Fissella Grabs State Swim Medal March 18, 2019
Andre Fissella's time of 57.37 seconds earned him eighth place in the 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries on Saturday at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium as the senior swimmer represented Hempfield at the PIAA Class 3A state championship meet. With that time, Fissella shaved some time off his seeding time of 57.54 and qualified for the finals.
In the finals, Fissella earned eight place with a time of 57.85.
"Breaststroke has always been a strong event for him," said head coach Brittany Bertoli. "Every year the state competition gets faster and faster. Even though he didn't make states last year, Andre had such drive and determination to make it this year."
The state championships began on Friday where the Hempfield standout competed in the 200 individual medley, again lowering his time from that of his qualifying 1:55.71. Fissella registered a 1:55.56 but finished 21st in a very competitive PIAA field, thus not qualifying for the finals.
"He had his best time in the 200 individual medley by two-tenths of a second," Bertoli pointed out.
The coach also commented on how a friendly rivalry between Fissella and Logan Smith from a Lancaster-Lebanon League rival school helped motivate the Hempfield swimmer for the breaststroke event.
"Leading up to the state meet, he has had a friendly rivalry with Logan Smith, who touched slightly in front of Andre in the league championship meet and in districts," Bertoli explained. "Having that rivalry, I think, made him swim better this year. In the end, his event time ended up being better. He touched slightly ahead of Logan in the state finals."
Smith finished 10th at 57.27 in the 100 breaststroke finals.
The fact that many swimmers in the L-L League swim together at the club level in the off-season, district and state meets see the breaking down of barriers to some degree; in fact, there is a certain level of camaraderie.
"You see them supporting one another because of that," Bertoli said, referring to representatives of the L-L League competing at states. "You don't have as many swimmers competing for your team."
With Fissella as well as seniors like Charles Saylor, Jayden Corrigan, Shawn Splain, Aidan Turner and Nate Stuckey leaving the program, Bertoli said that the boys' team might be rebuilding next year.
"I think next year is going to be kind of a rebuilding year," she said. "We are going to look for this year's sophomores and juniors - guys like Johnathan Sescilla, Xander Hughes and Josh Sahd, for example - to be the leaders for the younger swimmers."
And what about the girls' team in 2019?
"We only had one senior girl on this year's team," she replied. "We bring back the majority of our team, including Katie Yoder, Maggie Shaffer, Sophia Vitko, Katelyn Wiglesworth, Rory Cantwell and others. We hope that as they develop and get better and with some strong freshmen to support them, we'll continue to grow as a team."
Knight Matmen Compete in Districts February 25, 2019
There were six wrestlers who qualified from the Hempfield squad, punching their tickets to Hershey for the District Three Class-AAA championships. The Black Knights had three wrestlers finish fourth in the District Three Section 2 sectionals, which were held at Hempfield on Friday and Saturday, February 15-16, two more who finished in third place as well as Reagan Lefevre's second-place finish. All of which resulted in advancing them to Hersheypark Arena for the district championships.
Lefevre competed at the 132-pound weight class. The freshman impressed everyone with his second-place finish at sectionals.
At districts, Lefevre opened with a close match - one in which he came up short 4-2. He dominated the first consolation match, posting a 6-0 victory, but eventual fifth-place finisher Clay Baker of Spring Grove posted a pin at the 4:58 mark of the consolation quarterfinals.
In the sectionals a week prior, Lefevre muscled his way to a 16-1 technical fall against Riley Eckman of Lampeter-Strasburg in his first bout. He then posted an 8-5 victory over Bryce Buckman of Central Dauphin, earning a shot at the title match. Cade Zeamer of Manheim Central claimed the 132-pound championship, however, at sectionals and went on to place fourth in districts at Hershey.
While Joel Dionne came up empty at districts, he did have a successful run at sectionals. After a first-round pin, he lost to the eventual 145 pound champ - Mitchell Arch of Central Dauphin.
The junior was determined in the consolation matches, topping a formidable opponent in Logan Hess by an 8-6 score. He then outlasted Devan Lamb of Hershey by a 3-1 score and came up just short in the third-place match. Haydn Shreiner of Warwick prevailed 7-6.
Ian Edwards had a fourth-place finish at 152 in the sectionals and went 1-2 at districts. His one win in districts came in the first round of the consolations where he notched a pin 4:40 into the match, while leading 15-5 at that point. He then suffered an 11-4 defeat that knocked him out of contention.
In the sectionals, he had two losses at the hands of Central Dauphin's Hunter Bentz. In a tough battle in the second round, the CD senior edged Edwards 7-6. Edwards went on to win 14-7 over Lampeter-Strasburg's Nick Salgado and pinned Milton Hershey junior Jacob McMillen. His 8-2 defeat of E-town's Cole Rice put him in the third-place match where Bentz came on to post a 10-4 victory.
Chase Mathias (195) and Luke Dreyer (220) each earned third place at sectionals while Zac Bicevskis had a fourth-place finish at 285.
Mathias opened the districts with an 8-0 win but lost in the second round on a technical fall. He was undeterred, however, winning two consolation bouts - decisions by 7-0 and 3-1 margins.
Forced to battle for fifth place, Mathias doubled up Penn Manor's T.J. Keener by a 10-5 score.
In the sectionals, Mathias had lost to Keener, the eventual second-place finisher, after posting a pin over Donegal's Joel Grillo.
In the consis, Mathias rebounded nicely with a 13-5 major decision and a third-place match pin, taking down Andrew Burd of Hershey at 3:48.
Dreyer registered a pin to open his sectionals quest. In fact, his pin was against the same opponent - Darius O'Neil-Taylor of Milton Hershey - whom he defeated to take third place.
In between, he suffered a 15-4 loss to champ Marques Holten, and defeated Shaneef Carter of Solanco by a narrow 3-2 margin before facing O'Neil-Taylor and posting a 14-6 victory.
T.J. Moore of Cedar Crest, who finished second in the Section One sectionals at Governor Mifflin, narrowly got past Dreyer with a 3-2 decision at districts.
Dreyer came up short in another close battle in the consolations, losing to Carlisle senior Dylan White 7-4.
Bicevskis suffered a technical fall and then a close 2-0 defeat in the consolations at districts.
He was coming off a strong sectionals tournament that included back-to-back pins in the consis and a close 4-2 loss to Zac Shelley of Lampeter-Strasburg in the third-place bout. This all came after another close loss - a 6-3 setback to Jaden Baylor of CD.
Also putting forth a strong effort in sectionals was Luke Kramer at 120 pounds. He opened with a second-period pin, defeating Central Dauphin's Liam Kennedy. Following a 15-5 loss to Jose Tirado of McCaskey, Kramer pinned Hershey's Logan Kreamer in only 30 seconds.
Third-place finisher Arik Harnish notched a pin, knocking Kramer into the fifth-place consolation match where he came up short in a 15-9 decision. Cam Olson of Elizabethtown took fifth.
Gio Luciano finished fifth in the 106-pound weight class at sectionals. He had three pins in the two-day championships, including one that took only 54 seconds to achieve.
Luciano pinned Allyar Nassyrov of CD but suffered a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Manheim Township's Micah Sams, the eventual third-place finisher. Luciano then proceeded to post pins against John Foltz of Palmyra (54 seconds) and Deatrich Moyer of Milton Hershey.
Ethan Herr of Donegal worked a 7-2 decision in the next consolation match, forcing Luciano to battle for fifth place. In that match, he majored Elizabethtown freshman Wyatt Mummaw 14-4.
Dylan Bard and Gordy Hoover also finished sixth for the Knights at sectionals. Bard did so in the 160-pound bracket and Hoover at 182.
Bard's 6-2 win over CD's Ethan Pae was followed by a tough 4-0 loss to eventual champ Austin Sauder.
In the consolation semis, Bard suffered a close 5-3 loss to familiar foe - Kole Marley of Penn Manor. He came up short in the fifth-place match against Hershey's Donte Hibbert in a 9-2 decision.
Hoover opened with a 7-0 loss and had to battle back to the fifth-place match. He did so with a pin that required only 19 seconds of mat time, victimizing Hank Farrell of Manheim Township. He then earned a 4-2 victory over Donegal's Cael Rapp before a loss to eventual third-place finisher Keegan McCord sent him to the fifth-place match where Nathaniel Mosey of Central Dauphin notched a pin.
Hempfield saw its season come to an end against Harrisburg, the fifth-ranked team in the district, in the opening round of Tuesday's District Three Class 6A boys' basketball playoffs.
The 12th-seeded Knights entered the playoffs with a 13-9 mark, and traveled to the Kimber Gymnasium in Harrisburg.
The Cougars held Hempfield to only two points in the second quarter, building a 23-9 halftime lead on the way to a 53-42 win.
The Knights had a much stronger second half as Eli Washington led the squad with 12 points on the night. He drilled one three-point basket and made all three shots he was granted at the foul line.
Adam Wernoch put up eight points while both Ryan Hilton and Austin Groft scored seven points.
Hempfield Denies McCaskey, Wins 60-46 February 11, 2019
With a balanced scoring and timely defense, Hempfield held off McCaskey in a key Section One battle on Tuesday night at Landisville. With the 60-46 victory, the Black Knights prevented McCaskey from claiming a share of the Section One boys' basketball title.
Eli Washington and Ryan Hilton each scored 12 points for Hempfield. Brad Atkinson came through with 11 points, including a pair of three-point field goals. Austin Groft scored nine.
The outside shooting was another asset for the Knights, who improved to 7-6 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, (13-9 overall). They had five three-point field goals. In addition to the two by Atkinson, Hilton, Groft, and Ronnie Swantner (5 pts) each converted one three-pointer.
The Red Tornado fell to 17-5 (8-5 league). Meanwhile, Manheim Township won the section crown with a 9-4 mark, beating Cedar Crest in that season finale.
The Knights wrapped up the season as the No. 12 team in the District Three Class 6A power rankings - right behind 11th-ranked Manheim Township. Next up for the Knights is an opening-round game in the district playoffs on Tuesday, February 19. Hempfield will visit fifth-ranked Harrisburg.
The Hempfield boys' swim team finished fourth in the Lancaster-Lebanon League championships while the girls finished seventh in the two-day event at Roy G. Snyder Natatorium in Wilson West-Lawn.
Among the top performers for the girls' team was junior Katie Yoder. In Friday's 50-yard freestyle, she finished third in 24.88 seconds - less than half a second off first place.
"Katie Yoder finished third in what was her best time this year," head coach Brittany Bertolli pointed out.
The Hempfield coach noted that both squads featured swimmers setting season-best times in the championships.
"We had an awesome meet with some best times," she said. "I would say ninety percent of the finishes we had were best times.
"To come into leagues and do what they did was incredible," continued the coach. "This was an incredibly fast meet all around. Our swimmers did a great job of competing with the best swimmers in the league."
In the 100 butterfly Maggie Shaffer had a time of 59.89, finishing fifth. Shaffer earned fourth place in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:59.25.
"She went from a 2:01 to a 1:59 in the 200 freestyle," said Bertolli. "To see her break one minute in the butterfly with all the hard work she has put in was great."
Tied for fourth in Saturday's 100 free were Yoder and fellow junior Katelyn Wiglesworth. They both touched the wall at 55.33 seconds.
"They're both very good friends and also very competitive," said Bertolli. "They both were very excited to compete with their friend and finish in a tie."
Also on Saturday, sophomore Sophia Vitko joined Shaffer, Wiglesworth and anchor Yoder for a time of 3:48.41, giving the Knights fourth in the 400 free relay. The previous day the foursome of Wigleswroth, Vitko, Shaffer and Yoder had finished sixth in the 200 medley relay.
In all, the Hempfield girls compiled 38 team points. Warwick edged Manheim Township 85.5 to 80.5 to win the girls' team championship.
The Hempfield boys racked up 48 points and missed third place by only four points. Township repeated as the boys' championship team with 150 with Cedar Crest (65) and Penn Manor (52) behind them.
Andre Fissella had two second-place finishes for Hempfield. He was runner up in the 200 individual medley on Friday, posting a time of 1:58.53. On Saturday, he took second in the 100 breaststroke (58.41) - an event in which Cedar Crest's Logan Smith set a league meet record at 58.20 seconds,
"He has been working so hard," Bertolli said of Fissella. "To see him swim those times was awesome. They were both very good times which will hopefully get him into districts."
Xander Hughes, Nate Stuckey, Johnathan Sescilla. Shawn Splain, Charles Saylor, and Josh Sahd earned the points for the Knights as well.
In the 400 free relay on Saturday, Saylor Sesceilla, Splain and Stuckey swam at a 3:28.72 clip, finishing sixth. Stuckey also took sixth (4:59.22) in the 500 freestyle.
"Nate dropped 16 seconds - from 5:15 to 4:59 - in the 500 free," Bertolli noted. "He was in the second to last heat, but he broke into the top eight to medal and get us points."
In the 200 medley relay on Friday, Hughes, Fissella, Splain and Stuckey claimed fourth place (1:43.57) while the foursome of Sescilla, Saylor, Sahd and Fassella was third (1:32.71) in the 200 free relay.
Stuckey had another sixth-place finish on Friday, swimming the 200 free in 1:50.66.
"The 200 free relay did an awesome job," Bertolli remarked. "In their splits, each of them improved."
The Hempfield girls' team pulled off a pair of big victories to close out the regular season. Following a 43-31 non-league win at Chambersburg on February 2, the Black Knights were able to spring ahead to the regular season finale, which was a Section One clash at McCaskey. Hempfield came away with a 43-37 victory, finishing at 6-7 in the L-L League and 7-15 overall.
Despite the wins, the Knights found themselves short of qualifying for district playoffs, finishing at No. 16 in the District Three 6A power rankings.
"It was nice to get that win to end the season on a winning note," head coach Kendra Beittel stated. "All three of our seniors had good contributions in that win. So as seniors, they had an opportunity to end on a high note.
"We talked about how the three of them - Melissa Grube, Lauren Dague and Madeline Sohonyay - are just good role models," said Beittel. "It wasn't an easy road for them, coming up through the program. They worked hard and persevered to fill the roles they needed to."
In that season-ending win at McCaskey, the Knights got out to a 20-4 lead and carried a 12-point lead into the second half. They held on despite a fourth-quarter comeback by the Red Tornado (0-13, 0-22).
Molly McGarry and Lindsey Durkota each scored 11 points to lead Hempfield.
"Lindsey and Molly have been our leading scorers," said Beittel. "Lindsey's athletic presence - offensively and defensively - and her competitiveness helped us. She owned the rebounds.
"Molly is a smaller guard," continued the coach. "We talked about her distributing the ball. But she's one of our best shooters. She has been looking for her shots more toward the end of the season."
Lauren Dague scored seven points while Sohonyay's six points came on two three-pointers.
In the game at Chambersburg, Durkota and McGarry scored 13 and 12, respectively. McGarry hit one of four three-point baskets by the Knights. Sophie Herman scored six points, which included a 4-for-4 night at the foul line. Dague, Sohonyay and Abby Burdyn each finished with three points via a three-pointer.
Hempfield came back from a two-point halftime deficit with a strong 13-2 run in the third quarter.
"Lauren Dague is a good defensive player," said Beittel. "Abby Burdyn is another. They're both returning. Sophomore Jessica Weinholdt is another kid who's aggressive. She plays well defensively and we worked on her confidence on offense."
Hempfield edged Penn Manor 4-3 on Tuesday in Section One bowling at Leisure Lanes. The Knights improved to 39-45 as they wrapped up the season. The Comets' record went to 55-29 after their loss.
Ben Helman led all bowlers with a 730 series, which included a 267 in his second game of the day. Earlier, he rolled a 249.
Nick O'Neill bowled an aggregate score of 607. He had a 208 and 209 in his first two games.
Gavin Davidson (678) led the Comets.
Knights Battle Township, E-town in League Play February 4, 2019
The Hempfield girls' basketball team came up short in two Lancaster-Lebanon League games this past week, falling to 5-7 in league play. The Black Knights did come back for a 43-31 victory at Chambersburg on Saturday night.
The Knights hosted Manheim Township on Wednesday night. In a low-scoring contest, they watched the Blue Streaks build a 23-15 halftime lead. Another low-scoring period followed with each team only scoring four points. Township held on for a 36-26 win, improving to 7-3 in the league.
Lindsey Durkota led the Knights with nine points. Jessica Weinholdt and Sophie Herman each scored four.
Despite the low-scoring final, Katie Bushong of Township finished with a game-high 20.
It was a comeback win for the Elizabethtown Bears at Hempfield on Friday night. Trailing 12-6, the Bears outscored the Knights 27-10 over the next two periods and finished with a strong fourth quarter in a 46-30 win.
Herman had seven points to lead Hempfield. Molly McGarry's six points all came off three-point field goals. Durkota also scored six.
Marena Lonardi of E-town led all scorers with 24 points, including a 12-for-13 effort at the free throw line.
In the Chambersburg game, the scoring was anemic in the first quarter. The Trojans held a 5-3 lead going into the second quarter, but were held to only two points in the third as Hempfield took command of the game, scoring 13 points in the third and 15 in the fourth for a 43-31 win.
Durkota and McGary scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the Knights. They were both 7-for-8 at the foul line.
The Hempfield girls' team earned its first league victory of the season, defeating McCaskey on Wednesday night in a Section One meet at Franklin & Marshall College. The Knights topped the Red Tornado 112-49, improving to 5-4 overall (1-4 league).
The boys' team won a close one, edging McCaskey (1-4 league) 89-78 and finishing the regular season at 8-1 (4-1 in league).
"We wanted to finish as strong as we could," said head coach Brittany Bertoli. "We knew that McCaskey's boys' team had a strong core, so we knew it was important to step up our game."
The 200 medley relay team of Aidan Turner, Andre Fissella, Shawn Splain, and Nate Stuckey posted a winning time of 1:46.13 for Hempfield. The Red Tornado took the other two relay events.
"They're a strong group," commented the Hempfield coach. "Because their relays were strong finishes, we needed to do well in all the others. We knew that if we did second, third and fourth, we could outscore them."
In fact, the meet was very close until a win by Xander Hughes in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.10) helped put Hempfield ahead.
"Xander Hughes is a hard worker," Bertoli said. "He had a shoulder injury early in the season but he's such fighter. He has a positive attitude. It was important in the last dual meet of the season for all that to come together and for him to win that 100 breaststroke.
"We also went 1-2-3 in the 100 breaststroke and that was what we needed in that race," Bertoli added.
Splain came on to win the 200 individual medley in 2:11.31. Stuckey was a multiple winner with first-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (1:54.52) and the 500 free (5:27.87). Fissella finished first in the 100 backstroke in 58.38 seconds.
Katelyn Wiglesworth, Maggie Shaffer, Sophia Vitko, and Katie Yoder made up the winning foursome in the girls' 200-yard medley relay, posting a time of 1:58.79.
Cassandra Christoffel joined Yoder, Wiglesworth, and Shaffer in the 400 free relay to win in 3:57.46.
"Cassandra is an incoming freshman, who has really shown that she is strong in the freestyle and individual medley events," said Bertoli. "She is one of those we're going to look to in years to come for contributing each year.
"Sophia Vitko is just all around consistent," commented the coach. "She's a hard worker. Whether she's doing the breaststroke in the relay or a freestyle event, she knows what she has to do."
One more thing Vitko was asked to do was the 500 freestyle. She won the race in 5:49.88.
Wiglesworth and Shaffer won two individual events each. Shaffer took the 200 freestyle (2:05.87) and won the 100 free in 56.78 seconds. Wiglesworth's speedy pace of 25.99 seconds earned her first place in the 50 free. She won the 100 backstroke in 1:04.48.
"Our girls are really growing and seeing who is taking on those leadership positions," said Bertoli. "Both Maggie and Katelyn have stepped up this year as leaders for our young team. We're hoping they fulfill the same roles next year."
Rory Cantwell came through in the 100 butterfly, winning with a 1:08.87 pace.
"She has come on at the end of the season - especially in the butterfly," Bertoli said of Cantwell. "She has been working hard all season and we're seeing that hard work pay off. She's dropping time and contributing points."
The strong finish for both teams has the coach seeing an even more positive outlook.
"You're starting to see those younger swimmers really come into their own," she said. "You're seeing the promise for years to come.
"We talk a lot about pushing past your comfort zone - what else can you do," she added. That's how we get ourselves to be better."
Coming off a 54-40 loss at Manheim Township on Wednesday, the Black Knights returned home and held off Elizabethtown in a close 61-58 league contest on Friday, improving to 6-6 in the L-L. With a Saturday afternoon victory at Pottstown, the Knights improved to 12-9 overall.
The Blue Streaks held the Knights to only 16 first-half points. Despite the Knights matching the home team's offensive output point-for-point in the second half, the comeback bid was not enough.
The Knights did feature the game's top scorer, however, as Eli Washington finished with 21 points. He perfectly sized up three of his three-point field goal attempts. Ryan Hilton finished with nine points.
The Streaks' Tyler Crespo scored 19 to lead the home team.
Hempfield's first-half scoring was running on all cylinders in the E-town game as they built a 35-22 lead by halftime. The Bears shaved four points off that deficit in the third period and outscored the Knights by four more in the fourth quarter to make it a close finish.
Austin Groft poured in a game-high 19 for Hempfield while Washington scored 15. Hilton put in nine points while Adam Wernoch, who was a perfect 4-for-4 at the foul line, finished with eight.
Larry Locker led the Bears with 18 points.
Washington's 18 points led the way on Saturday at Pottstown. Austin Groft scored 10 more and Ronnie Swantner (2 treys) finished with eight.
Hempfield took a 22-17 lead into the second half and with a strong fourth quarter, finished on top 48-38.
In a split of its two meetings this week, the bowling team raised its record to 35-42. The Knights topped Conestoga Valley 7-0 on Wednesday at Dutch Lanes. Two days later, they lost a close 5-2 game to Cedar Crest at Leisure Lanes.
Against the CV Buckskins, the Knights were led by Ben Helman, who knocked down the pins at a 677 count. He had a 258 in his first game and a 227 in his second set of frames.
Nick O'Neill (631) had a high score of 246 while freshman Mitchell Barnes rolled a 234 in his third game, finishing with a 611 series.
The Buckskins' Robbie Jack notched a 268 in his first game, going on to post a 651 series.
Helman's 658 was the top score for Hempfield on Friday, which included a top game of 245.
Darren Zombro and Kolby Bennett tallied 687 and 684, respectively, to lead the Falcons.
Hempfield Swimmers Split Against Cedar Crest January 28, 2019
In a swim meet with Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Cedar Crest, the Hempfield boys' team came away with a 103-65 victory and improved the Black Knight's record to 3-1 in league competition (7-1 overall).The girls suffered what head coach Brittany Bertoli called "a heartbreaking loss." The Falcons eked out a 96-74 victory.
The boys' team claimed two of the three relays. In the 400 free relay, Charles Saylor, Johnathan Sescilla, Nate Stuckey and Shawn Splain combined for victory in 4:08.90.
Stuckey anchored the 200 medley relay team with Splain, Aidan Turner and Andre Fissella helping to winning the event in 1:55.47.
Cedar Crest won the 200 free relay (1:46.29) with Hempfield finishing second.
"That was actually a strong swim for Cedar Crest," Bertoli remarked. Fissella, Saylor, Sescilla and Josh Sahd finished at 1:50.94.
Fissella won the 200 IM in 2:21.32 and the 100 breaststroke at 1:06.05. Stuckey's time of 4:39.82 was good for first in the 500 free. Turner took the 100 backstroke in 1:05.77 and Saylor sprinted to victory for the 50 free at 26.61.
Sescilla was second (1:01.29) in the 100 free.
"This was a meet we were looking forward to," Bertoli said. "We knew we had to swim well to beat Cedar Crest."
"Our girls' meet was tied up through the 400 freestyle relay," Bertoli explained. "After that relay, it was 62-62. We won the 200 free relay, which tied the score. Relays carry bigger points, so you want to win them."
Maggie Shaffer, Sophia Vitko, Katie Yoder and Katelyn Wiglesworth posted a combined time of 2:00.39 in the 200-meter free relay at the Hempfield Rec Center.
"Sophia Vitko had an injury at the beginning of the season," said Bertoli. "She has been working her way back. She is one of our strong breaststrokers. We have been using her in the medley relay and the 200 free."
Yoder won the 100 free (1:03.25) and sprinted to a first-place finish in the 50 free at 28.85 seconds.
Wiglesworth took the 200 free in 2:20.69.
"Katelyn Wiglesworth is a very strong freestyler," said Bertoli. "I would say her best event is the 100 free. She's another one of the swimmers who's willing to do the backstroke or whatever she's needed to do to help the team."
Shaffer was also a multiple winner. She took the 100 fly in 1:09.98 and claimed the 200 individual medley at 2:37.61.
"Butterfly is one of her strong strokes," Bertoli said of Shaffer. "That and the 200 freestyle. She goes where she's needed.
"We talked a lot about how everyone and all points matter," continued the coach. "We did even better than we thought we would do. It was a tough loss, but I was very proud of them. We had a lot of good swims. Our girls' team just didn't have the depth to hang on."
Following a 54-51 defeat of Section rival Penn Manor on Tuesday, the Hempfield boys' basketball team suffered two consecutive defeats, including a 62-41 loss at Cedar Crest. The Black Knights wrapped up the week with a close 38-34 non-league loss at Lower Dauphin on Saturday afternoon.
In the Penn Manor game, which improved the Knights' mark to 5-4 in the L-L League, Hempfield needed three overtimes to clinch it. The Knights outscored the Comets 11-8 in the final extra period.
The fourth quarter of this game saw the two sides score a combined seven points (5-2 in Hempfield's favor).
Eli Washington led the Knights with 17 points while Austin Groft scored 10 points. Adam Wernoch scored all six of his points from the three-point range.
Kevin Roldan of the Comets led all scorers with 18 points.
Cedar Crest, which has been pacing the Section One standings for most of the year, won at home by a 62-41 score on Friday night, evening the Knights' league record at 5-5.
The Falcons (8-2 league) outscored Hempfield 22-3 in the second quarter, taking a 22-point advantage at halftime.
The home team had 22 points from leading scorer Logan Horn.
Hempfield had 14 from Washington and nine by Conner Elslager while Ryan Hilton scored five points.
Saturday's game was a close one with Lower Dauphin's 14-8 run in the second quarter proving to be the difference. Washington again led Hempfield in scoring, putting up 15 points. Hilton, Elslager and Groft each scored five.
The Knights fell to 10-8 overall.
In their final dual meet of the season, leading up to the L-L League wrestling championships, the Black Knights doubled up Warwick 42-22 on the road Wednesday night. The victory raised Hempfield's record to 9-3 (5-2 league).
A pin by Chase Mathias at 195 put Hempfield on the board. Luke Dreyer (220) followed with a 6-3 decision.
Gio Luciano, who would go on to claim fourth place in the league championships at 106, notched a pin on Wednesday. The Knights also had pins by Luke Krammer (120), Joel Dionne (145), Ian Edwards (152) and Dylan Bard (160) while Reagan Lefevre (132), who finished third in the L-L's, won an 8-1 decision.
The league championships took place at Garden Spot on Friday and Saturday, January 25-26. Following his 8-2 loss to Township's Micah Sams in the third round of the 106 weight class, Luciano went on to post an 8-6 win in the consolation brackets. An 8-1 win over Lancaster Catholic's Eric Howe put Luciano in the third-place match where Ethan Herr of Donegal prevailed 9-1.
Lefevre made it all the way to the semifinals, losing to Braeden Amole of Octorara. Lefevre had pinned Alex Emerich of Township, and topped Manor's Owen Rohrer 9-3 prior to the loss.
He battled back in the consolations with a technical fall, defeating Northern Lebanon's Seth Fischer. In the third-place match, he won a 6-1 decision against Joe Vandegriff of Solanco.
Dionne's third-place match at 145 was a 6-3 defeat of Township's Cade Clancy. Dionne opened with a 10-0 major. Following a loss to Pequea Valley's Gabe Miller, Dionne registered a consolation round pin over Central's Logan Hess, a 5-3 decision over Spot's Alan Perez and defeated a tough David Dariychuck in a 6-5 decision to earn a trip to the third-place match.
Edwards had a third-place finish at 152. He pinned in his first match but lost a tough 7-6 decision to Taylor Sheaffer of CV.
In the consolations, he pinned his way through the first two rounds and posted an 8-4 triumph over Northern Lebanon's Nick Winters. When it came to the third-place match, Edwards blanked Austin Sauder of MC by a 3-0 count.
At 195, Chase Mathias gave the Knights a third-place finish beating Ben Sola of Cocalico. He pinned T.J. Keener of Penn Manor in the consolation semis.
Prior to that, Mathias opened with two pins before suffering a 9-6 loss that relegated him to consolations, albeit advanced.
Dreyer had a fourth-place finish at 220, losing to PV's Joey Coblentz by a 5-0 score. He opened the consolations with a 1-0 defeat of Cocalico's Jake Humphrey and registered a fall over Matt Busby, of Octorara, along the way. He notched a pin in his first match of the tournament before a loss sent him to the consolations.
Zac Biceskis finished eighth for the Knights at 285. The Hempfield senior pinned Elijah Stackhouse of E-town before a 4-2 loss put him in the wrestle backs. He pinned his first opponent, lost a 1-0 decision to Charles Martin of Garden Spot and still wrestled in the seventh-place bout.
Also claiming wins in consolations, Kramer (120) had a 9-6 victory before losing to Rafael Rodriguez of Conestoga Valley. Clay Gainer (126) lost a tough decision, going on to register a pin 1:00 into the first consolation match before bowing out.
At160, Dylan Bard won 7-1, topping Dylan Jackson of PV and lost a close 6-3 decision to Josh McNamara. He came back with a coni pin over Cedar Crest's Austin Bohr before losing 4-2.
Also making his way past the first round of consolations was Gordy Hoover (182). He pinned Wyatt Gehman of Cocalico as well as Lucas Thompson of Octorara before getting pinned in the next round.
The Knights finished in sixth place overall with 143.5 team points. Manheim Central claimed the team title, edging Northern Lebanon 184.5 to 183.5.
The Black Knights improved to 5-4 in the L-L League, defeating Penn Manor 38-33 on the road Tuesday night.
Hempfield used a balanced attack with Melissa Grube leading the way with 11 points, hitting a three-pointer in the process. Molly McGarry's 10 points and Lindsey Durkota's eight supported the offense. The Knights held off a Comets' comeback in the fourth quarter.
Manor's Kate Levato led all scorers with 13 points.
The offense was held to only eight second-half points in the Cedar Crest game on Friday as the Eagles posted a 39-24 win in Landisville, improving to 10-0 (14-4 overall).
Hempfield was close at the half, trailing by a 21-16 margin. The scoring by the Falcons came from a foursome of top scorers while Durkota scored seven to lead the Knights. Lauren Dague and Jessica Weinholdt each scored six.
In another low-scoring game, the Knights lost a 39-28 non-league match at Dallastown on Saturday, dropping Hempfield's record to 5-13.
Durkota paced Hempfield with eight points and Sophie Herman scored six.
Hempfield fell to 26-37 following a 7-0 loss to Elizabethtown at Clearview Lanes on Thursday afternoon.
Hempfield's Ben Helman reached 600 on the day while Nickolas O'Neill knocked down pins at a count of 593. Ava Keller finished at 539.
The Bears Patrick Hoffmaster led all bowlers with a 695 while Elizabeth Vuxta rolled 694.
Lady Knights Top McCaskey, 40-27 January 21, 2019
With an impressive 40-27 victory over Section One rival McCaskey on Friday, the Hempfield girls' basketball team evened its record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League at 4-4.
The Black Knights (4-11 overall) were coming off back-to-back games where they had scored under 30 points. Yet with a stingy defense that allowed only single-digit scoring to the Red Tornado (0-17, 0-8 league), the Knights stayed on top in this one.
The leading scorers for Hempfield were senior Melissa Grube and junior Lindsey Durkota, each of whom put up nine points. A trio of teammates scored four points each - Molly McGarry, Sophie Herman and Jessica Weinholdt.
The Red Tornado's Malia Taylor and Ahni-yan Parker scored nine points each.
SWIMMING & DIVING
The Hempfield Rec Center was the site of the Section One swim meet on Tuesday between Warwick and Hempfield. In the boys' meet, the Black Knights managed to stay unbeaten with a 107-59 win. In the girls' meet, the result was nearly flipped with Warwick winning 110-57. The boys' team improved to 3-0 while the Hempfield girls fell to 0-3 in league competition.
In the boys' 200-meter freestyle relay, John Sescilla, Josh Sahd, Charles Saylor and Andre Fissella combined for a winning time of 1:45.61. The Knights also claimed the 200 medley relay with Fissella joining Aidan Turner, Shawn Splain and Nate Stuckey, who anchored this group to a win at 1:52.96.
"I think it was a big win for us," said head coach Brittany Bertoli. "We were very excited going in. Manheim Township was a really tough meet [both boys and girls losing on January 8], so we were excited to swim well in this one."
Stuckey had a big day, winning the 500 freestyle (actually 400 meters) in 4:40.17.
"Nate also placed second in the 200 free with 2:09.60," said Bertoli.
Saylor won the 50 free in 26.43 seconds. The Black Knights compounded their points thanks to capturing the top three spots in the 50 free. Sescilla took second and Sahd was third.
"Saylor is one of our hard workers," said Bertoli. "He's a sprinter. He also anchors some of our relays. We use him a lot in freestyle events."
Fissella won the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.75 and the 200 individual medley (2:19.06).
"Fissella is one of those swimmers who can swim just about everything," commented the coach. "He can swim anything I need him for - any stroke, any distance. He'll swim them and be competitive at the same time."
In the girls' race, Maggie Shaffer claimed the only victory for Hempfield, taking the 200 IM in a time of 2:33.88. She was also second in the 100 butterfly (1:10.34), which was the same event where sophomore Rory Cantwell's 1:18.70 earned the Knights a third-place finish.
In the 100 freestyle, Katelyn Wiglesworth (1:02.42) placed second.
Asked about the challenges of the girls' squad and its winless record in the L-L League, Bertoli replied, "I think we have a lot of really strong girls' teams in Section One. We're a very young team with only one senior. We're developing our younger swimmers to compete."
In a tight Section One race, the Hempfield boys' basketball team suffered a tough loss at McCaskey on Friday night, seeing the Red Tornado storm back in the second half for a 67-54 win. The win improved the Tornado's record to 8-7 (6-2 league) while the Knights fell to 9-6 (4-4 league).
Only two points separated the teams at halftime with McCaskey leading 28-26. The Red Tornado put up 20 points in the second quarter following a slow start. In the third quarter, they kept up the scoring with 21 more points to Hempfield's 12.
Senior Eli Washington, with one trey, led the Knights with 14 points. Ryan Hilton (10) also reached double figures while Austin Groft scored nine points.
Senior Ronnie Swantner knocked down a pair of triples and finished with eight points.
The Tornado offense was led by Brian McKenzie's game-high 18 while Ajani Simmons (16) and Makai Ortiz-Gray (15) also contributed.
Thanks to a Chase Mathias victory on a 6-4 decision at the 195-pound match and a pin by Luke Dryere at 220, the Black Knights gained momentum just at the right time in Wednesday's wrestling match with L-L League foe Cocalico. For good measure, the Knights also earned six points with Zach Bicevskis claiming the uncontested points in a Cocalico forfeit at 285. Hempfield won the match 38-22.
This win improved the Knights' record to 4-2 while the Eagles fell to 2-4.
It was Hempfield's next-to-last regular season dual meet. The team wraps that up on Wednesday against Warwick.
Head coach John Walizer spoke of the importance of the upcoming meet as Hempfield is currently 17th in the District Three Class-AAA power rankings.
"Against Cocalico we had a few guys out," Walizer stated. "We're sitting right outside for getting into district duals. We have Warwick on Wednesday, which is the last day for the points to go in."
The Cocalico match began with neither team sending out a wrestler in the two lightweight classes. And even the 120-pound bout was a Cocalico forfeit with Luke Kramer being credited with the six team points.
After the Eagles tied it on a pin at 126, freshman Reagan Lefevre's dominant 19-0 victory (132) regained the lead for Hempfield.
"Reagan Lefevre is only a freshman," Walizer noted. "He's very solid and we have big expectations for him - hopefully get him to the state tournament."
Trevor Hale gained those points back for the Eagles at 138, earning a technical fall with a 16-1 win.
The three consecutive wins that followed helped Hempfield. Joel Dionne earned a 9-3 decision at 145, and Dylan Bard had a tough 8-6 decision at 160 and sandwiched in between was Luke Dreyer's third-period pin at 152.
Wyatt Gehman's technical fall at 182 brought the Eagles to within a point at 23-22. However, the wins by Mathias and Dreyer regained momentum for the Knights with no time left for an Eagles comeback.
On Saturday, the Knights faced Dallastown and Governor Mifflin at the Keystone Tri-Match at Dallastown High School. The Knights came away with a 1-1 mark, defeating Mifflin 46-21 and losing 48-20 to the Wildcats.
"Dallastown is the number one team in the district," said Walizer. "We played two dual matches and had some kids go 2-0. Luke Kramer, who's a freshman won two matches at 120. Clay Gainer, another freshman at 126, went 2-0. Reagan Lefevre and Ian Edwards, a junior, also went 2-0."
Despite Dallastown's win, there were a few bright spots for the Knights.
"We still beat them in a few weight classes," said Walizer. "Luke had a big win for us. Reagan beat one of their better kids at 132.
"The freshmen who came through for us got some big wins against Governor Mifflin," he added.
By splitting with McCaskey and Manheim Township this past week, the Black Knights' record fell to 26-30, narrowly ahead of Township in the Section One standings. Cedar Crest (45-18) and Penn Manor (42-14) are battling for section supremacy.
On Tuesday, the Knights topped McCaskey 7-0 at Leisure Lanes as Ben Helman bowled two games over 240. The senior had a 244 in his first game and a 247 in his third, totaling 698 for the day.
Dutch Lanes was the site of the clash with Township on Friday. The Streaks won by a 7-0 score as Drew Jaquith led the team with 687 points. Jaquith's top score was a 248 in his third game.
Helman again led Hempfield, this time knocking down the pins to the count of 629. Nick O'Neill was second with a 532 series and Caleb Mertz, with a 469, followed.
Black Knights Hold Off Crest Crest, 54-49 January 14, 2019
In what is turning into a tight race in Section One boys' basketball, the Hempfield Black Knights posted a 54-49 victory over Cedar Crest on Tuesday night at home. The victory improved Hempfield's record to 4-2 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and raised the squad's overall mark to 9-3.
The huge 18-9 opening period helped Hempfield forge an early lead. Despite scoring only seven points in each of the next two period, the defense held the Falcons to only 16 points, leaving the Knights with a seven-point edge heading into the final stanza.
Helping the Falcons work up their comeback bid were Logan Horn and Ilerio Ayo-Faleye. They scored 22 and 16 points, respectively, with Horn, who nailed three three-point baskets, leading all scorers in the game.
Hempfield's Austin Groft gave his team 19 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 at the foul line. Ryan Hilton's 11 points included nine from three-point range while Eli Washington poured in another 10 points. Brad Atkinson added eight points.
The Black Knights got out to a slow start in Friday night's clash with Section One foe Manheim Township. The Streaks took a 14-4 lead into the second quarter and upped that advantage to 13 points by halftime. Township came away with a 51-41 triumph, evening its record with Hempfield at 4-3 in the league.
Washington led the Knights with 15 points while Hilton finished with 10 points. Conner Elslager sank a pair of treys and added eight points.
The Streaks' Brendan Mellott and Tyler Crespo tied for the game's top-scoring honors with 16 points each.
Saturday afternoon had the Knights at Spring-Ford High School for a non-league game. Though the Rams' defense held Hempfield to only five points in each of the first two periods, the Knights came charging out of the locker room with 21 points in the third and 23 more in the fourth quarter. Still, it wasn't enough in a 65-54 loss.
Washington's 27 points led all scorers on the afternoon. He nailed a pair of three-point jumpers and went 15-for-16 at the charity stripe. Groft added nine points and Atkinson netted seven.
The Knights fell to 9-5 overall.
On the strength of eight pins, the Black Knights topped arch rival Manheim Township 57-12 on Wednesday night at home. The victory improved Hempfield's record to 7-3 (3-2 in league).
Right off the opening match, the Knights notched a pin as the competition began at the 220-pound match. Senior Luke Dreyer needed 1:01 to notch his pin. In the heavyweight battle (285), Zach Bicevskis maneuvered a pin in 22 seconds to make it 12-0.
Micah Sams put Township on the scoreboard with a tough 6-4 decision over Gio Luciano at 106. The Knights regained momentum with pins at 120, 126, 132 and 138 thanks to Luke Krammer, Clay Gainer (in only 43 seconds), Reagan Lefevre and Seth Palos, respectively. All four pins were in the first period.
Joel Dionne (145) suffered a close 3-1 decision followed by a classic battle between Ian Edwards and MT's David Over. The Hempfield junior came away with a pin 4:42 into the 152-pound bout.
Dylan Bard earned the only decision for the Knights, winning 3-1 at 160.
Each of the battles at 182 and 195 were decided by a Hempfield pin as Gordy Hoover and Chase Mathias turned in first-period falls.
Hempfield's boys' and girls' swimming and diving teams faced tough competition against Section One foe Manheim Township on Tuesday afternoon. The MT boys came away with a 131-49 win while their girls' team topped Hempfield 137-49.
One of the first-place finishes for the Hempfield boys was a special one as Andre Fissella won the 100-yard breaststroke.
"Andre Fissella broke his brother's pool record in that meet," head coach Brittany Bertoli pointed out. "I think it makes it even more special when you get to break your brother's record. He was happy and proud of that. He works very hard and it was nice to see him achieve that."
The younger Fissella won the event in 59.01 seconds, narrowly besting his brother's 59.56 previous best time.
Jayden Corrigan won the 200 individual medley for the Knights. He posted a winning time of 2:03.84.
"Jayden stepped up for us," Bertoli said. "We knew Township was very strong with a lot of depth. Our goal was to go into the meet and have as many fast swims as possible. We were looking for that from everyone. He got in there and earned a win for us when we needed it."
Though Township's Nico Billoni won the diving competition, the Black Knights didn't go down without a fight in this event either.
"Rob Williams was second for us," Bertoli pointed out. "Rob is a senior who has worked hard this year.
"We had two new divers on the girls' team this year," she added. "Ava Hostetler is a junior but a brand new diver. Kassidy Felsinger is a brand new diver as well. Ava finished fourth. I think it's impressive that brand new divers are able to get up there and score points for us."
Also performing well on the girls' team were Maggie Shaffer, Katie Yoder and Katelyn Wiglesworth.
"Maggie placed second in the 200 IM and second in the 100 butterfly," Bertoli noted. The sophomore swam the 200 IM in 2:19.71 and posted a time of 1:03.04 in the 100 fly.
"She's a fighter - a competitor," said the coach. "She does it with a lot of will and strength."
Yoder was second in the 50 freestyle, finishing in 25.98 seconds. Wiglesworth took second (56.62) in the 100 free.
"They're both very positive and they do whatever you ask them," added the coach.
"We knew it was a tough meet going in," she added. "Everyone came in with a positive attitude."
The Hempfield girls' basketball team suffered two league losses this past week, extending its losing streak to seven games. Three of those losses were by six or fewer points.
On Tuesday night, Hempfield lost 41-26 at Cedar Crest in a low-scoring battle. Hempfield hung in period by period, battling back in the second half but falling short.
Senior guard Melissa Grube led the team with eight points. Lindsey Durkota came away with five points while Lauren Riggs added four points.
The Falcons, whose scoring was distributed evenly, were led by Raven Morgan (10) and Madison Rambler (9).
In another low-scoring contest, the Knights came up short at Manheim Township on Friday night. Heading into the second quarter down 12-9 and trailing 17-12 at the half, the Knights were outscored 14-6 in the third quarter as the Streaks went on to win 39-22.
Durkota's nine points led Hempfield while Herman added five points.
Katie Bushong's 19 points was the game's top scoring figure.
Nick O'Neill bowled a 221 in his game against Penn Manor on Thursday afternoon. He finished with a total of 595 in the Section One bowling contest at Leisure Lanes.
Mark Smith led the Comets with a 739, including a 289 in his second game. Gavin Davidson's 643 included a score of 246 in his second game for Manor.
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.