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Knights Battle Warriors in Pitchers Duel April 17, 2017

Hempfield hurler Tanner Seitz pitched a shutout into the fifth inning of Monday's home game against Warwick. The Warriors broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth thanks to back-to-back two-out hits by Nate Hess and Justin Byler, plating a pair of runs.

The Knights committed a two-out error which opened up the flood gates. Hess doubled and Byler singled to drive him and Bryce Zimmerman, who had reached on that error.

The Knights got one back in the home half of the fifth inning - also aided by an error. Seitz singled and his courtesy runner Owen Snyder eventually scored on a Warwick error. But that would be the only scoring in this pitchers' duel. Warwick's Zach Peters went on to pitch a complete game five-hitter. He struck out six and walked one in the 2-1 victory.

Sophomore C.J. Saylor relieved Seitz in the fifth inning and got the final out. He went on to pitch two scoreless innings in relief. Each pitcher recorded three strikeouts.

Two days later, the offense had a different story for Hempfield in another League game at Landisville. The Knights improved to 7-1 (4-1 in league) with an 11-2 defeat of Penn Manor.

The Comets got an early lead against Justin Lichtenwalner. However, the sophomore starter settled down and pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits. One of the two first-inning runs was unearned. Lichtenwalner had five strikeouts and did not allow a walk.

Hempfield cut that lead in half in the third inning on a Cole Houser single, which scored T.J. Biondolillo. But it was the fifth inning that helped Hempfield put the game away. The Knights scored eight runs and added two more in the sixth. Angel Colon stroked an RBI single with the bases loaded and Greg Gambler drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-2 Knights. Two batters and two more runs later, Seitz singled for two more runs and the rally continued.

In their third league game in a four-day stretch, the Knights hosted Elizabethtown, who came into Thursday's game as the top team in Section Two. The Bears recorded 15 hits in a 7-5 win, improving their league mark to 6-0 while Hempfield fell to 4-2.

The loss was a heartbreaking one for the Knights, who rallied from a 5-1 deficit to even the score in their final at-bat. That rally was ignited by a Seitz lead-off triple. After Peterson's RBI single, the Knights cut the deficit to 5-3 when Lichtenwalner, who had scored a third-inning run, got the second triple of the inning.

The Bears loaded the bases and yielded two more runs on a fielding error.

BOYS LACROSSE

Hempfield opened the week on the road, improving its L-L League record to 5-0 with a decisive 16-2 defeat of Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic.

The Knights had 28-9 advantage in shots on goal. They scored six in the first quarter and three more before halftime for a 9-1 lead at intermission.

Tanner McAlpine made seven saves for the Knights.

"Tanner has had starts every year," said head coach Jeremy Adams. "He was sharing starting duties with Cole Simmons in previous years. This year he has been doing well," Adams added. "He has played some great games."

Offensively, the Knights were led by Matt Heuston, who scored five goals and assisted twice. Kohl Wesner had a hat trick and one assist.

The scoring responsibility was also shared by Cameron Aksu, Robert Griffith, Jackson Shand and Grayson Dague with two goals each. Cole Fuller, Bryce Witmer and Tyler Blew each netted one goal. Fuller, Witmer and Jonathan Morrow each chipped in with an assist.

"We share the ball well," Adams said. "We have a lot of young, but very talented players on offense."

With five saves in goal, McAlpine had a shutout in the Knights' next contest - a Thursday evening clash with league rival Cedar Crest. McAlpine and the Knights blanked the Falcons 15-0.

Wesner had five goals plus an assist while Heuston poured in four more.

"Kohl Wesner has been having a nice sophomore season," Adams said. "He played the role of a left-handed attacker in a man-up situation. This year he has been making an impact on the offense in every game.

"Heuston is our biggest scoring threat in the midfield," added the coach. "He runs the field well and passes well."

Blew (1a) and Witmer each scored twice. Griffith had a goal and two assists while Dague had one of each.

The Knights wrapped it up with a non-league Saturday day game at Germantown Academy. The Patriots won a close one, handing the Knights (6-2) their first loss of the season in a 7-5 final.

"Germantown is a tough team playing in the toughest league in the state," said Adams. "We could have won that game if we had taken care of the ball better."

Hempfield got a hat trick from Witmer plus one goal each by Wesner and Heuston.

"Tanner McAlpine, with nine saves, played a fantastic game," Adams remarked. "He kept us in the game."

TRACK

The boys' track and field team improved to 2-1 by beating Section One rival Manheim Township 83-67 on Monday. The Knights won two of the relay events and took first in five other running events plus three field events.

The 4x800 relay team of Patrick Willig, Bailey Titter, Dylan Roeder and Christian Groff combined for a winning time of 8:30.0. Groff also went on to take second in the 800 with a personal best and L-L League qualifying time of 2:01.7. Roeder took first in the 400 in 53.1 seconds.

Nick Norton kept a pace of 10:28.0 to win the 3200 and was second (4:44.8) in the 1,600.

"The distance runners had a good day," said head coach Curt Rogers. "The other winning relay was the 4x400 where Titter and Roeder joined Nate Tadesse and Jack Mieszkalski. Tadesse captured the 300 hurdles in 42.1 - good for a league qualifier. Racing to a first in the 100 was Stephen Wenzel (11.4).

"The sprinters gave it their all," said Rogers. "Stephen Wenzel also had a close third in the 200. He fought for the line in the 100 and finished first. Nice efforts."

Ethan Dionne's 12-7 pole vault effort and Michael Cunningham's 42-11.75 triple jump were both good for first place as well as league qualifying measures. David Martin-Robinson, whose 6-foot high jump was good for second, won the long jump (20-0.25) while Zach Thomas finished second (44-9) in the shot put and discus (138-11).

"The jumpers took advantage of the nice weather and battled for some crucial team points," said Rogers. "This team is comprised of athletes from all four classes. Underclassmen need to realize that they're just as important to the team as upperclassmen. There are some good things happening."

The Township girls' team edged Hempfield 79-71. The Knights fell to 1-2 on the year.

The Knights got first in the 4x100 relay thanks to Megan Grube, Alex Pitts, Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli with a time of 50.2 seconds.

Benedict's speed got her a first-place time of 48.0 seconds in the 300 hurdles as well as first in the 100 hurdles (17.0). Grube took second (61.1) in the 400 as well as the 200, getting a league- and district-qualifying time of 26.1.

In the field events, the Knights were impressive, particularly with Nottoli's 12-4 school record pole vault effort.

"She did it again," said Rogers. "She broke her own outdoor school record. Plus, she anchored the winning 4x100 relay."

Steph Laudien won both the javelin (93-3) and the triple jump (36-4.5), Alexa Neiderer took the shot put (30-10), Anne Loose won the discus (85-0), and Ava Hostetler came through in the long jump (15-8.75).

SOFTBALL

Kara Cook slugged two home runs and two doubles in leading Hempfield's 17-hit attack against Governor Mifflin on Saturday. The Knights topped the Mustangs 13-4 with Cook driving in five of those runs.

Freshman Asaysha had a three-hit game, including two doubles. She came around to score twice. Lexie Unangst (2-for-2, 1 run) and Lexie Harelson also doubled for the Knights, who scored two in the first inning and four more in the second. The Mustangs, who had charged out of the gate with two in the top of the first, cut Hempfield's lead to 6-4 with a two run third. But that was as close as they got.

Gabi Turner went the distance for the Knights, striking out seven and allowing only three earned runs on eight hits.

Thursday's league game at Elizabethtown was a day of big innings. The Bears got five in the home half of the first inning. The momentum shifted back-and-forth over the following two frames as each team scored two runs. With the Bears ahead 7-2 after four, the Knights got six in the fifth and four more in the sixth on their way to a 14-7 win.

Turner was not only the winning pitcher, she hit a home run and drove in four of the Knights' runs.

Anastasia Berardi was 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs. Freshman Skylar Constable also tripled and drove in two. Serena Feli was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Unlike their high-scoring games, the Knights played a big Section One game on Wednesday at Penn Manor, defeating the Comets and their fireball throwing ace Brittany Hook 3-1.

After each team scored a run in the first inning, the Knights (9-0 overall) took a 2-1 lead in the fourth and gave starter Kara Cook an insurance run in the sixth. Cook struck out 10 in this three-hitter.

All three Hempfield runs came on solo homers. Felix, Raihl and Berardi each jumped on a Hook pitch they liked. Raihl and Berardi each had two hits.

It was Penn Manor's first loss of the year.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Victories over Conestoga Valley and Warwick helped Hempfield up its record to 7-0 on the year. Tuesday's 3-1 win at Warwick and Thursday's 3-0 defeat of CV improved the Knight's league mark to 5-0.

The Warriors, after a 25-14 loss in the first set, came back to top Hempfield 27-25 in a gutsy effort. But the Knights won the final two sets by the same score - 25-12.

Shawn Weidman registered 12 kills and two blocks. Logan Smiley also had a pair of blocks and matched Mason Scott for the top total in service aces (four each). Scott also racked up 18 digs.

The Buckskins got close a couple of times, but couldn't stop the Knights on Thursday night. Hempfield won 25-14, 25-20 and 25-23.

Smiley had 21 assists and two blocks. Scott added 18 digs while Shawn Weidman registered two blocks. Ian Flood led the way with nine kills and served up three aces.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Hempfield suffered a tough 8-7 loss at home on Monday at the hands of Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic. Though Hempfield out-shot the opposition 15-11 and went into halftime trailing only by a 6-5 margin, the equalizer just wasn't there down the stretch.

Lizzie Yurchak scored four goals on the day. Sammy Helgeson added two goals and two assists, Livia Jackson netted one goal and Kiaira Sumrall recorded three saves.

On Saturday the Knights dropped an 18-5 result against Governor Mifflin but picked up a 16-5 win over Lower Dauphin. Paige Diminick finished with eight goals on the day and Kline added four, all against LD.

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Knights Top Comets in League Volleyball Play April 10, 2017

The roster for the Hempfield boys' volleyball team may be without some of last year's cast. Senior leaders like Tyler Buterbaugh, Ethan Williams and Nick Oleksa helped forge a path to the state championship.

Other leaders have stepped into to such roles and helped Hempfield get out to a 5-0 start, which includes a 3-0 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

"The kids are finding out how good they really were - how good their legacy was," said head coach Mike Vogel regarding those 2016 graduates. "But we have a lot of kids with experience even though everybody is playing different positions.

"We have a new middle in Zach Wilson and Mason Scott is our new libero," the coach explained. "Ian Flood moved to the outside position."

Regardless of where the Knights are playing, they're posting victories, including a couple of intense games that had 30-plus points scored this past week.

The Tuesday match with league rival Penn Manor was the only match Black Knights did not win by a 3-0 score in this strong start. The Knights and Comets played an intense match in Millersville with Hempfield coming back from a 2-1 deficit to win the fourth set and the tiebreaker.

The first set was a classic battle between two teams whose rivalry carried well into the post-season, including the District Three Class-AAA title match. On Tuesday, Hempfield's attempts to come back against the home team worked well enough to have the set go beyond 25 points. The Comets prevailed 32-30, only to have Hempfield even it up with a 25-20 victory in the second set.

"Those first two games set the tone for the match," Vogel said. "When you have one like that 32-30 game, it means nobody made two mistakes in a row, until the end of course."

The third set was another close one with Manor posting a 25-22 win. The Knights, with their perfect record on the line, came back for a 25-21 triumph and went on to win the deciding set 15-9.

"They were up 2-1 in games and they were beating us 19-15 in the fourth game," Vogel recalled. "Next thing you know, we come back and beat them.

"I think that if you come from behind and win that fourth game to force the fifth, you're elated and ready to win game five," he said. "The other side of the coin is that your opponent is disappointed. So you ride the momentum."

As expected, for a match that was high in scoring, the numbers for each team's leaders were also high.

The match-leading total in assists went to Manor's Reuben Kemrer with 48. The Knights' Logan Smiley racked up 44.

Scott finished with a game-high 22 digs. Teammate Matt Sheerin served up three aces while Gavin Hanzelman led the team with 13 kills and topped everyone with five blocks.

Hempfield headed to Manheim Township on Thursday for another Section One battle. The Knights defeated the Streaks 3-0, posting scores of 25-18, 25-15 and 25-16.

It was Ian Flood serving up the aces for Hempfield with three. Hanzelman's 10 kills were tops on the team as were the two blocks he registered. Mason Scott tallied 18 digs and Smiley dished out 35 assists.

In a non-league match against Pennridge on Friday, the Knights coasted to wins by 25-18 and 25-9 margins. But the Rams surprised the Knights with a tenacious effort in the third set. Hempfield needed several extra services to post the 3-0 victory, finally defeating Pennridge 33-31.

"We could've cracked, but we didn't," Vogel said. "The one bad thing to come out of it was that Matt Sheerin hurt his ankle on the final point of the game. We don't know yet how long he'll be out."

BOYS' LACROSSE

The boys' lacrosse team has kept pace with the other first-place team in the L-L League. Both Hempfield and Manheim Township are 4-0 with the Knights' lone loss coming in the season opener to non-league opponent Wilson.

It was a packed week for Hempfield as they faced three league rivals. After hosting Elizabethtown on Monday, they were at Cocalico the following afternoon. In both of those games, Hempfield's offense put up 14 goals.

Friday found the Knights back home against Penn Manor. They topped the Comets 12-4 with four goals from Kohl Wesner, who also assisted on a goal, and a hat trick by Cameron Aksu. The team scored multiple goals in each of the four quarters, including four in the opening period, while out-shooting the Comets 34-24.

Matt Heuston came through with two goals while Bryce Witmer, Robert Griffth and Grayson Dague each had one goal. Cole Fuller, Dague and Witmer each notched an assist.

On the defensive end, Tanner McAlpine grabbed eight saves in the victory, and had a total of 23 saves over the two games earlier in the week.

Wesner had four goals in each of those games, including a four-goal, two-assist game against Cocalico.

Aksu also had four goals and two assists in that game as the Knights outscored the Eagles 6-2 in the first quarter as well as the third. They outshot the Eagles 25-19.

Witmer tallied two goals while Heuston and Griffith each dealt one assist and one goal.

Also scoring one each were Colin Wiest and Dylan Kostelich.

The E-town game not only had Wesner scoring four goals but also Heuston, who had an assist. Aksu came away with a hat trick.

Griffith was busy giving out four assists and scored two goals. Dague added one goal and Witmer and Mark Himmelsbah each dished out one assist.

SOFTBALL

The runs kept coming and the Hempfield softball team added three L-L League wins and improved to 5-0 overall. The Knights blew away their opponents by scores of 16-1, 15-0 and 18-1.

The team put up six runs in the third inning and six more in the fourth in the 18-1 win at Cedar Crest on Friday. The 16-hit attack included two doubles by senior Serena Felix, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored.

Gabi Turner was an all-around star of the game. She not only pitched the team to victory, recording two strikeouts in the four innings of a mercy-rule shortened game, she also got the most out of her times at the plate. Turner came through with runners in scoring position, driving in six runs on four hits, including two triples and a double. She also scored two runs.

Lexie Unangst slugged a triple and drove in two more. Bree Wingett, Asaysha Raihl, and Skylar Constable each scored two runs. Constable also doubled as did Lexi Harelson, who also knocked in a run.

The Knights beat Manheim Township 15-0 at home on Wednesday, stroking 14 hits. Wingett had a tremendous day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and a triple, driving in three runs and scoring all three times she was on base.

Unangst went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Turner and Raihl each had two base hits, with the latter scoring three runs and Tuner driving in two and scoring one herself.

Out of the number nine hole, Kara Cook went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. Felix also had a double and an RBI.

Hempfield scored six runs in the first and third frames. Cook only needed to face 15 batters. She allowed three hits and struck out two.

Getting out of the gate with an even bigger offensive burst (11 runs in the first inning), the Knights topped the Red Tornado 16-1 on Monday. Hempfield added another run in the second and four more in the fourth.

Wingett had four RBI and scored three more. Her 4-for-4 day included a triple. Turner, who had three hits and two runs, got a double and a RBI. Cook had a pair of doubles on her two-hit, two RBI afternoon.

Turner got the win with Raihl pitching two innings in relief and striking out three.

Raihl also had two hits and two runs plus a RBI. Felix drove in a pair and Anastasia Berardi went 2-for-2 with a double, a run and two RBI's.

GIRLS' LACROSSE

The girls' lacrosse team doubled up Cocalico on Tuesday with a 22-11 score. The victory improved the Knights' league mark to 2-0 (4-0 overall).

Hempfield held a 10-5 lead at intermission on its home turf and outscored the Eagles 12-6 in the second half.

Lizzie Yurchak and Paige Diminick each scored four goals with Diminick also contributing three assists.

The Knights got hat tricks from Lindsey Durkota (3a) and Sammy Helgeson (5a). Hempfield, who out-shot Cocalico 29-15, got two goals each from Livia Jackson, Natalie Gillisse and Samantha King. Lauren Dague scored one as did Natalie Ciepiela.

Kiaira Sumrall grabbed three saves in goal.

TRACK

The boys' track team evened its record at 1-1 with a 98-52 victory over Warwick on Monday. The team's victory was helped along by the relay squad that claimed the 4x800 event. Bailey Titter, Patrick Willig Brady Lausch and Christian Groff combined for a winning time of 8:24.2.

Doing his own 800-meter run, Titter claimed first in 2:05.8 while Groff won the 1,600 in 4:44.2.

Max Lessans was the 3,200 winner (10:31.8).

Stephen Wenzel sprinted to a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash at 11.4 seconds.

In the hurdles, it was another sweep by Nate Tadesse who won the high hurdles in 15.8 seconds and the 300-m hurdles in 41.7.

David Martin-Robinson was a two-event winner in the field events, clearing 6-0 in the high jump and going 20-3.5 in the long.

The discus toss by Zach Thomas went 136-02 while Ethan Dionne's 13-01 pole vault effort was also good for first.

The Hempfield girls put up a 96-54 win, evening their record at 1-1 as well.

Kara Benedict and Siena Gates each had two victories on the track. Gates won the 1,600 in 5:39.6 and the 3,200 at a 12:26.1 pace. Benedict took both hurdle events with a 16.5 time in the high hurdles and 47.8 in the 300.

The 400 went to freshman Megan Grube with a time of 60.9.

The Knights claimed all but one of the field events. Alexa Neiderer took the shot put (19-05) and the discus (84-05) while Steph Laudien was tops in the javelin with a 91-11 throw and got the victory in the triple jump (34-01).

Ava Hostetter's 16-04 long jump was the best in that event and Carena Nottoli's 11-06 pole vault was first.

BASEBALL

Hempfield improved to 6-0 on the year after defeating Section One rivals McCaskey, Manheim Township and Cedar Crest this past week.

The Knights scored a total of 32 runs on the road in the first two games of the week and edged Cedar Crest 5-4 in extra-inning walk-off fashion on Friday. Justin Lichtenwalner, who came on in relief in the seventh inning of that game, got the win. Starter Eric Sipling had two strikeouts in three innings of work. Sophomore C.J. Saylor added three innings of middle relief.

The Knights are in sole possession of first place in Section One.

0

Knights' Lax Battle District 3 Champ Wilson April 3, 2017

The schedule was not that kind to the Hempfield boys' lacrosse team.

Yes, it's early in the season to be looking back and bemoaning a less-than-stellar record and blaming the schedule. But because it's early, let's focus on the season opener.

The Black Knights went up against District Three champ Wilson on Tuesday. The Hempfield team was without its standout scorer Colby Smith, whom they lost to a serious injury in the preseason.

But the Bulldogs, despite a 10-6 lead in the second half, had to scramble to eke out a 12-11 victory over Hempfield in this non-league match.

Trailing by two goals entering the fourth quarter, the Knights outscored the Bulldogs 3-2. Sophomore Cameron Aksu stepped in and scored four goals and dished out one assist for the Knights. Another sophomore Matt Heuston notched a hat trick while Kohl Wesner added a pair of goals.

Hempfield also got one goal each from Tyler Gearhart and Robert Griffith.

Senior starting goalie Tanner McAlpine was back in the lineup and recorded 12 saves against the defending district champs, who totaled 24 shots on goal.

The very next night, the Knights were at New Holland to face Garden Spot in a Lancaster-Lebanon League clash. The offense got off to a strong start with seven goals in the first quarter en route to a 15-2 defeat of the Spartans.

Tack on another four goals for Aksu while Heuston, Conor Kaiser and Dylan Kostelich each tallied two. For Jackson Shand it was a goal and an assist on the day - the same as Wesner's output. Bryce Witmer had a goal while Jake Skundrich and Cole Fuller each dished out an assist.

Hempfield outshot Garden Spot 27-5. Anthony Tran (2 saves) and Bradley Green (1 save) shared goalkeeping duties as the Knights improved to 1-1 overall.

GIRLS LACROSSE

The Hempfield girls' lacrosse team played Wilson in its season opener and finished the wild game with a one-goal difference. The Saturday match at Hempfield found the girls' team on the winning side of a 19-18 final.

Hempfield came on strong in the second half after trailing 7-6 at intermission. The Black Knights out-shot the Bulldogs 28-24 with Paige Diminick scoring seven goals and assisting on two more.

But the momentum for goal scoring swung back-and-forth. The Bulldogs came back from a deficit themselves to even the score before the deciding goal found the Wilson net.

"We had to wait until the final couple minutes to win that one," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "Wilson turned on the afterburners in the second half. We had a six-goal lead and let that get away. We let them even the score and had to score in the final two minutes to win it."

Senior Sam Helgeson pelted the Wilson net with five goals and dished out three assists. Lindsey Durkota notched a hat trick and chipped in with an assists as well.

Livia Jackson and Kathryn Kline each scored two goals.

Returning to the Hempfield net was goalie Kiaira Sumrall who finished with six saves.

The Knights' lone league game of the week was on Wednesday - sandwiched between the Wilson match and Saturday's road game at Exeter. In that league game, they downed Garden Spot 20-2 out-shooting the Spartans 27-5.

Durkota scored five goals in this one. Diminick assisted on five goals while scoring two. Kline had three assists to go with two goals. Also scoring twice were Jackson and Lizzie Yurchak.

Helgeson, who assisted on two goals, also had a goal as did Kiley Yurchak, Natalie Ciepiela, Lauren Dague, Samantha King, Erin Matthews and Natalie Gillisse

The Exeter Eagles weren't fooling around on April 1. They out-shot Hempfield 26-22 but the Knights got past their hosts in overtime, 14-13, to improve their record to 3-0.

Helgeson scored the game-winning goal in overtime.

Erb remarked that playing a tough opponent on the road and coming away with a win could prove crucial for the team's upcoming slate of games. The Knights have five consecutive league games including three in one week.

"It increased our focus, getting us ready to play this week for the games we have coming up," she said. "It was a well-fought game. We got back into the swing of things. Exeter is a good opponent."

The game was not only hard-fought, it was intense.

"Paige Diminick got us the equalizer with four seconds left in regulation," Erb noted. "Sammy Helgeson had the winning goal with one second left in the overtime period."

For Diminick it was one of six goals in the game. She also dished out two assists. Helgeson completed the hat trick with her game-winning goal and had one assist.

The Knights got two goals each from Kline and Lindsey Yurchak. Durkota added one more goal.

Though the Eagles were facing a five-goal deficit early in the second half and came back to take a short-lived lead, Sumrall played a crucial role in holding down the net for Hempfield.

"Kiaira Sumrall had a wonderful game with 13 saves," said the coach. "She had two in the overtime period. We got beat on a draw and she and the defense did well, turning the ball over to our offense."

TRACK

Cedar Crest defeated Hempfield on Monday afternoon in the league opener. The Falcons won the boys' meet 93-57 and the girls' meet 91-59.

The boys' highlights included Dylan Roder finishing second in the 400 meter dash with a personal best 53.8 seconds, taking second in the race. Jack Mieszkalski's 55.6 (third place) was also a personal record.

Nate Tadesse won the boys' 300-m hurdles in 42.4, which was a league qualifying time. He also took the 110-m hurdles in 15.9 seconds.

"Nate handles our hurdles mainly and has also been a key member of our relays," head coach Curt Rogers commented.

Also impressive on the day was Steve Wenzel, who took second in the 100 (11.5) while Darien Ressler's 11.8 and David Martin-Robinson's 11.9 were personal bests.

"David Martin-Robinson and Ressler both high jump, long jump and sprint," Rogers noted.

Martin-Robinson won the high jump with a 6-foot effort and captured the long jump (20-11). Ressler took third in the long (20-00.25) and won the triple at 43-05.

Ethan Dionne, who is one of the captains, took second in the 200 (23.6)

The 4x400 relay of Roeder, Tadasse, Jack Mieszkalski, and Bailey Titter won with a combined time of 3:38.6.

Zach Thomas took first in the shot put (45-00.5) as well as the discus (141-05).

"We had some good performances," Rogers said.

The girls' team, whose tri-captains are Steph Laudien, Carena Nottoli and Anne Loose, got a second-place finish by Nottoli in both the 200 (26.1) and the 100 (12.5) while Laudien won the triple jump (36-01) and took second in the 400 (62.0).

But Nottoli made headlines with her performance in the pole vault.

"She had set a school record in the indoor track for the pole vault and just set the outdoor record in our first meet," Rogers said. "She vaulted 12-9 for the indoor record."

Nottoli vaulted to an 11-09 first-place tie in the meet.

Kara Benedict was second in the 100 hurdles (16.9) and Siena Gates took second (5:38.3) in the 1,600. Benedict won the 300 hurdles at 49.2 seconds.

"Siena Gates is our number one distance runner in the 800, 1600 and 3200," Rogers added.

Megan Grube, who was third (63.3) in the 400, was part of the 4x400 first-place relay team with Benedict, Laudien and Marissa Martin (4:23.9).

In the 800, Bella Hollenbach took first (2:38.1) with Ella Kielmeyer (2:38.7) a close second.

The 88-01 distance for the javelin toss by Gabby Thomas was good for third.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Hempfield improved to 2-0 with its 3-0 victory at Exeter on Thursday. The Knights had opened the season with a 3-0 defeat of Section One foe Cedar Crest two days earlier.

In the match with Crest, the host Knights dominated 25-12, 25-10, 25-14. The Falcons got a match-high 14 kills from Mark Johns, who also had four digs.

The Knights got 12 kills from Matt Sheerin while Logan Smiley finished with 29 assists. Mason Scott added eight digs. Gavin Hanzelman had a match high three blocks while Cayden Musso and Zach Wilson each served up three aces.

After beating Exeter 25-9 in the first set of Thursday's match, the Knights won 25-15 and 25-20 to complete the sweep.

Hanzelman was the leader in kills with 14. Smiley came away with a match-high four aces as well as 33 assists. Sheerin, Ian Flood and Jon Lawrence each had seven digs. Wilson registered two blocks.

SOFTBALL

Hempfield defeated Twin Valley by a 7-2 score in a non-league game last Monday. The Knights got two hits each from Lexi Harelson, Serena Felix, and Cara Mahoney while Bree Wingett scored twice and drove in a run. Both of Harelson's hits were doubles. Felix and Kara Cook also doubled.

With the game scoreless, the Knights got four in the home half of the third inning. The Raiders chipped away and cut the lead in half before the Knights added three late runs to give more support to winning pitcher Gabi Turner. She struck out three and didn't allow a walk.

Cook came in to pitch the final two innings for the save. She fanned three batters.

Two days prior to beating the Raiders, the Knights had opened the season at home with a 10-5 defeat of Wilson.

The seven-run burst in the second inning and a two-run fourth helped put the game out of reach.

Turner slugged a home run and drove in two runs. Cook went 3-for-4 with three doubles while Wingett was 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored.

Cook, Turner and freshman Asaysia Raihi each drove in two runs. Raihi had two hits in this game and another in the Twin Valley game.

Skylar Constable scored a pair of runs.

Cook was the winning pitcher, going 5.2 innings and striking out 11 batters.

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Black Knights Reach State Quarterfinals March 20, 2017

Even though the Hempfield boys' basketball team will not go all the way to a state championship this year, their 2016-17 campaign has been a memorable one.

The Black Knights, whose strong case for reaching the state finals was crushed by Archbishop Ryan on Saturday afternoon in the PIAA Class 6A quarter-finals at Reading's Geigle Complex, will have one thing for sure - the memorable games that got them there.

Perhaps a reunion for fellows like Bryan Karl, Javon Mitchell, Tyler Hilton and the rest will have such reminiscing as "Hey, remember the game we lost in our league semi-finals when Lancaster Catholic held us to only 19 points?"

Another Hempfield alumnus would respond, "How about the District Three championship where Harrisburg beat us by 27 points, but we had already qualified for the state tournament?"

Most likely, someone will remember, "What about the fact that Manheim Township had beaten us twice in the regular season, but we topped them in the first round of districts?"

And surely someone will recall Thursday's game at Pottsville's Martz Hall in the second round of the states. "Hey, how about the game where we beat Williamsport and over sixty percent of our points came on free throws?"

And if you were to ask head coach Danny Walck about this 2016-17 squad at some point in the future, he would most likely say the same thing he stated in the telephone interview less than 24 hours following the final whistle of Saturday's season-ending loss to Archbishop Ryan.

"This team had a 'Never quit' attitude - they demonstrated that all year along," Walck said. "The loss stings a little now, but after we decompress, there are a lot of great memories we can focus on.

"Qualifying for states is a great accomplishment," continued the coach. "If you get to the quarter-finals in Class 6A, you're a very good basketball team."

In Thursday's 48-45 victory, the Knights (21-9) hit the jackpot against the Millionaires, earning 38 trips to the foul line and converting 30 of those free throw attempts. Despite Williamsport's repeated comeback attempts, led in part by Stan Scott's game-high 23 points, the Knights held on.

Yet another oddity of a game in this team's post-season run saw Hempfield score only nine field goals, including a Ryan Moffatt three-pointer. Hilton finished with a team-leading 19 and Moffatt scored 17 while David Michal-Robinson added seven more. Karl put up a basket and added four free throws.

"We were playing a team that was physical," said Walck. "I give credit to our guys because it's one thing to get the free throws; it's another thing to make them."

In addition, the Knights were able to take advantage of other opportunities from the floor.

"We spread the floor and got backdoor cuts," said Walck. "We were able to shorten the game by quality offensive possessions and make the layups too."

Against Archbishop Ryan, the Knights (21-10) fell behind 15-9 by the end of the first quarter and the Raiders extended that lead to nine points by halftime. But the Knights, who were led ins coring by Martin-Robinson (16 pts) and Karl (10 pts.) came on strong with a third-quarter burst and a 21-point fourth quarter only to come up short in the end. The Raiders, who were coming off a 71-66 defeat of CD East in the second round of the playoffs, got 20 points each from Izaiah Brockington and Matiss Kulackovskis, the latter of whom connected on three-point shots three times.

"They put the pressure on us," said Walck. "We were rushing things and that's what the press needs to do to be effective.

"All that being said, there were three or four times in the fourth quarter that we cut it to six points," he added. "This team is composed and they play well together. They played with a lot of grit all year long."

In the top tier of PIAA boys' basketball, this Hempfield squad was one of the final eight teams remaining in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania going into Saturday's slate of playoff games.

In looking back on the season that saw Hempfield earn second place in districts and reach the state quarter-finals, Walck gave honorable mention to the seniors on the squad- Mitchell, Hilton and Karl as well as Michael Cunningham and Matthew Hulstine.

"I'm glad this group of seniors had a chance to accomplish that," he said.

Walck went on and recalled a message he received following the team's district championship defeat.

"After losing that game to Harrisburg, I got a text message from someone who said, 'Hey, there are plenty of teams that would love to take that silver medal you got today.'"

Yes, the district silver medal - one of many memories from a remarkable season.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Hempfield's Andrew Eyester, Alec Fatta, Nicholas Glass and Nathan Heisey had qualified for the PIAA Class-AAA swimming championships in the 400-yard freestyle relay event. The foursome came to Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium where the four-day competition first began with events for the Class-AA schools and continued on Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19, for Class-AAA

Heisey led off in Sunday's relay for the Knights, swimming a 49.20 split, followed by Eyster, Glass and Fatta. The foursome finished 13th overall and posted a combined time of 3:12.65. They earned the Knights eight team points.

Also in the boys' competition on Saturday, the 200 medley team finished at number 22 with a time of 1:38.17. Sophomores Alec Fatta and Andre Fissella joined junior anchor Nathan Heisey and senior Dylan Roeder to make up this relay squad

Hempfield junior Sophie Lear swam the 50-yard freestyle event at an impressive clip of 24.26 seconds on Saturday. She came away with a 17th-place finish in the PIAA Class-AAA state championships, which were held at the Kinney Natatorium at Bucknell University. The four-day events were held at Bucknell from Thursday through Sunday, March 16-19.

Lear had qualified for both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events based on her performance two weeks prior at the District Three championships.

The 50-yard race, incidentally, was won by Gateway freshman Olivia Livingston, who set a PIAA record in the process. She broke the old record of 22.75 seconds by registering a time of 22.73. The old record was held by a former Lancaster-Lebanon League standout - Warwick's Emily Cameron

In Sunday's 100-yard freestyle, Lear finished at 53.35 seconds, which was good for number 24 on the day.

In the boys' 100-yard freestyle on Sunday, Eyster swam at a 48.44 clip, finishing 32nd overall. He was an at-large entry from his district competition.

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Knights Upset William Allen in PIAA Opener March 13, 2017

If the Hempfield basketball players had the post-game grins on their faces - not unlike the proverbial cat that ate the canary - it may very well have been because of their victory over the Canaries in the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A state playoffs. In a first-round game played at Warwick High School, Hempfield defeated William Allen 62-57 on Saturday night, notching its 20th victory of the season. They improved to 20-9 while heavily-favored William Allen, the third-place team out of District 11, finished its tremendous season at 26-3.

The Knights, who fell just shy of claiming their district title thanks to a 67-40 loss the previous Saturday against Harrisburg, came out strong against William Allen and took a 30-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Contrary to their district championship game where the shots weren't going in, the Knights made four three-pointers in the first period and carried a 17-11 lead into the second quarter.

"The offense was working okay against Harrisburg, but the shots weren't going in," said head coach Danny Walck in a phone interview. "Against William Allen, we made the shots and put ourselves in a good position."

Despite a strong surge by the Canaries, the Knights kept the opposition caged and held on for the five-point margin of victory. William Allen outscored Hempfield 23-21 in the final period.

"We withstood the pressure and made the foul shots toward the end to close it out," said Walck. "They picked up the pressure and double-teamed us. But we drilled hard on that all week and it definitely paid dividends."

The pressure that the opposition put on Hempfield came partly from Tyrese Martin, who finished with a game-high 29 points, and Talek Williams, who poured in 21 more.

Ryan Moffatt and Bryan Karl were the culprits in making long-range shots to help build the Knights' lead over the Canaries. Moffatt, who finished with a team-leading 23 points, drilled four three-pointers. Karl had a pair of three's and finished with 11 points while junior David Martin-Robinson scored 13 points.

"David Martin-Robinson rebounded very well and scored around the rim," commented the coach. "Bryan Karl hit some really big shots for us along with Ryan Moffatt. They set the tone. Their shots came after we had multiple passes. We were very patient which allowed us to get into a rhythm."

Pulling off what some may call an "upset" isn't new for the Knights in their post-season record. They defeated Manheim Township in the District Three playoffs - a team that had beaten them twice during the Lancaster-Lebanon League regular season. In the district semis, they downed Lebanon - the team that had won the L-L League Section One by a three-game margin over Hempfield. Sandwiched in between those victories was a triumph over Governor Mifflin.

"On our way to the district finals, we were able to beat the second and third seeds when we beat Governor Mifflin and Lebanon," Walck pointed out. "The kids have been resilient. I'm happy for and proud of our kids."

For any team that is advancing deeper into the post-season, depth is an important factor. Along with the top scorers of Saturday's game, Walck gave credit to others who contributed to the win.

"Javon Mitchell is probably one of those unspoken heroes whose name doesn't necessarily appear in the box score," Walck said. "He takes care of the ball and he often guards the better players on the other teams. He allows us to get into our offense. He just does a great job of leading the team in that manner.

"Tyler Hilton is another hard worker, who does a lot of things that don't show up in the box score," continued the coach. "Anthony Alston (7 points), Teagan Hazel and Elijan Washington gave us very valuable minutes off the bench. That is very important."

Hempfield will play its second-round game against District Four champion Williamsport. The Millionaires (21-4) defeated Penn Wood 59-41 on Saturday and will face Hempfield in a game scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, at Pottsville.

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Knights Bow To Harrisburg in District Final March 6, 2017

The Hempfield boys' basketball team has had the old Alfred E. Neuman attitude of "What? Me worry? You worry!"

In the opening round of the District Three Class 6A playoffs, the Black Knights faced a team that had beaten them twice over the course of the regular season. They defeated Manheim Township in overtime back on February 21 and went on to face the second-ranked team in the district at Governor Mifflin three days later.

Who was worried? Not the Knights. They edged the Mustangs 49-46 to make it into the district semis where they faced another familiar foe - the Lebanon Cedars. All the Cedars had done was put up a 13-1 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and clinched Section One by three games. Apparently they didn't worry the Knights that much during one of their two regular-season meetings because it was Hempfield who handed Lebanon its only league loss of the year.

On Tuesday they faced the third-seeded Cedars and earned a decisive 53-40 victory at the Giant Center in Hershey. The Knights improved to 19-8 with the win.

In that game, Hempfield took a 10-6 lead into the second quarter and extended the advantage to 21-16 by halftime. The Knights, who got a game-high 29 points from Ryan Moffatt, outscored the Cedars 10-7 in the third and won it going away with a 22-point final period.

Tyler Hilton, who finished with 11 points, and Moffatt each connected from three-point range three times. Javon Mitchell also had a three-pointer. He and David Martin-Robinson each scored five points.

Shaquell Ortiz scored a team-high 12 for Lebanon. The Cedars, who fell to 21-6, went on to face Reading in the third-place game and came up on the short end of a 66-59 final.

But both the Knights and the Cedars earned the right to play in the PIAA Class 6A state playoffs as the top six teams from the district qualify.

But before that could happen, Hempfield had one more opponent to face - Harrisburg. The Cougars came into the tournament as the fourth seed and made their way to Saturday's championship match by beating top-seeded Reading in the semis. The Cougars and Knights faced off at the Giant Center for the district championship Saturday afternoon.

Hempfield only made three baskets in the first half and went into the locker room trailing 31-9. It was almost reminiscent of the team's 35-19 Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinals loss to Lancaster Catholic.

Hempfield poured it on in the third quarter with 16 points and added 15 more in the final stanza. But the Cougars (19-6) had built too big a cushion and thus managed to hang on for a 67-40 victory.

Martin-Robinson's 15 points led the Knights. Bryan Karl added seven more.

Chris Whitaker scored a game-high 25 for Harrisburg. He also had nine rebounds.

The Knights will take a 19-9 record into the state tournament. To start off, they will face District 11 third seed William Allen at a site and time to be determined.

SWIMMING & DIVING

The boys' swim team finished in a fourth-place tie in the District Three Class AAA championships, which were held at Cumberland Valley on Friday and Saturday, March 3-4. Both the Black Knights and the host school finished with 184 team points. Wilson won the team championship with 295.5 points while Warwick took second with 230.5 points.

The girls' team compiled 66 points, which was good for a share of 12th place with Twin Valley. Hershey edged Governor Mifflin 331 to 329.5 for the girls' championship.

The boys' team featured one relay team that will be going on to states as well as an at-large entry in the 100-yard freestyle. Nicholas Glass, who took 10th place (4:49.10) in the 500 freestyle, joined Andrew Eyster, Alec Fatta and Nathan Heisey for an outstanding third-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. The foursome finished at 3:12.40 for 32 points.

For the girls', Sophie Lear qualified for states as an at-large entry in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events.

The PIAA Class-AAA state championships will be held March 17-18 at Bucknell University.

Eyster, who went on to finish eighth in the 100 freestyle, got an at-large berth in the state championships based on his 47.64 finish. That performance happened on Saturday.

Heisey finished sixth in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:58.42 while Fissella took eighth in 1:58.87. The pair teamed up with Fatta and Dylan Roeder for a fifth-place time of 1:37.47 in the 200 medley relay.

Also in that 200 IM, sophomore Jayden Corrigan placed 14th (2:02.46).

Fatta finished eighth in the 100 butterfly, registering a time of 52.21.

Glass also contributed to the Knights' strong finish, swimming the 200 freestyle in 1:44.87, which was good for 10th place.

Also on the first day of events, Eyster sprinted the 50-yard freestyle in 22.17 seconds, which was good for 13th place.

Fissella and Heisey finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke, with times of 1:00.42 and 1:00.50. Fissella narrowly missed getting third place, which was 1:00.40 by Alan Hwang of Hershey.

Lear sprinted to an eighth-place finish in the 50 free in 24.12 seconds. Teammate Katie Yoder took 11th place in 24.74 seconds. Lear earned an at-large spot in the state qualifying 50 free championships.

Lear also earned a state championship spot with her impressive fifth-place finish (52.46 seconds) in the 100 freestyle. Yoder was 16th in the event.

Yoder and Lear were bookends in the 200 freestyle relay squad on Friday. Madison McHugh, Kelly Hester joined them for a combined time of 1:40.82, which earned them eighth place.

In Saturday's 400 free relay, Yoder, McHugh, Lear and freshman Katelyn Wiglesworth came through with an 11th-place time of 3:41.40. Hester also registered a 19th-place finish (1:10.44) in the 100 breaststroke.

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Knights Top Streaks In District Opener February 27, 2017

They say that the "third time is a charm."

There is a sports axiom that says "you can't beat the same team three times in the same season."

Who came up with these and whether or not they're true, they can both apply to the District Three Class-6A opening-round playoff game between Hempfield and Manheim Township.

It was the third meeting between these Lancaster-Lebanon League rivals. Township had beaten Hempfield twice during the regular season - both times by less than five points. On the third meeting, however, it was Hempfield that survived and moved further into the district playoffs, beating Township in overtime 62-56 Monday night.

Not only did the Black Knights, who entered the playoffs as the seventh-ranked team, get back at their league rival, they also defeated second-seeded Governor Mifflin 49-46 in Friday night's quarterfinal game. That victory earned the Black Knights (18-8) a spot in the semifinals and a February 28 showdown with the Lebanon Cedars at the Giant Center. Since the top six teams from Class 6A advance to the PIAA state tournament, Hempfield will play in states regardless of the result.

In the Township game, the Blue Streaks (14-10) carried a slim two-point lead into the second half. Hempfield outscored Township 13-10 in the third quarter only to lose that one-point edge in the final stanza, thus requiring extra time to determine the winner.

Ryan Moffatt scored a game-high 24 for Hempfield, scorching a pair of three-point field goals in the process. David Martin-Robinson added 15 points and Javon Mitchell scored 11 more.

Tyler Crespo had a great game for Township, pouring in 22 points, which included four baskets from three-point land. Nick Vicidomini added 15 more and went 4-for-4 at the foul line.

Moffatt and Bryan Karl each scored 14 to lead the Knights in Friday's game against Mifflin. Karl led the team with two three-pointers. Mitchell added nine points.

Jared Peters scored a game-high 24 for the Mustangs (19-6), who had a first-round bye and will now face CD East in the consolations at Milton Hershey on Tuesday.

Hempfield opened it up in the second quarter of this one, extending its lead to 28-18 by halftime. The Knights made it an 11 point lead heading into the final period, which was a good thing as the Mustangs galloped back with a 20-12 fourth quarter run.

Being in the district semis assures Hempfield a spot in the PIAA Class AAA state tournament.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

In the girls' Class-6A opening-round playoffs, which were played on Monday, Hempfield faced a team it had defeated less than two weeks ago on the road. That team was Section One rival McCaskey. Back on February 7, with L-L League playoff implications on the line, the Black Knights beat the Red Tornado 59-46 to close out the regular season and claim the highly sought-after final league playoff berth. It also split the regular season series between the two schools.

On Monday, the two teams faced each other on McCaskey's home court. The seventh-seeded Red Tornado held off Hempfield 48-25 and moved on to play Cedar Crest in the quarterfinals.

Hempfield, which entered the districts as the 10th seed, ended its season at 14-10. McCaskey improved to 18-8 but fell to undefeated Cedar Crest 47-38.

The points didn't come easily for Hempfield in this loss. The McCaskey defense allowed only three points in the second quarter. Even though the Knights' defense allowed only six points in that period, the halftime advantage was 22-11 for the home team. After a 13-5 run in the third quarter, the Red Tornado took a 35-16 lead into the final period and managed to hold off Hempfield.

Julianna Clark and Lindsay Durkota each scored six points for Hempfield. Clark's six points came off her two three-point baskets. Trinity Sumrall scored four points while Logan Woodham and Paige Diminick each drilled a three-pointer for their respective points contribution. Kareina Martinez also scored three points.

Ahnera Parker scored a game-high 16 points for McCaskey.

WRESTLING

Jarod Loose and Christian Carr both had impressive years for the Hempfield wrestling squad. Both athletes advanced to this past week's District Three Class-AAA South Central Region Tournament at Hershey.

However, the problem that had been an issue for Loose earlier in the year seemed to end the sophomore's hopes in the districts, preventing him from reaching the state tournament.

"Jared got injured - the knee that has been bothering him," explained head coach Jude Bervinchak in a phone interview. "Early in the season, he didn't get to wrestle until the Governor Mifflin Tournament around Christmas.

"In the semifinals of the sectionals, he twisted and had to bow out," continued the coach, referring to the previous week's tournament held at Hempfield. In the sectionals back on February 18, he earned a 10-0 decision over Cade Zeamer of Manheim Central in the semifinal round. However, a knee injury from that battle resulted in Loose forfeiting the 120-pound championship match. "He basically re-injured the knee in the sectional semis."

Loose opened up the regionals with an 8-2 decision over Cocalico's Grant Swann on Thursday. But against Waynesboro's Matt McCann, the knee started to bother him again.

"In that second match, he was leading 5-2," Bervinchak explained. "He got his knee twisted the wrong way and could not continue.

"Jared and Christian Carr were our best shots," added the coach. "This is the furthest Christian has gone. Last year Jared was in states and wrestled deep into the tournament. He was a match away from the medal round."

Carr suffered an opening-round technical fall to Pete Feite of Northern Lebanon and in the consolations, lost a tough one to New Oxford junior Matthew Poust via an 11-5 margin.

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Knights Fall in L-L League Semifinal February 20, 2017

True, the Hempfield and Lancaster Catholic boys' basketball teams played a game on Wednesday night in a Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinal playoff at Penn Manor. But this particular game of basketball was kind of an oddball. Hempfield found itself trailing 9-2 at the half.

"In fact, it was very unusual," said head coach Danny Walck in a phone interview. "There seemed to be a lid on the basket."

The Crusaders took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter - a period in which each side only scored one basket for that 9-2 halftime score.

"We had some open looks," said Walck, whose team missed a chance to make the L-L League title match but lives on by taking a 16-8 overall record into the District Three Class 6A playoffs scheduled to begin on February 21. "I thought we had a tough shooting night.

"It can affect the rest of the team in different ways," Walck continued. "Our defense gave up only 35 points."

The Crusaders' Danny Bomberger scored 12 points to lead all scorers. He scored the only two three-pointers of the game. Ryan Moffatt had a team-high nine points for Hempfield while teammate David Martin-Robinson added six points.

In the third quarter, the Knights scored eight points to LC's 11 points. It was still a 10-point game going into the final period.

"As badly as we were shooting, our defense kept us in it," said Walck. "In the middle of the third or into the fourth, we were down by only eight points. You figure you are going to break loose sooner or later."

Both the Crusaders and the Knights ended the regular season as runners-up in their respective sections. Hempfield's 10-4 league mark was second-best in Section One while LC's 12-2 mark still wasn't good enough to match Lancaster Mennonite's perfect 14-0 L-L League mark.

The Knights had wrapped up the regular season winning a high-scoring home game against McCaskey, recording a crucial 77-62 win.

The league playoffs began with a Monday night game at Warwick. Hempfield topped Manheim Central 40-35 to make it to the semifinals.

"Yeah, another game where our defense held the other team to 35 points," Walck said, pointing out the irony.

"It was a back-and-forth game and very competitive," he said. "It was one where we wanted to make sure we kept them from getting into their transition. Fortunately, that strategy worked."

It was a tight game indeed with the score tied 8-8 heading into the second quarter and the Barons (19-6) holding a 17-14 halftime edge. Hempfield came back to take a one-point lead by the end of the third and made the key plays in the final eight minutes.

"In the last couple of minutes, we ran the half-court trap and sped up the game," Walck explained. "We got them to commit a couple of turnovers that helped us get the win. We were also able to make the foul shots toward the end."

Moffatt led Hempfield with 12 points. Javon Mitchell, who drilled a pair of three-pointers, finished with nine points while Tyler Hilton and Martin-Robinson each scored seven. Speaking of making the foul shots, Hilton and Moffatt both went 4-for-4 at the free throw line while Mitchell was 3-for-4.

Taylor Funk led all scorers with 27 points, netting all but eight of Central's total points.

"Taylor Funk is a very good player," Walck commented.

Hempfield will face arch rival Manheim Township in the opening round of districts - a team that has beaten the Knights twice in regular season competition.

"We lost by four or five the last time we played them," said Walck. "We were able to come back after being down by 19. It's going to be a competitive game."

WRESTLING

The Knights were represented by the strong performances of sophomores Jared Loose and Christian Carr along with the sixth-place finishes by seniors Zach Thomas and Luke Granbois at the District Three Class-AAA Sectionals on Saturday. Section Two of the tournament was held at Hempfield where Loose and Carr each finished second in their weight classes.

"The top four [in each weight class] move on to the regional tournament, so two of our guys move on," said head coach Jude Bervinchak. "The other two guys did medal, but their seasons are over, unfortunately."

As a team, the Knights finished 12th with 54 points. Their L-L League rival McCaskey finished 11th with 63 points.

Central Dauphin had three champs and two second-place finishers and finished atop the team standings with 200 points. Lower Dauphin (165) and Solanco (140) made up the top three.

In the 120-pound weight class, Loose had an opening-round bye as did his eventual championship match opponent Chris Wright of Central Dauphin.

Loose needed only 44 seconds to pin Mateo Chacon of Warwick in the second round and worked a 10-0 decision over Cade Zeamer of Manheim Central in the semifinals. However, an injury from that battle resulted in Wright claiming the championship on an injury default.

Bervinchak remarked that keeping Loose from further injuries was prudent in terms of the bigger picture.

"Jared tweaked his knee," Bervinchak explained. "It was disappointing. It was the smart thing to do - to not continue. Hopefully he can continue in the next tournament. He won the semifinal match easily but in the end the guy must have grabbed him wrong and tweaked his knee."

At 145, Carr was the top-seeded wrestler and got a first-round bye. He made his way through the brackets, beginning with a pin that victimized Central Dauphin freshman Hunter Bentz. Carr then won a 13-4 major decision over Ryan McKee of Manheim Central in the semis before third-seeded Casious Brown of Milton Hershey held on for a 6-4 decision to earn the 145 title.

"Christian Carr had a great tournament," Bervinchak commented. "He got to the final and was in a flurry at the end, but fell short of securing the takedown."

Bervinchak remarked on the strategy Brown used to hold off Carr's comeback attempts.

"The guy outscored him and was staying away from him," said the coach. "He knew Christian was a good scrambler and each time they would get into a scramble on the mat, Christian seemed to come out on top.

"The guy got two takedowns - straight leg attacks - where he got points. Christian, after he got points on those scrambles, couldn't get into that position again. The guy was a strong kid and he used the right strategy to slow us down."

Granbois opened with an 8-1 defeat of Manheim Township's Anthony Berneiri but fell to Grayson Charles of Solanco by the same score in the second round.

He faced another L-L League foe in the first bout of the consolations, wrestling his way to an 8-3 defeat of Penn Manor's Nick Baker. After a tough 3-1 loss, he faced Zack Zeamer of Manheim Central for the firth-place match. Zeamer claimed fifth with a 5-2 decision.

"Luke wrestled well but fell short," Bervinchak said. "The big goal is to place in the top four. But the kid from Central Dauphin was tough and seemed to counter his moves. He just fell short in a couple situations."

After a bye in the first round of the heavyweight brackets, Thomas suffered a late first-period pin to familiar foe - Julian Sitts of McCaskey. He bounced back with a pin in the first consolation match only to come up short against eventual third-place finisher Zion Parris.

Yonnie Harvey, a sophomore from Donegal, eked out a 3-2 victory in the fifth-place match. "Zach Thomas is a second-year wrestler," Bervinchak pointed out. "I was thrilled that he medaled. He fights tough and works hard. There were some positions where he was almost right there, but would get pinned. He had a great tournament for us and I'm very thrilled for him."

BOWLING

In the opening round of the L-L League Singles Tournament at Dutch Lanes on Friday morning, Hempfield junior Mackenzie Kirchner bowled to a 16th-place finish with a score of 846. Fellow junior Katelyn Musselman notched a score of 837 and finished 18th.

After the second round, Musselman moved to 15th in the standings with a combined points total of 1556 while Kirchner raised her total to 1470 - good for 18th place after two rounds.

In this championship format, there are five games played in the opening round and four more games in the second round. Hempfield bowlers did not advance to the finals.

On the boys' side, Tylor Fair earned a silver medal in Thursday's competition at Clearview Lanes. The junior was third in the standings after the first five games, having knocked down the pins to the count of 1198.

Benjamin Helman and Matt Brooks were ninth and 10th after one round with respective scores of 1072 and 1068. Senior Austin Allison's 1053 put him in 13th place while Zach Ginsky tied for 17th place at 1017.

Manheim Township junior Tyler Lappa was first (1214) and Bennett second (1201) after the first round.

Fair moved up to first place after nine games, which meant that he had the tournament's top score and highest average (236), remaining consistent through nine games.

Nicholas O'Neill moved up from number 26 in the first round to claim 12th by the end of the second round, raising his total to 1889. Allison was again at number 13 with 1875 points while teammates Helman (1867) and Brooks (1852) ended the day 14th and 15th, respectively.

In the championship game, Bennett, who had downed Penn Manor's Nick Fisher in the third round of the finals, edged Fair 236-226.

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Hempfield Boys Qualify For Post-Season February 12, 2017

The Hempfield boys' basketball team finished off the regular season with a win against Section One foe McCaskey as the team tried to gain momentum heading into the post-season.

With their 77-62 victory at home, the Black Knights finished 10-4 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, which was good enough for second place in the section and an L-L League playoff berth. They also completed the regular season 15-7 overall and are ranked seventh in District Three Class 6A when those playoffs get underway after leagues. McCaskey finished 6-8, 7-14.

"We wanted to solidify the second-place section finish as well as maintain our district ranking," said head coach Danny Walck in a phone interview. "And McCaskey always has a talented team. So, it was a great win for us."

The second quarter proved to be huge for the Knights as they outscored the Red Tornado 22-6. With that, they extended their lead to 38-19 by halftime. Though McCaskey's offense came alive in the third quarter and closed the gap by seven points, Hempfield held on with a strong fourth quarter.

McCaskey's Jathan Gonzalez scored a game-high 22 points. Ricky Cruz and Isiah Speller each scored 13 for McCaskey.

The distribution of the scoring for Hempfield was interesting in that only one player scored in double figures. Ryan Moffatt poured in 21 points, nine of which came on three three-point field goals.

"We're a pretty balanced team and it just happened that Ryan had the hot hand for us - it was his night," Walck stated. "And it was senior night, so we had other guys in and they got some scoring in."

Aside from that, a trio of teammates - Bryan Karl, David Martin-Robinson and Javon Mitchell - scored eight points each with Karl hitting one three-pointer. Anthony Alston came through with seven points and three other players scored five points all in the same fashion. Seniors Michael Cunningham, Matt Hulstine, and Tyler Hilton each canned a two-point basket and a three-pointer - for their contributions.

At press time, the league playoffs were scheduled to begin on Monday with Hempfield facing Manheim Central at Warwick.

"We have Manheim Township for first round of districts on February 21st," Walck noted. "This is our second season. There are no bad teams from here on out. Everybody has represented themselves and earned the right to be there."

Township has defeated Hempfield in both regular season meetings - albeit the post-season is a different scene altogether. Walck was presented with the old sports adage of "You can't beat the same team three times in the same year."

"Well, let's hope that's right," he chuckled.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The girls' basketball team won its regular season finale. It wasn't just a case of putting the 2016-17 campaign in the books; rather, it was a game that had serious playoff implications. The Black Knights needed to defeat McCaskey, the school that was a game ahead of them in the Section One standings.

And with such an important game being played on the road Tuesday night, the Knights topped the Red Tornado 59-46 to grab a share of second place. Both teams end the regular season with 10-4 records in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

However, with the season-ending tie-breakers, the Knights finished slightly behind McCaskey in the District Three Class 6A power rankings. McCaskey (15-7 overall) finished seventh with a power rating of .70612 while Hempfield (14-8 overall) finished 10th with a .69035 rating. In fact, as the final power rankings were tabulated, the first round of the district playoffs will have Hempfield playing McCaskey again.

Earlier in the season, the Red Tornado had won at Hempfield by a five-point margin.

"They ended up with a slightly higher power ranking in the district," explained head coach Brian Rife. "So, that was a tie-breaker. The head-to-head competition was split and also the record against the section champ was another tie-breaker and neither of us beat Cedar Crest this year."

Rife noted the importance of getting this win against a league rival and clinching a playoff berth.

"It was a nice win," he said. "We have a little bit of momentum heading into the playoffs.

"I told the kids, when we went into the game, that I wanted them to play well as a group," continued the coach. "I said, 'Let's move the basketball and take good shots.' We stressed playing together."

Julianna Clark scored a team-high 18 points for Hempfield, which included a pair of three-point field goals.

"Julianna has been doing a phenomenal job for us," said Rife. "She has worked hard on that mid-range game and attacking the rim. But I'll take my chances of her taking the outside shot anytime."

But it isn't just Clark's offensive contributions that have helped this squad.

"We're asking her to guard the post or sometimes the other team's best post player," Rife remarked. "She is a smart basketball player and understands how to defend."

The Knights went on to face Northern Lebanon in the opening round of the L-L League playoffs on Saturday. The Vikings downed the Knights 53-31 in a quarterfinal game, getting a game-high 17 points from Zoe Zerman, who hit four three-point baskets.

The Section Three champ Vikings improved to 22-1 overall while the Knights fell to 14-9. Hempfield came out and took an early lead. But the four-point edge heading into the second quarter was erased thanks to a 15-2 run by the Vikings.

Diminick led the Knights with 12 points, all on three-pointers. Durkota scored six points while the Viking defense held Clark to five points.

Megan Brandt and Liz Voight each scored 11 for Northern Lebanon.

WRESTLING

The Knights posted a 41-28 victory over Ephrata in a non-league wrestling match Tuesday night. It was a solid performance by the Hempfield grapplers for 18 of the 28 points the Mountaineers gained were via Hempfield forfeited weight classes. The match in fact began with the home team forfeiting the 106 and 113-pound weight classes.

Jared Loose (120), who had claimed the league crown a week earlier at the L-L League Championships, came through with a pin 56 seconds into his battle versus Allen Swofford of Ephrata. Hempfield cut the Mountaineers' 12-0 lead in half.

The teams swapped three points in the next two weight classes with Tyler Buthdy (126) winning an 8-6 decision for the Knights and Ephrata's Kelvin Cruz claiming an 8-4 decision against Tyler Graham at 132.

"It was a nice match," said head coach Jude Bervinchak. "We were down 12-0 and came up with pin. Our next kid [Buthdy] fought back through some mistakes and got us a win.

"Even though Tyler Graham lost his match, he saved us some points," Bervinchak said of his 132 pound junior. "They could have gotten some more bonus points, but in a losing effort, Graham contributed. He saved us some points. Actually, going right down the line, everybody contributed."

Trailing 15-9, the Knights sent out two more dependable wrestlers. The 138-pound battle was a 10-2 major decision by Luke Granbois and 145, a pin by Christian Carr.

Ephrata evened it up at 19-19 on a major at 152. But the pin by Will Charles at 160 gave Hempfield a lead they would not relinquish.

Charles Mathias tacked on four more points in the 182 battle, recording a 9-1 major.

"Mathias iced the match for us by getting the major," Bervinchak noted.

After the teams exchanged forfeits, Zach Thomas won the 285-pound battle with a quick pin.

"We felt he was going to win," said Bervinchak. "In my heart, I felt he was going to win, but you never know.

"And it was over in only 10 seconds, so I didn't get to enjoy it," he laughed.

Hempfield improved to 3-12 on the year. They will host the sectionals on Saturday Feb 18.

SWIMMING & DIVING

The L-L League Swimming and Diving Championships took place at the Lititz rec Center this past week. The Knights won the boys' championship, edging Warwick 115.5 to 113 while Manheim Township finished third with 90 team points. The boys' championships took place on Friday while the girls' championship events were on Thursday.

Nicholas Glass won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:46.00, which was one of the events crucial for a Hempfield title. The Knights, who had already claimed their fourth straight Section One title, won their fourth straight league championship.

Andrew Eyster, who also posted a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle in 1:48.24, won the 100 freestyle in 47.88 seconds. Eyster and Glass helped the Knights win the 200 freestyle relay, teaming up with Andre Fissella and Nate Heisey for a finish of 1:29.12.

In the 400 free relay, Eyster, Glass, Alec Fatta and sophomore Jayden Corrigan took first in 3:15.57.

Hempfield had a third-place finish (1:40.41) in the 200 medley relay with Dylan Roeder, Fisella, Fatta and Heisey.

The Hempfield girls finished third with 50 team points while Warwick (158) and Township (102) took the top two spots. Cedar Crest (48 points) finished a close fourth behind the Knights.

Sophie Lear won the 100-yard freestyle in 53.20 seconds. She also took third in the 50 free (24.56)

In the 200 free relay, Lear anchored the foursome that included Katie Yoder, Madison McHugh and Kelly Hester. They took second in 1:41.63.

The 400 free relay team of Yoder, McHugh, Lear and freshman Ketlyn Wiglesworth finished third with a 3:42.26.

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Lady Knights Top Bears in Overtime February 6, 2017

In the Lancaster-Lebanon League, you never want to take any of your opponents lightly. You go into a basketball game expecting to get a competitive effort even from a team that is bringing a 3-9 L-L League record into the contest.

The Hempfield girls' basketball team rebounded from an early deficit to eventually beat Elizabethtown on the road in overtime by a 57-49 score Friday night. The Knights improved to a 9-4 league record (13-8 overall), which kept them at third place - a game ahead of Manheim Township in the Section One standings.

The momentum shifted back-and-forth in the game. Hempfield went into the second quarter trailing 18-10 but outscored the Bears by 10 points to take a slim 25-23 lead at halftime. The Bears' defense and missed shots held Hempfield to only four points in the third quarter only to see the visiting Knights come back and finish up regulation tied at 46-46.

Hempfield took control of the overtime period and outscored the Bears 11-3.

Helping to drive Hempfield's offense was Paige Diminick. She nailed four jump shots from three-point range and finished with 14 points. Juliana Clark had a pair of three's and finished with a team-leading 18 points. Trinity Sumrall came away with 12 points, including a three-pointer, while Lindsey Drukota added six points.

It was a crucial win, keeping the Knights one game behind McCaskey in the Section One standings. The Red Tornado will close out the regular season at home against Hempfield. Earlier in the year, they edged the Knights 67-62.

The Bears got a game-high 20 points from Amber Orban while Brianna Polites scored 13 points.

SWIMMING & DIVING

In a Tuesday evening meet against Penn Manor, the Hempfield boys' team clinched its fourth straight Section One crown with a 114-55 win over the Comets.

The Knights won all three relays, solidifying their chance to win this meet. They improved to 8-0 on the year and 5-0 in the league.

"Our relays score a lot of points for us," said head coach Steve Beck in a phone interview. "It really improves your chances when you enter three relays and your A and B relays score points for you."

Dylan Roeder, Nathan Heisey, Alec Fatta, and Andre Fissella teamed up for a winning 200 medley relay time of 1:51.90. Heiesy and Fissella were also part of the winning 200 freestyle relay (1:41.61) that also included Andrew Eyster and Nicholas Glass, while Fatta went on to anchor the 400 free relay to victory (3:45.08) with Eyster, Glass and Jayden Corrigan.

"Fissella is only a sophomore," said Beck. "He is able to compete with any of the other kids in the league - 100 breaststroke, 100 free, or 100 butterfly.

"Nathan Heisey also swims the same events," Beck added. "I can pull them and put them in other places. I can put other kids in their events. They've been really good with that."

If the words of the head coach imply that the team has versatility and depth, it's exactly that.

"We graduated a lot but still had a fair amount coming back this year," said Beck. "They were able to cover the events pretty well.

"Versatility is important, especially if I have to move some kids out of some events," he continued.

Glass went on to win the 200 and 500 freestyle events, posting respective times of 2:03.01 and 4:26.79.

"Nicholas is our distance specialist," said Beck. "But I can put him in the 100 back and the 100 fly also.

"Alec Fatta is our sprinter and butterfly this year," continued the coach. "He has also been in our relays."

Fatta won the 100 butterfly in 59.98 seconds. Fissella claimed the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.70 and took the 200 individual medley in 2:18.98.

Another facet of the Knights' success has been that a winning tradition begets more winning teams.

"The younger kids see what the older ones have accomplished and that's how this squad has been successful," said Beck. "We haven't lost a dual meet in four years. So, a freshman or sophomore can step in because everybody is working hard and they're proud of what they do. They're self-driven."

The girls' team finished its 2016-17 campaign with a winning record thanks to Tuesday's 111-59 defeat of Penn Manor. The Knights finished with a 3-2 league record (6-2 overall)

On the girls' team, a pair of freshmen have made the head coach optimistic.

"Katie Yoder and Katelyn Wiglesworth are young fast kids who are going to continue to be good," Beck commented. "This team is still a force in the league and we'll be back to our winning ways."

Yoder and Wiglesworth teamed up with Ana Ferreira and Allison Miller to win the 400 free relay in 4:30.54. Yoder anchored the 200 free relay foursome that included Madison McHugh, Kelly Hester and Ferrira in a 1:59.58 first-place finish.

The 200 medley relay featured McHugh at the anchor position. Tayler Popalis, Sophie Lear and Hester joined in for a time of 2:11.26.

Yoder went on to win the 100 free (1:02.62) and sprinted to victory in the 50 free in 28.53 seconds.

Wiglesworth won the 200 free in 2:25.13 while Lear earned first in the 100 fly at 1:13.27.

WRESTLING

Jarod Loose could not be stopped.

The Hempfield sophomore pinned two opponents and claimed two more victories on his way to claiming the title for the 120-pound weight class in last weekend's L-L League Wrestling Championships at Garden Spot, held Friday and Saturday, January 27-28. The Knights featured five wrestlers who finished in the top eight.

Loose, who had earned a bye in the opening round, posted a pin only 50 seconds into the next round, defeating Warwick's Travis Esbenshade. He went on to pin Alex Pugilo of Elco and got by Penn Manor senior Jordan Harsh by a 14-3 margin.

In the title bout, he faced Colin Leonard of Northern Lebanon. The two sophomores sparred their way through a gutsy match that Loose finally claimed, 9-7.

Luke Granbois grabbed fourth place in the 138-pound class. The 10-2 loss he suffered in the semi-final match forced Granbois to head into the consolation semis where he downed McCaskey star Joey Battle in a first-period pin. However, Northern Lebanon senior Zach Kelly came out on top in the third- and fourth-place match.

Earlier in the tourney, Granbois had pinned Nick Garrido and edged Elco's Owen Neil by a 3-1 score before Solanco's Grayson Charles, the eventual second place finisher, stopped him in the semis.

Christian Carr's fifth-place finish had its ups and downs. He entered the 145-pound brackets with a bye in the first round. He then earned a 17-0 technical over his first opponent but fell to Garden Spot junior Connor Finkey in the quarterfinal round.

In the consolations, Carr denied Tate Cargas in an 8-0 decision and won the consolation quarters 15-0 before suffering a 14-8 setback to eventual third-place finisher Steve Herb of Northern Lebanon.

Carr came back to win the fifth-place match, registering a pin just before the first-period buzzer sounded.

It was a sixth-place finish for sophomore Zac Bicevskis in the 285 weight class. He opened with a pin but was pinned in the next round by eventual champion Ryan Stewart of Warwick.

In the consolations, he needed only 57 seconds to pin Jake Hank of Lancaster Catholic, and then pinned Owen Hess, but failed to advance beyond the semis.

In a tough grueling battle, Julian Sitts of McCaskey held on for a 3-1 victory over Bicevskis in the fifth- and sixth-place match.

Chase Mathias (182) opened with a pin, needing only 20 seconds to take care of LC's Ryan Kemmerly. In the second round, he suffered a pin and had to battle back in the consolation brackets. His first bout was a victory by injury default. But a pin in the quarterfinals relegated Mathias to wrestle in the seventh-place bout where Wyatt Gehman of Cocalico prevailed.

In the team standings, Hempfield finished 10th with 103 points. Garden Spot and Penn Manor finished tied for eighth with 103. Northern Lebanon took the team title with 260.5 points while Cocalico (230) finished second.

BOYS BASKETBALL

The Lebanon Cedars ran onto the court at Hempfield Friday night holding a 12-0 record against league opponents.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Knights had tacked on the first league loss of the year for the Cedars, who fell to 17-4 overall following the Knights' 50-47 win.

The game was tied after one quarter. It was tied 19-19 at the half. The Cedars took a five-point lead into the fourth quarter, but the Hempfield shots were going in at key spots to help the home team pull off the win.

Among the key shots made were the six three-pointers shared equally between David Martin-Robinson, who finished with 19 total points, and Tyler Hilton (11 pts.). Ryan Moffatt and Javon Mitchell each scored nine points.

Khalique Washington and Camryn Shaak each scored 13 points to lead the Cedars.

The victory improved Hempfield's league record to 9-4 (14-6 overall). With the win they grabbed second place in Section One - a game ahead of Cedar Crest and Manheim Township with one league game left to play.

Hempfield played a non-league game on Saturday against Governor Mifflin. They lost 49-43 after having dominated the first half.

The Mustangs pulled it together in the second half after the Knights had taken a 32-16 into the locker room. Mifflin outscored Hempfield 15-4 in the third quarter and closed things out with an 18-7 run.

Moffatt, with three triples, and Martin-Robinson scored 15 and 10 points, respectively, to lead the Knights (14-7). Three-point field goals from Matt Hulstine and Tyler Wassell accounted for those players' point production of the day. Bryan Karl scored six points and Javon Mitchell added three.

BOWLING

In a close L-L League battle, the Knights came up short, 4-3 against Warwick on Monday at Leisure Lanes despite an outstanding output by Austin Allison.

In his opening game, Allison rolled a 270 followed by a 245 and 225. He averaged 246.67 on the day for the highest total (740) in the bowling alley.

Warwick was led by Ben White whose three-game total was 670 with a top score of 236. The Warriors improved to 10-1. Hempfield fell to 3-6.

Tylor Fair rolled a 661 for the Knights, opening with 256 in the first game. Matt Brooks had scores of 224, 204 and 213 for a 641 total while Zac Glinsky's highest score of 225 was part of his 611 day.

Back at Leisure Lanes on Friday, the Knights faced Elizabethtown. Olivia Farwell rolled a 729 on the day, featuring a top score of 278, to lead the Bears in a 7-0 victory.

Fair and Brooks led the Knights with respective scores of 642 and 640. Allison was right in the mix for top score as he finished with a 633.

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