Garden Spot Battles Cocalico, Falls in Overtime January 11, 2019
The Section Three boys' basketball game between Garden Spot and Cocalico turned into an overtime thriller in New Holland on Tuesday night. The Eagles and Spartans played evenly through regulation, looking up at a 48-48 scoreboard at the final buzzer. In overtime, the Spartans held the Eagles to only four points, but it was enough for Cocalico to edge Garden Spot 52-50.
The top scorers in the game were Peyton Stetter of Cocalico, who poured in 24 points, mostly off the six three-point field goals he made, and Kentae Nunn of Garden Spot, who finished with 23.
The Spartans fell to 4-2 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League (6-5 overall) while the Eagles (6-5) evened their league mark at 3-3.
One aspect of the Spartans' game that was a factor in a close contest like this was foul shooting. Spot connected on just 11 of 21. The Eagles were 7-of-12.
Garden Spot overcame an early deficit but did go into the locker room at halftime trailing 22-20. The two teams were tied at the final buzzers of the third and of course fourth periods.
Andrew Zentner finished with 11 points, hitting a pair of treys on the night. Jon Morales added six more points.
Connor Mack provided 17 points for the Eagles.
Garden Spot was coming off a convincing win the previous week - a Friday night barrage of points in which Nunn scored 34 in an 81-58 win at Solanco. Morales (14) and Jesse Martin, who nailed a pair of treys and tallied 16, also reached double figures. Zentner added eight points.
In a close battle with league rival Donegal, the Garden Spot wrestling team pulled off a 41-35 win on Wednesday night.
"I think both teams knew it was going to be a very close match that would come down to a couple of toss-up matches and who would secure more bonus points," said head coach Adam Bunting.
And the extra points did come for Garden Spot in a flurry of victories down the stretch. Following a forfeit at the 220-pound weight class, which went in favor of Spartan sophomore Dustin Swanson, Charles Martin earned a first-period pin in the heavyweight match, cutting the Indians' lead to 29-24.
The pin by Donegal's Ethan Herr (106) gave the Indians a 35-24 advantage, but back came the Spartans.
"At 106, Jeremy Schilling opened up a 2-0 lead going into the second period on returning league champion Ethan Herr," explained Bunting. "Herr then reversed Schilling and pinned him in an arm bar."
Mason Casey, earned a pin at 113; Garrett Gehr, notched a technical fall at 120, winning by a 21-6 score; Josh Groff, pinned Cooper Rollison in 34 seconds at the 126 bout.
"With three matches left, Mason Casey got us back on track with a huge pin at 113," Bunting remarked. "Freshman standout Garrett Gehr followed with a technical to tie the match at 35 all.
"It came down to team leader Josh Groff to clinch the victory," continued the coach. "He wasted no time planting Rollison in 38 seconds."
The match began at the 132-pound weight class with Donegal's Dylan Bowers earning a pin. Aaron Martin (138) returned the favor with a pin for Spot.
The Indians then pulled ahead with a close 6-4 win by Joseph Fox, topping Alan Perez at 145 and major decisions at 152 and 160. Will Small's pin at 170 and another by Cael Rapp at 182 made it 29-6 Donegal. That set the table for Garden Spot winning four of the final five bouts.
Bunting also referenced two of the losses and how his wrestlers losing only by a decision rather than a major or technical helped in the long run.
"This was a total team win," Bunting added. "I'm proud of the guys scrapping to save team points wherever we could. Alan Perez and Drew Finkey [12-2 loss at 160] saved important points by fighting out of predicaments that could have put the match out of reach. They kept us in it.
"The team never let the score deflate them," he continued, referring to the 29-6 deficit midway through the match. "It didn't change the way we approached the final seven matches."
Garden Spot came up short against Cocalico in a Section Three clash on the road Wednesday night.
Despite Megan Fisher scoring a game-high 13, the Spartans lost to the Indians 43-19, falling to 1-5 in the league.
Hannah Greenly (10 pts) and Hannah Custer, who scored nine, led the Indians in scoring as the team improved to 6-5 (3-3 league).
The girls were coming off a much closer match from the Friday before, having lost to Solanco 62-52.
The visitors came on strong in the fourth quarter with a 21-16 run to eclipse the Spartans, who had made an impressive comeback in the second quarter.
Fisher had a team-high 17 points in that game while both Kari Stoltzfus and Erin Gonzalez finished with nine points. Paige Kemper added seven.
Solanco's Grace Kreider poured in a game-high 18, which included three treys.
On Thursday the Spartans again came up short when they dropped a 62-52 decision to host Manheim Central.
The Spartans got off to a good start, building a 17-14 lead through the first quarter, but the Barons took command of the game with an 18-8 run in the second period to lead 32-25 at the break and then finished off the 10-point win with 17-15 and 13-12 advantages in the third and fourth quarters.
Fisher took scoring honors in the contest with 27 points on seven baskets and four three-pointers.
Governor Mifflin's air rifle team had three shooters finish with a score of 99. Garden Spot had three shooters finish with a score of 98. Hence, the Mustangs edged the Spartans by a 492-486 score on Thursday.
Alex O'Neill, Evan Emch and Braden Reel reeled off 98's while Jared Weaver scored 97 on the day. Aaron Good recorded a score of 95.
Natalie Jones, Austin Maple and Sydney Machion each shot a 99 for Mifflin.
Garden Spot fell to 0-7 on the year.
Earlier in the week, the Spartans lost another close one, this time a 494-488 loss at Elizabethtown on Tuesday.
Wever, Lani Duncan and Karlee Hartman shot 98's for the Spartans while Reel and Good each recorded a score of 97.
Matt Risbon had a perfect game, shooting 100 for E-town.
Hot on the heels of Cocalico in the Section Three standings, Garden Spot's bowling team improved to 30-5 with a 7-0 defeat of Columbia on Tuesday at Clearview Lanes. Meanwhile, Cocalico topped Lancaster Catholic by the same score, improving to 38-4.
In Tuesday's clash, the Spartans were led by Trevor Courtney's 670 total pin count, which included a score of 235 in his third game. Owen Colby came away with a 535 while T.J. Delp tallied 516, finishing with a 192 in his third game.
Shane Kinser rolled a 540 to lead the Crimson Tide.
Spartans Top Crest, Now 4-0 in Section Two January 4, 2019
With key victories by Drew Finkey and Alan Perez, the Garden Spot wrestling squad stayed unbeaten in Lancaster-Lebanon League competition with a 51-19 defeat of Cedar Crest last Wednesday. Tyler Martin also had a big victory, edging his opponent 8-6. The victory over the Section Two foe improved Garden Spot's record to 4-0 (3-0 league).
"Tyler Martin is another wrestler getting starting time for the first time this season," head coach Adam Bunting said of the junior, who won the 182-pound bout. "He picked up a thrilling win with a reversal at the buzzer. He has shown tremendous improvement this season and has become much more aggressive and physical on the mat."
Garden Spot got off to a quick 6-0 start at the 120-pound battle where Garrett Gehr won on a forfeit. It was the freshman's 13th win of the season. Joshua Groff's pin at 126 took only 53 seconds to accomplish, giving the Spartans a 12-0 lead
"It was a quick pin with a cradle to move his season record to 12-6," Bunting explained.
Crest's Taylor Gehman maneuvered a 10-2 major decision over Spot's Corey Leaman.
"Corey lost a hard-fought match at 132," Bunting remarked. "Aaron Martin battled one of Cedar Crest's better wrestlers to a 6-2 final. He is a guy who is showing improvements this year as a sophomore."
Though the Falcons could have picked up momentum in winning another hard-fought bout at 152, this one by a close 10-9 margin that Dylan Styver earned over Ethan Eberly, two Falcon forfeits at the 160- and 195-pound weight classes kept them from catching Garden Spot. Tyler Martin's 8-6 decision at 182, Dustin Swanson's pin at 220 and Jeremy Schilling's pin in only 30 seconds of 106 pound bout stretched the lead. Sophomore Mason Casey put the punctuation mark on the match with a pin that required only 12 seconds in the 113 weight class.
"Schilling is having a solid freshman campaign," said the coach. "Casey, who had a solid freshman year, continues to be a solid point scorer in the light weights.
"The marquee matchup of the night was at 220 pounds with Dustin Swanson facing against T.J. Moore," Bunting remarked. "Moore had edged Swanson in last year's dual. They met at the Penn Manor tournament earlier this season and Swanson won by a fall. This was round three in what might lead to several more face-offs before season's end.
"Swanson stopped a shot by Moore and then blasted him to his back with a headlock for the fall," continued the coach.
Swanson, who has a team-high 10 pins, raised his record to 12-4 on the year.
Overall, this team has had virtually every wrestler step into his role - some of which were vacancies created by graduation or injuries.
"We talked a lot early in the season as a team about 'next man up,' and the guys are looking at this as an opportunity for really developing into solid, middle-of-the-lineup wrestlers," Bunting said. "Alan Perez has stepped in as a result and is making the most of his opportunity and really developing into a solid wrestler. At 152, Ethan Eberly is doing the same."
Back on Saturday, December 29, the Spartans took part in the Trojan Wars. They finished with 86 team points, which was good for 25th place in the team standings. Southern Columbia won with 194 points with Chambersburg in second place at 166.
Casey (113) reached the quarterfinal round before losing to Luke Hart of Saint Christophers. Earlier, he notched a first-period pin and earned a 6-0 decision before having to head into the consolation brackets where he suffered a 9-2 defeat.
Groff (126) also reached the quarterfinals, suffering a 6-3 loss to Hamburg's Dalton Gimbor. Earlier he had won by major decision and a 4-3 decision. His consolation battles included a sudden victory before suffering a major decision defeat.
Charles Martin's battle in the heavyweight brackets included a close loss in the second round followed by a pair of pins in the consolations and a 1-0 decision before suffering a pin.
Swanson had a big day, winning a 9-4 decision, recording a pin in 28 seconds and, after suffering a late pin (5:51 into the match) registering a quick 13-second pin in the first round of consolations.
Tyler Martin (182) also had a consolation-round pin as did Finkey (170).
Eberly bounced back in the consolations with a pin and a win via medical forfeit.
Perez also pinned an opponent in the consolations.
The girls' basketball team improved to 4-6 with a consolation match victory on December 27, over Conrad Weiser at the Eastern York Holiday Tournament. The Spartans topped the Scouts 59-38, coming back from an early 16-10 deficit to do so.
Megan Fisher poured in 20 points for Garden Spot. The double-digit scoring also came courtesy of Karli Stoltzfus, who finished with 12 and Paige Kemper, who made four baskets and both of her free throws.
Also contributing was Olivia Usner with seven points.
The Spartans had suffered a 61-47 loss to the host school the previous night. The Golden Knights outscored the Spartans 15-7 in the second half, overcoming a slim deficit at the start of that stanza. They carried a 43-35 edge into the fourth quarter, finishing the game on an 18-12 run.
The Knights' Addison Malone led all scorers with 19 points.
Kemper led Garden Spot with 11 while Stoltfus added 10 more. Fisher finished with seven points and Usner added six.
The Spartans went to work immediately after Christmas, playing two non-league games on the road. On Wednesday, December 26, they edged Warwick 47-46 but suffered a 70-48 loss the following night at Bishop McDevitt.
Colby Weaver and Keontae Nunn, who led the Spartans in scoring against Warwick, were held to two points each in the loss to the Crusaders.
The Warwick game was close from start to finish. The Warriors took a 27-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Spartans' 9-6 run in the third quarter was crucial in helping to hold off the home team. The Warriors' Ryan Shirk tied Weaver for the game's top-scoring total of 17 points.
Weaver nailed a trio of three-point field goals. Nunn scored 10 of his 12 points from the field and converted a pair of foul shots as well.
Also adding to the point total was Jon Morales and Matthew Sharp, who scored seven each. Jesse Martin and Josiah Snader each put up one bucket.
The Crusaders charged ahead with an 18-4 opening period and took a 39-18 lead by halftime on the Spartans the following night.
Morales led Garden Spot with 12 points, Andrew Zentner's nine-point game included a three-point bucket. Austin Skowood, who had two three-pointers, Sharp and John Dykie each finished with six points.
The Spartans played four league games earlier in December, going 3-1. They carry that league mark (5-4 overall) as they prepare to play six more league games over their next nine scheduled games.
In a mid-December match-up with Manheim Township, the Spartans scored 486 points but were unable to out-shoot their league rivals. The Blue Streaks, who were led by the perfect scores of Cesar DeJesus and Hunter Modene, topped the Spartans 495-486 on December 19 in New Holland.
Returning Spartan senior Jared Weaver shot a 98 as did fellow senior Lani Duncan. Karlee Hartman turned in a 97 as did junior Aaron Good. Another returning senior on this year's squad is Alex O'Neill who recorded a 96 in the match.
The Spartans were coming off another league match from two days prior, having suffered a 497-483 loss to Manheim Central. The Barons were led by the perfect scores of Ellie McCabe and Braden Groff.
Hartman paced Spot with 99 points while Weaver racked up 98. Juan Romero, Braden Reel and Evan Emch rounded out the top five with respective scores of 97, 95 and 94.
Garden Spot fell to 0-4 on the year following these defeats.
With less than a week left until the holiday break, the Spartans played the Cocalico Eagles in a Section Three clash at Dutch Lanes. Garden Spot's bowlers were hoping to close the gap between their squad and the first-place Eagles, who came into the game holding a 3-0 record.
The Eagles prevailed 5-2, improving to 4-0 on December 20. Garden Spot fell to 3-1 in the L-L League (4-1 overall).
Trevor Courtney rolled a 658 on the day, finishing with scores of 211, 232 and 215. Spartan teammate Amanda Lynch tallied 631 on the afternoon, improving steadily and finishing with a 234 in her third game.
The Eagles were led by Nate Buckwalter's 608.
It was Garden Spot's second visit to Dutch Lanes in three days. On December 18, the Spartans had topped Elizabethtown 5-2 thanks to a tremendous 771 score by Courtney.
The sophomore rolled a 258 in his first game. After dipping to 234 in the second game, he crushed the pins to the count of an impressive 279. Lynch rolled a 596 to solidify the victory.
Patrick Hoffmaster's 605 was tops for the Bears.
Spot Volleyball Ends Season in District Consis November 4, 2018
It was an up-and-down week for the Garden Spot's volleyball team as the Spartans entered the District Three Class-AAA playoffs. The week included a victory in the quarterfinals followed by a 3-0 loss in the district semis, which led to Saturday evening's consolation match at Central York.
The quarterfinals were held as a doubleheader at Palmyra and at West York on Tuesday. The Spartans played the opening match at Palmyra where they topped Berks Catholic 3-1. Meanwhile, in the nightcap, the host school topped Fleetwood 3-0.
The Spartans held off the Saints in the first two sets by the identical margin of 25-16. The Saints (15-4) won the third set 25-9 and would not go down easily in the fourth and final set. The fourth-seeded Spartans prevailed 25-23, improving to 17-3.
Shawna Zeiset poured in 15 kills to spark the offense. The Spartans were also led by Sarah Shirk, who distributed 27 assists while Kelly Martin registered 18 digs and served up five aces, and Logan Martin notched three blocks.
Meanwhile, in the other doubleheader, which was held at West York, it was a battle of East and West - York, that is. West York, which entered the playoffs as the second-seeded team, topped Eastern York and sixth-seeded Dover defeated York Suburban. That set up the semifinal match won by West York, 3-0.
Garden Spot was not able to get past Palmyra in its semifinal match at Lower Dauphin on Thursday. The Cougars - the district's top-seeded team - managed to hold off the Spartans in three closely-contested sets, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-22.
Zeiset and Logan Martin each drilled seven kills onto the Cougars' side of the court while Kelly Martin led the team in aces and digs, registering three and 15, respectively. Shirk came through with 24 assists while Zeiset, Elyse Mundorff and Logan Martin each registered one block.
Taylor McInerney led the way for Palmyra, serving up four aces and pouring in 11 kills while Jackie Baker racked up five digs.
The Spartans' final chance to continue their 2018 campaign came on Saturday evening in the district consolation match. The top three teams from the district were guaranteed a spot in the PIAA Class-AAA state playoffs and it was between the Spartans and the Dover Eagles.
Another match with three close sets took place at Central York High School and again the result was not favorable to the Spartans as they ended their season with a 17-5 record. Dover downed Garden Spot 25-23, 25-20 and 25-20.
Spartans Faced a Tall Task Against the Barons October 21, 2018
It was not an easy task for the Garden Spot's football team, taking on the top team in the PIAA Class 5A power rankings on Friday night.
"Manheim Central is the top team in our section and the district for a good reason," head coach Zach Fullmer stated. "They're a very good football team."
The Barons went on to clinch the Section Two title with their 63-0 victory at Garden Spot, using some big plays on special teams as well as a defensive touchdown in the process. The win kept Manheim Central unbeaten (5-0) in the Lancaster-Lebanon League as well as overall at 9-0. The Spartans fell to 0-6 and 0-9.
"I thought we did a couple of good things, but also we gave up some big touchdowns," Fullmer said. "We can't make mistakes against a very good football team.
"The interception return hurt us too," he added. "That was after we forced a turnover and tried to make a big play. Unfortunately, it didn't work out."
The Barons' special teams put the visitors on the scoreboard first when Colby Wagner returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. Tyler Flick added a 14-yard rushing TD to make it 14-0 at the end of the opening period.
The Barons added five more touchdowns in the second quarter, including Wagner's 66-yard interception return and three more rushing touchdowns by Flick, who finished 107 yards on the ground on 11 carries. Chris Shaw added another 70 yards on 10 carries and scored one touchdown.
Jesse Martin completed six passes for 63 yards for Garden Spot. Zeb Fisher, who caught two of those passes for 21 yards, ran for 29 yards on seven carries. Martin also ran for 25 yards.
Fullmer talked about the effort by the Spartans despite the winless record thus far.
"I'm proud of how they're still working hard, even though the season isn't working out the way we wanted it to," he remarked. "Hopefully, we can build on this.
"There are some seniors we'll miss next year," continued the coach. "But there are young guys getting Friday night experience, taking their lumps and learning."
The Garden Spot girls' volleyball team earned a trip to the L-L League championship semifinals with a 3-0 defeat of Lancaster Catholic on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans held off the Crusaders in three straight sets with scores of 25-12, 25-17 and 25-15 in the quarterfinal match at New Holland.
The victory came three days following the Spartans' key victory at Elizabethtown, which clinched the Section Two title. It set up a semifinal match against Manheim Township slated for this week.
For the Spartans, it was yet another victory over a Lancaster-Lebanon League foe. The team had cruised through the regular season with a 10-0 league record and continued that streak into the playoffs
"There is certainly more pressure from her on out to win matches," Lei Williams, the head coach, stated. "The girls continue to play well as a team and have the goal to make it to the league finals. Our first goal was to win our section championship, which we did when we beat Elizabethtown on Wednesday."
The Spartans held off the Crusaders with the likes of Shawna Zeiset, Sarah Shirk, Olivia Usner and others leading the way.
Zeiset poured in 23 kills and registered one block in the match. User led the team in aces, serving up six. Shirk contributed to the offense with 34 assists. Meanwhile, Kelly Martin had a match-high 11 digs while Logan Martin also put up one block.
"We were able to keep a four- or five-point spread on for the most part," Williams said of the three sets. "They did get close as 10-8 at one point, but we were able to get some separation."
Garden Spot had improved to 9-0 by beating Lebanon on Monday at home. It was senior night for the Spartans.
"We had our seniors starting," Williams said. "Shawna Zeiset, Sarah Shirk, Alanna Billy, Mandy Rider and Ashley Good are a group of girls with different forms of leadership for the team."
In very dominant fashion, the Spartans defeated Lebanon 25-11, 25-9 and 25-7 with Kelly Martin racking up a dozen digs and serving up nine aces on the night. Zeiset tallied nine kills while Shirk dished out 21 assists. Logan Martin tacked on the only block by Garden Spot.
Williams said the team knew that the showdown at E-town was going to be intense with the section title on the line.
"We beat them the first time when they came to Garden Spot," she said. "We knew it was going to be scrappy and they would keep us on our toes in front of their fans on Wednesday. We served very well."
Zeiset, with 18 kills and Kelly Martin's 24 digs and five aces helped the Spartans serve up a victory over a tough opponent, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-21.
"The third game we came from behind to win," Williams noted. "Olivia was serving and Shawna was in the front row. We were tied 20-20 and pulled away."
Shirk came through with 27 assists while sophomore Elyse Mundorff racked up four blocks.
At the L-L League Championship meet at Ephrata on Tuesday, Spartan senior Jeremy Rissler finished 17th overall with a time of 17:58.2. Teammates Adam Horning (18:48.8) and Donovan Esbenshade (18:56.70) finished 86th and 95th, respectively.
Running at a 19:46.50 pace was Finn Wenrich, who finished at 128. Sam Schultz crossed the finish line at 21:23.10
The girls' team was led by Chloe Martin, who finished 46th in 21:44.90 while fellow sophomore Amanda Coblentz took 70th in the race at 22:26.80. Becca Rissler finished 85th with a time of 23:02.50
A trio of runners - Lauren Greenwalt, Samantha Davis and Bevalee Tshudy - posted respective times of 26:10.70, 26:11.70 and 26:22.60.
Spot Volleyball Remains Unbeaten in Section 2 October 14, 2018
For those following the exciting run by the Garden Spot girls' volleyball team, the script could not have been written much better. The Spartans won two more Lancaster-Lebanon League matches this past week to stay unbeaten in league play (10-0) while Elizabethtown stayed one back in the Section Two standings at 9-1. The twain shall meet in the regular season finale at E-town on October 17.
"We beat them in the first match we played them," noted head coach Lei Williams, referring to the 3-0 victory on September 25 at New Holland. "We have to play there in our last match and it will be tougher. It will be for the section title."
On Tuesday, Garden Spot defeated another tough section rival, hosting Manheim Central. The Spartans posted a 3-0 victory as Central fell to 4-6 in the league.
The first and third sets were close as Garden Spot won 25-17, 25-14 and 25-23.
Shawna Zeiset had a match-leading 14 kills. Also among the leaders was Olivia Usner, who tallied 15 digs and tied sophomore Elyse Mundorff for the lead in aces with three. Mundorff also led the team in blocks, registering three.
"Elyse is stepping into a new role," Williams explained. "She played outside for the jayvee team. She made immediate impact for us when she came in for varsity. She has good vertical jump. She's learning a new position and I think she'll be good in the middle with Logan Martin, another sophomore connecting well with our setter."
And that setter is Sarah Shirk. In the Central match, Shirk helped set up many key points as she compiled 26 assists.
Garden Spot went on to post a 3-1 victory at Solanco on Thursday, posting scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-10 following Solanco's opening set victory of 25-23.
Zeiset had 27 kills and three aces in the match as well as two blocks.
"Shawna's 27 kills against Solanco ties the Garden Spot record for third-most in a match," Williams noted. "She is always key for us. Having her in the front row to end the game is important.
"Olivia is also contributing very well," she added.
Usner came through with three aces and 24 digs and Abby O'Neill - another sophomore - dished out a total of 38 assists.
The Spartans went on to play at a tournament in Pottsville on Saturday, winning the tournament over the host school.
"There were 15 teams there," Williams explained. "That was great preparation for the upcoming week. We're also trying to get prepared for the playoffs.
"We beat Wilson in the semifinals," she added. "We lost to Pottsville in the first game and came back to win the next two in a best-of-three."
Garden Spot is currently fourth in the District Three Class-AAA power rankings. In beating Wilson at the Pottsville Tournament, the Spartans defeated the team ranked eighth in Class 4A.
Garden Spot visited Cocalico in a Section Two football game on Friday. The Eagles came in as the second-place team in Section Two, looking to keep pace with Manheim Central while the Spartans were looking for their first victory.
With some big rushing plays, where Ronald Zahm and Noah Palm found openings in the blocking ahead of them, the Eagles scored on four big rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and went on to win 55-21. Garden Spot fell to 0-8 (0-5 in LL) while Cocalico improved to 6-2, 3-1.
Zahm scored on rushing TD's of 27 and 67 yards - the Eagles' first and third TD's of the game. Palm's TD's in that opening period came from 26 and 23 yards out.
Palm scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter as the Eagles took a 48-0 lead into the locker room.
With a running clock in the second half, the Spartans' offense put together three successful scoring drives. They got on the scoreboard in the third quarter on Jesse Martin's 10-yard rushing TD. Running back John Dykie scored on a 15-yard carry in the fourth quarter and converted the ensuing two-point PAT. He also scored on a 58-yard dash to the end zone followed by Giannicola Ferrarelli's PAT kick.
The Spartans will look to upset first-place Manheim Central on Friday. The Barons improved to 8-0 (4-0 league) with a 48-7 defeat of Conestoga Valley on Friday.
The girls' soccer team upped its league mark to 3-4-3 and evened the overall record to 7-7-3 by splitting its two matches this past week. The Spartans lost a close 1-0 match to Ephrata at home on Tuesday, but came back for a 4-0 win on the road, topping McCaskey on Wednesday.
In Tuesday evening's defeat, Madison root scored for the Mountaineers 23 minutes into the game. Elizabeth King saved the other five shots that came her way while the Spartans were denied by Ephrata goalie Brooke Ludwing (3 saves).
The offense came alive again in the McCaskey match with Avery Stauffer recording a hat trick. Kassidy Hollinger added one more goal while Laura Bartels and Erna Hamzic each dished out an assist. The Spartans scored twice in each half, recording a total of 24 shots on goal.
King needed to only make one save to notch a shutout.
The Spartans ended the regular season on a down note, suffering close, heartbreaking defeats to Lampeter-Strasburg and Manheim Central as well as an 8-0 defeat to unbeaten Donegal. The team wrapped up the regular season with an overall winning record of 10-7-1 along with a 7-6-1 league record.
As a result, Garden Spot fell to 13th in the Class AA power rankings in District Three.
The L-S game on Monday afternoon was an overtime affair that ended when Daisy Frank scored at the 2:55 mark of the extra period, giving the Pioneers a 3-2 win.
Madison Casey and Megan Esh each scored a goal in the first half for the host Spartans with Aubrey Gonzalez and Sophie Torrance providing the assists.
Julia Smecker had scored both L-S goals during regulation play. Lauren Delgado played a tough game in goal for Garden Spot, making 12 saves.
Against Donegal, the Spartans were facing the top-ranked team in Class-AA. Mackenzie Allessie scored five times in the 8-0 victory. She also provided two assists. Lily Saunders also had two assists and scored one of the three first-half goals for the Indians, who improved to 17-0-0 (13-0-0 in league).
Delgado came through with 10 saves in the match at Central on Friday afternoon. The offense was unable to convert on any of its opportunities while the Barons' Codi Bollinger scored twice in the second half.
The boys' soccer team wrapped up the regular season by notching its first victory. The Spartans played a stellar defensive game, defeating McCaskey 1-0 on Wednesday. Earlier in the week, the Spartans suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Manheim Central. Garden Spot finished at 1-14-1 (1-8-1 in league).
Cade Weaver's goal, which came off an Andrew Bowman assist, actually tied the score with Central on Monday. The Barons had gone up 1-0 in the eighth minute Niko Gavala's goal. Weaver tied it less than four minutes later.
The Spartans played a tough match and kept the score deadlocked at 1-1 until Maverick King made it 2-1 in the 59th minute. Brett Kreider and Carson Brenize, who had two assists, added two late goals.
It was the Bowman-Weaver combination in the win against McCaskey. The goal came early in the match as Weaver converted in the fifth minute.
Gabriel Zimmerman, who had six saves in the Central match, had one save in this game and combined with Mark Dariychuk (five saves) for the shutout.
Spot Field Hockey Posts Three Shutout Week October 7, 2018
The Garden Spot field hockey team dominated its opponents this past week, improving to 10-4-1 on the year as the regular season enters its final week. Garden Spot has three games in its final week, including matches against the two teams ahead of the Spartans in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two standings.
"We have Donegal and Manheim Central this week and that will really determine where we'll finish," said head coach Katy Eby.
The Spartans took care of Solanco on the road Monday afternoon, posting the first of their three shutouts on the week. In fact, by blanking Elizabethtown on Wednesday and McCaskey on Friday, the string of shutouts went to four straight games.
"Lauren Delgado has six shutouts so far this year," Eby pointed out. "That's really significant because we only had five wins all of last year. She has been working hard at where she needs to be and communicating with the defense."
In the victory over Solanco, Delgado recorded three saves.
On offense, the Spartans were sparked early on with goals by Madison Casey, Carysse Norris, Sophie Torrance and Aubry Gonzalez. In fact, the team was ahead 4-0 not quite 15 minutes in.
Norris scored 3:20 into the contest and Casey scored her first goal of the match only 34 seconds later. Gonzalez, who also recorded three assists on the day, made it 3-0 at the 6:09 mark and Torrance added a fourth goal at the 14:40 juncture. She too would go on to score a second goal in the 6-0 win.
"It's great to see the girls get off to a fast start," Eby said. "The team seems to play better when we're ahead, so we work with the girls on getting the ball into the offensive circle and to score as quickly as possible. We had three or four goals within the first 15 minutes of this game."
Casey made it 5-0 in the 18th minute. Eby talked about the value-added offensive input Casey brings.
"She's a senior, rotating on the forward line," the coach said. "She seems to have found her coordination better and been more successful with where she needs to be.
"She is in position and ready for rebounds," Eby added. "She is now getting more touches to redirect the ball toward the cage if, for instance, a shot bounces off the goalie's pads."
Amelia Mercado, Megan Esh and Karynne Henry each notched one assist. Torrance scored the lone goal of the second half.
"She also rotates her starting position with or two of the other forwards," Eby said. "Sophie is very fast and has been consistent with our offensive corners.
"We seem to be doing very well with our corners, getting off good shots," she added.
In the Elizabethtown game on Wednesday, the Gonzalez and Amanda Leeland each scored twice with Gonzalez also dishing out an assist. There were nine more Spartans involved in the scoring as Garden Spot posted a 10-0 victory.
Mercado, Henry, Torrance and Casey each had one goal as did Lauren Esh and Megan Esh. There were two assists each by Norris and Kayla Steiner while Henry added one more.
Delgado, who had three saves in the E-town game, needed to only make one save in the low-scoring contest at McCaskey on Friday. The Spartans had only eight shots on goal with Leeland capitalizing twice - once in each half. She scored off assists by Erin Gonzalez and Aubry Gonzalez.
Garden Spot's 10-4-1 record has the team ninth in the District Three Class-AA power rankings, shaded by a slim margin by eighth-place Lampeter-Strasburg (10-4-0).
In a Section Two road game on Friday night, the Garden Spot football team was unable to battle back from an early three-touchdown deficit, losing to Elizabethtown 65-28. The Spartans were relentless in engineering offensive drives and finally scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after a 49-12 halftime deficit could have caused most teams to give up.
Cole Patrick and Cole Livingston were the offensive threats the Spartans were unable to keep out of the end zone while Cole Rice added a big play on special teams. Basically, if someone was named Cole, he was dangerous on Friday night.
Patrick finished the night with 10 completions - five of which went for touchdowns. He passed for 250 yards, hitting Livingston for four TD's and connecting with Luke Pierson for another scoring pass. Livingston finished with 170 receiving yards while Pierson caught two passes for 45 yards.
Zeb Fisher put the Spartans on the scoreboard with a 64-yard scoring dash in the first quarter, making it a combined 27-point opening period.
The Bears' special teams also hurt Garden Spot. In the second quarter, after the first of two TD's by the Spartans - John Dykie's 40-yard pass from Fisher - Rice ran the kickoff back 78 yards for a score.
Fisher duplicated the feat with another 64-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also converted the two-point conversion, and ran for a 22-yarder followed by Dykie's two-point PAT.
On the night, Fisher finished with 199 rushing yards on 19 carries, scoring three touchdowns. Dykie compiled 66 rushing yards and caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Fisher (5-for-11, 80 yards).
The Spartans fell to 0-7 on the year (0-4 in league) while Elizabethtown improved to 4-3, 2-2.
Next up for the Spartans is a road game against Section Two foe Cocalico on Friday.
Following their 2-1 defeat of Twin Valley on Monday, the Spartans played to consecutive draws in girls' soccer action. On Tuesday, they tied Elizabethtown on the road 1-1 and on Friday, they hosted Lampeter-Strasburg, playing to a scoreless draw.
Spot out-shot Twin Valley 15-10 in Monday's non-league contest. Erna Hamzic scored both goals, evening the score in the 11th minute of the match and scoring the eventual game-winner 19 minutes into the second half. Olivia Matherson's goal had given Twin Valley an early lead whereas Elizabeth King's nine saves staved off the Raiders' pressure for the rest of the match.
Lindsey Sweigart and Mataya Hostetter each provided an assist for Spot.
Kylah Morales scored Garden Spot's lone goal in the match at E-town while King held strong, saving four of the Bears' five shots on goal even through overtime.
King notched 10 saves versus L-S on Friday as the Spartans (6-5-3) played to a draw against a Section Two foe for the third time on the year (2-2-3 league). King was solid through 80 minutes of regulation play plus overtime.
Despite two close matches, the Spartans were unable to earn their first win of the season. Garden Spot lost 1-0 to Lancaster Catholic on the road Monday night and suffered a close 3-1 defeat at home to Section Two rival E-town on Tuesday afternoon. Friday afternoon the team finished on the short end of a 4-1 final at Lampeter Strasburg.
On Monday night, the defense, which was anchored by goalie Gabriel Zimmerman (6 saves) took the game into overtime before the Crusaders broke the scoreless tie. Jack Krady scored three minutes into extra time. Garden Spot fell to 0-11-1 overall.
With the losses to E-town and L-S, the Spartans fell to 0-7-1 in the league. Tuesday's game saw the Bears score three first-half goals while the Spartans remained scoreless until the final minute of regulation where Andrew Bowman converted on a penalty kick. Zimmerman held his ground, making eight saves.
Matt McCormick scored Spot's lone goal on Friday while Derek Eckman and Caden Wise each scored twice for the Pioneers. Matt High was back in goal for Garden Spot, recording eight saves.
In the L-L League Flight Tournament, Garden Spot's Elle Hallquist came up short in the first round of Flight One singles, losing 6-2, 6-1. In Flight Two, Paige Kemper was unable to advance in a 6-0, 6-1 match while Ashley Risser suffered a close 7-6(10), 6-1 defeat at Flight Three. Leah Strausser was stopped in the first round of Flight Four singles 6-1, 6-1.
Kemper and Hallquist teamed for Flight One doubles where they suffered a 6-3, 6-0 loss to a tough Manheim Township twosome of Avery Palandjian and Emily Garvin.
Risser and Katie Varley fell in Flight Two doubles as did Lillie Risser and Leah Strausser at Flight Three, losing 9-8(2).
Garden Spot's volleyball team will end the regular season with a home match against Elizabethtown. With only four matches left on their schedule, the Spartans (8-0) lead the Bears (7-1) by one game in the Section Two standings.
Garden Spot notched a Section Two victory at Lampeter-Strasburg this past week and lost to Palmyra in a non-league match.
In the L-S match, the Spartans won the first two sets rather easily, 25-11 and 25-18. They finished it off with a 25-20 victory.
Shawna Zeiset came through with 15 kills and tied Kelly Martin for the team lead in aces with five. Zeiset also registered two blocks, equaling Logan Martin in that category. Distributing 23 assists was Sarah Shirk while Kelly Martin led the way in digs with nine.
Palmyra, which is the top-ranked team in the District Three 3A power rankings, defeated the Spartans 25-9 in the opening set on Thursday night at New Holland. The Spartans (10-2-0 overall) came right back with a 25-19 win only to see the Cougars (10-1-0) regain the edge with a 25-23 win. Though the Spartans forced a tiebreaker with their 25-19 win, the Cougars claimed the match with a 15-8 victory. Taylor McInerney led the Cougars with 25 kills and Hannah Ziegler recorded 48 assists.
Zeiset had a team-high 21 kills and had as many aces as Shirk - three. Shirk also finished with 40 assists. Logan Martin led the team in blocks with four while Kelly Martin tacked on 19 digs.
Spartan Booters Work a Tie Against McCaskey September 30, 2018
The two matches that Garden Spot played this past week included a high-scoring match with Section Two rival McCaskey and a solid performance against the first-place team in the section, Ephrata.
In the 4-4 tie against McCaskey, the Spartans earned a point thanks to a fast-paced scoring that started early in the match.
"We came out pretty much from the start and scored in the first five minutes or so," said head coach Michael Balazs. "It was kind of back and forth for the rest of the game."
Cole Horning scored two minutes into the match and Cade Weaver started his quest for a hat trick one minute later with his first goal of the afternoon.
Indeed it was a back-and-forth game as the Red Tornado cut the deficit in half in the ninth minute only to see Weaver make it 3-1 in the 21st minute. McCaskey then scored two quick goals to tie the score 26 minutes into the game.
Weaver notched the hat trick, scoring four minutes into the second half. Giannicola Ferrarelli provided the assist.
The Red Tornado came back again and scored the equalizer on Sam Hershey's second goal of the game.
"We tried to possess the ball a little more in the second half and put more pressure on their outside backs," Balazs explained. "We had a couple more opportunities to score, but that was it."
Not only did the game end in a draw, both teams had 12 shots on goal giving the respective goalkeepers - Garden Spot's Matthew High and McCaskey's Max Brewster - eight saves each.
The Spartans improved to 0-4-1 in league play.
On Thursday evening, the Spartans had another stellar game with High minding the net as they visited Ephrata. The Mountaineers scored less than 10 minutes into the game to take a 1-0 advantage. They held that lead until the final whistle. High finished with seven saves.
"They had a lucky bounce, but that's the way the game goes," Balazs said. "We pretty much controlled the possession of that game. We were on the edge, trying to finish and that has been the story all season.
"Our defense was pretty solid," continued the coach. "In Josiah Snader, we probably have one of the best defenders in the section. With him back there, it's a lockdown defense."
Garden Spot fell to 0-10-1 following a non-league loss at Penn Manor on Saturday. The Comets posted a 5-2 victory with Horning scoring both Garden Spot goals.
"It was 1-1 at halftime," Balazs said. "In the second half we lost focus."
Though the Spartans are winless, their head coach feels the team could have an entirely different record with a few more breaks.
"It has been the story all year long," he stated. "We are lacking that final surge, which could put us over the top. We could easily have five or six wins this year."
Garden Spot hosted Conestoga Valley in a Friday night Lancaster-Lebanon League football game in New Holland. The Spartans were hoping to notch their first win of the season on their homecoming game, however the Buckskins inched ahead late in the first half and added three more touchdowns in the second half for a 42-14 victory.
The game was close in the second quarter. In fact, the Spartans, who had carried a 7-0 advantage into the second stanza, evened the score following two TD's by CV. John Dykie, who racked up 79 rushing yards on the night, scored on a four-yard touchdown run and Giannicola Ferrarelli's PAT kick made it 14-14.
Keegan Martin, the Buckskins' halfback, threw an option pass to teammate Gavin Horning that resulted in a 31-yard scoring connection to help give the visitors the momentum going into the locker rooms. Earlier in the game, Martin had broken free for a 41-yard rushing touchdown that had helped put his team up 14-7. Keegan went on to compile 135 rushing yards on 22 carries, scoring on three of those attempts.
The Buckskins' passing game hurt the Spartans in the person of quarterback Bradley Stoltzfus. He had a 28-yard TD pass to Parker Graff in the second quarter. Stoltzfus (12-for-17, 194 yards) also hit Horning with a TD pass in the third quarter.
Garden Spot's special teams sparked the home crowd at the outset of the game. Zeb Fisher cradled the opening kickoff and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. Before the Buckskins could get their offense or defense on the field, it was 7-0 Garden Spot.
With their 5-0 defeat of section foe McCaskey on Monday afternoon, the Spartan girls' soccer team raised its league and overall records to the .500 mark at 2-2-1 in league play and 5-5-1 overall.
Garden Spot's offense recorded 15 shots on goal in the home game against McCaskey. Goalie Elizabeth King recorded her second shutout in her last three starts. She only needed to make one save in this win.
The scoring didn't begin until the midway point of the first half. That was when Avery Stauffer put Spot on top 1-0.
Erna Hamzic scored her first goal in the first minute of the first half and her second goal two minutes into the second half.
The result was a 3-0 Garden Spot lead heading into the final five minutes of the game. That was when Payton Shirk and Mataya Hostetter added to the lead. Anna Armbruster and Kassidy Hollinger had assists on the day.
Despite the uncertain weather, the Garden Spot cross country squads traveled to Cocalico and raced in the scheduled Section Two meet on Tuesday afternoon. The Spartans dropped a 19-38 result against Cocalico and fell 17-40 to Elco.
Jeremy Rissler's time of 19:16 earned him seventh place. Adam Horning placed 10th, recording a time of 19:47, while Donovan Esbenshade took 13th at 21:06.
Despite strong finishes by Cloe Martin and Amanda Coblentz, the girls' team wasn't able to top Elco either. The Raiders topped both league rivals as the girls' team fell to 1-5 on the season.
Martin finished third overall with a time of 23:12. Coblentz claimed fourth at 24:37.
Spot's Samantha Davis earned 11th place with a time of 28:12.
The field hockey squad played three tough matches last week, resulting in a win, a loss and a draw. When the final whistle blew in the Spartan's 4-0 non-league defeat of Ephrata on Friday, the team had improved to 7-4-1. The one draw in that record was against league rival Cocalico on Thursday night.
The Spartans, who were coming off a 2-0 defeat at home to Manheim Central on Tuesday, traveled to Cocalico where a first-half goal by each side stood through the remainder of regulation as well as overtime.
Lauren Delgado, who had 10 saves in the Central match, denied six of the Eagles' shots while Natalie Eberly added one save. Eberly and Julia Milligan were each credited with a save in the Central game.
Aubry Gonzalez scored off a Carysse Norris assist 9:07 into the first half against Cocalico. The Eagles' Lily Garrison evened the score at the 23:38 mark.
Gonzalez scored twice in Friday's 4-0 defeat of Ephrata. In this match, the opposition tallied more scoring opportunities. However, Delgado turned away all 12 shots on goal for a shutout.
Amanda Leeland gave Garden Spot a 1-0 lead which held up until halftime. The goal by Karynne Henry at the 25:29 mark of the second half was sandwiched between the pair of goals by Gonzalez.
Madison Casey came through with three assists while Megan Esh dished out one more assist.
The girls' tennis team posted victories at Solanco and Ephrata, improving to 3-2 in the L-L League and 6-5 overall. The Spartans ended the week with a 6-1 setback at home against league foe Manheim Central.
In the close 4-3 defeat of Solanco, the Spartans were resilient in every match. Paige Kemper and Ashley Risser pulled off an 8-2 victory at first doubles while the Mares claimed the number two doubles.
The twosome of Muttik and Lillie Risser held tough in an 8-6 setback at third doubles.
The Mares earned another team point in singles play. However, Katie Varley of Garden Spot did not go down quietly. She lost 6-4, but came back for a 7-5 win at the second set only to lose a close 8-6 tiebreaker.
Leah Strausser won a close second singles 7-5, 4-6, 10-3 while Ashley Risser (6-1, 6-1) and Kemper (6-1, 6-4) won in relatively easy fashion in straight sets.
The 6-1 win for Garden Spot at Ephrata came courtesy of Varley (6-1, 6-4) and Strausser (7-6, 6-3) in straight sets at the first two singles and Kemper bouncing back to win at number four singles (6-4, 4-6, 14-12).
Kemper and Ashley Risser won at number one doubles 8-6 while Strausser teamed with Varley for an 8-3 victory. It was Lillie Risser and Kendall Halsey combining for an 8-4 win at third doubles.
Ashley Risser's 7-6, 2-6, 10-6 triumph was the only Garden Spot team point at number three singles versus Central's Eliana Shenk. At first and second doubles, the Spartan teammates held their own. Varley and Strausser came up short 8-6 at first doubles while Kemper and Ashley Risser also fell by the same close margin.
Garden Spot continued to dominate Section Two volleyball foes as the Spartans improved to 7-0 in the L-L League. The team posted wins against Elizabethtown and Ephrata. Garden Spot had won 19 straight sets in section play until the Mountaineers edged them 30-28 in the second set of Thursday night's match at Ephrata.
Garden Spot opened with a 25-17 win and rebounded from the close loss by winning the next two sets 25-14 and 25-16.
Shawna Zeiset poured in 18 kills while Sarah Shirk led the team with 19 digs and tallied a match-leading 45 assists.
Junior Hallie Butler led the team in aces with eight while Logan Martin notched two blocks.
In Tuesday night's victory at home, the Spartans had to hold off a surging E-town team that lost the second and third sets by the identical score of 25-23. Garden Spot won the opener 25-15.
Zeiset came through with 13 kills and three blocks. Kelly Martin had 22 digs while Shirk again had the highest total in assists (35). Alanna Billy was on fire serving the ball, recording seven aces.
Spot Volleyball Scores Three Straight Shutouts September 23, 2018
The Spartans were not about to yield a single set in the three girls' volleyball matches played this past week. Garden Spot topped Red Lion in a non-league match on Monday and proceeded to win two more road matches, beating Lancaster-Lebanon League rivals Solanco and Lebanon - all by a 3-0 score.
The Red Lion match being on the road didn't seem to deter the Spartans. They came out with a 25-16 victory in the opening set and held off the Lions 25-20 and 25-22 in two close sets.
The victory improved the Spartans to 5-1 overall. The two league wins that would follow raised the team's L-L League mark to 5-0 (7-1 overall).
The visitors received contributions from their key players in the Red Lion match, including eight aces by Kelly Martin, who also came through with 14 digs.
Shawna Zeiset was ready at the net to deliver 14 kills while Sarah Shirk set up opportunities with 30 assists. Zeiset, Shirk and Logan Martin each notched one block.
In topping Solanco 25-9, 25-13 and 25-7 on the road Tuesday night, the same cast of players were the leaders for Spot. Zeiset drilled 11 kills while Shirk served up six aces and recorded 24 assists. Logan Martin had two blocks and Kelly Martin tallied 17 digs.
In their third road match in four days, the Spartans posted winning scores of 25-10, 25-12 and 25-17 against Section Two rival Lebanon on Thursday.
Olivia Usner and Logan Martin, who led the team with eight digs, each recorded five kills. Kelly Martin had a team-high seven aces, Shirk had a total of 11 assists and Zeiset registered one block.
The Spartans started the week with a 4-1 defeat of L-L League opponent McCaskey. The game started with a strong offensive effort, giving the Spartans a quick 2-0 advantage.
"We came out really strong and scored very quickly," said head coach Katy Eby. "We had two goals in the first few minutes of the game and kept the pressure on in the second half as well."
Amanda Leeland scored just 1:20 into the game. Aubry Gonzalez doubled that lead four minutes later. Madison Casey's goal just before halftime made it 3-0. Leeland added a second goal at the 12:20 mark of the second half.
Carysse Norris had a hand in three of Garden Spot's goals, dishing out three assists. Megan Esh also notched an assist.
The Spartans' next game, on Wednesday, was against another league rival, Lampeter-Strasburg.
With early goals by Julz Garber and Julia Smecker, the hosting Pioneers went on to edge the Spartans 3-1. Lauren Delgado recorded 13 saves as the Pioneers out-shot the Spartans 16-9.
"I knew it would be a tight game," Eby commented. "We had our opportunities to score and just didn't finish. We'll be looking to improve upon that in our next game against them. It's definitely going to come down to one or two goals against them."
Sophie Torrance broke through the L-S defense with a goal late in the first half, scoring on an assist by Gonzalez.
Eby noted that the squad hasn't been as sharp in its two night games this season.
"It seemed that we didn't come out as strong as we should have," she said. "They scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. We weren't mentally focused - maybe because it was a night game. We are 1-1 in night games. It just seems we're quieter in terms of communication on the field."
The loss dropped the Spartans to 6-2-0 overall and 4-1-0 in the league.
The Spartans faced the Donegal Indians, who came into the match unbeaten and improved to 9-0-0 (6-0-0) with a 12-0 victory on Friday afternoon.
"We talk to the girls that win or lose, we focus on what we did wrong and move on to the next day," Eby said. "We've left this one behind and now are focusing on the next game."
Obviously Donegal's undefeated mark has the team atop the Section Two standings. Manheim Central is 4-1-0 while both Garden Spot and Donegal are at 4-2-0 in league action.
"I think it's a three-way battle for second place - Central, L-S, and us," she said. "Top three teams from our section make the league playoffs."
Garden Spot suffered a close loss at home to league rival Ephrata on Monday. The Mountaineers edged the Spartans 2-1 in Section Two boys' soccer action.
In the second overtime period, the Mountaineers' Caleb Gason scored the game winner 97 minutes after the start of the match. Humberto Cisneros had scored the equalizer for the visitors 24 minutes into the second half.
Garden Spot took a lead on Andrew Bowman's goal in the 50th minute. The defense limited Ephrata to only three shots on goal.
With a 3-0 loss to Lampeter-Strasburg on Tuesday and a 4-0 loss at Manheim Central on Thursday, Garden Spot fell to 0-8-0 (0-4-0 league).
On Thursday afternoon, Cocalico topped the Spartans in a league match that was postponed from earlier in the week. The Eagles came away with a 6-1 victory despite some tremendous efforts by the likes of Paige Kemper, Leah Strausser, Lillie Rissler and others.
In the first doubles match, Cocalico's Allie Dickson and Grace Templin eked out a victory over Risser and Strausser in a 9-8 (7-5) battle to the very last serve. Spot's Ashley Risser and Katie Barley fell shy in an 8-4 final while Kemper and Elle Hallquist's effort at third doubles came up short in an 8-4 decision.
Kemper won the third singles, giving the Spartans their lone team point. She posted a 6-4 victory in the opening set and, following a 6-2 setback, won the third set 10-7.
The Spartans topped Elizabethtown in a Tuesday afternoon away match. The only Bears' team point was a tight battle at second singles where Ashley Rissler was in a close first set, winning 7-5, before losing by the same score in the second set and 11-9 in the tiebreaker.
Strausser posted a 7-5, 6-0 win at number one singles. Kemper came through 6-1, 7-5 at third singles while Hallquist outlasted Lauren Masser 4-6, 6-2, 10-3.
In doubles, it was Lillie Risser and Strausser posting an 8-4 victory while Ashley Risser and Katie Varley claimed the second doubles 8-6. Hallquist and Kemper were a formidable pair at third doubles 9-7.
Following a 1-0 defeat of Warwick in a non-league game on Saturday, the Garden Spot girls' soccer team improved to 4-5-1. It was the second 1-0 shutout of the week for the Spartans, who had also blanked league rival Lampeter -Strasburg on the road Tuesday night.
In Tuesday's game, which improved the team's league record to 1-1-1, Deanna Phillips broke the scoreless deadlock by scoring 10 minutes into overtime.
What was remarkable about heading into overtime tied at 0-0 was that the Pioneers had found open seams to direct shots at Garden Spot goalie Elizabeth King 19 times on the night. King saved all 19.
Junior goalie Marissa Spacht racked up eight saves in the shutout of Warwick. The Spartans didn't require extra minutes to score in this one as Payton Shirk scored off an Anna Armbruster assist in the second half.
Sandwiched in between the wins was a 3-0 loss to Manheim Central on Thursday night at New Holland. The Barons improved to 8-1-0 (3-1-0 league) as goalie Kelli Kreider saved all three shots sent her way.
Rachel Nolt scored late in the first half. Autumn Greiner and Summer Bates added some seasoning to the score.
The Pioneers' defense kept the Spartans off the scoreboard in Friday night's Section Two match at Lampeter-Strasburg. With the 42-0 victory, the Pioneers evened their league record at 1-1 while improving to 4-1 overall. In all four of their wins, the Pioneers have scored 35 or more points.
Garden Spot fell to 0-5 (0-2 league).
Alex Knapp was one of the stars for L-S, scoring three touchdowns on the night. He opened the scoring with a 10-yard rushing TD. He was also on the receiving end of a 47-yard scoring pass from Sean McTaggert as well as a nine-yard toss from McTaggert, who also scored on an eight-yard quarterback keeper in the second quarter.
The Pioneers scored 14 in the first quarter and 21 more in the second.
Garden Spot had 84 rushing yards, led by John Dykie's 68 yards on 18 carries. Jesse Martin completed five passes for 41 yards with no picks.
It was a busy week for the Garden Spot golfers, who played on Monday and Friday. The Spartans needed to make up a game postponed due to inclement weather back on September 10.
In Monday's match, they topped Conestoga Valley and Solanco at Meadia Heights. On Friday, they also topped those opponents while coming up short against Warwick, Ephrata and Elizabethtown at Tanglewood.
The Spartans shot an even 200 on Monday with Adam Hershey leading the squad. He shot a 47, which was good for ninth-best overall score. Zach Lessley shot a 49 and Benjamin Spencer shot a 52 on the day.
Teammates Liam Hamer and Holt Albertson also finished with a 52 on their score cards.
Warwick was the winning team with a score of 160 while E-town (186) and Ephrata (195) finished second and third, respectively.
On Friday, Warwick held off the competition with a team score of 328. Four of the top five golfers represented the Warriors. Ephrata (376) and E-town (379) battled for second place and Garden Spot took fourth at 391.
Albertson led the Spartans with a score of 91. Hershey shot a 94 on the day, Hamer came away with a 101 and Lessley shot a 105.
Garden Spot fell to 17-13 overall.
Garden Spot Rally Falls Short Against Palmyra September 9, 2018
The Garden Spot football team came up short in what proved to be a thrilling second half game at home on Friday night.
In a non-league contest with Palmyra, the Spartans scored three touchdowns in the second half, but couldn't overcome a halftime deficit. The Cougars (3-0) left New Holland with a 44-20 win.
Palmyra's' 23 unanswered points in the first half resulted in the Spartans making some halftime adjustments.
"We just kept playing our game, getting the guys to clean up some of the mistakes from the first half," said head coach Zach Fulmer. "We did that in our first game, which was against Daniel Boone.
"We just need to do that for an entire game next week," added Fulmer, whose squad begins Section Two play this week against visiting Solanco.
"Nothing easy is left on our schedule," Fulmer remarked.
Palmyra scored two touchdowns in the first quarter. Grant Haus scored on a five-yard quarterback keeper. Caleb Hawkins scored the first of his two TD's later in the period - a 21-yard rushing TD.
Following a Palmyra safety, the Cougars added to their lead on a 44-yard scoring pass from Haus to Casey Shugart.
Garden Spot struck early in the second quarter as Jesse Martin broke through for a 70-yard dash to the end zone. Hawkins capped a Cougars' drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game, making it 30-6. Haus connected on an 83-yard TD pass to Sean Carter to increase the deficit.
"We just ran the ball well in the second half," said Fulmer, whose offense still had plenty of life left before the final whistle. Zackary Ringler hauled in two touchdown receptions from Martin and Giannicola Ferrarelli converted the PAT kicks.
"Zack is our tight end. He has been the main target so far this year," Fulmer said.
Sophomore running back John Dyke also came through in the tough running game the offense demonstrated.
"I think John finished with 90-some yards and Jesse Martin ran for over a hundred yards - most of it in the second half," Fulmer added.
Garden Spot accumulated 215 rushing yards to 142 by Palmyra.
As for Solanco, Fulmer said the Spartans expect a relentless ground attack.
"They run the ball a lot," he said. "That's all they do. They're a good football team and we need to slow down their rushing attack."
Garden Spot's first victory of the season was a gradual process, one could say. The Spartans suffered back-to-back losses by the identical score of 3-0 to Governor Mifflin and Elco.
They played a tougher and much more organized game at Donegal on Thursday, losing 1-0 before returning home and defeating Solanco 3-1 on Saturday morning.
"I think we have a tough schedule right out of the gate," said head coach Harry Klinger. "Governor Mifflin, a Quad-A team, is one of the toughest teams in the area and Elco is a strong team who has won the section title a few years in a row."
The Raiders scored 14 minutes into the match. Katelyn Rueppel scored her second goal of the game 15 minutes into the second half before Ryelle Shuey cemented the victory with the team's third goal in the 63rd minute. Tanisha Grewal registered two assists.
"We played better against Donegal, but I think we could have played better," Klinger remarked. "We were a little lethargic."
Despite the 3-0 losses, Klinger was high on his defense and senior goalkeeper Elizabeth King.
"We gave up three goals in each of the first two games," he said. "She couldn't have saved any of them - all top-shelf goals in the corners. I think we've played well defensively,"
In the Solanco game, all of the scoring took place in the second half. Mataya Hostetter scored 17 minutes into the second half. Payton Shirk scored one minute later and made it 3-0 with five minutes left in the game. Hostetter and Kassidy Hollinger each notched an assist while King made three saves.
"We had two goals off corners," Klinger explained. "Payton, our center back, scored both of her goals on corners. We moved her up on several corners. She struck one in with her foot and headed in the other one."
Things don't get much easier for the Spartans' schedule as the season goes on.
"We play Ephrata for our first section game and a lot of people think they can win the whole league," Klinger commented. "We have 10 section games and seven non-league. Each of the non-league teams were district playoff teams last year."
Garden Spot has served up three straight wins to start this 2018 season, including two victories over Section Two rivals. On Tuesday evening, Garden Spot outlasted Ephrata in a tough home match, defeating the Mountaineers 25-22 in the opening set, cruising to a 25-11 victory in the second set before finally serving up match point in the 32-30 third set thriller.
"That was an intense back-and-forth game with tough defense on both sides," head coach Mark Leaman commented. "Ephrata was very scrappy."
Thursday's victory was also on the Spartans' home court as they topped Lampeter-Strasburg 25-22, 25-10 and 25-16.
Returning seniors Shawna Zeiset, Sarah Shirk and Kristin Sims have certainly done their share to help the squad set out to a 3-0 start. In the L-S match, Zeiset poured in 16 kills while Shirk distributed 27 assists. Sims had two solo blocks while junior libero Kelly Martin registered 10 digs.
"Kelly is filling big shoes," Leaman said, referring to 2017 all-league libero and Garden Spot alum Sam Martin. "She's in charge of communication on the floor and is doing a great job being aggressive."
In that marathon match with the Mountaineers, which came four days following a season-opening 3-0 defeat of Penn Manor, Zeiset put up phenomenal numbers again - five aces and 12 kills. Olivia Usner drilled five service aces as well while Shirk led the team with 37 assists and tied Martin for the team lead in digs with 16. Sims registered two blocks.
"Olivia Usner has gotten off to a great start," added Leaman. "All of these girls have been playing club volleyball and they're starting to come together. They have high volleyball IQ."
Garden Spot's next 10 matches include eight against Section Two rivals.
"The last two years Elizabethtown took it," Leaman noted. "I think the play level is up all around in our section."
Garden Spot took on Annville-Cleona and Octorara in Tuesday's cross country race at A-C. In the boys' competition, the host Dutchmen edged the Spartans 26-29 while the Spartans went on to defeat the Braves 15-45.
In the girls' race it was another close one between the home team and Garden Spot as Annville-Cleona prevailed 26-31. Meanwhile, Octorara came out on top 20-38 over Garden Spot also.
Octorara's girls featured three of the top five finishers in the race. The other two spots belonged to Garden Spot runners Cloe Martin and Amanda Coblentz, who finished third and fifth, respectively, with times of 23:47 and 24:14.
Senior Jeremy Rissler and junior Adam Horning paced the Spartan runners in the boys' race. Rissler took second overall at 19:37 while Horning finished third at 19:52.
Thanks to Dakota Cox (5th, 20:15) Donovan Esbenshade (9th, 21:09), and Dwight Hurst, who finished 10th (21:15), the Spartans came on strong against the Little Dutchmen. In addition, Finn Wrench grabbed 12th place at 21:51
Garden Spot hosted Donegal in a non-league boys' soccer match on Tuesday. The Indians edged the Spartans 2-1 in what was Garden Spot's third loss of the season. In each of its losses, Garden Spot (0-3) has scored one goal.
Andrew Bowman scored the only goal of the game for his second goal of the season. Of the three goals, Sam Tlumach has netted one as well, converting on a Bowman assist.
Matt High played a strong game in goal for Garden Spot.
In field hockey action, the Garden Spot squad has shot out to a great start this year. The Spartans' lone loss is a non-league defeat on Saturday afternoon when they played a double header at Lancaster Catholic.
In that action-packed Saturday, the Spartans topped the host school 5-1 in a morning match but lost to Berks Catholic by a 5-2 count in the afternoon. The loss dropped the Spartans to 3-1 on the year.
In the victory over Catholic, the Spartans had four second-half goals, finishing with 20 shots on goal for the game.
Five different Spartans scored in the game, including Sophie Torrance, who also posted two assists.
Amanda Leeland opened the scoring 1:57 into the first half. Carysse Norris, who also added an assist, made it 2-0 followed by Torrance's goal. Karynne Henry and Lauren Esh capped the scoring.
Megan Esh and Erin Gonzalez each added an assist while Lauren Delgado recorded 10 saves.
Delgado was coming off two shutouts to start the season, including an L-L League 2-0 victory over Cocalico on Thursday. In the shutout she had eight saves while Leeland and Norris each netted one goal. Aubrey Gonzalez and Rebecca Horning each provided an assist.
The Spartans fell to 3-2 on the season after a non-league loss at Warwick on Friday afternoon. The Warriors edged the Spartans 3-2, winning two of the singles matches plus another team point in doubles.
Katie Varley and Lillie Rissler paired up for a 6-2, 7-5 victory in first doubles, giving Garden Spot its first team point of the match. The Spartans came up short at number two doubles, but did even the score on Paige Kemper's 6-2, 1-0 victory at second singles.
Ashley Rissler played a tough opening set, defeating Kaelan Miller 6-4. However, Miller came back for two wins, 6-4 and 10-6, to help Warwick earn the win.
The Spartans came away with a win in their first L-L League match of the season. Playing at Donegal on Thursday, the girls' team eked out a 4-3 victory.
On Wednesday, the golfers played an excellent game against league foes Warwick, Elizabethtown, Ephrata, Solanco and Conestoga Valley at Meadia Heights.
Warwick's team finished on top with 152 points, only 11 strokes ahead of E-town. Garden Spot finishe third at 168, edging Ephrata (176) .
Adam Hershey and Ben Spencer finished third and fourth overall with respective scores of 36 and 37. Finishing 15th and 16th, were Spot's Liam Hamer (47) and Holt Albertson (48)
Garden Spot improved its record to 13-7 in the league - second in Section Two behind Warwick, which is 20-0.
Spartans Post Winningest Season Since 1997 June 1, 2018
The 2018 Spartans' softball season shattered team records offensively as well as a number of individual records on what was Garden Spot's winningest season since 1997.
"We scored 187 runs; we had 226 hits, setting team records in most doubles, triples and home runs," head coach Kim King pointed out.
It was therefore surprising that the team's season came to a close following back-to-back losses in the District Three Class 5A playoffs - both by the score of 1-0. The second of these was to Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Manheim Central in a consolation game at York College on Tuesday.
"It was ironic that we scored 187 runs and we couldn't score one in our last two games," King said. "Out of the 226 hits this year, we couldn't get that timely hit. I told the girls this was the best-hitting team I've ever had here."
Following their opening-round victory at Lower Dauphin on May 23, the ninth-seeded Spartans traveled to Millersville University to take on top-seeded Solanco in the quarterfinals the following day.
The loss set up the consolation game at York. The Barons held the Spartans to four hits in a heartbreaking loss.
Despite the defeat, Elizabeth King pitched a complete game.
"Elizabeth pitched great," said the Spartan coach. "They had some hits, but nothing solid. They had a bloop double, a bunt single and scored on a ground ball to second base. We played good defense."
The four Garden Spot hits came from King, her battery mate Desiree High and from Megan Fisher, who had two hits.
Solanco scored an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning to break the scoreless deadlock. It spoiled a strong effort by King, who recorded 10 strikeouts.
Solanco starter Hannah Phillips registered 11 strikeouts and worked out of a big Spartan scoring threat in the first frame.
Ally King bunted her way on with one out. Elizabeth King doubled to put runners on second and third.
"They walked Megan Fisher, which usually gets the next batter pumped up," said King.
However, two infield pop outs extinguished that first frame flame.
"When you load the bases in the first inning, even if you don't score you're hopeful," said King. "Hannah Phillips shut us down the rest of the game."
Garden Spot's ace was matching Phillips out-for-out and only gave up two hits through eight innings as the scoreless game went into extras.
"They were both controlling the game, mixing their pitches and hitting their spots," King said. "They had a bloop single and a blooper over first base for a double."
With runners on second and third and only one out, King made a visit to the mound and talked to her pitcher about loading the bases with an intentional walk.
"I asked her about setting up a force out at home by walking the bases loaded," she explained. "Elizabeth said she wanted to go after the next batter. She struck her out."
However, a fielding error gave Solanco the winning run.
Because the top five teams in Class 5A qualify for the state playoffs, making it past the quarterfinals would have punched the team's ticket to states.
"We were one win away - maybe just one hit away from our league championship," King said. "We missed an opportunity. All year we had come back and scored the run we needed. The girls felt that way too."
The 2019 team potentially returns the entire infield as well as the team's ace hurler. The spots that will be left open will be those vacated by seniors Brandi Clark, who roamed center field for four years, and Abigail Foor.
"It's going to be a different look for us in the outfield," said King. "It will be sad to see them go."
If there's improvement next year in terms of wins, King would break the single-season record for most wins by a pitcher (15) at Garden Spot. She also set a team record in 2018 with 197 strikeouts and two no-hitters.
In all, the Spartans set 23 offensive records between team accomplishments and individual records.
Spartans Win Again, Top LD in District Playoffs May 24, 2018
The Garden Spot Spartans visited Lower Dauphin for a first-round game in the District Three Class 5A softball playoffs on Wednesday afternoon.
Garden Spot entered the playoffs as the ninth-seeded team while Lower Dauphin edged them in the district power rankings.
In a game that was rescheduled from the previous day, the Spartans defeated the Falcons 6-3 on the road. Garden Spot scored its six runs by plating two each in the second, third and fourth innings.
"We came out with our bats a little flat in the first inning," said head coach Kim King, who admitted utilizing the batters in the first inning for scouting Falcons pitcher Paige Hollinger.
"Our first couple of batters were just told to go out and let the teammates know what she had," King explained. "We had not seen them at all and we don't have any common opponents."
Meanwhile, Elizabeth King did the job as the Spartans' starting pitcher. She worked her way out of trouble and finished strong, recording 10 strikeouts on the day.
"Elizabeth pitched a great game and we played well as a team," said King. "We had a couple of errors in the infield, which never helps."
Those errors helped the Falcons put together a three-run rally in the home half of the fifth inning, cutting the 6-0 deficit in half.
Sandwiched between the errors was a strikeout by King. A play at the plate went for naught and resulted in one of the LD runs.
"They singled in another run but we got out of the inning on a great defensive play at second base," King said. "Though we didn't score any in the next inning, Elizabeth came out and struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth. She finished strong.
"The maturity of a pitcher to shut things down came through for us," continued the coach. "The girls took control of the game and finished it out."
King's complete game effort yielded only six singles and one base walk.
On offense, Megan Fisher and Camryn Foulk combined for five hits.
Garden Spot assured itself at least two more playoff games with this win. Top-seeded Solanco won its first-round game against Northern York.
The losing teams in the second round start a consolation round to determine the top five teams in Class 5A. Those five teams qualify for states.
Foulk, King and Brandi Clark were named first team all-stars. Fisher and Desiree High were honorable mention while Clark was named all-league for Section Two and Three.
Spartans Top PV, Fall to Donegal in LL Playoffs May 18, 2018
The Garden Spot softball team triumphed over Pequea Valley in the opening round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, hosted by Conestoga Valley on May 12.
In the 12-9 victory, the Spartans allowed seven unearned runs to the Braves.
"They only had two earned runs; we made seven errors in that game" said head coach Kim King. "Luckily, we put the ball in play. We had five players with three hits each and 18 hits as a team."
Brandi Clark, Camryn Focht, Ali King, Ashley Rissler and starting pitcher Elizabeth King each had three hits. Focht had two doubles and all but Rissler had one double each. Elizabeth King also helped her cause by driving in four runs.
"The hits helped make up for the fielding errors," said the Spartans' coach. "If you get 18 hits, you know you're going to score some runs."
Garden Spot had entered the league playoffs as the second seed out of Section Two. The Braves, who fell to 13-7 overall, were the Section Four champs.
The victory advanced the Spartans to the league semifinals where they faced Section Three runner up Donegal on Monday at Warwick.
The errors weren't only on the field in this one; the Spartans also had a costly base running blunder that helped the Indians hang on for a 2-1 victory, ending the Spartans' quest for the league crown.
"We out-hit them 4-2 and did everything we needed to do," said King. "We couldn't get the runs in when we had base runners. We also had a runner picked off third base.
"Elizabeth did what we asked her to," added the coach. "She gave us a good game - three strikeouts and only one walk. She didn't give up any earned runs."
And there it is - no earned runs.
"We committed three errors," King added. "Their only two hits were bloop singles. They scored one run on a passed ball in the second. They scored in the fifth on a couple of errors."
Garden Spot (14-7) came back to tie the game on a Focht home run in the fourth inning.
The oddity about the culmination of the L-L League post-season was how the championship game was decided on Thursday. The title game was rescheduled to Thursday and it was decided by league officials that it would be postponed again. Instead Donegal and Solanco were declared co-champions.
In a season that included snow on the first day of spring as well as several weather-related postponements, it would have been poetic justice if your team had made it past the semis.
That 20/20 hindsight was not lost on King.
"We were just a couple of errors away from being league co-champions," she said. "It's strange how the weather even had an outcome on the league championship this year."
Garden Spot heads into the District Three 5A playoffs as the ninth-ranked team. Their first opponent scheduled is eighth-ranked Lower Dauphin on the road, Tuesday, May 22.
Winning a first-round game would mean that Garden Spot has at least two more games in 2018 - a consolation game would await them even if the second-round game were to be a loss.
"We know we have to clean it up as we go deeper into the post-season," said King, referring to the errors. "You hope that it was nerves in the league playoff game. If the weather allows us, we can practice situations with runners on."
TRACK & FIELD
The Garden Spot track and field season ended with the L-L League Championship meet held at Hempfield on Friday and Saturday, May 11-12. Junior Faith Coblentz finished eighth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 49.40 seconds.
"She was seeded second in the heat and won her heat by running a personal record 49.4, earning eighth place," said head coach Lei Williams. "She had been struggling with getting over the last three hurdles cleanly, but she nailed it on Saturday, running a nearly perfect race.
"Faith is one of the hardest-working athletes on the team," continued the coach. "She was deserving of a league medal."
Williams referred to the youth and inexperience on the boys' and girls' rosters
"All of our athletes ran, jumped and threw to personal bests in all of their events," she said. "For the majority of our athletes, this was their first track and field experience. The league meet can be overwhelming and intimidating. We told the athletes to trust in their training, and to leave everything out on the track and field. They can use the experience of having been there to motivate them for next year.
"We are losing only three seniors," continued the coach. "I'm hopeful that everyone will return next year so we can build on what these young athletes started this year."
The Spartans faced a tough Warwick team in the first round of the L-L League boys' volleyball playoffs.
In a match played at Manheim Central, the Warriors won 25-17, 25-14, and 25-20.
Chad Meeder and Foster Lobb led Warwick with 10 kills each. Meeder also served up three aces in the match.
The Spartans' Carter Eby had a match-high 12 kills and also served up two aces. Andrew Yang had a team-high eight digs while C.J. Murray led everyone with four blocks.
Garden Spot fell to 9-8 overall.
Fisher Cracks Walk-off Homer in Win Over ET May 12, 2018
If you're an opposing coach or pitcher and you think you'll escape a threat in any given inning by walking Elizabeth King, you may not be using the best strategy.
On Monday, the Elizabethtown Bears were facing a Garden Spot rally in the Spartans' final at bat with the score tied 4-4.
"Ali King hit a double, which almost went over the fence for a game-winning home run," explained head coach Kimberly King. "Elizabeth came up and they intentionally walked her. She was 3-for-3 in the game with a home run."
Up stepped Megan Fisher.
Out went the softball, off the bat of Fisher for a three-run walk-off homer.
The victory secured second place in Section Two for the Spartans, who finished in a second-place tie with Elizabethtown - both at 11-5 in the league.
However, the Spartans edged E-town on a tiebreaker even though they split the head-to-head season series.
"We did beat Solanco, the section champ, and that pushed us into second place," King explained. "We lost to Elizabethtown 2-1 earlier in the season."
It wasn't the first time that King was walked intentionally only to have the following batter(s) hurt the opponent.
"In the Manheim Township game, Elizabeth was intentionally walked twice," King explained. "Megan Fisher and Camryn Focht followed with hits.
"It makes her mad and the girls behind her get mad also," added the coach.
The Spartans, who also got a key double from Desiree High.
"We have won all of our games since Solanco," said King. "The girls are putting the ball in play, moving runners and getting the key hits. They're doing what they have to do for the team to win. They're playing in playoff mode and are primed for the playoffs."
The Garden Spot track and field teams came up empty against Lampeter-Strasburg in Monday's Section Two dual meet. The Pioneers claimed the boys' meet 131-18 while the L-S girls won by a 117-33 margin in this Lancaster-Lebanon League meet at Garden Spot.
"Even though the score was lopsided, many of our athletes ran, threw and jumped to personal bests," remarked head coach Lei Williams.
"Lampeter-Strasburg has a very deep and talented team and they were very competitive in all of the events," Williams commented. "Our athletes were challenged to use the stiff competition as an opportunity to push themselves and accomplish the goals they had set for themselves at the beginning of the season.
"Many of the athletes rose to the challenge on a day we honored our seniors," continued the coach.
Winning the shot put was sophomore Elena Hurst, who threw for a personal best distance of 34-3. She earned a spot in the L-L League Honor Roll.
Garden Spot's only victory on the track came on the speed of Faith Coblentz, Lindsey Sweigert, Britney Esh, and Brielle Eby. This quartet of runners formed the 4x400-meter relay, which took the event in a time of 4:22.63.
"They provided an exciting finish to the meet by running their personal best," said Williams.
Esh also had a personal best 90-5 in the javelin, finishing second in that event.
"Sophomore Deanna Phillips continues to improve in the pole vault, vaulting eight feet to place second," Williams noted.
Coblentz was second in the 100-m hurdles (16.9) and third in the 300-m intermediate hurdles at 51.36. Elyse Mundorff added a third in the 100 hurdles (17.9) and was second in the 100-m dash (12.9).
Kassidy Hollinger took second in the 200 at 27.9.
"Kassidy improved her 200 time by almost a second," said Williams. "Mundorff reached her goal of running below 13 seconds in the 100."
Cloe Martin took third (6:05.21) in the 1,600m while Coblentz was second in the 3,200 with her 14:04.1 pace.
In the triple jump, Hollinger earned third with a 28-11.75 effort.
Aaron Good shined in the boys' hurdling events again. The sophomore dashed to a second-place finish in both the 300-m (44.7) and the 110-m (17.85) hurdles.
Agbokah Kupakwashe claimed second in the 100-m dash at 11.64 while Jeff Harley's time of 24.4 and Kyle Smith's 24.75 were second- and third-best in the 200-m dash.
In field events, Bailey Coon took third in both the discus and the javelin, throwing 117-0 and 189-2 respectively.
"In two of the three throwing events, Bailey Coon threw for personal bests," Williams said. "We will miss him as we lose him to graduation. He has made great contributions to our program and has been a good role model for the younger athletes."
Grant Zeiset claimed first in the pole vault at 11-6 and Adam Hornung's time of 4:55.3 was good for third in the 1,600-m.
Speaking of winning it in walk-off fashion and doing it in a match that has post-season implications, let's take a look at what Garden Spot did on the volleyball court Tuesday night.
The Spartans topped the Bears 26-24, 21-25, 25-23, 14-25 and 19-17 on a night they honored seniors Carter Eby, C.J. Murray, Devin Weaver and Andrew Yang.
"It was either win or go home," said head coach Ben Rutt. "I was not sure how we stood with any of the tiebreakers, but we knew we had to win in order to stay in the mix for the league playoffs.
"I told the guys to not worry about tiebreakers," Rutt added. "We needed to take care of our business and worry about all of the other stuff later."
The victory improved Garden Spot's record to 6-6 in the league and dropped the Bears to 6-6 as well.
They gained a huge victory in the first set, coming back from a 23-20 deficit to win an intense battle 26-24.
"After an Etown side out, we ran off five straight points to win that first game," Rutt explained. "The next two were see-saw, back-and-forth battles.
"Going into the fourth game, I told the guys to learn from previous mistakes," added the coach. "But they scored the final six points to close out a sloppy fourth game."
Rutt told the team to be more relaxed heading into the do-or-die fifth game.
"I told the guys to capture the moment and to have fun in the moment," he explained. "I told them it was not the time to be scared, but to enjoy playing with their buddies. 'If it is your last game of the season or career, to have fun doing it.'"
The Spartans had an early 4-1 lead but the Bears took a 14-13 lead later. The Spartans gained a 15-14 lead and continued to battle until Devin Weaver's block ended the match.
"Elizabethtown did a great job," commented the Spartan coach. "We had a huge clutch performance by our entire team."
Eby led the team with 24 kills and served up three aces. John Sauder led the team with four blocks and Aaron Lapp recorded 14 digs. Distributing the ball to his teammates to the count of 44 assists was Devon Martin.
Garden Spot suffered a 7-3 loss at home to close out the regular season last Monday. The Northern Lebanon Vikings yielded just six hits as they improved to 9-7 (9-11 overall) and the Spartans fell to 8-8 (9-10 overall).
Freshman Justin Petersheim went 2-for-3 with a run while Wyatt Weaver singled and drove in a run.
Jordan Petersheim and Ben Spencer also scored runs.
Starter Aiden Bracken went four innings and allowed three unearned runs while striking out seven. Dylan Crosson's outing in 1.2 relief innings also involved giving up unearned runs as two of the four he yielded were such.
In a 14-3 loss at Elizabethtown on Friday, May 4, the Spartans' Ian Blankley scored twice. Gavyn Naranjo scored once and Benton Moyer provided an assist.
The Bears out-shot the Spartans 31-24 with Nate Kidnt coming away with 11 saves in front of the visiting team's net.
The boys' team finished the season at 0-11 in the L-L League (1-15 overall). The Bears claimed their second league victory (2-9) and finished 3-11 overall.
In girls' action, the Spartans played host to Elizabethtown in a wild match that saw 33 goals scored.
The Bears (7-11, 5-6 league) had an eight-goal performance from Kate Weissend. They out-shot the Spartans 32-17.
The leading scorers for the Spartans (4-13, 2-9 league) were Aubry Gonzalez and Kiersten Ellsworth, who finished with four and three goals, respectively. Lilly Leaman added two goals and two assists.
Mandi Rider also scored while Carly Esh and junior Kayla Steiner each notched an assist.
Phillips Leads Spartans With Two Firsts May 4, 2018
In a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two track and field meet, the Garden Spot boys' and girls' teams faced Cocalico on the road Monday afternoon. The Eagles won the girls' meet 95-54 while the Cocalico boys also recorded a win, outscoring the Spartans 89-51.5.
"Deanna Phillips was our top point scorer for the girls, scoring two first-place finishes in the pole vault and the high jump," Williams noted. The sophomore had a 4-2 high jump and an 8-foot pole vault, ahead of second-place finisher Bri Eby's 7-6 effort.
"This is Deanna's first year dong track and she is one of the hardest working young ladies on the team, learning her events well," Williams said. "She has been a valuable member of the team."
Faith Coblentz came away with a second-place finish in the 300 hurdles (51.37) and third in the 100 hurdles at 17.3 seconds. Elyse Mudorff's 17.12 was second in the 100 hurdles while Brielle Eby's 52.85 was the third-place time in the 300 hurdles.
"Faith is an experienced hurdler," said Williams "Brielle and Elyse are both first-year hurdlers, who are coming on strong here at the end of the season. These three have consistently scored points for us this season."
In the 100m dash, Kassidy Hollinger took third (13.21). She also finished second in the 200 (28.9).
Cloe Martin placing in three events also gave Garden Spot some team points. She was second in the 800 (2:45.9), second in the 1,600 (6:16) and third in the 3,200 (14:51).
"Cloe Martin overcame shin splints early on this season and has dropped her times with every meet," said Williams.
Amanda Coblentz claimed second in the 3,200 with a time of 14:49. Hannah Hoffman's 2:53.2 earned third in the 800 whle Brit Esh was third (1:10.8) in the 400.
In field events, aside from Phillips, the Spartans had a second-place measurement of 29-3 in the triple jump.
"Elena Hurst threw a personal record in the shot put and came out on top," Williams said of Hurst's 32-6 toss. Hurst also was third in the discus at 86-5.
The boys' team had some tremendous performances, including distance runner Jeremy Rissler, who won the 3,200-meter race in 11:44 and claimed second in the 1,600 in a time of 5:09.
In the 3,200, Shane Esbenshade's time of 12:19 was good for third place.
In hurdles, Aaron good and Conner Burger sprinted to top-3 spots.
"Aaron Good and Conner Burger have been working very hard and they had a good day, taking second and third in the 110 high hurdles and in the 300 intermediate hurdles," said head coach Lei Williams.
Burger was first in the 300 (45.53) and Good took second at 46.54. Good grabbed second in the 110 hurdles (18.53) with Burger's time of 18.9 claiming third.
"Conner improved by four seconds to take first," said Williams.
Adam Horning was first in the 800 with a 2:16.8 pace. Fellow sophomore Jeff Harley's 24.34 was good for second in the 200.
In field events, Grant Zeiset's 9-foot-6 pole vault was tops in that event. Bailey Coon came in second in the javelin with a distance of 146-7.
Speaking of Goods, it was Ethan Good winning the triple jump at 35-2.25.
Solanco's softball team had run up 11 straight L-L League wins. The team was 13-0 overall by the time it went up against Garden Spot on Tuesday, coming off a 20-1 defeat of league rival Lebanon.
In the 11 league games, Solanco had scored 13 runs and 17 overall in the 13 victories.
"I think that every other [L-L League] team had scored a combined total of 13 or 14 runs against them all year," said head coach Kim King. "We scored 16."
In a wild ballgame, the Spartans outscored the visitors 16-7 at New Holland in what was the final game of the year on their own turf.
"We played on Legion Field on Wednesday, which was senior night," King explained. "I think the win against Solanco was extra special for the seniors because it was their last game on our home field."
The Spartans were coming off a 13-3 victory at Ephrata on Monday. It was a win that didn't come that easily for the Spartans, who had dropped a tough 2-0 ballgame a few days earlier to Penn Manor.
"We didn't play our best that day," said King. "We played well against Penn Manor after a postponement with Solanco on Friday. We weren't as sharp as we had been. We had a lot of girls on base, but it was a low-energy game. We also had four errors, which never helps.
"I got everyone together after the game and said, 'We got it out of our system,'" she continued. "'We need to come out and play much better against Solanco.'"
In that Ephrata game, Brandi Clark and Megan Fisher each had two singles. Camryn Focht had a double and a triple. Elizabeth King struck out 13.
And play better they did against Solanco even though starter Elizabeth King did give up a grand slam in the fourth.
Solanco ace Hanna Phillips became ineffective and was charged with the loss.
"The strike zone was tight," King commented. "But it was both ways by the umpire. Phillips wasn't getting strikes on her curveball, which tends to break outside."
After a shaky inning by King, the Spartans responded with a 13-run inning in which the Spartans sent 17 batters to the plate. One of the big hits was a bases-loaded stroke by Ashley Rissler.
"Ashley Rissler has hit in every game since being called up to varsity," King said. "She is the spark we needed."
Desiree High doubled with the bases loaded. Clark drew a bases-loaded walk and the rout continued. In fact, after Ali King's single as the ninth batter of the inning, Elizabeth King singled again.
In the Lebanon game, which was at Legion Field on Wednesday, the Spartans honored their four seniors.
They scored 11 runs on 13 hits, including home runs by Clark, Fisher, High and Elizabeth King.
"We no-hit them over six innings," King noted. "They scored an unearned run."
As for making the league playoffs, the Spartans improved to 11-6 with a 9-5 league mark.
"If we can win out, it's looking pretty good," King said. "We just need to take care of our business."
Garden Spot grabbed two league victories on the week, improving to 5-5 (8-6 overall).
The Spartans beat Ephrata on Tuesday, 25-11, 25-22, 25-20.
Carter Eby and Caiden Witmer each put up nine kills for the Spartans, who also got 28 assists from Devon Martin.
Eby also delivered two aces and a block. Witmer and C.J. Murray registered one block each. Junior Aaron Lapp put in six digs.
Thursday's match at Lebanon also resulted in a 3-0 victory (25-16, 25-8, 25-13) with Witmer leading the team in kills with six.
Weaver had seven aces on the night. Martin's two digs and 13 assists were tops on the team. Eby had one block.
Garden Spot's 6-2 win at Elco on Wednesday improved the Spartans to 8-6 in the L-L League (9-8 overall).
Despite the Raiders out-hitting the Spartans 10-7, the timely hits, which included two doubles by Ben Spencer (3-for-4) and a triple by Kyle Martin, who scored two runs and drove in one. Dylan Crossan also drove in a run. He also came on to finish the game for Aiden Bracken, who went 6.2 innings and allowed two runs. Bracken gave up all 10 hits, but only issued one walk while striking out three.
Garden Spot scored five runs in the first two innings.
Senior Jordan Petersheim was the winning pitcher in Tuesday's 4-2 victory over Lebanon. Petersheim went 4.1 innings and struck out three, allowing only one hit. The Cedars score two late runs but were held off by Spencer in relief.
On the base paths, the Spartans stole six bases. Spencer and Nolan Fletcher each swiped two bags while Martin and Bracken stole one base each.
All nine Garden Spot hits were singles with Spencer (2-for-4, 1 RBI) having the only multi-hit game.
Garden Spot faced Red Lion in a non-league girls' lacrosse game on Monday. The Lions posted an 18-3 win at New Holland, dropping the Spartans' record to 4-11 on the year.
Kiesten Ellsworth had two of the goals and Megan Esh scored one.
In a 21-5 loss to Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic, Ellsworth (2), Caroly Esh, Mandi Rider and sophomore Mataya Hostetter all found the back of the net. Lilly Leaman added an assist.
Goalie Rebecca Horning had 11 saves in the two matches.
The boys' lacrosse team scored seven times at York Suburban on Monday, but was unable to notch its second win of the year. In the non-league game, the Spartans trailed 5-2 heading into the second quarter before the hosts put up seven unanswered goals.
Gavyn Naranjo's hat trick plus an assist led the way for Garden Spot (1-13) while Clay Dimon added two more goals. Jesse Mast and Owen Reich added one goal each. Zeb Fisher, Ian Blankley and Mast each notched an assist in the 17-shot attack.
Nate Kidnt recorded 12 assists for the Spartans.
Garden Spot trailed LCD/LC 4-2 after one period and 5-3 at halftime. However, the Cougars outscored the Spartans 5-3 in the third quarter on the way to a 13-6 victory.
Benton Moyer was Garden Spot's top scorer with four goals. Naranjo had a goal and two assists. Dimon also scored one.
Martin's Homer Fuels 11-0 Win over Blazers April 27, 2018
Garden Spot blanked Lebanon Catholic 7-0 at home on Wednesday. It was the second straight shutout for the team. Tuesday's game against Lancaster Mennonite was an 11-0 blowout with Jordan Petersheim earning the victory. The senior starter went 5.2 innings, striking out nine. Aiden Bracken pitched the final 1.1 innings and only allowed one base runner while striking out three. It was a combined three-hit shutout.
Kyle Martin went 2-for-3 with a homer and a double, driving in three runs. Ben Spencer also had three RBI, slugging a home run. Dylan Crossan drove in four runs on two hits, including a double.
On Monday the Spartans managed only five hits in a 5-2 loss at Lancaster Catholic. Crossan had two base hits and a RBI. Martin also drove in a run.
In a home match with Lancaster Catholic, the Spartans held their ground. The Crusaders eventually eked out a 5-2 victory in non-league competition.
Abdullah Salim and Matt McCormick claimed the third doubles, winning 8-4. Ethan Horning and Andrew Bowman were on the short end of an 8-4 final at second doubles.
Horning, at fourth singles, defeated Peyton Sheaffer 6-3, 6-1. Nate Nguyen put up a tough fight before yielding to Miles Durrett in a 6-3, 6-4 second singles match.
The Garden Spot boys' lacrosse team faced Penn Manor and Cocalico this past week in a pair of Lancaster-Lebanon League matches. The Spartans were looking for their first win of the season and came up with seven goals against visiting Cocalico on Wednesday, yet it just wasn't enough.
The Eagles had a fast first period and carried it for the next two quarters. They finished on top 20-7.
The Spartans, who recorded 25 shots on goal, cut the deficit with three goals in the second quarter.
Head coach Dan Andresen talked about the positive influence that second quarter had on the team.
"When you see a good quarter like that against Cocalico, it gets the kids pumped up," he said.
"We don't have great numbers," added the coach. "With some injuries earlier in the year, we were down to 18 kids for varsity and junior varsity."
But Andresen gave credit to his players' efforts.
"Their drive to go out there and give their best for two games is pretty impressive," he said. "They give it their all on the field."
Clay Dimon found the seams in the Cocalico defense, threading his way in for four goals. He also assisted on one. Gavyn Naranjo led the squad with three assists.
"Clay has been the voice for the team," said Andresen. "He is one of our senior leaders. He took it upon himself to cement that culture into our program as we continue to build."
Benton Moyer (1g, 1a) and Jesse Mast (1g, 1a) also contributed.
Nate Kidnt had 14 saves in goal.
The Spartans' defense could not find a solution for Owen Zimmerman, who finished with seven goals in the game.
Against Penn Manor on the road Monday, the Spartans found themselves down 13-1 at the half. They lost 16-2.
The Garden Spot goals came courtesy of Dimon and Moyer, who assisted his teammate. Kidnt came away with 12 saves.
"Kidnt has been a very pleasant surprise," Andresen remarked. "It's one of the hardest positions. He came to me and said he wanted to be my goalie.
"We have some high-end teams in our league and he has had the gusto to stand in there with their shots," Andresen added.
The Spartans opened the week with two crucial matches. Their first match was a 3-0 win at Berks Catholic on Monday. On Tuesday, they suffered a tough 3-2 loss at home to league rival Lancaster Mennonite.
The Spartans were not going to let the Saints go marching into the second set with a win. They stayed on their heels and persevered in a 29-27 opening set.
In the second set, the Spartans posted a 25-15 victory before completing the sweep on a 25-21 win.
"The first game was tight. We were up 20-18 and a missed serve turned into a five-point run for Berks," said head coach Ben Rutt. "We managed to bear down defensively and close the gap. After two big kills from Carter Eby, we were able to secure the win."
Eby had 19 kills while Devin Weaver led the team with three blocks and two aces.
As the Spartans poured on the points, Devon Martin racked up 40 assists. Andrew Yang had five digs.
"Carter Eby had a huge performance," Rutt remarked. "Devin Weaver had nine kills and our middle hitter John Sauder had his best night with seven kills and no hitting errors.
"This was a non-league contest, but an important match nonetheless," added Rutt. "We are sitting on the outside looking in at the District Three playoff picture."
In the Mennonite match, the Spartans were up 2-1 when the Blazers sneaked by with a 25-18 victory in the fourth set. They won the tiebreaker 15-10 at Garden Spot.
The Blazers had taken a 1-0 lead thanks to a 25-14 win. However, the Spartans gained and maintained momentum with precision volleyball that earned them victories of 25-23 and 25-22 for that 2-1 lead.
"We started the match terribly," he said. "Our passing was not very good and kept us out of our system for most of the first game. We played tentative volleyball."
Rutt gathered the troops and reminded them of their brand of volleyball.
"After a long talk about pride and the sense of urgency, we started to settle in and play our game," he explained. "We had two very gutsy performances to win games 2 and 3 late.
"Outside hitter Caiden Witmer had his best game of the year with seven kills and many of them coming in those two games," Rutt noted.
"We showed our youth in the fourth and fifth games," he said. "We played with a nervous mindset of not wanting to make mistakes. "LMH was the better team that night with experience on their side.
"It was disappointing being up 2-1 and not getting the victory," he added.
Eby again led the squad with 16 kills Weaver came away with 16 digs and two blocks while Yang served up two aces. Martin had 38 assists and Aaron Lapp recorded 11 digs.
The Spartans fell to 2-5 in the L-L League.
"We are playing better volleyball as we head into the home stretch," said Rutt. "There are must win matches ahead."
The track and field squads suffered a Section Two loss at Elizabethtown last Monday. The boys' team fell 111-38 while the girls came up short 100-50.
Bailey Coon claimed first place in the javelin (140). He also won the shot put at 40-3 while Neftalie Gonzalez took second at 35-4.5.
Gonzalez and Coon were also among the top three discus throwers with Gonzalez (112-9) claiming second and Coon (111-2) earning third place.
Also in the field events, Grant Zieset's 9-6 pole vault effort was good for second place.
Jeff Harley ran the 200-meter dash in 24.5, earning second and added a third (12.3) in the 100. In that event, Kupakwoske Agbokoh, who was second in the 400, placed second at 12.0.
In hurdles, Aaron Good grabbed second in the 110 (18.4) as well as the 300 hurdles (45.5) with Connor Burger taking third.
"We had a busy week, coming off an invitational on Saturday at Elizabethtown College after a meet versus Ephrata on Thursday," head coach Lei Williams noted. "The kids had little rest in between, but had some personal records and great performances despite the tired muscles."
In the girls' meet, Faith Coblentz won the 110 hurdles at 17.0 and was second in the 300-m hurdles at 50.5.
Elyse Mondorff placed in three events, scoring thirds in both the 110 hurdles and 100 meter dash and picking up second in the long jump (14-9).
Brielle Eby's time of 52.3 was good for third in the 300 hurdles.
In the 400, Britney Esh placed second (1:09.0) and Emma Keeport (1:11.6) took third.
"On the track we picked up a lot of second- and third-place finishes in the sprints," Williams noted.
Elena Hurst and Amber Martin were winners in the field. Hurst, who won the shot (32-3.25), finished third in the discus (88-2). Martin, who won the javelin (87), took third in the shot put (29-10.5) and Esh was second in the javelin (83-9).
"Amber Martin and Elena Hurst continue to lead the way for us in throws," said Williams.
Cloe Martin came through in distance events, taking second in both the 1,600 at 5:58 and 800 (2:53.5), while Hannah Hoffman was third (2:56.8).
Amanda Coblentz was second in the 3,200 in 14:16.9 and Deanna Phillips pole vaulted her way to third place at 7-6.
It was feast or famine for the softball team this past week. The team lost a 12-0 game to Hempfield on Friday, April 20, but bounced back to beat Manheim Township 11-1 on Monday and on Thursday they suffered a tough 2-0 loss to Penn Manor in a game where hurler Elizabeth King pitched a gem.
"Elizabeth kept us in the game," said head coach Kim King. "She had a perfect game going into the sixth inning."
In that sixth frame, King gave up a single, which brought on opposing pitcher Brittany Hook.
"She is one of the best players in the league," said Kim King. "She hit a two-run home run on the same pitch Elizabeth had struck her out on twice."
King gave up a walk and got out of the inning with a strikeout - her ninth of the game.
"We had seven hits off Brittany Hook," said the Spartan coach. "Our bottom four hitters in the lineup had all seven hits. That was pretty amazing.
"It was one of the best games we played to date defensively and pitching," she explained. "I haven't seen Elizabeth throw that well all season."
Contrary to the best defensive game, miscues helped Hempfield rally for most of the runs in the 11-0 loss.
"They were ahead 1-0 going into the fifth inning," King explained. "We had five errors in the game and gave up a bunch of runs.
"We gave up a lot of unearned runs and only had five hits," she added.
In the Manheim Township game, Camryn Focht went 4-for-4 with a home run.
"It was her first career home run," King noted. "She also had two doubles."
Brandi Clark had a three-hit game - two singles and a double. King had two doubles and two intentional walks.
"She was not happy to get the intentional walks," King laughed. "But after the walks, Megan Fisher and Camryn Focht each came up and got a hit.
"Seven of our batters in the lineup had at least one hit," added the coach. "And Elizabeth only allowed one hit and struck out 11."
Garden Spot defeated Conestoga Christian 19-9 in a non-league game on Monday at home. In a league game at Cocalico on Wednesday, the Spartans fell 18-6.
Kiersten Ellsworth scored eight times and added an assist against Conestoga Christian. Mandi Rider added four goals, 2 assist.
Aubry Gonzalez (2a) and Olivia Usner each scored twice.
Lilly Leaman and Carly Esh each had one goal and one assist. Sophie Torrance (1g) and Tia Mueller (1a) also contributed.
Freshman goalie Rebecca Horning collected seven saves.
Against Cocalico, Ellsworth scored twice. Gonzalez, Rider, Leaman and Kayla Harley-Smith each scored one goal while Torrance had one assist.
Garden Spot fell to 2-6 in the league (4-8 overall).
Eby Records 20 Kills in Loss to E-town April 21, 2018
The Garden Spot boys' volleyball team played a key Lancaster-Lebanon League match this past week at Elizabethtown. It was a close one but the Bears prevailed, 3-1.
E-town took the first two sets, 25-23, 25-20. The visiting Spartans, who fell to 4-5 (2-4 league) avoided a sweep with a 25-17 third set victory, only to lose the fourth set 25-22.
The Spartans' Carter Eby posted a match high 20 kills. He also registered two aces and three blocks.
Devon Martin's 33 assists were also tops on the night as were Aaron Lapp's 17 digs.
There are instances when a team manages to score 50 runs in a given season.
Then there is the Garden Spot softball team, which scored 49 runs over a three-day span, defeating Ephrata 16-1 on Tuesday before shutting out Cedar Crest and McCaskey by scores of 18-0 and 15-0 on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Spartans head coach Kim King explained that more discipline at the plate helped the team collect a plethora of hits over the three-game win streak.
"We've been working on waiting back and having hard level strokes," King said. "In these three games we saw much slower pitching than we have been seeing. Our batters were waiting back and getting some nice swings.
"We had a ton of hard-hit balls," she added. "Everyone up and down the lineup had hard hits this week."
The 49-1 aggregate score of those three games had some anomalies. Among them was the fact that the mercy rule resulted in one of the games ending after three innings. In the game at Cedar Crest, a six-run fourth inning put the Spartans over the 15-run plateau.
"We scored our 15th run in the bottom of the fourth inning against McCaskey," King explained.
"Our pitcher, Elizabeth King, had 24 strikeouts in 11 innings," King added. "She gave up five hits over three days. As a team we batted .556."
In the Ephrata game, the Spartans gave up the game's first run. So their 16-1 victory was a comeback win.
"The game started out cold; it was awful," King recalled. "We had an error and a walk and they scored," she added. "Elizabeth struggled at first, but pitched a no-hitter."
Brandi Clark had three singles in the game. Desiree High hit her first home run of the year while Megan Fisher had two hits, including a triple.
"Camryn Focht and Ali King also had two hits," added the coach.
Clark came through with five runs batted in with four hits against Crest.
"She had two of them with two outs, which was very helpful," King noted. "She hit a double and a triple."
Elizabeth King helped herself by slugging a triple - part of a four-hit afternoon. The junior pitcher collected two RBI's.
Fisher and Focht each had two hits. Kendall Halsey hit a double.
"Kendall is a sophomore and this is her first year playing varsity," King noted. "She is probably our most improved player. She has come a long way over the winter, especially on her defense at first base."
Fisher hit her first homer of the year in the McCaskey game. Elizabeth King not only went 4-for-4 with three doubles, she struck out nine McCaskey batters in the win.
Focht had a three-hit day. Clark had a single and a triple.
In a league meet at Manheim Central, the Barons defeated the Garden Spot girls' team 113-36 while the undefeated Central boys won 112-36.
There were some impressive finishes on the girls' team, including a first-place discus toss of 99-foot-1 by Elena Hurst as well as Amber Martin's top distance of 33-1 in the shot put.
Garden Spot's Amanda Coblentz and Cloe Martin did rather well in the mid- and long-distance events, alternating their second and third positions. In the mile, Martin took second (6:55.6) while Coblentz took third (7:10.0). In the 3,200, it was Coblentz as the first runner up (15:53.5) and Martin in third place (15:59.4).
Faith Coblentz not only took third in the 300 hurdles at 52.0, she was also second (16.8) in the high hurdles, with Elyse Mundorff taking third (17.3).
"We have a very young but hard-working group of young ladies who are gaining experience and confidence every week," head coach Lei Williams stated. "Over half of them contribute points at each meet so it's truly a team effort."
In the sprints, Mundorff took second in the 100 (13.3). Kassidy Hollinger's 28.6 and Deanna Phillips's 29.6 were good for second and third, respectively, in the 200m. Phillips also pole-vaulted 7 feet for second place while Bri Eby's 6-6 was good for third.
Emma Keeport came through with a third-place (1:13.3) spot in the 400. Hannah Hoffman's 3:06.3 was good for third in the 800.
In the boys' events, seniors Bailey Coon and Neftalie Padilla excelled in the javelin, discus and shot put. Padilla placed second in the discus with a 120-1 toss. He was third in the javelin at 103-3.
Coon claimed second in the javelin with a 131-6 while his shot put of 39-7.5 and his discus toss of 112-3 were both third-place distances.
Also in the field events, Ethan Good's triple jump of 35-5.5 was good for third place. Daniel Hurst pole vaulted 7-6 for another third-place finish.
"We certainly miss the leadership that the seniors provided last year, but some of the underclassman are stepping up and contributing to scoring points for the team," Williams said. "On the boy's side, freshman Kupa Agbokah has contributed points in the 400 dash, sophomore Aaron Good in the hurdle events, as well as seniors Bailey Coon and Neftalie Padilla in the throws."
Aaron Good was third (45.7) in the 300 hurdles. Agbokah's time of 57.1 in the 400 was the only first-place finish of the day for the Spartans. He also earned third in the 100 (11.7).
Adam Horning (5:13.7) was third in the 1,600 and second (2:20.4) in the 800 while Jeremy Rissler was third in the 3,200 (11:53.2).
The boys' lacrosse team hosted Conrad Weiser in a non-league match on Saturday. The Scouts came away with a 15-7 victory, aided by a strong second quarter in which they scored six times.
Garden Spot goals came courtesy of Benton Moyer with four scores and Clayton Dimon with two more while Ian Blankley netted one. Sophomore Max Mercado recorded an assist.
Nate Kidnt grabbed eight saves as the Scouts had 23 shots on goal.
In its next game, Garden Spot suffered a 14-5 loss to league foe Cedar Crest at New Holland. The game was tied 3-3 after one quarter. However, seven unanswered goals by the Falcons made it 10-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
Gavyn Naranjo scored twice as did Dimon, who also assisted on three scores. Moyer had a goal and Blankley an assist while on the defensive side Kidnt came up with 14 saves.
The girls' lacrosse team had an impressive week, posting a 16-6 win at Conrad Weiser on Saturday and playing a tough league match at Cedar Crest before finishing on the short end of a wild 19-14 final.
Kiersten Ellsworth, the Spartans' leading scorer this year, had a hand in half of the 16 goals at Weiser. She scored five times and assisted on three others. The Spartans, who improved to 2-6 with the non-league victory, had a hat trick by Aubry Gonzalez, who also dished out three assists.
Lilly Leaman had a four-goal game while Megan Esh, Mandi Rider, and senior Tia Mueller each had one goal. Sophie Torrance, who also had two assists, scored one goal. Mataya Hostetter chipped in with an assist.
Turning away the Scouts with her eight saves in goal was freshman keeper Rebecca Horning.
The Spartan's next game was a close one at the half. In fact, Garden Spot was leading 9-8 before Cedar Crest came back for a strong second half. The Falcons edged the visitors 32-31 in shots on goal.
Ellsworth's scoring tally was five goals and one assist while Gonzalez (4, 2) also had her hand in six goals. Rider and Torrance combined for two goals and two assists. Lauryn Ashcroft also scored a goal as did Olivia Usner and Esh. Leaman gave Garden Spot one assist.
Garden Spot came up short in a 3-1 L-L League crossover game at Pequea Valley on Wednesday. The loss came a day after a 15-0 thumping of Lebanon in a game that had evened the Spartans' record at 3-3 in the L-L League.
It was a tough loss for Justin Petersheim, who pitched a complete game, allowing only four hits and two walks. Pequea's Joe Olonovich picked up the victory in this pitchers' duel, striking out two.
Garden Spot's one run came on an RBI single by Dylan Crossan.
Ben Spencer and Aiden Bracken tried to get things going when they were on base, each swiping a bag.
The game against Lebanon went only three innings. The Spartans had an eight-run first inning and a seven-run third, invoking the mercy rule.
Bracken and Evan Rizzo each had three RBI's. Bracken went 4-for-4 with two doubles. Spencer also doubled in a run and scored twice. Joe Royle crossed the plate twice and drove in a run. Justin Petersheim had a run and an RBI. Jordan Petersheim scored twice and drove one in. Crossan was 2-for-3 with a double. Martin went 1-for-2 with an RBI and two runs.
The Spartans were coming off a 5-3 win the week before, topping Annville-Cleona on Friday the 13th on the road.
After a three-run first, the Spartans increased their lead to 4-0. They held off a late rally by the Dutchmen as Spencer came on to record the save for Bracken's victory. The Spartan starter went 5.1 innings with six strikeouts and four walks, allowing three A-C runs. Spencer pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, striking out one batter. He also had two doubles in a 3-for-3 game, driving in three of the team's runs, and scoring twice.
Martin went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.
In an L-L League showdown at Penn Manor, the Spartans came away with a 5-2 victory to improve their league mark to 3-5.
Ethan Horning and Abdullah Salim were two of the Spartan stars on the day, each taking part in a winning doubles match in addition to winning their respective singles matches.
Horning teamed up with Andrew Bowman for a tough 9-8 victory in the opening doubles match. The extra effort needed to put up a team point set the tone for the match.
Salim and his usual doubles partner Matt McCormick also came away with a hard-fought victory, defeating their rivals 8-6.
Horning won 7-5, 6-1 in his singles match followed by Salim's come-from-behind victory at second singles. The Spartan senior lost 6-3 before coming back to win 6-1, 11-9.
Nate Nguyen's win was in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
The unbeaten Blue Streaks topped the Spartans in straight sets through the singles matches. The two some of Salim and McCormick came up short in an 8-3 doubles match as did Nguyen and Sam Tlumach at second doubles.
Spartan Tennis Competitive Despite Record April 14, 2018
There are many instances in sports where a team's record can be deceptive. It can conceal the effort that has been put forth in its matches and also how close some of the results have been.
Such is the case for the Garden Spot boys' tennis team, which has fallen to 1-7 on the year.
"Overall we have won only one match," admitted head coach MaryAnn Linde. "We have had two close matches - McCaskey and Cedar Crest. Coming close to Cedar Crest is impressive.
"We may not be pulling them out, but we have been fighting," Linde added.
On Tuesday, Lancaster-Lebanon League rival McCaskey snuck by Garden Spot 5-2 in Lancaster. The third singles, however, was a very close battle in which Abdullah Salim lost in a close tiebreaker set. Also, the number one doubles was a close match where Sam Tlumach and Nate Nguyen finished on the short end of an 8-5 final.
Ethan Horning and Andrew Bowman lost 8-4 in the second doubles before teammates Salim and Matt McCormick took the third doubles 8-2, making it a 2-1 match in McCaskey's favor heading into singles.
Nguyen's victory in the second singles (6-2, 4-6, 10-5) cut the deficit to 3-2 before the Red Tornado's Christian Rodriguez eked by Salim 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 and Horning came up short in a 6-4, 6-4 match.
"Ethan Horning at number four singles is 5-3 on the year," Linde pointed out. "That's excellent in our section. Whenever you're winning over 50 percent of your matches, that's great.
"He has a great attitude and plays hard," continued the coach. "He had a win at number one singles against Hempfield. We cheered him on."
The Hempfield match was on the road Thursday afternoon. More on that later.
In the Cedar Crest road match on Wednesday, the Falcons won two key matches in tiebreaker fashion. Horning won the number one singles in straight set scores of 6-1, 6-2, and Salim won the opening set at number two singles 6-2, but fell by a 6-4 margin and again by a close tiebreaker at 10-6.
The third singles had a similar fate for Nguyen, who won 7-5 before losing by the same margin and then by a 10-5 score.
"We've been specializing in tiebreakers this year," Linde lamented.
In the second doubles match Bowman and Horning came close before bowing out in an 8-6 final. McCormick and Salim came up short in an 8-4 set.
In the Hempfield match, Horning rebounded from a 6-2 loss to post an impressive 7-5 victory over Adeet Parikh, who also won the tiebreaker by a close 10-7 score.
Speaking of close, Salim and McCormick's number three doubles ended in a 9-7 score in favor of the Knights' Josh Li and Adam Tak.
The Spartans tallied 10 goals in two of their three games this past week, playing three road games in as many days from Monday through Wednesday. The team fell to 1-6 overall (1-4 in league).
In a non-league game at Palmyra, the Spartans came up short in a 14-10 match. They nearly equaled Palmyra's total in shots with 19 to the home team's 21.
Kiersten Ellsworth had a phenomenal match, scoring six times. Aubry Gonzalez complemented Ellsworth's performance with a hat trick while Olivia Usner tallied two assists. Lilly Leaman scored Garden Spot's other goal and Megan Esh provided an assist.
Guarding Garden Spot's cage was Megan Jefferis, who recorded seven saves.
In a 17-10 loss to league rival Warwick at New Holland on Tuesday, the Spartans unleashes 17 shots on goal with five of Ellsworth's shots finding their way into the Warriors' net. Gonzalez scored three more for her second hat trick of the week while Leaman and sophomore Mataya Hostetter each scored once. Ellsworth was also credited with an assist.
Jefferis grabbed 11 saves.
The 11 first-half goals by Berks Catholic proved to be too much of a deficit for the Spartans on Wednesday. The Saints went on to win 17-8.
Half of the eight goals came courtesy of Ellsworth. Gonzalez scored one goal as did senior Kayla Harley-Smith, Carly Esh and Megan Esh. Sophie Torracnce threw in an assist.
Jordan Petersheim was the star of the game on Wednesday, helping the Garden Spot baseball team to a 2-1 defeat of Northern Lebanon on the road. The senior starter went the distance in a five-hitter, striking out seven Viking batters.
On Monday, the Spartans lost 6-2 to Cocalico as the Eagles had a big rally in the top of the seventh inning.
Trailing 2-1 and down to their final at-bats, the Eagles scored five times to snatch this one away. The offensive stars included Nick Lucky, who went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in for the Eagles.
Ben Spencer drove in both of Garden Spot's runs on a two-run home run. Freshman Justin Petersheim had a single as did his older brother Jordan. Kyle Martin singled and also reached base on a walk. He also scored on Spencer's home run.
The Garden Spot girls' track & field team improved to 1-1 with an 85-61 defeat of Lebanon on Monday while the boys' team (0-2) lost its Section Two meet at Lebanon by a 96-54 margin.
Garden Spot junior Jeremy Rissler set the winning pace in the 1,600-meter run, recording a winning time of 5:19. He was one of the Garden Spot winners along with the 4x800 relay team that placed first (9:32.0), including Shane Esbenshade, Adam Horning and Brylan Eberly.
Rissler dominated distance events. His time of 11:31 was also good for first in the 3,200.
Speaking of domination, the shot put, discus and javelin all went to Bailey Coon. The senior's discus toss of 114-foot-9 was best on the day as were his distances of 40-5 and 141-6 in the shot put and javelin, respectively.
In the girls' victory, the 4x800 relay team of Amanda Coblentz, Lauren Wolfe, Hannah Hoffman and Lauren Greenwalt had a winning time of 13:12. Coblentz went on to win the 1,600 (6:42) and the 3,200 (15:04) as well as the high hurdles where she registered a time of 17.4 seconds.
Bri Eby's time of 56.6 seconds captured the 300-m hurdles.
Elena Hurst's discus toss of 84-4 and Elyse Mundoff's 14-2.5 long jump were the field events wins for the girls.
The schedule was not kind to the Spartans as they faced Warwick and Manheim Township in L-L League boys' lacrosse action last week.
The Warriors posted a 14-3 victory at Garden Spot on Tuesday while Township topped Spot 22-2 on Thursday evening.
Finding their way to the Warwick goal were juniors Zeb Fisher and Benton Moyer as well as senior Clayton Dimon. Moyer also had one assist as did Gavin Narajo.
Though faced with 27 shots on goal, senior goalkeeper Nate Kidnt did pick up 13 saves.
Narajo had both goals in the Manheim Township game, taking an assist from Ian Blankley for one of the scores.
Garden Spot fell to 0-8 overall (0-6 league) while Township improved to 8-0 (5-0).
In its attempt to stay in the playoff hunt, the boys' volleyball team posted a 3-0 victory over league rival Lebanon on Tuesday. The victory was sandwiched between a loss at Manheim Central on Wednesday and a non-league match against Governor Mifflin where the Mustangs came away with a 3-1 win.
In the Mifflin match, the Spartans found themselves down 2-0 in games thanks to a 25-16 win and a very close 25-22 victory by the Mustangs. Garden Spot charged up the home gymnasium with a 25-20 victory in the third set and kept things close in the fourth before succumbing to the visitors 25-21.
Carter Eby led the squad with 13 kills and tied Devin Weaver for most digs with three. Devon Martin dished out 35 assists, Weaver led the team in blocks with three, and C.J. Murray dealt two aces.
Hosting Lebanon the next night, the Spartans swept the Cedars 25-11, 25-18 and 25-22. The victory improved the Spartans' league record to 2-2 (4-3 overall).
Caiden Witmer made the most of his playing time by leading the match in kills with nine. Martin had 31 assists - also a match high. Dwight Weaver and Garrett Fisher each had three aces and Andrew Yang led the way in digs with nine.
The unbeaten Barons improved to 8-0 (6-0 league) with their 25-9, 25-16, 25-18 defeat of Garden Spot on Wednesday.
Witmer again led the Spartans in kills with seven. Weaver's 10 digs and Martin's 22 assists were tops on the team as were the two blocks by Weaver.
In the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday's Section Two game, the Elizabethtown Bears pulled ahead in what was a pitchers' duel between Kristin Geesey and Garden Spot's Elizabeth King.
King struck out seven batters and went the distance, giving up only the two runs. She had more strikeouts than Geesey, who only set down two Spartan batters on strikes.
Garden Spot fell to 2-2 in league play while the Bears improve to 3-2
The week began with an 8-1 victory over Conestoga Valley. King struck out seven more in a complete game effort. Megan Fisher collected two of her team's nine base hits. King and Camryn Focht also stroked two hits each while the Spartan batters also drew 11 walks. Three of those patient at-bats were executed by Brandi Clark.
Between that decisive win and the close heartbreaking loss to E-town was a 12-2 loss at Solanco. The Mules improved to 5-0 (3-0) after that victory.
Fisher had two of her team's five hits. The Spartans fell behind 3-0 after Solanco's three-run second. In the very next inning, the Spartans cut the lead to 3-2 before Solanco plated three more in the home half of the third and finished the game early with a six run fourth.
GS Volleyball Goes Toe to Toe With Cocalico April 6, 2018
The Garden Spot boys' volleyball team faced Cocalico in a Tuesday night match that showed the tenacity of the Spartans' squad. The home team spotted the Eagles a 2-0 advantage before coming back to win the next two sets in exciting fashion.
The Eagles found a way to regain the momentum into the tiebreaker set and topped the Spartans 15-12 in this clash between Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two rivals. The loss dropped Garden Spot's L-L League record to 0-2 (2-2 overall) while the Eagles bounced back from a loss to Manheim Central and improved their league mark to 2-1.
The scores in each of the first four sets were nearly identical. The Eagles soared ahead with back-to-back wins - both by the margin of 25-22. The Spartans stayed alive with a tough 25-21 victory before knotting it up at two sets per side with a 25-22 win.
Carter Eby was one of Garden Spot's leaders with 13 kills on the night. That figure and his four blocks were match-leading totals. C.J. Murray served up two aces while Andrew Yang led the team in digs with 17. Garden Spot hitters received a total of 40 assists distributed by Devon Martin.
Garden Spot's collective spirit did not break, however, going into its next match - a Thursday league match against Ephrata. The Spartans climbed their way to a 3-0 victory over the Mountaineers. In the road match, the Spartans held off a strong Ephrata rally in the opening set and recorded a 28-26 win. They won another close one in the second set (25-20) before closing out the sweep with a 25-11 win.
Eby and junior John Sauder each registered seven kills with Eby also serving up three aces. The Spartans were led in assists by Martin once again while Aaron Lapp collected six digs.
The softball team has gotten off to a 2-1 start, attempting to play as many contests as possible between the raindrops and snowflakes in the often uncertain early spring weather. In fact, the team's second win of the season was a makeup game that had been rescheduled from March 26.
In the Thursday afternoon non-league contest, the Spartans stopped Governor Mifflin 5-1 as Elizabeth King recorded 11 strikeouts to earn her second win of the season.
"It was a strong outing for her," head coach Kim King commented. "She did really well, hitting her spots. It was 39 degrees. She kept throwing.
"There really weren't that many hard hit balls off her," continued the coach.
King helped her own cause, slugging two triples in the game. Brandi Clark also had a triple while Megan Fisher stroked two singles. Ali King also had a hit for the Spartans, who were held to only six hits by Mustangs pitcher Kendall Shank.
"They have quite a few talented players on that team," said King. "This is a team that defeated Hempfield.
"We made the plays we needed," she added. "Every ball that should have been played was played. It was a good all-around win."
Offensively, King noted that exercising patience against Shank was crucial.
"Their pitcher did well," she explained. "We knew she threw a rising ball. We practiced not swinging at it. She walked us and that might have gotten her rattled."
Though Shank recorded eight strikeouts, she did issue six free passes.
The Spartans' season opener was another one where things went right - perhaps all too easily. In the March 28th home game, the Spartans defeated Tulpehocken by a 16-1 score.
"We had 13 hits in that game," King noted. "Five players had two hits each with Elizabeth King and Megan Fisher each hitting a triple. Elizabeth also hit a home run and finished with five runs batted in."
The game ended after three innings due to the mercy rule. King had seven strikeouts from a possible total of nine outs.
"She did the bulk of our pitching last year and the same will probably happen this year," said King.
Though the girls' lacrosse team scored 10 goals against a perennially tough Hempfield team in its season opener, the squad came up short in a 20-10 loss to the L-L League rival on March 28.
Kiersten Ellsworth led the Spartans with four goals while Aubry Gonzalez and Olivia Usner - two more of last year's top scorers - each finished with two goals.
Megan Esh and Carly Esh each netted one goal while Sophie Torrance, Mandi Rider and Lilly Leaman each recorded an assist.
Megan Jefferis played a tough game in goal against the Black Knights, facing 28 shots and saving eight.
The Black Knights were led by Lizzie Yurchak, who had six goals and five assists.
The very next afternoon, the Spartans took to the road and faced Lampeter-Strasburg in another L-L League game.
The Pioneers put up 12 first-half goals and held on for a 20-7 victory. Ellsworth had another hat trick for Garden Spot. Gonzalez added two while Rider and Leaman each finished with one.
The Spartans have played three non-league games so far this season, the latest of which was an away game against Daniel Boone. The Blazers took advantage of 10 walks while Carson Zuber had two hits, including a double, and two RBI's for the home team in a 17-5 victory. Garden Spot fell to 1-2 on the year.
The Blazers also manufactured runs, using the walks and their eight hits as well as 14 stolen bases to move the runners along. Zuber and two of his teammates had three steals each.
In a March 29 game against Lampeter-Strasburg, the Spartans were held to two hits - singles by Aiden Bracken, who also had a walk, and Ben Spencer. The Spartans were within striking distance in this one until late in the game when the Pioneers plated five in the seventh inning.
Speaking of late big innings, the Spartans' season opener featured a four-run sixth inning that helped them edge Exeter Township 6-5 in New Holland on March 28. Joe Royle and Dylan Crossan both doubled for the Spartans. Royle drove in two and scored one run. Crossan also drove in two while Bracken and senior catcher Kyle Martin each had one RBI.
Jordan Petersheim started for Garden Spot and went 5.2 innings before giving way to Crossan. Bracken pitched the final frame to pick up a save.
The Ephrata squad scored seven times in the second quarter of Wednesday's L-L League boys' lacrosse game at New Holland and went on to defeat Garden Spot 17-5.
Scoring multiple goals for Garden Spot were Gavyn Naranjo and Claton Dimon with two each. Benton Moyer also netted a goal.
The Mountaineers' Kyle Raudenbush had a six-goal performance while Brynson Rhee scored five times and assisted on three other goals.
The Spartans fell to 0-4 (0-3 in league) while Ephrata improve to 3-0 (2-0).
Garden Spot played a non-league game at Twin Valley on March 29, coming up short in a 14-5 final. The Raiders took a 7-2 lead into the half, but came out with six more goals in the third quarter.
Garden Spot did direct 20 shots on goal, but Raiders goalie Kenny Miller (15 saves) was tough to crack.
Nate Kidnt had 10 saves for the Spartans, who had two goals by Moyer and single goals each from Dimon, Naranjo and Ian Blankley, who also had an assist.
Garden Spot fell to 1-3 with a loss to Conestoga Valley in L-L League boys' tennis action on Thursday. The Buckskins served up a 6-1 victory over the Spartans at New Holland.
Ethan Horning earned the Spartans' lone team point, battling his way through number one singles 0-6, 6-0, 10-3.
Nate Nguyen also put up a tough fight, but came up short at third singles. Owen Horst came back from a 7-5 loss to top Nguyen 6-1 and then 10-3.
Garden Spot's Sam Tlumach won his first set 6-4 before suffering a 6-1 loss and 10-4 in the tiebreaker set.
Lorenzo Diane and Matt McCormick were tough on their CV counterparts in the opening doubles. But Tegan Lapp and Luca Puleo managed to pull off an 8-6 win for CV.
Horning and Abdullah Salim were on the short end of an 8-3 final at number two doubles. Tlumach and Nguyen suffered an 8-2 loss at number three doubles.
Garden Spot, in its previous match (March 29), lost 5-2 to the Ephrata Mountaineers who won all four singles matches.
Salim and Horning were 8-6 winners at second doubles while Tlumach and Nguyen went on to win the third doubles by the same score.
At first doubles, Ephrata's Michael Sorb and Jared Groff needed an extra effort to dispose of McCormack and Andrew Bowman 9-8 (7-4).
Spartans Compete in State Playoffs March 16, 2018
The Garden Spot boys' basketball team entered the PIAA Class 5A state playoffs having claimed eighth place in District Three. The Spartans traveled to Scranton to face Abington Heights in the first round of states.
The District Two champion Comets, who had only lost three games through and including their district playoffs, overcame an early Garden Spot spurt and went on to post a 75-47 win.
Garden Spot, which ends its season at 15-14, took a 19-18 lead into the second quarter. The Comets soared ahead in the second stanza, however, grabbing a 34-27 lead by halftime.
Led by the game-high scoring of Jackson Danzig, whose 18-point total included a pair of three-point field goals, the Comets went on a 19-5 run in the third quarter and held off a Garden Spot comeback attempt in the final period.
Keontae Nunn led Garden Spot with 15 points. The junior made four baskets and went 7-for-8 at the foul line.
Senior Jordan Shewbridge was one of a handful of Spartans playing their final basketball game in a Garden Spot uniform. He finished with 11 points, connecting from three-point range three times. Matthew Sharp scored eight while 6-foot-4 sophomore Andrew Zentner added seven points.
Garden Spot senior Connor Finkey competed in the PIAA Class-AAA state championships, which were held at The Giant Center in Hershey on March 8 and 9. Finkey moved through the opening round of the 145-pound weight class and, following a second- round setback, claimed a consolation victory before bowing out of the tournament.
On Thursday, March 8, Finkey began with a first-period pin, putting down Michael Kistler of Northampton just 1:03 into the bout.
Finkey suffered an 8-1 loss to Kiski Area's Cam Connor in the second round, sending him into the consolation matches the following day.
Finkey came out with a 7-2 victory, defeating Garrett Rigg of Bald Eagle Area. The following match was an 8-2 loss at the hands of eventual fifth-place finisher Jobe Chishko of Penn Tellford.
The Spartan senior finished the season with an overall record of 31-3.
Spartans Qualify for PIAA Class 5A Playoffs March 2, 2018
Garden Spot heads into the PIAA Class 5A state playoffs, looking to avoid a repeat performance of Wednesday's District Three 5A consolation game against Greencastle-Antrim.
In that match, which was played at Mechanicsburg for the right to claim seventh place in the district, the Blue Devils moved ahead by opening a wide margin in the first quarter. They held on to win 77-67 despite the Spartans (15-13) outscoring them 36-27 in the second half.
"Another slow start," head coach Ryan Trupe lamented. "We were down 50-31 at the half. We played the worst defensive half of the year. We didn't have it defensively.
"It was disappointing how we started the game," he added. "We only gave up 27 points in the second half and were a little stingier. We were trapping and getting into our presses. Our mental approach was better in the second half."
Despite the loss, it was Garden Spot's Keontae Nunn leading all scorers with a whopping 32 points. Nunn made 14 field goals, including a three-pointer. Jordan Shewbridge poured in 16 more, including three triples and Javi Westmoreland added 11 points.
"We were playing without Andrew Zentner, our big sophomore," Trupe pointed out, "even though Greencastle wasn't a big team. They made 11 of 17 from three-point range."
Bryan Gembe scored 19 for the Blue Devils, hitting four triples.
In Monday's consolation game against Lampeter-Strasburg, the Spartans started off slow and fell short in their comeback bid.
The Pioneers (25-3), who had defeated Garden Spot twice in the regular season en route to winning Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, had a game-high 31 points from Ryan Smith and went on to win 62-53.
"They're a quality opponent," said Trupe. "They were the top seed coming into districts.
"We had a couple of moments in the fourth quarter where we got it down to five or six points. We just didn't have that play that could cut it closer - the rebounds we needed we weren't getting.
"Ryan Smith dominated," Trupe added. "He's a tough matchup for us because he's 6-foot-10 and our biggest kid is 6-foot-4. We have played teams this year where we've been able to limit their biggest player.
"It was a slow start for us; we gave up 25 points in the first quarter," Trupe pointed out. "We hit a shot at the buzzer to cut it to five points at the half."
The Spartans outscored the Pioneers 15-8 in the second quarter, making it a 33-28 game. The third quarter saw the momentum eventually swing in favor of the Pioneers, who managed to hold off the Spartans' comeback bid in the fourth.
Nunn and Westmoreland led the Spartans with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Nunn sank four three-pointers and Westmoreland made three more in addition to a 2-for-2 night at the foul line. Shewbridge added nine points.
"Andrew Zentner was a bit under the weather but gutted it out," said Trupe. "He had a lot of tremendous plays - whether it was a rebound or a key block. He played great inside.
"Cameron Roth gave us quality minutes," commented the coach. "He's a tough kid. He was able to get some rebounds for us."
As for states, Trupe surmised that his team would face a District Two team on the road.
"We have narrowed it down," he said. "We'll be playing a District Two team from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. We get ten teams from our district, so you know you're going to travel.
"It looks like we'll play either Abington Heights or Dallas," Trupe added. "First time we've been in states since 2001. We look forward to representing Garden Spot well."
Trupe knows that the pattern of starting off slow cannot continue into the PIAA's.
"In a district or now the state playoff games, you can't dig yourself into a hole," he said.
Connor Finkey finished third in the District Three Class-AAA wrestling championships at the Giant Center on Friday, February 23 in Hershey.
Finkey, a senior, earned a 5-2 decision over Joey Stoak of Lower Dauphin in the third-place match of the 145-pound weight class.
In his opening match, Finkey pinned Hayden Shreiner in 3:08 and earned a 13-4 major over Mechanicsburg's Brady Serina in the quarterfinals.
A loss to Tate Nichter of Chambersburg sent the Spartan senior to the consolation bracket where he pinned Susquehannock sophomore Colby Romjue, setting up the third-place match with Stoak Romjue who had come into the championships with a 24-4 record.
Finkey earned a ticket to the PIAA Class 3A Southeast Region tournament.
At 106, Mason Casey suffered a loss but took Red Lion's Christian Dennison by a 12-5 margin in the consi's. However, a loss to Central Dauphin's Josh Miller ended his wrestle back bid.
Sophomore Josh Groff opened with a tough 5-4 victory over Ethan Ketner of Hershey. He stayed in the competition despite a 12-2 loss to Dover senior Matthew Rodriguez.
Groff came away with a 2-1 victory in the consolation quarterfinals. However, a 4-0 loss to Tim Uhler of New Oxford - the eventual third-place finisher - was the end of Groff's tournament.
Gunner Gehr grabbed a 5-3 victory over Chambersburg's Spencer Runshaw. The sophomore's next match in the 138-pound bracket was a loss, followed by a loss to Palmyra's Josh Myers.
Christian Schilling (132) lost both his opening-round match and his consolation match.
At 195, Brandon Sabasino also suffered two losses that ended his season.
Freshman Dustin Swanson, at 220, came up with a 12-7 win over Central Dauphin senior Carter Urich. Shippensburg's Cole Forrester notched the second of his three straight pins at Swanson's expense in the second round. He then suffered a fall to eventual third-place finisher Dylan Byrd.