the host Spartans with Aubrey Gonzalez and Sophie Torrance providing the assists.

Julia Smecker had scored both L-S goals during regulation play. Lauren Delgado played a tough game in goal for Garden Spot, making 12 saves.

Against Donegal, the Spartans were facing the top-ranked team in Class-AA. Mackenzie Allessie scored five times in the 8-0 victory. She also provided two assists. Lily Saunders also had two assists and scored one of the three first-half goals for the Indians, who improved to 17-0-0 (13-0-0 in league).

Delgado came through with 10 saves in the match at Central on Friday afternoon. The offense was unable to convert on any of its opportunities while the Barons' Codi Bollinger scored twice in the second half.


The boys' soccer team wrapped up the regular season by notching its first victory. The Spartans played a stellar defensive game, defeating McCaskey 1-0 on Wednesday. Earlier in the week, the Spartans suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Manheim Central. Garden Spot finished at 1-14-1 (1-8-1 in league).

Cade Weaver's goal, which came off an Andrew Bowman assist, actually tied the score with Central on Monday. The Barons had gone up 1-0 in the eighth minute Niko Gavala's goal. Weaver tied it less than four minutes later.

The Spartans played a tough match and kept the score deadlocked at 1-1 until Maverick King made it 2-1 in the 59th minute. Brett Kreider and Carson Brenize, who had two assists, added two late goals.

It was the Bowman-Weaver combination in the win against McCaskey. The goal came early in the match as Weaver converted in the fifth minute.

Gabriel Zimmerman, who had six saves in the Central match, had one save in this game and combined with Mark Dariychuk (five saves) for the shutout.


Spot Field Hockey Posts Three Shutout Week October 7, 2018

The Garden Spot field hockey team dominated its opponents this past week, improving to 10-4-1 on the year as the regular season enters its final week. Garden Spot has three games in its final week, including matches against the two teams ahead of the Spartans in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two standings.

"We have Donegal and Manheim Central this week and that will really determine where we'll finish," said head coach Katy Eby.

The Spartans took care of Solanco on the road Monday afternoon, posting the first of their three shutouts on the week. In fact, by blanking Elizabethtown on Wednesday and McCaskey on Friday, the string of shutouts went to four straight games.

"Lauren Delgado has six shutouts so far this year," Eby pointed out. "That's really significant because we only had five wins all of last year. She has been working hard at where she needs to be and communicating with the defense."

In the victory over Solanco, Delgado recorded three saves.

On offense, the Spartans were sparked early on with goals by Madison Casey, Carysse Norris, Sophie Torrance and Aubry Gonzalez. In fact, the team was ahead 4-0 not quite 15 minutes in.

Norris scored 3:20 into the contest and Casey scored her first goal of the match only 34 seconds later. Gonzalez, who also recorded three assists on the day, made it 3-0 at the 6:09 mark and Torrance added a fourth goal at the 14:40 juncture. She too would go on to score a second goal in the 6-0 win.

"It's great to see the girls get off to a fast start," Eby said. "The team seems to play better when we're ahead, so we work with the girls on getting the ball into the offensive circle and to score as quickly as possible. We had three or four goals within the first 15 minutes of this game."

Casey made it 5-0 in the 18th minute. Eby talked about the value-added offensive input Casey brings.

"She's a senior, rotating on the forward line," the coach said. "She seems to have found her coordination better and been more successful with where she needs to be.

"She is in position and ready for rebounds," Eby added. "She is now getting more touches to redirect the ball toward the cage if, for instance, a shot bounces off the goalie's pads."

Amelia Mercado, Megan Esh and Karynne Henry each notched one assist. Torrance scored the lone goal of the second half.

"She also rotates her starting position with or two of the other forwards," Eby said. "Sophie is very fast and has been consistent with our offensive corners.

"We seem to be doing very well with our corners, getting off good shots," she added.

In the Elizabethtown game on Wednesday, the Gonzalez and Amanda Leeland each scored twice with Gonzalez also dishing out an assist. There were nine more Spartans involved in the scoring as Garden Spot posted a 10-0 victory.

Mercado, Henry, Torrance and Casey each had one goal as did Lauren Esh and Megan Esh. There were two assists each by Norris and Kayla Steiner while Henry added one more.

Delgado, who had three saves in the E-town game, needed to only make one save in the low-scoring contest at McCaskey on Friday. The Spartans had only eight shots on goal with Leeland capitalizing twice - once in each half. She scored off assists by Erin Gonzalez and Aubry Gonzalez.

Garden Spot's 10-4-1 record has the team ninth in the District Three Class-AA power rankings, shaded by a slim margin by eighth-place Lampeter-Strasburg (10-4-0).


In a Section Two road game on Friday night, the Garden Spot football team was unable to battle back from an early three-touchdown deficit, losing to Elizabethtown 65-28. The Spartans were relentless in engineering offensive drives and finally scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after a 49-12 halftime deficit could have caused most teams to give up.

Cole Patrick and Cole Livingston were the offensive threats the Spartans were unable to keep out of the end zone while Cole Rice added a big play on special teams. Basically, if someone was named Cole, he was dangerous on Friday night.

Patrick finished the night with 10 completions - five of which went for touchdowns. He passed for 250 yards, hitting Livingston for four TD's and connecting with Luke Pierson for another scoring pass. Livingston finished with 170 receiving yards while Pierson caught two passes for 45 yards.

Zeb Fisher put the Spartans on the scoreboard with a 64-yard scoring dash in the first quarter, making it a combined 27-point opening period.

The Bears' special teams also hurt Garden Spot. In the second quarter, after the first of two TD's by the Spartans - John Dykie's 40-yard pass from Fisher - Rice ran the kickoff back 78 yards for a score.

Fisher duplicated the feat with another 64-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also converted the two-point conversion, and ran for a 22-yarder followed by Dykie's two-point PAT.

On the night, Fisher finished with 199 rushing yards on 19 carries, scoring three touchdowns. Dykie compiled 66 rushing yards and caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Fisher (5-for-11, 80 yards).

The Spartans fell to 0-7 on the year (0-4 in league) while Elizabethtown improved to 4-3, 2-2.

Next up for the Spartans is a road game against Section Two foe Cocalico on Friday.


Following their 2-1 defeat of Twin Valley on Monday, the Spartans played to consecutive draws in girls' soccer action. On Tuesday, they tied Elizabethtown on the road 1-1 and on Friday, they hosted Lampeter-Strasburg, playing to a scoreless draw.

Spot out-shot Twin Valley 15-10 in Monday's non-league contest. Erna Hamzic scored both goals, evening the score in the 11th minute of the match and scoring the eventual game-winner 19 minutes into the second half. Olivia Matherson's goal had given Twin Valley an early lead whereas Elizabeth King's nine saves staved off the Raiders' pressure for the rest of the match.

Lindsey Sweigart and Mataya Hostetter each provided an assist for Spot.

Kylah Morales scored Garden Spot's lone goal in the match at E-town while King held strong, saving four of the Bears' five shots on goal even through overtime.

King notched 10 saves versus L-S on Friday as the Spartans (6-5-3) played to a draw against a Section Two foe for the third time on the year (2-2-3 league). King was solid through 80 minutes of regulation play plus overtime.


Despite two close matches, the Spartans were unable to earn their first win of the season. Garden Spot lost 1-0 to Lancaster Catholic on the road Monday night and suffered a close 3-1 defeat at home to Section Two rival E-town on Tuesday afternoon. Friday afternoon the team finished on the short end of a 4-1 final at Lampeter Strasburg.

On Monday night, the defense, which was anchored by goalie Gabriel Zimmerman (6 saves) took the game into overtime before the Crusaders broke the scoreless tie. Jack Krady scored three minutes into extra time. Garden Spot fell to 0-11-1 overall.

With the losses to E-town and L-S, the Spartans fell to 0-7-1 in the league. Tuesday's game saw the Bears score three first-half goals while the Spartans remained scoreless until the final minute of regulation where Andrew Bowman converted on a penalty kick. Zimmerman held his ground, making eight saves.

Matt McCormick scored Spot's lone goal on Friday while Derek Eckman and Caden Wise each scored twice for the Pioneers. Matt High was back in goal for Garden Spot, recording eight saves.


In the L-L League Flight Tournament, Garden Spot's Elle Hallquist came up short in the first round of Flight One singles, losing 6-2, 6-1. In Flight Two, Paige Kemper was unable to advance in a 6-0, 6-1 match while Ashley Risser suffered a close 7-6(10), 6-1 defeat at Flight Three. Leah Strausser was stopped in the first round of Flight Four singles 6-1, 6-1.

Kemper and Hallquist teamed for Flight One doubles where they suffered a 6-3, 6-0 loss to a tough Manheim Township twosome of Avery Palandjian and Emily Garvin.

Risser and Katie Varley fell in Flight Two doubles as did Lillie Risser and Leah Strausser at Flight Three, losing 9-8(2).


Garden Spot's volleyball team will end the regular season with a home match against Elizabethtown. With only four matches left on their schedule, the Spartans (8-0) lead the Bears (7-1) by one game in the Section Two standings.

Garden Spot notched a Section Two victory at Lampeter-Strasburg this past week and lost to Palmyra in a non-league match.

In the L-S match, the Spartans won the first two sets rather easily, 25-11 and 25-18. They finished it off with a 25-20 victory.

Shawna Zeiset came through with 15 kills and tied Kelly Martin for the team lead in aces with five. Zeiset also registered two blocks, equaling Logan Martin in that category. Distributing 23 assists was Sarah Shirk while Kelly Martin led the way in digs with nine.

Palmyra, which is the top-ranked team in the District Three 3A power rankings, defeated the Spartans 25-9 in the opening set on Thursday night at New Holland. The Spartans (10-2-0 overall) came right back with a 25-19 win only to see the Cougars (10-1-0) regain the edge with a 25-23 win. Though the Spartans forced a tiebreaker with their 25-19 win, the Cougars claimed the match with a 15-8 victory. Taylor McInerney led the Cougars with 25 kills and Hannah Ziegler recorded 48 assists.

Zeiset had a team-high 21 kills and had as many aces as Shirk - three. Shirk also finished with 40 assists. Logan Martin led the team in blocks with four while Kelly Martin tacked on 19 digs.


Spartan Booters Work a Tie Against McCaskey September 30, 2018

The two matches that Garden Spot played this past week included a high-scoring match with Section Two rival McCaskey and a solid performance against the first-place team in the section, Ephrata.

In the 4-4 tie against McCaskey, the Spartans earned a point thanks to a fast-paced scoring that started early in the match.

"We came out pretty much from the start and scored in the first five minutes or so," said head coach Michael Balazs. "It was kind of back and forth for the rest of the game."

Cole Horning scored two minutes into the match and Cade Weaver started his quest for a hat trick one minute later with his first goal of the afternoon.

Indeed it was a back-and-forth game as the Red Tornado cut the deficit in half in the ninth minute only to see Weaver make it 3-1 in the 21st minute. McCaskey then scored two quick goals to tie the score 26 minutes into the game.

Weaver notched the hat trick, scoring four minutes into the second half. Giannicola Ferrarelli provided the assist.

The Red Tornado came back again and scored the equalizer on Sam Hershey's second goal of the game.

"We tried to possess the ball a little more in the second half and put more pressure on their outside backs," Balazs explained. "We had a couple more opportunities to score, but that was it."

Not only did the game end in a draw, both teams had 12 shots on goal giving the respective goalkeepers - Garden Spot's Matthew High and McCaskey's Max Brewster - eight saves each.

The Spartans improved to 0-4-1 in league play.

On Thursday evening, the Spartans had another stellar game with High minding the net as they visited Ephrata. The Mountaineers scored less than 10 minutes into the game to take a 1-0 advantage. They held that lead until the final whistle. High finished with seven saves.

"They had a lucky bounce, but that's the way the game goes," Balazs said. "We pretty much controlled the possession of that game. We were on the edge, trying to finish and that has been the story all season.

"Our defense was pretty solid," continued the coach. "In Josiah Snader, we probably have one of the best defenders in the section. With him back there, it's a lockdown defense."

Garden Spot fell to 0-10-1 following a non-league loss at Penn Manor on Saturday. The Comets posted a 5-2 victory with Horning scoring both Garden Spot goals.

"It was 1-1 at halftime," Balazs said. "In the second half we lost focus."

Though the Spartans are winless, their head coach feels the team could have an entirely different record with a few more breaks.

"It has been the story all year long," he stated. "We are lacking that final surge, which could put us over the top. We could easily have five or six wins this year."


Garden Spot hosted Conestoga Valley in a Friday night Lancaster-Lebanon League football game in New Holland. The Spartans were hoping to notch their first win of the season on their homecoming game, however the Buckskins inched ahead late in the first half and added three more touchdowns in the second half for a 42-14 victory.

The game was close in the second quarter. In fact, the Spartans, who had carried a 7-0 advantage into the second stanza, evened the score following two TD's by CV. John Dykie, who racked up 79 rushing yards on the night, scored on a four-yard touchdown run and Giannicola Ferrarelli's PAT kick made it 14-14.

Keegan Martin, the Buckskins' halfback, threw an option pass to teammate Gavin Horning that resulted in a 31-yard scoring connection to help give the visitors the momentum going into the locker rooms. Earlier in the game, Martin had broken free for a 41-yard rushing touchdown that had helped put his team up 14-7. Keegan went on to compile 135 rushing yards on 22 carries, scoring on three of those attempts.

The Buckskins' passing game hurt the Spartans in the person of quarterback Bradley Stoltzfus. He had a 28-yard TD pass to Parker Graff in the second quarter. Stoltzfus (12-for-17, 194 yards) also hit Horning with a TD pass in the third quarter.

Garden Spot's special teams sparked the home crowd at the outset of the game. Zeb Fisher cradled the opening kickoff and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. Before the Buckskins could get their offense or defense on the field, it was 7-0 Garden Spot.


With their 5-0 defeat of section foe McCaskey on Monday afternoon, the Spartan girls' soccer team raised its league and overall records to the .500 mark at 2-2-1 in league play and 5-5-1 overall.

Garden Spot's offense recorded 15 shots on goal in the home game against McCaskey. Goalie Elizabeth King recorded her second shutout in her last three starts. She only needed to make one save in this win.

The scoring didn't begin until the midway point of the first half. That was when Avery Stauffer put Spot on top 1-0.

Erna Hamzic scored her first goal in the first minute of the first half and her second goal two minutes into the second half.

The result was a 3-0 Garden Spot lead heading into the final five minutes of the game. That was when Payton Shirk and Mataya Hostetter added to the lead. Anna Armbruster and Kassidy Hollinger had assists on the day.


Despite the uncertain weather, the Garden Spot cross country squads traveled to Cocalico and raced in the scheduled Section Two meet on Tuesday afternoon. The Spartans dropped a 19-38 result against Cocalico and fell 17-40 to Elco.

Jeremy Rissler's time of 19:16 earned him seventh place. Adam Horning placed 10th, recording a time of 19:47, while Donovan Esbenshade took 13th at 21:06.

Despite strong finishes by Cloe Martin and Amanda Coblentz, the girls' team wasn't able to top Elco either. The Raiders topped both league rivals as the girls' team fell to 1-5 on the season.

Martin finished third overall with a time of 23:12. Coblentz claimed fourth at 24:37.

Spot's Samantha Davis earned 11th place with a time of 28:12.


The field hockey squad played three tough matches last week, resulting in a win, a loss and a draw. When the final whistle blew in the Spartan's 4-0 non-league defeat of Ephrata on Friday, the team had improved to 7-4-1. The one draw in that record was against league rival Cocalico on Thursday night.

The Spartans, who were coming off a 2-0 defeat at home to Manheim Central on Tuesday, traveled to Cocalico where a first-half goal by each side stood through the remainder of regulation as well as overtime.

Lauren Delgado, who had 10 saves in the Central match, denied six of the Eagles' shots while Natalie Eberly added one save. Eberly and Julia Milligan were each credited with a save in the Central game.

Aubry Gonzalez scored off a Carysse Norris assist 9:07 into the first half against Cocalico. The Eagles' Lily Garrison evened the score at the 23:38 mark.

Gonzalez scored twice in Friday's 4-0 defeat of Ephrata. In this match, the opposition tallied more scoring opportunities. However, Delgado turned away all 12 shots on goal for a shutout.

Amanda Leeland gave Garden Spot a 1-0 lead which held up until halftime. The goal by Karynne Henry at the 25:29 mark of the second half was sandwiched between the pair of goals by Gonzalez.

Madison Casey came through with three assists while Megan Esh dished out one more assist.


The girls' tennis team posted victories at Solanco and Ephrata, improving to 3-2 in the L-L League and 6-5 overall. The Spartans ended the week with a 6-1 setback at home against league foe Manheim Central.

In the close 4-3 defeat of Solanco, the Spartans were resilient in every match. Paige Kemper and Ashley Risser pulled off an 8-2 victory at first doubles while the Mares claimed the number two doubles.

The twosome of Muttik and Lillie Risser held tough in an 8-6 setback at third doubles.

The Mares earned another team point in singles play. However, Katie Varley of Garden Spot did not go down quietly. She lost 6-4, but came back for a 7-5 win at the second set only to lose a close 8-6 tiebreaker.

Leah Strausser won a close second singles 7-5, 4-6, 10-3 while Ashley Risser (6-1, 6-1) and Kemper (6-1, 6-4) won in relatively easy fashion in straight sets.

The 6-1 win for Garden Spot at Ephrata came courtesy of Varley (6-1, 6-4) and Strausser (7-6, 6-3) in straight sets at the first two singles and Kemper bouncing back to win at number four singles (6-4, 4-6, 14-12).

Kemper and Ashley Risser won at number one doubles 8-6 while Strausser teamed with Varley for an 8-3 victory. It was Lillie Risser and Kendall Halsey combining for an 8-4 win at third doubles.

Ashley Risser's 7-6, 2-6, 10-6 triumph was the only Garden Spot team point at number three singles versus Central's Eliana Shenk. At first and second doubles, the Spartan teammates held their own. Varley and Strausser came up short 8-6 at first doubles while Kemper and Ashley Risser also fell by the same close margin.


Garden Spot continued to dominate Section Two volleyball foes as the Spartans improved to 7-0 in the L-L League. The team posted wins against Elizabethtown and Ephrata. Garden Spot had won 19 straight sets in section play until the Mountaineers edged them 30-28 in the second set of Thursday night's match at Ephrata.

Garden Spot opened with a 25-17 win and rebounded from the close loss by winning the next two sets 25-14 and 25-16.

Shawna Zeiset poured in 18 kills while Sarah Shirk led the team with 19 digs and tallied a match-leading 45 assists.

Junior Hallie Butler led the team in aces with eight while Logan Martin notched two blocks.

In Tuesday night's victory at home, the Spartans had to hold off a surging E-town team that lost the second and third sets by the identical score of 25-23. Garden Spot won the opener 25-15.

Zeiset came through with 13 kills and three blocks. Kelly Martin had 22 digs while Shirk again had the highest total in assists (35). Alanna Billy was on fire serving the ball, recording seven aces.


Spot Volleyball Scores Three Straight Shutouts September 23, 2018

The Spartans were not about to yield a single set in the three girls' volleyball matches played this past week. Garden Spot topped Red Lion in a non-league match on Monday and proceeded to win two more road matches, beating Lancaster-Lebanon League rivals Solanco and Lebanon - all by a 3-0 score.

The Red Lion match being on the road didn't seem to deter the Spartans. They came out with a 25-16 victory in the opening set and held off the Lions 25-20 and 25-22 in two close sets.

The victory improved the Spartans to 5-1 overall. The two league wins that would follow raised the team's L-L League mark to 5-0 (7-1 overall).

The visitors received contributions from their key players in the Red Lion match, including eight aces by Kelly Martin, who also came through with 14 digs.

Shawna Zeiset was ready at the net to deliver 14 kills while Sarah Shirk set up opportunities with 30 assists. Zeiset, Shirk and Logan Martin each notched one block.

In topping Solanco 25-9, 25-13 and 25-7 on the road Tuesday night, the same cast of players were the leaders for Spot. Zeiset drilled 11 kills while Shirk served up six aces and recorded 24 assists. Logan Martin had two blocks and Kelly Martin tallied 17 digs.

In their third road match in four days, the Spartans posted winning scores of 25-10, 25-12 and 25-17 against Section Two rival Lebanon on Thursday.

Olivia Usner and Logan Martin, who led the team with eight digs, each recorded five kills. Kelly Martin had a team-high seven aces, Shirk had a total of 11 assists and Zeiset registered one block.


The Spartans started the week with a 4-1 defeat of L-L League opponent McCaskey. The game started with a strong offensive effort, giving the Spartans a quick 2-0 advantage.

"We came out really strong and scored very quickly," said head coach Katy Eby. "We had two goals in the first few minutes of the game and kept the pressure on in the second half as well."

Amanda Leeland scored just 1:20 into the game. Aubry Gonzalez doubled that lead four minutes later. Madison Casey's goal just before halftime made it 3-0. Leeland added a second goal at the 12:20 mark of the second half.

Carysse Norris had a hand in three of Garden Spot's goals, dishing out three assists. Megan Esh also notched an assist.

The Spartans' next game, on Wednesday, was against another league rival, Lampeter-Strasburg.

With early goals by Julz Garber and Julia Smecker, the hosting Pioneers went on to edge the Spartans 3-1. Lauren Delgado recorded 13 saves as the Pioneers out-shot the Spartans 16-9.

"I knew it would be a tight game," Eby commented. "We had our opportunities to score and just didn't finish. We'll be looking to improve upon that in our next game against them. It's definitely going to come down to one or two goals against them."

Sophie Torrance broke through the L-S defense with a goal late in the first half, scoring on an assist by Gonzalez.

Eby noted that the squad hasn't been as sharp in its two night games this season.

"It seemed that we didn't come out as strong as we should have," she said. "They scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. We weren't mentally focused - maybe because it was a night game. We are 1-1 in night games. It just seems we're quieter in terms of communication on the field."

The loss dropped the Spartans to 6-2-0 overall and 4-1-0 in the league.

The Spartans faced the Donegal Indians, who came into the match unbeaten and improved to 9-0-0 (6-0-0) with a 12-0 victory on Friday afternoon.

"We talk to the girls that win or lose, we focus on what we did wrong and move on to the next day," Eby said. "We've left this one behind and now are focusing on the next game."

Obviously Donegal's undefeated mark has the team atop the Section Two standings. Manheim Central is 4-1-0 while both Garden Spot and Donegal are at 4-2-0 in league action.

"I think it's a three-way battle for second place - Central, L-S, and us," she said. "Top three teams from our section make the league playoffs."


Garden Spot suffered a close loss at home to league rival Ephrata on Monday. The Mountaineers edged the Spartans 2-1 in Section Two boys' soccer action.

In the second overtime period, the Mountaineers' Caleb Gason scored the game winner 97 minutes after the start of the match. Humberto Cisneros had scored the equalizer for the visitors 24 minutes into the second half.

Garden Spot took a lead on Andrew Bowman's goal in the 50th minute. The defense limited Ephrata to only three shots on goal.

With a 3-0 loss to Lampeter-Strasburg on Tuesday and a 4-0 loss at Manheim Central on Thursday, Garden Spot fell to 0-8-0 (0-4-0 league).


On Thursday afternoon, Cocalico topped the Spartans in a league match that was postponed from earlier in the week. The Eagles came away with a 6-1 victory despite some tremendous efforts by the likes of Paige Kemper, Leah Strausser, Lillie Rissler and others.

In the first doubles match, Cocalico's Allie Dickson and Grace Templin eked out a victory over Risser and Strausser in a 9-8 (7-5) battle to the very last serve. Spot's Ashley Risser and Katie Barley fell shy in an 8-4 final while Kemper and Elle Hallquist's effort at third doubles came up short in an 8-4 decision.

Kemper won the third singles, giving the Spartans their lone team point. She posted a 6-4 victory in the opening set and, following a 6-2 setback, won the third set 10-7.

The Spartans topped Elizabethtown in a Tuesday afternoon away match. The only Bears' team point was a tight battle at second singles where Ashley Rissler was in a close first set, winning 7-5, before losing by the same score in the second set and 11-9 in the tiebreaker.

Strausser posted a 7-5, 6-0 win at number one singles. Kemper came through 6-1, 7-5 at third singles while Hallquist outlasted Lauren Masser 4-6, 6-2, 10-3.

In doubles, it was Lillie Risser and Strausser posting an 8-4 victory while Ashley Risser and Katie Varley claimed the second doubles 8-6. Hallquist and Kemper were a formidable pair at third doubles 9-7.


Following a 1-0 defeat of Warwick in a non-league game on Saturday, the Garden Spot girls' soccer team improved to 4-5-1. It was the second 1-0 shutout of the week for the Spartans, who had also blanked league rival Lampeter -Strasburg on the road Tuesday night.

In Tuesday's game, which improved the team's league record to 1-1-1, Deanna Phillips broke the scoreless deadlock by scoring 10 minutes into overtime.

What was remarkable about heading into overtime tied at 0-0 was that the Pioneers had found open seams to direct shots at Garden Spot goalie Elizabeth King 19 times on the night. King saved all 19.

Junior goalie Marissa Spacht racked up eight saves in the shutout of Warwick. The Spartans didn't require extra minutes to score in this one as Payton Shirk scored off an Anna Armbruster assist in the second half.

Sandwiched in between the wins was a 3-0 loss to Manheim Central on Thursday night at New Holland. The Barons improved to 8-1-0 (3-1-0 league) as goalie Kelli Kreider saved all three shots sent her way.

Rachel Nolt scored late in the first half. Autumn Greiner and Summer Bates added some seasoning to the score.


The Pioneers' defense kept the Spartans off the scoreboard in Friday night's Section Two match at Lampeter-Strasburg. With the 42-0 victory, the Pioneers evened their league record at 1-1 while improving to 4-1 overall. In all four of their wins, the Pioneers have scored 35 or more points.

Garden Spot fell to 0-5 (0-2 league).

Alex Knapp was one of the stars for L-S, scoring three touchdowns on the night. He opened the scoring with a 10-yard rushing TD. He was also on the receiving end of a 47-yard scoring pass from Sean McTaggert as well as a nine-yard toss from McTaggert, who also scored on an eight-yard quarterback keeper in the second quarter.

The Pioneers scored 14 in the first quarter and 21 more in the second.

Garden Spot had 84 rushing yards, led by John Dykie's 68 yards on 18 carries. Jesse Martin completed five passes for 41 yards with no picks.


It was a busy week for the Garden Spot golfers, who played on Monday and Friday. The Spartans needed to make up a game postponed due to inclement weather back on September 10.

In Monday's match, they topped Conestoga Valley and Solanco at Meadia Heights. On Friday, they also topped those opponents while coming up short against Warwick, Ephrata and Elizabethtown at Tanglewood.

The Spartans shot an even 200 on Monday with Adam Hershey leading the squad. He shot a 47, which was good for ninth-best overall score. Zach Lessley shot a 49 and Benjamin Spencer shot a 52 on the day.

Teammates Liam Hamer and Holt Albertson also finished with a 52 on their score cards.

Warwick was the winning team with a score of 160 while E-town (186) and Ephrata (195) finished second and third, respectively.

On Friday, Warwick held off the competition with a team score of 328. Four of the top five golfers represented the Warriors. Ephrata (376) and E-town (379) battled for second place and Garden Spot took fourth at 391.

Albertson led the Spartans with a score of 91. Hershey shot a 94 on the day, Hamer came away with a 101 and Lessley shot a 105.

Garden Spot fell to 17-13 overall.


Garden Spot Rally Falls Short Against Palmyra September 9, 2018

The Garden Spot football team came up short in what proved to be a thrilling second half game at home on Friday night.

In a non-league contest with Palmyra, the Spartans scored three touchdowns in the second half, but couldn't overcome a halftime deficit. The Cougars (3-0) left New Holland with a 44-20 win.

Palmyra's' 23 unanswered points in the first half resulted in the Spartans making some halftime adjustments.

"We just kept playing our game, getting the guys to clean up some of the mistakes from the first half," said head coach Zach Fulmer. "We did that in our first game, which was against Daniel Boone.

"We just need to do that for an entire game next week," added Fulmer, whose squad begins Section Two play this week against visiting Solanco.

"Nothing easy is left on our schedule," Fulmer remarked.

Palmyra scored two touchdowns in the first quarter. Grant Haus scored on a five-yard quarterback keeper. Caleb Hawkins scored the first of his two TD's later in the period - a 21-yard rushing TD.

Following a Palmyra safety, the Cougars added to their lead on a 44-yard scoring pass from Haus to Casey Shugart.

Garden Spot struck early in the second quarter as Jesse Martin broke through for a 70-yard dash to the end zone. Hawkins capped a Cougars' drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game, making it 30-6. Haus connected on an 83-yard TD pass to Sean Carter to increase the deficit.

"We just ran the ball well in the second half," said Fulmer, whose offense still had plenty of life left before the final whistle. Zackary Ringler hauled in two touchdown receptions from Martin and Giannicola Ferrarelli converted the PAT kicks.

"Zack is our tight end. He has been the main target so far this year," Fulmer said.

Sophomore running back John Dyke also came through in the tough running game the offense demonstrated.

"I think John finished with 90-some yards and Jesse Martin ran for over a hundred yards - most of it in the second half," Fulmer added.

Garden Spot accumulated 215 rushing yards to 142 by Palmyra.

As for Solanco, Fulmer said the Spartans expect a relentless ground attack.

"They run the ball a lot," he said. "That's all they do. They're a good football team and we need to slow down their rushing attack."


Garden Spot's first victory of the season was a gradual process, one could say. The Spartans suffered back-to-back losses by the identical score of 3-0 to Governor Mifflin and Elco.

They played a tougher and much more organized game at Donegal on Thursday, losing 1-0 before returning home and defeating Solanco 3-1 on Saturday morning.

"I think we have a tough schedule right out of the gate," said head coach Harry Klinger. "Governor Mifflin, a Quad-A team, is one of the toughest teams in the area and Elco is a strong team who has won the section title a few years in a row."

The Raiders scored 14 minutes into the match. Katelyn Rueppel scored her second goal of the game 15 minutes into the second half before Ryelle Shuey cemented the victory with the team's third goal in the 63rd minute. Tanisha Grewal registered two assists.

"We played better against Donegal, but I think we could have played better," Klinger remarked. "We were a little lethargic."

Despite the 3-0 losses, Klinger was high on his defense and senior goalkeeper Elizabeth King.

"We gave up three goals in each of the first two games," he said. "She couldn't have saved any of them - all top-shelf goals in the corners. I think we've played well defensively,"

In the Solanco game, all of the scoring took place in the second half. Mataya Hostetter scored 17 minutes into the second half. Payton Shirk scored one minute later and made it 3-0 with five minutes left in the game. Hostetter and Kassidy Hollinger each notched an assist while King made three saves.

"We had two goals off corners," Klinger explained. "Payton, our center back, scored both of her goals on corners. We moved her up on several corners. She struck one in with her foot and headed in the other one."

Things don't get much easier for the Spartans' schedule as the season goes on.

"We play Ephrata for our first section game and a lot of people think they can win the whole league," Klinger commented. "We have 10 section games and seven non-league. Each of the non-league teams were district playoff teams last year."


Garden Spot has served up three straight wins to start this 2018 season, including two victories over Section Two rivals. On Tuesday evening, Garden Spot outlasted Ephrata in a tough home match, defeating the Mountaineers 25-22 in the opening set, cruising to a 25-11 victory in the second set before finally serving up match point in the 32-30 third set thriller.

"That was an intense back-and-forth game with tough defense on both sides," head coach Mark Leaman commented. "Ephrata was very scrappy."

Thursday's victory was also on the Spartans' home court as they topped Lampeter-Strasburg 25-22, 25-10 and 25-16.

Returning seniors Shawna Zeiset, Sarah Shirk and Kristin Sims have certainly done their share to help the squad set out to a 3-0 start. In the L-S match, Zeiset poured in 16 kills while Shirk distributed 27 assists. Sims had two solo blocks while junior libero Kelly Martin registered 10 digs.

"Kelly is filling big shoes," Leaman said, referring to 2017 all-league libero and Garden Spot alum Sam Martin. "She's in charge of communication on the floor and is doing a great job being aggressive."

In that marathon match with the Mountaineers, which came four days following a season-opening 3-0 defeat of Penn Manor, Zeiset put up phenomenal numbers again - five aces and 12 kills. Olivia Usner drilled five service aces as well while Shirk led the team with 37 assists and tied Martin for the team lead in digs with 16. Sims registered two blocks.

"Olivia Usner has gotten off to a great start," added Leaman. "All of these girls have been playing club volleyball and they're starting to come together. They have high volleyball IQ."

Garden Spot's next 10 matches include eight against Section Two rivals.

"The last two years Elizabethtown took it," Leaman noted. "I think the play level is up all around in our section."


Garden Spot took on Annville-Cleona and Octorara in Tuesday's cross country race at A-C. In the boys' competition, the host Dutchmen edged the Spartans 26-29 while the Spartans went on to defeat the Braves 15-45.

In the girls' race it was another close one between the home team and Garden Spot as Annville-Cleona prevailed 26-31. Meanwhile, Octorara came out on top 20-38 over Garden Spot also.

Octorara's girls featured three of the top five finishers in the race. The other two spots belonged to Garden Spot runners Cloe Martin and Amanda Coblentz, who finished third and fifth, respectively, with times of 23:47 and 24:14.

Senior Jeremy Rissler and junior Adam Horning paced the Spartan runners in the boys' race. Rissler took second overall at 19:37 while Horning finished third at 19:52.

Thanks to Dakota Cox (5th, 20:15) Donovan Esbenshade (9th, 21:09), and Dwight Hurst, who finished 10th (21:15), the Spartans came on strong against the Little Dutchmen. In addition, Finn Wrench grabbed 12th place at 21:51


Garden Spot hosted Donegal in a non-league boys' soccer match on Tuesday. The Indians edged the Spartans 2-1 in what was Garden Spot's third loss of the season. In each of its losses, Garden Spot (0-3) has scored one goal.

Andrew Bowman scored the only goal of the game for his second goal of the season. Of the three goals, Sam Tlumach has netted one as well, converting on a Bowman assist.

Matt High played a strong game in goal for Garden Spot.


In field hockey action, the Garden Spot squad has shot out to a great start this year. The Spartans' lone loss is a non-league defeat on Saturday afternoon when they played a double header at Lancaster Catholic.

In that action-packed Saturday, the Spartans topped the host school 5-1 in a morning match but lost to Berks Catholic by a 5-2 count in the afternoon. The loss dropped the Spartans to 3-1 on the year.

In the victory over Catholic, the Spartans had four second-half goals, finishing with 20 shots on goal for the game.

Five different Spartans scored in the game, including Sophie Torrance, who also posted two assists.

Amanda Leeland opened the scoring 1:57 into the first half. Carysse Norris, who also added an assist, made it 2-0 followed by Torrance's goal. Karynne Henry and Lauren Esh capped the scoring.

Megan Esh and Erin Gonzalez each added an assist while Lauren Delgado recorded 10 saves.

Delgado was coming off two shutouts to start the season, including an L-L League 2-0 victory over Cocalico on Thursday. In the shutout she had eight saves while Leeland and Norris each netted one goal. Aubrey Gonzalez and Rebecca Horning each provided an assist.


The Spartans fell to 3-2 on the season after a non-league loss at Warwick on Friday afternoon. The Warriors edged the Spartans 3-2, winning two of the singles matches plus another team point in doubles.

Katie Varley and Lillie Rissler paired up for a 6-2, 7-5 victory in first doubles, giving Garden Spot its first team point of the match. The Spartans came up short at number two doubles, but did even the score on Paige Kemper's 6-2, 1-0 victory at second singles.

Ashley Rissler played a tough opening set, defeating Kaelan Miller 6-4. However, Miller came back for two wins, 6-4 and 10-6, to help Warwick earn the win.

The Spartans came away with a win in their first L-L League match of the season. Playing at Donegal on Thursday, the girls' team eked out a 4-3 victory.


On Wednesday, the golfers played an excellent game against league foes Warwick, Elizabethtown, Ephrata, Solanco and Conestoga Valley at Meadia Heights.

Warwick's team finished on top with 152 points, only 11 strokes ahead of E-town. Garden Spot finishe third at 168, edging Ephrata (176) .

Adam Hershey and Ben Spencer finished third and fourth overall with respective scores of 36 and 37. Finishing 15th and 16th, were Spot's Liam Hamer (47) and Holt Albertson (48)

Garden Spot improved its record to 13-7 in the league - second in Section Two behind Warwick, which is 20-0.


Spartans Post Winningest Season Since 1997 June 1, 2018

The 2018 Spartans' softball season shattered team records offensively as well as a number of individual records on what was Garden Spot's winningest season since 1997.

"We scored 187 runs; we had 226 hits, setting team records in most doubles, triples and home runs," head coach Kim King pointed out.

It was therefore surprising that the team's season came to a close following back-to-back losses in the District Three Class 5A playoffs - both by the score of 1-0. The second of these was to Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Manheim Central in a consolation game at York College on Tuesday.

"It was ironic that we scored 187 runs and we couldn't score one in our last two games," King said. "Out of the 226 hits this year, we couldn't get that timely hit. I told the girls this was the best-hitting team I've ever had here."

Following their opening-round victory at Lower Dauphin on May 23, the ninth-seeded Spartans traveled to Millersville University to take on top-seeded Solanco in the quarterfinals the following day.

The loss set up the consolation game at York. The Barons held the Spartans to four hits in a heartbreaking loss.

Despite the defeat, Elizabeth King pitched a complete game.

"Elizabeth pitched great," said the Spartan coach. "They had some hits, but nothing solid. They had a bloop double, a bunt single and scored on a ground ball to second base. We played good defense."

The four Garden Spot hits came from King, her battery mate Desiree High and from Megan Fisher, who had two hits.

Solanco scored an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning to break the scoreless deadlock. It spoiled a strong effort by King, who recorded 10 strikeouts.

Solanco starter Hannah Phillips registered 11 strikeouts and worked out of a big Spartan scoring threat in the first frame.

Ally King bunted her way on with one out. Elizabeth King doubled to put runners on second and third.

"They walked Megan Fisher, which usually gets the next batter pumped up," said King.

However, two infield pop outs extinguished that first frame flame.

"When you load the bases in the first inning, even if you don't score you're hopeful," said King. "Hannah Phillips shut us down the rest of the game."

Garden Spot's ace was matching Phillips out-for-out and only gave up two hits through eight innings as the scoreless game went into extras.

"They were both controlling the game, mixing their pitches and hitting their spots," King said. "They had a bloop single and a blooper over first base for a double."

With runners on second and third and only one out, King made a visit to the mound and talked to her pitcher about loading the bases with an intentional walk.

"I asked her about setting up a force out at home by walking the bases loaded," she explained. "Elizabeth said she wanted to go after the next batter. She struck her out."

However, a fielding error gave Solanco the winning run.

Because the top five teams in Class 5A qualify for the state playoffs, making it past the quarterfinals would have punched the team's ticket to states.

"We were one win away - maybe just one hit away from our league championship," King said. "We missed an opportunity. All year we had come back and scored the run we needed. The girls felt that way too."

The 2019 team potentially returns the entire infield as well as the team's ace hurler. The spots that will be left open will be those vacated by seniors Brandi Clark, who roamed center field for four years, and Abigail Foor.

"It's going to be a different look for us in the outfield," said King. "It will be sad to see them go."

If there's improvement next year in terms of wins, King would break the single-season record for most wins by a pitcher (15) at Garden Spot. She also set a team record in 2018 with 197 strikeouts and two no-hitters.

In all, the Spartans set 23 offensive records between team accomplishments and individual records.


Spartans Win Again, Top LD in District Playoffs May 24, 2018

The Garden Spot Spartans visited Lower Dauphin for a first-round game in the District Three Class 5A softball playoffs on Wednesday afternoon.

Garden Spot entered the playoffs as the ninth-seeded team while Lower Dauphin edged them in the district power rankings.

In a game that was rescheduled from the previous day, the Spartans defeated the Falcons 6-3 on the road. Garden Spot scored its six runs by plating two each in the second, third and fourth innings.

"We came out with our bats a little flat in the first inning," said head coach Kim King, who admitted utilizing the batters in the first inning for scouting Falcons pitcher Paige Hollinger.

"Our first couple of batters were just told to go out and let the teammates know what she had," King explained. "We had not seen them at all and we don't have any common opponents."

Meanwhile, Elizabeth King did the job as the Spartans' starting pitcher. She worked her way out of trouble and finished strong, recording 10 strikeouts on the day.

"Elizabeth pitched a great game and we played well as a team," said King. "We had a couple of errors in the infield, which never helps."

Those errors helped the Falcons put together a three-run rally in the home half of the fifth inning, cutting the 6-0 deficit in half.

Sandwiched between the errors was a strikeout by King. A play at the plate went for naught and resulted in one of the LD runs.

"They singled in another run but we got out of the inning on a great defensive play at second base," King said. "Though we didn't score any in the next inning, Elizabeth came out and struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth. She finished strong.

"The maturity of a pitcher to shut things down came through for us," continued the coach. "The girls took control of the game and finished it out."

King's complete game effort yielded only six singles and one base walk.

On offense, Megan Fisher and Camryn Foulk combined for five hits.

Garden Spot assured itself at least two more playoff games with this win. Top-seeded Solanco won its first-round game against Northern York.

The losing teams in the second round start a consolation round to determine the top five teams in Class 5A. Those five teams qualify for states.

Foulk, King and Brandi Clark were named first team all-stars. Fisher and Desiree High were honorable mention while Clark was named all-league for Section Two and Three.


Spartans Top PV, Fall to Donegal in LL Playoffs May 18, 2018

The Garden Spot softball team triumphed over Pequea Valley in the opening round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, hosted by Conestoga Valley on May 12.

In the 12-9 victory, the Spartans allowed seven unearned runs to the Braves.

"They only had two earned runs; we made seven errors in that game" said head coach Kim King. "Luckily, we put the ball in play. We had five players with three hits each and 18 hits as a team."

Brandi Clark, Camryn Focht, Ali King, Ashley Rissler and starting pitcher Elizabeth King each had three hits. Focht had two doubles and all but Rissler had one double each. Elizabeth King also helped her cause by driving in four runs.

"The hits helped make up for the fielding errors," said the Spartans' coach. "If you get 18 hits, you know you're going to score some runs."

Garden Spot had entered the league playoffs as the second seed out of Section Two. The Braves, who fell to 13-7 overall, were the Section Four champs.

The victory advanced the Spartans to the league semifinals where they faced Section Three runner up Donegal on Monday at Warwick.

The errors weren't only on the field in this one; the Spartans also had a costly base running blunder that helped the Indians hang on for a 2-1 victory, ending the Spartans' quest for the league crown.

"We out-hit them 4-2 and did everything we needed to do," said King. "We couldn't get the runs in when we had base runners. We also had a runner picked off third base.

"Elizabeth did what we asked her to," added the coach. "She gave us a good game - three strikeouts and only one walk. She didn't give up any earned runs."

And there it is - no earned runs.

"We committed three errors," King added. "Their only two hits were bloop singles. They scored one run on a passed ball in the second. They scored in the fifth on a couple of errors."

Garden Spot (14-7) came back to tie the game on a Focht home run in the fourth inning.

The oddity about the culmination of the L-L League post-season was how the championship game was decided on Thursday. The title game was rescheduled to Thursday and it was decided by league officials that it would be postponed again. Instead Donegal and Solanco were declared co-champions.

In a season that included snow on the first day of spring as well as several weather-related postponements, it would have been poetic justice if your team had made it past the semis.

That 20/20 hindsight was not lost on King.

"We were just a couple of errors away from being league co-champions," she said. "It's strange how the weather even had an outcome on the league championship this year."

Garden Spot heads into the District Three 5A playoffs as the ninth-ranked team. Their first opponent scheduled is eighth-ranked Lower Dauphin on the road, Tuesday, May 22.

Winning a first-round game would mean that Garden Spot has at least two more games in 2018 - a consolation game would await them even if the second-round game were to be a loss.

"We know we have to clean it up as we go deeper into the post-season," said King, referring to the errors. "You hope that it was nerves in the league playoff game. If the weather allows us, we can practice situations with runners on."


The Garden Spot track and field season ended with the L-L League Championship meet held at Hempfield on Friday and Saturday, May 11-12. Junior Faith Coblentz finished eighth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 49.40 seconds.

"She was seeded second in the heat and won her heat by running a personal record 49.4, earning eighth place," said head coach Lei Williams. "She had been struggling with getting over the last three hurdles cleanly, but she nailed it on Saturday, running a nearly perfect race.

"Faith is one of the hardest-working athletes on the team," continued the coach. "She was deserving of a league medal."

Williams referred to the youth and inexperience on the boys' and girls' rosters

"All of our athletes ran, jumped and threw to personal bests in all of their events," she said. "For the majority of our athletes, this was their first track and field experience. The league meet can be overwhelming and intimidating. We told the athletes to trust in their training, and to leave everything out on the track and field. They can use the experience of having been there to motivate them for next year.

"We are losing only three seniors," continued the coach. "I'm hopeful that everyone will return next year so we can build on what these young athletes started this year."


The Spartans faced a tough Warwick team in the first round of the L-L League boys' volleyball playoffs.

In a match played at Manheim Central, the Warriors won 25-17, 25-14, and 25-20.

Chad Meeder and Foster Lobb led Warwick with 10 kills each. Meeder also served up three aces in the match.

The Spartans' Carter Eby had a match-high 12 kills and also served up two aces. Andrew Yang had a team-high eight digs while C.J. Murray led everyone with four blocks.

Garden Spot fell to 9-8 overall.


Fisher Cracks Walk-off Homer in Win Over ET May 12, 2018

If you're an opposing coach or pitcher and you think you'll escape a threat in any given inning by walking Elizabeth King, you may not be using the best strategy.

On Monday, the Elizabethtown Bears were facing a Garden Spot rally in the Spartans' final at bat with the score tied 4-4.

"Ali King hit a double, which almost went over the fence for a game-winning home run," explained head coach Kimberly King. "Elizabeth came up and they intentionally walked her. She was 3-for-3 in the game with a home run."

Up stepped Megan Fisher.

Out went the softball, off the bat of Fisher for a three-run walk-off homer.

The victory secured second place in Section Two for the Spartans, who finished in a second-place tie with Elizabethtown - both at 11-5 in the league.

However, the Spartans edged E-town on a tiebreaker even though they split the head-to-head season series.

"We did beat Solanco, the section champ, and that pushed us into second place," King explained. "We lost to Elizabethtown 2-1 earlier in the season."

It wasn't the first time that King was walked intentionally only to have the following batter(s) hurt the opponent.

"In the Manheim Township game, Elizabeth was intentionally walked twice," King explained. "Megan Fisher and Camryn Focht followed with hits.

"It makes her mad and the girls behind her get mad also," added the coach.

The Spartans, who also got a key double from Desiree High.

"We have won all of our games since Solanco," said King. "The girls are putting the ball in play, moving runners and getting the key hits. They're doing what they have to do for the team to win. They're playing in playoff mode and are primed for the playoffs."


The Garden Spot track and field teams came up empty against Lampeter-Strasburg in Monday's Section Two dual meet. The Pioneers claimed the boys' meet 131-18 while the L-S girls won by a 117-33 margin in this Lancaster-Lebanon League meet at Garden Spot.

"Even though the score was lopsided, many of our athletes ran, threw and jumped to personal bests," remarked head coach Lei Williams.

"Lampeter-Strasburg has a very deep and talented team and they were very competitive in all of the events," Williams commented. "Our athletes were challenged to use the stiff competition as an opportunity to push themselves and accomplish the goals they had set for themselves at the beginning of the season.

"Many of the athletes rose to the challenge on a day we honored our seniors," continued the coach.

Winning the shot put was sophomore Elena Hurst, who threw for a personal best distance of 34-3. She earned a spot in the L-L League Honor Roll.

Garden Spot's only victory on the track came on the speed of Faith Coblentz, Lindsey Sweigert, Britney Esh, and Brielle Eby. This quartet of runners formed the 4x400-meter relay, which took the event in a time of 4:22.63.

"They provided an exciting finish to the meet by running their personal best," said Williams.

Esh also had a personal best 90-5 in the javelin, finishing second in that event.

"Sophomore Deanna Phillips continues to improve in the pole vault, vaulting eight feet to place second," Williams noted.

Coblentz was second in the 100-m hurdles (16.9) and third in the 300-m intermediate hurdles at 51.36. Elyse Mundorff added a third in the 100 hurdles (17.9) and was second in the 100-m dash (12.9).

Kassidy Hollinger took second in the 200 at 27.9.

"Kassidy improved her 200 time by almost a second," said Williams. "Mundorff reached her goal of running below 13 seconds in the 100."

Cloe Martin took third (6:05.21) in the 1,600m while Coblentz was second in the 3,200 with her 14:04.1 pace.

In the triple jump, Hollinger earned third with a 28-11.75 effort.

Aaron Good shined in the boys' hurdling events again. The sophomore dashed to a second-place finish in both the 300-m (44.7) and the 110-m (17.85) hurdles.

Agbokah Kupakwashe claimed second in the 100-m dash at 11.64 while Jeff Harley's time of 24.4 and Kyle Smith's 24.75 were second- and third-best in the 200-m dash.

In field events, Bailey Coon took third in both the discus and the javelin, throwing 117-0 and 189-2 respectively.

"In two of the three throwing events, Bailey Coon threw for personal bests," Williams said. "We will miss him as we lose him to graduation. He has made great contributions to our program and has been a good role model for the younger athletes."

Grant Zeiset claimed first in the pole vault at 11-6 and Adam Hornung's time of 4:55.3 was good for third in the 1,600-m.


Speaking of winning it in walk-off fashion and doing it in a match that has post-season implications, let's take a look at what Garden Spot did on the volleyball court Tuesday night.

The Spartans topped the Bears 26-24, 21-25, 25-23, 14-25 and 19-17 on a night they honored seniors Carter Eby, C.J. Murray, Devin Weaver and Andrew Yang.

"It was either win or go home," said head coach Ben Rutt. "I was not sure how we stood with any of the tiebreakers, but we knew we had to win in order to stay in the mix for the league playoffs.

"I told the guys to not worry about tiebreakers," Rutt added. "We needed to take care of our business and worry about all of the other stuff later."

The victory improved Garden Spot's record to 6-6 in the league and dropped the Bears to 6-6 as well.

They gained a huge victory in the first set, coming back from a 23-20 deficit to win an intense battle 26-24.

"After an Etown side out, we ran off five straight points to win that first game," Rutt explained. "The next two were see-saw, back-and-forth battles.

"Going into the fourth game, I told the guys to learn from previous mistakes," added the coach. "But they scored the final six points to close out a sloppy fourth game."

Rutt told the team to be more relaxed heading into the do-or-die fifth game.

"I told the guys to capture the moment and to have fun in the moment," he explained. "I told them it was not the time to be scared, but to enjoy playing with their buddies. 'If it is your last game of the season or career, to have fun doing it.'"

The Spartans had an early 4-1 lead but the Bears took a 14-13 lead later. The Spartans gained a 15-14 lead and continued to battle until Devin Weaver's block ended the match.

"Elizabethtown did a great job," commented the Spartan coach. "We had a huge clutch performance by our entire team."

Eby led the team with 24 kills and served up three aces. John Sauder led the team with four blocks and Aaron Lapp recorded 14 digs. Distributing the ball to his teammates to the count of 44 assists was Devon Martin.


Garden Spot suffered a 7-3 loss at home to close out the regular season last Monday. The Northern Lebanon Vikings yielded just six hits as they improved to 9-7 (9-11 overall) and the Spartans fell to 8-8 (9-10 overall).

Freshman Justin Petersheim went 2-for-3 with a run while Wyatt Weaver singled and drove in a run.

Jordan Petersheim and Ben Spencer also scored runs.

Starter Aiden Bracken went four innings and allowed three unearned runs while striking out seven. Dylan Crosson's outing in 1.2 relief innings also involved giving up unearned runs as two of the four he yielded were such.


In a 14-3 loss at Elizabethtown on Friday, May 4, the Spartans' Ian Blankley scored twice. Gavyn Naranjo scored once and Benton Moyer provided an assist.

The Bears out-shot the Spartans 31-24 with Nate Kidnt coming away with 11 saves in front of the visiting team's net.

The boys' team finished the season at 0-11 in the L-L League (1-15 overall). The Bears claimed their second league victory (2-9) and finished 3-11 overall.

In girls' action, the Spartans played host to Elizabethtown in a wild match that saw 33 goals scored.

The Bears (7-11, 5-6 league) had an eight-goal performance from Kate Weissend. They out-shot the Spartans 32-17.

The leading scorers for the Spartans (4-13, 2-9 league) were Aubry Gonzalez and Kiersten Ellsworth, who finished with four and three goals, respectively. Lilly Leaman added two goals and two assists.

Mandi Rider also scored while Carly Esh and junior Kayla Steiner each notched an assist.

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