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."
Spartans Reach L-L League Baseball Finals May 20, 2017
Garden Spot made its way to the Lancaster-Lebanon League championship game, bringing its 16-6 record to War Memorial Stadium to face Lancaster Catholic on Thursday evening. The Crusaders were coming into the league championship game after crushing Elizabethtown 11-1 in the semifinals on Tuesday.
And the LC bats kept their momentum going in an 11-3 defeat of Garden Spot, raising the league trophy for the first time since 2013.
The Crusaders led 4-0 after three complete but the Spartans closed the gap to one with a three run rally in the top of the fourth. That, however, did not last as Catholic responded with a five spot in the bottom half to take control. They scored again in the sixth but only out hit the Spartan 8-7 on the night. Garden Spot committed two errors and gave up five walks while only striking out five in the loss.
Garden Spot had taken an impressive path getting to the league title game.
The keys to winning baseball games are to get timely hits, play solid defense and to have your pitchers in command of their game. These factors were all working for Garden Spot in the first two playoff games, beginning with Monday's game against Lampeter-Strasburg, which was also at War Memorial Field.
Jordan Petersheim scattered seven singles and allowed only one walk as Garden Spot won the quarterfinal game 6-2.
What was immeasurably important was that Petersheim kept his team in the game. The Pioneers plated one run in the top of the first inning and another in the fifth. The Spartans trailed 2-0 heading into the home half of the sixth inning where they hit their stride offensively and avoided bowing out of the league championship quest.
Dylan Crossan drove in three runs with a bases-clearing double. It was his second hit of the day. He also scored one run.
Brock Kauffman also doubled and came around to score. The Spartans also got one hit each from Aiden Bracken (1 RBI), Kyle Martin, Freddy Santos, and Zach Skinner (1 RBI).
Ryan Smith was the winning pitcher in the Spartans semifinal game the following night. He went six shutout innings and allowed only four hits and two walks while striking out four in a 5-0 victory over Penn Manor at War Memorial Field.
On offense, Smith was on base all four times with three walks and a hit. He helped his own cause with a two-run single in the top of the sixth inning - part of a three-run rally. The Spartans went up 1-0 in the first and kept the lead until the three spot.
Kauffman, who came on to pitch the final frame and strike out two Comets, went 4-for-4 with a run and an RBI. All of Garden Spot's hits were singles, including the two by Martin, who also knocked in two runs, and the two by Bracken, who scored a run. Crossan and Skinner each singled and scored a run.
The only offensive highlight for Penn Manor was Dylan Frey, who went 2-for-3 with a double.
The victory was the Spartans' 10th in their last 12 league games.
Next up is a road game at Lower Dauphin High School as the District Three Class 5A playoffs get underway. The sixth-seeded Falcons are 17-5 overall hosting number 11 seed Garden Spot (16-7 overall).
The Spartans suffered a first-round loss in the L-L League playoffs. Though Monday's 17-2 defeat at the hands of Section Three champ Donegal may have seemed.., well, defeating, the Spartans wiped the dust off their uniforms and are looking forward to the District Three Class 5A playoffs.
"We are ranked 12th and we will play the fifth-seeded team - Spring Grove," head coach Kim King noted. "We never went lower than 13th all year. It was nice to qualify for districts and I'm happy with our seeding."
As for the Donegal game itself, the Indians improved their record to 19-3 overall with the win. The game was played at Warwick and saw Garden Spot score a run in the top of the first.
"We came out hitting early in the first inning," King recalled. "After they started hitting the ball and we made a couple of errors. We just got down on ourselves.
"They're probably the best hitting team we've seen all year," King added.
The Spartans knew that it was going to be a hard battle facing the perennial Section Three champs.
"I think Donegal and Lampeter-Strasburg really fought it out for the section in years past," King pointed out. "But they beat L-S 10-2 before they played us."
Indeed that 10-2 victory was a tiebreaker for the Section Three crown, which went to Donegal.
"We knew going in that we were going to see a very good team," said King. "It wasn't our best game of the year."
The Spartans offense did get a boost from Elizabeth King, who went 2-for-2 with a run batted in. Desiree High stroked a double. Brandi Clark, Abby Foor and Sydney Nichols each singled.
"We took a couple of days off," said King. "I told the girls to rest up and refuel. We made league playoffs, which was one of our main goals.
"It's very tough to make leagues," she added. "We'll scrimmage Northern Lebanon before districts."
Garden Spot Track Teams Cap Regular Season May 12, 2017
The Garden Spot track and field teams faced Lampeter-Strasburg for the final regular season dual meet of the year. In the girls' meet, the L-S Pioneers topped the Spartans 109-41 whereas the Pioneers boys' team topped its Lancaster-Lebanon League foe 110.5 to 39.5.
The Spartan girls fell to 2-5 while L-S improved to 4-3. The Pioneer boys improved to 5-2 against the winless (0-7) Garden Spot squad.
The highlights in the boys' meet included the steady contributions of seniors.
"We have a wonderful group of seniors, who have scored the majority of our points in every meet this season," head coach Lei Williams remarked. "They have led by example and they're great role models for the younger athletes. They will be greatly missed next year."
The seniors' highlights included Mack Focht, Spenser Kehlor and Trevor Lehman teaming up with Devon Lewis to form a winning 4x100 relay foursome. They won the race in 45.8 seconds.
Lewis, one of the senior tri-captains, also went on to run the 100-meter high hurdles, finishing third in 17.3 seconds.
Focht won the 100 (11.1) and 200-meter dashes (23.4) in addition to running the final leg of the 4x100.
"Mack has potential to do great things in the postseason," said Williams. "We are excited to see how it all unfolds. He has one of the top 100-meter times in the league."
Lehman's efforts included a 40-9.5 triple jump for a win in that event. He also placed third in the long jump (17-9) and high jump (5-4).
"That was a personal record for him in the triple jump," Williams noted. "He is one of the three senior captains. We will miss his competitiveness. He was our top point scorer for the boys this season."
Kehlor took third in the 100 (11.5) and second in the pole vault at 9-6.
"Spenser is a very versatile athlete," said Williams. "He participated in four events in every track meet this season and has scored for us in each meet. He's a great competitor."
Other point scorers included Kyle Hall getting second in the 800 with a season best 2:10.6 pace. Freshman Brylan Eberly placed third (56.9) in the 400 and Jeffrey Harley placed second (24.3) in the 200 dash.
In the throws, senior Evan Robbins recorded a 114-6 in the discus to place second while Neftalie Padilla placed third (38-7.25) in shot put.
Williams has also had plenty of praise for Michaiah Messner and Sydney Fitzwater on the girls' roster.
"They led the way in points for us," she said. "It will be exciting to see what these young ladies can accomplish in the post season."
As for Monday's meet, Messner jumped a personal record 33-3.25 in the triple jump to win that event. She also won the long jump at 15-10 and finished third (4-8) in the high jump.
The versatile Messner also ran a personal best 12.9 in the 100 to win that sprint.
"Michaiah has consistently scored a third of our meet points this season," Williams added. "She is one of the hardest working athletes I've ever coached."
Fitzwater's 93-5 javelin throw was a personal best, earning a third place finish. She had a 31-1 shot put and 106-3 discus for second place in both.
"Sydney Fitzwater can always be counted on to score points for the team in the three throwing events," said Williams. "She faced tough competition against L-S.
"One of our captains, she has been a great role model for our younger athletes," added the coach. "She consistently competes at a very high level. We'll miss her leadership next year when she'll take her track and field career to York College."
Junior Skylar Mohler placed second in the javelin with a personal best 96-7, and Carysse Norris was second in the pole vault at 9-0.
On the track, Faith Coblentz was third (17.3) in the 100 hurdles, and Mackenzie Watkins won the 3,200 at 13:29.6 and was third in the 1,600 (6:05) as well as the 800 (2:42.1).
Ryan Smith pitched a six-hit shutout, striking out five batters and Kyle Martin batted in two runs in a big 5-0 victory over Manheim Central on Thursday. The game was played at War Memorial Stadium in Ephrata - the neutral site for a tie-breaker to decide the Section Three Champ. With Central's loss to Elco and the Spartans' win on Wednesday, the two teams were knotted at 12-4 and tied for first atop the section standings.
Garden Spot improved to 13-4 (14-6 overall) while Central fell to 12-5, 13-6. The win will also affect the eventual District Three playoff seeding.
Earlier in the week, it was a night that could have had every statistician in the L-L League racing for the record books. Garden Spot registered an unbelievable 33-0 defeat of Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday at Fifth Ward Baseball Field in Lebanon. The Spartans scored 19 times in the first inning plus nine in the second and five more in the third, ending the game on the 15-run mercy rule.
The victory improved the Spartans' league record to 12-4 (13-6 overall) and put them in a tie for first with Manheim Central.
Garden Spot had 22 hits. Seven players in the lineup had multiple hits, including Freddy Santos, who went 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored as well as Dylan Crossan (3-for-5) who had a double and three runs scored.
Doubles also were hit by Brock Kauffman (3 runs, 3 RBI's), Ryan Smith (2-for-2, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Aiden Bracken and Ben Spencer, who collected 5 RBI.
Another oddity about this game was that the Beavers pitching not only allowed 22 hits, their wildness resulted in six walks and nine hit batsmen. Wyatt Weaver, in fact, took two for the team. He did so once with the bases loaded, getting a RBI. He came around to score both times he was put on base that way.
Crossan pitched two shutout innings for Garden Spot, striking out two and allowing the only Beavers base hit. Cameron Hellman pitched one scoreless inning.
Garden Spot was coming off a 15-3 victory at Northern Lebanon on Monday as Austin Wanner drove in four runs on two hits.
Kauffman (3-for-4, 3 RBI's) had the only extra-base hit for the team. He tripled and scored one of his three runs. Martin went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Bracken, Hellman and Santos, who went 2-for-4 with a RBI, each scored two runs. Kauffman, Santos and Hellman each stole a base.
The Vikings fell behind 5-0 after two innings. The Spartans tacked on three more runs only to have Northern Lebanon chip away with two. The big inning that sealed it was Garden Spot's seven-run sixth inning.
Jordan Petersheim pitched a complete game, scattering 10 hits and striking out five with no walks.
It doesn't get much better than this. Garden Spot needed to defeat Conestoga Valley in order to qualify for the L-L League playoffs. Both teams were coming into Wednesday's game with a 9-6 league record and tied for second place in Section Two. In a game earlier this season, the Buckskins had topped the Spartans 6-2 at CV.
"We didn't play as well as we should have in our first game against them," head coach Kim King said in a phone interview. "We wanted redemption by playing the game we knew we could play.
"It was a must win for us," added King. "We either win that or we're not making the league playoffs."
The team had to bounce back from a loss two days earlier at Elizabethtown.
"We regrouped and won it on our home field," King said. "We only lost once on our field this year."
The Spartans not only won that game, they did so in dramatic fashion on a walk-off double by pitcher Elizabeth King. The 4-3 victory earned the Spartans a spot in the league playoffs for the second time in three years.
King escaped a jam in the top of the seventh inning, keeping the score tied 3-3.
"They had two on with no outs," explained Kim King. "We got a force out at third and Elizabeth got strikeout and a groundout to end the inning."
With two outs and nobody on base, the Spartans started their rally when Brandi Clark singled up the middle and Abigail Foor walked - the only walk issued by CV pitcher Alex Trott.
"Elizabeth hit a double to the fence, scoring the winning run," King explained.
It wasn't the first long hit by the Spartans. Megan Fisher had put the team on the board with a solo homer in the home half of the second inning. The Buckskins manufactured a pair of runs in the next frame but the Spartans took advantage of a key error to rally and tie the score.
On Monday, the Spartans came up short at Elizabethtown as the Bears got a 5-4 walk-off win. The Spartans out-hit the Bears 8-6, but committed three costly errors.
"We should have won that game," King commented. "When there are easy outs and you don't make them, those extra base runners and the extra pitches your pitcher has to make will hurt you."
Fisher and Sydney Nichols each had one RBI. King had two base hits. Aside from that, King explained that the batted balls just weren't finding open spaces.
"We were crushing some balls, but either right at them or their center fielder was running them down," she said.
The coach had done some scoreboard watching coming into this game, however.
"I knew that CV had lost to Solanco earlier that day," she explained. "We were playing to win, but we knew that Wednesday would be the big game."
Garden Spot finished the regular season with a 7-5 league record. The Spartans have earned a playoff berth and will face Section One runner up Hempfield in the opening round of the league playoffs.
The Spartans had two losses last week, falling on the road at Manheim Central on Monday and at Elizabethtown on Wednesday.
At Central, the Barons opened with a 25-19 victory and won the next two sets by the identical close margin of 25-22.
Garden Spot got eight kills from Devin Weaver, who also notched three blocks. Nate Good had three service aces while Colin Elliott led the team in assists with 22. Connor Horst came through with 12 digs.
The match at E-town was very close. After the Spartans posed 25-21 and 25-22 victories, the home team rallied for a 25-16 win in the third set. The Bears outlasted the Spartans 27-25 in the fourth set, forcing and winning the tiebreaker by a 15-12 score.
Carter Eby had 17 kills, an ace and four blocks. Elliott piled up 48 assists. Horst, with 13 digs, had an ace as did Good and Isaac Hubik.
Spartans Battling For Top Spot in Section Two May 5, 2017
Garden Spot's seven-game winning streak came to a halt on Monday in what was a battle between two Section Two contenders. In the 6-3 loss at Manheim Central, the Spartans suffered their first loss since April 12. With the win, the Barons (10-3) pulled a half game ahead of Garden Spot (10-4) in the Section Two standings.
The Spartans got the early jump, scoring one in the top of the first inning. The Barons tied it an inning later and put up five more in the home half of the third thanks to some defensive miscues by the Spartans.
"When they scored those five runs, we should have been out of the inning with no runs," said head coach J.D. Stern in a phone interview. "They had runners on first and second and hit a ground ball. We should have gotten a double play, but made an error on the grounder and threw the ball away at first. The batter wound up on third.
"The next batter hit a ball to short and on the throw home our catcher dropped the ball," Stern continued. "Other than that, it was a 3-3 ballgame."
Garden Spot came right back, chipping away at the Barons' 6-1 lead to make it 6-3 with two in the fourth. But that was all the scoring for Monday's game.
Brock Kauffman drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and scored another. Senior Cameron Heilman doubled and scored once.
In their next league game, the Spartans were again held to five hits. But this home game against Elco was a pitchers' duel, going into extras.
Dylan Crossan's RBI single broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth, making a winner out of Jordan Petersheim. The junior hurler went the distance, putting eight innings under his belt with four strikeouts and scattering four singles. Austin Wanner scored the winning run.
Kauffman had a pair of singles in the game, including one that moved Wanner into scoring position after Wanner had walked.
"Dylan worked a full count and got a base hit to right field," Stern explained.
Kyle Martin stroked the only extra-base hit - a double. Freddy Santos also singled.
On Thursday, the Spartans lost at home to Cocalico. The Eagles also took advantage of Spartan errors to record a 12-4 win, moving close to Garden Spot in the standings.
"We had a couple of defensive mistakes in the first inning and gave up five runs," said Stern.
Offensively, Heilman and Ryan Smith each had two hits. Kauffman hit a double.
The defensive sloppiness was not the modus operandi for his team, according to Stern.
"In our two losses this week, we've had defensive problems," admitted the coach. "For the most part, we have played great defense this year."
At press time, the Spartans had two regular season games remaining - Northern Lebanon and Lebanon Catholic.
With Lancaster Mennonite hot on their tail, the Spartans couldn't afford to lose Tuesday night's Section Two match at Ephrata.
And even with a 2-0 lead in games, head coach Ben Rutt wasn't seeing that killer instinct on the court.
"We just didn't have our 'A game'," Rutt explained. "Everything seemed to be a struggle.
"Give credit to Ephrata for playing hard in the first three games of the match and nearly beating us in the first one," he added. "We were able to steal that one from them."
The Mountaineers, who fell to 1-8 in the league, won the third game 25-17 after Garden Spot had taken the first two, 27-25 and 25-20.
"Our ball control and work ethic did not match theirs and we ended up dropping the third game," he explained. "Game four saw a completely different line-up than we have ever used. I put the seven guys that were playing the best on the floor in the first three games.
"I was sending a message to the guys who got benched," continued the coach. "It worked just as I had hoped and we rolled past them 25-16 in the final game."
Carter Eby led the team in kills (14) and aces (six). He tied Devin Weaver with three blocks. Colin Elliott came through with 22 assists while Connor Horst had seven digs.
The victory improved the Spartans' record to 6-3 (7-5 overall). Lancaster Mennonite won that night also, improving to 5-5.
Rutt was asked about the post-season outlook for the team after this victory.
"We are alone in third place in our section with three matches remaining," he pointed out. "We will be in league playoffs as either the third or fourth seed out of Section Two."
Garden Spot has Lebanon at home followed by away matches at Manheim Central and Elizabethtown to close out the regular season. Central is unbeaten (14-0; 10-0 league).
The girls' track and field team earned its second victory on Monday, posting a 79-71 result at Cocalico.
Rachel Fulford, Becca Rissler, Lauren Greenwalt and Mackenzie Watkins teamed up for the winning time of 14:04.1 in the 4x400 relay. Watkins also went on to claim second place (13:32.4) in the 3,200 run.
The Spartans won the 4x100 and the 4x400 relay events as well with Faith Coblentz, Ema Hamzic and Kayleigh Hamer taking part in both. In the 4x100, they teamed up with Carysse Norris to post a time of 55.5 seconds. In the 4x400, Cassidy Hoover joined them in a 4:30.7 finish.
Coblentz wasn't done with just the relays. She also finished second in the high hurdles (17.4) and third in the 300 hurdles at 52.3. Also, Hamer took second in the 300 hurdles in 51 seconds. Hamzic, meanwhile, claimed first in the 200-meter dash (29.6).
Another huge part of the win was Michaiah Messner. The senior not only dashed to victory in the 100 (13.8), but also won three field events. She cleared 4-8 in the high jump, tying her season best. She won the triple jump at 32-9.75 and won the long jump at 16-00.25.
Carysse Norris won the pole vault at 9-6 and Sydney Fitzwater won the shot put with a 33-8.75 toss. Fitzwater also claimed second in the discus at 108-11, which was a personal best.
Jasmine Arment helped with a second-place 6-6 in the pole vault. Ida Nilsson was third in both of her events - the 14-2.75 long jump and the 200, which she ran in 31 seconds.
The boys' team was on the short end of a 114-36 final.
Mack Focht sprinted to a first-place finish in the 200 (24.1) as well as the 100 (11.6). Trevor Lehman earned the lone field event victory, winning the triple jump in 39-11.5. He placed second in the high jump (5-4) and third (18-11.5) in the long jump. Meanwhile, Spenser Kehlor was second (9-6) in the pole vault while Aaron Good (33-6.75) was third in the triple jump with teammate Bailey Coon taking third (121-11) in the javelin.
Brylan Eberly placed third (56.9) in the 400 and Colton Gehr had a gutsy run in the mile, finishing third with a 5:11.
The Spartans softball team moved into a second-place tie in Section Two with a pair of wins that included a barrage of runs. On Monday, they crushed Ephrata 16-1 at New Holland Legion Field. On Wednesday, they brought out the bats again for an 11-3 victory at Lebanon.
The Spartans (10-7 overall) and Conestoga Valley are both 9-5 through Wednesday's league games and trail first-place Solanco by two games in the section standings.
The win over Ephrata was on senior night and it featured the slugging prowess of senior shortstop Sydney Nichols, who homered and drove in six runs. Her grand slam was the only extra-base hit by the Spartans, who recorded 10 hits.
"Sydney Nichols is just an all-around great athlete," head coach Kimberly King remarked. "She makes unbelievable plays at short. She is also having a great year at the plate."
Senior Emily Shopf went 2-for-4 with a run and one RBI.
"Emily is one of our underrated players," King said. "She does a great job at first base whether it's a scoop or a long stretch. She saves our infielders by making those plays for us."
Brandy Clark and Abby Foor each crossed the plate twice. Desiree High was on base four times, stroking two singles and drawing two walks. She also scored a run. Kelly Martin drew two walks - two of 11 walks issued by Ephrata pitching.
Another senior, Abi Fricke, went 1-for-2 with two walks.
"She has been catching every game for us," King said. "She really is good for our young pitcher and does a great job behind the plate."
Elizabeth King pitched a complete game with four strikeouts and two walks, allowing one run on three hits. At the plate, she walked three times and scored three times.
She got three runs from her offense in the bottom of the first and seven more in the bottom of the third. The Spartans tacked on six more in the home half of the fourth, ending the game on the 15-run mercy rule, which comes into play after three innings.
King had 10 strikeouts in the victory at Lebanon. She gave up seven hits as the Cedars got a single run in the fourth and two more in the sixth. Garden Spot had already put up an 8-0 lead by the time Lebanon got on the board.
Nichols went 2-for-3 as did King. Nichols and Megan Fisher each roped a triple.
It was a very close match at York Suburban on Monday with two ancient armies battling one another - the Spartans and the Trojans. In the end, the host Trojans eked out an 11-10 victory in non-league action.
Garden Spot came back from an 8-3 halftime deficit to outscore the home team 7-3. Spartan goalie Megan Jefferis was part of the reason the Spartans hung in there as she made 19 saves.
Olivia Usner scored four times and assisted on one goal. The Spartans got two goals each from Aubrey Eberly, Lillian Leaman and Aubry Gonzalez.
The Spartans fell to 1-13 on the year.
On Wednesday they faced league opponent Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic. The Cougars came away with a 19-2 victory.
Gonzalez and Kiersten Ellsworth scored the only goals for Garden Spot, which fell to 0-10 in the L-L League.
In their two games this past week, the Spartans put up 12 goals. They hosted York Suburban on Monday and welcomed league foe Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic two days later.
In Monday's non-league match, they suffered an 18-5 defeat, falling to 2-13 on the year. The Spartans had two goals in each of the two middle quarters as they managed 17 shots on goal.
Scoring two goals each were Steven Reimold and Benton Moyer, the latter of whom also had an assist. Clayton Dimon had one goal, taking the assist from Owen Reich.
Kyle McHugh faced over 30 shots in goal and recorded 11 saves.
Garden Spot scored five times in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's match, but it wasn't enough in a 17-7 loss to LCD/LC.
Dimon had a hat trick and added an assist, tying LCD's Luke Walling for the top offensive production. Reimold and Carter Combs each scored twice.
Garden Spot got assists from Moyer and Zeb Fisher in its 12-shot attack.
Spartan Lax Scores Season-high 15 Goals April 28, 2017
The girls' lacrosse team posted a 15-6 victory over Conestoga Christian at Big Spring on Monday in a non-league match. It was the most goals scored in a match this season for Garden Spot.
There were three hat tricks by Spartan scorers as Aubrey Eberly, Morgan Combs and Lillian Leaman turned the trick with Combs and Eberly each recording an assist as well.
Amanda Rider came through with two goals and an assist. Carly Esh and Megan Esh each had one goal
Aubrey Gonzalez, one of the team's top scorers, netted one goal as did Kayla Beiler, who also had an assist.
Megan Jefferis grabbed 12 saves in the win.
Cocalico's offense fired off 28 shots and scored 17 goals in Wednesday's league match at Garden Spot. The Eagles posted a 17-2 win.
Leamn and Gonzalez each got one goal as the team fell to 0-9 in the league (1-11 overall).
The baseball team posted two more victories, bringing the Spartans' winning streak to six games. On Friday, April 21, the Spartans bashed Columbia 12-0 in a Lancaster-Lebanon League game. The following Monday, they got some more great pitching and timely hitting in defeating Lancaster Catholic 7-2. The wins improved the Spartans' league record to 8-2 and to 9-4 overall.
The pitcher who earned the win at Columbia was sophomore Aiden Bracken. Picking up the win against Catholic was senior Ryan Smith, who got relief help from Jordan Petersheim.
"Once we get a lead of three or four runs, we make sure we have our pitchers getting the [opposing] hitters to hit our pitches and to not get behind in the count," head coach J.D. Stern explained in a phone interview. "Our pitchers are working ahead of the batters and making them swing the bat.
"They've been doing a good job of throwing strikes and they've been getting good defense behind them," continued the coach. "They've been getting a lot of run support and that makes it easier to pitch."
The great pitching Stern spoke of saw Bracken toss a two-hit shutout as he struck out eight Crimson Tide batters in the defeat of Columbia
Speaking of offensive support, the Spartans provided plenty of that against Columbia. In that crossover game, the Spartans had 15 hits, including a pair of doubles by Brock Kauffman, who also had a sacrifice fly RBI.
Austin Wanner went 2-for-3 with a run and three RBI. Freddy Santos had a pair of singles and came around to score both times. Cameron Heilman (2-for-4, 2 RBI) also chipped in while Bracken helped his cause with two singles and two runs scored.
Third baseman Kyle Martin also drove in a run and scored twice.
"Kyle was a first-year starter last year as a sophomore," Stern said. "Within the past five or six games, he has hit his stride at the plate. He made an adjustment before the Lancaster Mennonite game. He is really starting to hit the ball well."
Martin hit a home run and drove in four runs on a 3-for-4 afternoon against Lancaster Mennonite.
Smith's teammates gave him a nice lead early in the Mennonite game. The Spartans plated four runs in the home half of the first inning and scored single runs in each of the next three frames. Smith went 6.1 innings with four strikeouts. After the Blazers chipped away at the 7-0 deficit with two runs in the seventh, Petersheim came in to get the last two outs of the game.
Other offensive contributions included a two-hit game by Santos, including a double and a RBI. Kauffman went 2-for-3 with a RBI triple and three runs scored. Smith had a pair of singles a RBI and two runs. Wanner and Crossan each had a hit and a run.
"Dylan Crossan, Ryan Smith, Zach Skinner and Freddie Santos are also hitting well," Stern added.
Despite a great effort, the boys' track team came up short at home in a league meet with Elizabethtown on Monday. The Bears topped the Spartans 90-65, earning their first win while the Spartans fell to 0-5. In the girls' meet, E-town stayed unbeaten (5-0) with an even closer margin of victory, topping the Spartans 87-58.
In the boys' meet, the Spartans swept the 100-meter dash with Mack Focht (11.0), followed by Spenser Kehlor (11.5) and Jeff Harley (12.1).
Focht also won the 200-m (23.3) with Harley (24.6) second and Brylan Eberly taking third at 25.1. Eberly also went on to take second in the 400-m at 58.2
"It was a great day for our sprinters," head coach Lei Williams said. "Mack Focht was back after being out for several weeks with an injury. His 11.0 in the 100 is one of the top times in the league this year. He is on the LL League honor roll with his 23.3 200.
"He also ran the anchor leg of the winning 4 x 100 relay," Williams noted.
In hurdles, Aaron Good got third (46.7) in the 300's while Devon Lewis took third in the 110's (18.7) and the long jump.
Trevor Lehman won the triple jump (38-02.25) and added seconds in the long jump (17-10) and the high (5-4).
Another multiple winner was Bailey Coon whose 120-foot javelin was best on the day as was his 42-9 shot put - an event the Spartans swept. Evan Robbins was second (38-02.5) and Andrew Schnader was third (35-08.25).
The discus also had solid results with Robbins winning on a 112-11 toss and Coon (102-03) finishing second.
The girls' team also did well in the shot put, discus and javelin. The shot put had multiple winner Sydney Fitzwater, who also claimed the discus (105-9) finishing first at 32-03.5 while Amber Martin finished second (30-5) followed by Ariana Tirado (29-05.5), who was also third in the discus (80-4).
Messner's jumps had her winning the triple jump at 31-2 and earning second (4-8) in the high jump and the long jump (14-05.75).
The javelin victory went to Skylar Mohler with a 91-10 effort. Carysse Norris took second in the pole vault at 9-6.
The Spartans also had a pair of first-place finishers on the track as Cassidy Hoover won the 400 in 1:08.20 and Faith Coblentz sprinted to first place in the 100 hurdles in 18.3. Kayleigh Hamer was third in those hurdles (18.8) while Jasmine Arment (1:09.30) was third in the 400. In the 100, Messner and Norris finished second and third with respective times of 13.3 and 14.1 while Hamer (50.7) and Coblentz (57.8) were second and third, respectively, in the 300 hurdles.
The Spartans claimed another victory against a Section One team, topping Manheim Township 4-2 on Monday afternoon. The win improved the Spartans' record to 7-3 in the league and 8-4 overall.
Elizabeth King got the win in this complete game three-hitter, striking out five.
"She gave up a home run in the first inning but only three hits for the whole game," said head coach Kim King. "She settled down after the first inning and pitched well."
Township got a solo homer off the bat of Juliana Lueders.
"We scored with a little small ball," explained King, whose players used a couple of bunt singles to get a rally going in the third inning for a 2-1 lead.
"Abi Foor got on with one out," King explained. "Megan Fisher bunted and so did Elizabeth King."
That would've made it bases loaded with one out, but a throw to third base attempting to nail Foor went wild, allowing her to race home.
"Sydney Nichols grounded out, driving home another run to give us the lead," King continued.
"We knew that if we could put the ball in play, we would have a chance," King explained. "I started bunting and made them make the plays. It paid off for us that inning.
"We did hit some balls hard but right at them," continued the coach. "They're a pretty solid team and have a good pitcher."
The Streaks cut it close, making it 3-2 in the top of the sixth. But the Spartans responded with two more in the bottom of the inning. Camryn Focht singled. Another Township error put two runners on base and Foor doubled in both baserunners.
The Spartans went on to lose a pair of games, including a non-league makeup game against Exeter. In that game, King didn't use Elizabeth King to pitch, saving her for Friday's key Section Two game against Solanco.
"I think the league games are more important for us, so I used a couple of girls that normally don't pitch," she explained.
The Spartans improved to 5-2 in the league with a 3-1 win at Lancaster Mennonite on Tuesday. It was the team's second match in as many days. They were coming off a 3-1 defeat of Berks Catholic in a non-league match Monday.
The Spartans, who are 7-3 overall, came on strong after Mennonite tied the match at 1-1. They won the opening set 25-20 but the home team came back for a 25-16 win. Garden Spot persevered for a 25-23 win and won another close match 25-22.
Devin Weaver had 12 kills. Connor Horst led the team in digs with 11 while Colin Elliott had 36 assists. Nate Good added five aces and Carter Eby put up four blocks.
Eby had 13 kills and four aces in the victory over Berks Catholic. Again, they were opening set winners (25-18) only to let the opponent tie it 1-1. Spot won the next set 25-22 and closed it out 25-15.
Elliott registered another 36 assists while Connor Horst came through with 15 digs. C.J. Murray added four blocks.
The boys' team faced a couple of challenges against L-L League teams this week. The Penn Manor Comets topped the Spartans 19-1 on Friday, April 21. On Wednesday, Cocalico hosted Garden Spot and posted an 18-1 win.
Steven Reimold scored the lone Garden Spot goal and Kyle McHugh faced 35 shot and made eight saves.
In the Cocalico game, Jesse Mast prevented the shutout while three different players scored four goals each for the Eagles.
McHugh recorded eight saves.
Spartans Rally To Top E-town in Volleyball April 21, 2017
It's always great to get a win. But it is even more meaningful when your record is hovering close to the .500 mark and you're playing one of your rivals that is usually in contention for your section title.
That was the case in Garden Spot's home match against Elizabethtown on Tuesday evening in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two boys' volleyball clash.
The Spartans had to come back after the Bears had taken the lead 2-1 in sets. The Spartans, who improved to 4-2 in the L-L League, won the fourth set 25-23, forcing a tiebreaker. They held on for a 15-10 victory in that one for a 3-2 win. Elizabethtown fell to 2-5 in the league.
Part of the contribution came from Colin Elliott, who put up 33 assists in the match.
"We had lost Colin Elliott for a week," head coach Ben Rutt explained. "So sophomore setter Devon Martin was called into action for games against Cocalico and Ephrata. He did a great job for a first setter and has a bright future ahead of him.
"But we definitely missed Colin's ability to improvise," he added.
Carter Eby poured in 13 kills, registered five blocks and served up six aces. Connor Horst led the team in digs with 12.
The Spartans opened the match with a 25-16 win. But the Bears posted back-to-back wins by the margin of 25-19 before the home team's comeback.
"As a team, one of the things our tough defense does well is a relentless pursuit of the volleyball," said Rutt.
The previous week, the Spartans had suffered a 3-0 loss to Manheim Central on Thursday night. The Barons beat the Spartans 25-15, 25-12 and 25-18.
Eby and Devin Weaver each notched four kills while Horst had an ace and 15 digs. Elliott also had an ace as well as 13 assists and Eby recorded four blocks.
The softball team has catapulted into first place in Section Two following a couple of league wins. With a 9-5 win at McCaskey and an 18-3 defeat of Cedar Crest, the Spartans improved to 6-2 (7-3 overall), which is half a game better than Conestoga Valley.
However, head coach Kim King is keeping the players focused on games, not the standings.
"We are taking it day by day and worrying about whom we're facing on any given day," said King in a phone interview.
The team is in a stretch where it's playing Section One teams in L-L League crossover games. This began on Thursday, April 13, when the Spartans suffered a 7-0 loss to Warwick.
"We had four games in the week leading up to Easter," King noted. "We ended with Warwick, which is a very solid team.
"We no-hit them for four innings," she continued. "They got a hit and we erased it with a nice double play. But a hit and a couple of errors the next inning opened the floodgates."
But Garden Spot bounced back with a 9-5 win at McCaskey on Monday.
"It wasn't a great game," King explained. "We almost didn't get it. It wasn't our best defensive showing.
"Elizabeth King, who's our only pitcher, did what she needed to do even though we had four errors.
"We were coming off that long weekend and we might have been a little rusty," added King.
King struck out 11 and allowed only six hits and three walks.
"Sydney Nichols, with three hits, had a great game at the plate," the coach commented.
"Abi Foor, Abi Fricke, and Elizabeth King each had two hits," added King
Megan Fisher drove in two runs as did King.
The team's bats exploded in the Cedar Crest game at New Holland.
"We went in not knowing anything about them," said King. "We had beaten them 1-0 last year."
However, the game started with the Falcons posting three runs in the top half of the first. The Spartans tied it in the home half before going on a hit parade that resulted in an eight-run second.
"Everybody hit the ball hard up and down the lineup," said King. "We did what we had to do."
The offensive highlights included Fisher's home run and Brandi Clark's 4-for-4 performance, which included two doubles and a triple.
"Emily Shopf went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple," King noted. "She drove in three runs. She hit the fence a couple of times with her drives. It was nice to see different people hitting well."
King pitched the Spartans to victory, needing to hurl only four innings with the mercy rule going into effect. She helped her cause with a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Nichols had four RBI's.
"And we played solid defense, which is great going into our next crossover games," King commented.
King also remarked on the fact that the Section One schools, for the most part, have a greater pool of players to choose from.
"I think it's really difficult" she said. "But we have the talent with a small number of girls. Being from a smaller school with one pitcher on our roster, our girls still go in there with a 'We have nothing to lose' attitude because we're small and they're powerhouse schools.
"Any team can beat any team any day," she added.
Garden Spot traveled to Ephrata for a Section Two track and field meet on Tuesday. The Mountaineers won the boys' meet 90-59 and took the girls' meet by a 114-36 margin. The girls fell to 1-3 on the year while the boys dropped to 0-4.
Michaiah Messner continues to have a stellar season in field events.
"She set a personal record in the long jump with 15-11.5," head coach Lei Williams noted. "The top two girls jumped the same distance but Michaiah placed second best on her second jump.
"She came in first in the triple jump and third in the high jump," Williams added.
The Spartans also got a first-place shot put effort by Sydney Fitzwater. The senior registered a distance of 33-0.5 and went on to win the discus at 166-2.
On the track, Faith Coblentz claimed second in the high hurdles at 18.1 seconds. Cassidy Hoover was second (52.8) in the 300-meter hurdles.
Bailey Coons claimed the javelin event for the boys with a 135-7 distance.
"Bailey threw a personal best 135-7 on his first throw to win the javelin," Williams said, "And freshman Jeffrey Harley had personal bests in the 100, 200 and long jump," Williams explained. "He finished first in the 200."
Harley notched a 24.5 in the 200. His second-place time in the 100 was 12.1 while he took third in the long jump at 18-2.
The runner Harley couldn't beat in the 100 was his own teammate - senior Spenser Kehlor. He had a personal best 11.5 to go along with his 9-6 pole vault effort (second place).
Good and Lewis also went 1-2 in the 300 hurdles with a 49.2 and 51.3 respectively.
William Lewis was also first (18.3) in the high hurdles with Conner Burger (19.8) taking second and Good finishing third in 21.3.
The Spartans topped Pequea Valley 12-0 on Wednesday with Jordan Petershem pitching a one-hit shutout. Austin Smoker's double was the only blemish on Petersheim's performance as he recorded seven strikeouts.
Zach Skinner had a home run and drove in three for the Spartans, who improved to 6-2 in the league and 7-4 overall. Skinner also scored three runs while Cameron Heilman, who doubled and went 2-for-3 with a stolen base, led the team with four RBI's.
Brock Kauffman (2-for-4) scored two runs.
In this Section Three and Four crossover game, the Spartans got six runs in the home half of the second to go up 8-0. They added two more in each of the next two frames and following a scoreless fifth by the Braves, the game was over thanks to the 10-run rule.
Garden Spot also had a 9-3 non-league victory at Exeter on Tuesday. The Eagles had cut the Spartans' early 2-0 lead in half with a run in the bottom of the third. But a four-run fourth by the visitors plus single runs in each of the next three frames, gave Garden Spot and sophomore starter Dylan Crossan the victory. Aiden Bracken pitched the final three innings and allowed only one run on two hits to close it out.
Crossan helped himself with a RBI single and a run scored. The Spartans got a double and a sacrifice fly from Kauffman while Ryan Smith went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI's.
Kyle Martin had a huge day, going 4-for-5 with a run and three RBI's. He also doubled. Bracken got an RBI single and drew two walks, coming around to score twice.
The Spartans got three goals in Wednesday's home game against Cedar Crest. The Falcons won this L-L League match 18-3, getting 28 shots on goal and four goals scored by Hanna Lewis.
The Spartans' nine shots on goal included scores by Olivia Usner, Aubry Gonzalez and senior Morgan Combs.
Senior Spartan goalie Megan Jefferis recorded 10 saves.
The Spartans fell to 0-7 in the L-L League and 0-9 overall.
Garden Spot played a tough at Cedar Crest on Wednesday, but came up on the short end of a 14-6 final. The Falcons outscored their visitors 3-2 in each of the first two quarters and the pesky Spartans were hanging in there into the second half.
But an offense that got on a roll and racked up 41 shots on goal, pulled ahead with eight goals in the fourth stanza to down Garden Spot.
Benton Moyer and Steven Reimold each scored twice with Reimold also dishing out an assist. Kyle McHugh also scored a goal while Carter Combs had a goal and an assist.
The Spartans fell to 1-10 overall and to 0-7 in the league.
GS Softballers Face Four Straight Games April 14, 2017
If anyone from the Garden Spot softball team says they had a very busy week leading up to Easter weekend, believe them. The team's schedule included four games on four consecutive days from Monday through Thursday.
"One of the games was a make-up from Friday," explained head coach Kim King in a phone interview. "It's probably our hardest week so far, but we do have another week coming up with four games."
Though the week opened with the Spartans losing at Conestoga Valley for their first league loss of the season on Monday, they came back home and posted back-to-back wins to improve their record to 5-2 (4-1 in league).
In that 6-2 loss to CV, both Spartan runs came off the bat of Sydney Nichols. She singled to drive in two runs in the top of the fourth inning, cutting the Buckskins' lead to 3-2 at the time. The senior drove in Megan Fisher, who had doubled, and Elizabeth King. The Buckskins added three more in the home half of the fifth.
King pitched a complete game, striking out six and allowing only seven runs and one walk.
CV remained undefeated in the league at 4-0.
Garden Spot returned home for its next two games, starting with a league game against Lebanon on Tuesday. The team put up 12 runs on eight hits for a 12-3 win.
"Everyone contributed," said King. "Their pitcher was slower, so we had to adjust. Once we did that, we started hitting and really did well.
"Elizabeth King drove in three and Brandi Clark had two RBI," said King. "Sydney Nichols also had two RBI. She had been struggling a bit and she came out of it. She hit our only double of the game."
Abi Foor had two singles as did King, who pitched the Spartans to victory.
Wednesday the Spartans edged the Elizabethtown Bears 7-6. In the first few innings of this game, King was touched for four runs, three of which were unearned. Garden Spot actually trailed 4-0 until a five-run fourth inning by the home team.
"She was definitely tired," said King of her pitcher. "She struggled in the middle innings and was not hitting her spots.
"Abi Fricke, our catcher, went out to talk to her and helped her get back in line," King stated. "She started hitting her spots after that. They worked really well together."
King also helped herself at the plate, driving in two run on a double. She also scored run.
Nichols had two more RBI plus a run scored. Kelly Martin went 1-for-3 with a run as did Fisher. Clark, Foor and Camryn Focht also scored a run.
The girls' lacrosse team poured it on offensively against Palmyra in a non-league match last Monday. The Spartans scored 11 goals, which was the highest offensive output of the season so far.
"We were controlling the draw very well," said head coach Jen Leman in a phone interview. "We were shooting more where we had trouble getting shots off in other games."
Despite six goals in the first half and five more in the second, the Spartans fell to the Cougars 21-11.
Garden Spot got hat tricks from Aubrey Gonzalez as well as Aubrey Eberly. Olivia Usner, who is one of the team's top scorers, added two more.
"Olivia is a hard-working athlete," Leaman remarked. "She has that drive to win and she is only a freshman.
"Eberly has really stepped up and has been improving in each game this year," she added.
Sophomores Sophie Torrance and Lillian Leaman each scored once while senior Kayla Beiler had one goal and an assist.
Leaman was asked whether seeing the offense firing on all cylinders was a small victory for the young squad.
"Yes, it definitely was," she replied. "We had two of our starters out and had other girls step up. Kiersten Ellsworth is out with a concussion. Carly Esh stepped up from junior varsity and was taking the draw. We were doing well there.
"Others are finding out how to play with each other," continued the coach. "I have a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing with my returning seniors. It finally clicked in that game."
Spartan goalkeeper Megan Jefferis made four saves.
"She is a brand new goalie" said Leaman. "She faces a lot of shots, but really does well with what we've been able to teach her in a short amount of time. My defense works hard every game."
Jefferis had 11 saves Tuesday afternoon against Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Warwick. The Warriors were coming off a 10-8 defeat of L-L League powerhouse Manheim Township.
Usner had two goals and an assist in the 26-3 loss. Leaman scored the other goal while Beiler got the assist.
Garden Spot fell to 0-7 on the year and 0-5 in league play.
The Spartans got great pitching in back-to-back games, including six shutout innings by senior starter Ryan Smith.
On Monday they blanked Cocalico 7-0. Smith went six innings, striking out five and scattering three singles before giving way to Aiden Bracken, who wrapped up the shutout with a scoreless seventh, setting down two batters on strikes.
"He did a great job of locating his fastball and keeping them off-balance with his curveball," said Spartan skipper J.D. Stern. "If you're throwing hard enough and you're throwing your second pitch for strikes, that's usually enough to keep the other team off balance.
"With the new pitch count, we had to take him out in the seventh," Stern added.
Smith also helped his cause by going 2-for-4 with one RBI. Fellow senior Zach Skinner also had two hits and drove in a pair of runs. Austin Wanner, who had the Spartans' only stolen base, was also 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. Bracken hit the only double of the game and went 2-for-4 with a run. Leadoff man Brock Kauffman was 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. He also worked two walks and raised his batting average to .467.
"Brock is probably one of the top three players in the league," Stern said. "He is a four-year starter and is going to East Stroudsburg University on a scholarship."
In Wednesday's game against visiting Northern Lebanon, the Spartans got a great effort from Jordan Petersheim. The junior went 6 2/3 innings before the Vikings started a four-run rally that spelled defeat for Garden Spot by a 5-3 margin.
"We were leading 3-1 going into the seventh inning and they had two outs with a runner on first," Stern explained. "They ended up getting four straight hits to take the lead. We were close; we just got beat at the end. For six and two-thirds of an inning, we had great pitching and defense."
"Petersheim was 2-0 coming into this game," Stern noted. "He hadn't given up an earned run."
Bracken relieved Petersheim and inherited the base runners that ended up scoring on a double he gave up before eventually ending the Vikings' rally.
The loss dropped the Spartans' overall record to 3-4 and to 3-2 in the league.
Skinner, Kauffman and Cameron Heilman each had an RBI for the Spartans. Through the first six games of the season, Skinner had been batting .500 to lead the team while junior Andrew Crossan was hitting .375.
TRACK & FIELD
The Garden Spot girls posted a 103-44 victory on Monday in an L-L League meet with the Lebanon Cedars.
Kayleigh Hamer and Michaiah Messner were multiple winners for the Spartans. Hamer won the high hurdles in 16.4 seconds and ran the 400-meter dash in 67.1 seconds.
Messner took three of the field events, high-jumping to a 4-foot-8 victory, long jumping (15-05) as well as going 32-03.75 in the triple jump. She also sprinted to victory in the 200-m in 29.0.
Also in the field, Carysse Norris won the pole vault with a 9-6 while Sydney Fitzwater's 99-foot discus toss also got a victory.
Always reliable in the distance events, Mackenzie Watkins took the 1,600 (6:15.4) and the 3,200 (14:49.40).
Cassidy Hoover's time of 52.4 seconds was good for first in the 300-m hurdles.
The Lebanon boys' team defeated Garden Spot 117-29 to drop the Spartans to 0-3 on the year.
In an exciting match with three hotly-contested games, the Spartans topped Lebanon 3-1 on Tuesday. The Spartans opened with a 28-26 victory and played the second game into extra time, of sorts, seeing the Cedars prevail 27-25.
With the match tied 1-1, the Spartans ended up on top in the next close game, winning 25-23 before wrapping it up 25-13 in the fourth game.
Carter Eby got 15 kills and registered three blocks. Connor Horst had four aces while a match-leading total of 25 assists came courtesy of Colin Elliott. Devin Weaver added six digs.
The win improved Garden Spot's mark to 3-1 in the league.
Garden Spot rebounded from its 19-3 loss at Palmyra and returned home and posted their first win of the season, topping Cedar Cliff 13-10 in another non-league match Tuesday.
In the victory, which improved the Spartans' record to 1-7, leading scorer Clayton Dimon was all over the Colts' defense, scoring four goals and assisting on four more. Among the beneficiaries of said assists were Carter Combs and Benton Moyer, each of whom recorded a hat trick to go along with two assists.
The Colts out-shot the Spartans 31-24 but with goalie Seth Strausser (21 saves) the Spartans defended well.
Owen Reich, Jesse Mast and Zeb Fisher each netted one goal and recorded an assist. Kyle McHugh also assisted on one goal.
Spartan Tracksters Challenge Solanco April 7, 2017
Garden Spot was at Solanco on Monday in a Lancaster-Lebanon League track and field meet. The Garden Spot girls came up short 94-54 while the Solanco boys also won, posting a score of 115-26.
The Spartans got a pair of first-place performances in the boys' meet. In the discus, junior Bailey Coon won with a distance of 105-foot-11 and also claimed the shot put with a 40-05.25 throw.
"That was a season-best throw for Bailey," said Lei Williams, the Spartans head coach.
Neftalie Padilla-Gonzalez took third in the shot put with a 38-03.25 heave.
Trevor Lehman was another star performer in the field events for the boys' team. The senior got an 18-06 in the long jump and a 39-05 triple jump measurement, claiming second place in both events.
While William Lewis won the 100-meter hurdles in 18.7 seconds, Brylan Eberly's 300 intermediate hurdles time of 48.6 seconds and Kyle Hall's 2:17.3 in the 800-m were both good enough for third place. Conner Burger took third place (20.7) in the 100 hurdles.
In the girls' competition, the Spartans placed first in five events. Included in those wins was Michaiah Messner's top finishes in the 100-m dash (14.2) and triple jump (31-06).
"The girls outscored Solanco in the sprints, taking first and second in the 100 and 200 plus second and third in the 400," Williams noted. "I was very proud of the effort that the girls gave. We only had nine girls to compete on the track and in the jumping due to the GSPA show at school.
"Some of the girls had to run events they don't typically run and they rose to the challenge," continued the coach.
Erna Hamzic not only won the 200-m dash in 29.3 seconds, she was that second-place finisher (14.5) Williams spoke of in the 100. Carysse Norris took second (29.9) in the 200. Hamzi also came through as the second-place finisher in the 400 (1:11.0) while third place in the 100 hurdles went to Faith Coblentz (19.4) and to Hope Brizendine in the 400 (1:24.0).
Norris won the pole vault with a 9-0 vault. Messner came in second in the high jump (4-06) while junior Skylar Mohler was second in the javelin toss with a 90-02 distance. Sydney Fitzwater's 97-06 discus toss was also second.
The Spartans came up short in a league game at Ephrata on Monday evening. The Mountaineers broke a 1-1 deadlock in the second quarter for seven unanswered goals. Though Garden Spot put up three goals in a third-quarter comeback bid, the Mounts held on for an 18-7 win.
Clay Dimon and Steven Reimold each scored twice for Garden Spot while Benton Moyer, Jesse Mast and Jake Shupe each netted one goal.
The offense was aggressive putting up 20 shots on goal to Ephrata's 29.
Seth Strausser recorded 10 saves for the Spartans.
"Seth has picked up and doing a phenomenal job there for us," said head coach Max Reyn of his goalie.
The team is young and finding its stride, according to the head coach.
"The team is starting to mesh together," said Rey. "We only have one returning varsity player.
We're seeing some positive team building and camaraderie. The kids are understanding the way the game is played."
Caden Keefer and Dylan Lindberg each scored four goals for Ephrata.
Wednesday's home game against Conestoga Valley was another one in which the Spartans kept pace with their opponent, heading into the second quarter tied 2-2. It was only a one-goal game at the half before the Buckskins went on a 3-1 run en route to a 10-5 victory.
Dimon led the team with two goals and an assist.
"Clay Dimon is our leading scorer," Rey said. "He is one of the captains and the kids look up to him as a leader."
Zeb Fisher and Reimhold each scored a goal while Moyer scored a goal and assisted on another.
"We transitioned Moyer from defense to attack," said Rey. "He's a sophomore and has been filling his role nicely."
Garden Spot bounced back nicely from a Tuesday night loss at Cocalico to defeat L-L League foe Ephrata 3-0 on Thursday. The Spartans improved to 2-1 in the L-L League (2-3 overall).
The Eagles edged the Spartans 25-22 in the first set of Tuesday's match. They hung on for a 25-19 victory in the second set before winning the third set 25-14.
Davon Martin's 13 assists sparked the Spartans as did the five digs and pair of aces by Devin Weaver. Carter Eby led the team with five kills while Cocalico's Deep Bhaveni had a match-high seven kills.
Garden Spot was not going to let up on its home court Thursday night. The matches were close with scores of 25-20, 25-23 and a lot of extra serves to decide the third set by a 28-26 margin.
Eby had a match-high 12 kills and led the home team with nine digs. Martin compiled 29 assists, which was a match-leading total, while Nate Good served up two aces. Weaver registered a pair of blocks.
Trey Farlow had nine kills and two aces to lead the Mountaineers.
Garden Spot needed one more inning to claim Tuesday's game against league foe Solanco. Brandi Clark had a triple and scored a run out of the lead-off spot in a game where they got eight hits.
Senior Emily Shopf went 2-for-2 with a run. She drew two bases on balls. Solanco pitching issued seven walks on the day.
Megan Fisher came through with three base hits, including a double, and a run batted in. Fisher, who also had a steal, came around and scored all three times she was on base.
Elizabeth King scored two runs and drove in another. She pitched the entire eight innings and allowed only five earned runs, striking out six batters and working out of a few jams (12 hits).
King notched another victory in Wednesday's 15-5 defeat of Ephrata on the road. The Spartans had 11 hits and used a four-run second inning to overtake a 4-1 early deficit. They tacked on three more in the second and kept the momentum going into the fourth with a four spot.
King had seven strikeouts and pitched a four-hitter. The Spartans improved to 2-0 in the league and 3-2 overall.
Garden Spot overcame an early 4-0 deficit at home on Wednesday in a Section Two game against Manheim Central. But the Barons put together a five-run fifth inning and held on for a 9-6 victory.
The Spartans' offense was led by leadoff man Brock Kauffman, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in. Cleanup hitter Zach Skinner also had two hits. He drove in a run and scored another.
The Barons out-hit the Spartans 13-9. Also reaching base for the Spartans were Austin Wanner, who went 1-for-2 with a double and, oddly enough, was hit by a pitch twice. Senior Ryan Smith drew three walks and scored once.
Dylan Crosson got two hits batting out of the number nine spot. Freddy Santos was 1-for-3 with a run. Chris Petersheim went 1-for-1 with an RBI.
On Monday, it was a tough first inning for the Spartans in the non-league game against Governor Mifflin. The Mustangs' five-run first proved to be the difference because the Spartans did come back with a four-run sixth inning to go along with single runs in the third inning as well as their last at bat.
The Mustangs won 10-6.
Ryan Smith had a pair of RBI's for the Spartans. He drove in Brock Kauffman on one of those as the senior leadoff man went 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Kauffman also walked and stole a base.
Skinner got another RBI out of the cleanup spot and came around to score.
Santos did not have a hit, but did drive in a run on a sacrifice fly. Aiden Bracken (1-for-4), Crossan (1-for-4) and Cameron Hellman (1-for-2) had the other Spartan singles with Bracken driving in a run and the others each scoring a run. Crossan also came on in relief to pitch one scoreless inning.
The Spartans played two games in three days against L-L League rivals this past week. They hosted the Ephrata Mountaineers on Monday and despite a seven-goal attack, came up short 15-7. Wednesday's game at Conestoga Valley ended with the Buckskins winning 16-5.
The Spartans had 15 shots on goal in the Ephrata game and scored five goals before halftime.
Two youngsters led the Spartans in scoring. Sophomore Amanda Rider and freshman Olivia Usner each scored twice with the latter also dishing off an assist.
Kiresten Ellsworth, Aubrey Eberly and Lillian Leaman each netted one goal. Ellsworth, Sophie Torrance and Kayla Beiler contributed with one assist each.
Fighting off an attack that included 24 shots on goal by the Mountaineers, Garden goalie Megan Jefferis notched eight saves on the day.
Rider had a hat trick in the loss to CV. Osner and Leaman scored the other two Garden Spot goals as the Buckskins out-shot Spot 29-10. Jefferis made 10 saves for the visitors.
Garden Spot fell to 0-5 overall and 0-4 in the L-L League.
GS Volleyball Team Holds off LMH, Bows to MT March 31, 2017
The Garden Spot boys' volleyball team played a pair of non-league matches to get its 2017 season underway.
In Monday's season opener at Spring Grove, the Spartans got their season off to a strong start. Though the Rockets came away with a 3-1 victory, the Spartans were in it for much of the match.
The opening set went to the home team as the Rockets edged the Spartans 25-20. The second set was an even closer battle with the Spartans staying in it all the way to the final few serves before the Rockets took off with a 25-22 win.
Garden Spot, which got a match-leading 20 kills from junior Carter Eby, took the third set 25-23. Eby also finished with five blocks - also a match high.
Also leading Garden Spot was Colin Elliott. The senior dished out 35 assists while juniors Devin Weaver and Connor Horst each registered 12 digs. Both Nate Good and Isaac Hudik served up a pair of aces.
Spring Grove withstood the Spartans' comeback bid by winning the fourth set 25-16.
In Tuesday's match at Manheim Township, a couple of close sets were sandwiched around a 25-16 Township victory. The Streaks won 25-20 in the opener and recorded a 25-18 win in the third.
Eby led everyone with 11 kills. Horst came away with eight digs while Elliott chipped in with 21 assists. Good served up one ace and registered two blocks.
Garden Spot returned home for a Lancaster-Lebanon League match on Thursday night, playing host to Lancaster Mennonite.
And when you've gotten off to a 0-2 start on your season, a great time to notch your first victory might just be in your first league match.
Garden Spot was again tenacious on the court, and this time the results went in favor of the Spartans, which came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2.
The Blazers won the opening set in a dogfight, 26-24. The visiting team dominated the second set 25-13. But the Spartans pulled off a 25-22 victory and did all the little things right to hang on for a 25-21 win to force a tiebreaker. Garden Spot drilled the volleyball to the right spots on the Mennonite side of the court, collecting 15 points to the Blazers' nine.
Eby shared a match-high 11 kills with Mennonite's Adam Peachey. Eby also had two blocks. Elliott distributed the ball nicely, collecting a match-high 34 assists and also picked up a pair of blocks. Horst got 14 digs while Hubik led the way with a match-high six aces.
The Spartans evened their record at 1-1 with an 11-4 victory over Governor Mifflin last Thursday. The game was a make-up from what was supposed to be the season opener for Garden Spot, but was postponed due to rain.
Instead of hosting the Mustangs on Monday, the Spartans took to the road for their first game, playing at Tulpehocken on Wednesday.
In what was a clash between historic armies, the Trojans edged the Spartans 4-2 despite an outstanding pitching performance by sophomore starter Elizabeth King.
"She's a young pitcher," said head coach Kim King in a phone interview. "It's her first year pitching for our school. Last year she was a third baseman.
"The first game was also a learning experience for her and our catcher," King added.
The Trojans struck first, getting two runs in the home half of the first inning. One of King's pitches went for a home run.
The Spartans responded quickly, tying the score in the next inning. Kelly Martin got a single to drive in a run after Abi Fricke had reached on an error. Brandi Clark's hit drove in Martin later in the inning.
"We had some good hitting," said King. "It was timely hitting, but just not enough."
Tulpehocken got single runs in the fourth and sixth for the winning margin.
"We had a couple of errors late in the game that hurt us," said King. "Both of their last two runs were unearned runs. Elizabeth had 11 strikeouts."
The head coach pointed out that the team is beginning to gel. The fact that there were no preseason scrimmages and poor weather conditions forcing the team to practice indoors have been factors early on.
"Because of the weather, we had indoor practices," she said. "We hadn't been on dirt. That could've led to those fielding errors."
Following the home game against Governor Mifflin, the head coach was pleased with a lot of what she had seen.
"Today we proved that we figured it out," she said. "We had nine hits, including a three-run home run by Megan Fisher, who drove in five runs on the day. Elizabeth allowed only three earned runs. She had nine strikeouts."
The Spartans also got two hits from Clark, who had another RBI. Sydney Nichols had three runs batted in on two hits, including a double.
"Syd Nichols is one of our captains and does a lot for us," said King.
"Kelly Martin got an RBI on a groundout and right after that we broke it open," the coach commented. "After that run, we went on to score four more. It was a great lift for our team."
Following a season-opening loss at home to Berks Catholic, the Spartans hosted Hempfield in an L-L League match last Wednesday.
The Knights' offense was on the mark in this game as they collected 20 goals on 25 shots in a 20-2 win.
The two Spartan goals came unassisted courtesy of Olivia Usner and Kiersten Ellsworth.
The Knights got a five-goal effort from freshman Lindsey Durkota.
In the Berks Catholic game, the lone Spartan goal came from Ellsworth in a 15-1 defeat.
The boys' lacrosse team opened the season at home, facing Twin Valley in a non-league match on Saturday morning, March 25. The Raiders came away with a 16-4 victory over the Spartans with four players notching hat tricks. Zach Gardner, one of those three goal players, also had three assists.
Garden Spot goals came from Benton Moyer, who scored twice, as well as Clayton Dimon and Steve Reimold while Jacob Mast and Zeb Fisher provided assist.
Guarding the goal for Garden Spot was Seth Strausser. The senior snagged eight saves.
The Spartans moved on to play Lampeter-Strasburg in an L-L League match on Monday. The Pioneers were one of the league's toughest teams last year and they played a strong match against the Spartans, winning it 19-5.
The Spartans got off 18 shots in the match, but only capitalized on five of them. Dimon notched a hat trick. With his three goals and one assist, he led the team in scoring. Moyer and Fisher each netted one goal.
The Pioneers got five goals from Tyler Zameroski, who also assisted on three other goals.
Facing 35 L-S shots, Strausser recorded 13 saves.
Things didn't get any easier for the Spartans' schedule as they hosted Hempfield on Wednesday night. The Knights out-shot the Spartans 27-5, but Dimon kept his scoring streak going with one goal. Mast scored the other Garden Spot goal while Reimold got an assist.
Strausser came away with 12 saves as the Spartans fell to 0-2 in the L-L League (0-3 overall).
TRACK & FIELD
Garden Spot took on Manheim Central last Monday afternoon at New Holland. The Barons won both the boys' and girls' meets in this L-L League clash.
Though the girls' meet went to Central by a final of 109-39, head coach Lei Williams was pleased.
"The girls performed well in the field events and tied Manheim Central in points in those events," Williams said.
In the high jump, Michaiah Messner finished second with a 4-foot-6 jump, narrowly missing first place. She also claimed second in the long jump with a 14-10 effort while freshman Erna Hamzic took third place (12-8 ı).
"Michaiah Messner had a standout performance in the triple jump and Sydney Fitzwater in the discus and shot put," Williams added. "Michaiah placed first in the triple jump and Sydney placed first in the shot put and discus."
With a 92-foot toss, Fitzwater won the discus event. Her distance of 31-2 ﬂ was best in the shot put.
In her first-place finish in the triple jump, Messner registered a distance of 31-1 ı.
Garden Spot's Morgan Gooch got second-place finishes in both the javelin (85-8) and the shot put (30-3) while Carysse Noriss took second in the pole vault with a nine-foot effort.
On the track, Messner took third in the 100-meter dash with a 13.7. In the 1,600 run, cross country standout Mackenzie Watkins took third in 6:15.4. She also finished third in the 800.
Kayleigh Hamer, a returning senior, was second in the 400 (1:06) while Jasmine Arment took third in the 200 with 31.1. Faith Coblentz's time of 54.4 was good for a third-place finish in the 300- hurdles.
Spartan senior Trevor Lehman got a second-place distance of 19-3 in the long jump. His 39-10 ı was good for second place in the triple jump.
Bailey Coon won the shot put for the Spartans with a 42-10 ﬂ while Neftalie Padilla was third with a 39-4 .
"In the boys' field events, Trevor Lehman and Baily Coon did well," said Williams.
On the track, Kyle Hall grabbed second in the 800 (2:18.9) while teammate Colton Gehr took third at 2:22.7. Second place in the 400 went to Spenser Kehlor with a time of 57.53. Third-place finishes in the 200 (25.2) and the 3200 (12:01.6) went to Jeff Harley and Shane Esbenshade, respectively.
Spartans Fall Short in Qualifying for States March 3, 2017
Garden Spot boys' basketball coach Ryan Trupe described it perfectly.
"We got one game away from qualifying for the state playoffs," Trupe said. "You put yourself in the opportunity to get there but it didn't work out that way."
He was referring to the heartbreaking 54-43 loss the Spartans suffered at the hands of the Hershey Trojans on Monday night. At the neutral site of Warwick High School, the Trojans held on to top the Spartans in a District Three Class-5A consolation semi-final game. The winning Trojans (13-12) not only earned a trip to PIAA state championships, they also got to take on New Oxford in the ninth- and 10th-place game.
Garden Spot, whose season ended with a 15-10 record, had defeated Dover in the first round of the consolations back on Thursday back at New Holland. Garden Spot, the 11th seed in the district championships, had gotten by the number 14 seed Dover Eagles.
"It was a tight first half, but we had a big third quarter," Trupe said of the Dover game. "We got a lot of easy baskets inside, pretty much on drives. We had a lot of stops in the third quarter against them."
But in the Hershey game, the Spartans had to battle back most of the way.
"We got out to an awful start," Trupe noted. "We were down 16-3 at one point."
In fact, the Spartans got only those three points for the entire first quarter. However, they did fight back and outscored the Trojans 18-9 in the second quarter.
"In the second quarter, we got some stops on defense and that helped us get a run," Trupe noted. "We got a three-pointer from Cameron Sensenig to take a lead, But back they came and scored with half a second left in the half.
Indeed, the Trojans had the last word in that half, taking a 23-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"We struggled to put the ball in the hoop," Trupe continued. "We had been getting out to really good starts in our recent games, so this was different. Our guys refused to go away though; they continued to fight all night, but we were always climbing uphill."
The Trojans took a reachable four-point lead into the final period where they finished with an 18-11 run.
Jordan Shewbridge and Keontae Nunn each scored 10 points to lead Garden Spot. Shewbridge nailed three three-pointers and Nunn scorched two more. Brenday Bradley had a pair of three's and went 2-for-2 at the foul line to tally up his eight points of the game.
"Jordan Shewbridge and Brendan Bradley were our top scorers this year," Trupe noted. "But we got great contributions from everybody. We had si seniors on the team. This one game doesn't overshadow what they've done for us. Every athlete goes through the realization that your time is up."
Hershey had come into the tournament as the number 15 seed and holding on to an 11-11 record.
"They've been on the inconsistent side," Trupe said of the Trojans. "They've had some really good wins, but been up and down. They were definitely good against us. It was a comparable match for us, size-wise and ability-wise. It was a question of who would play better on a given night and it was them."
As the Spartans wrapped up their season, Trupe commented, "There was a lot of pride in our school and our community this year and it continued to grow. That is attributed a lot to our guys."
In the District Three Class-AAA South Central Region Championships, Gary Clark earned his ticket to the PIAA state tournament with a second-place finish in the 138-pound weight class.
In the district tournament, which began on Thursday, February 23 at Hershey, Clark wrapped things up with a tough 5-3 loss to Lower Dauphin's Clayton Ulrey in the championship bout. Clark, who had earned a bye in Thursday's first round, defeated a familiar foe in the second round - Grayson Charles of Solanco. He then dominated his semi-finals foe 10-3.
"He took a big step forward this year," remarked head coach Adam Bunting. "He has become a more physical wrestler this year and also technical. He already knew how to make the moves last year. He has more physicality to make them. He flows really well from one move to the other.
"That came into play in the district semis," continued the coach. "He came out with a trick move to get himself an early five-point lead even though the kid he wrestled might have thought he was going to have an easy match against Gary. Those five points early on really shifted the match in his favor."
Also, playing on the Garden Spot gridiron gang has helped keep up the physical tenacity.
"Playing football helped him," Bunting added. "He played defensive back where you have to make tough tackles and he's only 145 pounds."
Juniors Connor Finkey and Christian Schilling both made it to the semifinals of their respective weight classes.
Finkey suffered an 8-3 loss in the 145-pound semis, losing to eventual champ Tucker Brough of Big Spring. Brough improved his record to 39-5 with the 1-0 victory in the title match.
Finkey's fourth-place finish, however, earned him a spot in the state tournament. He fought to a 6-3 victory over Paul Feite of Northern York in the consolation semis, but lost the third-fourth place match.
"Connor was the dark horse for us," Bunting aid. "He was battling a shoulder injury earlier. He got a good week of practice and had his best tournament. He went in and got two wins on that first night. He put the Hershey kid on his back in a 2-2 match. He finished strong and fought through the injury."
Schilling reached the semifinals of the 132-pound weight class. He did so after a 9-0 major decision over Penn Manor's Alex Laughlin in the opening round and an 8-3 defeat of Chambersburg sophomore Cole Grove. This improved Schilling's season record to 32-6.
"Last year he made districts and didn't make it to the second day," Bunting noted. "We talked about taking it one match at a time."
Central Dauphin junior Andrew Wert, who entered the tournament with a 39-2 record, stopped the Spartan junior from reaching the championship match, edging Schilling 5-4.
"We knew going into the semis that he was up against a kid that was very talented," said Bunting. "We knew the odds were going to against him, but he wrestled very well. Going into the third period, it was a tied match at 3-3. He lost 5-4, so it was a great match."
In the consolations, T.T. Elhaji of Lower Dauphin got past Schilling with a 10-3 decision and went on to claim third place, defeating Jake Meyer of Spring Grove for that spot. Schilling settled for sixth place when Grove avenged his second-round 8-3 defeat with a 7-1 decision that claimed fifth place.
Bunting also pointed out Schilling's team presence and support.
"Even though he wasn't going on to states, he still came out to practice on Monday to support Gary and Connor. He was there pushing them on."
Spartans Defeat Dover, Qualify For States February 24, 2017
The Garden Spot boys' basketball team faced Milton Hershey on the road Monday night in an opening round game of the District Three Class 5A playoffs.
It was a battle between two schools that both chose to call their sports teams "Spartans." The Spartans from Hershey prevailed 73-59 in a game that was very even until the third quarter, which was where Hershey went on a 20-7 run and held on for the win. Garden Spot had actually taken a slim 36-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"It was the third quarter for us," said head coach Ryan Trupe. "Other than that, it was kind of nip and tuck. We would pull ahead and they would come back.
"We were putting the ball in the hoop," Trupe continued. "We hit seven three's in the first half. Brendan Bradley had two of them and Jordan Shewbridge had five."
Milton Hershey, which entered the tournament as the sixth seed, improved to 18-4. The MH Spartans got a team-high 22 from Keonte Lucas, who sank four three-point field goals on the night. Chris Sampson poured in 20 more points.
Garden Spot got a game-high 23 from Shewbridge. The guard was on fire, drilling half a dozen three-point field goals for 18 of those 23 points.
"He's a very streaky kid," Trupe said. "He had five three's in the second quarter. The rim gets bigger for him. Our guys did a nice job finding him while he found ways to get open.
"Our guys realized he had a hot hand going and they were finding him in his spots," continued the coach.
Bradley added to the Spartans' outside shooting success. He made three treys and finished with a total of 14 points. Kyle Gordon scored nine points and Joe Craver made three baskets for his six points.
"Kyle Gordon also had 18 rebounds," Trupe pointed out.
The loss did not end Garden Spot's season, however. The Spartans (14-9) got the opportunity to compete among the other seven teams that lost their first-round games. Since the PIAA state playoffs will take the top 10 teams from District Three 5A, the Spartans got the chance to battle for ninth place in a consolation game.
"District Three 5A level is the biggest district," Trupe explained. "We get the most bids at states. You get your chance to earn your way to the state tournament."
The consolations began Thursday with Garden Spot hosting the Dover Eagles, who lost their first-round game to third-seeded Palmyra - the team Milton Hershey School was scheduled to play on that same night in the quarterfinals.
The Spartans took care of things on their home court, beating the Eagles 65-44. In this game, the third quarter went in Garden Spot's favor as the team outscored Dover 17-4 to increase its 31-27 halftime lead to 17 points.
Gordon put up eight baskets and hit a three-pointer as well on his way to a 22-point night. Cameron Sensenig drilled a pair of three-pointers and compiled 14 points while Bradley scored 10. Shewbridge made one three-pointer and finished with nine points.
Brady Bowman led the Eagles with 15 points.
Garden Spot's wrestling team finished eighth in the team standings at the District Three Sectionals Section One tournament at Governor Mifflin on Saturday, February 18. Exeter finished with 234 team points followed by Mifflin (158) and Wilson (152.5). The Spartans compiled 97.5 points.
A major contributor to the team was Christian Schilling, who claimed first place in the 132-pound weight class.
Following his first-round bye, Schilling notched a pin 2:57 into the second round and battled to a 7-5 semifinal win. The championship match had Schilling pitted against Jordan Hartranft of Conestoga Valley. He prevailed 6-1.
The L-L League champion at 145, Gary Clark also won the sectionals championship. Clark skipped the first round and got a 14-3 major decision over Josh Harple of Ephrata. He pinned his next opponent in the first period of the semifinal match and completed his day with a championship match pin.
Connor Finkey was unstoppable in the second-round match, winning 19-3 in a technical fall. He suffered a close 5-2 defeat in the semis
But the Spartan junior would go on to claim third place in the 145-pound weight class. He eked out a 3-2 victory in consolation semis and took the third-place bout 4-2.
In the 106-pound weight class, Joshua Groff suffered a close 4-3setback in the second round after a first-round bye.
He registered a pin in the first round of the consolations. After a defeat in the next round, he claimed fifth place with a 15-1 major decision.
Travis Fischer finished sixth in the 195-pound class. He registered a pin in the first round of the consolations, but following a loss, he wrestled in the fifth- and sixth-place match where he came up short.
For senior Dennis Jefferis (220) the day opened with a victory. However, a pin and another loss in the consolations, kept him from claiming one of the top six spots.
Jeffrey Harley opened his quest in the 160 weight class with a pin against Nate Castaneda. He suffered a pin in the quarterfinals and was unable to get past the first consolation round.
After a 9-7 victory in the first round of the 170, Devon Lewis was rerouted to the consolations after being pinned. He claimed a 6-4 victory and lost by an injury default, thus having to relinquish the fifth-place match also.
Sophomore Jacob Zook opened his quest in the 182-pound brackets with a win, posting a 4-3 decision. Conestoga Valley's Connor Brinton got a pin in the next round and Zook suffered another defeat in the first round of the consolations.