Hempfield Teams Fall in District Competition November 4, 2018
The Hempfield Black Knights may have found themselves rooting for the team that had just defeated them in the District Three Class 4A boys' soccer semifinals on Tuesday evening.
The Wilson Bulldogs, who improved to 19-3-1, scored in the 12th minute of the match and held Hempfield to only three shots on goal in a 1-0 victory at Central Dauphin Middle School's George Ebersole Stadium. Victor Vottero scored off a Patrick Ndambo assist to send second-seeded Wilson to the district championship game at Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday, November 3.
"They scored a nice goal on a cross to the far post," head coach Mark Ashley said. "They were able to get two runners into the area where we only had one defender. He couldn't defend them both and nothing a goalkeeper could do either. It was a quality service and a good finish.
"They had one other good counter-attack where Tristan Green made a nice save," Ashley said of the Knights' goalie who made four saves in the game.
For much of the second half, the Bulldogs tightened up the defense, limiting the Knights to three shots on goal.
"The three chances we had, we weren't able to play the ball inside," Ashley continued. "They dropped additional players back.
"I credit the Wilson defense as we didn't create enough offensive opportunities," commented the coach. "But I was proud of how the boys played."
As for the Knights (14-5-0) rooting for the Bulldogs? Rather than play a consolation match with Central Dauphin - the team that lost to top-seeded Cumberland Valley in the other semifinal, the third-place team out of District Three would be determined depending on which losing team from the semis lost to the subsequent champ.
"It did turn out that way," Ashley said. "It would be nice to play in a consolation game and determine your seed on how you perform. On the other hand, you do risk injuries. The guys we have that did have some injuries can rest up and heal."
With this match being played back-and-forth between the 18-yard boxes of each side, the midfield play was paramount.
"There was a lot of midfield play between the 18's," Ashley said. "We played much of the game with only two or three midfielders because we were trying to commit additional attacking players. That unit played their best game of the year."
Seniors Alex Garcia and Cameron Graybill along with junior Eddie Pohl fulfilled those duties.
"We also rotated in Nebeyu Bekere and Colson Hunt," added Ashley. "Those guys controlled the midfield two- or three-at-a-time. All five of them did a good job. They were winning head balls and creating opportunities by switching the point of attack."
It's the nature of the playoff match-ups in District Three football: If you're the lowest seed in the power rankings, you're going to be pitted against the top seed.
That was the case on Saturday afternoon at Harrisburg High School's Walter E Severance Field as the Black Knights faced the Cougars in the district quarterfinals. The Cougars' potent offense had scored over 30 points in eight of its 10 victories. The only times they scored under 30 points were wins against other district qualifying teams - Central Dauphin and Chambersburg. In fact, the Cougars had outscored opponents by a collective 180-23 in their final three regular season games.
On Saturday, the Black Knights, who entered the post-season with a 5-5 record, had slowed down the Cougars and trailed by only 20 points at the half. However, the special teams for Harrisburg added a spark that put the game out of reach.
Rynell Gantt returned the second-half opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. Later in the third quarter, Donte Kent returned a punt 74 yards to the Hempfield end zone.
Gantt capped the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Kane Everson. Gantt had three catches for 58 yards as Everson completed 19 of 21 attempts for 235 yards and two TD's. Everson also threw for a pair of two-point PAT conversions and added two more two-pointers when he called his own number on the PAT's.
Hempfield held Harrisburg scoreless in the first quarter. In the second stanza, running back Jahmir Plant, who ran for 150 yards, scored two touchdowns from inside the Knights' five-yard line. The two rushing scores were sandwiched around a Donte Kent 13-yard TD reception.
Hempfield quarterback Colin Peters threw for 106 yards on 12 completions. Jackson Shand was on the receiving end of five Peters passes for 47 yards. With his two receptions Darien Ressler accumulated 31 yards. Matt Heuston had two catches for 27 yards.
It was a battle between two powerful teams when Hempfield faced Cumberland Valley in a District Three Class 4A semifinal match on Thursday evening at Manheim Township. The undefeated Knights came into the match with a 19-0 record and the top seed in the district brackets. However, the Eagles prevailed on this night, winning three close sets, 25-18, 25-19 and 25-22.
That 19th victory was in the district quarterfinals on Tuesday back at Hempfield where the Knights topped Lower Dauphin 3-0.
In the victory over the LD Falcons, Jailene Lugo poured in 11 kills for Hempfield as the hosts posted scores of 25-11, 25-6 and 25-19.
Sarah Shirk contributed in a huge way, distributing 31 assists. Claire Flood, who had a team-high eight digs, and Ashley Weaver each registered two blocks while Kylie Ulrich served up three aces.
Despite the loss that followed two days later, the Knights were already assured a spot in the PIAA Class 4A state playoffs. The top four teams from the district are automatic state-qualifying teams.
But that wasn't enough for the Knights, who had suffered their first loss of the year. Hence, they went on to post a 3-0 victory in the district consolation match, defeating South Western 25-18, 25-21 and 25-15 on Saturday. The match was part of a district doubleheader as it was followed by Cumberland Valley's exciting 3-2 defeat of second-seeded Exeter Township.
Flood had a team-high 12 kills while Emma Bitner came through with 35 assists. Allison Cummings had a match-high 14 digs. Ulrich and Gracyn Krazwicski each had two aces with Ulrich, Rachel Sipling, Megan Criste and Flood each registering one block.
Ali St. Rose of South Western had a match-high 15 kills and Megan Wolf had 13 digs.
Entering the PIAA 4A championships, the Knights go in as the third-place team from District Three and are scheduled to face District One champ Bishop Shanahan at Upper Dublin High School.
Justin Rittenhouse competed in the PIAA Class-AAA state championship meet at Hershey on Saturday. The Hempfield senior raced through the course at a 17:36.00 time and finished 95th overall.
Amanda Hagino's successful season, which included winning the gold medal at the District Three singles championships as well as claiming top honors in the Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament, came to a close in the PIAA Class-AAA state championships.
In Friday's opening round at the Hershey Racquet Club, the Hempfield senior advanced with a tough 6-3, 6-4 victory over District Two champ Bella Peters of Abington Heights. However, in the quarterfinals later that day, Amanda Honer of Council Rock North ended Hagino's quest for state gold with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Lady Booters Beat CV, Bow to CD in District Play October 29, 2018
The Hempfield girls' soccer team opened the District Three Class 4A playoffs with a decisive 4-0 victory over Conestoga Valley on Tuesday. In the district's power rankings, the Black Knights and Buckskins finished very close with CV (12-4-3) earning eighth while the Knights' 11-6-1 mark earned them ninth place in district seeding, thus having the Buckskins play host.
Hempfield out-shot Conestoga Valley 8-3 with goals by Megan Grube, Kaitlin Deck, Jessica Wenoldt and Johnna Adams. It was the Knights' first game since their 1-0 loss to Elco a week earlier in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.
"The girls had a break and had more time to prepare," head coach Jason Mackey noted. "That was key in our success and obviously showed on the scoreboard. We had a full game plan and the girls came ready to play."
Mackey's squad jumped out to an early lead on Grube's goal 12 minutes into the game. Hempfield held that lead until Deck scored three minutes into the second half.
"She hit that in right off a corner kick," Mackey explained. "She bent it into the far post. Kaitlin Deck finished with the most goals in Section One.
"We were able to get another goal off a set piece and Johnna Adams scored our last goal," he added. Weinoldt scored in the 56th minute of the game. Adams capped the scoring 15 minutes later. Providing assists for Deck and Adams were Lizzie Yurchak and Sophie Herman while goalkeeper Meg Yoder made three saves.
"Meg Yoder came up with a couple of big saves for us late in the game to keep them scoreless," Mackey said. "I thought our backs did very well in the game - limited their opportunities."
Asked about the familiarity of an opponent they faced twice in the regular season - a 5-1 Hempfield victory and a late-season 4-0 win by CV - Mackey replied, "Whenever you play a team for the third time, you pretty much know each other and what each side is going to do. We had to make a minor adjustment. But it's about improving as the season goes along and we trended in a positive direction."
While the Buckskins' season came to an end, the Knights traveled to Central Dauphin for a district quarterfinal game with the Rams. The top-ranked team in the district came into the game with a 16-1-1 mark, having edged 16th-ranked Hershey 1-0 on Tuesday.
Hempfield held strong against CD only to suffer an overtime loss. The Rams scored the game-winner nine minutes into extra time, earning a 2-1 win and ending the Knights' season at 12-7-1.
"That was a great back-and-forth game with both teams getting opportunities," said Mackey. "We created more but they were able to capitalize on more."
Yurchak scored on an assist from Deck 30 minutes into the game. Four minutes following intermission, the Rams tied the score.
Mackey was asked about the team's excellent league record at 8-1-1 opposed to a 4-6 mark in non-league games.
"Our approach is to play at the highest level at each game, but we did struggle early on in our non-league games," he noted. "Sometimes early in the season as you're growing and developing as a team, you're not at your best."
Overall, the Knights should be returning a major part of their talented core for 2019.
"It was a great year for the girls," Mackey said. "We're graduating five seniors. Most of our players are juniors and sophomores. We're hoping the experience this year contributes to success next year."
Faced with a 1-0 halftime deficit, the Black Knights charged back to defeat the Carlisle Thundering Herd 3-1 in the opening round of the District Three Class 4A playoffs on Tuesday night. Hempfield, the defending district champion, entered this year's playoffs as the third seed and hosted Carlisle.
The Knights would go on to defeat Dallastown in the district quarterfinals on Saturday, earning not only a trip to the next round, but also to the state playoffs.
"This year being among the top four teams in our district qualifies us for states," head coach Mark Ashley explained. "We're excited to be going back. Our goal is to get back to the district finals. We were district champions the last two years."
Zach Doupe's goal put the 14th-seeded Herd (10-9-0) on the scoreboard. He scored 24 minutes into the match on one of only three shots Carlisle's offense managed on the Knights' goal.
"We were involved in a tackle that gave them a free kick just outside the 18," said Ashley. "We formed the wall and blocked the shot. Unfortunately, it rebounded to the shooter while our wall was blocking the view for our goalie Grant Doehring."
Whatever the Hempfield head coach suggested at halftime was perfect for turning up the offense in the second half. In a span of three minutes, the Knights (13-4-0) scored on goals by Sam Doehring, Cameron Graybill and Jake Suchar with Graybill and Doehring also recording assists.
"We came out with a lot of intensity in the second half," Ashley said. "We scored three minutes into the second half and went ahead two minutes later."
In the 46th minute, the Knights made it 3-1, making it three goals in a span of roughly three minutes.
While the offense came alive, the defense held strong for the remainder of the match. Grant Doehring needed to only make two saves to notch the victory.
In the district quarterfinals against Dallastown, the Knights again had the opportunity to play host as the Wildcats entered the district bracket as the 11th-seeded team. The two sides played to a scoreless draw through regulation as well as the two 15-minute overtime periods, leading to a penalty shootout round.
"It was one of those games where there was a lot of midfield play in cold and slippery conditions between the 18's," Ashley explained. "There weren't that many scoring chances. We did have two chances in the final 10 minutes of regulation, one of which went wide. Tristan Green was able to save their one really good shot. He also made a really good save early in overtime, giving us more confidence."
The defense, anchored by Green, was also led by two junior backs.
"Will Hessinger and Owen Hanzelman, our two center backs, did a great job stifling the Dallastown attack," Ashley commented.
On the night, the Hempfield goalie ended up with nine saves, including one on Dallastown's first kick of the shootouts.
"We won the coin toss going into the shootout and elected to kick second," Ashley explained. "Tristan made a save and their second shot went over the crossbar."
Ryan Hepler scored on the Knights' first penalty kick and Suchar converted on kick number two, giving the Knights a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five shootout.
While the Knights did miss on their third shot, the Wildcats went on to make each of their next three.
Graybill made it 3-2 Hempfield and after the Wildcats' evened it in the fifth frame, it was up to Alex Garcia to give his team the win. He made the final shot, giving the Knights the win by a 4-3 margin in PK's.
Hempfield High School's trophy case now includes 17 L-L League girls' volleyball championships. On Wednesday evening, the Knights edged Garden Spot in the league's finale at Manheim Township.
For Hempfield it was one of three wins on the week. The undefeated Knights topped Lancaster Mennonite in Monday's L-L League semis at Warwick. Three days following the league championship triumph, the Knights hosted Cedar Cliff in the first round of the District Three Class-AAA playoffs, posting a 3-0 win there.
In that semifinals against the Blazers, Hempfield won 25-16, 25-8 and 25-12 with Jailene Lugo leading the squad in kills (13) and Emma Bitner distributing 32 assists. Claire Flood served up five aces while Allison Cummings led the team in digs (four) and Kylie Ulrich registered two blocks.
Against Garden Spot, Hempfield took a 1-0 lead. In fact, it was a commanding 25-9 victory in the opening set. However, the Spartans (16-3) roared back for a 25-21 victory in the second set - the Knights' first lost set against a league rival this year. In fact, the Spartans led in the third set but were unable to hold back a late Hempfield surge that resulted in a 26-24 win for the defending league champs. The Knights wrapped it up with a 25-13 win in the fourth set.
Lugo led everyone with 16 kills and three blocks. Kylie Ulrich had 10 kills while Flood and Megan Criste each served up three aces. Cummings collected 21 digs while Bitner's precision passing resulted in 41 assists.
Hempfield went into districts as the top-ranked team and faced 16th-ranked Cedar Cliff on Saturday. They won 25-11, 25-11 and 25-12 with Ulrich pouring in 10 kills. Serving up two aces each were Ulrich, Flood, Mallory Wonders and Kassidy Wagner. Bitner had 32 assists while Cummings again led the team in digs, totaling 10. Lugo registered one block.
Hempfield came up short against arch rival Manheim Township in Friday night's Section One gridiron clash. The Blue Streaks scored three touchdowns in the second half to pull away 48-13 and earn a share of the Section One title. Warwick, Wilson and MT all finished 5-1 in section play with the Streaks wrapping up the regular season at 9-1.
The Knights, despite falling to 5-5 overall (3-3 league) did earn the eighth spot entry to the District Three Class 6A playoffs. They'll face Harrisburg (9-1) on the road.
The game was close in the first half. The Knights cut Township's early lead to 7-6 on Colin Peters's 77-yard touchdown pass to Darien Ressler. The Streaks went up 14-6 and added another touchdown in the second quarter plus two field goals while the Knights scored on Matt Heuston's two-yard rushing TD to make it 27-13 at halftime.
Heuston was coming off a pair of 100-yard rushing games. The Streaks held the Hempfield halfback to 20 yards. Peters threw for 146 yards on seven completions, including the TD to Ressler, who hauled in three passes for 115 yards.
The boys' cross country team finished fifth in the District Three 3A championship race at Big Spring on Saturday with 242 points. Cedar Crest won the district team title with 145 points while Warwick took second at 189 points.
In the girls' Class 3A race, which Dallastown claimed with 115 points, Hempfield finished in 17th place with 445 points.
The boys' team had three runners in the top-50 and one who narrowly missed that range. Justin Rittenhouse paced the Knights with a time of 17:18.9, finishing in 21st place. Evan Eshleman's time of 17:44.2 was good for 38th place while David Jackson (17:49.2) was 44th.
Derek Zeigler ran at a 17:55.7 clip, claiming 57th. Justin Thomas (18:15.7) and Dale Winand (18:16.3) were 88th and 89th, respectively and Ethan Kline was 91st in 18:16.6.
Paige Harrington was the leader for the girls, earning 67th place with a time of 21:17.9 while fellow freshman Delaney Minder was 74th (21:26.4).
Lily Williams finished in 94th place (21:44.6) and Bella Schwalm was 103rd (21:50.4). Ella Kielmeyer (127th, 22:28.), Bronwyn Meldrum (132nd, 22:36.3) and Grace Stringer (170th, 23:17.5) rounded out the lineup.
Knight Gridders Pull Away From Penn Manor October 22, 2018
What a difference a couple of weeks make!
Two weeks ago, the Hempfield football team suffered a 26-16 loss to Section One foe Wilson on the road. The loss came after the Black Knights had righted the ship, rebounding from a 1-3 start to even their mark at 3-3.
Ever since that setback, the Knights have outscored their opponents by a collective score of 86-20 and have improved to 5-4. Their 49-14 defeat of Penn Manor on Friday, upped the team's Lancaster-Lebanon League mark to 3-2 with a Section One showdown looming large on Friday against Section One arch rival Manheim Township.
Hempfield broke open a 21-7 halftime lead by scoring 21 points in the third quarter alone. Colin Peters had 162 passing yards and tailback Matt Heuston ran for 115 yards on 13 carries, scoring three touchdowns.
"With a one-back offense, we do a lot of zone reads," head coach Ron Zeiber explained, referring to his one-man backfield of Heuston. "If they key on him, we'll run something else - there could be two or three other places the ball can go like a pass to the outside or have the quarterback run it."
The quarterback did run it in from 10 yards out for the Knights' first score of the game. Peters, who finished with 87 rushing yards on 12 carries, also engineered two more scoring drives in the first half, both of which ended on impressive TD runs by Heuston - seven yards and 22 yards out.
The Comets finally put up some points as Stephen Albright caught a 68-yard TD pass from Luke Braas (8-for-16, 156 yards 2 TD's).
The three touchdowns in the third quarter were the results of a 39-yard run by Heuston, an 80-yard reception by Darien Ressler and a one-yard surge by Mike Kurtz.
"We were moving the ball and picking up first downs," Zeiber said. "There were a couple of opportunities we missed, but for the most part, our guys stepped up and did the job."
Asked if the big rushing touchdowns by Heuston indicated the offensive scheme leaning toward finding openings for him, Zeiber replied, "Well, they're all designed on the board to score, but they don't always result in a score. Matt is the one back in there and he had a big game. He also had one called back for 75 yards on a penalty - not that it was a bad call. He was certainly ready to go and had a great game."
Following Manor's only score of the second half, the Knights responded on a big play - a 50-yard dash to the end zone by junior Sam Hess.
The receivers whom Peters found were Ressler (116 yards), and Luke Miller (42 yards) with three and four receptions, respectively.
"Ressler had a big game," Zeiber added. "He was able to get open and we were able to get open deep. Peters did a great job. It was well balanced and that's how the stats came out."
Zeiber addressed the Knights' hopes of reaching the district playoffs.
"We're still in a position to get ourselves into the playoffs," said Zeiber whose team is right on the bubble as the ninth-ranked team in the District Three 6A power rankings. "A win this week could get us in. We try to tell our kids that it's like a playoff game for us - that our playoffs begin a week early. We cannot make a lot of mistakes against Manheim Township; they're a good team."
The Blue Streaks improved to 4-1 in league play with a defeat of McCaskey and are 8-1 overall.
The Black Knights had won their opening-round league playoff game over Annville-Cleona the previous week when they squared off against Elco on Tuesday evening. In a league semifinal match at Manheim Township, the Elco Raiders edged the Knights 1-0 and went on to top Conestoga Valley two days later for the school's first L-L League girls' soccer championship.
Elco held Hempfield to only three shots on goal while the Raiders recorded eight of their own. With nearly nine minutes gone in the second half, Katelyn Rueppel broke the scoreless tie, giving the Raiders their eventual margin of victory. Meg Yoder made seven saves in a losing cause.
Maddy Bailey made three saves for Elco, to secure the shutout.
Hempfield fell to 11-6-1 overall. The Knights wrapped up the regular season and their run into the L-L League postseason with a ninth-place spot in the District Three 4A power rankings. League rival Conestoga Valley edged the Knights in the rankings and is scheduled to play host to Hempfield in the first round of districts this week.
The Hempfield girls' cross country team finished fourth while the boys' took fifth in the L-L League Championship meet held at Ephrata on Tuesday.
With a grouping that proved to be helpful, the girls had five runners cross the finish line in a span of 17 runners. Leading the team, however, was Delaney Minder. The freshman took 16th overall with a time of 20:31.10.
The second Hempfield runner to cross the finish line was also a freshman, Paige Harrington (21:03.0), who earned 28th place.
That five-pack of runners included Bella Schwalm (42nd, 21:37.5), Ella Kielmeyer (48th, 21:51.10) Bronwyn Meldrum (50th 21:57.2), Grace Stringer, whose time of 22:00 flat was good for 53rd place, and Bella Hollenbach (58th, 22:12).
As a team, the Knights had 184 points, which was 10 better than fifth-place Ephrata. Manheim Township won as a team with 105 points. Katie Locker, who paced the entire league by winning this race at 18:41.60, helped Elizabethtown finish second (117) while Warwick claimed third out of 22 schools.
The boys' squad compiled 176 points while Warwick won the team title with 95, followed by Cedar Crest (109), Township (112), McCaskey (157) and Hempfield.
Justin Rittenhouse gave Hempfield a 14th-place finish with a time of 17:07.30. Evan Eshleman's time of 17:35.10 earned him 32nd place.
David Jackson (17:38.10) and Derek Zeigler (17:44.6) took 36th and 41st, respectively. Dale Winand and Justin Thomas ran together nicely with Winand taking 54th place (17:57.10) and Thomas taking 56th (17:58.00).
Ethan Kline ran the race at an 18:05.9 clip, finishing 62nd while Grayson Dague was number 72 at 18:20.10.
Having clinched the Section One crown, the Black Knights wrapped up the regular season schedule with a victory and headed into the L-L League volleyball playoffs.
The regular season wound down with wins over Cedar Crest and McCaskey followed by a league playoff win at Lancaster Mennonite where the Knights blanked Lampeter-Strasburg 3-0 on Friday.
The win at Crest started off with a rather easy 25-15 win, but was followed with two tougher sets that Hempfield won 25-22 and 25-20.
Kylie Ulrich led the Knights with 10 kills and two blocks. In digs it was Allison Cummings racking up 11 while Emma Bitner was solid all evening, distributing 31 assists and serving up four aces.
The defeat of McCaskey was a dominant one as the Knights pulled away 25-8, 25-4 and 25-5. They finished with a 12-0 regular season record.
Ella Deck had six aces as did Bitner, who recorded 22 assists. Cummings came through with five digs.
Hempfield opened the playoffs by making a statement in victories of 25-8, 25-16 and 25-4 on Friday. The Knights were led by Claire Flood's 11 kills and two blocks as well as Bitner's 15 assists.
Cummings came away with four digs while Ulrich served up three aces.
Hempfield was coming off a 3-1 defeat of Central Dauphin in the opening round of the District Three Class-AAA girls' team tennis championships. The seventh-seeded Black Knights faced second seed Manheim Township in Monday's quarterfinals at Racquet Club West.
The Streaks prevailed 3-1 in the three singles, two doubles format of district play. Amanda Hagino won the first singles 6-2, 6-1for Hempfield's only team point.
In doubles competition, Nicole Honrade and Juliea Briner topped Hempfield's Tierney Cantwell and Sarah Shaub 6-1, 6-1 while Karlin McHugh and Joanna Newton came up short at second doubles 6-0, 6-2. The second singles did not finish thanks to MT sophomore Scotland Reynolds winning the third singles and claiming the third team point necessary for a win.
In the girls' doubles championships, Lehman and Tierney Cantwell topped fourth-seeded twosome Michelle Timothy and Janay Lewis of Conrad Weiser 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 on Friday. However, the Hempfield pair came up short in its next round, losing to Dallastown's Meghan Salaga and Morgan Kistler 6-2, 6-3.
Black Knight Gridders Topple McCaskey 37-6 October 15, 2018
There can be many game plans for winning a football game. You exploit the opponent's weakness on defense. You use your own strengths to stop some or all of their threats. You play a focused, error-free football game.
Hempfield dominated Lancaster-Lebanon League rival McCaskey on Friday night as the Black Knights nearly matched their season high of 38 points by beating the Red Tornado 37-6 on the road. Hempfield evened its league mark at 2-2 and improved to 4-4 overall. McCaskey fell to 0-4, 1-7.
Matt Heuston ran for two touchdowns in the first half and scored on a 51-yard dash to the Tornado end zone in the third quarter, helping give Hempfield the game's first 37 points.
"As a result, we ended up with a running clock in the second half," head coach Ron Zeiber noted. "We were successful on the most part when our offense was on the field.
"Our defense did a great job," he added.
However, the defense had to make some in-game adjustments to combat McCaskey's offensive maneuvers.
"They came out and ran some stuff we had never seen them do on film - double-tight wings, a lot of wildcat looks," Zeiber explained. "We had to make adjustments on the fly. "I think our defensive staff did a great job to make sure we made the adjustments quickly. That's always key in football."
Hempfield took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter on Heuston's 43-yard rushing TD. The senior running back finished with 137 yards on nine carries.
In the second stanza, the Knights tacked on 21 points, including a 12-yard run by quarterback Colin Peters and a two-yard rushing TD by Heuston - the second of his three touchdowns.
Zeiber gave credit to the offensive line as well for helping Hempfield compile 233 rushing yards on the night. Peters completed six passes for 73 yards.
"They were firing out pretty well," he said. "They were staying on their blocks they needed to. We kept the clock running."
When McCaskey did move the ball into Hempfield territory in the second quarter, Josh Kreider intercepted a Ben Desmarais pass and took it 92 yards for a defensive touchdown. Curtis Johnson converted the fourth of his PAT kicks to make it 28-0 heading into intermission. Johnson also converted on a 33-yard field goal attempt early in the third quarter, putting the lead at 31-0. Heuston scored his final TD before the Red Tornado finally broke through with a fourth-quarter touchdown - a 15-yard toss from Desmarais to Deondre Young. The Knights managed to block the PAT kick.
The victory was key in Hempfield maintaining its playoff hopes. The Knights' 4-4 record has them 10th in the District Three 6A power rankings.
"There are playoff implications with every game we play, looking at where we are sitting and who's in front of us," Zeiber said. "We need to keep ourselves in position to reach them."
The field hockey squad faced a tough Central Dauphin squad, ranked seventh in the District Three Class-AAA power rankings, as well as Section One rival Warwick.
Following the 8-0 loss to the Rams on Monday, the Knights fell to 5-10-1 overall. The 2-1 loss at Warwick on Thursday night wrapped up the regular season with Hempfield at 4-7-1 in the L-L League.
It was a back-and-forth hockey game with the Warriors breaking the scoreless tie early in the second half. Julia Eshleman scored 1:19 into the half to give her team the edge. Kate Ayers scored six minutes later to even the score.
Both defenses held their ground with Hempfield goalie Alexa Pitts making two saves on the night. The Warriors broke through with a goal in the 21st minute. Emily Behn scored the eventual game-winner.
The remarkable part of the Central Dauphin game was Hope Rose. She scored seven of her team's eight goals, having notched a hat trick by the 24:12 mark of the first half. Despite the onslaught, Pitts recorded 23 saves out of the 31 shots on goal.
With back-to-back wins over Section One opponents, Hempfield's volleyball team stayed undefeated (10-0) in the L-L League and improved to 12-0 overall. The Knights disposed of McCaskey 3-0 on the road Monday night and topped Warwick by the same score on Tuesday evening at home.
The highest total by their opponent in any of the three sets of Monday's match was 13. The Hempfield topped McCaskey 25-4, 25-11 and 25-13.
Claire Flood served up eight aces and fellow junior Gractyn Krazwicski poured in seven kills. Emma Bitner distributed 22 assists while Allison Cummings tallied 11 digs in the win.
Against Warwick, Hempfield won 25-13, 25-6 and 25-15.
Flood and Ashley Weaver each drilled six kills while Ella Deck led the team in aces with four.
Cummings had five digs to match Mallory Wonders while Bitner finished with 20 assists.
Leading the home team in blocks were Emily James and Kylie Ulrich with three each.
Amanda Hagino was the defending champion in District Three Class-AAA girls' tennis.
On Saturday, the Hempfield junior demonstrated that she had no intentions of being unseated as the district's top player.
At the Hershey Racquet Club, she made it to the finals by defeating Cedar Cliff's Kay Aughenbaugh 6-1, 6-0 and went on to dominate Alex Pancu of Conrad Weiser in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1.
Meanwhile, as a team, the Hempfield squad defeated Central Dauphin 3-1 on Thursday in the District Three 3A opening round. Hagino was one of the winners in singles competition, topping Alex Schwab 6-0, 6-0. Grace Lehman came back from a 6-4 defeat to win 6-1, 6-1 over Skyler Oken.
Tierney Cantwell and Sarah Shaub fell short at first doubles, losing 7-6, 6-3. However the twosome of Karlin McHugh and Joanna Newton earned another team point for the Knights, winning 6-2, 6-3.
Earlier in the week, one could say Hagino picked up momentum heading into the district brackets. She faced tough competition on Monday in one of her top adversaries - Manheim Township's Emily Garvin - in the title match of the L-L League singles championships at Conestoga Valley. Hagino battled her way to a 6-1, 6-0 victory. So, she repeated as the league singles champ before claiming the district medal for a second straight year also.
In the league doubles competition, however, Garvin and Avery Palandjian came through with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Hagino and Lehman.
The girls' soccer team earned the Section One championship with an 8-1-1 record in the L-L League, claiming a key victory over Warwick in the final week of the season. The win propelled the team into the league playoffs and a 4-0 quarterfinals round win on Saturday.
Conestoga Valley, the team chasing the Knights in the standings, made a valiant run in the final week, winning at Penn Manor on Monday while the Knights were shutting out Warwick at home. The Buckskins' 4-0 win on the season's final match was only good to help them secure second place in the section.
Monday's match featured two goals by junior Kaitlin Deck, one by Sophie Herman and assists coming from Lizzie Yurchak, Gabi Hollinger and Jessica Weinoldt.
"We had to win one of our last two," said head coach Jason Mackey of the Section One race. "The girls took care of that Monday night against Warwick.
"They played us evenly in the first half," he added. "We just dominated in the second half; it showed with the 3-0 advantage in goals in the half."
Deck ended a scoreless tie with four minutes remaining in the first half. She doubled the lead 10 minutes into the second half and Herman followed shortly thereafter with the Knights' third goal of the match.
"Kaitlin Deck has been a scoring machine for us all season and she continued that this week," Mackey remarked. "Sophie Herman has stepped up big. She has logged significant minutes."
Meanwhile, Meg Yoder grabbed three saves to help secure the shutout.
It was feast or famine for the next two games. Three second-half goals by the Buckskins helped them top Hempfield 4-0 on Wednesday to close out the regular season.
Deck drilled two shots into the Annville-Cleona goal in Saturday's playoff win at Manheim
Central. The Little Dutchmen entered the league playoffs as the number two seed from Section Four. They fell to 10-7-1.
The four goals came against an Annville-Cleona squad that had given up only 17 goals in its 17 previous games.
"We controlled the play in the first half, but they defended well," Mackey noted. "They prevented us from capitalizing on any of the chances.
"Kaitlin struck a ball from 25 yards out and got it into the goal," continued the coach. "It was only 10 minutes into the second half and we scored soon after that. It opened the flood gates for us. Our opportunities started translating into goals on the scoreboard."
In addition to her two goals, Deck chipped in with an assist as Herman and Johnna Adams each netted one goal. Yoder made two saves.
The Knights will face Elco in the semifinals this week.
Conestoga Valley played the role of spoiler as the Buckskins edged Hempfield 1-0 on Wednesday evening at Landisville. In a tight Section One race, the Knights were coming off a huge victory at Warwick, who entered the week holding a one-game lead over three second-place teams - the Buckskins, the Knights and the Blue Streaks. Meanwhile the Streaks topped Cedar Crest and leapfrogged over Hempfield for what turned out to be the section's first-place entry into the league playoffs thanks to Manheim Township's 2-0 mark against Warwick in head-to-head play.
The Knights completed the regular season with an impressive 12-4-0 mark and 6-4-0 in the section.
In Monday nights' match at Warwick, Ryan Hepler's goal in the 76th minute was crucial in that it kept the match from heading into overtime. Nebyu Bekere had given Hempfield a 1-0 lead 24 minutes into the game. Hepler made it 2-0 with four minutes left in regulation.
The Warriors pushed forward until they finally got a shot past goalie Tristan Green (six saves) in the final minute of play when Jacob Smith scored off a Rob Heckman assist.
For Hempfield, Eddie Pohl and Cameron Graybill each notched an assist.
Though the Knights out-shot the Buckskins 5-2 on Wednesday night, Rob Krasinski's second-half goal proved to be the only score of the game. Corey Spotts snagged five saves in the CV goal.
Three of the top five teams in the District Three 4A power rankings come from Section One with Township ranked first, Hempfield third and Warwick fifth.
Minder, Rittenhouse Lead Hempfield Harriers October 8, 2018
The girls' cross country team defeated both McCaskey and Solanco while the boys' team fell to 6-2 in defeating Solanco but coming up short against McCaskey.
In the meet at McCaskey, the Hempfield girls defeated the home team 20-43 and downed Solanco 15-55.
The dominance included second place through sixth place going to the Hempfield girls. Delaney Minder's second-place finish registered a time of 22:35 while Lily Williams ran her race in 22:38, taking third. This pack included Bella Hollenbach (22:40), Paige Harrington (22:41) and Bella Schwalm (22:52), who took fourth through sixth. Also, Ella Kielmeyer was eighth (23:04) followed immediately by Bronwyn Meldrum (23:06).
Grace Stringer was 11th, running a 23:40 clip while Isabel Smith (24:30) and Marissa Martin (24:43) took 14th and 15th, respectively.
The Black Knights' Justin Rittenhouse won the boys' race, posting a time of 17:42. Derek Zeigler's fourth-place finish came at an 18:01 pace.
The boys' team came up just short against McCaskey as the Red Tornado won 25-31 and Hempfield downed Solanco 18-47.
Evan Eshleman earned eighth place with a time of 18:10 while David Jackson finished ninth (18:19). Two more Knights were in the top-15 with Justin Thomas (12th, 19:05) and Owen Jackson (13th, 19:12).
There is no question that the boys' soccer teams in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League are very close in the standings and are fighting for the two playoff spots.
After the first week of October, Warwick was holding a 6-2-0 record against league foes while Hempfield, Manheim Township and Conestoga Valley hold the identical record of 5-3-0.
"It's a really tight section this year," Hempfield head coach Mark Ashley agreed. "We anticipated that. Any of the top four teams could win it.
"It comes down to head-to-head competition and goal differential," Ashley added. "We've lost to Conestoga Valley and Warwick."
The Black Knights have Warwick and CV on their schedule with two more games remaining on the regular season slate.
Township topped Hempfield on Tuesday night by a 2-1 score, evening the head-to-head battle though Hempfield won the first meeting 3-1.
Ayden Lee scored 25 minutes into the match and Andrea DiSomma doubled that lead with a goal in the 37th minute, scoring on an assist by Colton Pierson.
Hempfield did not score until the 78th minute on a penalty kick.
"Drew Johnson was taken down from behind in the penalty box," Ashley explained. "He buried the shot.
"In the final seconds, we had a header that hit the crossbar and a corner, but their keeper made the saves," Ashley added.
"The flow of the game was interesting," continued the coach. "They scored twice in the first half. We didn't feel good about the way we played in the first half. We had gotten away from our possession passing game and how we split the field. Their keeper was also making some nice saves."
Quinn McCarty made three saves for Township while Tristen Green grabbed four saves for Hempfield.
Hempfield had 18 shots on goal and scored five goals in each half of Thursday afternoon's home game, defeating Penn Manor 10-1. They had edged the Comets 3-2 in their meeting earlier in the season.
The odd thing was that the Comets had a 1-0 lead in this game. Alex Behmer scored 13 minutes in.
"We knew they had played us really tough the first time," Ashley said. "We knew it was important to take them seriously. They haven't won a lot, but they've played in a lot of close games.
"And they scored first on us," he added. "That was the catalyst for us to get into our excellent passing and the plays that resulted in some of the best goals we've scored this season."
Johnson scored twice as did Cameron Graybill and Ryan Hepler, who also notched two assists. Jake Suchar, Jake Edmonds and Nebyu Bekere each added second-half goals.
Assists came courtesy of Nicolas O'Neil, Sam Doehring, George Claxton, Ethan Keital and Suchar.
"Normally, we would have gotten in some reserves in the second half," Ashley said. "We decided to keep doing what we did in the first half and the guys continued to do a good job of executing.
"When the reserves did go in in the final 30 minutes, they did a good job of continuing to shut them down," he said.
Saturday morning's non-league game ended in a 3-0 win for the Knights. Green and Grant Doehring each made five saves in shutting out Central Dauphin while Sam Doehring scored two of Hempfield's three first-half goals. Eddie Pohl had a goal and an assist while Suchar chipped in with an assist.
Ashley was asked about his approach with the players in terms of addressing goal differences being a possible tiebreaker for league playoff qualification.
"We probably won't talk about it much," he replied. "We'll focus on doing the things we do well and as long as we do our best, those things take care of themselves. I may play more attacking players later in the game, or if we're up 2-0 play more defensive players to keep that goal differential."
The Knights posted three more wins, including a pair of L-L League matches, improving their record to 10-0 (8-0 league). The opponents were Dallastown, Penn Manor and Conestoga Valley.
In the D-town match, the Knights won the opening set 26-24 and tamed the Wildcats 25-17 and 25-18 for a 3-0 win.
Jailene Lugo was one of the leaders, registering 10 kills. Claire Flood led the team with five aces, two blocks and eight digs, which tied Allison Cummings for the team lead. Emma Bitner distributed 24 assists.
Following decisive wins of 25-9 and 25-15, the Knights edged Penn Manor 26-24 on Tuesday night. It was the second of three 3-0 wins.
Lugo was outstanding with 17 kills while Bitner put up 29 assists. Cummings added nine digs while Kylie Ulrich served up four aces and Megan Criste registered three blocks.
The three sets at CV were by wider margins - 25-9, 25-12 and 25-12. Lugo delivered seven kills and two blocks. Bitner dished out 25 assists and Cummings once again tallied eight digs. Serving a pair of aces was Gracyn Krazwicski.
At the L-L League Flight Tournament at Conestoga Valley on Friday, the Hempfield duo of Grace Lehman and Amanda Hagino did not disappoint, winning their Flight One doubles match 6-0, 6-1. Also, at Flight Two doubles, Brighid Cantwell and Tierney Cantwell advanced with an 8-1 win while Karlin McHugh and Joanna Newton advanced to the second round of the Flight Three Doubles, winning a tough 9-8 (4) set over Lancaster Country Day's Ana Taubmann and Scarlett Taylor.
In singles action, Hagino won her first match 6-0, 6-0 and triumphed by the same scores in straight sets at the quarterfinals.
Lehman, meanwhile, prevailed by the same 6-0, 6-0 scores to open her Flight Two singles competition, defeating Donegal's Lyla Naqvi. She then advanced to the semis with a win over Eliana Shenk of Manheim Central
Brighid Cantwell was a Flight Three singles winner (6-2, 6-1), going on to win the quarterfinals match 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 over a strong Kylie Armstrong of Cocalico.
Tierney Cantwell moved on at Flight Four singles with a 6-1, 6-1 victory and won at the quarterfinals 7-5, 7-5.
In a key Section One gridiron clash, the Knights' comeback bid fell short in the second half as the Wilson Bulldogs came away with a 26-16 victory. The Knights, who fell to 3-4 (1-2 league) had pulled to within three points in the third quarter. Bulldogs quarterback Anthony Futrick threw his second touchdown pass of the game to give his team some much-needed cushion.
With Manheim Township handing Warwick its first Section One loss of the year, Wilson (5-2) improved to 3-0 in league play and took sole possession of first place.
Jack Wagner's field goal in the first quarter was all the scoring in the opening period. The Bulldogs' place kicker added another field goal in the second stanza helping his team take a 13-3 lead into the locker room.
Curtis Johnson's 20-yard field goal put the Knights on the board before halftime.
Hempfield finally reached the end zone, doing so on Darien Ressler's 20-yard TD catch from Colin Peters and again on Matt Heuston's rushing touchdown from three yards out - both in the third period.
Peters ran for 62 yards but Heuston was held to only 22 yards on 11 carries. The passing game netted only 81 yards with Peters completing eight passes. Jackson Shand caught three passes for 26 yards and Josh Kreider caught two for 32 yards.
Hempfield's final stretch of games to close out the regular season includes only Section One games against McCaskey, Penn Manor and Township.
The race for Section One supremacy in girls' soccer is also a tight battle. Hempfield ended the week at 7-0-1 (9-4-1 overall) with Conestoga Valley at 5-1-2 and in second place. The Knights' regular season will conclude on October 10 with a match at CV.
As for the week in games, the Knights topped Manheim Township 2-1 on Tuesday and handled Penn Manor 4-1 on Thursday.
Gabi Hollinger's overtime goal was a heartbreaker for Township. In a close contest, Lauren Weaver put the Knights up 1-0 14 minutes into the game and the Streaks tied it 14 minutes into the second half on Gabi Brown's goal (Caroline Wood assist).
Meg Yoder was strong and steady in goal, making six saves into overtime for the Knights. Johnna Adams had an assist for Hempfield.
Against Penn Manor, the Knights scored two early goals and held on for the win. Adams opened the scoring seven minutes into the match. One minute later, Jessica Weinoldt made it 2-0.
Juniors Megan Grube and Kaitlin Deck each added a second-half goal while on the defensive side Yoder made three key saves.
It was a week in which the Black Knights scored only one goal. However, they did not lose either of the two L-L League field hockey games played. On Tuesday, they played to a scoreless draw at Conestoga Valley. Two nights later, Eden Marco's goal early in the second half and four saves by Alex Pitts helped Hempfield top Cedar Crest 1-0. Kate Ayers provided the assist.
Hempfield improved to 4-6-1 in the section and 5-9-1 overall.
Sawyer Marten shot a 3-over-par 75 on the first day of competition at Briarwood East Golf Course as golfers teed it up for the District Three Class-AAA Championships on Thursday and Friday. On his second day, Marten shot an 81 and made the cut for the state eastern regional qualifiers.
Lady Knight Booters Topple CV, 5-1 October 1, 2018
When you're trying to hang on to first place in the standings, it's always prudent to defeat the teams that are chasing you.
Hempfield girls' soccer coach Jason Mackey would subscribe to that, especially after the Black Knights set down Conestoga Valley in Monday's match at Landisville. Both teams held a record of 3-0-1 against Section One opponents.
"It was at a time where we were tied with them at the top of the section," Mackey explained. "They got up on us 1-0. But from that point on, our girls responded well and played a dominant and complete game. It showed on the scoreboard as well."
The scoreboard showed Hempfield 5, Conestoga Valley 1.
Madison Delgado scored five minutes into the match, giving CV the early lead.
"We failed to clear a ball at the top of the 18," Mackey explained. "It bounced around and they tucked it into the far corner.
"For the rest of the game, we were able to maintain possession for a purpose - keeping the ball on their half and most importantly finishing those chances," he continued.
The Hempfield chances resulted in Jessica Weinoldt scoring the equalizer in the 21st minute. Following the go-ahead goal by Johnna Adams, which came three minutes prior to halftime, Weinoldt went on to record her first multi-goal game of the year as she added to the Knights' lead six minutes into the second half.
It didn't take long for Hempfield to strike again as junior Megan Grube scored less than a minute later.
"The ball came to Jess at the top of the 18 and she had a nice shot that went past their keeper," Mackey explained. "Shortly after that, Megan was able to bend one in the far post from the corner of the 18."
Gabi Hollinger, who also had an assist in the game, capped the scoring less than eight minutes later. Adams and Lizzie Yurchak also recorded assists while goalie Meg Yoder snagged two saves for the win.
Thursday afternoon the Knights hosted another Section One opponent. Kaitlin Deck scored midway into the first half off a Georgia Kielmeyer assist as Hempfield went on to beat Cedar Crest 2-0. Kielmeyer, a freshman, scored the team's second goal, capitalizing on Lauren Weaver's assist.
Yoder made two more saves, recording a shutout.
In a Saturday morning game at Manheim Central, Weinoldt recorded another multi-goal game, helping Hempfield to a 2-1 non-league victory. Deck assisted on both goals.
"She scored twice against Conestoga Valley and scored two on Saturday as well," Mackey noted. "She is becoming more of a scoring threat for us. Jess has always been great at setting up other people; now she is capitalizing on opportunities herself."
The Barons did press and managed seven shots on goal. Yoder was up to the task with six saves. The Barons' lone goal of the contest came in the 36th minute, giving them a 1-0 lead. Weinoldt tied it 21 minutes into the second half and added the game-winner seven minutes later.
The Black Knights start the month of October with four games left on the regular season schedule - all against league rivals. They have an overall mark of 7-4-1 and lead CV by one game in the standings.
"We got off to a slow non-league start," said Mackey. "We're sitting in the middle of the pack from a District Three standing. The season is usually about peaking at the right time, especially heading into the playoffs."
Colin Peters and Darien Ressler connected on two big touchdowns in the first half and Hempfield held on for a 28-26 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday night. The victory over the Section Two rival helped Hempfield even its overall mark at 3-3 while the host Pioneers fell to 4-2.
Curtis Johnson, converting on all four PAT kicks, was also crucial because the Pioneers had a missed kick as well as a failed two-point attempt - both in the second quarter.
Ressler hauled in a catch-and-run that resulted in a 53-yard scoring play in the first quarter. He had a 40-yarder in the second quarter before L-S got on the board with a Bryan McKim three-yard rushing TD.
Peters threw for his third touchdown of the game later in the second quarter, finding Jackson Shand open from three yards out. The Pioneers scored again to make it a closer 21-12 deficit at halftime.
Peters, who completed 14 of 27 passes for 186 yards and three TD's, ran for the Knights' next score. He dashed in from eight yards out for a crucial third-quarter touchdown and of course Johnson's PAT.
Peters gained 102 yards on the ground (16 carries), helping Hempfield's scoring drives. Mike Kurtz added 41 yards rushing on 13 attempts.
Ressler racked up 100 receiving yards while Shand caught four passes for 42 yards.
Sean McTaggart led the Pioneers' passing attack with 204 yards on 11 completions. The Knights' defense did pick off one of his attempts.
As the regular season came to a close in girls' tennis, the Black Knights finished with a 5-2 league record and an overall 10-4 mark. The team's final match was at home against league rival Warwick on Monday.
Amanda Hagino and Grace Lehman contributed to team points in both doubles and singles matches. They actually teamed up at first doubles for an 8-0 victory before winning their respective singles matches.
At number two doubles, it was Sarah Shaub and Rory Cantwell claiming an 8-6 victory whiel the third doubles went to Karlin McHugh and Joanna Newton by an 8-0 margin.
Tierney Cantwell claimed the first singles and Brighid Cantwell came out on top at number two. Lehman won the third singles and Hagino was a winner at number four.
With a loss to Conestoga Valley on Monday, the Knights fell a game behind Warwick in the Section One standings. Hempfield did come back and defeat Cedar Crest on the road Thursday night, finishing the week with a 4-2-0 league mark (9-2-0 overall). Both matches ended with a 2-1 final.
The Buckskins scored two early goals on their home turf Monday afternoon. Goals by Robbie Krasinksi and Ethan Bredeman were on the scoreboard by the 10th minute of the match. Thanks to an own goal by CV, the Knights were able to cut the deficit in half about midway into the second half. However, Corey Spotts held tough between the CV pipes for the narrow margin of victory.
Will Hessinger and Owen Hanzelman scored off assists by Drew Johnson and Jake Suchar in the Cedar Crest match while Grant Doehring recorded two saves.
Trent Zeller had put the Falcons up 1-0 in the 11th minute. However, Hempfield maintained pressure throughout the first half and added the go-ahead goal six minutes after intermission.
The boys' cross country team defeated both Cedar Crest and Penn Manor in Wednesday's meet. The host Knights improved to 5-1 by racing past Manor 20-36, and edging Crest 20-35.
Having four runners among the top 10 finishers helped Hempfield secure this win. The top runner in the race was senior Justin Rittenhouse with a time of 17:06.
Taking fourth was Jack Mieszkalski with a time of 17:24. Teammates Derek Zeigler (17:53) and David Jackson (17:54) took eighth and ninth, respectively.
Also recording a strong finish was Evan Eshleman, who took 14th at 18:19.
The girls' team also triumphed on that day despite Cedar Crest's Gwyneth Young (19:39) and Shayla Bonzelet (21:34) taking the top two spots.
Lily Williams earned third place with a time of 21:58 while teammates Delaney Minder (22:18) and Bella Schwalm (22:24) crossed the finish line in fifth and sixth spots, respectively. These efforts and a quartet of Hempfield runners claiming eighth through 11th, helped Hempfield nip Cedar Crest 27-34 and down Penn Manor 19-46.
That four-pack of runners was paced by Ella Kielmeyer, who posted a time of 22:44. Taking ninth was Paige Harrington (22:47) while 10th place (22:51) went to Bronwyn Meldrum and 11th to Grace Stringer (22:53)
Also finishing strong were Isabel Smith (14th, 23:22) and Bella Hollenbach (15th, 23:45)
The field hockey team played three league matches last week, claiming a 1-0 victory over Ephrata on Tuesday at home.
Alexa Pitts had eight saves in the shutout with the only goal coming off the stick of Desire Buch in the second half. Paige Basler provided the assist.
Hempfield had 12 corners in the match to Ephrata's seven. The Mountaineers out-shot the Knights 8-7.
The Knights were coming off a 2-0 loss to Manheim Township on Monday. The Streaks kept pace with Penn Manor near the top of the Section One standings as Julia Romano and Sophia Rockwell each scored one goal and Cat Wilson made two saves for the shutout.
Township's offense tallied 12 shots on goal with Pitts making 10 saves.
Following a 5-0 loss to first-place Penn Manor, the Knights fell to 4-9-0 (3-6-0 league) while the Comets improved to 11-1-0 (8-0-0 league).
The volleyball team had not yielded a single set in league play this season. They hosted Manheim Township in a Section One volleyball match on Thursday and hung on for a 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 victory to stay unbeaten (6-0) in league play and improved to 7-0 overall.
Megan Criste drilled 11 kills on the night while Emma Bitner dished out 38 assists. Gracyn Krazwicski finished with eight aces and nine digs.
Hempfield's Sawyer Marten finished fifth among the golfers competing at the L-L League Championship on Monday at Conestoga Country Club. Marten shot a 9-over-par 79 and qualified for the District Three Class-AAA championship.
Jimmy Dunn shot a 93 for the Knights and didn't make the cut for districts.
Ali Schaffer shot a 99 and finished ninth in the girls' standings, also qualifying for districts.
Knights' Hockey Splits With Comets, Buckskins September 17, 2018
The Black Knights faced Penn Manor last Monday evening in a field hockey match between Section One rivals. The Comets, coming in unbeaten in Lancaster-Lebanon League play, scored seven times in the first half and remained unbeaten with an 8-1 victory.
Hempfield goalie Alexa Pitts, with 26 saves, was resilient against an onslaught that saw 34 shots on goal.
Emma DeBerdine recorded one of two hat tricks by the Comets. Gabby Pitts also added a hat trick by the midway mark of the first half, scoring 1:38 into the game and adding two more in less than 13 minutes.
Keira Boensch scored the lone goal for the Knights, putting her team on the scoreboard in the second half.
Pitts only faced six shots in Wednesday's home game against Conestoga Valley. And while the offense was again a single goal - Kate Ayers, scoring 5:26 into the game - it was all the Knights' defense needed for this 1-0 win.
With some tremendous efforts, including third-place finishes by Delaney Minder and Jack Mieszkalski, both Hempfield cross country squads triumphed over Conestoga Valley and Manheim Township in an L-L League race held at Conestoga Valley on Tuesday.
In the boys' race, where Mieszkalski registered a time of 17:34, the Knights edged both opponents by the identical margins of 20-35.
In the girls' race it was Hempfield running past CV 20-41 and holding off Township 23-34.
Minder led a quartet of Hempfield runners in that race. Her pace of 21:52 was followed by Gabriella Hollinger's 21:55, the fifth-place time of 21:57 by Lily Williams and Bella Schwalm's (21:58) sixth-place finish.
"The girls ran with confidence and used a pack technique to break up the CV and Township teams," explained head coach Curt Rogers. "Delaney, Gaby, Lily and Bella all finished together."
Ella Kielmeyer (22:15) gave Hempfield another top-10 finisher, claiming 10th place. Paige Harrington (12th, 22:25), and Bronwyn Meldrum (13th, 22:33) kept the momentum in the Knights' favor.
Also placing: Grace Stringer (19th, 23:06), Isabel Smith (23rd, 23:14), Cahsia Page (31st, 23:52), Bella Hollenbach (33rd, 24:02), Hannah Graybill (34th, 24:03) and Diamond Chester (35th, 24:16).
Mieszkalski's 17:34 was the best among a pack of five Hempfield runners. The four who followed him across the finish line were Justin Rittenhouse (17:46), Evan Eshleman (18:01), David Jackson (18:04), and Derek Zeigler (18:08).
"Our top runners also ran as a pack virtually the entire race," said Rogers. "Jack really had a breakout race. Evan Eshleman and David Jackson both ran strong second halves to come in for impressive finishes.
"Justin Rittenhouse and Derek Zeigler were solid," added Rogers.
Justin Thomas (17th, 18:59) and Dale Winand (18th, 19:00) along with Grayson Dague (20th, 19:05) made the top-20. Also placing was: Cole Lehman (23rd, 19:31), Casey Deck (24th, 19:32), Parker Wolfe (25th, 19:49), Owen Jackson (26th, 19:58), Ryan French (27th, 19:59) and Will Yaeger (30th, 20:22.
"Many of the runners, on both teams, lowered their times from previous races and are making improvements each time they slide on their racing shoes," Rogers said. "This is a positive hard-working group."
Hempfield stymied Cedar Crest in a Section One soccer match on Monday, limiting the Falcons to only three shots on goal while the Knights' offense capitalized on four of its scoring opportunities in a 4-0 shutout at Landisville.
Brady Ross handled all three of those Crest shots to earn another shutout.
On the other side of the pitch, Ryan Hepler gave Hempfield the lead 14 minutes into the match. Jake Suchar made it 2-0 12 minutes later.
Eddie Pohl, who registered his fourth assist of the season, made it 3-0 just seven minutes into the second half and Will Hessinger recorded his first goal of the season three minutes before the final whistle blew.
"It's always good to earn a win in the first league match of the season," said head coach Mark Ashley. "We haven't played Cedar Crest for several years due to league realignment, so we didn't know what to expect. Our focus was to stay disciplined, stick to the game plan and execute our possession passing game with as much pace as possible."
Also contributing with assists were Ethan Keital and Cameron Graybill.
The victory, which was a make-up match from an originally scheduled August 31 date, improved the Knights' record to 4-0 (1-0 league).
One day later, Drew Johnson's goal in the 64th minute was all the Knights' defense needed in this 1-0 win. He scored off a George Claxton assist.
"We knocked them out of the District Three playoffs the past two years and we figured they would be highly-motivated to play us," Ashley said.
Ross again came away with a shutout, this time in a match where the opposition out-shot the Knights 9-7.
"They were very organized defensively and overloaded the midfield with extra numbers," Ashley explained. "But our center midfielders Alex Garcia, Cam Graybill and Nebeyu Bekere did a great job of helping us solve the pressure and to find outlets to our attackers. It helped create scoring chances against their strong defense.
"Our defense, on the other hand, and our goalkeeper Brady Ross were able to turn back CV's pressure late in the match," Ashley said. "Their biggest threats came in a series of five or six corner kicks and long throw-ins that were dangerous on the slippery turf.
"It was our fourth shutout," he added.
The Knights ended the week with a 3-1 defeat of Section One rival Manheim Township. With two goals in the first half, Hempfield held on and improved to 6-0 on the year (2-0 league).
"It was a solid win over our neighboring rival who has a very talented side with some veteran players and an improved attack led by 2017 League MVP and all-state player Andrea DiSomma," said Ashley.
In fact, DiSomma scored Township's lone goal in the 70th minute.
DiSomma and the dangerous attacking side Ashley was referring to compiled 10 shots on goal with Ross recording nine saves.
Pohl scored twice for Hempfield and Jake Edmonds added a second-half goal while Johnson and Doehring provided assists.
"Fortunately, an early goal by Eddie Pohl on a beautiful pass by Sam Doehring got us on the board first and gave us some breathing room," Ashley explained.
"This week was a big confidence boost," he added. "Our fitness and conditioning as well as disciplined play have paid off."
Hempfield improved to 4-0 on the season with victories against league rivals Warwick and Conestoga Valley last week. In both matches, the Knights swept their way to victory by a 3-0 score.
Hempfield won 25-15, 25-19 and 25-5 over CV on Tuesday. Both Megan Criste and Jailen Lugo registered eight kills. Allison Cummings had seven aces and 10 digs to lead the Knights.
Emma Bitner distributed 20 assists while Claire Flood came away with four blocks.
In a road match against the Warriors, the Knights won 25-10, 25-17, 25-21.
Lugo was the leader in kills (eight) and blocks (four). The number 11 was the leading total in assists by Bitner and digs by Cummings. Criste served up six aces.
Hempfield came into Friday night's game against Warwick facing a Warrior defense that had allowed an average of only 11 points per game. The 2-1 Warriors managed to hold off the Knights in a 27-0 Section One football game at Lititz.
One of the Warwick touchdowns came on a 95-yard punt return by Trey Glass, who earlier in the game hauled in a 64-yard touchdown pass from Adam Ricketts for Warwick's first score.
In what was the first Section One game of the season for both teams, Warwick improved to 3-1 overall and Hempfield fell to 1-3.
Warwick had another touchdown that came on a big play. Ricketts found Hilton Michael on a 55-yarder in the fourth quarter. Other than that, the Knights' defense held strong despite Ricketts passing for 342 yards on 15 completions.
Hempfield's Colin Peters passed for 113 yards on nine completions and two interceptions. Tanner Hess came on and completed all six pass attempts for 70 yards.
Darien Ressler caught seven passes for 128 yards. Matt Heuston was the leading rusher for the Knights, racking up 59 yards on 19 carries.
Hempfield improved to 3-1 in the league (5-3 overall) with wins at Penn Manor and Cedar Crest last week. The Knights topped the Comets 4-0 on Tuesday, followed by a 4-3 victory at Cedar Crest the following afternoon.
Amanda Hagino pairing up with Grace Lehman at number two doubles proved to be a winning combination as they put away Manor's duo of Julie Ward and Audrey Jachimowicz 8-0. Hagino came back for a 6-0, 6-0 defeat of Ward at first singles.
In first doubles it was Tierney Cantwell and Rory Cantwell pairing up for an 8-3 win. At the third doubles Sarah Shaub and Joanna Newton won 8-0.
Another Cantwell helped the Knights win in the Crest match. Brighid Cantwell and Hagino were a winning doubles team (8-2) while Lehman and Tierney Cantwell won the second doubles 8-6.
Shaub and Newton came up just short at third doubles, losing 8-6.
Hagino won the number one singles in straight sets while Lehman held on for a 6-1, 0-6, 10-3 win at second singles.
Brighid Cantwell played a tough third singles, winning the first set 6-2 before suffering 4-6, 2-10 defeats.
Sawyer Marten shot an impressive 72 at Fairview on Wednesday afternoon as the Hempfield golf team took on Penn Manor, Lancaster Catholic, Manheim Township and Cedar Crest.
Township's Ellen Wager finished first with a score of 70 and Shaun Fedor was third at 73 while Graham Calhoun shot a 74. They led the Township team to a first-place finish with a score of 292, which was 40 strokes ahead of second place Penn Manor. The Knights finished with 362.
Jimmy Dunn shot an 88 for Hempfield while Jake Hess (100) and Hannah Thomas (102) rounded out the top scorers on the squad.
Hempfield opened the week with a 1-2 record and two Section One teams on its slate of games. The Knights responded by topping Cedar Crest and Manheim Township in Section One matches for their first league games of the season. The Wilson Bulldogs ended Hempfield's week with a 1-0 Saturday morning victory at home.
In that Saturday game, the Bulldogs' Jailene DeJesus scored in the 75th minute to break a scoreless tie. The loss dropped the Knights to 3-3 overall. Meg Yoder made five saves for Hempfield.
The Knights jumped out to an early lead at Cedar Crest on Kaitlin Deck's goal 9:07 into the game. Deck also provided an assist. Fellow junior Megan Grube made it 2-0 less than nine minutes into the second half while Johanna Adams, who also had an assist, scored less than four minutes later to make it 3-0.
Yoder had two saves as the Falcons actually out-shot the Knights.
Adams came through 22 seconds into overtime, scoring off a feed by Deck in the Township game, helping nail down a crucial league victory. It was the only one of 10 shots that the Knights were able to get past MT goalie Ali Quinn while Yoder went the distance (two saves) for the shutout.
Black Knight Booters Win Three Straight September 10, 2018
The Hempfield boys' soccer team is picking up where it left off a year ago - winning games. The Black Knights opened the season with three consecutive non-league victories, defeating Spring-Ford on Tuesday in the first of two shutouts.
"I was very pleased with our effort in our first game," said head coach Mark Ashley. "Spring-Ford is a big school and they have a good program.
"There's always a sense of the unknown - not knowing what to expect in that first game," Ashley added. "We scored early, so that was a great start for us."
Returning starters Jake Suchar and Drew Johnson each scored against the Rams while Eddie Pohl gave the Knights an assist in the season opener. Hempfield drew first blood a little over one minute into the game on Suchar's goal. Johnson doubled the lead 16 minutes into the second half.
"Drew Johnson and Jake Suchar were our leading scorers last year," said Ashley, whose 2017 squad made it all the way to the PIAA Class-AAAA state championship match. "They seem to have picked up where they left off a year ago."
Goalkeeper Tristan Green recorded the shutout. He is one of three goalies Ashley is rotating through the schedule with the others being Brady Ross and Grant Deohring.
The Knights left the comforts of home but were equally dominant on defense at Chambersburg on Thursday afternoon. The Trojans' defense was also tough, giving up only one goal on a penalty kick, which Johnson converted in the 34th minute of the match.
"Drew got in on a breakaway with a great through ball by Pohl," Ashley explained. "The defender took him down from behind. He was able to finish it with a penalty shot.
"Chambersburg is a strong offensive team," continued the coach. "We handled it pretty well when they were pressing. Anytime you can get a shutout, you're happy."
Recording this shutout was Ross.
Hempfield wrapped up the week with a Saturday morning match at Governor Mifflin. The offense was wide awake early and reeled off 13 shots on goal in a 4-1 victory. Pohl and Ryan Hepler scored in the first half. Johnson made it 3-0 less than four minutes into the second half. Colson Hunt came through with a last-minute goal to give the Knights the final margin of victory.
Suchar, Pohl, Hepler and Brady Argall each notched an assist. For Pohl it was his third assist of the season.
"Eddie is one of the returning midfielders," Ashley remarked. "He has great vision and distributes the ball well. He was a solid player for us last year, but had a season-ending injury four or five games in."
The Knights suffered a heartbreaking defeat against non-league foe Central York on Friday night. The Panthers, on the strength of senior quarterback Cade Pribula passing for 399 yards, scored a late touchdown to top the Knights 35-31 at Landisville.
The loss dropped Hempfield to 1-2 on the year with their first Section One game over the horizon at Warwick on Friday.
Pribula's pass landed in the hands of Taylor Wright Rawls in the final seconds of regulation. The scoring drive came after the Knights had taken a 31-28 lead on a Curtis Johnson field goal from 25 yards out.
Hempfield had the lead early on, grabbing a 14-0 advantage in the second quarter. The Knights' touchdowns came on a one-yard run by quarterback Colin Peters in the first quarter and Matt Heuston's 25-yard dash in the second stanza - Johnson converted both PAT kicks.
Heuston went on to lead the team in rushing. He compiled 156 yards of real estate on 32 carries.
Wright-Rawls hauled in the first of his two touchdowns before intermission, catching Pribula's 56-yard pass.
Peters, who finished with 14 completions on 19 pass attempts and 195 yards, threw the first of his two touchdown passes, finding Darien Ressler on an electrifying 63-yard score. The big play helped Ressler finish with a team-high 93 receiving yards on five receptions.
Hempfield had the momentum, only to see the Panthers score 21 straight points before the end of the third period.
Peters helped guide the offense to the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter - a 12-yard toss to Jackson Shand, who finished with four catches for 46 yards.
The Black Knights got off to a 1-2 start on the season, sandwiching a 2-1 victory over Cedar Cliff between two other non-league games. All three matches were played in a span of five days.
Head coach Jason Mackey feels that even though the results could have been better, his team is playing well and is on the verge of taking off.
"I expect that with the number of returning starters and key additions to keep doing a great job," Mackey said. "We just need to turn those efforts into results."
The season opener was a match at Ephrata on Tuesday night. The Mountaineers edged the Knights 3-2.
"The first game of the season you're feeling things out, getting used to playing with each other," Mackey said. "Ephrata was a tough opponent. They were able to capitalize on opportunities and we weren't."
The teams exchanged early goals with Gabi Hollinger giving Hempfield a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute of the match. Annie Slovak's first goal of the game came less than three minutes later, evening the score.
In the second half, the teams did the same thing. Kaitlin Deck gave Hempfield a 2-1 edge in the 52nd minute only to see Slovak's goal tie it up three minutes later. Kalysta Roundtree scored the eventual game-winner in the 66th minute as Ephrata out-shot Hempfield 9-7.
"I was pleased with the way the team played regardless of the result," Mackey commented
Cedar Cliff came to Landisville on Friday. The Knights came away with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals by Deck and Hollinger and four key saves by goalie Brynn Axe.
"From the start of the game we were all over them, creating numerous chances," Mackey explained. "Their keeper came up with some great saves that kept the game close."
Saturday morning's match at Governor Mifflin was another one-goal result. The Mustangs galloped away with a 2-1 victory with Deck providing an assist on Jessica Weinoldt's goal for Hempfield.
"We allowed an early goal on a corner kick," said Mackey. "We responded and tied it. But they had a goal in the second half off another set piece.
"I tell the girls that the difference in a game could be those set pieces," added the coach. "We need to defend them more consistently - they're bound to happen during the course of the game.
"We haven't had a ton of them for us on the attacking end," he continued. "But it's just as important to capitalize on them when we do."
Hempfield had a pair of L-L League matches in girls' tennis action last week. The Conestoga Valley topped the Knights 5-2 on Tuesday followed by a non-league loss to Holidaysburg the following day.
McCaskey and Hempfield battled in a Section One clash on Thursday, resulting in a 7-0 Hempfield win.
Against McCaskey, the twosome of Amanda Hagino and Brighid Cantwell proved to be formidable in an 8-1 first doubles win. Tierney Cantwell teamed up with Grace Lehman on an 8-0 win while Karlin McHugh and Joanna Newton came away with an 8-3 third doubles win.
Hagino won her first singles match 6-0, 6-0. Those were the results of Lehman's second singles match and Brighid Cantwell's win in number three singles. Tierney Cantwell won 6-1, 1-0 at fourth singles.
Hempfield improved to 1-3 on the year (1-1 in league).
In the Holidaysburg match, Lehman won 7-6, 3-6 10-8 while Hagino won 6-0, 6-0.
Tierney Cantwell and Sarah Shaub came up short in a 6-2, 6-4 final at number one doubles. Newton and Rory Cantwell played the second doubles.
Against CV, Hagino was again a 6-0, 6-0 winner at first singles. She and Lehman claimed the first doubles 8-4.
Brighid and Tierney Cantwell played a tough second doubles before bowing out in an 8-5 final. That was the final score in third doubles with a tough effort by Shaub and Karlin McHugh.
Ali Schaffer, Sawyer Marten and Jimmy Dunn led the way for the Knights in a 170-180 non-league golf victory over Dayspring Christian Academy on Tuesday at Four Seasons.
The Knights' Jake Hess finished seventh with a 47. Schaffer carded a 40 while Marten and Dunn finished with scores of 41 and 42.
In a busy week that included four matches - two non-league and two against league foes - the Black Knights claimed a 2-1 victory over Ephrata in field hockey action on Thursday.
The week opened with a 3-0 loss to Manheim Township. The Knights rebounded with that victory at Ephrata with Buch scoring twice. The assists came from Dague and Kate Ayers.
Alexa Pitts was solid in goal, making five saves in this close contest.
Gov. Mifflin topped the Knights 2-0 with Pitts making six saves in a losing cause on Saturday. Later in the day, the Knights came up short against Dallastown. Julia Edgar scored the only Hempfield goal in a 3-1 loss while Pitts made six more saves.
Hempfield fell to 1-3 on the year (1-1 in league).
With scores of 25-22 and 25-21 to finish out a 3-0 sweep, the Knights improved to 2-0 with a victory over Penn Manor in Section One girls' volleyball action on Thursday.
Hempfield opened the match with a 25-12 win.
Claire Flood led the match in kills with 15. Emma Bitner distributed assists to the count of 27.
Allison Cummings added 20 digs on the night, Kylie Ulrich served up a team-high four aces, and Ashley Weaver led the team in blocks with three.
Knights Fall to North Allegheny in PIAA Finals June 11, 2018
The Hempfield boys' volleyball team seemed unstoppable for much of the season. The Black Knights racked up 21 victories, which included a 3-0 triumph in the PIAA Class-AAA state semifinals over previously unbeaten Emmaus on Wednesday evening.
The Knights stung the Hornets 25-16, 25-14 and 25-17, earning their ticket to the state championship and vying for their 11th PIAA trophy.
"Ian Flood hit almost .700 and Gavin Hanzelman almost .600," noted head coach Mike Vogel of the percentage of successful swings by those two seniors.
In fact, Flood finished with 19 kills and also registered three blocks. Hanzelman added two more blocks while 6-foot-5 junior Elliott De La Torre finished with a match-leading four blocks.
Senior Cayden Musso had 36 assists and three service aces.
"Musso really came into his own as a setter this year," Vogel remarked. "He was a middle and became a proficient setter."
Also leading the way were seniors Mason Scott and Zach Wilson with 12 and nine digs, respectively.
"Mason Scott developed into one of the best liberos in the state," Vogel commented. "He doesn't get the glory but he absorbs everything from the opponent.
"Zach Wilson is a great defender," continued the coach. "He has ice water in his veins."
This group of great competitors went up against North Allegheny in the state championship match at the Penn State Rec Center on Saturday afternoon. It was the Tigers' 16th appearance in the state finale.
When the serves were set and the kills counted, it was the Tigers claiming their sixth overall title. North Allegheny capped its season by winning its 23rd match as a pair of undefeated, highly-respected teams squared off against one another. Hempfield came in as the number one ranked team in the Pennsylvania State Volleyball Coaches Association.
The Tigers opened with a 25-20 victory. They won the second set 25-17 and celebrated the state title with a 25-21 defeat of Hempfield.
"They did to us what we did to Emmaus on Wednesday," summed up Vogel, who was 7-0 in the state title match before Saturday. "We had an unbelievable night against Emmaus; everything we touched was near perfect and our defense was solid.
"I thought we matched up pretty well against North Allegheny, who were in the state finals last year," Vogel continued. "You had a group of guys who didn't win the state final last year and this was going to be their last chance.
"They were truly physical from the standpoints of height and strength," continued the coach. "We just had no answers for them at the net."
Canyon Tuman had 16 kills to lead the way and teammate AJ Schmidt had 33 assists for the WPIAL champion Tigers.
Hempfield kills came from Hanzelman (10) Flood (8), Wilson (7) and Musso, who had five. Scott finished with 17 digs and Wilson added eight. Musso also dished out 29 assists.
"For us to beat North Allegheny, we had to slow down their offense - their big guys at the net," Vogel explained. "Our block couldn't channel the ball to our defensive players. We could play them in transition if we had done that. We're not a small team, but we could not slow them down.
"It would sometimes take us 10 swings to get one kill," Vogel added.
The team graduates five key seniors from that championship match - Hanzelman, Flood, Musso, Scott and Wilson. De La Torre will be one of the key returning players on the 2019 team.
"Flood and Hanzelman played in the state final two years ago also," Vogel noted, referring to the Knights' come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Penn Manor in the 2016 title match.
"The seniors on this team accomplished a lot," he added. "De La Torre will be one of the biggest kids coming back. He'll be the only returning guy with size and any kind of varsity experience."
But that's the future. How about the present team and its incredible momentum heading into a less-than-stellar championship match?
"It doesn't take away from what Hempfield accomplished this year," Vogel said. "We over achieved. We had some tough competition. We beat Cumberland Valley in the district championship."
Hempfield VB Returns to PIAA 3A Semifinals June 4, 2018
The Hempfield Black Knights charged into the boys' volleyball state semifinals after an intense 3-1 victory over Central Bucks East in Saturday's quarterfinal match at Exeter. For the undefeated Knights it was their 20th win of the season as they return to Exeter for Wednesday's PIAA Class-AAA semis against Emmaus.
"We got through a very tough District One second seed," said head coach Mike Vogel. "They played a smart game and took us out of our game."
The Patriots (21-5) nearly took down the Knights in the first set but Hempfield hung on for a 26-24 win. The Knights made it 2-0 with a 25-20 victory before the Patriots, who were against the wall, came back with a 27-25 win. CB East junior Dylan Colbert (23 kills) registered back-to-back kills and the Patriots, who were coming off a tough 3-2 defeat of LaSalle College in their opening-round match, avoided a sweep. Teammate Carter Haban had a match-leading 24 kills.
In fact, CB East seemed to want to stretch the match even longer.
"They had us 10-5 in the fourth game," Vogel pointed out. "We made a couple of adjustments and scored seven straight points."
Helping Hempfield cement a fourth-set victory by a 25-20 margin and take the match was Gavin Hanzelman, who had six kills in that fourth set alone. He finished with 21. Mason Scott (13 digs, one ace) was also solid.
"Ian Flood had 11 kills and 'DeTour' had nine," he added, referring to Elliott De La Torre's nickname "Gavin was unstoppable. He had 75 percent of our offense in the fourth game with his six kills. He was a machine out there."
Vogel was asked about how his squad handles momentum changes, particularly in a sport that can have several in a given match.
"There are dramatic momentum swings - probably more than in any other sport," he remarked. "No lead is safe.
"You have to shed the failures and eventually you regain momentum," continued the coach. "An opponent may gain on you and make a run; you may have a perceived bad call by the referee. You accept that you have to focus on the next play. Some athletes are great at the mental aspect of the game."
Senior Cayden Musso came through with 51 assists in this huge match. De La Torre and Flood each had three blocks while Zach Wilson registered two blocks.
For Wilson, whom Vogel called "a clutch player," it will be a second trip to the state semifinals in this, his senior year. He also was part of the Hempfield boys' soccer team that reached the state championship game in November.
Hempfield was coming off a 3-0 defeat of Pennsbury in the first round match Tuesday night at Elizabethtown. The Knights won 25-17, 25-13 and 25-16.
"We didn't get the job done defensively with our blocking against Central Bucks East," said Vogel. "Against Pennsbury, we dominated. We played very well against them."
The Falcons were also out of District One where they had beaten CB East in a close 19-17 fifth game in the district semis. However, the Knights played their game and were on the mark through the match.
"The kids played a confident match," Vogel said. "Gavin had 12 kills and played another outstanding match. Mason served 10 times in a row and got nine points for us in that third game.
"We were in control most of the match, but particularly in control in the third game," Vogel added. "We got out to a 9-0 start and won 25-16."
Wilson came through with nine kills and 10 digs. Flood had seven kills and one ace while De La Torre and Ian Willig each notched four kills.
The semifinal match will be back at Exeter against Emmaus. The match was originally scheduled for Tuesday, which is graduation day at Hempfield.
Hempfield will be looking to return to the state championship match for the first time since 2016 when the Knights brought home the state championship trophy.
In the state championships, which were held on May 25 and 26 at Shippensburg University, pole vault specialist Carena Nottoli finished fourth with a 12-foot effort on Friday.
Knights Advance to District Title Game May 25, 2018
It's always a good idea to hit your stride in the district playoffs, winning matches that are going to help you reach the state playoffs.
That happened with the Hempfield boys' volleyball team which, after a first-round bye, defeated Mechanicsburg on Monday night in the quarterfinals of the District Three Class-AAA playoffs by a 3-0 score. They followed that with a 3-0 defeat of Lower Dauphin in Wednesday's semifinal match at Red Lion.
"The kids understand the significance of every match," said head coach Mike Vogel. "We're playing quality opponents."
Vogel spoke of the Mechanicsburg match and the Knights' holding off the Wildcats who clawed back into the second game.
"We weren't quite as sharp as we were on Wednesday," Vogel said. "We had a 17-10 lead in the second game and it evaporated. They outscored us 14-5 and had game point. You can't have a breakdown like that."
Hempfield battled back and won that game 26-24 after having won the first one 25-17. The Knights put away the match with a 25-16 victory in the third game.
"Our blocking was good," Vogel said. "Elliott De La Torre, with four blocks, definitely blocked well."
Ian Flood and Gavin Hanzelman registered 12 and 10 kills, respectively, with Hanzelman also serving an ace.
"Gavin couldn't be stopped," said Vogel. "He played an intelligent game and with finesse.
"Zach Wilson's serving was phenomenal," continued the coach. "Colson Hunt came off the bench and had some clutch swings in the second game."
Hunt had a team-high five digs while Cayden Musso led the way with 37 assists.
The Knights won 25-16, 25-21 and 25-17 against Lower Dauphin on Wednesday, improving to 17-0 on the year and earning a trip to the district championship.
It was a win that Vogel described as a great team effort.
"Our guys, especially Zach, Elliott and Gavin blocked very well," he said. "The defense was phenomenal across the board. It was one of the best matches we've played this year.
"I can't tell you about someone who played outstanding because we played that way as a team," emphasized the coach. "We only made a handful of errors. We dominated. We had a .461 percentage for hitting as a team."
Scott tied Lower Dauphin's Ben Baker for a match high 19 digs. Wilson chipped in with 11 digs and two blocks.
Musso was spectacular with 45 assists on the night. He also registered two blocks. Hanzelman and De La Torre each had 11 kills while Flood poured in with 10 more blocks as well as a pair of aces.
Ian Willig chipped in with nine kills.
"We played much better than we played on Monday and did so against a far better team," said Vogel.
In the District Three brackets, only Hempfield and Cumberland Valley remained - a match between the top-seeded Eagles and the Knights, who entered district play as the second seed.
Interestingly enough, the district boasts the top teams in the state as well.
"According to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, they're the number one team and we're ranked second," Vogel noted. "I'm hoping we flip that."
Hempfield fell behind at Governor Mifflin in Monday's opening-round game of the District Three Class 6A baseball payoffs. In fact, the Mustangs took a 5-0 lead over the Black Knights.
Hempfield came back to close the gap to 5-4 before the seventh-seeded Mustangs managed to finally close the door, thus ending the Knights' season at 10-11.
"We had the bases loaded in the seventh inning," said head coach Jeremy Morisson. "Their third baseman stepped on the base for a force out to end the game. We just ran out of outs."
The tough loss went to Justin Lichtenwalner, who yielded three unearned runs early in the game.
An infield error helped the Mustangs' first-inning rally, which gave the home team a 3-0 lead. They added a run in the fourth and one in the fifth on Justin DelVecchio's home run.
The Knights, who entered the district playoffs as the No. 10 seed, left too many runners on base early on.
"We had some scoring opportunities early in the game, but couldn't get the runs across," Morrison pointed out.
The Knights' comeback included an RBI double by Lichtenwalner himself. Luke Fiore added an RBI hit as did Nick Fiore.
In the final at-bat, before the bases-loaded sharp grounder by Luke Fiore found a Mifflin mitt instead of outfield grass, the Knights scored their fourth run of the game. Ty Vaughn drew a two-out walk and Lichtenwalner took one for the team as he was hit by a pitch. Nick Fiore's single drove in Vaughn before the Knights loaded the bases on another hit batsman - Christian LaBarbera.
The tough, heartbreaking loss showed their skipper the Knights are ready to battle for and achieve greater accomplishments in the near future.
"I think we are on the cusp of being a complete team," said Morrison. "So many of our losses were by one run - this included.
"We're very close to where we want to be," continued the coach. "We were coming up a little bit short this year for a variety of reasons. But we're on the brink.
"We only have two seniors graduating this year," Morrison noted. "And we have nine juniors - a lot of them with experience as sophomores as well on the varsity team. They've continued to develop and mature."
The Knights manufactured a run in the seventh inning of Wednesday's game at Waynesboro, breaking a 7-7 tie and claiming the District Three Class 6A playoff game.
The ninth-seeded Knights edged the eighth-seeded Indians 8-7 in the first-round game thanks to senior co-captain Brandy Troutman coming through with a RBI single in the seventh inning. The base hit drove in the other co-captain, Cara Mahoney, making a winner out of Gabi Turner who went the distance with five strikeouts and only one walk. Turner herself had an RBI double in the game.
"Brandy has been delivering two-out hits all season long," said head coach Terry Shreiner. "She came through twice in this game."
The game started with a manufactured run in the first inning. Skylar Constable singled to lead off. While stealing second base, she took advantage of an errant throw and dashed to third base, scoring later on Asaysha Raihl's RBI grounder.
"I felt that we ran the bases pretty aggressively," Shreiner added.
The Indians scored four runs only to see Hempfield come back and score six unanswered runs.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Knights' rally started with Raihl's solo home run.
"Asaysha Raihl hit a home run to kick start that inning," Shreiner said.
Kendall Fruchtl and Anastasia Berardi both singled. Troutman's RBI single drove in designated runner Mataya Chap, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Lexi Harelson singled to drive in Fructl to tie it at 4-4. Two more runs scored in the fifth inning - one on a passed ball and the other on Turner's double. Hempfield made it 7-4 on Berardi's RBI double only to see the Indians tie it, heading into the final frame.
"We bunched hits together in a couple of innings and in the seventh, we got a runner on base and Brandy delivered the two-out hit," Shreiner summed up.
The Knights' next game was against top-seeded Central York on Thursday afternoon. The Panthers had earned a bye in the first round.
The Panthers stopped the Knights' rallies in this game, however, winning 9-1 to end Hempfield's season at 13-8.
"We faced Courtney Coppersmith, who's a [NCAA] Division I recruit," Shreiner remarked. "She throws a nasty rise ball, which we tried to lay off.
"We had nine base runners in the game, but she would either get a strikeout or we just couldn't come through with the big hits when we needed them.
"Normally we will bunch a couple of innings together where we score two or three," he added.
The Knights' coach was asked about the journey of the team, which included a regular season in which Hempfield scored 10 or more runs in eight of its games.
"Reaching the second round of districts was an accomplishment for us," he said. "We started out slow and had a nice six- or seven-game winning streak that helped us qualify for districts."
Knights Claim 22nd L-L League VB Crown May 21, 2018
On Monday night, the Knights claimed their seventh Lancaster-Lebanon League boys' volleyball crown in the last 10 years and 22nd overall as they defeated Manheim Central 3-0.
In a championship match played at Manheim Township, the Knights topped the Barons 25-18, 25-18 and 25-21 on what head coach Mike Vogel called, "A total team effort."
Elliott De La Torre registering seven blocks was a big part of that team effort, according to Vogel.
"Elliott put up a wall with his blocking," said Vogel. "Our blocking was the difference. We shut them down. We had three big blocks late in the third game and more sprinkled through the other games."
The Barons were led by Mason Nissley, who had a match-high 20 kills. Tanner Stauffer poured in seven more.
"That's a lot of kills," said Vogel. "Nissley is their main gun. He and Tanner Stauffer usually score most of their points. We really didn't hold them in check until the tail end of the third game."
Ian Flood had 12 kills and two service aces for the Knights. Ian Willig added seven kills. Mason Scott served a pair of aces and hustled for 16 digs.
"Mason Scott covered the court," said Vogel. "He was digging everything.
"Ian Flood was jumping as high as I've ever seen him jump," added the coach.
Cayden Musso had 12 digs and 30 assists. Gavin Hanzelman added seven more digs.
"Cayden set a good game," said Vogel. "Gavin just gets the job done night in and night out.
"Central is a good team," continued the coach. "It was just our night. At one point it was 21-20 in the third game."
Hempfield prepares itself for the District Three Class-AAA playoffs where the top five teams will qualify for the PIAA, Class-AAA state playoffs.
In fact, being the second seed in districts, the Knights had a bye in Thursday's opening round while Mechanicsburg, Warwick and Lower Dauphin advanced along with Chambersburg, Governor Mifflin and Central York.
"The kids are confident," said Vogel.
The girls' lacrosse season came to a close following a difficult loss at Central Dauphin on Tuesday. It was a match between the eighth-ranked Rams and the ninth-ranked Black Knights in the opening round of the District Three Class-AAA playoffs with the Rams pulling out a 13-11 victory.
The home team came back with eight goals in the second half to overcome a 7-5 Hempfield halftime advantage.
"It was a really close game. It was back and forth," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "We definitely played a stronger first half. They tightened up their defense in the second half and their goalie made some nice saves while we didn't maximize our opportunities.
"At one point we had a three-goal lead," she added. "We played hard and wanted to win. But we just weren't capitalizing and executing. We got nervous and did not do what we needed to do to succeed."
Lindsey Durkota led the Knights in scoring, finishing the match with five goals. Lauren Dague had a hand in seven goals, assisting on five and scoring two of her own. Lizzie Yurchak scored twice and dished out two assists. Livia Jackson and Laura Morrison each netted one goal.
"Lindsay was named MVP attacker of the league," Erb noted. "Liz Jackson and Lauren Dague were on the second team. People recognized them for the work they did."
Hempfield finished its season at 10-9. Erb feels quite confident for the 2019 campaign.
"This is my 13th year coaching here and I have never had a team that has the potential to come back entirely the next year," she explained. "I don't have a single senior on this team. Everybody could come back.
"There is a lot of experience here," she added. "We will have incoming freshmen of course. We had success with the leadership on this team."
Following an opening-round match in which the Knights' offense unleashed 27 goals against Exeter Township, the boys' lacrosse season came to a heartbreaking loss with a 16-12 loss to fourth-seeded Cumberland Valley in Wednesday's second-round match.
Hempfield played host to Exeter in the opening round, putting up eight goals in each of the first two quarters on the way to a 27-14 win. The Knights launched 51 shots on goal.
Kohl Wessner was unstoppable, scoring 11 times on the Eagles. He also shared the scoring, handing out two assists.
Speaking of sharing, with 27 goals there was plenty of that. Matt Heuston found the net six times, adding to the two assists he recorded. Cameron Aksu chipped in with four goals and gave out three assists. Bryce Witmer and Bobby Griffith each scored twice while Witmer and Tyler Blew each recorded two assists. Griffith and Grayson Dague each had one.
In goal, Collin Kaiser recorded seven saves.
Playing the second round at Eagle View Middle School, the Knights came up short on Wednesday.
The District Three Class-AAA championships were held at Shippensburg University on Friday and Saturday, May 18-19.
Hempfield highlights included Carena Nottoli with a silver medal in the pole vault with a 12-6 effort. She qualified for states.
Ava Hostetter's 16-foot-9 long jump earned her sixth place.
The boys' team, which earned 14.50 team points to finish 19th, also had top finishers in the field events as Tyler Graham pole vaulted 13-3 for seventh place and Darien Ressler's 21-3 earned him fourth in the long jump.
Ressler also had a 10th-place triple jump of 43-4.5 while David Martin's 6-4 high jump was a three-way tie for ninth place.
In the girls' 4x100-meter relay, Nottoli, Kara Benedict, Alexa Pitts and Cahsia Page claimed third place with a time of 49.37 seconds.
On the track, the boys' 4x800-m relay team earned a silver medal with Christian Groff, Bailey Titter, Jack Mieszkalski and Colin Gallagher clocking an 8:00.27.
Groff, Mieszkalski, Gallagher and Tanner Hess ran the 4x400 in 3:30.19 for 13th place. Groff's time of 4:37.18 was good for 14th place in the 1,600.
Knight Baseball Finishes Third in Section One May 15, 2018
Hempfield baseball wrapped up the regular season as the third-place team in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. In a tight race, Cedar Crest edged Warwick by one game in the standings while the Black Knights (9-7) finished a game behind Crest.
In the regular-season finale, the Knights topped Section One rival Penn Manor 9-0 to lay claim to a winning mark in league play.
Justin Lichtenwalner pitched a complete game for the Knights, making it three straight complete game efforts by the Hempfield pitching staff. He also claimed the team's only regular season shutout.
His gem was a three-hitter in which he allowed only two walks but struck out six.
Lichtenwalner received all of the offensive support he would need in the second inning. The Knights plated three runs with C.J. Saylor's RBI double and a two-run double by Cole Houser, chasing home Saylor and Seth Constein.
After a bases-loaded single added one more run in the fifth, the Knights took advantage of the Comets' wildness by taking consecutive bases-loaded walks to make it 6-0.
Hempfield concluded the regular season with a 3-0 defeat of McCaskey last Wednesday. The Black Knights wrapped things up with a 12-0 record in the L-L League and claimed Section One by four games.
"Finishing the year unbeaten was important," said head coach Mike Vogel. "We were officially 12-0 but also finished second in the Northeastern Tournament, finished third at Central York Tournament and won our own Tournament.
"We ended on a high note by winning at Dallastown the previous weekend," he added, referring to the May 5 tourney.
The Knights were coming off a decisive 3-0 defeat of Conestoga Valley on Monday evening, downing the Buckskins 25-10, 25-14 and 25-9. It was a match where Gavin Hanzelman was a dominant force, registering 16 kills. Fellow seniors Ian Flood, Zach Wilson, Mason Scott and Cayden Musso each served up two aces. Scott also claimed 12 digs while Musso also dished out 35 assists while making two blocks.
The McCaskey match was the second in five days. Hempfield had faced McCaskey and won in the Dallastown tourney. On Wednesday, they topped the Red Tornado 25-11, 25-18 and finished with a tough 26-24 victory.
"It has been several years since they've had a successful program there," said Vogel, referring to the McCaskey team that finished third (7-5) in Section One and made the league playoffs. "Jeff Kindrew, who was my assistant here at Hempfield when I coached the girls' team in 1993, has some good talent there and he has done a decent job. That program has turned it around from a year ago."
Hanzelman again gave the Knights 16 kills while Musso came away with another 35 assists. Elliott De La Torre led the match with three blocks. Flood finished with six digs.
"We needed to stop their three main guys," said Vogel. "Defensively they were very scrappy. They pick up a lot of balls. You need to serve them tough so they can't run their offense."
With that 12th league win of the season, the Knights pulled into the playoffs where they quickly dispensed with Cocalico in the opening-round match at home on Friday. The scores were 25-15, 25-10 and 25-15.
"We were in control the whole time," Vogel said.
"Gavin Hanzelman had 14 kills and Ian Willig had 10," Vogel noted. "We were waiting for Ian to have a breakout game and he did. It's good to see a guy like Willig step up. He' a senior and doesn't get as many points as some of the other guys like Hanzelman, Flood or De La Torre. So it was good seeing someone else produce."
Wilson finished with four aces and Mason led the way in digs with 15. Musso distributed 36 assists while De La Torre recorded two blocks.
The Knights were scheduled to face McCaskey again in the semifinals of the league playoffs on Monday, making it a third meeting between the twain in a matter of 10 days.
TRACK & FIELD
Hempfield hosted the L-L League Championships on Friday and Saturday, May 11-12.
The Knights finished eighth in the girls' championships with 44 team points while Warwick claimed the title with 132. In the boys' competition Manheim Township's 102 points topped all teams while Hempfield finished ninth at 38.5 points. Warwick was eighth with 41.
Carena Nottoli not only finished second in the pole vault with a 12-foot effort, she was also part of the 4x100-meter relay team that claimed second place.
In that relay, Nottoli joined Alexa Pitts, Cahsia Page and Kara Benedict to register a time of 48.94 seconds.
Ava Hostetter's 16-foot-11 long jump was also good for second place.
Graycen Keener had a fifth-place finish in the 100m hurdles at 15.84.
Pitts ran the 400 in 59.29, which was good for fifth. Her 200m dash at 26.37 earned her eighth place.
The boys' team also claimed a top-three spot in the relays. Christian Groff, Jack Mieszkalski, Colin Gallagher and Tanner Hess recorded a 3:27.08 in the 4x400, earning third place.
Groff grabbed third in the 1,600 (4:25.3) while teammate Justin Rittenhouse crossed the line in seventh place with a time of 4:32.81.
Gallagher took sixth in the 400 (51.05) while Bailey Titter's time of 2:01.53 was good for eighth in the 800.
In long distance events, it was Max Lessans running the 3,200 in a pace of 9:52.10, claiming sixth. Ryan Farmer was eighth at 10:03.74.
In field events, Darien Ressler's long jump landed him at 21-5.25, earning him fifth place. He was third in the triple jump at 44-10.25.
David Martin finished fifth in the high jump at 6-0.
In the regular season finale on Monday, McCaskey edged Hempfield 86-64 in the boys' meet. The Hempfield girls lost by an even closer 76-75 score.
Pitts won the 400-m in the girls' meet with a time of 1:01.4 while Nottoli sprinted to a first-place finish (12.3) in the 100. She also won the pole vault at 12-0.
Benedict made it a hurdles sweep, winning the 300 hurdles in 46.4 and the high hurdles in 15.9.
Hostetler came through with a winning 15-10 long jump while junior Alexa Niederer won the javelin with an 89-foot throw.
The loss dropped the Knights' record to 2-4-0. The boys' team finished at 0-5-1.
In the boys' 4x800, Mieszkalski, Titter, Gallagher and Groff claimed top spot with a time of 8:06.8.
Groff went on to win the 1,600 (4:38.7) and Hess dashed off with a first-place finish (52.1) in the 400.
Lessans set the winning pace of 10:03.9 in the 3,200.
In field events, David Martin-Robinson claimed another long jump with a 20-10.5 effort. Ressler's triple jump of 41-10 was good for first as was Tyler Graham's 12-0 pole vault.
Hempfield finished a game behind Manheim Township in the L-L League standings. With a 10-1 league record to Township's unbeaten 11-0 mark, the Knights and Blue Streaks each downed their respective playoff foes and ended up facing one another in the league title match on Thursday at Lebanon Valley College. The match was part of a twinbill as the girls' championships took place earlier the same day.
Township jumped out early, scoring five times in the first quarter on the way to an 18-4 victory and the fifth straight league trophy for the Streaks.
The main culprit was Bryce Hutchinson, who scored five goals for the Streaks.
Matt Heuston scored a hat trick while Cameron Aksu added one more goal.
Sophomore Bradley Green came away with 12 saves.
Despite the defeat, Hempfield heads into the District Three Class-AAA playoffs as the fifth-seeded team. The Streaks, who are 14-1-0 overall, earned the second seed behind Central York (16-0-0)
In Tuesday's semifinal match at Warwick, the Knights held off the Warriors' second-half comeback bid and won by a 15-8 margin.
Aksu was unstoppable, scoring five times and assisting on two more. Kohl Wesner was nearly as much of a thorn in the Warwick defense, tallying four goals and one assist.
Bryce Witmer, who also had an assist, and Rob Griffith each scored twice. Grayson Dague's goal went with three assists. Heuston scored once and assisted on another. Tyler Blew chipped in with an assist.
Anthony Tran handled the goalie duties, recording 14 saves.
The Hempfield girls entered the league playoffs and were pitted against Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic in Tuesday's semis.
The Cougars came out on top, outscoring the Knights 9-3 in the second half for a 17-8 victory. Hempfield kept pace in the first half and trailed by only an 8-5 margin at intermission.
Lauren Wassell was the top scorer of the game, scoring six times for LCD/LC. Hempfield's Lindsey Durkota had a hat trick while Lauren Dague recorded two goals and four assists. Liva Jackson, Laura Morrison and Lizzie Yurchak each scored one goal with Yurchak also recording an assist.
The doubles team of Nishant Balepur and Rishi Pandey faced the third-seeded team of Jason Kline and Sammy Schwab of Central Dauphin in the first round of Friday's District Three Class-AAA tournament. The CD twosome handed Pandey and Balepur a 6-1, 6-1 defeat in the midday match at the Hershey Racquet Club. Schwab and Kline did advance to the championship match on Saturday before coming up short.
Hempfield reached the team semifinals at HRC where the Knights' quest for a district title was halted by Hershey on Wednesday afternoon.
In a battle between third-seeded Hershey and number four seed Hempfield, J.T. Mullins and Nate Shaw topped Balepur and Adeet Parikh 6-0, 6-2 in first doubles. Andreas Wingert topped Ben Cooke at number two singles and Andy Chen claimed the third singles over Pandey.
Jacob Curtin played a tough number one singles match against Dante Falcucci, only to come up short in a 6-3 first set and coming close in a second set that ended with Falcucci up 4-2.
Dillon Otto and Adam Tak were ahead 3-0 in the second set of the number two doubles when the match ended with Hershey's third team point.
In the quarterfinals on May 7, the Knights, who had a first-round bye, defeated Red Lion 4-1, improving their season record to 15-2.
Cooke claimed the number two singles 6-0, 6-1 and Pandey won by the same scores in straight sets at number three singles.
Parikh and Balepur won at first doubles 6-2, 6-1 and the twosome of Tak and Otto cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win.
Curtin, Cook Claim L-L League 3A Doubles Title May 7, 2018
The Hempfield tennis team was well represented by Ben Cooke and Jake Curtin in the L-L League Flight Tournament last week. The teammates claimed the Flight One title by defeating Township twosome of Tom Chairs and Carson Schreiber 6-1, 6-1.
In the semis, played at CV, Curtin and Cooke came away with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win.
The pairing of Dillon Otto and Adeet Parikh proved profitable for the Knights in Flight Two doubles. They topped Township's Tom Woratyla and T.J. Kade 8-4 in the title match. Earlier in the tournament, they had posted an 8-4 semifinal round win.
Curtin suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss to eventual champ Jackson Muraika of Cedar Crest in the semis of Flight One. He had gotten past Colby Martin of Cocalico 6-3, 6-2 in the previous round.
Nishant Balepur fell to Schreiber in the Flight Two title match 6-3, 6-1. Balepur had battled back to win the semifinal match 2-6, 6-1 10-7 over Lancaster Catholic's Miles Durrelt.
The Hempfield boys' lacrosse team visited Manheim Township in a long-awaited showdown between two Lancaster-Lebanon League power houses that had been mowing down league competition throughout the season.
The Knights came into Monday's match with an 8-0 league mark. Their only league loss would end up taking place on Township's turf as the Streaks improved to 10-0 in league competition with a 20-8 win.
The loss was compounded by Hempfield losing one of its top defenders in Kearen Miller as well as starting goalie Collin Kaiser.
"Our main face off guy wasn't able to play either," said head coach Matt McAlpine. "We lost Daniel Sears the Thursday before with a broken hand. We lost Kearen Miller and Collin Kaiser to injuries.
"Township has a high-powered offense and they have guys who've been playing together for a long time."
Anthony Tran came on to replace Kaiser in goal.
"It's tough enough getting thrown in there in the middle of the game, let alone at goalie," said McAlpine.
Kaiser had seven saves and Tran recorded one more.
The Hempfield offense was led with two goals each by Cameron Aksu (1a), Matt Heuston and Kohl Wesner. Grayson Dague and Bryce Witmer (1a) had one goal each.
On Wednesday it was Hempfield's turn to put up 20 goals. The Knights did this against Lampeter-Strasburg in a home match. The big period was the eight-goal outburst in the second quarter.
Wesner (6g, 1a) and Heuston (4g, 3a) spearheaded the attack. Rob Griffith registered a hat trick and Witmer (1a) tallied two goals. Dave Jackson, Max Hostetter, Foster Paulin and Matthews all scored once.
Tran collected 12 saves in the win and had four more in Friday night's 18-6 win at Conestoga Valley.
"Anthony had a handful of varsity minutes last year when we had some blowouts," McAlpine said. "He did a really good job against L-S and CV and had some key saves against Great Valley on Saturday."
In the CV game, the Knights scored 10 goals in the first quarter alone.
The top scorer was Wesner with five goals and an assist. Griffith and Tyler Blew each scored hat tricks while Heuston (2a) and Dague each scored twice. Jackson, Witmer and Colin McPherson added one goal each while Owen Nicodemus and Witmer each had an assist.
Against Great Valley, Hempfield came back from a huge deficit to win 14-10 and they did so on the home field of a District One opponent.
"We got off to a bad start and were down 6-1 after the first quarter," McAlpine explained. "We were on the bus by 8 AM for a 10 o'clock game. We got into our flow in the second quarter and scored seven while holding them to just one."
That 8-7 halftime lead increased to 11-8 by the end of the third.
"That was perseverance on our part," said McAlpine. "We can turn it up a notch when we have to. It would be nicer to get off to a quick start though."
Wesner poured in six goals. Witmer added four and two assists while Heuston's hat trick came with two assists as well.
Dague (1g, 1a), Nicodemus (1a) and Griffith (1a) also contributed.
Tran grabbed 12 saves in the regular-season finale.
"We played four games in a short period of time," McAlpine said. "We did a good job finishing the season 14-3. Now it's on to the league playoffs."
After having gone a perfect 8-0 in their first eight league games, the Knights suffered their first loss to Manheim Township, 21-4 on Monday in a battle between two teams undefeated in league play.
Knights suffered a second loss, 17-12 to L-S before the team was able to right the ship with a 19-10 victory at home over Conestoga Valley on Friday.
Hempfield closed out the season at 10-7 (9-2 league) as Susquehannock posted a 16-8 non-league win on Saturday morning.
Against Township, Lindsay Durkota (2g), Livia Jackson (1a) and Lizzie Yurchak (1a) accounted for the goal scoring.
Kyah Peifer finished with seven saves against a potent offense.
In the 17-12 loss at L-S, Durkota, Jackson and Yurchak (2a) all had hat tricks. Lauren Dague, (1g, 2a), Laura Morrison (1g) and Regan Gillisse (1g) also chipped in.
Peifer held her ground to the count of nine saves.
The Knights featured the prolific scoring of Durkota in the CV game as she totaled eight goals. Yurchak finished with six in the onslaught.
Hempfield had 13 of its 19 goals on the scoreboard by halftime. Sophomore Alayna Parker played goalie and made one save.
Morrison collected two goals. Dague, who had seven saves, and Haylee Eide each tallied one goal as did Jackson.
Durkota was the leading scorer again, but in a losing cause versus Susquehannock. She scored four times while Yurchak's hat trick came with an assist. Dague scored once and added two assists.
The Knights kept on winning as they improved to 10-0 in the L-L League. On Tuesday they topped Township 3-0 and followed two days later with a 3-1 triumph over Warwick. Both matches were on the road.
Against Township, the Streaks made it close in the third set before the Knights wrapped up the 25-20 win. Hempfield won the first two sets 25-16, 25-17.
Gavin Hanzelman put down 16 kills in the match. Cayden Musso racked up 44 assists while Mason Scott led the team with 20 digs and tied Ben Crabtree for most aces - two. Elliott De La Torre registered two blocks.
Warwick came back to win the second set of Thursday's match 25-23 after the Knights had opened with a 25-21 victory. The rest of the scores were close as the Knights won 25-22 and 25-20.
Hanzelman registered 20 kills. Ian Flood added four blocks and a pair of aces while Scott led the team with 12 digs.
The Hempfield boys' team fell to 0-4-1 while the girls' team improved to 2-3 following Monday's meet with Conestoga Valley. The girls' team posted a 108-41 victory while the CV boys won a close 79-71 battle.
Part of what made the boys' meet close was the fact that the Knights won two of the three relay races. In the 4x400m relay, Colin Gallagher, Tanner Hess, Christian Groff, and Jack Mieszkalski had a combined winning time of 3:31.8. In the 4x800m relay, Cole Lehman and Bailey Titter joined Gallagher and Mieszkalski for a winning time of 9:03.6.
While Gallagher was the winner in the 400-m at a 50.9 clip, Mieszkalski ran the 800 in a winning time of 2:02.9.
David Martin-Robinson's 6-foot high jump and Darien Rssler's 42-6.5 triple jump were tops on the day as was Tyler Graham's 12-6 pole vault.
In the girls' meet, Siena Gates anchored the 4x800 relay with Isabella Hollenbach, Gabriella Hollinger and Lilyana Williams teaming up for a winning time of 4:13.0.
Hollenbach and Gates ran the final two legs of the 4x400 relay following the lead of Kara Benedict and Cashia Page for a winning 10:28.3.
Benedict went on to win the 300 hurdles in 47.2.
Gates also won the 800 (2:27.8) and the 1,600 (5:44.7) while Hollinger set the winning pace of 12:29.1 in the 3,200.
Carna Nottoli came through not only with a winning 12-foot pole vault but also by winning the 100-m dash in 12.2.
Alexa Niederer was a winner in three field events, taking the shot put (30-11.75), discus (91-6) and javelin (93-4).
In the 400 race, Alexa Pitts posted a time of 61.4
The Knights lost a tough 2-1 game to Warwick on Friday. Amanda Herr pitched a three-hitter and struck out three for Warwick.
The Warriors, who improved to 11-3 in Section One, came back from a 1-0 deficit. Hempfield, which fell to 9-4 (11-5 overall), scored in the first inning as Cara Mahoney's double drove home Asaysha Raihl.
Gabi Turner went the distance for the Knights. Her toughest adversary was Julia Forsythe, who went 3-for-3 and drove in both Warwick runs.
In a 19-4 defeat of McCaskey on Thursday, the Knights had 13 base hits, including a two-run home run by Skylar Constable and two singles by freshman Katie Bemesderfer, who drove in two runs.
Raihl and Lexi Harelson each drove in two runs with Raihl also coming around to score twice. She was also the winning pitcher, tossing a four-inning complete game, allowing only three hits. None of the four runs allowed were earned.
Turner went 2-for-2 with two RBI's while senior Brandy Troutman was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI's.
It was feast or famine for the Hempfield batsmen last week. The scores included a 10-5 defeat of McCaskey on Tuesday and a 14-2 win over Warwick on Friday. Sandwiched in between was a 3-1 loss to Cedar Crest on Wednesday.
Hempfield actually opened the week with an 8-6 loss to Township.
The Knights took a brief lead with a three-run fourth. The Streaks answered with three more in the bottom half to make it 5-4.
The three-run rally by Hempfield included hits by C.J. Saylor, Cole Houser, Justin Lichtenwalner and Ty Vaughn.
The teams traded runs in the next inning with Hempfield's run coming on a Saylor RBI single.
The 10-5 defeat of McCaskey actually took extra innings. That's right. The Knights put together a five-run rally in the top of the eighth inning to claim this Section One game.
Nick Fiore drove in one of those runs on an RBI single. Houser, who scored one run, had a two run single earlier in the game.
Andrew Blough earned the victory in relief, tossing a scoreless seventh inning to help set up Hempfield's chances in extras.
Vaughn pitched a complete game against Cedar Crest. The trouble was that Falcons pitcher Dan Mancil did the same, holding Hempfield to only one run - Fiore's RBI double that scored Houser, who had tripled.
Vaughn struck out two and only allowed seven hits.
The Knights had eight runs in the first inning of that 14-2 victory, giving Christian LaBarbera plenty of run support. LaBarbera pitched a complete game victory, allowing one walk and seven hits while fanning four.
The Knights had eight hits in that big first inning. Saylor, Houser, Fiore and Conner Waughtel each stroked more had one hit.
Hempfield improved to 8-7 (9-10 overall).
Knights Battle For Top Spot in Softball Standings April 30, 2018
The Hempfield softball team is coming down the final stretch of its regular season games. The Black Knights are in a tight race for first in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League with less than two games separating the top three teams.
Through April 28, Warwick sat atop the standings at 8-2 (9-3 overall), which was half a game ahead of Penn Manor (7-2, 9-2) who themselves are one game ahead of Hempfield (6-3, 8-5).
The Black Knights simply needed to put up wins and win they did, defeating Section One rival Manheim Township on the road Tuesday and taking care of Ephrata two days later by another convincing score - 13-1.
The 17-hit attack at Ephrata featured three-hit games by the two hitters at the bottom of the lineup. Gabi Turner, who also pitched a complete game, and senior Brandy Troutman each went 3-for-4 with Turner hitting a home run to help her cause. She drove in three and scored three runs. Troutman chased home a pair of runs on three singles and scored a run.
It was a close 3-0 game until the Knights struck for seven more in the top of the fourth inning. Turner's shutout bid ended in the fourth with the Mountaineers' lone run of the game. Hempfield's offense responded with three more in the fifth to invoke the 10-run mercy rule.
The slugging numbers also came from Skylar Constable, who doubled and tripled, driving in a run and scoring twice. Cara Mahoney, who also had a stolen base, scored two runs. Lexi Harelson and Sarah Hill both doubled while sophomore Asyasha Raihl drove one deep for a triple, chasing home one run and later scoring herself.
The Knights fell behind 2-1 early in the Township game. They came back and made it a 6-2 contest before Township's Julianna Luerdes slugged a two-run homer, cutting that lead to 6-4.
The Knights chipped away, scoring one run on a wild pitch and another on Mahoney's RBI grounder.
Anastasia Berardi, who went 1-for-3 in the Ephrata game, tripled to drive in one more run, giving Hempfield that 6-2 lead.
Sarah Hill's sacrifice fly RBI helped the Knights extend their lead after Township had cut it to 6-4. However, what would have been the sacrifice fly was dropped, allowing Hill to reach base and score on Constable's sharp RBI single.
The rest of the Hempfield runs came on homers by Berardi and Mahoney.
With the defeat of another L-L League opponent, the boys' lacrosse team improved to 10-2 on the year and stayed unbeaten at 8-0 in league competition. Hempfield downed Warwick 20-12 on Tuesday night at home, coming back from an 8-6 halftime deficit to do so. The big push was the eight goals the Knights put on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.
In six of their last seven wins, the Knights have scored 20 or more goals.
Head coach Matt McAlpine attributes that to a skilled and unselfish group of attackers.
"Our scoring is pretty spread out among our top six scorers," McAlpine said. "One kid may be ahead of everyone else in goals, but the offense is pretty even. About 55 to 60 percent of our goals are assisted goals.
"We have some very talented kids who have been playing together well," added the coach. "They've gotten to know each other well. When things are clicking, they can put up a lot of goals."
Kohl Wesner, who leads the team in goals scored (61), added nine more to his total in the Penn Manor match. Wesner also added an assist.
"When he steps onto the field, he doesn't let anything stop him," said McAlpine. "It doesn't matter how big or how fast you are, he has the mindset of 'whatever it takes to put the ball in the back of the net.'"
That well-balanced offense featured a five-goal game by Cameron Aksu on Tuesday night. He also dished off two assists.
"Over the past couple of years he has been known for his goal scoring," said McAlpine. "We challenged him to be more of a facilitator this year and read what the defense is giving. His assists total is about as high as his goals. That's a huge step in his game."
Matt Heuston scored twice and assisted on two more goals. Rob Griffith also scored twice while Tyler Blew (1g, 1a) and Bryce Witmer (1g, 1a) also contributed.
"We are sharing the ball and not forcing the shots," added the coach. "We are playing faster than the other team, trying to tire them out."
On the defensive end, Collin Kaiser made 13 saves against Manor. The senior has stepped into the starting goalie job nicely.
"Last year's starting goalie Tanner McAlpine is now playing at York College," said McAlpine, referring to his son. "Colin, in his first year, has done a good job. He was an attacker last year and he took it to heart to be the varsity goalie this year. He put in a lot of work. He has even scored two goals as a goalie."
Though defense has been an area upon which the Knights can improve, McAlpine identified Kearen Miller and Jake Skundrich as leaders.
"Kearen and Jake have stepped up for us on defense," commented the coach. "We have had some struggles on defense and some of our scores have been 20-12, 22-14, 24-11. We do score a lot of goals."
The Flight Tournament in the L-L League Tennis Championships took place this past week with Hempfield's Jake Curtin and Ben Cooke competing to become finalists in the flight one doubles championship.
The semifinals took place at Conestoga Valley on Saturday. However, their match did not play out to its completion.
"They won the first set in a tiebreaker and were up 5-4 in the second set when we saw a bolt of lightning," said head coach Mindi Bell explained. "They'll have to finish that match."
Curtin also competed in the singles semis. He came up short as Cedar Crest's Jackson Muraika won 6-3, 6-3.
Flight Two featured junior Nishant Balepur posting a 6-3, 6-2 victory to earn a trip to the finals.
"He played a very tough opponent from Lancaster Catholic," said Bell, referring to Miles Durrett. "He didn't do well in the first set. He seemed to be playing more the other kid's game than his, so we made a few changes. He focused on his game and came back to win it."
In Flight Two doubles, Dillon Otto and Adeet Parikh came away with an 8-4 victory.
Bell explained that placement in the league championship can translate into seeding at the District Three tournament.
"I put my top three guys in Flight One with a chance of them qualifying for districts," she said. "Jake Curtin is playing for third place and Ben Cooke is playing for fourth place. If he wins, there's a possibility he could get into districts."
After an 11-10 setback to a tough District Three opponent on Monday, the girls' lacrosse team traveled to Warwick for an L-L League match, looking to regain its winning momentum. The Knights did just that, posting a 17-5 victory over the Warriors.
Hempfield scored eight in the first half and nine in the second half with Lizzie Yurchak scoring seven times and assisting on four.
Lindsey Durkota could not be stopped either, getting six of her shots past Warwick goalie Zoe Stauffer (12 saves) while also recording four assists.
Kyah Peifer made 12 saves to hold off the Warriors.
Also mixing it in for the scoring was Laura Morrison (2g, 2a), Livia Jackson (1g, 1a) and Regan Gillisse (1g).
The Cumberland Valley Eagles came back from an 8-4 halftime deficit to top the Knights, outscoring Hempfield 7-2 in the second half.
Durkota was the menace to the Eagles' defense, scoring eight goals while Yurchak and Lauren Dague each scored one goal. Morrison added an assist.
Peifer recorded 10 saves for the visitors.
With a win at Penn Manor, the Knights improved to 8-0 on the year and stayed atop the Section One boys' volleyball standings.
Following their 25-13 win, the Knights had to scuffle to take the second set of Thursday's match 27-25. They hung on for a 25-23 win in the third set.
Ian Flood led the way in kills with 13. He also served up three aces and registered two blocks. Cayden Musso dished out 35 assists while senior libero Mason Scott delivered 12 digs.
Head coach Mike Vogel expressed concern regarding the close margins.
"We handled them very well in the first game then hung in there for games two and three," Vogel said. "From a coaching standpoint, I was a little disappointed. We had struggled at the Central York Tournament. Five days later we struggled against Penn Manor. You start wondering if you're in a slump."
Worries of a slump were all dispelled at the State College Tournament on Saturday.
"We played very well," said Vogel whose team made it to the finals. "It was great to bounce back. We played the best volleyball we've played all year.
"We played Northeastern, who is ranked number on in Class AA," Vogel pointed out. "We beat them; we split with Central York and beat York Suburban, Cambridge Springs, and State College."
Hempfield won its pool and advanced to the semis against State College.
"We beat State College again," Vogel explained. "We played Central York in finals."
The Panthers topped Hempfield 19-25, 25-22, 17-15.
"I also had some underclassmen playing," added the coach. "Adam Brossman came in cold to serve and played meaningful minutes. He played in matches we needed to win and we needed his serve. He rose to the occasion. Colsen Hunt also played well."
Hempfield lost a pair of close ballgames this past week against L-L League rivals. The Knights did not go down easily in either of the contests, coming up short against Ephrata on Thursday and at Solanco on Monday.
Monday's game was a walk-off win for the Golden Mules, who plated a pair of runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning. The Knights lost a 6-4 lead in that inning as Solanco put together a two-out rally. All three runs were unearned.
Christian LaBarbera went four-plus innings as a starter for Hempfield. The three runs he allowed were also unearned.
He helped himself with a RBI single, scoring Seth Constein. C.J. Saylor and Nick Fiore also stroked RBI singles. LaBarbera, Brad Paup and Luke Fiore helped manufacture three more runs.
Ephrata topped the Knights 6-4 on Thursday at Landisville. The Knights put together a four-run first inning after the visitors drew first blood. Saylor, Houser, Ty Vaughn and Nick Fiore each scored.
Hempfield fell to 7-8 (6-5 league) while Ephrata improved to 11-3 (9-3 L-L) to stay atop the Section Two standings.
Hempfield Girls' Improve to 7-0 in Lacrosse April 23, 2018
Hempfield continued to dominate opponents in Lancaster-Lebanon League girls' lacrosse, defeating Cedar Crest and Ephrata in two home matches last week. The victories improved Hempfield's record to 7-0 in the league (8-3 overall).
In the Cedar Crest game, Lauren Dague scored five goals and assisted on three more while Lizzie Yurchak, Livia Jackson and Lindsey Durkota each finished with four goals in the 17-8 victory.
"Lindsey Durkota is such a dynamic attacker for us," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "She won 15 draws in the Cedar Crest game," added the coach. "Lindsey and Livia win a lot of draws. Livia is more at the center of the field and Lindsey on the circle. Lindsey plays more of an attacking midfield and she's on the circle when the draw is taken."
The Knights out-shot the Falcons 25-20. Hempfield goalie Kyah Peifer came through with 12 saves.
"She is a first-year starter for us," Erb said of her sophomore goalie. "She has come on strong, growing with every game. We are impressed in terms of her doing what we've asked of her. She is doing a great job leading the defense and communicating. It's exciting to watch her develop."
Peifer had seven saves in the 18-4 defeat of Ephrata. Yurchak came away with seven goals in the game as well as an assist while Durkota had four goals and one assist.
Other scoring leaders included Jackson (3g), Dague (1g, 4a), and Laura Morrison (2g) while Ashley Deck netted one goal.
Asked about how the dominant victories are helping her squad prepare for the tougher competition - namely the Manheim Township team that shares first place with the Knights - Erb said, "I think it's great because we can put in things in game situations that we can't put into practice. With our small number of players, we can't go full field competitively all week."
Another Hempfield athletic program that has been posting nothing but victories against league rivals this year has been the boys' volleyball team.
Following a 3-0 defeat of McCaskey (25-13, 25-10, 25-6) on Tuesday night, the Knights again played host to a Section One foe, defeating Cedar Crest 3-0 two days later. The wins improved Hempfield's league record to 7-0.
"We are starting on the second round of league matches," said head coach Mike Vogel. "We are where we want to be in the league."
In the match against Cedar Crest, the Knights won all three sets by the score of 25-10.
"We served very well," Vogel said. "What happens is that our opponents are struggling to get the ball over the net. We made minimal errors - maybe three or four in the three games. Our blocking was on as well as our serves.
"I think they might have had only three swings that they scored on," Vogel added.
Ian Flood had a match-high 14 kills. Zach Wilson's serving resulted in six aces. He also racked up five digs, as did Mason Scott. Cayden Musso gave out 30 assists while Gavin Hanzelman notched three blocks.
"Ian Flood is virtually unstoppable," Vogel said. "Everyone is starting to focus on him. He is hitting over .500 and leading the team in kills."
In the McCaskey match, Hanzelman led the team in kills with 12 in addition to his two blocks.
"Gavin is another one of our leaders," said Vogel. "He didn't play the last third of the season last year due to an injury. He's one of our middles along with Elliot De La Torre."
Musso was phenomenal with 45 assists on the night. Scott finished with eight digs and Wilson delivered three aces.
"Musso is our setter," Vogel explained. "He set maybe 10 percent of the time last year. He is doing that job full-time this year and doing well.
"Zach Wilson, who is more of a defensive player for us, is another one of our senior leaders," Vogel said.
The Knights wrapped up the week with the Koller Classic at Central York.
"We were in a pool with the top three teams in the state," Vogel noted. "We beat each of them but lost to Cumberland Valley, whom we had beaten three weeks earlier in our own tournament. Back then, Cumberland Valley was a top-five team in the state."
In an L-L League showdown, the Knights edged the Blue Streaks 4-3 on Friday afternoon. Playing on their home court, Hempfield eked out a win and stayed unbeaten (9-0) while Manheim Township (8-1) suffered its first league loss this spring.
Hempfield took two of three doubles matches. Jake Curtin and Ben Cooke triumphed over Tom Chairs and Carson Schreiber 8-1 in the first match. Rishi Pandey and Nishant Balepur downed Max Pan and Tom Woratyla 8-4.
Dillon Otto and Adeet Parikh came up short at third doubles with MT's Drew Ketcham and Charlie Gingrich posting an 8-5 win.
Hempfield took the first two singles matches, thus securing the team victory. Rish Pandey's 6-2, 6-0 win and Cooke's hard-fought 6-3, 1-6, 10-8 victory over Schreiber gave the Knights a 4-1 lead.
The Streaks did make it a closer match with Chairs taking the third singles and Woratyla's 6-3, 6-3 victory at number four.
On Wednesday, Hempfield earned a 7-0 shutout of visiting McCaskey in Section One action. Pandey and Balepur posted an 8-3 win at first doubles followed by the Curtin/Cooke combo (8-2) and the Otto/Parikh pair (8-1) registering wins.
Balepur was a 6-3, 6-7, 10-8 winner at first singles while Pandey's 6-2, 6-1 straight set victory was followed by Cooke's 6-1, 6-1 gem and Curtin's 6-3, 6-0 sweep.
Friday saw the hard-hitting Hempfield softball team defeat Garden Spot 12-0 in an L-L League game at New Holland. It was only a 1-0 contest through four innings. Hempfield scored seven in the top of the fifth and added four more in the seventh - all part of a 14-hit attack.
There were six players in the lineup with multiple hits. Asaysha Raihl stroked two singles and scored twice. Her big offensive contribution came in terms of timely hits, resulting in four RBI.
Fellow sophomore Anastasia Berardi poked a single and slugged a double, driving in two runs and scoring one. Gabi Turner (2-for-5, RBI) and Skylar Constable (2-for-4, 2 runs, RBI) also had two-hit games as did Lex Harelson, who doubled and scored twice. Sarah Hill (1-for-2) also scored two runs and drove in another. Brandy Troutman came through with a hit and an RBI out of the ninth spot in the lineup. Julia Rhoads walked twice and scored both times. Her on-base contribution also included a stolen base.
Turner struck out 13 batters in pitching a four-hit shutout.
The Knights improved to 5-2 in the league (6-2 overall) and trail first-place Warwick by 1.5 games.
The bats were on fire in the Wednesday game against Lebanon. The Knights topped the Cedars 11-1, ending the contest after four innings on the mercy rule.
Timely hitting helped Hempfield score those 11 runs on seven hits and three walks. Raihl and Constable each homered with Raihl driving in four runs. Raihl was also the winning pitcher.
Troutman drove home three runs and Cara Mahoney had two hits.
Following a 21-5 trouncing of Carlisle in a Saturday morning game, the Knights improved to 9-2 overall, which included a 7-0 league record. The unbeaten mark in the L-L League reached seven games thanks to decisive victories over Cedar Crest and Ephrata last week.
The win at Cedar Crest was a 24-11 result. Hempfield already had 13 points on the scoreboard by the end of the first quarter. They finished with 35 shots to 17 by the Falcons.
The scoring featured a five-goal game by Kohl Wesner as well as hat tricks by Matt Heuston, Grayson Dague, Bryce Witmer and Rob Griffith, each of whom had three goals and two assists.
Also finishing with multiple points were Mark Himmelsbach (2g, 1a), Cameron Aksu (1a, 2g) and Colin McPherson (1g, 1a). Patrick Schmidt, Collin Kaiser, and Jackson Shand each had one goal while Owen Nicodemus, Tyler Blew and Patrick Noonan each chipped in with an assist.
Kaiser came away with six saves in goal.
The Ephrata game ended 20-4 with Wesner scoring five times. Hat tricks came courtesy of Heuston (4a) Witmer (2a), and Aksu (2a) as well as Griffith. Dague had a goal and three assists.
Blew and Dan Hester each had one goal while Himmelsbach added an assist.
The huge second quarter where the Knights scored 10 times was the factor for topping the Thundering Herd so soundly on Saturday. The Knights had 50 shots on goal.
Again the scoring was shared - this time with eight players scoring goals
Wesner and Aksu both had the top numbers - five goals and an assist each. Grayson Dague (4g, 1a) Heuston (2g, 2a), Griffith (2g), Witmer (1g, 2a) Himmelsbach (1g, 1a), and Shand (1g) scored while Blew had two assists and Kearen Miller one more.
Kaiser had nine saves and Bradley Green saved one shot.
Alexa Pitts was one of the stars in Hempfield's 96-54 victory over Penn Manor in Wednesday's Section One meet. Her victories included running one of the legs in the 4x400-meter relay.
Pitts anchored a foursome that included Cahsia Page, Siena Gates as well as sophomore Isabella Hollenbach. They posted a time of 4:17.0
She also went on to win the 200 (26.5) and 400 (59.9 meter races.
Gates also came through in two individual events, winning the 800 in 2:31.6 and the 1,600 (5:38.7).
She was the anchor in the 4x800 relay, helping Hollenbach and freshmen Gabrielle Hollinger and Lilyana Williams put together a winning time of 10:45.7.
Carena Nottoli was a double threat, registering another win in the pole vault - this time at 12 feet even - and sprinting to victory in the 100 (12.4).
The Knights also swept the hurdles with Graycen Keener taking the high hurdles (16.1) and Kara Benedict winning the 300 hurdles in 48.2.
Aside from Nottoli's pole vault victory, freshman Olivia Wenzel won the triple jump (31-4.25) and sophomore Ava Hostetler was tops in the long jump (16-1.25).
Hempfield improved to 1-3.
The boys' team suffered a close 82-68 defeat in a meet that was between two teams searching for their first L-L League win.
Bailey Titter, Jack Mieszkalski, Josiah Vielend, and senior Christian Groff took the 4x800 relay in 8:45.2.
Legging out the competition in an 800-meter stretch of the track was Groff's thing on Wednesday as he also won the 800m individual race in 2:00.7.
David Martin-Robinson came through in the long jump, posting a 20-7 measurement. He also had a 6-foot high jump.
Darien Ressler's triple jump of 41-10.5 was also best in the event. Tyler Graham won the pole vault (12-6).
Hempfield opened with a pair of league victories, including a strong complete game effort by Justin Lichtenwalner on Wednesday. The junior righty struck out five and allowed only six hits in a 6-1 win over Donegal.
Lichtenwalner gave himself an early lead with a bases-loaded single in the first inning, driving in two runs.
Nick Fiore and Conner Waughtel had RBI's for Hempfield. Seth Constein doubled in another couple of runs.
Wednesday's wild game ended with Hempfield winning 13-7 over Conestoga Valley. The host Knights pounded out 13 hits and overcame an early 3-2 deficit. Fiore had a RBI double. The offensive support for Ty Vaughn also included a solo homer by Saylor. Vaughn only allowed three earned runs and struck out three without allowing a walk.
Hempfield lost their next two games, falling to 6-3 in the league and 7-6 overall. The Pioneers' six-run seventh inning proved to be the difference. Lichtenwalner did hit a home run.
Saturday's game was a non-league 3-1 loss to Lower Dauphin.
Hempfield Tennis Remains Unbeaten in L-L April 16, 2018
Hempfield continued to dominate on the tennis court, winning four matches in as many days. With the victories, Hempfield improved to 10-2 overall (7-0 league). That league record kept Hempfield and Manheim Township as the only schools unbeaten in L-L League play so far.
The Knights defeated the Comets 6-1 at Penn Manor on Tuesday.
In doubles competition, Rishi Pandey and Nishant Balepur completed an 8-1 victory at first doubles. Alex Cooke and Adeet Parikh won by the same margin at second doubles.
Dillon Otto and Nolan Deck wrapped up doubles play with an 8-3 win.
Cooke won the first singles in straight set scores of 6-2 and 6-1. Otto (6-0, 6-1) and Ben Cooke (6-0, 6-2) took the next two singles matches.
Head coach Mindi Bell talked about how the team has come together and been able to tough it out in a challenging spring.
"We have had a good season so far though it has been challenging," Bell said, referring to the "challenge" that weather conditions have caused. "With a season that ends up as condensed as this one is turning out to be, the kids have to be in shape coming out day after day, playing their matches. We don't get a lot of practice time now, but every team in our league is in the same boat."
The Knights were even tougher at Warwick on Wednesday. They posted a 7-0 victory with all four singles matches going by way of straight set finals. Adam Tak won the first singles 6-1, 6-0 while Otto, Pandey and Ben Cooke won in 6-0, 6-0 sets.
Alex Cooke and Parikh teamed up for a doubles win (8-2) as did Ben Cooke and Jake Curtin (8-0). Nolan Deck and Devin Nunemaker came through with an 8-5 win at number three.
Garden Spot also fell by a 7-0 score as the Knights hosted the Spartans on Thursday. The Spartans did put up a fight at third doubles and number one singles, however. In that doubles match Tak and Josh Li edged Matt McCormick and Abdullah Salim by a 9-7 score. Ethan Horning, the Spartans' top singles player won the second set by a 7-5 score, which was sandwiched between 6-2 and 10-7 wins by Parikh.
Balepur came through with 6-1, 6-1 straight set wins while Pandey won the third singles 6-1, 6-2. Ben Cooke, who also teamed up with Curtin at first doubles, won the fourth singles 6-0, 6-0.
The Cooke/Curtin combo yielded an 8-0 victory. Otto and Alex Cooke won the second doubles 8-1.
"They are both freshmen," Bell said of Otto and Alex Cooke. "Dillon is strong at the baseline; Alex is more aggressive at the net. They play off each other's opposite strengths.
"Curtin has been our number one all season," added the coach. "He and Ben Cooke have been our top doubles team and play well together."
Friday's non-league match against Exeter had a different format as only three singles and two doubles matches were played. Balepur paired up with Parikh for a 6-0, 6-0 doubles win while Otto and Alex Cooke won 6-0, 6-3.
Pandey (6-0, 6-0), Ben Cooke (6-1, 6-2) and Curtin (6-0, 6-0) were winners in the singles competition.
"The guys have done everything we have asked them to," said Bell. "We still have our Manheim Township match on Thursday. That will be the telling of how we'll handle ourselves in the postseason.
"We need to have our regular season matches completed by Friday," added Bell.
It is a tight race in the L-L League for the top spot when it comes to girls' lacrosse. And as expected, the race is between Manheim Township and Hempfield.
Having battled league and non-league foes, not to mention the early spring rain and snow, the Knights have managed to put together a 6-3 record, which includes a 5-0 mark against league rivals.
The secret to Hempfield's success, according to head coach Elizabeth Erb, has been the approach of making the most of every opportunity.
"We are working on increasing our opportunities," she explained. "Every time the ball is in the air, it's a chance to win it back and create a chance to score."
Last week included victories over Penn Manor and the Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic squad.
Hosting Penn Manor on Monday night, the Knights doubled up the Comets by a 22-11 score. Hempfield posted 13 goals on the scoreboard by halftime and outscored Manor 9-4 in the second half.
Knights' goalie Kyah Peifer saved nine of the 20 shots she faced.
"On the offensive end, I was certainly happy with what we were able to do," Erb said. "We had some quality shots - even some of the ones that didn't go in."
Lindsey Durkota notched a team high seven goals and assisted on one. Lizzie Yurchak added five goals.
Recording hat tricks on the night were Lauren Dague (3 assists) and Livia Jackson.
"Lauren has been really solid," said Erb. "She has come on as a strong attacker. Her vision of the field has improved this year. She is a crucial part of our feeding game. It's a nice bonus that she is also a threat. You can block the feed, but then she is going to attack."
Yurchak and Madison Morbito each notched an assist. Lauren Morrison and Regan Gillisse finished with two goals each.
In a Wednesday road game against LCD/LC, the Knights had a slim two-goal lead at the half. By outscoring the home team 11-5 in the second half, they pulled away for a 19-11 victory.
The point's totals for Durkota and Jackson were identical to their production against Penn Manor.
"Livia Jackson is my draw specialist," said Erb. "She works that part of the game really well.
"She is a work horse," Erb added. "She definitely puts the goals in, but she also does so many things that do not get noticed."
Yurchak finished with four goals and an assist. Morrison also recorded a hat trick while Dague dished out two assists to go with her one goal. Paige Basler tallied one score.
In a Section One meet on Monday, the Township boys topped Hempfield 102-49 while the girls' meet ended in a 101-49 final. The Hempfield girls fell to 0-3.
Carena Notttoli dashed away with two victories, winning the 100-meter dash in 12.8 seconds and the 200 in 27.2.
Kara Benedict was the winner in the 300 hurdles, posting a time of 46.2 seconds. Siena Gates had the winning pace (5:29.9) in the 1,600.
The Hempfield boys' team, coming off a 75-75 tie, fell to 0-2-1 on the year.
The boys' 4x800 relay team took first with a time of 8:17.1. The quartet was made up of Bailey Titter, Jack Mieszkalski, Colin Gallagher, and Christian Groff.
The Knights won four field events, including Darien Ressler's 41-2 triple jump. David Martin-Robinson won the long jump (20-2) and the high jumped (5-8). The pole vault went to Tyler Graham with his 11-6 effort.
With a decisive 18-6 victory over the combined squad of Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic on Wednesday, the boys' lacrosse team stayed unbeaten (5-0) in L-L League competition and remained tied for first with Manheim Township.
The week began with a road game against Penn Manor on Monday afternoon. With the score tied 6-6 at halftime, the Knights outscored the Comets by seven goals in the third quarter to take a 16-9 lead into the final period. They won 21-11.
Out-shooting the Comets 29-18, the Knights had a tremendous game from Kohl Wesner, who finished with eight goals and an assist. Robert Griffith also poured it on, scoring five times and dishing out two assists.
Grayson Dague had a hand in seven of Hempfield's goals - four scored, three assisted. Cameron Aksu was just as generous, giving out three assists as well as scoring three of his own.
Bryce Witmer, who scored once, and Matt Heuston each had one assist.
Collin Kaiser helped Hempfield on the defensive end, scooping up seven saves.
In Wednesday's match, the Knights again had a huge third quarter, outscoring their rivals 8-2. They basically doubled the points on the scoreboard as it was already 8-2 at the half.
Wesner and Heuston led the way in scoring with seven and six points, respectively. Wesner scored six times and added an assist while Heuston had three of each.
Dague added three goals. Griffith (2, 1) and Witmer (1, 1) also chipped in as did Aksu, who had two goals and two assists. Jackson Shand added one goal while Kaiser finished with six saves.
The volleyball team improved to 5-0 with a pair of 3-0 victories. On Tuesday, Hempfield topped Warwick 25-10, 25-21, 25-15.
Ian Flood had nine kills. Cayden Musso and Zach Wilson each had two aces with Wilson also racking up 12 digs and Musso leading the way with 25 assists. Elliott De La Torre registered three blocks.
In topping Conestoga Valley on the road Thursday, the Knights posted scores of 25-12, 25-14 and 25-23.
Flood and Gavin Hanzelman both came through with 11 kills and two aces. Musso mustered up a match-high 34 assists while De La Torre notched two blocks.
The week was feast or famine for Hempfield's softball team. On Monday, the Knights scored 17 runs over Warwick and ended the week with a 3-1 loss to Elizabethtown.
The 17-run outburst included a home run by Skylar Constable, who went 3-for-5 with four RBI, and a double by Gabi Turner.
Cara Mahoney went 3-for-5 out of the leadoff spot and scored three times. Lex Harelson stroked four hits while Asaysha Raihl scored twice and drove in two more.
Kendall Fruchtl had two hits and three RBI's. Anastasia Berardi also crossed the plate three times and drove in two.
In a 6-3 loss on Wednesday, the Knights out-hit Warwick 7-6. Mahoney had two of those hits, including a double, and drove in two runs. Raihl had two hits, scored a run and drove in the other Hempfield run.
In the 3-1 loss to E-town, Turner pitched a complete game, striking out three batters and allowing three unearned runs. Constable scored the lone run for the Knights.
With a 5-2 victory over Elizabethtown on Thursday, the Knights improved to 5-4 (4-2 league).
The Knights scored two in the sixth and two more in the final frame to escape with a win after Chad Caley, the E-town starter, had held the Hempfield offense in check for five innings. Caley even slugged a solo home run to help himself early in the game.
Cole Houser's RBI single drove in Nick Fiore with the tying run for Hempfield. The Knights scored two more on Seth Constein's bases-loaded two-run hit.
Justin Lichtenwalner drove in two runs in the seventh inning, scoring Houser and Ty Vaughn. Houser, who relieved starter Eric Sipling in the sixth, earned the victory.
The previous day, the Knights won another close game, defeating Penn Manor 5-4 on the road with Vaughn going the distance. He escaped a two-run rally by the Comets in the home team's final at bat.
C.J. Saylor scored on Vaughn's triple. Constein's RBI brought in another run. Saylor later drove in Fiore and Jayden Ruby.
In an 8-3 defeat of Manheim Township on Tuesday, Hempfield looked to Lichtenwalner to take the hill and give them a quality game. He went 6.2 innings for the victory, striking out nine batters.
Houser's RBI double was the early highlight. Saylor and Houser each had RBI's in a four-run fourth inning.
Knights Blank Comets, Streaks in Volleyball April 9, 2018
In its three matches played so far, the Hempfield boys' volleyball team has defeated three Section One foes.
The latest opponents were Penn Manor and Manheim Township last Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
The Knights topped Penn Manor 3-0 (25-11, 25-10, 25-15). Leading the way in kills were Ian Flood and Gavin Hanzelman with 10 each. Cayde Musso registered 28 assists while Elliott De La Torre recorded four blocks. Zach Wilson added four digs.
In the 3-0 defeat of Township (25-15, 25-11, 25-22), Flood had a match-high 15 kills as well as six aces. He and Wilson each had a block while Wilson also tied Mason Scott with nine digs. Musso distributed 30 assists.
In a Tuesday afternoon home game where their opponent scored nine second-half goals, the Black Knights scored 11 of their own to post a 20-14 victory in Lancaster-Lebanon League girls' lacrosse action.
Hempfield took a 9-5 lead into the halftime break. The Knights outshot the Bears 30-18 on the day, including a five-goal game by Lizzie Yurchak, who also distributed three assists.
"They had a very successful second half," said head coach Elizabeth Erb, referring to the Bears' comeback. "I think we had a little bit of a defensive breakdown.
"We weren't executing some of the things - they have some speed and they were getting inside more than I would have liked," Erb added. "We weren't stopping them. They were feisty. Elizabethtown didn't quit. They wanted that game as badly as we did."
On offense, however, the Knights poured it on. In addition to Yurchak, Lauren Dague had a hand in eight Hempfield goals. She scored four and assisted on four more. Lindsey Durkota's totals were four goals and two assists while Livia Jackson and Laura Morrison each poured in three.
The Knights, who improved to 3-3 overall with that victory, put themselves over .500 with Thursday night's win at Cocalico. In that game, they had to come from behind in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 7-2 to take the match 11-7. The victory improved Hempfield's league mark to 3-0.
The Eagles had a 5-4 lead at intermission. The Knights' offense, which was led by Yurchak and Durkota, and a tighter defense helped with the momentum swing.
Kiley Yurchak also scored a goal while Lizzie Yurchak scored four times and assisted on two more. Durkota scored four also. Dague (1g, 2a) and Morrison (1g, 1a) also contributed to multiple scores while sophomore goalie Kyah Peifer recorded 12 saves.
Erb talked about how the team is coming into its own together without any senior leadership.
"We do not have a single senior," she laughed. "It might be the first time in the program's history.
"We do have a lot of juniors," she pointed out, referring to the 11 listed on the roster. "It's nice because we're a young team with some experienced kids and we are fighting that battle. The E-town game was an example of how we're learning to play together at the next level.
"Our big weakness is defense right now," commented the coach. "We are working hard on keeping down the number of goals."
Hempfield's week on the tennis courts included a pair of L-L League victories and a 4-1 non-league loss at Dallastown, improving the Knights' record to 6-2 (4-0 league).
On Wednesday, the Knights topped Lebanon 7-0 as Adeet Parikh, Dillon Otto, Ben Cooke and Jake Curtin all posted straight set wins in singles competition. Otto and Cooke ach posted a score of 6-0, 6-0 while for Parikh and Curtin, the winning margins were 6-1, 6-0.
Rishi Pandey joined Nishant Blepur for an 8-2 victory at first doubles. Parikh and Adam Tak took the second doubles by an 8-3 score. Otto and Alexander Cooke claimed the number three doubles 8-0.
Thursday's home match with Cedar Crest was a makeup match from an earlier rain date. The Knights survived with a 4-3 victory.
After winning two of the three doubles matches thanks to the pairings of Pandey/Balepur and Otto with Pariikh by respective scores of 8-0 and 8-3, the Knights earned team points in two of the singles matches.
Balepur took the first singles 6-1, 6-0 and Pandey won the second singles 6-2, 6-0.
The Knights claimed one point in doubles competition at Dallastown on Friday afternoon. Balepur and Parikh prevailed 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) in the second doubles match. Pandey was tough at second singles, winning the opening set 6-3. He came up short in consecutive 6-4 sets the rest of the match.
There is a log jam of four teams bragging about their 3-0 league records in the L-L League boys' lacrosse standings. Ephrata, Penn Manor, Manheim Township and Hempfield all ended the week with that mark with Hempfield coming away with a 4-1 overall mark.
This past week's matches had Hempfield outscoring its opponents by a collective score of 40-13. The Knights defeated Elizabethtown 16-2 on the road Tuesday evening and topped Cocalico 24-11 at home on Thursday.
In the 24-11 win, Matt Heuston racked up eight goals and assisted twice. Kohl Wesner also had an astounding total, scoring five times and assisting on four more goals.
Hat tricks also came courtesy of Rob Griffith as well as Cameron Aksu, who led the team with six assists on the day. Grayson Dague and Bryce Witmer's totals were two goals and one assist each. Jackson Shand added one goal. Jake Skundrich recorded an assist. The Knights had 47 shots on goal.
Colin Kaiser and Bradley Green made five and three saves, respectively, for the Knights.
Outshooting E-town 36-24 was part of the reason the Knights cruised to a 16-2 win. They outscored the Bears 7-1 in the first half and added on six more goals in the third quarter.
Wesner led all scorers with seven goals and one assist. Also with multiple points were Griffith and Aksu, scoring twice and each assisting on two more goals.
Hempfield had a goal and four assists from Heuston while Dague dished out two assists. Dom Nottoli, Mark Himmelsbach and Bryce Witmer each added one goal.
Kaiser scooped up 11 saves in front of the Hempfield net.
The Black Knights blanked Cedar Crest 10-0 on Friday in a Section One softball game. Hempfield used a 14-hit attack, which included doubles by Cara Mahoney and Asaysha Raihl to support Gabi Turner, who pitched five innings of one-hit ball, striking out six batters.
Turner helped her cause by going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Mahoney had four of Hempfield's hits, going 4-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored - all form the leadoff spot. Keeping the rallies going was sophomore Skylar Constable, who batted right behind Mahoney in the lineup and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Senior Brandy Troutman was 2-for-3 with a RBI.
It was the second Section One blowout of the week for the Hempfield batters. The previous day the Black Knights visited McCaskey and came away with a 17-1 victory. That game was 9-1 until Hempfield put up eight runs in the top of the fifth, putting the mercy rule into effect.
Anastasia Berardi slugged two home runs in the win and knocked in four runs.
Speaking of extra-base hits, Turner smashed three doubles while Raihl stroked a pair of two-baggers. Mahoney had a triple in this game as she went 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs and an RBI. Troutman and Julia Rhoads also doubled. Rhoads also drew a walk and scored both times that she was on base.
The recipient of all this offensive support was Raihl. The starter went four innings, giving up one unearned run on three hits while fanning seven batters. Shannon McDermott pitched a scoreless fifth to wrap things up. She did give up two singles, but struck out two batters to get escape unscathed.
The Knights improved their record to 2-3 with a 9-3 defeat of Cedar Crest on the road Friday. Hempfield threatened in every inning but had their biggest inning in the top of the second when they plated four runs.
Hempfield also scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings as well as the seventh. In the sixth, Hempfield tacked on two more.
C.J. Saylor had three of Hempfield's 10 hits and scored three times. He also knocked in a pair of runs.
Also smacking more than one hit on the day were Seth Constein and Cole Houser with two hits each.
Ty Vaughn gave his team five quality innings to earn the win. Brandon Husted pitched the final two innings, facing the minimum number of batters - six.
That victory also improved the Knights' league record to 1-1. In their previous game, the Knights fell 10-2 to the Red Tornado as McCaskey visited Hempfield for a Section One game.
Constein's two-run single in the second inning put Hempfield on the board after McCaskey had taken a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
In a league meet at Warwick, the Hempfield girls' team fell to the Warriors 91-58 while in a tightly contested race, the Warwick and Hempfield boys' teams finished tied at 75-75 on Friday but went home with a win based on more first place finishes.
While every event mattered in a close meet, including the relays, the quartet of Bailey Titter, Jack Mieszkalski, Colin Gallagher, and Christian Groff went the distance in the 4x800-meter relay, posting a first-place time of 8:43.14. In the 4x400 Gallagher, Groff, Mieszkalski and Tanner Hess took first in 3:34.5.
Mieszkalski's time of 53.52 was good for the win in the 400-m dash.
Senior Max Lessans outlasted the competition in the 3,200, posting a winning time of 10:27.3.
No victory (or tie) would be achieved without great performances in the field events. For that, the Knights looked to the likes of Benjamin Zazo, David Martin-Robinson, Tyler Graham and Darien Ressler.
Graham's 13-foot pole vault achieved first place while Martin-Robinson won both the long jump at 21-foot-4 and the high jump (6-2). Ressler's triple jump of 41-0.75 and Zazo's javelin heave of 132 feet racked up the 75 points for Hempfield.
In the girls' meet, Siena Gates posted winning times in the 800- and 1,600-meter events, taking first place in respective times of 2:28.8 and 5:35.8.
The theme of having multiple winners continued for Hempfield as fellow senior Kara Benedict high hurdled to first place in 16.1 and won the 300-m hurdles in 46.1.
Hempfield also had a multiple winner in the field events with the discus distance of 86-1 and shot put (30-11.75) toss going to junior Alexa Neiderer.
Senior Carena Notolli, who dominated the pole vault in the L-L League last year, won it again in this meet, clearing 12 feet.
Also freshman Olivia Wenzel had an exact 32-foot triple jump for first place.
2OT PIAA Loss Ends Hempfield's Standout Season March 19, 2018
The Hempfield boys' basketball team battled Section 12 champion Lincoln into a second overtime period in Wednesday's PIAA Class 6A playoff game at Pottstown High School. With the score tied 53-53, the Railsplitters held Hempfield to only two points in the second extra period for a 65-55 victory. In doing so, Lincoln not only advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, but made it to the semis by eventually nixing Neshaminy on Saturday.
The Black Knights, who wrapped up their season with a 24-5 record, were led in scoring by Andrew Alston's 20-point tally. The senior guard drained four three-point buckets.
"We played against a very skilled team and were able to go into double overtime," stated head coach Danny Walck.
The Knights were out-sized by the Railsplitters (23-6) but kept the game close through regulation time. Foul trouble for key Hempfield players eventually resulted in Lincoln gaining the edge in that second overtime frame.
"We got into some foul trouble," Walck explained. "Eli Washington fouled out in regulation. Ryan Moffatt fouled out in the first overtime and Donovan Green in the second overtime period. So we had three starters out. They capitalized on that."
Alston and Moffatt (18 points) were instrumental in scoring the key baskets. The team also avoided having Lincoln dictate the tempo of the game.
"They're a very athletic and very skilled team," Walck commented. "They are a team that likes to get up and down the floor. We couldn't allow that.
"You sometimes have to play defense with offense," continued the coach. "You can't quick-shoot the ball. If you do, you better make the shot because they want that transition game."
With timely rebounding and mixing the outside shooting with drives to the basket when possible, the Knights kept pace and at times led the Railsplitters. It was 20-18 Hempfield at the half. The Railsplitters took the lead by outscoring the Knights 16-11 in the third quarter. They were led in scoring by Khalif Meares and Sahnu Day, who finished with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
"Throughout regulation we rebounded the ball well against their height," said Walck. "We were able to get to the rim with some good possessions. We had seven or eight passes at times with good finishes."
What was remarkable about dominating the boards at times was the size of the opposition.
"They are a tall team," said Walck. "They have a 6-foot-3 guard and they have kids who are 6-5, 6-8 and 7-1. Our rebounding effort was outstanding."
David Martin-Robinson scored seven points for the Knights. Green matched that total, converting all three of his free throws.
The loss marked the end of a stellar season, which included earning the crown in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The team loses Moffatt, Alson, Green, Martin-Robinson, Teagan Hazel and Drew Groft to graduation.
Walck praised the effort these seniors and underclassmen alike put forth in the 2017-18 campaign.
"It was an honor to be the coach for this group - especially the seniors," he said. "This group is made up of very good basketball players and individuals. Their body of work included 24 wins."
The Black Knights were represented by seniors Andrew Eyster and Sophie Lear in the PIAA Class-AAA state championships. The two swimmers competed in the 50-yard freestyle at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium in the two-day championships which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, March 14-15.
Eyster finished 27th in the 50 free preliminaries on Wednesday. He registered a time of 22.07.
Head coach Brittany Bertoli said that Eyster's great effort in the District Three Class-AAA championships pushed him forward.
"He was tied for 16th and was the 16th at-large person to make into the state meet," she pointed out. "He did very well in districts. His time [21.79] was one of his best ever - lifetime best."
Prior to competing, Eyster and his coach reviewed the competition, Bertoli said.
"At practice, we went through the other districts to see where he might finish," she explained. "We went district by district."
Lear also competed in the 100 freestyle. In that event, she finished 19th with a preliminaries time of 52.60, which was nearly identical to her districts time of 52.62.
"She was seeded 22nd, so she was able to move up," Bertoli noted. "It is still an accomplishment.
"She was in states last year as well," she added. "She came in to this year's meet pretty confident and ready to race.
"In the 50 free she placed 13th and made it back to the finals," continued the coach. "She placed 10th, so she moved up several places.
Lear's prelim time of 23.99 saw a slight improvement in the finals as she posted a time of 23.90. It earned Hempfield seven team points.
"I think in the 50 free, especially, anything can happen with a couple of tenths difference," Bertoli said. "It can move you many places. We have a lot of talent in Pennsylvania and it keeps getting better every year. The whole meet was challenging and very fast."
Bertoli was asked if she anticipated a higher presence by the Knights at states.
"We definitely would have liked some more," she replied. "I felt everyone put forth their best at districts."
As for the team losing both swimmers to graduation, Bertoli commented on the positive impact they each brought to the program.
"Andrew was definitely a leader on the team this year," she commented. "He took some of the underclassmen under his wing, directing them to where they needed to be. He led the team with his hard work and perseverance. He'll be missed. We wish him luck at Penn State.
"Sophie has a positive attitude and is always happy to swim," added the coach. "That kind of spread throughout the team and helped carry the team through. She was a big leader in helping the underclassmen and getting them prepared."
Black Knights Top Coatesville in PIAA Opener March 12, 2018
In the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A boys' basketball playoffs, the Hempfield Black Knights fought back from an early deficit and managed to solve an aggressive Coatesville defense on Saturday night at Warwick High School.
Hempfield's 66-53 victory improved the team's record to 24-4 while Coatesville - the fifth-place team out of District One, ended its season at 21-6.
The Red Raiders double-teamed the Black Knights' top scorer Ryan Moffatt on multiple occasions, yet the Hempfield senior scored a game-high 29 - most of which came from the free throw line.
"We knew that they were going to bring that pressure," said head coach Danny Walck. "It's hard to simulate in practice. It's different when you're out there and it's coming at you."
"They were playing physical and the refs were calling it pretty tight," Moffatt said after the game. "So, I did whatever I could to knock 'em down."
Knock 'em down he did, converting 21-of-24 free throw attempts. In fact seven of the nine points he scored in the first half alone came from the charity stripe.
"Earlier this season I was actually struggling from the line so I changed my routine a little bit," Moffatt added. "Yesterday, I did take a few more [foul shots] at practice. This time of the year, you have to make your foul shots."
The Knights faced a 13-11 deficit after one quarter. Their defense adjusted and helped hold the Raiders to only seven points in the second quarter.
"They're too good off the bounce. We had to go to zone," Walck said. "You have to keep them out of rhythm. If you don't, you allow them to run their stuff."
The Knights, who were playing without injured senior forward Teagan Hazel, outscored Coatesville 21-7 in the second quarter, punctuating that period with Anthony Alston's three-point jumper from the corner of the court with two seconds to go. It gave Hempfield a 32-20 halftime lead.
"The three-point shot is a great momentum swing," Walck remarked. "It can go the other way on you too when somebody makes the shot against you. It was a huge shot.
"Anthony got tremendous confidence out of it," continued the coach. "He had to play a different role tonight."
The "different role" not only referred to the injured teammate, but also seeing David Martin-Robinson and Eli Washington getting into foul trouble in the fourth quarter. Along with that came a number of Hempfield mistakes - namely turnovers - that helped Coatesville chip away at what was once a huge Hempfield lead. The Raiders battled back to within five points with 1:26 left to play.
"I didn't think that clock could go fast enough," Walck laughed. "There was no lead that was going to be big enough."
"That 'next play' mentality is a big part of it," Moffatt replied when asked about how Hempfield regained composure after nearly giving up the lead. "I turned the ball over too and I take pride in taking care of the ball.
"The only way to get through it is moving on; you can't dwell on it," he added.
Alston not only delivered the huge three-pointer at halftime, he was second in scoring for Hempfield, finishing with 15 points. Washington and Martin-Robinson finished with six and five points, respectively. Adam Wernoch came off the bench and made two baskets, including a three-pointer, finishing with six points.
"It was difficult because with Keegan being out and David and Eli both fouling out - and those are guys who are always there at the end of the game - different guys were coming in," Moffatt said. "We found a way to win."
The Knights began the third quarter with an 8-2 run, claiming the biggest lead at 18 points (44-22) with 5:24 to play in the third. Following two baskets by Coatesville, the Knights took charge again and ran their lead up to 44-28 as Wernoch scored from the top of the key off a Moffatt assist.
From that point, the Raiders went on an 8-2 run, making it 46-36 after three quarters. Sophomore Jhamir Brickus scored nine of his team-leading 20 points in the fourth quarter for Coatesville, helping his team draw closer.
Brickus not only led Coatesville with 20 points, he reached a milestone in the process. He scored his 1,000th career point - yes, as a sophomore - and will start his junior year with 1,006 career points.
Senior center Tyrel Bladen, whose 6-foot-9 presence seemed to always be there for an offensive or defensive rebound, finished with 12 points for Coatesville. Dapree Bryant finished with 11.
The Black Knights will face District 12 champ Lincoln High School on Wednesday at 7:30 pm at Pottstown HS. The Railsplitters defeated the Upper Darby Royals 67-46 on Saturday evening, improving their mark to 22-6.