Zip Code

Spartans Compete in State Playoffs March 16, 2018

The Garden Spot boys' basketball team entered the PIAA Class 5A state playoffs having claimed eighth place in District Three. The Spartans traveled to Scranton to face Abington Heights in the first round of states.

The District Two champion Comets, who had only lost three games through and including their district playoffs, overcame an early Garden Spot spurt and went on to post a 75-47 win.

Garden Spot, which ends its season at 15-14, took a 19-18 lead into the second quarter. The Comets soared ahead in the second stanza, however, grabbing a 34-27 lead by halftime.

Led by the game-high scoring of Jackson Danzig, whose 18-point total included a pair of three-point field goals, the Comets went on a 19-5 run in the third quarter and held off a Garden Spot comeback attempt in the final period.

Keontae Nunn led Garden Spot with 15 points. The junior made four baskets and went 7-for-8 at the foul line.

Senior Jordan Shewbridge was one of a handful of Spartans playing their final basketball game in a Garden Spot uniform. He finished with 11 points, connecting from three-point range three times. Matthew Sharp scored eight while 6-foot-4 sophomore Andrew Zentner added seven points.


Garden Spot senior Connor Finkey competed in the PIAA Class-AAA state championships, which were held at The Giant Center in Hershey on March 8 and 9. Finkey moved through the opening round of the 145-pound weight class and, following a second- round setback, claimed a consolation victory before bowing out of the tournament.

On Thursday, March 8, Finkey began with a first-period pin, putting down Michael Kistler of Northampton just 1:03 into the bout.

Finkey suffered an 8-1 loss to Kiski Area's Cam Connor in the second round, sending him into the consolation matches the following day.

Finkey came out with a 7-2 victory, defeating Garrett Rigg of Bald Eagle Area. The following match was an 8-2 loss at the hands of eventual fifth-place finisher Jobe Chishko of Penn Tellford.

The Spartan senior finished the season with an overall record of 31-3.


Spartans Qualify for PIAA Class 5A Playoffs March 2, 2018

Garden Spot heads into the PIAA Class 5A state playoffs, looking to avoid a repeat performance of Wednesday's District Three 5A consolation game against Greencastle-Antrim.

In that match, which was played at Mechanicsburg for the right to claim seventh place in the district, the Blue Devils moved ahead by opening a wide margin in the first quarter. They held on to win 77-67 despite the Spartans (15-13) outscoring them 36-27 in the second half.

"Another slow start," head coach Ryan Trupe lamented. "We were down 50-31 at the half. We played the worst defensive half of the year. We didn't have it defensively.

"It was disappointing how we started the game," he added. "We only gave up 27 points in the second half and were a little stingier. We were trapping and getting into our presses. Our mental approach was better in the second half."

Despite the loss, it was Garden Spot's Keontae Nunn leading all scorers with a whopping 32 points. Nunn made 14 field goals, including a three-pointer. Jordan Shewbridge poured in 16 more, including three triples and Javi Westmoreland added 11 points.

"We were playing without Andrew Zentner, our big sophomore," Trupe pointed out, "even though Greencastle wasn't a big team. They made 11 of 17 from three-point range."

Bryan Gembe scored 19 for the Blue Devils, hitting four triples.

In Monday's consolation game against Lampeter-Strasburg, the Spartans started off slow and fell short in their comeback bid.

The Pioneers (25-3), who had defeated Garden Spot twice in the regular season en route to winning Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, had a game-high 31 points from Ryan Smith and went on to win 62-53.

"They're a quality opponent," said Trupe. "They were the top seed coming into districts.

"We had a couple of moments in the fourth quarter where we got it down to five or six points. We just didn't have that play that could cut it closer - the rebounds we needed we weren't getting.

"Ryan Smith dominated," Trupe added. "He's a tough matchup for us because he's 6-foot-10 and our biggest kid is 6-foot-4. We have played teams this year where we've been able to limit their biggest player.

"It was a slow start for us; we gave up 25 points in the first quarter," Trupe pointed out. "We hit a shot at the buzzer to cut it to five points at the half."

The Spartans outscored the Pioneers 15-8 in the second quarter, making it a 33-28 game. The third quarter saw the momentum eventually swing in favor of the Pioneers, who managed to hold off the Spartans' comeback bid in the fourth.

Nunn and Westmoreland led the Spartans with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Nunn sank four three-pointers and Westmoreland made three more in addition to a 2-for-2 night at the foul line. Shewbridge added nine points.

"Andrew Zentner was a bit under the weather but gutted it out," said Trupe. "He had a lot of tremendous plays - whether it was a rebound or a key block. He played great inside.

"Cameron Roth gave us quality minutes," commented the coach. "He's a tough kid. He was able to get some rebounds for us."

As for states, Trupe surmised that his team would face a District Two team on the road.

"We have narrowed it down," he said. "We'll be playing a District Two team from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. We get ten teams from our district, so you know you're going to travel.

"It looks like we'll play either Abington Heights or Dallas," Trupe added. "First time we've been in states since 2001. We look forward to representing Garden Spot well."

Trupe knows that the pattern of starting off slow cannot continue into the PIAA's.

"In a district or now the state playoff games, you can't dig yourself into a hole," he said.


Connor Finkey finished third in the District Three Class-AAA wrestling championships at the Giant Center on Friday, February 23 in Hershey.

Finkey, a senior, earned a 5-2 decision over Joey Stoak of Lower Dauphin in the third-place match of the 145-pound weight class.

In his opening match, Finkey pinned Hayden Shreiner in 3:08 and earned a 13-4 major over Mechanicsburg's Brady Serina in the quarterfinals.

A loss to Tate Nichter of Chambersburg sent the Spartan senior to the consolation bracket where he pinned Susquehannock sophomore Colby Romjue, setting up the third-place match with Stoak Romjue who had come into the championships with a 24-4 record.

Finkey earned a ticket to the PIAA Class 3A Southeast Region tournament.

At 106, Mason Casey suffered a loss but took Red Lion's Christian Dennison by a 12-5 margin in the consi's. However, a loss to Central Dauphin's Josh Miller ended his wrestle back bid.

Sophomore Josh Groff opened with a tough 5-4 victory over Ethan Ketner of Hershey. He stayed in the competition despite a 12-2 loss to Dover senior Matthew Rodriguez.

Groff came away with a 2-1 victory in the consolation quarterfinals. However, a 4-0 loss to Tim Uhler of New Oxford - the eventual third-place finisher - was the end of Groff's tournament.

Gunner Gehr grabbed a 5-3 victory over Chambersburg's Spencer Runshaw. The sophomore's next match in the 138-pound bracket was a loss, followed by a loss to Palmyra's Josh Myers.

Christian Schilling (132) lost both his opening-round match and his consolation match.

At 195, Brandon Sabasino also suffered two losses that ended his season.

Freshman Dustin Swanson, at 220, came up with a 12-7 win over Central Dauphin senior Carter Urich. Shippensburg's Cole Forrester notched the second of his three straight pins at Swanson's expense in the second round. He then suffered a fall to eventual third-place finisher Dylan Byrd.


GS Knocks Off Dover, Shewbridge Hits 1,000 Mark February 23, 2018

The District Three Class 5A boys' basketball playoffs tipped off on Monday with the Spartans visiting Dover High School for the first round.

The Spartans entered the playoffs as the 13th-ranked team, fashioning a record of 14-10, which included a third-place finish in the Section Two standings. The Eagles came in with a 19-4 record, having gone a perfect 12-0 in the York-Adams League.

Advantage Dover, right? Not if you ask the Spartans.

"On paper, you have a match-up of the fourth and 13th seeds," Spartans head coach Ryan Trupe remarked. "Going into this game, it wasn't a new thing with us in terms of district playoff experience. They're a very good team. But we felt it was a comparable matchup. We have good guards and so do they. I thought our guards were a little better on Monday night and that dictated things."

Garden Spot got off to a quick lead and held off the home team in a 66-59 victory. Jordan Shewbridge contributed to that fast start on what would be a memorable night for the Spartan senior.

"Jordan scored 19 of our 32 points in the first half," Trupe noted. "He scored the 1,000th point of his career."

Shewbridge finished with a game-leading 31 points. Both he and the Eagles' Keith Davis (29 points) found their groove from three-point range, each connecting six times.

Taking a 32-25 lead into the locker room at intermission, the Spartans saw the Eagles come out of the gate fast in the second half, trimming that lead to only one point before the fourth quarter began. The Spartans outscored the Eagles 19-13 in that final quarter, earning a spot in the district quarterfinals.

"Jordan got out to a very hot start," said Trupe. "But I knew other guys would need to step up in the second half. Keontae Nunn ended up scoring 16 of his points in the second half. He and Jordan complemented each other nicely."

Nunn found the path to the basket to the count of 22 points. His nine field goals included one three-pointer. Javi Westmoreland also drilled a three-pointer and finished with seven points.

As for the 1,000-point mark, Shewbridge had 999 under his belt when he stepped to the free throw line in the fourth quarter.

"He had his 1,000th point on a foul shot in the fourth," said Trupe. "I didn't want to interrupt the game in districts. We celebrated after the game."

The victory improved the Spartans' season record to 15-10 and pitted them against fifth-seeded Milton Hershey, who defeated Shippensburg by a 75-47 score on Monday.

Having made the district quarterfinals already assured Garden Spot a spot in the PIAA 5A state playoffs as the top 10 teams qualify from District Three.

The quest for a district championship was halted in a battle between the Trojans and the Spartans on Thursday night at Milton Hershey. The Trojans prevailed 90-66.

The Spartans will face Section Two rival Lampeter-Strasburg in a consolation game. The Pioneers lost in overtime to Lower Dauphin. Greencastle-Antrim and Hershey play the other consolation game.

"They call it the state seeding games," said Trupe. "They're playback games and they dictate where and who you play."

Milton Hershey, who also hosted the game, darted out to a 27-10 lead in the first quarter. The Spartans slowed down the Trojans' tempo in the second quarter, making it a 44-25 halftime deficit.

"They came out and shot the ball well - had 27 in the first quarter," Trupe said of the Trojans. "We were sluggish in the first quarter. I thought if we had made a few more buckets to neutralize them, maybe they wouldn't have gotten into their transition game."

Garden Spot poured in 41 second-half points, but couldn't overcome the big early deficit.

"I give our kids a lot of credit," said Trupe. "They kept fighting. It's one of the things I'm very pleased about with this group."

The game's leading scorer was the Trojans' Donyae' Baylor-Carroll, who made nine three-point field goals and finished with 34 points.

The Spartans' leader again was Shewbridge. He collected four three-pointers on his way to a 20-point game. Jacob Arndt added 15 points while Nunn and Westmoreland scored 13 and 11, respectively.


The District Three Class-AAA Section I championships were held at Governor Mifflin on Saturday, February 17. The Garden Spot grapplers came away with several impressive finishes, including gold medals by Connor Finkey, Joshua Groff and Christian Schilling.

Gunner Gehr earned silver in the 138-pound weight class while Dustin Swanson, Mason Casey and Brandon Sabasino each took third in their respective weight classes.

Schilling was the top seed in the 132-pound bracket. The senior topped Exeter's Chris Matthews 7-5 and went on to notch a late pin against Kyle Seibert, of Gov. Mifflin, in the semifinal match, finishing the job at the 5:56 mark.

He pinned his opponent in the title bout at the 2:20 juncture.

Connor Finkey registered two pins and a technical fall on his championship day. The top seed in the 145-pound class, the senior claimed a quick pin 14 seconds into his first match. He then downed Mifflin's Jacob Blanski in just 56 seconds before dominating Finn Tinsley of Twin Valley 20-4 for the gold medal.

Groff's title in the 113-pound class included a technical fall by an 18-2 margin. He also pinned Cocalico foe Seth Fritz before winning the title bout by an 8-1 score over Conestoga Valley's Rafael Rodriguez. Groff was the third seed.

Casey, a freshman, was the second seed at 106. He lost a quarterfinal match on a close 12-10 decision. However, he battled back for a quick pin in 45 seconds in the consolation quarterfinal match. He then defeated Wilson High's Kelvin Rodriguez via fall and pinned another win against Reading's Esteven Muniz in the first period of the third-place match.

Gehr settled for second place thanks to a 13-3 major by Wilson's Brandon Connor. Gehr had a major decision of his own in the semis, winning 12-1. In his first match of the day he pinned Exeter's Chase Guldin 1:16 into the bout.

Swanson, the second seed in the 220-lb bracket, battled back nicely to earn third place. He opened with a pin 4:52 into his match with Wilson's Bruce Vaughan. Though he was pinned in the semis to a familiar foe - Cocalico's Joseph Bearinger - he earned a 5-2 victory in the consolation semis and pinned Reading's Xavier Rivera in the third-place bout.

Sabasino will also advance to the district regionals along with the aforementioned teammates. The fourth seed at 195 pinned his first opponent in 52 seconds. Like Swanson, he suffered a semifinals round pin but battle back nicely.

In the wrestlebacks, he downed Eddie Lopez of CV with a second-period pin, and then pinned Eliajah Karas of Oley Valley to earn third place.

Drew Finkey took fifth thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 victory in the 126-lb fifth/sixth place match. Finkey's day opened with a close victory as he downed Terrell Sanders of Daniel Boone by a 3-1 count. In the consi's he posted a key 14-1 major that kept him in the competition despite a semifinal loss.

Aaron Martin had a first-round victory in his weight class, posting a pin against Cedar Crest foe Marcus Jennings. But consecutive defeats ended Martin's day.

Jacob Zook earned an opening-round 4-2 victory in the 182-pound class. His 12-5 loss and another setback against top-seeded Jack Meyer of Conrad Weiser ended the junior's quest for a top finish.


Spartans Upset MT, Fall to LCHS in Playoffs February 16, 2018

Suppose they held a playoff game between a Section Two team that finished with an 8-6 league record and a team that finished 10-4 and missed second place by one game in the Section One standings.

Hempfield was the site for the opening-round Lancaster-Lebanon League boys' basketball game between Garden Spot and Manheim Township on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans, who entered the league playoffs as the third-place team out of Section Two, used a wild fourth quarter to defeat Township in a 70-67 comeback victory.

"That was an exciting win for our guys and our program," said head coach Ryan Trupe. "It was the first league playoff win our team has had in eighteen years."

The Blue Streaks, who entered the game with an overall record of 17-5, were holding a 51-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Spartans, who improved to 14-9, outscored the Streaks 27-16 in that period.

"It was a wild fourth quarter," Trupe said. "We were down by 10 points with four minutes to go and we came back to win it."

While the Spartans' momentum picked up, there was a downward progression for Manheim Township down the stretch.

"They made the plays down the stretch and we didn't make any of our own," Township coach Matt Johns stated.

"We got fouled on a three-point shot; we got fouled on another shot; they were also called for a technical," Trupe recalled. "So, it was a nine-point turnaround. It was a wild situation, going from 10 points down to only down by one. We feasted on the opportunities. It was one of those games."

The Spartans' attack included a game-high 29 points by Keontae Nunn who converted 13 of 17 foul shots.

"Keontae had 18 of those points in the fourth quarter," Trupe noted. "He kept attacking the rim. He had three and-ones in the quarter and made 12 of 16 foul shots in the quarter.

"We caught them with a mismatch," continued the coach. "We exploited them with Jordan Shewbridge in the third quarter. We let Keontae go in the fourth."

Shewbridge buried four three-point field goals in the game and finished with 20 points. Andrew Zentner and Javi Westmoreland each scored eight points.

Tyler Crespo, who had four three's of his own, led Township with 27 points. He went 9-for-10 at the foul line.

Of course, with the likes of Crespo and Tyler Vicidomini (17 points), the Streaks weren't put away yet. The matter of closing out the victory was critical in the final seconds.

"They had a shot at the end," said Trupe. "We talked about whether or not to foul them at the end and put them on the line. With their size advantage, they could have made the first free throw and miss the second one to rebound the ball. But we got the rebound on their final shot and that was the game."

The Spartans advanced to the L-L League semis where they faced Lancaster Catholic on the Crusaders' home court Monday night. The Section Three champions brought a 14-0 league mark into the post-season and a 20-2 mark into Monday's match.

The Crusaders didn't count on the Spartans being as competitive. However, they managed to pull off a victory on their way to advancing to the league championship - Wednesday's 44-42 defeat of Ephrata.

"They came in 20-2," Trupe noted. "We had played them over the Christmas break. We felt we could play with them. It was 44-43 going into the fourth."

In the fourth, the Crusaders outscored the Spartans 11-2 to claim a 55-45 victory.

"We just ran out of gas," said Trupe. "I think our legs got tired a little bit. The kids battled hard with a lot of pride and intensity. LC is a tough place to play. They haven't lost there yet this year."

Trailing 30-24 at halftime, the Spartans outscored LC 19-14 in the third quarter to make up most of the deficit.

Shewbridge scored a game-high 20 in the game, including four three-point baskets. Westmoreland added 11 more while Matthew Sharp scored nine points - all on three-pointers.

The Spartans now hit the gym for practice and preparation for Dover in the opening round of the District Three Class 5A playoffs.

"They're 19-4 on the year," said Trupe. "I think our chances going in there are good. We're also getting some guys back who've been hurt - guys that can contribute along with the starters."


In the L-L League Championships, which were held on Friday and Saturday, February 9-10, the Spartans were represented at Wilson High School's Roy G. Snyder Natatorium.

Not having a swim team/program, the Spartans had freshman Erick Becker and junior Brian Ortiz competing in the boys' events while Elizabeth Hasse and fellow freshman Ashley Parry competed in the girls' events.

Parry took fifth in the 100-yard butterfly, registering a time of 1:00.63. She swam the 500 free at a 5:35.46 clip and earned seventh place.

Hasse took 15th in the 100 freestyle at 59.07 while her 50 free time of 26.94 seconds was good for 14th.

Becker was 16th (1:03.12) in the 100 backstroke while Ortiz earned 15th in the 100 fly (1:02.77).


The Garden Spot team finished seventh in the L-L League air rifle championships on Saturday, February 10 at Conestoga Valley.

Willoh Robbins compiled 197 points and hit the center target once. Jared Weaver's aim hit the center twice while he scored 196 in the tournament. Braden Reel and Lani Duncan finished with scores of 192 and 191, respectively, with Duncan hitting the center twice. Karlee Hartman (191) and Alex O'Neill, 188, 2 centers) rounded out the Spartans' lineup.

Elizabethtown's squad finished first with 992 with Manheim Township (989) in second place. Garden Spot tallied 967.


Spartans Fall Short in Bid for L-L Playoffs February 9, 2018

The hope of making the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs was shattered for the Garden Spot girls' basketball team following a 56-31 loss to Solanco in a key Section Two clash at New Holland last Wednesday. The Spartans, whose loss to Manheim Central in their previous game had put them at 10-11, finished the regular season at 10-12 and 7-7 in the league.

In a tight race for the third-place team out of Section Two to earn a playoff berth, Solanco's victory over Garden Spot propelled Donegal into that final playoff spot.

Solanco's second-quarter surge paced the visitors to a 27-13 halftime lead. The Golden Mares were down by only a basket at the start of the period.

Following a close third quarter, the Mares (15-7) outscored the Spartans 14-8 in the final period. They clinched second in the section with a 9-5 league record.

The Spartans finished the season as the number 18 team in the District Three Class 5A power rankings while Solanco claimed seventh.

Megan Fisher scored a team-high 11 points, sinking one three-point basket. Katie Varley added five points on a three-pointer and a 2-for-2 night at the foul line. Angela Strock chipped in with four points.

Solanco's Grace Kreider led all scorers with 14 points.

On Friday, February 2, the Spartans, holding a 29-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter, saw one slip away at Central. The Barons improved to 7-6 in the L-L League by outscoring Garden Spot 25-13 in that final stanza, posting a 50-42 victory.

Fisher, with a pair of treys, and Karli Stoltzfus each hit double digits with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Paige Kemper came away with nine points in the game while the two three-pointers by Olivia Usner gave her six points on the night.


"The guys knew that if we won, we were in; if we lost, we weren't," said head coach Ryan Trupe, describing the team's state of mind heading into the regular-season finale at Solanco on Wednesday. "The guys were excited that they controlled their own destiny."

With their 59-42 win, the Spartans clinched third place in Section Two and qualified for the L-L League playoffs. And when the league playoffs start, the Spartans (8-6, 13-9 overall) will face Manheim Township - the third-place finisher in Section One.

As for the District Three 5A standings, they're currently at number 13.

"There are a few more games to be played in the Mid-Penn League," Trupe said, alluding to a very slight possible change in the power rankings thereafter.

The Spartans came on strong at Solanco, outscoring the Mules 18-11 in the first quarter and increasing that to a 32-18 halftime lead.

"We played very well offensively, especially in the first half," said Trupe.

Despite the 14-point halftime deficit, the Mules fought back and after outscoring Garden Spot 14-11 in the third, made it a closer game in the fourth quarter.

"Solanco played us tough," Trupe said. "That has been that way for us a lot. Teams in our league played us tough. With the exception of a few games, we've played a lot of close ones."

Trupe pointed out that the 17-point margin of victory wasn't indicative of how close it was in the fourth.

"I think they got to within four or five points," he said. "We went on a nice 7-0 run in the end."

Though the visitors did get off to a fast start, the offensive contributions of Keontae Nunn (22 points) and Jordan Shewbridge (13 points) came when it counted most.

"Those two scored 16 of our points in the fourth quarter," Trupe pointed out.

"Keonte had two three's and was 6-for-6 at the free throw line," he continued. "Jordan was 4-for-4 at the line. Overall we made 11-of-12. I like those percentages."

Javi Westmoreland added nine points, sinking one three-pointer. Matt Sharp also made a three-point shot and finished with five points. Jacob Arndt (7 pts) also connected from three-point range.

Trupe gave credit to the players whose contributions didn't necessarily appear in the box score.

"Cameron Roth, Andrew Zentner and Matt Sharp don't look like they do a lot," he said, alluding to points scored. "They make the extra passes. They're defensively sound. These guys are doing things coaches love.

"Matt is a guy who has really stepped up," continued the coach. "He didn't see a lot of minutes early on this season. He kept working hard. He's a guy you love having on your team. If you need him to step up and score, he does it. He knows his role and he's very coachable."

In their next-to-last regular season game, the Spartans held Manheim Central to only two points in the first half en route to a 63-24 home victory on Friday, February 2.

Shewbridge was the leading scorer with 17 points, hitting a pair of treys and going 5-for-6 at the line. Arndt stepped up and scored 14 while Nunn had all 12 of his points from the field. Zentner added seven more.


With Trevor Courtney leading the team with 602 points, the Garden Spot bowlers beat Lampeter-Strasburg 5-2 on Tuesday.

Courtney bowled a 192 in his first game, then finished with a 205 in his next two.

The defeat of the Section Three foe raised Garden Spot's record to 7-6.


In a Thursday match with Governor Mifflin, the Spartans edged the Mustangs 485-483 in air rifle competition.

The competition was tight through all five top shooters on both teams. Willoh Robbins led Garden Spot with a score of 98. Alex O'Neill, Jared Weaver and Braden Reel all shot 97's while the Mustangs featured two shooters with 98's

Karlee Hartman's 96 helped put the Spartans over the top.

On Tuesday, the Spartans visited Elizabethtown. The team came up short as the E-town team finished with two marksmen, Aaron Tetkoskie and Caleb Flores, hitting the century mark while three teammates finished at 99.

Robbins led the Spartans with a 99. Weaver and O'Neill had 98's as did Aaron Good and Kylie Fox.


Spartans Go Toe to Toe With Bears But Fall Short February 2, 2018

It has been said that the character and resiliency of a team is measured by how well it responds to defeats. Do things spiral downward or does everyone step up and play significantly better in the next match?

The Garden Spot boys' basketball team was facing Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Elizabethtown on Tuesday night. Following an 80-31 loss at Lampeter-Strasburg the previous week - the first-place team in Section Two - the Spartans returned home to face the Bears.

"It was one of those games beyond the playoff scope," said head coach Ryan Trupe. "It was just like how our guys wanted to beat Donegal and we did [January 23] after they had beaten us the first time around."

Though the result of the E-town game didn't go in Garden Spot's favor, the team did battle to the very end. The Bears came out on top 65-61 as both teams went to 6-6 in the L-L League as a result.

In the high-scoring game, the Spartans held a 26-25 halftime edge. The Bears rose from hibernation, however, and outscored the home team 24-13 in the third quarter.

"They went on an 18-0 run in the third quarter," Trupe noted. "They were up 29-27 in the third and suddenly reeled off 18 straight on us.

"My guys were able to regroup and battle together," added the coach. "We had shots to try and tie it at the end. We had some shots that could have tied it, but didn't go in for us."

The Spartans outscored the Bears 22-16 in the fourth quarter.

"You lose a game that has playoff implications, but at the same time you see the resiliency of your team," Trupe added. "Our guys know we let one get away but are optimistic that we can get our last two games."

With the loss, Garden Spot fell to 11-9 overall. In Section Two alone, there are four teams with a league record of 6-6, including the Spartans.

"We are sitting in 13th place in districts right now," Trupe pointed out.

Elizabethtown junior Larry Locker scored a game-high 30 points, including 12 baskets.

"He's a nice player," Trupe commented. "He's a solid player who dominated us in the paint. Probably 20 or 22 of his points came from inside the paint."

The Spartans were led by Matt Sharp, who was sharp from three-point range, making six long jumpers and dropping in a team-leading 18 points.

"Matt's threes were a big lift for us," Trupe said. "Their strategy left Matt open. His eyes lit up a little bit and he made six. He is a nice shooter."

Keonte Nunn added 15 points, including a three-pointer. He also added four assists.

"Keonte was just attacking, doing his thing," said Trupe.

Jacob Arndt scored 11 points while Andrew Zentner and Javi Westmoreland each scored six.


The girls' basketball team has a lot of company in Section Two. That's not to say they have rivals. It's just that two of those section foes - Solanco and Donegal - now have the same Lancaster-Lebanon League record (7-5) as the Spartans.

The Spartans, who are 10-10 overall, have their regular season scheduled to close at home against Solanco on Wednesday and are 1-1 against Donegal.

This means a tough three-way tie to crack for second place.

On Tuesday, the Spartans rode into Lebanon needing to stay in the race. They came away with a 60-35 win, holding the Cedars to six points or less in three of the four quarters.

Megan Fisher was the top scorer in the game, pouring in 22 points. The 5-foot-9 junior made eight baskets, including a pair of three-point shots. Karli Stoltzfus added 13 points while Paige Kemper scored eight points.

The Cedars (0-12) were led by Giahny Correa, who scored 17 points.

Garden Spot was coming off a 57-47 loss to Penn Manor on Monday night. The Comets improved to 12-7 overall with this non-league victory as their third-quarter run helped them increase a four-point halftime lead.

Garden Spot's 19-point surge in the fourth wasn't enough to overtake the Comets, who were led by Alyssa Schriver's game-high 19 points.

Fisher led the Spartans with 14 points while Olivia Usner added 12 more. Katie Varley scored nine and Stoltzfus put up eight points.


In a battle between the Blue Streaks and Spartans, it was the Manheim Township team coming out on top in Wednesday night's L-L League air rifle match.

The Streaks' were on target slightly more than the Spartans, who were led by Willoh Robbins. The Spartan senior finished with 99 points while Alex O'Neill recorded a score of 98. Karlee Hartman and Lani Duncan both finished at 97 while Aaron Good shot a 96.

The Streaks were led by Drew Chieppor, Hana Musser and Graham Wolf, each of whom finished with 99 points. The Streaks improved to 6-5 while Garden Spot fell to 2-8.


Garden Spot hosted the L-L League Wrestling Championships on Friday and Saturday, January 26-27. Sophomore Gunner Gehr finished second in his weight class (138 lbs.), Christian Schilling took third at 132 and Connor Finkey was runner-up at 145 as the Spartans finished sixth as a team in the standings.

The Spartans racked up 143.5 team points. Manheim Central claimed the team crown with 219 points, topping defending champ Northern Lebanon by 16 points.

The individual achievements also included Jacob Warner taking sixth in the heavyweight competition while Brandon Sabasino earned seventh at 195 pounds. Mason Casey won fourth in the 106-pound class.

Casey's road to fourth started with a pin against Cocalico's Dylan Rapp in only 59 seconds. He defeated Jace Beegle of Pequea Valley 5-2 before losing to Brandon Breidigan of Northern Lebanon in the semis setting up a third-place match with Tanner Stefanick of Penn Manor.

Schilling pinned Joel Dionne of Hempfield and earned an 8-4 victory over Mike Hazbourn of Lampeter-Strasburg. Following a 5-2 loss in the semifinals, he earned a 10-2 major decision in the third-place match against Grant Swann of Cocalico.

Gehr's quest began with a pin against David Dariychuk of Conestoga Valley in only 56 seconds. He majored Seamus Finnegan 15-5 and won 9-6 in the semis, edging Pequea Valley's Conner Walsh.

Grayson Charles of Solanco claimed the title for the 138-pound class and was the winner of the Floyd "Shorty" Hitchcock Award for most pins in the shortest total time.

Warner pinned his adversary 3:12 into the first-round match of the 285-pound class. He lost to eventual champ Ryan Stewart of Warwick, but came back strong with a second-period pin and another one over Darren Garcia of Cedar Crest. He settled for sixth on a loss to Austin Shaver of Cocalico.

Sabasino majored Ben Barnhart 17-4 and, after getting pinned in the next round, earned another major in the consolations - a 10-0 victory. His loss to Nick Yannutz of Solanco directed him to the seventh-place match, which he won 10-7 over Brandan Madeira of No. Lebanon.

Jeff Harley had a 15-11 victory in his first-round match at 170. He suffered a loss and a first-round consolation setback.

At 160, Nate Smucker earned a 12-5 win. After a loss, he moved into the consi's where he eventually claimed a 6-5 win over Devin Sensenig of Cocalico, earning seventh place.

Corey Leaman's 120-pound tournament started with a loss. However, he earned an 8-0 major and a 4-0 victory in the second round of the consolations before suffering a loss to No. Lebanon's Seth Fisher.

Joshua Groff (113) opened with a pin and lost 2-0 to Arik Harnish of L-S in the next round. Harnish had topped his first-round opponent 28 seconds into the match.

Groff lost the consolation quarterfinals to Matt Inman of Annville-Cleona.

The Spartans defeated Hershey 69-6 on Thursday in a non-league match.

In the match, Smucker (160) won 9-5 and Jacob Zook won at 182 by a slim 2-1 score.

Sabasino worked a pin at 195 and Casey pinned at 106.

Groff claimed a 2-1 victory. Corey Leaman won the 120-pound bout on a second-period pin. Aaron Marin pinned at 126 and Schilling pinned his 132-pound opponent in just 1:06. Gehr also had a pin at 138 while Finkey had a second-period pin at 145.

In another non-league battle, New Oxford beat Garden Spot 39-25 on Tuesday. The Garden Spot victories came on a 12-5 decision by Casey (106), a pin by Martin at 126, a 5-1 decision by Gehr (138), a technical fall by Finkey at 145 pounds, a major by Zook at 182 and Harley's 17-4 major at 160.


Spartans Move Up in Standings, Top L-S 49-18 January 26, 2018

The Spartans pinned a decisive victory over Lampeter-Strasburg on Wednesday, defeating the Pioneers 49-18 in a Section Two wrestling match at home. It was also a key victory as both teams went into Wednesday's match with an identical 4-1 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

Garden Spot used various means of wins to forge ahead. Jeffrey Harley had a 20-7 major decision over Jeff Elser at the start of the match, which began at 160. Four of his teammates registered pins while three more sneaked by with one-point decisions.

Nathan Smucker (170) battled his way to a 7-6 win and Alan Perez (145) had a 5-4 victory over Hector Colon. Also, Mason Casey's win against Hunter Erb was by a slim 4-3 margin.

Big team points came on pins from Jacob Zook, who finished off his opponent 5:00 into the 182-pound bout, Dustin Swanson (220), Christian Schilling (132), Gunner Gehr (138) and Connor Finkey at 152.

Josh Groff (113) and Corey Leaman (120) also won by decisions.

On Monday, the Spartans downed Lebanon 72-11 thanks to pins by Casey (106), Josh Groff (113) and Brandon Sabasino (195) as well as a host of forfeits by the visiting Cedars.

Over the weekend, the Garden grapplers were at the Denver Duals where they won all but one of their matches. A 42-41 loss to Downingtown East was their only blemish.

It was a grudge match from the start as the teams traded pins through the first seven bouts with the exception of a Garden Spot forfeit at 106. Following a D-town pin at 170, Zook pinned his opponent at 182. Swanson (220) turned the trick in 59 seconds. Casey came away with a pin at 113 followed by a Downingtown technical fall at 120.

The Cougars registered two more pins before Gehr's pin at 145 and Finkey's first-period pin at 152 got back a dozen team points for the Spartans. Smucker's pin at 160 was another example of this team's fight. However, it was just not enough to catch the Cougars.

The Spartans defeated Emmaus 40-24, and topped Allentown Central Catholic 52-21 with Finkey, Sabasino and Swanson each getting a pin and Zook winning on a 14-4 major.

Finkey also had a pin against Solanco in the Spartans' 45-33 victory in Denver. Harley registered a pin at 182 while Casey battled to a 13-9 victory at 106.

Schilling's pin at 132 came 1:25 into the match. Gehr also had a pin at 145.

The other victory at the Denver Duals was a 51-23 win over Westtown School.

In this one, Casey and Groff had first-period pins at 106 and 113, respectively. Aaron Martin picked up a 15-0 technical fall at 126. Schilling pinned at 132 and Gehr (138) added a 1:47 fall.

Finkey needed only 44 seconds for his pin (152) while Harley dominated in a 24-13 major at 170. Zook earned a pin at 182 and Swanson pinned at 220.


Jordan Shewbridge scored 20 points and Javi Westmoreland poured in 17 more as the boys' basketball team earned a huge Section Two victory at Donegal on Tuesday.

The 63-44 win improved the Spartans' record to 11-7 (6-4 in league). The team had lost by merely five points to the Indians a month earlier in New Holland.

"We lost to Donegal early on," head coach Ryan Trupe pointed out. "It motivated our guys to come back and redeem ourselves."

This redemption, however, didn't get off to a good start for Garden Spot.

"We came out kind of flat," Trupe said. "At one point we might have been down 10-2 and closed the gap late in the first quarter."

By the end of the first quarter, it was only a 14-12 deficit - one which the Spartans turned around in the second quarter, making it a 27-22 halftime advantage.

"We clamped down defensively in the second half and that also sparked our offense," continued the coach.

Garden Spot outscored Donegal 22-7 in the third quarter, taking a 20-point lead into the final period.

Shewbridge's game-high 20 points included three field goals from three-point range. Westmoreland added a three-pointer as well.

Trupe noted that his team doesn't necessarily look for the long-range jump shots.

"We try to work on our drives and get a lot of baskets going to the hoop," he said. "Sometimes, when we get it going, that opens up our outside shots. We're actually one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league."

The scoring was actually balanced in this game as Andrew Zentner scored nine points on four field goals and a free throw. Jacob Arndt added eight points, including a 4-for-4 night at the foul line.

Though the Spartans suffered a loss at Lampeter-Strasburg on Thursday night, dropping them to 6-5 in the section, Trupe looks forward to the players bouncing back as the schedule hits its final stretch.

"Going into that Donegal game we had five league games to go," he said. "We just have to regroup. We have two critical games coming up against Elizabethtown and Manheim Central. That is going to dictate whether or not we make the playoffs."


Lampeter-Strasburg came up with a big second-quarter run and with a strong fourth quarter pulled away from Garden Spot in a girls' L-L League game on Thursday night. The Pioneers posted a 56-36 win at New Holland, improving to 11-0 in league play and clinching the section title outright. The Spartans fell to 6-5 in league play (9-5 overall).

This one was tied at 11-11 after one period. The Pioneers' 18-0 run in the second combined with their dominant defensive play in the third quarter paced them ahead to a 38-25 lead after three.

Nora Holmes led all scorers, putting up 12 for L-S.

The Spartans got nine points from Megan Fisher and four each from Olivia Usner and Karli Stoltzfus.

Garden Spot was coming off a solid victory at home on Tuesday, outscoring Donegal by 10 points in the third quarter en route to a 67-54 win.

The Spartans led by five at the half before going on a 22-12 run in the third. Fisher had a game-high 28 on the night, making 12 field goals, including a three-pointer. Usner was also in double digits (13) as was Stoltzfus, whose six buckets gave her 12 points. Paige Kemper put up two baskets and made both of her free throws for a six-point performance.


In a week where the Spartan bowlers hit the lanes three times, Garden Spot went 2-1, improving its league record to 5-5.

Monday afternoon had Garden Spot hosting Elco. The Spartans came out with a 7-0 victory as Owen Colby took charge of the game. The freshman bowler finished with 606 total pins. He bowled a 219 in his second game for his high score.

In Wednesday's 5-2 loss to Manheim Central, Trevor Courtney had a nearly identical score, finishing at 608. Courtney bowled a 235 in his opening game, and bowled a 591 in the Spartans' 7-0 win at Lancaster Mennonite on Thursday afternoon.


Willoh Robbins scored 99 in Thursday's L-L League air rifle competition in New Holland as the Spartans played host to Manheim Central. But with a perfect 100 by Austin Rhodes and a trio of shooters finishing with 99's, the Barons beat the Spartans 495-486. Garden Spot fell to 2-8 on the year while Central improved to 8-2.

Spot's Jared Weaver and Braden Reel both finished at 97 as did Karli Hartman. Lani Duncan's shooting scored 96 for the Spartans.

Tuesday's match was a tough one at Conestoga Valley. The Buckskins, who had 100-point shooting performances from Alex Stoudt and Montana Habecker, edged the Spartans 494-490.

Duncan and Robbins came through with team-leading 99's on the day. Hartman and Weaver finished at 98 while Reel recorded a 96 on the day.

One day earlier, the Spartans picked up their second win of the season, defeating the Mustangs at Governor Mifflin 487-480.

Weaver and Robbins led the team with 98's while Duncan, Hartman and Alex O'Neill each shot 97's.


Spartan Boys Defeat Cocalico, 55-50 January 19, 2018

After their loss to league rival Manheim Central two weeks ago, the Spartans went on a three-game winning streak, defeating Solanco and Red Land, cruising to those victories by over 30 points in each contest, and adding another Section Two win with Thursday's 55-50 defeat of Cocalico. All three games were played on the Spartans' home court.

The win streak improved the team's record to 9-6 overall (4-4 in league).

In the 75-41 defeat of Solanco on Friday, January 12, the Spartans poured in 19 points in each of the first two quarters and closed it out with a huge 20-9 run.

Jordan Shewbridge led all scorers with a 27-point game. He drilled five three-point field goals and made six more baskets. Keontae Nunn added 12 more while Jacob Arndt, with a pair of threes, chipped in with nine. Matthew Sharp (6), Jonathan Morales (6), Cameron Roth (5), Andrew Zentner (4), Javy Westmoreland (4) and Austin Skowood (2) also contributed.

Aaron Constein led the Golden Mules with 18 points.

"We bounced back nicely because after the Manheim Central game we were 2-4 in the section," pointed out head coach Ryan Trupe.

Against Red Land, in Saturday's non-league action, the Spartans scored over 20 points in each of the first three quarters. They took a 41-18 lead into the locker room at halftime and came out with a 22-9 run in the third.

Arndt led all scorers with 17 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Shewbridge had five baskets from three-point range and finished with 16 points while Nunn recorded 15 points.

"We had back-to-back games there and responded nicely," said Trupe whose team had to wait two extra nights to play its next scheduled game.

"The game was supposed to be played Tuesday night but got bumped back to Thursday because of the weather," Trupe explained.

The Spartans responded with a 55-50 victory, regaining the momentum they lost briefly in the fourth quarter.

"It was one of those close games against a rival school," Trupe said. "We expected a battle.

"We won the first three periods and built an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter," continued the coach. "They cut it two points and we missed some foul shots that let them get back into the game.

"We were 14th in the district going into the game," said Trupe. "From here out, every game will be critical."

Zentner led Garden Spot with 15 points.

"He played very well," commented the coach. "Cocalico has some nice big kids inside. We were able to draw out their big guys and dump it off to Andrew.

"Jacob Arndt had 14 for us," added Trupe. "Javy Westmoreland had 11 but had to defend Cocalico's best player who's averaging 15 points per game; he held him to eight points."

Aidan Trynosky was averaging 15.29 points coming into Thursday's game. Trupe praised Westmoreland's workmanlike attitude in this and other games where he's asked to guard the opponent's top scorer.

"That's usually Javy's matchup every day," he said. "He knows his role and has played well for us."

Shewbridge added nine points.


The Garden Spot girls' basketball team came up with its fourth Lancaster-Lebanon League win of the year, defeating Cocalico on the road by a 49-44 margin Thursday. The Spartans evened their league record at 4-4 and improved to 7-7 overall.

"It was a close game almost all the way through," said head coach Kevin Gensemer. "We had six- or eight-point leads."

The Eagles made a late run, but the Spartans held off the home team in the fourth quarter.

"They came down the court and hit a couple of three's to cut the lead down to six," Gensemer explained. "But Megan [Fisher] and Olivia [Usner] each made two foul shots to pretty much seal the game."

Fisher finished with a game-high 18 points. But it was also the defense that contributed largely to this win.

"We came out in a 2-1-2 full court press and went back to our zone," Gensemer explained. "We got up on them early on. We dropped out of the full court press because we don't have a full bench.

"We just made sure we weren't going to get beat by their outside shooting," he added. "We were forcing them inside and they turned the ball over three or four times in the fourth quarter."

The game was a rescheduled game from Tuesday night. Due to winter weather conditions, it was moved to Thursday, forcing the Spartans to play three games on three consecutive days, including a Friday night Section Two game against Ephrata.

The previous weekend, the Spartans also had back-to-back games, defeating Section Two foe Solanco 55-52 on the road Friday night and falling to Conestoga Valley in a non-league game Saturday.

In a game that had the Spartans leading 18-7 after one period and 31-24 at the half, the visitors had to fight off a furious comeback by Solanco in the fourth quarter. The Golden Mares outscored the Spartans 21-8 in the final period.

The shots were going in for Fisher, who finished with a game-high 30 points. The junior drained six three-point field goals.

Usner added 14 points, including a pair of three's. Paige Kemper also connected on a three-point shot and tallied four points in the game.

Solanco was led by Aleksa Burger (16 pts) and Kara McClune (13 pts).

In the Saturday afternoon matchup with Conestoga Valley, the Spartans fell 60-38. Their third-quarter comeback bid, which came after a 13-point halftime deficit, was not enough to overtake the Buckskins.

Kenzie Reed led all scorers, putting up 23 for CV. She made 10 baskets. Fisher had a team-high 13 points for Garden Spot, including a three-pointer and a 4-for-4 game at the foul line.

Katie Varley scored all nine of her points on three-point field goals.

As for the upcoming key contests against league rivals, Gensemer stated, "We are on the cusp of everything. We were 17th in the district rankings going into the game with Cocalico and the top 16 make the District Three playoffs."


The Spartans took on Elizabethtown in L-L League air rifle competition on January 11. The Bears' David Buckwalter had the only perfect score of 100 on the day while Makenzie Smith and three others finished with a score of 99.

Willoh Robbins had a 99 for the Spartans in the 496-483 defeat, which set the Spartans' record to 1-5. Alex O'Neill shot a 97 while both Jared Weaver and Lani Duncan finished at 96. Braden Reel shot a 95.


Lady Spartans Battle League Rival Barons January 12, 2018

It was a heart breaking loss for the Garden Spot girls' basketball team, losing a one-point game to Section Two rival Manheim Central on Tuesday night at home.

After leading by one point at halftime and leading by a basket after three quarters, the Spartans were outscored 17-14 in the final period of a 55-54 defeat.

"We've had a couple of them so far this year," said head coach Kevin Gensemer referring to close games that didn't go in his squad's favor.

"This was a close game - back-and-forth game all the way," he continued. "We missed a three ball, got the rebound and got fouled. We needed both shots to send the game into overtime but made only one free throw."

Garden Spot fell to 2-4 in league play (5-7 overall) while Central improved to 3-1, 4-6.

"We're right there," said Gensemer. "We just have to get over the hump with these close games. We've had three games that could've gone either way."

The Spartans' balanced attack included a 15-point night by Karli Stoltzfus. She scored six times from the field and added three foul shots. Megan Fisher hit one of the team's three-pointers, finishing with 13 points in the game. Olivia Usner, who also drilled a three-pointer, tallied 10 points while Paige Kemper came away with seven points.

Serena Conde led all scorers, putting up 16 for the Barons.

Garden Spot was coming off an impressive 49-32 Section Two victory over Lebanon the previous Friday at New Holland.

The home team came out of the gates with a strong first quarter, outscoring Lebanon 17-7 and taking a 29-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. After holding the Cedars to single-digit scoring in each of the next two periods, the Spartans cruised to victory.

Fisher was the game's leading scorer, netting 16 points. Stoltzfus put up three baskets and five foul shots to finish with 11 points while Kemper chipped in nine points. Usner and Angela Strock each added four points.

The Cedars were led by Giahny Correa, who scored 10 points.

"We came out a little sluggish against Lebanon," Gensemer noted. "We didn't practice because of the weather, but we ended up winning the game.

"In the second half we played a lot better on defense and stepped it up," the coach continued.


It may not seem like there was much to talk about in Wednesday's 75-6 win by the wrestling team at Ephrata in a Lancaster-Lebanon League dual meet. After all, the Mountaineers forfeited nine of the weight classes, granting 54 uncontested points to the Spartans.

However, the matches that were fought saw strong performances by the wrestlers' head coach Adam Bunting.

"When we have matches like this, we train for those dual meets as if we're wrestling undefeated teams," said Bunting. "It sometimes gives a chance for the guys with less experience to step up their game to help the team. You combine that with the guys who are getting consistent wins and it makes things exciting."

Examples of such wrestlers coming through when their opportunities were presented included Brandon Sabasino and Jacob Warner in the 195- and 285-pound matches, respectively.

"Jacob Warner is our backup heavyweight," Bunting explained. "He didn't wrestle for us last year, but he filled in nicely in the Ephrata match. We were excited to see him get that win."

Warner came through with a pin 4:59 into the heavyweight bout. Sabasino took only 27 seconds to notch a pin.

"Brandon picked up a quick fall," Bunting noted. "He is a senior and has been improving."

In the opening of this match, the Mountaineers forfeited the first six weight classes, spotting Spot a 36-0 lead.

When a match was actually wrestled, it didn't take long for anyone to enjoy watching it as Connor Finkey pinned Josiah Hinerdeer only 16 seconds into the 145-pound bout. His younger brother Drew Finkey followed with an 11-4 decision at 152.

"Drew wrestled a solid match," commented the coach. "He is continuing to work hard and expecting more of himself."

Forfeits followed at 160 and 170 where Nathan Smucker and Jeff Harley, respectively, collected six team points each without taking to the mat. Andrew Myers picked up the Mountaineers's lone points with a last-second pin over Spot's Jacob Zook at 182.

"Jacob was winning that one 5-2," Bunting noted. "He reversed him at the end."

The pin came at the 5:59 mark of the match.

After Sabasino's pin and another forfeit, Warner recorded a third-period pin to wrap things up.

The coach and his squad are looking forward to key matches that would shape the post-season picture for Garden Spot.

"We have the Cocalico Duals the weekend of January 20," he said. "We'll face some tough teams there. "We're on the edge of the playoffs. If we can win the rest of our matches, which we could very well do, we can crack the top 16 in the district."


In a non-league boys' basketball game on the road Saturday evening, the Spartans topped Kennard-Dale 50-38. The game was part of the "War of the Roses" tournament and was played at Manheim Central.

It was an odd game in that the Spartans actually trailed heading into the fourth quarter by a 31-28 margin. However, the offense more than came alive in that period with a 22-point attack.

"From the third quarter and into the fourth, we went on a 19-0 run," head coach Ryan Trupe pointed out. "We scored the final six points of the third quarter.

"Kennard-Dale is a top-five school in Class Quad-A in the district," he added.

Jordan Shewbridge led the scoring with a game-high 21 points, including four three-pointers.

"He didn't get a lot of open looks early on," said Trupe. "He had nine points going into the fourth quarter and scored 12 of his points in the fourth. We had a few of our set plays and he had some opportunities from those. He's a scorer by nature and he just got hot."

Keontae Nunn added 12 points.

Adam Freese led the Rams with 14 points.

"We had a game at Elizabethtown Friday night and turned around to play one Saturday afternoon," Trupe remarked. "You never know what is going to happen."

On Tuesday, the Spartans were back at Manheim Central. This time, however, they were facing the host school in a Section Two contest.

This too was a game where one defining period tipped the scales in the winning team's favor.

"We actually won three of the four quarters but the third quarter killed us," said Trupe.

The Barons outscored the Spartans 21-3 in the third quarter, coming back from a 22-18 halftime deficit. Despite Garden Spot edging Central 22-21 in the fourth it was not enough. The Spartans fell to 6-6 overall and 2-4 in the L-L League as Central posted a 60-47 win.

"It was a combination of things," Trupe said of the third quarter. "Central got hot shooting. We turned the ball over or took quick shots that we didn't want to take. Anytime you come out and turn the ball over on quick shots while the other team is getting hot it's a recipe for disaster."

Andrew Zentner and Kelito Westmoreland each scored 12 points, registering a three-pointer each. Nunn had 10 points and Jacob Arndt added five more.

"We have room for improvement," said Trupe. "We started out hot but now we're hitting a rough patch. I want our team to play the right way and see the results behind it. Our best basketball is ahead of us."


The air rifle team came up short in back-to-back L-L League matches this past week, despite impressive matches by Willoh Robbins, Jared Weaver and Alex O'Neill.

In a 497-487 loss to the Ephrata Mountaineers on Tuesday, the host Spartans had scores of 99 from both Robbins and Weaver. Evan Emch had a 97 while O'Neill and Braden Reel each shot a 96.

The Mountaineers were led by Kyle Good and Samantha Hurst - both of whom shot a perfect 100.

On Friday, January 5, the Spartans visited Manheim Township and were on the short end of a 493-485 final with the Blue Streaks' Jada Bender scoring a 100.

O'Neill and Weaver led the Spartans with 98's on the day. Robbins shot a 97 while Emch and Reel each recorded a 96.


Spartan Matmen Defeat Cedar Crest 64-12 January 5, 2018

The Garden Spot wrestlers claimed a Lancaster-Lebanon League match at Cedar Crest on Wednesday, defeating the Falcons 64-12. Though the match included Falcon forfeits at seven different weight classes, it did feature a major decision and three pins by the Spartans, who improved to 3-1.

One of those pins came from senior Connor Finkey, who registered it only 20 seconds into the 145-pound battle.

"Connor is very explosive," said head coach Adam Bunting. "He came after the kid with a throw and 20 seconds later he got a fall.

"He is wrestling at a very high level right now," Bunting continued. "He got in a lot of off-season work with Greco-Roman style wrestling. It promotes more upper body strength because you're not allowed to attack the legs in that style."

Finkey was coming off a tournament at Chambersburg over New Year's weekend where he won five matches and claimed first place at the 145-pound weight class.

"It's the Trojan Horse Tournament," Bunting explained. "Of the five matches he won, one of them was against a returning state qualifier. In the semis, he pinned a state runner-up from West Virginia. He ran through a quality field and was very impressive."

His win on Wednesday came after the Spartans had already claimed three matches by forfeit and after Christian Schilling's 22-3 major decision (132) and Gunner Gehr's first-period pin at 138.

"Schilling is having a good season," said Bunting. "He is 11-4 but all of his losses have been quality matches. He is capable of making a push for states. He is closing in on 100 wins - only 12 wins away."

Gehr, who took seventh in the 138 brackets at Chambersburg, earned a pin 1:31 into the match against Marcus Jennings. He improved his mark to 12-5.

"He's a sophomore and he's on the edge of pushing for states if he continues to improve," said Bunting.

Drew Finkey, Connor's younger brother, earned a pin 2:51 into the 152-pound match, increasing the Spartans' lead to 40-3 at that juncture and improving his record to 7-6.

"He had a pretty good freshman year and he keeps working hard," said Bunting.

Four more forfeits gave Jeff Harley (160), Nate Smucker (170), Jacob Zook (182) and Brandon Sabasino (195) uncontested wins, increasing the Spartans' lead to 64-3 before Crest's T.J. Moore edged Dustin Swanson 3-2 at the 220 bout.


The Spartans split their games at the holiday tournament at Warwick on Friday and Saturday, December 29-30. After losing a heart breaker in the final seconds of Friday night's contest against Lancaster Catholic, the Spartans bounced back for a 64-59 defeat of the host Warriors the next night.

"You don't know what you're going to get out of your team after losing a heart breaker the night before," said head coach Ryan Trupe. "We lost a buzzer beater to Lancaster Catholic, which has a nice squad. We had a tight one with Warwick, who is a scrappy team."

With the split over the weekend, the Spartans improved their overall mark to 5-4.

"We've been trying to find ourselves," said Trupe. "We're only four section games in [2-2 league mark] and there are a lot of games coming up. There's room for improvement and you're really going to start seeing the section take shape."

In the game against the Crusaders, Garden Spot faced a 29-19 halftime deficit. The team scored 18 in the third quarter alone and chipped away at the 10-point halftime deficit before losing on the Crusaders' final basket of the game.

"We played outstanding defense in the second half against Lancaster Catholic," said Trupe. "Our offense scored a lot of points, but our defense got us back into the game."

Senior guard Jacob Arndt led the Spartans with 20 points, shooting a pair of three-pointers in the process. Jordan Shewbridge finished with 14 points, including four threes.

Andrew Zentner, Matthew Sharp, and Keontae Nunn each scored six points. Zentner, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, had a pair of field goals and went 2-for-2 at the free throw line.

"Zentner gives us some good size," said Trupe.

In a game whose box score showed a see-saw battle of one team or the other outscoring its opponent every quarter, the Spartans started by outscoring the Warriors 14-3 in the first period of Saturday's game. The Warriors nearly erased that deficit entirely, outscoring the visitors 17-7 in the second quarter to make it a 21-20 game at halftime. However, Garden Spot's 27-18 run in the wild third quarter helped give the Spartans the momentum needed for the fourth quarter.

Arndt and Shewbridge each poured in 20 points with the latter drilling five three-point shots. Zentner added nine key points while Nunn added seven more.

"Jordan has been playing for us since he was a freshman," said Trupe. "He has been expanding his game a little this year - being more than a shooter and finding different ways to score. He is a household name and we're facing teams that are trying to take him away."

Bryan Rottkamp led Warwick with 18 points.


In a non-league road game against Conrad Weiser, the girls' basketball team posted a 57-44 victory on Thursday, December 28, improving to 4-5 on the season. The game was part of the Eastern York Tournament in which the Spartans suffered a 49-43 loss the previous day against Spring Grove.

In the Conrad Weiser game, the Spartans increased a 25-20 halftime lead with a 17-7 run in the third quarter. The game's leading scorer was Garden Spot junior Megan Fisher, who put up 19 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

Kayla Harley-Smith had 11 points in the game and Olivia Usner added nine more. Usner, Harley-Smith and Karie Varley, who had seven points, each connected on a three-point bucket. Paige Kemper added six points while Karli Stoltzfus added four points.

In the close contest with Spring Grove, the Spartans took a 25-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Rockets lifted off in the second half, eclipsing the deficit and taking a one-point lead into the fourth quarter where they held on for the win.

Fisher had a team-high 14 in this game while Kemper added nine points. Stoltzfus and Usner each had half a dozen points. Varley's three-point basket accounted for her points in the game. Harley-Smith also scored three points.


After claiming its first match of the season in mid-December, the Garden Spot air rifle team suffered setbacks to Conestoga Valley and Manheim Central in L-L League competition.

The victory came at Wilson where the Spartans posted a 495-490 win. The team was led by Lani Duncan, Evan Emch, Karlee Hartman, Jared Weaver, and returning senior Willow Robbins each shooting 99's.

Sam Swope and Owen Kunder led the Bulldogs with 99's of their own.

In a home match with the Buckskins, the Spartans suffered a 494-488 defeat. Robbins led the team again with a 99 while Emch shot a 98. Weaver had a 97 as did Hartman and Alex O'Neill.

The Spartans fell to 1-2 on the year after a 498-489 loss at Manheim Central on December 21. Weaver and O'Neill each had 99's in this match while Robbins finished with a 98. Hartman and fellow sophomore Braden Reel scored 97 and 96, respectively.


The Garden Spot bowlers improved to 3-1 in the L-L League with a 7-0 defeat of Columbia on December 22. Trevor Courtney led the team with a score of 690, rolling a 220 in the first game and staying consistent in the next two games with scores of 238 and 232.

The team suffered a loss to Cocalico in a Section Three road game on Tuesday. The Eagles were led by Hunter Keller and Tyrus Current, who recorded respective scores of 670 and 612. Garden Spot was led by Amanda Lynch, who improved on an opening score of 176 by rolling a 192 and a 212 for a total of 580 on the day.


GS Volleyball Advances to PIAA Tourney November 5, 2017

At this point in the season, every match you play in most of the high school sports programs is a "win or go home" game.

Garden Spot faced Lower Dauphin in the District Three Class-AAA girls' volleyball consolation match on Saturday evening at Dallastown. It was Lower Dauphin that went home.

Not only did the Spartans face elimination with a loss in this match, they were down 2-0 before turning things around for a 3-2 comeback win.

"When you're down 2-0, because volleyball is largely a game about momentum, sometimes you just need to get a win and go from there," said head coach Denny Werner. "Sometimes the other team will reassert itself in the fourth game and other times you force a fifth game."

The Falcons (16-4), who had entered district play as the third seed only to lose to West York in Thursday's semis, won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-21. Garden Spot (17-4) came back with a 25-16 win and hung on for a 25-22 win in the fourth set.

"We decreased our errors and they increased theirs," Werner said. "We executed better on defense, which put more pressure on them. We flipped the momentum.

"By the time the fifth game arrived, they might have had serious doubts in their minds," continued the coach. "We were confident going into that game."

The Falcons played a tough set, matching Garden Spot point-for-point in the final set.

"It was 10-10 and 12-12," Werner noted. "It could have gone either way."

Sam Martin, Taylor Dickson and Shawna Zeiset made some of those key plays. Zeiset led the team with 26 kills and tied Sarah Shirk for the team lead in aces with two. Shirk also paced the team in assists with 46.

"It was a real team effort," said Werner. "Shawna had 26 kills, which is huge. She has been coming up big a lot this year. Sam Martin [35 digs] has been consistent all year. She also came up big. She has been the standard all year and is very reliable. She's a co-captain along with Taylor. She's someone we can rely on to steady the ship, so to speak."

Another senior who came through was Alyssa Gehr.

"Alyssa was put in to be a middle hitter," Werner noted. "She hadn't been playing a whole lot but she got the game-winning kills. Our seniors performed well under pressure. I was happy for them."

The reason Garden Spot had to play the consolation match was that eventual district champ Palmyra had posted a 3-1 victory on Thursday at Hempfield High School. After the Spartans tied the match 1-1 with a 25-21 win, the Cougars (20-1) topped the Spartans 25-18 and 25-20 to earn their ticket to the district championship.

Kiersten Ellsworth was the leader in kills for Garden Spot, registering seven. Sam Martin had 25 digs while Shirk tallied 20 assists. Olivia Mundorff finished with four kills.

The Spartans' next opponent will be Archbishop Wood, the District 12 champion. The PIAA Class-AAA tournament first-round match will take place on Wednesday evening at Wyncote.


The Manheim Central Barons claimed the Section Two crown unanimously with a victory over Garden Spot on Friday night. The Barons had not lost a game and were one game ahead of Cocalico coming into the regular-season finale.

Central had outscored its previous three opponents 170-21. The unbeaten Barons stayed that way with a 70-14 defeat of the Spartans in this Lancaster-Lebanon League game.

The game was 14-7 going into the second quarter. The Barons found their way into the Spartans' end zone six times in the second quarter, taking a 56-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Spartans wrapped up the regular season at 2-8 (1-6 in league) while the Barons will take their 10-0 record into the District Three 5A playoffs where as the number two seed they'll host Waynesboro in a first-round game on Friday, November 10.

Connor Finkey caught a six-yard pass from Cameron Roth in the first quarter, tying the score at 7-7. The Barons had scored on Tyler Flick's 12-yard rushing touchdown.

Roth had a big play in the second quarter, scoring on a 94-yard dash for the team's only other score.


Roth Achieves Passing and Rushing Milestones October 29, 2017

The Spartans faced the Pioneers in a Section Two football game Friday night. It was a game that not only featured many great individual accomplishments but included an unforgettable night in the realm of L-L League football records.

Garden Spot quarterback Cameron Roth was approaching two impressive milestones in his great career. Though the Pioneers defeated the Spartans in New Holland by a 42-27 score, Roth achieved something that placed him in an exclusive group.

"He became only the third quarterback in L-L League history to throw for over 5,000 yards and rush for 2,000," said head coach Zach Fulmer. "He is one heck of a football player."

As for the game itself, Jacob Arndt had nearly 200 yards receiving, snagging nine passes, two of which went for touchdowns. Arndt finished with 188 yards while teammate Jordan Shewbridge grabbed seven passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.

"They both had good games," said Fulmer.

The story of the game itself started off poorly for the home team. The Spartans' mistakes put them behind early, helping the Pioneers grab a 21-7 lead in the first quarter. Aside from Roth's 65-yard dash to the end zone, there wasn't much to cheer about for the home crowd in the first quarter.

"We made some mistakes and spotted them some points early on," said Fulmer. "Miscues like a dropped punt, a penalty or two. We played better than that the rest of the way, but we had a hole to dig out of."

Drew Smith caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Todd Shelley to open the scoring. The Pioneers doubled their advantage with a Cam Niemeyer 14-yard TD run before Roth's 65-yard dash cut it to a seven-point game again. Niemeyer added a 19-yard rushing TD before the first quarter ended.

Roth's passing onslaught (19-for-29, 309 yards) was just getting started. He threw a 62-yard scoring pass to Arndt and a 31-yarder to Shewbridge. Sandwiched in between, however, was a 3-yard TD run by Lampeter-Strasburg's Marc Wilson and a 14-yard TD pass by Shelley.

Arndt closed the scoring with a 29-yard touchdown reception in the fourth.

In the second half, the Spartans played a tighter defense and allowed only a fourth-quarter touchdown after having gone into the locker room trailing 35-14 at halftime.

"On defense we made some adjustments, especially in the second half," Fulmer said. "We got some stops that helped us out."

Roth finished with 93 yards rushing as he closed in on a 1,000-yard season for his ground game.

Fulmer was asked about Roth being an example of how an ideal offense can operate in terms of working the running game along with the aerial attack.

"You want to be balanced," he said. "You play to the strengths of your team. We are able to spread people out and throw the ball around the field. It also opens up our running game. I like that we can stay balanced with it."

The coach was also asked whether or not Roth's almost inevitable accomplishment was something that was discussed prior to the game.

"The numbers aren't something we talk about a whole lot," Fulmer replied. "Our goal is to win football games.

"I do think it's something special though," he continued. "I know he would have preferred to win the game, but when he looks back on this and the career he had, he'll see what a special player he was."

The Spartans will next face Manheim Central - the only unbeaten team in Section Two.


The Garden Spot girls' volleyball team faced Cocalico in the opening round of the District Three Class-AAA playoffs. It was one of eight first-round games taking place on Saturday with the Spartans and Eagles battling at York Suburban at Noon.

It could be argued that these teams had some things in common. They both finished with an 8-2 regular season record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and claimed second place in their respective sections. They both bowed out in the first round of the league playoffs and had a week to prepare for this opening-round match.

The Eagles entered district play as the 12th seed and Garden Spot came in as the fifth-ranked team.

The first two sets played seemed evenly balanced in terms of how they turned out. Garden Spot (15-3) escaped with a 27-25 win in the first set, and shaded the Eagles 25-19 in the second set before completing the sweep on a 25-13 win.

Garden Spot head coach Denny Werner said that his team needs to play as strongly as it did in the third set if the Spartans are to have success in the district playoffs.

"We led from start to finish in the third set," he said. "I told our girls that they need to play the way played in that third set consistently from here on out. The teams we're playing from now on are teams we can't make unforced errors against."

The school which offered its gymnasium for this match will be the Spartans' next opponent. York Suburban defeated Dover 3-0 in the second half of the doubleheader, clearing the way for a quarterfinal match at Palmyra on Tuesday evening. That will also be part of a doubleheader as eighth-ranked Greencastle-Antrim will play top-seeded Palmyra (18-1) in the nightcap.

Shawna Zeiset, Taylor Dickson and Kelly Martin led the way in kills for Garden Spot. Pouring on 36 assists was Sarah Shirk while libero Sam Martin provided 25 digs and three service aces.

In the match, both teams had a significant comeback - one successful and one that went for naught. The Spartans came from behind to erase an eight-point Eagles lead in the first set. The Eagles rallied but fell just short in the second set, scoring seven points to close a nine-point gap to merely two points.

"They were ahead by eight points and we came back in the first game," Werner recalled. "In the second set we were up by nine points and they got it as close as two points.

"We played poorly at the start," said Werner. "We battled and made them crumble a little bit, I think. We struggled with some mistakes and they made it close."

Facing York Suburban in the next round has an air of familiarity for Werner and his returning players.

"They're the fourth seed this year," he noted. "We lost to them in the same round last year. Hopefully, we can turn that around."


Garden Spot wrapped up its boys' soccer season with a District Three Class-AAA opening-round match against Susquehannock on Monday. The Spartans evened the score 11 minutes into the second half of this road game, which was played at Gettysburg, but suffered a 3-1 defeat, dropping them to 7-10-1 overall.

Nate Nguyen scored the equalizer after the Indians had grabbed a 1-0 lead four minutes before halftime. Ben Wilson gave the Indians (20-1) the lead in the 62nd minute of the match. Only a minute later, Zach Buchanan increased the lead to the eventual winning margin of 3-1 while Jason Weger provided the assist.

Susquehannock came into the district playoffs as the second seed while the Spartans entered as the 15th seed.


GS Volleyball Competes in Post-Season Play October 22, 2017

The girls' volleyball team came up short in Saturday's L-L League quarterfinal match at Lancaster Mennonite. The Spartans, who entered the league playoffs as the Section Two runners-up, bowed out with a 3-0 loss to Warwick where the Warriors won each of the three sets by a close 25-23 margin.

"I thought we played tough," stated head coach Denny Werner. "We had the lead at one point or another in all three games. I think we executed the game plan we wanted to do. But we made critical errors at critical moments."

Shawna Zeiset led the Spartans with 10 kills while libero Sam Martin had a match-high 23 digs to go with one ace. Sarah Shirk put up a match-high 31 assists and Kiersten Ellsworth registered two blocks.

Asked in what areas the squad made errors, Werner said, "Serves, hitting errors and net violations. Those are things you cannot do with any frequency, especially in a playoff match.

"And we were making them late in the games," he added. "You're making it harder for yourself and now you have to score more."

Warwick had a match-high 14 kills from McKenzie Cossette.

Garden Spot eyes the District Three playoffs currently ranked fifth in the 16-team pool.

"We're treating this as a new tournament," said Werner. "We're playing schools that are the same size as us. We can use the experience from this year to fulfill our potential."


There's an axiom that says, "Sometimes you say that you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you."

On Friday night, just when the Garden Spot Spartans seemed ready to have the proverbial ursine feast, the Elizabethtown Bears came back to post a 16-14 victory in Section Two football action at E-town.

Elizabethtown kicker David Shank booted his third field goal of the game, connecting from 37 yards out with seconds winding down in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the game, Shank had hit from 25 and 33 yards while missing a 47-yarder.

"He's one of the best kickers in the league," said head coach Zach Fullmer. "He kicked three field goals in the game and two of them were because we gave them short field position."

That tied in with Fullmer's assessment of how the Spartans (2-6, 1-4 in league) made too many mistakes in this Lancaster-Lebanon League game.

"The biggest thing was that on offense we could not hold on to the football," he said. "I think we had five turnovers. There were three straight possessions in the second half that resulted in a fumble.

"Our defensive played the best game they've played all year. They put a lot of pressure on E-town," he added. "On offense we shot ourselves in the foot."

The Spartans had given up as well as scored a plethora of points in previous contests, being pulled into shootouts such as losing by scores of 64-42 and 60-30, winning a 56-21 contest and suffering a season-opening non-league loss of 34-33.

"We only gave up one touchdown the entire game," he noted.

The Spartans scored on a Cameron Roth first-quarter touchdown pass to Kelito Westmoreland from 24 yards out and Roth's 71-yard scamper in the fourth quarter. Roth reached 2,000 yards as he racked up 74 rushing yards on 10 carries and completed 16 passes for 170 yards.

Defensively, Fullmer mentioned a few of the many stars.

"Zack Ringler had a big game - he had two sacks and made some nice plays," he commented. "Dylan Nichols and Jerry Ringler are a couple of linemen who had sacks too. Christian Schilling, a linebacker, had a good game. Cameron Roth and Jordan Shewbridge both had an interception.

"I'm proud of how the kids played," he added. "They played with a lot of heart but we made too many mistakes. We will clean it up and go after a win next week."

The Spartans' next game will be at home against Lampeter-Strasburg.


The L-L League Championship race was held at Ephrata Middle School on Tuesday afternoon. The Garden Spot girls' team featured Becca Rissler's 22:04 finish, which ranked 59th in the race as Garden Spot compiled 426 team points. Cloe Martin's 22:08.8 was good for 63rd in the league-wide field of runners while freshman Amanda Coblentz (23:10.5) took the 89th position.

Samantha Davis and Lauren Greenawalt posted respective times of 26:28.9 and 27:20.0.

In the boys' race, it was another Rissler leading the way. Junior Jeremy Rissler's 18:22.0 was 89th overall. Dakota Cox (19:08.0) and Donovan Esbenshade (19:17.5) also finished under 20:00. Daniel Hurst ran the race in 20:35.3 and Max Mercado finished with a 20:41.7 while freshman Laine King came in at 21:09.9 - just ahead of sophomore Todd Trupe's 21:36.4. Joe Mininger posted a time of 24:24.5.


Spot Field Hockey Wins Three of Last Five Games October 15, 2017

The Garden Spot field hockey team closed out the 2017 campaign with a pair of Lancaster-Lebanon League games. The Spartans, in fact, finished strongly with three wins in their final five contests and a close overtime loss.

"Our last five games were very good for us," stated head coach Katy Eby. "I think what made the biggest difference for us was that we talked about effort and working hard for each other. It was great to see three wins and two other very close games in our last five."

Ephrata notched the overtime victory over Garden Spot on Monday night. Megan Mahlandt, who had scored for the Mountaineers in the first half, put the game-winner into the visitors' goal at the 5:14 mark of the overtime period. The goal, which came on a penalty stroke, gave the Mountaineers a 3-2 win. Garden Spot fell to 4-12 (3-10 in league).

"Ephrata has some very strong players," stated Eby. "We decided that while we would respect those players, we would play our game. We wanted to get on the board first. We did that just a few minutes into the game."

Stacey Horning's goal gave Garden Spot a 1-0 lead 2:22 into the match. Aubry Gonzalez provided the assist on this goal as well as Amelia Mercado's goal at the 26:45 mark of the first half.

Mercado's goal gave Garden Spot the lead once again as Anne Sensenig had tied it for Ephrata less than three minutes after Horning's early goal.

"We were able to get another one in the first half after Ephrata came back," Eby noted. "The girls were really excited at halftime.

"Ephrata picked it up in the second half with ten corners in the half," continued the coach. "They ended up scoring on one of them. But we were happy to have held them to only a pair of shots on those."

Mahlandt played a hero in regulation play as well. She tied the score at the 16:43 mark of the second half. Jennie Young provided the assist.

Eby described the overtime goal.

"Unfortunately, we got stopped quickly on a breakaway," she explained. "Ephrata started it and had a big pass through. It was almost a one-on-one with the goalie. The officials made the right call and gave them a penalty stroke because their player was tackled from behind."

The plethora of shots by the Mountaineers were repeatedly denied by junior goalkeeper Lauren Delgado.

"She has kept us in games all season," Eby remarked. "She had 21 saves against Ephrata."

The Spartans' season concluded with a 2-0 win over Cocalico in a Section Two home game on Wednesday. Gonzalez provided the scoring and Delgado recorded 12 saves for the shutout.

Looking ahead to next year, Eby is excited about the return of key players like Delgado and Gonzalez as well as center midfielder Megan Esh.

"We only graduate two seniors," she said. "So, we have a pretty strong group coming back next year, including our leading scorer Aubry Gonzalez."


The Spartans' comeback bid against the top team in Section Two inched them close to Cocalico on Friday night. However, the unbeaten Eagles held off that comeback bid, which had the Spartans seven points shy of tying the score in the third quarter. The Eagles scored three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter, to win it 56-28.

The Eagles improved to 6-1 (3-1 in league) while the visiting Spartans fell to 2-5 and 1-3.

It seemed like a one-sided game after one period. The Eagles had built a 28-6 advantage. The scoring included a fumble recovery for a Cocalico touchdown and a 70-yard rushing TD by Owen Zimmerman, who finished the game with 116 yards on six carries - two of them for scores.

Cameron Roth helped put the Spartans on the scoreboard, driving his team to its first touchdown of the game. It was a 56-yard strike to Jacob Arndt, who racked up an astounding 183 yards on 11 catches.

Roth wasn't finished there. The Spartans quarterback finished with 305 passing yards on 23 completions, including four touchdowns. He also churned up 67 yards of real estate on 22 carries.

Kellito Westmoreland, Connor Finkey and Jordan Shewbridge each had four catches and one touchdown. Westmoreland compiled 53 receiving yards and Shewbridge had 46 while Finkey added 25 more.

The running game for the Spartans was stopped cold as Roth's 67-yard total was the only highlight there.

Conversely, Brandon Brubaker ran for 88 yards on nine carries with three touchdowns and Noah Palm had 83 yards on 14 rushing attempts (2 TD's).

During their comeback, the Spartans outscored the Eagles 22-7. The scoring included a two-yard toss from Roth to Finkey accompanied by Kyle Willwerth's extra point kick. Shewbridge caught his TD pass on a one-yarder from Roth in the third quarter. Westmoreland scored on a 25-yarder, which the Spartans followed with a Roth-to-Arndt two-point passing play for the PAT.

Garden Spot will be back on the road this week at Elizabethtown. The Bears (4-3 overall) earned their first league win, beating Lampeter-Strasburg 44-38 in overtime.


Garden Spot took care of Ephrata in a Section Two road match Tuesday night. They beat the Mountaineers 25-20 in the first set only to see their hosts bounce back for a 25-21 second set win. Garden Spot won the next two sets, 25-19 and 25-7.

Shawna Zeiset had 20 kills. Sarah Shirk racked up 44 assists while Sam Martin added 34 digs and three aces. Kiersten Ellsworth was off the charts with blocks, registering eight.

The team played at the Pottsville Tournament over the weekend, finishing in second place.

"We made it to the championship match and lost in three," head coach Denny Werner explained. "We lost to Blue Mountain 15-12.

"Our pool was pretty good," he added. "Merion Catholic, in Class-A is number one. We split with Blue Mountain and them so we had to have a playoff to get into the playoffs.

"We actually beat Blue Mountain there," he went on. "We beat Panther Valley in the semi-finals. Overall we were 9-4 on the day."

The Spartans have two more matches before delving into the league playoffs on Friday.

"The time frame of this tournament was good," Werner added. "It's a good tune-up for the playoffs."


The Spartans finished the season with two exciting games. One was exciting for the closely-fought battle; the other was so because of all the goals Garden Spot scored.

In Monday afternoon's Section Two match at Manheim Central, the Spartans came up short as the Barons posted a 2-1 win.

Erna Hamzic tied the score for Garden Spot with two minutes left in the first half. Anna Armbruster provided the assist.

The Barons had gotten on the board four minutes into the game. Erin Greiner scored the eventual game-winner 18 minutes into the second half.

Mataya Hostetter snagged three saves for the Spartans.

Marissa Spacht held things down in front of her team's net in Wednesday night's Section Two home game against Lebanon. She needed to make only one save to claim the shutout win as her teammates scored six times. The 6-0 victory ended the Spartans' season at 6-11-0 (5-9-0 league).

Andrea Echavarria kicked off the scoring in the 10th minute of the match. She also added an assist.

Garden Spot goals came from a group of players who were in their final high school game in a Spartan uniform. Seniors Corrine Reed and Marina Castano along with Kristen Sweigart scored in the first half. Carly Esh, another senior, scored twice in the second half - the goals coming less than two minutes apart. Angela Strock added an assist.


The boys' team also wrapped up its season with a split of its Section Two matches last week. The Spartans lost 2-0 to Manheim Central on Monday night and defeated Cedar Crest by the same score on Wednesday night.

At Cedar Crest, Cade Weaver scored in the first half while Nate Nguyen punched one in in the 73rd minute of the game.

Matthew Good recorded four saves for this shutout win.


GS Football Tops Ephrata For First League Win October 8, 2017

Having been involved in some high-scoring games earlier this season, Garden Spot needed Friday night's game against Section Two rival Ephrata to be one where they were in control.

Coming off a 60-30 loss to Cedar Crest and a 64-42 loss at Solanco, the Spartans' defense and special teams allowed the visiting Mountaineers only one touchdown in this 49-7 win.

No big plays like an 80-yard kickoff return or a 90-yard touchdown run by the opposition.

"We focused on the basics in practice - everybody getting to the football and tackling," said head coach Zach Fullmer. "We let go of things that were too complicated and just played good football. Good to get another win. Always good getting those section wins"

The Spartans improved to 2-4 overall and earned their first Lancaster-Lebanon League win (1-2) of the year. Ephrata fell to 0-6, 0-3.

In fact, one of the big plays in the game happened in the first quarter, courtesy of Garden Spot quarterback Cameron Roth. He scampered 60 yards for a touchdown, making it 14-0.

"We jumped out early," Fullmer noted. "We forced a fumble on the opening kickoff and two plays later we scored. It's huge to get good start like that. We were up 20-0 after the first quarter."

Those 20 points included a pair of touchdowns by running back Jeff Harley. He scored the game's first touchdown, following the forced fumble which gave Garden Spot red zone possession. He surged over the goal line from the one-yard line. He later scored on a three-yard rushing TD.

Roth continued his offensive heroics, finishing with 127 yards on nine carries. The senior signal caller completed all five of his pass attempts for 133 yards and three touchdowns. Those TD passes went to Kellito Westomoreland, who hauled in a 27-yarder in the second quarter, as well as scoring passes of 21 and 37 yards to Jacob Arndt and Connor Finkey, respectively.

Jordan Shewbridge had two receptions for 48 yards. In addition, Robert Shore caught a 19-yard pass from freshman quarterback Jesse Martin.

Ephrata scored a harmless fourth-quarter touchdown after spotting Garden Spot 49 points.

The special teams and defense definitely rose to the occasion, Fullmer said.

"We had a lot of missed tackles in previous weeks, which led up to big explosive plays," he explained. "When you're giving that up, it makes things difficult.

"Special teams and defensive touchdowns," he went on. "So, we focused on special teams also - not giving the other team any big plays.

"Defensively, it was a team effort," commented the coach. "When you're playing defense, you need to play 11 as one - everyone doing their job. That's how you stop the other team."

The next stop for Garden Spot will be Cocalico. The Eagles (5-1) improved to 2-1 in the L-L League by blowing away Cedar Crest 55-6 on Friday.

"They're coming off a big win over Cedar Crest," Fullmer noted. "They're always one of the big powers of the section. We're looking forward to a good battle."


The Spartans improved to 9-1 overall with a 3-0 victory at Conestoga Valley on Tuesday night. The Buckskins were close in only one of the games as Garden Spot posted winning scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-12.

Taylor Dickson had seven kills to lead the Spartans while Sarah Shirk and Sam Martin each served for aces. Shirk also led the team in assists with 29 while Kelly Martin had a match-high 14 digs.

"They're 1-11," noted head coach Denny Werner. "We only played our starters for the first set. We did the same thing on Thursday."

The Thursday match was a 3-0 win over Solanco.

On Tuesday, the Spartans visited Section Two rival Elizabethtown - the team that had given Garden Spot its lone league loss of the year - a 3-2 setback on Monday, September 11.

This time around, the Bears regained momentum in the fifth and tiebreaker set for a 15-12 victory, claiming the match by a 3-2 score. They topped Garden Spot 25-18 and 25-20 in the first two sets. Garden Spot came back for a 25-14 win and finished on top in a relentless battle in the fourth set, winning 29-27.

Werner compared this loss to the 3-2 loss three weeks earlier - a Monday match following a big weekend tournament in which the Spartans had played.

"I think we didn't played that well in the first match," he commented. "I thought they had improved from the first time we played them."

Garden Spot got 18 kills from Dickson. Sam Martin had 23 digs and Shirk racked up 47 assists. Kiersten Ellsworth poured in six blocks.

"Taylor Dickson and Kelly Martin, who are our two outside hitters, had the best matches," Werner said. "Taylor added three aces and Kelly had 17 digs."

Shawna Zeiset had 12 kills in the Solanco match - one where the Spartans posted scores of 25-14, 25-16 and 25-17.

Dickson delivered three aces and 12 digs while Shirk had 26 assists. Ellsworth and Olivia Mundorff each had one block.


The Spartans played host to league foes Donegal and Lancaster Catholic for Tuesday's cross country race. The Crusaders finished first in the boys' race, sneaking past Donegal 27-28 and finishing ahead of the Spartans 19-44. Garden Spot finished third as Donegal posted a 19-40 win.

The Spartans got a great race out of Jeremy Rissler, whose third-place pace registered a time of 18:35. Finishing 13th and 14th, respectively, were Donovan Esbenshade (19:52) and Dakota Cox (20:02)

Taking 19th in the race was Max Mercado, posting a time of 21:19.

In the girls' race, Donegal finished first and Catholic took second. Despite the tremendous race ran by Becca Rissler, who finished first at 23:47, the Spartans were unable to overtake either of their visitors in the team scoring.

Also, Amanda Coblentz finished strong with a 24:14 pace, grabbing fifth place. Cloe Martin's 25:03 was good for 10th and Samantha Davis (27:09) took 20th.


Garden Spot grabbed a pair of league wins last week, defeating Elizabethtown at home and winning at Solanco four days later - both 3-1 results. Sandwiched in between was a tough 2-1 loss to Lampeter-Strasburg.

In Monday's win at New Holland, Madison Casey and Aubry Gonzalez scored in the first half with Gonzalez also finishing with an assist. Sophie Torrance added a third goal as the Spartans got six shots on goal.

The Bears actually out-shot the Spartans 7-6. But Lauren Delgado was solid in front of the cage, making six saves.

Gonzalez got a goal in the L-S match and the Pioneers got one from Abby Thorius. It stayed 1-1 into overtime where Jenna Lapp scored at the 14:16 mark of the overtime period.

The Pioneers kept attacking the Spartans goal and Delgado was there to stop 31 shots on goal.

In the Solanco game, Garden Spot got three first-half goals, which came off the sticks of Casey, Gonzalez and Torrance. The Mares had eight shots on goal and Delgado got seven saves to notch another win.


In a battle between a pair of Section Two rivals somewhat evenly matched, the Spartans came up just short against Cocalico in Monday night's girls' soccer game at New Holland.

The Eagles scored 33 minutes into the match and goalie Adrienne McGallicher denied the Spartans on all five shots sent toward the Eagles' goal for a 1-0 shutout.

Garden Spot fell to 3-7-0 in the L-L League.

The Spartans notched their fourth league win Wednesday night at Solanco.

In a close and exciting match, a late goal by Deana Phillips was the eventual game-winner. The sophomore scored with two minutes to play in regulation to break a 2-2 tie. The Mares had come back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to even the score, scoring twice in a three-minute span.

Andrea Echavarria gave Garden Spot a 1-0 lead at the midway point of the first half. Britney Esh doubled that lead in the 34th minute. Angela Strock provided an assist.

Mataya Hostetter was solid in goal for Garden Spot, making six saves - all crucial in the close win.

Her teammates had 15 shots on goal at the offensive end.

Lampeter-Strasburg limited the Spartans to four shots on goal in a 4-0 victory on Thursday afternoon. The Pioneers got two goals from Tara Wehibe.

The Spartans fell to 4-8-0 in the league and 5-10-0 overall.


With two straight league wins, the Spartans improved to 5-7-0 in the L-L League. On Monday they edged Cocalico 1-0 in an overtime game on the road. Wednesday's game ended in a 5-0 defeat of Solanco.

Garden Spot was denied in Thursday's Section Two match at Lampeter-Strasburg, however. The Pioneers posted a 3-1 win.

Cade Weaver scored the golden goal in the Cocalico match, breaking the scoreless tie eight minutes into overtime. It wasn't just the exciting goal on offense that sent the Spartans home happy; goalie Matthew Good saved everything that came his way in this marathon match, making nine saves.

Nathan Nguyen had a hat trick in the 5-0 win at home. He scored twice in the first seven minutes and added a second-half goal.

The early scoring burst wasn't over with just Nguyen as the Spartans' lead went to 3-0 on Josiah Snader's goal in the 10th minute.

Andrea Ferrarelli scored in the 73rd minute, making it 5-0. Jacob Shupe and Andrew Bowman each had one assist with Matthew McCormick dishing out two.

Gabriel Zimmerman had a pair of saves in goal, spotting Good, who left the game after registering four saves.

McCormick had the team's lone goal in the 3-1 loss at L-S. It gave Garden Spot a 1-0 lead 8:00 into the game. The Pioneers evened the score 11 minutes later on a goal by Derek Eckman, who went on to record a hat trick.


Lady Booters Post Mixed Results, 4-8 Overall October 1, 2017

The Garden Spot girls' soccer team bounced back from a Tuesday night loss at Ephrata by shutting out Elizabethtown on the road two days later in a Lancaster-Lebanon League match.

The Ephrata match had the Spartans going up against an unbeaten Mountaineers squad, who managed to hold on to first place in Section Two. The score was only 1-0 at the half before the Mounts managed to put together four successful finishes in the second half. Reagan McCarty scored three minutes into the second half and Haley Sheehan made it 3-0 six minutes later. Two more goals were added before the midway point of the half.

Mataya Hostetter held E-town scoreless, making four saves in goal for Garden Spot on Thursday. Erna Hamzic's goal 30 minutes into the match held up for the visiting Spartans, who improved to 3-6-0 in league play (4-8-0 overall). Hamzic took a pass from Brielle Eby and converted the opportunity. The defense and Hostetter's goaltending kept the Bears off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

Going into the first week of October, the Spartans have only five league games remaining - three of which are this week.


Kyle Willwerth opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal for the Spartans and Kellito Westmoreland caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Roth to make it 9-0.

The Spartans were driving down for another score, hoping to take a bigger lead on Cedar Crest in Friday night's Section Two football game at New Holland. In the Falcons' red zone, however, Brandon Showers had an emphatic "No" for the attempted touchdown pass as he intercepted it one yard in his own end zone and ran it back 101 yards for Cedar Crest's first score of the game.

With Garden Spot being victimized by two more big plays, the Falcons earned a 60-30 victory, improving to 5-0 (2-0 L-L League) while the Spartans fell to 1-4, 0-2.

Cedar Crest quarterback Logan Horn added a nine-yard rushing touchdown and the Falcons carried a 14-9 lead into the second quarter. Though Roth had a 60-yard dash to the end zone to put a spark back into the Garden Spot side, another big play from the Falcons side of the ball - a 49-yard rushing TD by Kendell Shand - swung the momentum in favor of the visitors. Cedar Crest put up 26 points in the second quarter for a 40-16 halftime advantage. Later in the game, Shand also had an 80-yard kickoff return for a score.

The Spartans racked up over 400 yards of total offense, including 66 rushing yards and an 11-yard fourth-quarter touchdown by Jeff Harley. Roth had nine completions for 110 yards and also ran for 159 yards. Two of those carries went for touchdowns. As a team, the Spartans had 329 yards rushing.

The Spartans will try to gain their first league win as they host winless Ephrata this Friday.


The Spartans came up short against two league rivals last week, losing to both Ephrata and Elizabethtown by the score of 3-1. Both matches were played at Garden Spot.

The Spartans out-shot the Mountaineers 13-10 in Tuesday's game. But a pair of goals by Andrey Patrushev and one by Aaron Cummings gave the visitors the victory.

After Cummings had given Ephrata an early lead, Cade Weaver evened the score in the 27th minute, taking an assist from Spartan teammate Nathan Nguyen. It remained that way until the final minute of the first half.

Matt Good grabbed five saves for Garden Spot and Kyle Willwerth registered two more.

The E-town game was another close one. With a pair of late goals in the final 10 minutes of the match, the Bears clawed out a win. They improved to 9-2-0 (7-2-0 league) while Garden Spot fell to 4-8-0 (3-6-0 league).

David Buckwalter had given E-town an early lead and goalie Austin Denlinger (7 saves) was hard to crack. But the Spartans got the equalizer from Giannicola Ferrarelli, thanks to an assist from Andrew Bowman in the 63rd minute. However in the 74th minute of the match and again two minutes later, the Bears finished two scoring opportunities.


Garden Spot, a 3-0 winner over Section Two rival Lampeter-Strasburg on Tuesday night, went on to defeat Hershey the very next night in a non-league contest. The victories - both on their home court - improved the Spartans' record to 8-1 (4-1 in league).

The L-S Pioneers gave Garden Spot a good challenge in the opening set of the match until the Spartans put it away 25-21. In their second set, the Spartans won 25-11 and finished off the sweep by a nearly identical score, 25-12.

Shawna Zeiset and Taylor Dickson both recorded 12 kills on the night. Sam Martin served up four aces to lead her team in that category as well as in digs with 21. Sarah Shirk came through with 27 assists while Olivia Mundorff registered two blocks. The Pioneers' Emma Cohen tied Martin for the match-leading total of digs with 21.

The match against Hershey was a closer one, ending in scores of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-18 in Garden Spot's favor.

Sam Martin and Kelly Martin recorded two aces each. Sam Martin also had 22 digs - tops for the Spartans. Dickson delivered 14 kills while Shirk had a team-high 28 assists, and Kiersten Ellsworth recorded two solo blocks.


Garden Spot improved to 4-10 with a non-league win over Penn Manor on Tuesday afternoon. The Spartans stopped the Comets 5-2, winning three of the four singles matches plus the first and third doubles.

In that first doubles, Paige Kemper and Elle Hallquist posted an 8-4 win against Maddy Groff and Marly Rohrer. Hallquist also won the number one singles 6-1, 6-1 over Groff and Kemper followed with a 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Rohrer at second singles.

The second doubles was a close battle between the twosome of Katie Varley/Abigail Foor of Garden Spot and Emma Batchelor/Morgan Smoker of Manor. The Comets came away with a 9-7 victory.

Paula Groff and Lillie Risser got a team point for the Spartans at third doubles, winning it 8-3.

Ashley Risser also added a team point for the Spartans, winning the third singles match 6-1, 6-1. Paula Groff put up a good fight but came up short in the third singles.

The day before, Garden Spot fell to 2-7 in the L-L League with a 7-0 loss to first-place Manheim Township.


The Spartans, coming off a close 1-0 final the previous Friday, ran up against the unbeaten Section Two leading Donegal Indians on Tuesday afternoon. Donegal improved to 8-0-0 in the league with a 10-0 win at New Holland. Both Grace Miller and Mackenzie Allessie registered hat tricks in the win while Lily Saunders dished out three assists and scored a goal of her own.

Despite the seemingly relentless barrage of shots, Spartan goalie Lauren Delgado recorded 27 saves.

Delgado racked up 21 more saves in a league game against Manheim Central on Thursday afternoon. The Barons edged the Spartans 3-0, getting three first-half goals.

Garden Spot fell to 2-8-0 overall.


Spartan freshman Holt Albertson shot a 91 and Sean Mercer finished with a 103 in Monday's L-L League Championship at Honeybrook Golf Course. C.J. Murray shot a 115.

Brock Faasnacht of Warwick won the tournament with an even-par 70 while Manheim Township's Jake Macinati (71) and Trey Kuntz (73) finished strong. The Blue Streaks won the team championship.


Roth Throws for 404-yards but Spartans Fall September 24, 2017

The Spartans played a rare Saturday game on the gridiron this past week, visiting Solanco for a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two game.

In its first three games of the year, Garden Spot's offense had scored 132 points, including a 56-21 victory over Spring Grove in a non-league game on Friday, September 8. The week before that was a 69-42 shootout at home against Warwick - a non-league game that found the Spartans on the losing side.

Saturday's contest proved to be another high-scoring affair. The Golden Mules, however, had success running the ball and racked up 491 yards of rushing in a 64-42 victory.

Garden Spot fell to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the L-L League while Solanco improved to 2-2, 1-0.

The Spartans kept it close for most of the game. The Mules held a slim one-point lead heading into the second quarter thanks to a two-point conversion on their second touchdown of the game. That 15-14 lead increased to 35-21 by halftime and they outscored the Spartans 22-14 in a wild third quarter.

Sophomore fullback Nick Yannutz had the bulk of the ball carrying for Solanco, piling up 321 yards and scoring four touchdowns.

The big offensive star for the Spartans was quarterback Cameron Roth. He threw for 404 yards on 20 completions, connecting with Connor Finkey twice for touchdowns and once more with Kelito Westmoreland.

The running game for Garden Spot was shared by Roth (63 yards on 15 carries) and Jeff Hartley, who scored three touchdowns on an 87-yard night (16 carries).

Hartley opened the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run in the first. The Mules responded with a drive that ended on quarterback Joel McGuire's 40-yard dash to the end zone. He also scored Solanco's second touchdown of the first quarter. Garden Spot responded before that first period ended - Roth to Westmoreland for a five-yard TD toss.

In the second quarter, part of what helped Solanco outscore Garden Spot by 14 points was Alex McDonald's 80-yard kickoff return. It came following Finkey's 67-yard touchdown reception which, at that juncture in the second quarter, had tied the score 21-21.

On their next drive, the Mules scored again - this time on a 27-yard pass from McGuire to McDonald. Yannutz had a 66-yard as well as a three-yard rushing TD in the period.

On the other side of the field it was Finkey scoring on another exciting touchdown - a 70-yard pass from Roth to start the scoring in the second half. Kyle Wilwerth's extra point kick made it 35-28.

Hartley and Yannutz each had one rushing touchdown for their respective teams in each of the final two periods of the game. McDonald added a 15-yard rushing TD - a score that was followed by another two-point PAT for Solanco.

Jordan Shewbridge had a great night for Garden Spot, catching seven passes for 104 yards. Westmoreland had seven catches as well, compiling 62 yards and that TD. Jacob Arndt had two catches for 80 yards and Finkey had 149 yards of receiving yards on three catches, including the two TD's.

The Spartans will be home on Friday night to host Cedar Crest. The Falcons (4-0, 1-0) are unbeaten.


The Spartans responded nicely from their only league loss of the year back on September 11 by beating Ephrata three days later and carrying that momentum into this past week. Along the way, they had a nice showing at the Bulldog Classic at Wilson on Saturday, September 16.

"We won our pool in the Wilson tournament," said head coach Denny Werner. "We beat Manheim Township 2-0, Daniel Boone 2-0 and Muhlenberg 2-0. We split with Spring-Ford.

"We then beat Penn Manor in the quarterfinals but lost to Exeter," he continued. The match with the Exeter Eagles was very close with scores of 26-24, 26-28 and 12-15.

On Tuesday night the Spartans were on the road against Section Two rival Manheim Central. They edged the Barons 3-2 with the home team coming back to win the third and fourth sets before Garden Spot outlasted the competition 18-16 in the tiebreaker.

"Manheim Central played really well - have to give them credit," said Werner.

The Spartans opened with a 25-19 win and took the second set convincingly, 25-10. The Barons edged the Spartans in each of the next two - 25-22 and 25-23.

Taylor Dickson led the squad in kills with 15. Meg Gehr had six aces while Sam Martin had a match-high 41 digs. Sarah Shirk's 45 assists were also a match-leading total. Kiersten Ellsworth registered two blocks.

"Sam Martin set the school record in digs last year," Werner noted. "She's a phenomenal defensive players. She and Taylor Dickson are our co-captains."

Garden Spot defeated a tough Susquehannock squad 3-0 on Wednesday in a non-league match at New Holland. They won 25-15, 25-11 and 25-16.

Ellsworth and Dickson each drilled eight kills while Shirk came through with four aces and 32 assists. Martin had 22 digs. Ellsworth also had a block.

"We are currently ranked third in the district and seventh in the state," Werner noted.


Garden Spot suffered a pair of league losses this past week and came back to win at Manheim Central in a non-league match on Friday by a 5-2 score.

In that road victory, Paige Kemper was a huge contributor, teaming up with Elle Hallquist for a tough 9-8 (9-7) win at number two doubles as well as taking the number three singles 6-3, 6-3.

Katie Varley and Lillie Risser won the first doubles in another hard-fought battle, 8-6. Paula Groff and Leah Strausser won 8-4 at number three doubles.

Ashley Risser won the first singles for Garden Spot 6-3, 6-2. Hallquist came up just short in the opening set of the fourth singles in a 7-5 final. The Barons got their two team points in singles play.

In the E-town match at New Holland on Wednesday, the Spartans scored with Hallquist and Kemper winning the third doubles while Hallquist took the third singles 4-6, 6-3, 10-7. The Bears won 4-2.

The Spartans were coming off another league match on Tuesday - Cedar Crest winning 5-2 at New Holland.

Ashley Risser's 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 win was the only singles point for the Spartans. Groff and Strausser took the third doubles in a classic battle, winning 9-8 (7-4). Kemper and Hallquist came up short in an 8-4 opening doubles.


In a strong performance on Saturday, the Spartans topped Cedar Crest 3-1, improving to 3-4-0 in the L-L league and 4-6-0 overall.

The Spartans, who out-shot the Falcons 11-7, carried a two-goal lead into the second half thanks to two-thirds of Natha Nguyen's hat trick. Yes, the senior scored three times, getting two assists from Matt McCormick and one other from Matt Good. The goals came in the 17th and 29th minutes of the first half and at the midway point of the second half.

Good - yes the guy who was credited with the assist - was holding down the job between the goal posts for Garden Spot. He finished with six saves.

Nguyen, who had scored the Spartans' lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Lampeter-Strasburg on Monday (Andrew Bowman assist), got his team's scoring started on Wednesday night at Manheim Central. His goal in the 11th minute of the match evened the score at 1-1. Nguyen also got an assist as Jacob Shupe gave the Spartans a 2-1 lead 21 minutes into the game.

Just before the half, Zach Reed got his second goal of the game for Central, making it 2-2.

The Spartans grabbed the lead and kept it thanks to Giannicola Farrarelli's score eight minutes into the second half. Good grabbed six saves in the close victory.


After suffering two shutouts and falling to 1-5-0 overall (2-7-0 overall), the Spartans rebounded with a 4-0 victory over league rival Lebanon on Saturday.

Marissa Spacht recorded the shutout, needing to make only two saves.

The four goals came from four different players. Amber McKinney, Angela Strock, Mataya Hostetter and Allison Dobson scored with Dobson's goal coming just prior to the end of regulation.

Brielle Eby and Kristen Sweigart got the assists.


In a battle against Lancaster Mennonite and Columbia, the Spartan boys' cross country team held off the Crimson Tide 15-55 but came up short against the Blazers, 16-49. Mennonite won the race thanks to four runners crossing the finish line in the top four spots and seven runners in the top eight places.

Garden Spot's Jeremy Rissler claimed fifth place in a time of 19:45 while teammates Daniel Hurst (20:39) and Donovan Esbenshade (20:46) also made the top-10 as the 9th- and 10th-place runners, respectively.

Taking 12th overall was Dakota Cox (21:18) followed by Max Mercade (13th, 22:09). Joseph Mininger (24:16) crossed the line in 15th position while teammates Laine King (24:25, 17th) Nathan Boyer (25:35, 18th) and Todd Trupe (26:18, 19th) also placed in the top-20.

Also at Lancaster Mennonite, the girls' team had the same result - beating Columbia 15-55 but coming up short against the hosts, 24-35.

Though Columbia didn't perform so well, Jordan Haberstroh won the race with a time of 20:33. It was well ahead of second-place runner Hannah Steckbeck of Mennonite, who ran a 23:00.

Garden Spot was led by Becca Rissler (23:24, third place) and fifth-place finisher Cloe Martin (24:37).

Amanda Coblentz had a strong pace going, taking seventh at 26:09.

In 12th and 14th were Samantha Davis (28:09) and Lauren Greenwalt (28:13).


Garden Spot opened the week with its first league win of the season, defeating Solanco on Monday. The defense held strong while Amanda Leeland, scoring once in each half, sparked a 3-0 victory. Madison Casey added a second half tally.

Lauren Delgado earned the shutout, making four saves in the cage.

The win improved the Spartans' L-L League record to 1-4-0.

Two tough losses would follow as Ephrata posted a 3-1 win at Garden Spot on Wednesday and the Spartans lost a heartbreaker 1-0 at Cocalico on Friday.

Despite that 1-0 loss, Delgado recorded nine saves in a strong performance. Natalie Eberly was also credited with a save with Hannah Custer's second-half goal giving Cocalico the margin of victory.

Against the Mountaineers, Megan Mahlandt scored twice and Jennie Young added one more in the victory despite the Spartans holding them to only five shots on goal.

Carysse Norris prevented the shutout with a second half goal.


QB Roth Sparks Spartan Win Over Spring Grove September 17, 2017

In last week's loss at home, Garden Spot starting quarterback Cameron Roth got injured and was unavailable for the second half against Warwick.

The senior signal-caller was back behind center Friday night for a non-league game at home against Spring Grove. Roth threw for four touchdown passes and ran for another in the 56-21 victory, giving Garden Spot (1-2) its first win of the season.

Garden Spot gained over 500-yards from scrimmage on the night. They racked up 230-yards of real estate on rushing and 294 more aerial yards. Roth completed 14 of 24 passes, including touchdown tosses to Jordan Shewbridge, Connor Finkey and two to Jacob Arndt.

"He's one heck of a football player," said head coach Zach Fullmer in a phone interview.

"We thought we could find some space on the quick throws," Fullmer added. "We also have some great athletes like Jordan Shewbridge and Connor Finkey on the outside. If we can get them the ball, good things happen."

Arndt hauled in a nine-yard reception from Roth for a touchdown shortly after the offense had trotted onto the field. It came after the Spartans' defense recovered a fumble deep in Rockets territory on Spring Grove's first play from scrimmage.

"On their first play of the game, they had a poor snap," Fullmer explained. "We jumped on it.

"We scored 18 seconds later," he continued. "We scored on our first play. We got on them pretty quick."

In addition to that fumble recovery, the Garden Spot defense pounced on one more loose ball and intercept two Rockets passes on the night. Christian Schilling and Colton Gehr both picked off Spring Grove's Nick Shaqfeh. Schilling's interception helped set up Spot's next score.

Running back Jeff Hartley added to the lead with a 15-yard run, which was set up on that Schilling takeaway. Following a drive that resulted in Roth's 19-yard scoring scamper, Hartley scored another rushing touchdown - this one a 10-yarder. All four of these touchdowns occurred in the first quarter, giving Garden Spot a 28-7 lead after only 12 minutes of play.

The only Spring Grove score in that period came on a 94-yard kickoff return by senior Briar Foltz. In fact, later on the night, Foltz returned another kickoff 90 yards for a score.

"Our defense allowed only one touchdown," Fullmer pointed out.

"Our defensive unit has a lot of new players," continued the coach. "They had some growing pains the first two weeks. We switched some personnel around and got a good game from them."

Asked if Foltz's two kickoff returns exposed a weakness in special teams, Fullmer replied, "That guy is a good athlete, but it's something we need to work on."

Kyle Wilwerth, who had made all four of the extra-point kicks in the first quarter, added a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Spring Grove scored on a 15-yard run by Foltz, but the Spartans countered with a scoring drive culminating in Shewbridge's 38-yard touchdown catch.

The home team held a 37-14 halftime lead and added two more touchdowns in the third quarter. Harley's two-yard touchdown run and Arndt's second TD reception of the game - this one for 46 yards - gave Garden Spot a 49-14 lead. That margin was short-lived as Foltz recorded his second kickoff return for a touchdown. But it would be Spring Grove's final scoring of the game.

Garden Spot added seven more, thanks to a Roth-to-Finkey connection from midfield. Wilwerth added the PAT to make it 56-21.

"It's a great first win," said Fullmer. "It validates all of the work the boys have been doing. We had two hard losses in the previous weeks - a one-point loss the first week and a shootout with Warwick the next. It's good to be going into section play with this win."

The Spartans' next game will be against Lancaster-Lebanon League foe Solanco on the road.

"Solanco is a pretty good football team," Fullmer remarked. "One of their two losses was in overtime and this past week they lost to Northeastern, who is one of the best teams in our district. Solanco is a physical football team and they run the ball well. Our offense needs to keep putting points on the board and defense needs to slow down their running game."


Coming off a close 4-3 loss to Ephrata last week, the tennis team went up against two more Section One opponents last week.

Monday's match was against a talented and deep Hempfield squad in Landisville. The Black Knights got a 6-1 victory with the twosome of Paula Groff and Leah Strausser grabbing a team point at third doubles. The pair took care of Karlin McHugh and Rory Cantwell 8-1.

Donegal came to town three days later and posted a 5-2 non-league win over Garden Spot. The twosome of Groff and Strausser earned an 8-3 victory at number three doubles. Risser and Varley came up just short at first doubles, losing 8-5.

Risser claimed the other team point for the home team, winning the first singles 6-2, 6-3. At No. 4, Elle Hallquist lost 6-4, 4-6, 7-10.

Hallquist was the only winner in singles play on Friday against McCaskey. The Red Tornado posted a 5-2 victory as Marli Schrieiner managed to eke out a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win against Risser at fourth singles and Maggie Larkin topped Paige Kemper 7-5, 6-2 at number two singles.

Another close battle was at second doubles. Risser and Varley just came up short in an 8-6 final.

Strausser and Groff, however, did have another successful match, winning 8-3 for the other Garden Spot team point.


Garden Spot's strong start got its first blemish of the season in a tough 3-2 league loss to Elizabethtown on Monday. The Spartans came back from a 2-1 deficit in games to win the fourth game 25-17, but lost a close tiebreaker by a 15-13 margin.

It dropped Garden Spot's league record to 1-1 (3-1 overall) while E-town moved up to 2-0 and would win one more before week's end to stay tied with Lampeter-Strasburg atop the Section Two standings.

The Spartans opened up with a 25-18 victory. The Bears reeled off 25-19 and 25-22 wins before the Spartans knotted the match at two games apiece.

Shawna Zeiset was on a tear, getting 16 kills in the match. Sarah Shirk came through with 48 assists and three aces while Sam Martin led the team in digs with 34 and Kiersten Ellsworth was tops in blocks with five.

The Spartans came back strong on Thursday. On their home court, Spot opened with a 25-19 win, added a 25-16 win before demolishing Ephrata 25-6 for a 3-0 sweep.

Ellsworth led with 10 kills and registered three blocks. Meg Gehr served up four aces while Martin delivered 20 digs and Shirk racked up 26 assists.


In Tuesday's match at Tanglewood, the golf team finished fifth in a field of seven teams, scoring 384 team points. Cocalico won the day with 336 points, featuring four golfers in the top-10 including Nolan Hesko, who finished tied for first with a 78. Manheim Central (350) Lampeter-Strasburg (354) and Solanco (359) battled it out for the next three spots. Elizabethtown (405) and Ephrata (409) failed to make it into the 300's.

Holt Albertson shot a 93 to lead Garden Spot. He finished 14th overall. Liam Hammer's score of 95 earned him 15th place overall while Adam Hershey shot a 97 and Sean Mercer a 99. C.J. Murray finished with a 104.


It was a busy week for the field hockey team, which entered the week with a 1-1 mark. The Spartans played three league games, starting with a Monday match against Manheim Central, continuing Wednesday at Elizabethtown and wrapping up at Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday.

Central added to its 2-0 halftime lead with one second-half goal on its way to a 3-0 victory. The Barons tallied 21 shots on goal, including two goals by Codi Bollinger.

Lauren Delgado held her own in front of the Garden Spot cage, making 17 saves.

Following a 6-0 loss at E-town, where the Bears' defense denied the Spartans a single shot on goal, the Spartans played the Pioneers at L-S.

Delgado, who had 19 saves against E-town, racked up 15 more in this match, which the Spartans lost by a 4-0 count.

The offense had a stronger effort, compiling five shots on goal.

The Pioneers got two goals from Abby Thorius.

Garden Spot falls to 1-4 overall (0-4 in league).


The boys' soccer team played a pair of L-L League matches this week, winning one and falling short in the other - a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Cocalico on Tuesday.

The Eagles' goals were 81 minutes apart. Danny Harrington scored seven minutes into the match. Spartan junior Andrew Bowman got the equalizer 28 minutes into the second half, getting the assist from Kevin Carvajal.

Though the Spartans had a total of 13 shots on goal, the tiebreaker would not come during regulation play. In the 88th minute of the match, Darren Main scored on what would only be Cocalico's ninth shot on Garden goalie Matt Good (seven saves).

The Spartans improved to 2-4-0 overall with Thursday's victory over Solanco on the road. They blanked the Mules 2-0, earning their first league win (1-3-0) with goals from Bowman and Nathan Nguyen. Bowman assisted on Nguyen's goal, which came in the 72nd minute.

Garden Spot had 12 shots on goal and Good was a solid keeper, recording a shutout with nine saves.


Following a 3-0 league loss at home on Monday, the girls' soccer team took to the road Tuesday night against Section Two rival Cocalico.

It was a hard-fought match, especially with Marissa Spacht turning away six shots on goal by the Eagles. But the one that did get in with less than two minutes to play in the first half proved to be the difference in a tough 1-0 loss for Spot.

The Spartans fell to 1-5-0 (1-3-0 in LL) following their 4-1 loss to Solanco on Thursday.

After an early goal, the Mares got two goals from Grace Kreider in the first half, taking a 3-0 halftime lead. The Spartans ended their scoring drought thanks to Lindsey Sweigart's goal off a Deanna Phillips assist. But a goal by Tori Delp put the game out of reach for Garden Spot.


Offenses Highlight GS Loss to Warwick September 10, 2017

When an offensive unit is on the football field, its job is not only to score points, but to use up as much time as possible in each of its scoring drives. It's called "chewing up the clock" in football lingo.

In Friday night's game between Warwick and Garden Spot, both offenses were on a strict no clock diet for the first half of the game in New Holland.

In the first quarter alone, which ended with Garden Spot holding a 21-20 lead, there was one offensive possession that resulted in a touchdown on only one play for each side; another scoring drive covered 65 yards on just two plays in 20 seconds and one more took only four plays. The first half ended with visiting Warwick on top 42-28. The Warriors (1-1) went on to win this non-league game 69-42.

Warwick quarterback Grayson Kline completed 15 of 22 passes for 268 yards. On the game's opening drive, he hit Trey Glass on a 73-yard scoring pass to put his team up 6-0.

Kline, who had played at Wilson until this year, found Carter Forney for 113 of his passing yards, including a pair of touchdowns.

"Last week was my first game with this team," Kline said after the game. "I didn't know who I could throw to. I came to understand that Carter Forney is one of the best receivers."

Forney made two acrobatic sideline catches - a 35-yarder that put the ball on the Spartans' nine-yard line and another one in the end zone on the following play.

After the quick 73-yard strike to open the scoring for Warwick, it took the Spartans (0-2) only 59 seconds to score. The drive included a 25-yard run by quarterback Cameron Roth followed by his 23-yard completion to fellow senior Jacob Arndt. It ended with back-to-back carries by Jeff Hartley for 19 and 10 yards, the latter going for a touchdown that put Garden Spot ahead 7-6.

Isaac Rissinger, who finished with 93 yards rushing, carried the bulk of the load in Warwick's next drive, which culminated with his six-yard TD run.

Roth responded with a 90-yard scoring scamper after the Spartans' were pushed back to their own 10-yard line following a penalty on the ensuing kickoff. He also tossed a 28-yard TD pass to Arndt to make it 21-14 Garden Spot - all this with 4:37 still left in the first quarter.

"He's a great player and we hope he can get back quickly," said head coach Zach Fullmer. "We'll have to wait and see how he is.

"Our offense clicked tonight, especially in the first half," Fullmer added. "Our defense struggled. We'll have to go back and watch the film, see how we can fix it for next week."

Forney's 45-yard touchdown reception only 20 seconds later made it 21-20.

The Warriors did get two touchdowns on interceptions in the second half. Roth left the game with a head injury and freshman Jesse Martin came in as quarterback.

Jordan Cruz picked off Martin and returned it 20 yards on the Spartans' first possession of the second half. Later in the third quarter, he would snag a 28-yarder for a pick six.

Warwick outscored Garden Spot 20-7 in the third quarter. The Spartans took advantage of personal foul, which was tacked on to a Connor Finkey's 21-yard reception to engineer another drive that ended up giving them an early TD in the fourth quarter. Martin had a 23-yard quarterback keeper and Harley had a 19-yard carry before finishing off that drive with a five-yard touchdown run. Harley finished the day with three rushing touchdowns. He had 62 rushing yards and 58 receiving yards.

Jordan Shewbridge caught two passes for 48 yards. Fellow senior Kelito Westmoreland caught two for 43 yards.

Another offensive weapon for Warwick was junior Nick Fucci. He had touchdown carries of 42 and three yards. The latter TD put Warwick up 56-35 in a drive that was highlighted by Fucci's 35-yard burst as well as a 12-yard run.

The Spartans, who lost a 34-33 heartbreaker in the season opener against Wyomissing, will play their third straight home game this Friday against Spring Grove. They'll be on the road at Solanco the following week as the season's slate of Section Two games begin.


The girls' volleyball team started the season with a pair of wins on the road. The Spartans opened with a 3-0 win at Penn Manor on the first of September and downed Section Two rival Solanco last Tuesday night.

Kelly Martin and Shawna Zeiset had nine kills each in the 25-12, 25-12, 25-15 win at Penn Manor. Zeiset also led the team in kills in the Solanco match, registering eight, while Martin put up eight.

In the Manor match, Sarah Shirk put up 32 assists. Sam Martin led with 19 digs while Alanna Billy served up five aces.

Penn Manor got six kills from Shayna Warfel and 12 digs from Emily Cummings.

The Solanco match was pure domination. The scores were 25-10, 25-5 and 25-10.

Along with the kills by Zeiset and Kelly Martin, the Spartans got five aces and 29 assists from Shirk while Sam Martin put up 12 digs, and Kierten Ellsworth notched one block.


Garden Spot came up just short on its home court, playing Ephrata in a Lancaster-Lebanon League girls' tennis match on Thursday. The Mountaineers edged the Spartans 4-3, including an intense fourth singles match that resulted in a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 win for the visitors.

Speaking of close battles, Elle Hallquist and Paige Kemper fell to their opponents in the first doubles match by an 8-6 margin. The second doubles match also went in favor of Ephrata by an 8-5 score, despite a great effort by Ashley Risser and Katie Varley.

The Spartans salvaged one team point with Leah Strausser and partner Paula Groff winning 8-5 at third doubles.

Hallquist got back another point, defeating Lisa Kachel 6-1, 6-0. Kachel had been one of the doubles partners who had topped Hallquist and Kemper earlier.

Kemper suffered a second singles loss despite hanging on in a 7-5 second set.

Groff grabbed a victory at third singles, coming back from a 6-2 loss to win the second set 6-4 and the third 10-5.

Risser nearly tipped the scales in favor of the Spartans in the fourth singles. She ended on the short side of a 7-6 (7-5) score in the first set and lost 6-1 in the second.

Garden Spot fell to 1-2 in L-L League play. The Spartans were coming off a 6-1 loss the previous afternoon against Warwick. Kemper's 6-4, 6-2 victory at third singles was the lone point for Garden Spot. Strausser and Groff lost 8-4 as did Varley and Risser in doubles competition.


On this still young soccer season, the Spartan girls are unbeaten at 1-0 in L-L League play. On their home pitch, the Spartans topped Elizabethtown 2-1 on Thursday.

Garden Spot was spot on with two of its 11 shots on goal. Both goals were scored by Erna Hamzic. The sophomore scored 31 minutes into the match off an assist from Kylah Morales, and doubled her team's lead with another goal in the 57th minute, taking advantage of an assist by Lindsey Sweigart.

The Bears' comeback bid fell short. Rachel Wood scored with less than five minutes left in the game, receiving an assist from Jasmine Garcia. It was the only shot to get past Marissa Spacht, the Spartan goalkeeper. The sophomore saved four shots on goal.

Garden Spot, which had lost a tough non-league game in the season opener, fell to 1-2 overall with a 3-0 defeat at Palmyra.

The Cougars (2-1) got goals from Nyah Combs, Lexi Boltz and Marielle Hahn - all in the first half.


The boys' soccer team, which had opened the season with a 2-1 win against Governor Mifflin, was denied on its scoring chances this past week, falling to 1-3 on the year. On a busy week, which included three matches in four days, the Spartans lost at Ephrata and Elizabethtown in Section Two action and suffered a close 1-0 defeat at Reading in a non-league game on Saturday.

The Ephrata match was postponed from Tuesday evening and was played Wednesday night on the road. The Mounts got a 3-0 victory despite a stellar effort from senior goalkeeper Matt Good. He snagged 19 saves on a night where the opposing offense launched 22 shots on goal. The Ephrata midfielders were able to extinguish Spartan attacks and held Garden Spot to just three shots on goal.

Garden Spot was on the road the very next night and suffered a 5-0 loss at E-town.

On Saturday, a defensive miscue led to an own goal by Garden Spot, giving Reading a 1-0 edge 33 minutes into the game. Good was great in this game also, recording seven saves.

Despite seven shots on goal, the Spartans were unable to record the equalizer.


There have not been too many outdoor sports played in this first week of school because of wet weather conditions. However, the Spartans' field hockey team managed to get in two contests so far.

The team was coming off a non-league 2-0 victory over Conrad Weiser when it went up against Section Two rival Donegal on Thursday. In that win back on September 1, the Spartans out-shot the Scouts 15-3 with Amanda Leeland and Megan Esh recording second-half goals and Aubry Gonzalez providing an assist while junior goalie Lauren Delgado registered a shutout.

The Donegal Indians, who were coming off a 6-2 victory over Warwick, downed the Spartans in the first Section Two game played by both teams. Donegal went on to win 11-0.


The golf team played against league opponents Lampeter-Strasburg, Manheim Central, Cocalico, Elizabethtown, Solanco and Ephrata on Thursday afternoon at Fox Chase.

Spot scored 389 as a team. Cocalico's team won with a 323 score while L-S finished with 349 followed by Central (360) and Solanco (365). The Bears (414) and Mountaineer (420) finished behind the Spartans.

Finishing tied for seventh overall was Garden Spot's Adam Hershey. He shot an 84 as did Cocalico's Nate Martin and Central's Dan Pallietier.

Sean Mercer shot a 94. Holt Albertson had a 102 while both Liam Hammer and Jesse Mast finished at 109.


GS Diamond Teams Cap Seasons in Districts May 25, 2017

Garden Spot's baseball team was coming off a disappointing loss in the Lancaster-Lebanon League championship game - an 11-3 loss to Lancaster Catholic on Thursday, May 18 - when they took to the road four days later to play at Lower Dauphin. The Spartans' season still lived on thanks to their 16-7 record heading into the District Three Class 5A playoffs.

The Falcons scored single runs in each of the first four innings and held on to stop the Spartans 6-2 in this opening-round game of districts.

"Three of their first four runs were unearned," head coach J.D. Stern pointed out. "We made four errors in four innings.

"Up until that game, we had played great defense all season, except for a few letdowns here and there," he added.

The Spartans chipped away at the Falcons' early lead, cutting a 2-0 deficit in half with a run in the top of the third. However, a run in the home half of the third and another in the fourth made it 4-1. Lower Dauphin put up two insurance runs in the sixth. Senior reliever Jared Dunkle stopped the Spartans' rally in the seventh after two walks were issued, which eventually led to one final run.

Garden Spot did have some chances, but could not capitalize on them.

"We had runners on second and third twice and couldn't get a hit," Stern said.

Brock Kauffman was one of the Spartan seniors whose high school career ended with this loss. In his final game, Kauffman went 2-for-3 with two doubles. Senior Zach Skinner had a single and a RBI. He also stole two bases.

Sophomore Aiden Bracken, who had a single and a walk, scored both runs.

Tommy Bramley had a huge day for Lower Dauphin, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI's.

The Lancaster Catholic game saw the Crusaders get ahead and tack on runs to the count of 10 in the first four innings. The Crusaders got a two-run home run from Dillon Marsh and a bases-loaded triple by Jordan Scott.

But those 10 early runs did not necessarily indicate domination by the Crusaders. Rather, after the first five runs through three innings, the Spartans trimmed the lead to 5-3 with three in the top of the fourth.

"The difference in that game was that we made more mistakes than they did," said Stern. "In the fourth inning we had all the momentum. We got two outs. Then they hit a ball in the air that should have been caught; we misjudged it.

"That was the turning point," continued the coach. "Plus, after that inning, we didn't capitalize on scoring chances - we left runners in scoring position."

Garden Spot RBI's came off the bats of Bracken, Kauffman (2-for-4, double), and Austin Wanner.

The team loses a number of key seniors to the class of 2017 - a season Stern felt was a successful one (16-8).

"The kids have a lot to be proud of," he said. "We lose four senior starters, but we have guys in the program who are ready to step up and take their spots."


Garden Spot's softball team suffered a first-round loss at Spring Grove in the District Three 5A playoffs on Tuesday. The Rockets came into the districts as the fifth-ranked team at 15-5 and went on to defeat the 12th-seeded Garden Spot by a 6-1 score, ending the Spartans' season at 11-9.

Elizabeth King suffered the loss, giving up only one earned run while striking out five and walking just one batter.

"She was hitting her spots," head coach Kimberly King said in a phone interview. "She did what we asked her to do - to get them to hit the balls to her teammates. We couldn't get the hits to help her or make the plays when we needed to."

Mistakes were the root cause of the Spartans' demise in this game. Errors - mental and physical - helped the Rockets to a big inning in the third.

"We had too many errors in the third inning," King said. "Other than that one inning, we were in that game, which was unfortunately the story for most of our losses this year."

The Spartans managed only four hits and scored their lone run in their final at bat.

"Their pitcher was solid and we just couldn't catch up," said King.

Sydney Nichols doubled in the seventh inning and scored on an RBI grounder by Abi Fricke.

"Of course we wanted to come back," King said. "But it was special seeing our seniors produce that run."

View More