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.
GS Knocks Off Dover, Shewbridge Hits 1,000 Mark February 23, 2018
The District Three Class 5A boys' basketball playoffs tipped off on Monday with the Spartans visiting Dover High School for the first round.
The Spartans entered the playoffs as the 13th-ranked team, fashioning a record of 14-10, which included a third-place finish in the Section Two standings. The Eagles came in with a 19-4 record, having gone a perfect 12-0 in the York-Adams League.
Advantage Dover, right? Not if you ask the Spartans.
"On paper, you have a match-up of the fourth and 13th seeds," Spartans head coach Ryan Trupe remarked. "Going into this game, it wasn't a new thing with us in terms of district playoff experience. They're a very good team. But we felt it was a comparable matchup. We have good guards and so do they. I thought our guards were a little better on Monday night and that dictated things."
Garden Spot got off to a quick lead and held off the home team in a 66-59 victory. Jordan Shewbridge contributed to that fast start on what would be a memorable night for the Spartan senior.
"Jordan scored 19 of our 32 points in the first half," Trupe noted. "He scored the 1,000th point of his career."
Shewbridge finished with a game-leading 31 points. Both he and the Eagles' Keith Davis (29 points) found their groove from three-point range, each connecting six times.
Taking a 32-25 lead into the locker room at intermission, the Spartans saw the Eagles come out of the gate fast in the second half, trimming that lead to only one point before the fourth quarter began. The Spartans outscored the Eagles 19-13 in that final quarter, earning a spot in the district quarterfinals.
"Jordan got out to a very hot start," said Trupe. "But I knew other guys would need to step up in the second half. Keontae Nunn ended up scoring 16 of his points in the second half. He and Jordan complemented each other nicely."
Nunn found the path to the basket to the count of 22 points. His nine field goals included one three-pointer. Javi Westmoreland also drilled a three-pointer and finished with seven points.
As for the 1,000-point mark, Shewbridge had 999 under his belt when he stepped to the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"He had his 1,000th point on a foul shot in the fourth," said Trupe. "I didn't want to interrupt the game in districts. We celebrated after the game."
The victory improved the Spartans' season record to 15-10 and pitted them against fifth-seeded Milton Hershey, who defeated Shippensburg by a 75-47 score on Monday.
Having made the district quarterfinals already assured Garden Spot a spot in the PIAA 5A state playoffs as the top 10 teams qualify from District Three.
The quest for a district championship was halted in a battle between the Trojans and the Spartans on Thursday night at Milton Hershey. The Trojans prevailed 90-66.
The Spartans will face Section Two rival Lampeter-Strasburg in a consolation game. The Pioneers lost in overtime to Lower Dauphin. Greencastle-Antrim and Hershey play the other consolation game.
"They call it the state seeding games," said Trupe. "They're playback games and they dictate where and who you play."
Milton Hershey, who also hosted the game, darted out to a 27-10 lead in the first quarter. The Spartans slowed down the Trojans' tempo in the second quarter, making it a 44-25 halftime deficit.
"They came out and shot the ball well - had 27 in the first quarter," Trupe said of the Trojans. "We were sluggish in the first quarter. I thought if we had made a few more buckets to neutralize them, maybe they wouldn't have gotten into their transition game."
Garden Spot poured in 41 second-half points, but couldn't overcome the big early deficit.
"I give our kids a lot of credit," said Trupe. "They kept fighting. It's one of the things I'm very pleased about with this group."
The game's leading scorer was the Trojans' Donyae' Baylor-Carroll, who made nine three-point field goals and finished with 34 points.
The Spartans' leader again was Shewbridge. He collected four three-pointers on his way to a 20-point game. Jacob Arndt added 15 points while Nunn and Westmoreland scored 13 and 11, respectively.
The District Three Class-AAA Section I championships were held at Governor Mifflin on Saturday, February 17. The Garden Spot grapplers came away with several impressive finishes, including gold medals by Connor Finkey, Joshua Groff and Christian Schilling.
Gunner Gehr earned silver in the 138-pound weight class while Dustin Swanson, Mason Casey and Brandon Sabasino each took third in their respective weight classes.
Schilling was the top seed in the 132-pound bracket. The senior topped Exeter's Chris Matthews 7-5 and went on to notch a late pin against Kyle Seibert, of Gov. Mifflin, in the semifinal match, finishing the job at the 5:56 mark.
He pinned his opponent in the title bout at the 2:20 juncture.
Connor Finkey registered two pins and a technical fall on his championship day. The top seed in the 145-pound class, the senior claimed a quick pin 14 seconds into his first match. He then downed Mifflin's Jacob Blanski in just 56 seconds before dominating Finn Tinsley of Twin Valley 20-4 for the gold medal.
Groff's title in the 113-pound class included a technical fall by an 18-2 margin. He also pinned Cocalico foe Seth Fritz before winning the title bout by an 8-1 score over Conestoga Valley's Rafael Rodriguez. Groff was the third seed.
Casey, a freshman, was the second seed at 106. He lost a quarterfinal match on a close 12-10 decision. However, he battled back for a quick pin in 45 seconds in the consolation quarterfinal match. He then defeated Wilson High's Kelvin Rodriguez via fall and pinned another win against Reading's Esteven Muniz in the first period of the third-place match.
Gehr settled for second place thanks to a 13-3 major by Wilson's Brandon Connor. Gehr had a major decision of his own in the semis, winning 12-1. In his first match of the day he pinned Exeter's Chase Guldin 1:16 into the bout.
Swanson, the second seed in the 220-lb bracket, battled back nicely to earn third place. He opened with a pin 4:52 into his match with Wilson's Bruce Vaughan. Though he was pinned in the semis to a familiar foe - Cocalico's Joseph Bearinger - he earned a 5-2 victory in the consolation semis and pinned Reading's Xavier Rivera in the third-place bout.
Sabasino will also advance to the district regionals along with the aforementioned teammates. The fourth seed at 195 pinned his first opponent in 52 seconds. Like Swanson, he suffered a semifinals round pin but battle back nicely.
In the wrestlebacks, he downed Eddie Lopez of CV with a second-period pin, and then pinned Eliajah Karas of Oley Valley to earn third place.
Drew Finkey took fifth thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 victory in the 126-lb fifth/sixth place match. Finkey's day opened with a close victory as he downed Terrell Sanders of Daniel Boone by a 3-1 count. In the consi's he posted a key 14-1 major that kept him in the competition despite a semifinal loss.
Aaron Martin had a first-round victory in his weight class, posting a pin against Cedar Crest foe Marcus Jennings. But consecutive defeats ended Martin's day.
Jacob Zook earned an opening-round 4-2 victory in the 182-pound class. His 12-5 loss and another setback against top-seeded Jack Meyer of Conrad Weiser ended the junior's quest for a top finish.
Spartans Upset MT, Fall to LCHS in Playoffs February 16, 2018
Suppose they held a playoff game between a Section Two team that finished with an 8-6 league record and a team that finished 10-4 and missed second place by one game in the Section One standings.
Hempfield was the site for the opening-round Lancaster-Lebanon League boys' basketball game between Garden Spot and Manheim Township on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans, who entered the league playoffs as the third-place team out of Section Two, used a wild fourth quarter to defeat Township in a 70-67 comeback victory.
"That was an exciting win for our guys and our program," said head coach Ryan Trupe. "It was the first league playoff win our team has had in eighteen years."
The Blue Streaks, who entered the game with an overall record of 17-5, were holding a 51-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Spartans, who improved to 14-9, outscored the Streaks 27-16 in that period.
"It was a wild fourth quarter," Trupe said. "We were down by 10 points with four minutes to go and we came back to win it."
While the Spartans' momentum picked up, there was a downward progression for Manheim Township down the stretch.
"They made the plays down the stretch and we didn't make any of our own," Township coach Matt Johns stated.
"We got fouled on a three-point shot; we got fouled on another shot; they were also called for a technical," Trupe recalled. "So, it was a nine-point turnaround. It was a wild situation, going from 10 points down to only down by one. We feasted on the opportunities. It was one of those games."
The Spartans' attack included a game-high 29 points by Keontae Nunn who converted 13 of 17 foul shots.
"Keontae had 18 of those points in the fourth quarter," Trupe noted. "He kept attacking the rim. He had three and-ones in the quarter and made 12 of 16 foul shots in the quarter.
"We caught them with a mismatch," continued the coach. "We exploited them with Jordan Shewbridge in the third quarter. We let Keontae go in the fourth."
Shewbridge buried four three-point field goals in the game and finished with 20 points. Andrew Zentner and Javi Westmoreland each scored eight points.
Tyler Crespo, who had four three's of his own, led Township with 27 points. He went 9-for-10 at the foul line.
Of course, with the likes of Crespo and Tyler Vicidomini (17 points), the Streaks weren't put away yet. The matter of closing out the victory was critical in the final seconds.
"They had a shot at the end," said Trupe. "We talked about whether or not to foul them at the end and put them on the line. With their size advantage, they could have made the first free throw and miss the second one to rebound the ball. But we got the rebound on their final shot and that was the game."
The Spartans advanced to the L-L League semis where they faced Lancaster Catholic on the Crusaders' home court Monday night. The Section Three champions brought a 14-0 league mark into the post-season and a 20-2 mark into Monday's match.
The Crusaders didn't count on the Spartans being as competitive. However, they managed to pull off a victory on their way to advancing to the league championship - Wednesday's 44-42 defeat of Ephrata.
"They came in 20-2," Trupe noted. "We had played them over the Christmas break. We felt we could play with them. It was 44-43 going into the fourth."
In the fourth, the Crusaders outscored the Spartans 11-2 to claim a 55-45 victory.
"We just ran out of gas," said Trupe. "I think our legs got tired a little bit. The kids battled hard with a lot of pride and intensity. LC is a tough place to play. They haven't lost there yet this year."
Trailing 30-24 at halftime, the Spartans outscored LC 19-14 in the third quarter to make up most of the deficit.
Shewbridge scored a game-high 20 in the game, including four three-point baskets. Westmoreland added 11 more while Matthew Sharp scored nine points - all on three-pointers.
The Spartans now hit the gym for practice and preparation for Dover in the opening round of the District Three Class 5A playoffs.
"They're 19-4 on the year," said Trupe. "I think our chances going in there are good. We're also getting some guys back who've been hurt - guys that can contribute along with the starters."
In the L-L League Championships, which were held on Friday and Saturday, February 9-10, the Spartans were represented at Wilson High School's Roy G. Snyder Natatorium.
Not having a swim team/program, the Spartans had freshman Erick Becker and junior Brian Ortiz competing in the boys' events while Elizabeth Hasse and fellow freshman Ashley Parry competed in the girls' events.
Parry took fifth in the 100-yard butterfly, registering a time of 1:00.63. She swam the 500 free at a 5:35.46 clip and earned seventh place.
Hasse took 15th in the 100 freestyle at 59.07 while her 50 free time of 26.94 seconds was good for 14th.
Becker was 16th (1:03.12) in the 100 backstroke while Ortiz earned 15th in the 100 fly (1:02.77).
The Garden Spot team finished seventh in the L-L League air rifle championships on Saturday, February 10 at Conestoga Valley.
Willoh Robbins compiled 197 points and hit the center target once. Jared Weaver's aim hit the center twice while he scored 196 in the tournament. Braden Reel and Lani Duncan finished with scores of 192 and 191, respectively, with Duncan hitting the center twice. Karlee Hartman (191) and Alex O'Neill, 188, 2 centers) rounded out the Spartans' lineup.
Elizabethtown's squad finished first with 992 with Manheim Township (989) in second place. Garden Spot tallied 967.
Spartans Fall Short in Bid for L-L Playoffs February 9, 2018
The hope of making the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs was shattered for the Garden Spot girls' basketball team following a 56-31 loss to Solanco in a key Section Two clash at New Holland last Wednesday. The Spartans, whose loss to Manheim Central in their previous game had put them at 10-11, finished the regular season at 10-12 and 7-7 in the league.
In a tight race for the third-place team out of Section Two to earn a playoff berth, Solanco's victory over Garden Spot propelled Donegal into that final playoff spot.
Solanco's second-quarter surge paced the visitors to a 27-13 halftime lead. The Golden Mares were down by only a basket at the start of the period.
Following a close third quarter, the Mares (15-7) outscored the Spartans 14-8 in the final period. They clinched second in the section with a 9-5 league record.
The Spartans finished the season as the number 18 team in the District Three Class 5A power rankings while Solanco claimed seventh.
Megan Fisher scored a team-high 11 points, sinking one three-point basket. Katie Varley added five points on a three-pointer and a 2-for-2 night at the foul line. Angela Strock chipped in with four points.
Solanco's Grace Kreider led all scorers with 14 points.
On Friday, February 2, the Spartans, holding a 29-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter, saw one slip away at Central. The Barons improved to 7-6 in the L-L League by outscoring Garden Spot 25-13 in that final stanza, posting a 50-42 victory.
Fisher, with a pair of treys, and Karli Stoltzfus each hit double digits with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Paige Kemper came away with nine points in the game while the two three-pointers by Olivia Usner gave her six points on the night.
"The guys knew that if we won, we were in; if we lost, we weren't," said head coach Ryan Trupe, describing the team's state of mind heading into the regular-season finale at Solanco on Wednesday. "The guys were excited that they controlled their own destiny."
With their 59-42 win, the Spartans clinched third place in Section Two and qualified for the L-L League playoffs. And when the league playoffs start, the Spartans (8-6, 13-9 overall) will face Manheim Township - the third-place finisher in Section One.
As for the District Three 5A standings, they're currently at number 13.
"There are a few more games to be played in the Mid-Penn League," Trupe said, alluding to a very slight possible change in the power rankings thereafter.
The Spartans came on strong at Solanco, outscoring the Mules 18-11 in the first quarter and increasing that to a 32-18 halftime lead.
"We played very well offensively, especially in the first half," said Trupe.
Despite the 14-point halftime deficit, the Mules fought back and after outscoring Garden Spot 14-11 in the third, made it a closer game in the fourth quarter.
"Solanco played us tough," Trupe said. "That has been that way for us a lot. Teams in our league played us tough. With the exception of a few games, we've played a lot of close ones."
Trupe pointed out that the 17-point margin of victory wasn't indicative of how close it was in the fourth.
"I think they got to within four or five points," he said. "We went on a nice 7-0 run in the end."
Though the visitors did get off to a fast start, the offensive contributions of Keontae Nunn (22 points) and Jordan Shewbridge (13 points) came when it counted most.
"Those two scored 16 of our points in the fourth quarter," Trupe pointed out.
"Keonte had two three's and was 6-for-6 at the free throw line," he continued. "Jordan was 4-for-4 at the line. Overall we made 11-of-12. I like those percentages."
Javi Westmoreland added nine points, sinking one three-pointer. Matt Sharp also made a three-point shot and finished with five points. Jacob Arndt (7 pts) also connected from three-point range.
Trupe gave credit to the players whose contributions didn't necessarily appear in the box score.
"Cameron Roth, Andrew Zentner and Matt Sharp don't look like they do a lot," he said, alluding to points scored. "They make the extra passes. They're defensively sound. These guys are doing things coaches love.
"Matt is a guy who has really stepped up," continued the coach. "He didn't see a lot of minutes early on this season. He kept working hard. He's a guy you love having on your team. If you need him to step up and score, he does it. He knows his role and he's very coachable."
In their next-to-last regular season game, the Spartans held Manheim Central to only two points in the first half en route to a 63-24 home victory on Friday, February 2.
Shewbridge was the leading scorer with 17 points, hitting a pair of treys and going 5-for-6 at the line. Arndt stepped up and scored 14 while Nunn had all 12 of his points from the field. Zentner added seven more.
With Trevor Courtney leading the team with 602 points, the Garden Spot bowlers beat Lampeter-Strasburg 5-2 on Tuesday.
Courtney bowled a 192 in his first game, then finished with a 205 in his next two.
The defeat of the Section Three foe raised Garden Spot's record to 7-6.
In a Thursday match with Governor Mifflin, the Spartans edged the Mustangs 485-483 in air rifle competition.
The competition was tight through all five top shooters on both teams. Willoh Robbins led Garden Spot with a score of 98. Alex O'Neill, Jared Weaver and Braden Reel all shot 97's while the Mustangs featured two shooters with 98's
Karlee Hartman's 96 helped put the Spartans over the top.
On Tuesday, the Spartans visited Elizabethtown. The team came up short as the E-town team finished with two marksmen, Aaron Tetkoskie and Caleb Flores, hitting the century mark while three teammates finished at 99.
Robbins led the Spartans with a 99. Weaver and O'Neill had 98's as did Aaron Good and Kylie Fox.
Spartans Go Toe to Toe With Bears But Fall Short February 2, 2018
It has been said that the character and resiliency of a team is measured by how well it responds to defeats. Do things spiral downward or does everyone step up and play significantly better in the next match?
The Garden Spot boys' basketball team was facing Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Elizabethtown on Tuesday night. Following an 80-31 loss at Lampeter-Strasburg the previous week - the first-place team in Section Two - the Spartans returned home to face the Bears.
"It was one of those games beyond the playoff scope," said head coach Ryan Trupe. "It was just like how our guys wanted to beat Donegal and we did [January 23] after they had beaten us the first time around."
Though the result of the E-town game didn't go in Garden Spot's favor, the team did battle to the very end. The Bears came out on top 65-61 as both teams went to 6-6 in the L-L League as a result.
In the high-scoring game, the Spartans held a 26-25 halftime edge. The Bears rose from hibernation, however, and outscored the home team 24-13 in the third quarter.
"They went on an 18-0 run in the third quarter," Trupe noted. "They were up 29-27 in the third and suddenly reeled off 18 straight on us.
"My guys were able to regroup and battle together," added the coach. "We had shots to try and tie it at the end. We had some shots that could have tied it, but didn't go in for us."
The Spartans outscored the Bears 22-16 in the fourth quarter.
"You lose a game that has playoff implications, but at the same time you see the resiliency of your team," Trupe added. "Our guys know we let one get away but are optimistic that we can get our last two games."
With the loss, Garden Spot fell to 11-9 overall. In Section Two alone, there are four teams with a league record of 6-6, including the Spartans.
"We are sitting in 13th place in districts right now," Trupe pointed out.
Elizabethtown junior Larry Locker scored a game-high 30 points, including 12 baskets.
"He's a nice player," Trupe commented. "He's a solid player who dominated us in the paint. Probably 20 or 22 of his points came from inside the paint."
The Spartans were led by Matt Sharp, who was sharp from three-point range, making six long jumpers and dropping in a team-leading 18 points.
"Matt's threes were a big lift for us," Trupe said. "Their strategy left Matt open. His eyes lit up a little bit and he made six. He is a nice shooter."
Keonte Nunn added 15 points, including a three-pointer. He also added four assists.
"Keonte was just attacking, doing his thing," said Trupe.
Jacob Arndt scored 11 points while Andrew Zentner and Javi Westmoreland each scored six.
The girls' basketball team has a lot of company in Section Two. That's not to say they have rivals. It's just that two of those section foes - Solanco and Donegal - now have the same Lancaster-Lebanon League record (7-5) as the Spartans.
The Spartans, who are 10-10 overall, have their regular season scheduled to close at home against Solanco on Wednesday and are 1-1 against Donegal.
This means a tough three-way tie to crack for second place.
On Tuesday, the Spartans rode into Lebanon needing to stay in the race. They came away with a 60-35 win, holding the Cedars to six points or less in three of the four quarters.
Megan Fisher was the top scorer in the game, pouring in 22 points. The 5-foot-9 junior made eight baskets, including a pair of three-point shots. Karli Stoltzfus added 13 points while Paige Kemper scored eight points.
The Cedars (0-12) were led by Giahny Correa, who scored 17 points.
Garden Spot was coming off a 57-47 loss to Penn Manor on Monday night. The Comets improved to 12-7 overall with this non-league victory as their third-quarter run helped them increase a four-point halftime lead.
Garden Spot's 19-point surge in the fourth wasn't enough to overtake the Comets, who were led by Alyssa Schriver's game-high 19 points.
Fisher led the Spartans with 14 points while Olivia Usner added 12 more. Katie Varley scored nine and Stoltzfus put up eight points.
In a battle between the Blue Streaks and Spartans, it was the Manheim Township team coming out on top in Wednesday night's L-L League air rifle match.
The Streaks' were on target slightly more than the Spartans, who were led by Willoh Robbins. The Spartan senior finished with 99 points while Alex O'Neill recorded a score of 98. Karlee Hartman and Lani Duncan both finished at 97 while Aaron Good shot a 96.
The Streaks were led by Drew Chieppor, Hana Musser and Graham Wolf, each of whom finished with 99 points. The Streaks improved to 6-5 while Garden Spot fell to 2-8.
Garden Spot hosted the L-L League Wrestling Championships on Friday and Saturday, January 26-27. Sophomore Gunner Gehr finished second in his weight class (138 lbs.), Christian Schilling took third at 132 and Connor Finkey was runner-up at 145 as the Spartans finished sixth as a team in the standings.
The Spartans racked up 143.5 team points. Manheim Central claimed the team crown with 219 points, topping defending champ Northern Lebanon by 16 points.
The individual achievements also included Jacob Warner taking sixth in the heavyweight competition while Brandon Sabasino earned seventh at 195 pounds. Mason Casey won fourth in the 106-pound class.
Casey's road to fourth started with a pin against Cocalico's Dylan Rapp in only 59 seconds. He defeated Jace Beegle of Pequea Valley 5-2 before losing to Brandon Breidigan of Northern Lebanon in the semis setting up a third-place match with Tanner Stefanick of Penn Manor.
Schilling pinned Joel Dionne of Hempfield and earned an 8-4 victory over Mike Hazbourn of Lampeter-Strasburg. Following a 5-2 loss in the semifinals, he earned a 10-2 major decision in the third-place match against Grant Swann of Cocalico.
Gehr's quest began with a pin against David Dariychuk of Conestoga Valley in only 56 seconds. He majored Seamus Finnegan 15-5 and won 9-6 in the semis, edging Pequea Valley's Conner Walsh.
Grayson Charles of Solanco claimed the title for the 138-pound class and was the winner of the Floyd "Shorty" Hitchcock Award for most pins in the shortest total time.
Warner pinned his adversary 3:12 into the first-round match of the 285-pound class. He lost to eventual champ Ryan Stewart of Warwick, but came back strong with a second-period pin and another one over Darren Garcia of Cedar Crest. He settled for sixth on a loss to Austin Shaver of Cocalico.
Sabasino majored Ben Barnhart 17-4 and, after getting pinned in the next round, earned another major in the consolations - a 10-0 victory. His loss to Nick Yannutz of Solanco directed him to the seventh-place match, which he won 10-7 over Brandan Madeira of No. Lebanon.
Jeff Harley had a 15-11 victory in his first-round match at 170. He suffered a loss and a first-round consolation setback.
At 160, Nate Smucker earned a 12-5 win. After a loss, he moved into the consi's where he eventually claimed a 6-5 win over Devin Sensenig of Cocalico, earning seventh place.
Corey Leaman's 120-pound tournament started with a loss. However, he earned an 8-0 major and a 4-0 victory in the second round of the consolations before suffering a loss to No. Lebanon's Seth Fisher.
Joshua Groff (113) opened with a pin and lost 2-0 to Arik Harnish of L-S in the next round. Harnish had topped his first-round opponent 28 seconds into the match.
Groff lost the consolation quarterfinals to Matt Inman of Annville-Cleona.
The Spartans defeated Hershey 69-6 on Thursday in a non-league match.
In the match, Smucker (160) won 9-5 and Jacob Zook won at 182 by a slim 2-1 score.
Sabasino worked a pin at 195 and Casey pinned at 106.
Groff claimed a 2-1 victory. Corey Leaman won the 120-pound bout on a second-period pin. Aaron Marin pinned at 126 and Schilling pinned his 132-pound opponent in just 1:06. Gehr also had a pin at 138 while Finkey had a second-period pin at 145.
In another non-league battle, New Oxford beat Garden Spot 39-25 on Tuesday. The Garden Spot victories came on a 12-5 decision by Casey (106), a pin by Martin at 126, a 5-1 decision by Gehr (138), a technical fall by Finkey at 145 pounds, a major by Zook at 182 and Harley's 17-4 major at 160.
Spartans Move Up in Standings, Top L-S 49-18 January 26, 2018
The Spartans pinned a decisive victory over Lampeter-Strasburg on Wednesday, defeating the Pioneers 49-18 in a Section Two wrestling match at home. It was also a key victory as both teams went into Wednesday's match with an identical 4-1 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
Garden Spot used various means of wins to forge ahead. Jeffrey Harley had a 20-7 major decision over Jeff Elser at the start of the match, which began at 160. Four of his teammates registered pins while three more sneaked by with one-point decisions.
Nathan Smucker (170) battled his way to a 7-6 win and Alan Perez (145) had a 5-4 victory over Hector Colon. Also, Mason Casey's win against Hunter Erb was by a slim 4-3 margin.
Big team points came on pins from Jacob Zook, who finished off his opponent 5:00 into the 182-pound bout, Dustin Swanson (220), Christian Schilling (132), Gunner Gehr (138) and Connor Finkey at 152.
Josh Groff (113) and Corey Leaman (120) also won by decisions.
On Monday, the Spartans downed Lebanon 72-11 thanks to pins by Casey (106), Josh Groff (113) and Brandon Sabasino (195) as well as a host of forfeits by the visiting Cedars.
Over the weekend, the Garden grapplers were at the Denver Duals where they won all but one of their matches. A 42-41 loss to Downingtown East was their only blemish.
It was a grudge match from the start as the teams traded pins through the first seven bouts with the exception of a Garden Spot forfeit at 106. Following a D-town pin at 170, Zook pinned his opponent at 182. Swanson (220) turned the trick in 59 seconds. Casey came away with a pin at 113 followed by a Downingtown technical fall at 120.
The Cougars registered two more pins before Gehr's pin at 145 and Finkey's first-period pin at 152 got back a dozen team points for the Spartans. Smucker's pin at 160 was another example of this team's fight. However, it was just not enough to catch the Cougars.
The Spartans defeated Emmaus 40-24, and topped Allentown Central Catholic 52-21 with Finkey, Sabasino and Swanson each getting a pin and Zook winning on a 14-4 major.
Finkey also had a pin against Solanco in the Spartans' 45-33 victory in Denver. Harley registered a pin at 182 while Casey battled to a 13-9 victory at 106.
Schilling's pin at 132 came 1:25 into the match. Gehr also had a pin at 145.
The other victory at the Denver Duals was a 51-23 win over Westtown School.
In this one, Casey and Groff had first-period pins at 106 and 113, respectively. Aaron Martin picked up a 15-0 technical fall at 126. Schilling pinned at 132 and Gehr (138) added a 1:47 fall.
Finkey needed only 44 seconds for his pin (152) while Harley dominated in a 24-13 major at 170. Zook earned a pin at 182 and Swanson pinned at 220.
Jordan Shewbridge scored 20 points and Javi Westmoreland poured in 17 more as the boys' basketball team earned a huge Section Two victory at Donegal on Tuesday.
The 63-44 win improved the Spartans' record to 11-7 (6-4 in league). The team had lost by merely five points to the Indians a month earlier in New Holland.
"We lost to Donegal early on," head coach Ryan Trupe pointed out. "It motivated our guys to come back and redeem ourselves."
This redemption, however, didn't get off to a good start for Garden Spot.
"We came out kind of flat," Trupe said. "At one point we might have been down 10-2 and closed the gap late in the first quarter."
By the end of the first quarter, it was only a 14-12 deficit - one which the Spartans turned around in the second quarter, making it a 27-22 halftime advantage.
"We clamped down defensively in the second half and that also sparked our offense," continued the coach.
Garden Spot outscored Donegal 22-7 in the third quarter, taking a 20-point lead into the final period.
Shewbridge's game-high 20 points included three field goals from three-point range. Westmoreland added a three-pointer as well.
Trupe noted that his team doesn't necessarily look for the long-range jump shots.
"We try to work on our drives and get a lot of baskets going to the hoop," he said. "Sometimes, when we get it going, that opens up our outside shots. We're actually one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league."
The scoring was actually balanced in this game as Andrew Zentner scored nine points on four field goals and a free throw. Jacob Arndt added eight points, including a 4-for-4 night at the foul line.
Though the Spartans suffered a loss at Lampeter-Strasburg on Thursday night, dropping them to 6-5 in the section, Trupe looks forward to the players bouncing back as the schedule hits its final stretch.
"Going into that Donegal game we had five league games to go," he said. "We just have to regroup. We have two critical games coming up against Elizabethtown and Manheim Central. That is going to dictate whether or not we make the playoffs."
Lampeter-Strasburg came up with a big second-quarter run and with a strong fourth quarter pulled away from Garden Spot in a girls' L-L League game on Thursday night. The Pioneers posted a 56-36 win at New Holland, improving to 11-0 in league play and clinching the section title outright. The Spartans fell to 6-5 in league play (9-5 overall).
This one was tied at 11-11 after one period. The Pioneers' 18-0 run in the second combined with their dominant defensive play in the third quarter paced them ahead to a 38-25 lead after three.
Nora Holmes led all scorers, putting up 12 for L-S.
The Spartans got nine points from Megan Fisher and four each from Olivia Usner and Karli Stoltzfus.
Garden Spot was coming off a solid victory at home on Tuesday, outscoring Donegal by 10 points in the third quarter en route to a 67-54 win.
The Spartans led by five at the half before going on a 22-12 run in the third. Fisher had a game-high 28 on the night, making 12 field goals, including a three-pointer. Usner was also in double digits (13) as was Stoltzfus, whose six buckets gave her 12 points. Paige Kemper put up two baskets and made both of her free throws for a six-point performance.
In a week where the Spartan bowlers hit the lanes three times, Garden Spot went 2-1, improving its league record to 5-5.
Monday afternoon had Garden Spot hosting Elco. The Spartans came out with a 7-0 victory as Owen Colby took charge of the game. The freshman bowler finished with 606 total pins. He bowled a 219 in his second game for his high score.
In Wednesday's 5-2 loss to Manheim Central, Trevor Courtney had a nearly identical score, finishing at 608. Courtney bowled a 235 in his opening game, and bowled a 591 in the Spartans' 7-0 win at Lancaster Mennonite on Thursday afternoon.
Willoh Robbins scored 99 in Thursday's L-L League air rifle competition in New Holland as the Spartans played host to Manheim Central. But with a perfect 100 by Austin Rhodes and a trio of shooters finishing with 99's, the Barons beat the Spartans 495-486. Garden Spot fell to 2-8 on the year while Central improved to 8-2.
Spot's Jared Weaver and Braden Reel both finished at 97 as did Karli Hartman. Lani Duncan's shooting scored 96 for the Spartans.
Tuesday's match was a tough one at Conestoga Valley. The Buckskins, who had 100-point shooting performances from Alex Stoudt and Montana Habecker, edged the Spartans 494-490.
Duncan and Robbins came through with team-leading 99's on the day. Hartman and Weaver finished at 98 while Reel recorded a 96 on the day.
One day earlier, the Spartans picked up their second win of the season, defeating the Mustangs at Governor Mifflin 487-480.
Weaver and Robbins led the team with 98's while Duncan, Hartman and Alex O'Neill each shot 97's.
Spartan Boys Defeat Cocalico, 55-50 January 19, 2018
After their loss to league rival Manheim Central two weeks ago, the Spartans went on a three-game winning streak, defeating Solanco and Red Land, cruising to those victories by over 30 points in each contest, and adding another Section Two win with Thursday's 55-50 defeat of Cocalico. All three games were played on the Spartans' home court.
The win streak improved the team's record to 9-6 overall (4-4 in league).
In the 75-41 defeat of Solanco on Friday, January 12, the Spartans poured in 19 points in each of the first two quarters and closed it out with a huge 20-9 run.
Jordan Shewbridge led all scorers with a 27-point game. He drilled five three-point field goals and made six more baskets. Keontae Nunn added 12 more while Jacob Arndt, with a pair of threes, chipped in with nine. Matthew Sharp (6), Jonathan Morales (6), Cameron Roth (5), Andrew Zentner (4), Javy Westmoreland (4) and Austin Skowood (2) also contributed.
Aaron Constein led the Golden Mules with 18 points.
"We bounced back nicely because after the Manheim Central game we were 2-4 in the section," pointed out head coach Ryan Trupe.
Against Red Land, in Saturday's non-league action, the Spartans scored over 20 points in each of the first three quarters. They took a 41-18 lead into the locker room at halftime and came out with a 22-9 run in the third.
Arndt led all scorers with 17 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Shewbridge had five baskets from three-point range and finished with 16 points while Nunn recorded 15 points.
"We had back-to-back games there and responded nicely," said Trupe whose team had to wait two extra nights to play its next scheduled game.
"The game was supposed to be played Tuesday night but got bumped back to Thursday because of the weather," Trupe explained.
The Spartans responded with a 55-50 victory, regaining the momentum they lost briefly in the fourth quarter.
"It was one of those close games against a rival school," Trupe said. "We expected a battle.
"We won the first three periods and built an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter," continued the coach. "They cut it two points and we missed some foul shots that let them get back into the game.
"We were 14th in the district going into the game," said Trupe. "From here out, every game will be critical."
Zentner led Garden Spot with 15 points.
"He played very well," commented the coach. "Cocalico has some nice big kids inside. We were able to draw out their big guys and dump it off to Andrew.
"Jacob Arndt had 14 for us," added Trupe. "Javy Westmoreland had 11 but had to defend Cocalico's best player who's averaging 15 points per game; he held him to eight points."
Aidan Trynosky was averaging 15.29 points coming into Thursday's game. Trupe praised Westmoreland's workmanlike attitude in this and other games where he's asked to guard the opponent's top scorer.
"That's usually Javy's matchup every day," he said. "He knows his role and has played well for us."
Shewbridge added nine points.
The Garden Spot girls' basketball team came up with its fourth Lancaster-Lebanon League win of the year, defeating Cocalico on the road by a 49-44 margin Thursday. The Spartans evened their league record at 4-4 and improved to 7-7 overall.
"It was a close game almost all the way through," said head coach Kevin Gensemer. "We had six- or eight-point leads."
The Eagles made a late run, but the Spartans held off the home team in the fourth quarter.
"They came down the court and hit a couple of three's to cut the lead down to six," Gensemer explained. "But Megan [Fisher] and Olivia [Usner] each made two foul shots to pretty much seal the game."
Fisher finished with a game-high 18 points. But it was also the defense that contributed largely to this win.
"We came out in a 2-1-2 full court press and went back to our zone," Gensemer explained. "We got up on them early on. We dropped out of the full court press because we don't have a full bench.
"We just made sure we weren't going to get beat by their outside shooting," he added. "We were forcing them inside and they turned the ball over three or four times in the fourth quarter."
The game was a rescheduled game from Tuesday night. Due to winter weather conditions, it was moved to Thursday, forcing the Spartans to play three games on three consecutive days, including a Friday night Section Two game against Ephrata.
The previous weekend, the Spartans also had back-to-back games, defeating Section Two foe Solanco 55-52 on the road Friday night and falling to Conestoga Valley in a non-league game Saturday.
In a game that had the Spartans leading 18-7 after one period and 31-24 at the half, the visitors had to fight off a furious comeback by Solanco in the fourth quarter. The Golden Mares outscored the Spartans 21-8 in the final period.
The shots were going in for Fisher, who finished with a game-high 30 points. The junior drained six three-point field goals.
Usner added 14 points, including a pair of three's. Paige Kemper also connected on a three-point shot and tallied four points in the game.
Solanco was led by Aleksa Burger (16 pts) and Kara McClune (13 pts).
In the Saturday afternoon matchup with Conestoga Valley, the Spartans fell 60-38. Their third-quarter comeback bid, which came after a 13-point halftime deficit, was not enough to overtake the Buckskins.
Kenzie Reed led all scorers, putting up 23 for CV. She made 10 baskets. Fisher had a team-high 13 points for Garden Spot, including a three-pointer and a 4-for-4 game at the foul line.
Katie Varley scored all nine of her points on three-point field goals.
As for the upcoming key contests against league rivals, Gensemer stated, "We are on the cusp of everything. We were 17th in the district rankings going into the game with Cocalico and the top 16 make the District Three playoffs."
The Spartans took on Elizabethtown in L-L League air rifle competition on January 11. The Bears' David Buckwalter had the only perfect score of 100 on the day while Makenzie Smith and three others finished with a score of 99.
Willoh Robbins had a 99 for the Spartans in the 496-483 defeat, which set the Spartans' record to 1-5. Alex O'Neill shot a 97 while both Jared Weaver and Lani Duncan finished at 96. Braden Reel shot a 95.
Lady Spartans Battle League Rival Barons January 12, 2018
It was a heart breaking loss for the Garden Spot girls' basketball team, losing a one-point game to Section Two rival Manheim Central on Tuesday night at home.
After leading by one point at halftime and leading by a basket after three quarters, the Spartans were outscored 17-14 in the final period of a 55-54 defeat.
"We've had a couple of them so far this year," said head coach Kevin Gensemer referring to close games that didn't go in his squad's favor.
"This was a close game - back-and-forth game all the way," he continued. "We missed a three ball, got the rebound and got fouled. We needed both shots to send the game into overtime but made only one free throw."
Garden Spot fell to 2-4 in league play (5-7 overall) while Central improved to 3-1, 4-6.
"We're right there," said Gensemer. "We just have to get over the hump with these close games. We've had three games that could've gone either way."
The Spartans' balanced attack included a 15-point night by Karli Stoltzfus. She scored six times from the field and added three foul shots. Megan Fisher hit one of the team's three-pointers, finishing with 13 points in the game. Olivia Usner, who also drilled a three-pointer, tallied 10 points while Paige Kemper came away with seven points.
Serena Conde led all scorers, putting up 16 for the Barons.
Garden Spot was coming off an impressive 49-32 Section Two victory over Lebanon the previous Friday at New Holland.
The home team came out of the gates with a strong first quarter, outscoring Lebanon 17-7 and taking a 29-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. After holding the Cedars to single-digit scoring in each of the next two periods, the Spartans cruised to victory.
Fisher was the game's leading scorer, netting 16 points. Stoltzfus put up three baskets and five foul shots to finish with 11 points while Kemper chipped in nine points. Usner and Angela Strock each added four points.
The Cedars were led by Giahny Correa, who scored 10 points.
"We came out a little sluggish against Lebanon," Gensemer noted. "We didn't practice because of the weather, but we ended up winning the game.
"In the second half we played a lot better on defense and stepped it up," the coach continued.
It may not seem like there was much to talk about in Wednesday's 75-6 win by the wrestling team at Ephrata in a Lancaster-Lebanon League dual meet. After all, the Mountaineers forfeited nine of the weight classes, granting 54 uncontested points to the Spartans.
However, the matches that were fought saw strong performances by the wrestlers' head coach Adam Bunting.
"When we have matches like this, we train for those dual meets as if we're wrestling undefeated teams," said Bunting. "It sometimes gives a chance for the guys with less experience to step up their game to help the team. You combine that with the guys who are getting consistent wins and it makes things exciting."
Examples of such wrestlers coming through when their opportunities were presented included Brandon Sabasino and Jacob Warner in the 195- and 285-pound matches, respectively.
"Jacob Warner is our backup heavyweight," Bunting explained. "He didn't wrestle for us last year, but he filled in nicely in the Ephrata match. We were excited to see him get that win."
Warner came through with a pin 4:59 into the heavyweight bout. Sabasino took only 27 seconds to notch a pin.
"Brandon picked up a quick fall," Bunting noted. "He is a senior and has been improving."
In the opening of this match, the Mountaineers forfeited the first six weight classes, spotting Spot a 36-0 lead.
When a match was actually wrestled, it didn't take long for anyone to enjoy watching it as Connor Finkey pinned Josiah Hinerdeer only 16 seconds into the 145-pound bout. His younger brother Drew Finkey followed with an 11-4 decision at 152.
"Drew wrestled a solid match," commented the coach. "He is continuing to work hard and expecting more of himself."
Forfeits followed at 160 and 170 where Nathan Smucker and Jeff Harley, respectively, collected six team points each without taking to the mat. Andrew Myers picked up the Mountaineers's lone points with a last-second pin over Spot's Jacob Zook at 182.
"Jacob was winning that one 5-2," Bunting noted. "He reversed him at the end."
The pin came at the 5:59 mark of the match.
After Sabasino's pin and another forfeit, Warner recorded a third-period pin to wrap things up.
The coach and his squad are looking forward to key matches that would shape the post-season picture for Garden Spot.
"We have the Cocalico Duals the weekend of January 20," he said. "We'll face some tough teams there. "We're on the edge of the playoffs. If we can win the rest of our matches, which we could very well do, we can crack the top 16 in the district."
In a non-league boys' basketball game on the road Saturday evening, the Spartans topped Kennard-Dale 50-38. The game was part of the "War of the Roses" tournament and was played at Manheim Central.
It was an odd game in that the Spartans actually trailed heading into the fourth quarter by a 31-28 margin. However, the offense more than came alive in that period with a 22-point attack.
"From the third quarter and into the fourth, we went on a 19-0 run," head coach Ryan Trupe pointed out. "We scored the final six points of the third quarter.
"Kennard-Dale is a top-five school in Class Quad-A in the district," he added.
Jordan Shewbridge led the scoring with a game-high 21 points, including four three-pointers.
"He didn't get a lot of open looks early on," said Trupe. "He had nine points going into the fourth quarter and scored 12 of his points in the fourth. We had a few of our set plays and he had some opportunities from those. He's a scorer by nature and he just got hot."
Keontae Nunn added 12 points.
Adam Freese led the Rams with 14 points.
"We had a game at Elizabethtown Friday night and turned around to play one Saturday afternoon," Trupe remarked. "You never know what is going to happen."
On Tuesday, the Spartans were back at Manheim Central. This time, however, they were facing the host school in a Section Two contest.
This too was a game where one defining period tipped the scales in the winning team's favor.
"We actually won three of the four quarters but the third quarter killed us," said Trupe.
The Barons outscored the Spartans 21-3 in the third quarter, coming back from a 22-18 halftime deficit. Despite Garden Spot edging Central 22-21 in the fourth it was not enough. The Spartans fell to 6-6 overall and 2-4 in the L-L League as Central posted a 60-47 win.
"It was a combination of things," Trupe said of the third quarter. "Central got hot shooting. We turned the ball over or took quick shots that we didn't want to take. Anytime you come out and turn the ball over on quick shots while the other team is getting hot it's a recipe for disaster."
Andrew Zentner and Kelito Westmoreland each scored 12 points, registering a three-pointer each. Nunn had 10 points and Jacob Arndt added five more.
"We have room for improvement," said Trupe. "We started out hot but now we're hitting a rough patch. I want our team to play the right way and see the results behind it. Our best basketball is ahead of us."
The air rifle team came up short in back-to-back L-L League matches this past week, despite impressive matches by Willoh Robbins, Jared Weaver and Alex O'Neill.
In a 497-487 loss to the Ephrata Mountaineers on Tuesday, the host Spartans had scores of 99 from both Robbins and Weaver. Evan Emch had a 97 while O'Neill and Braden Reel each shot a 96.
The Mountaineers were led by Kyle Good and Samantha Hurst - both of whom shot a perfect 100.
On Friday, January 5, the Spartans visited Manheim Township and were on the short end of a 493-485 final with the Blue Streaks' Jada Bender scoring a 100.
O'Neill and Weaver led the Spartans with 98's on the day. Robbins shot a 97 while Emch and Reel each recorded a 96.
Spartan Matmen Defeat Cedar Crest 64-12 January 5, 2018
The Garden Spot wrestlers claimed a Lancaster-Lebanon League match at Cedar Crest on Wednesday, defeating the Falcons 64-12. Though the match included Falcon forfeits at seven different weight classes, it did feature a major decision and three pins by the Spartans, who improved to 3-1.
One of those pins came from senior Connor Finkey, who registered it only 20 seconds into the 145-pound battle.
"Connor is very explosive," said head coach Adam Bunting. "He came after the kid with a throw and 20 seconds later he got a fall.
"He is wrestling at a very high level right now," Bunting continued. "He got in a lot of off-season work with Greco-Roman style wrestling. It promotes more upper body strength because you're not allowed to attack the legs in that style."
Finkey was coming off a tournament at Chambersburg over New Year's weekend where he won five matches and claimed first place at the 145-pound weight class.
"It's the Trojan Horse Tournament," Bunting explained. "Of the five matches he won, one of them was against a returning state qualifier. In the semis, he pinned a state runner-up from West Virginia. He ran through a quality field and was very impressive."
His win on Wednesday came after the Spartans had already claimed three matches by forfeit and after Christian Schilling's 22-3 major decision (132) and Gunner Gehr's first-period pin at 138.
"Schilling is having a good season," said Bunting. "He is 11-4 but all of his losses have been quality matches. He is capable of making a push for states. He is closing in on 100 wins - only 12 wins away."
Gehr, who took seventh in the 138 brackets at Chambersburg, earned a pin 1:31 into the match against Marcus Jennings. He improved his mark to 12-5.
"He's a sophomore and he's on the edge of pushing for states if he continues to improve," said Bunting.
Drew Finkey, Connor's younger brother, earned a pin 2:51 into the 152-pound match, increasing the Spartans' lead to 40-3 at that juncture and improving his record to 7-6.
"He had a pretty good freshman year and he keeps working hard," said Bunting.
Four more forfeits gave Jeff Harley (160), Nate Smucker (170), Jacob Zook (182) and Brandon Sabasino (195) uncontested wins, increasing the Spartans' lead to 64-3 before Crest's T.J. Moore edged Dustin Swanson 3-2 at the 220 bout.
The Spartans split their games at the holiday tournament at Warwick on Friday and Saturday, December 29-30. After losing a heart breaker in the final seconds of Friday night's contest against Lancaster Catholic, the Spartans bounced back for a 64-59 defeat of the host Warriors the next night.
"You don't know what you're going to get out of your team after losing a heart breaker the night before," said head coach Ryan Trupe. "We lost a buzzer beater to Lancaster Catholic, which has a nice squad. We had a tight one with Warwick, who is a scrappy team."
With the split over the weekend, the Spartans improved their overall mark to 5-4.
"We've been trying to find ourselves," said Trupe. "We're only four section games in [2-2 league mark] and there are a lot of games coming up. There's room for improvement and you're really going to start seeing the section take shape."
In the game against the Crusaders, Garden Spot faced a 29-19 halftime deficit. The team scored 18 in the third quarter alone and chipped away at the 10-point halftime deficit before losing on the Crusaders' final basket of the game.
"We played outstanding defense in the second half against Lancaster Catholic," said Trupe. "Our offense scored a lot of points, but our defense got us back into the game."
Senior guard Jacob Arndt led the Spartans with 20 points, shooting a pair of three-pointers in the process. Jordan Shewbridge finished with 14 points, including four threes.
Andrew Zentner, Matthew Sharp, and Keontae Nunn each scored six points. Zentner, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, had a pair of field goals and went 2-for-2 at the free throw line.
"Zentner gives us some good size," said Trupe.
In a game whose box score showed a see-saw battle of one team or the other outscoring its opponent every quarter, the Spartans started by outscoring the Warriors 14-3 in the first period of Saturday's game. The Warriors nearly erased that deficit entirely, outscoring the visitors 17-7 in the second quarter to make it a 21-20 game at halftime. However, Garden Spot's 27-18 run in the wild third quarter helped give the Spartans the momentum needed for the fourth quarter.
Arndt and Shewbridge each poured in 20 points with the latter drilling five three-point shots. Zentner added nine key points while Nunn added seven more.
"Jordan has been playing for us since he was a freshman," said Trupe. "He has been expanding his game a little this year - being more than a shooter and finding different ways to score. He is a household name and we're facing teams that are trying to take him away."
Bryan Rottkamp led Warwick with 18 points.
In a non-league road game against Conrad Weiser, the girls' basketball team posted a 57-44 victory on Thursday, December 28, improving to 4-5 on the season. The game was part of the Eastern York Tournament in which the Spartans suffered a 49-43 loss the previous day against Spring Grove.
In the Conrad Weiser game, the Spartans increased a 25-20 halftime lead with a 17-7 run in the third quarter. The game's leading scorer was Garden Spot junior Megan Fisher, who put up 19 points, including a pair of three-pointers.
Kayla Harley-Smith had 11 points in the game and Olivia Usner added nine more. Usner, Harley-Smith and Karie Varley, who had seven points, each connected on a three-point bucket. Paige Kemper added six points while Karli Stoltzfus added four points.
In the close contest with Spring Grove, the Spartans took a 25-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Rockets lifted off in the second half, eclipsing the deficit and taking a one-point lead into the fourth quarter where they held on for the win.
Fisher had a team-high 14 in this game while Kemper added nine points. Stoltzfus and Usner each had half a dozen points. Varley's three-point basket accounted for her points in the game. Harley-Smith also scored three points.
After claiming its first match of the season in mid-December, the Garden Spot air rifle team suffered setbacks to Conestoga Valley and Manheim Central in L-L League competition.
The victory came at Wilson where the Spartans posted a 495-490 win. The team was led by Lani Duncan, Evan Emch, Karlee Hartman, Jared Weaver, and returning senior Willow Robbins each shooting 99's.
Sam Swope and Owen Kunder led the Bulldogs with 99's of their own.
In a home match with the Buckskins, the Spartans suffered a 494-488 defeat. Robbins led the team again with a 99 while Emch shot a 98. Weaver had a 97 as did Hartman and Alex O'Neill.
The Spartans fell to 1-2 on the year after a 498-489 loss at Manheim Central on December 21. Weaver and O'Neill each had 99's in this match while Robbins finished with a 98. Hartman and fellow sophomore Braden Reel scored 97 and 96, respectively.
The Garden Spot bowlers improved to 3-1 in the L-L League with a 7-0 defeat of Columbia on December 22. Trevor Courtney led the team with a score of 690, rolling a 220 in the first game and staying consistent in the next two games with scores of 238 and 232.
The team suffered a loss to Cocalico in a Section Three road game on Tuesday. The Eagles were led by Hunter Keller and Tyrus Current, who recorded respective scores of 670 and 612. Garden Spot was led by Amanda Lynch, who improved on an opening score of 176 by rolling a 192 and a 212 for a total of 580 on the day.
GS Volleyball Advances to PIAA Tourney November 5, 2017
At this point in the season, every match you play in most of the high school sports programs is a "win or go home" game.
Garden Spot faced Lower Dauphin in the District Three Class-AAA girls' volleyball consolation match on Saturday evening at Dallastown. It was Lower Dauphin that went home.
Not only did the Spartans face elimination with a loss in this match, they were down 2-0 before turning things around for a 3-2 comeback win.
"When you're down 2-0, because volleyball is largely a game about momentum, sometimes you just need to get a win and go from there," said head coach Denny Werner. "Sometimes the other team will reassert itself in the fourth game and other times you force a fifth game."
The Falcons (16-4), who had entered district play as the third seed only to lose to West York in Thursday's semis, won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-21. Garden Spot (17-4) came back with a 25-16 win and hung on for a 25-22 win in the fourth set.
"We decreased our errors and they increased theirs," Werner said. "We executed better on defense, which put more pressure on them. We flipped the momentum.
"By the time the fifth game arrived, they might have had serious doubts in their minds," continued the coach. "We were confident going into that game."
The Falcons played a tough set, matching Garden Spot point-for-point in the final set.
"It was 10-10 and 12-12," Werner noted. "It could have gone either way."
Sam Martin, Taylor Dickson and Shawna Zeiset made some of those key plays. Zeiset led the team with 26 kills and tied Sarah Shirk for the team lead in aces with two. Shirk also paced the team in assists with 46.
"It was a real team effort," said Werner. "Shawna had 26 kills, which is huge. She has been coming up big a lot this year. Sam Martin [35 digs] has been consistent all year. She also came up big. She has been the standard all year and is very reliable. She's a co-captain along with Taylor. She's someone we can rely on to steady the ship, so to speak."
Another senior who came through was Alyssa Gehr.
"Alyssa was put in to be a middle hitter," Werner noted. "She hadn't been playing a whole lot but she got the game-winning kills. Our seniors performed well under pressure. I was happy for them."
The reason Garden Spot had to play the consolation match was that eventual district champ Palmyra had posted a 3-1 victory on Thursday at Hempfield High School. After the Spartans tied the match 1-1 with a 25-21 win, the Cougars (20-1) topped the Spartans 25-18 and 25-20 to earn their ticket to the district championship.
Kiersten Ellsworth was the leader in kills for Garden Spot, registering seven. Sam Martin had 25 digs while Shirk tallied 20 assists. Olivia Mundorff finished with four kills.
The Spartans' next opponent will be Archbishop Wood, the District 12 champion. The PIAA Class-AAA tournament first-round match will take place on Wednesday evening at Wyncote.
The Manheim Central Barons claimed the Section Two crown unanimously with a victory over Garden Spot on Friday night. The Barons had not lost a game and were one game ahead of Cocalico coming into the regular-season finale.
Central had outscored its previous three opponents 170-21. The unbeaten Barons stayed that way with a 70-14 defeat of the Spartans in this Lancaster-Lebanon League game.
The game was 14-7 going into the second quarter. The Barons found their way into the Spartans' end zone six times in the second quarter, taking a 56-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Spartans wrapped up the regular season at 2-8 (1-6 in league) while the Barons will take their 10-0 record into the District Three 5A playoffs where as the number two seed they'll host Waynesboro in a first-round game on Friday, November 10.
Connor Finkey caught a six-yard pass from Cameron Roth in the first quarter, tying the score at 7-7. The Barons had scored on Tyler Flick's 12-yard rushing touchdown.
Roth had a big play in the second quarter, scoring on a 94-yard dash for the team's only other score.