Young Chargers Battle and Look to Improve September 16, 2018
Despite two losses last week, the Mount Calvary boys' soccer team saw reasons to be encouraged, as the young squad battled through each contest.
In a 4-0 loss at home to Brandywine Heights, the team might not have netted a goal, but instead chose to focus on some valuable defensive lessons learned.
"It's encouraging to our team to continue to push towards a common goal of playing team defense," explained head coach Marc Myers. "Though there were a couple errors, the team can see and believe that if they work together to be disciplined they have a chance against every team they play."
The young team only has two seniors, with most starting players seeing a lot of varsity minutes for underclassmen.
Two freshman players, Wyatt Lamb and Noah Butler, make up two-thirds of the Charger back line of defense anchored by third member, junior Dakota Lamb.
"Dakota is continuing to grow in his leadership on the field by working with the entire team in helping to keep them organized," pointed out Myers. "Our freshman backs have stepped into a very important team role and have shown their willingness to work hard and be disciplined in order to try to stop the opposition from scoring."
The defensive lineup is completed with keeper, Ethan Niedwick in goal.
"Ethan is doing well as a goalkeeper, and when we limit the chances of the other team, he is able to make the saves need to keep us in the game," added Myers.
Heading into Saturday's conference match against West Shore Christian Academy, Myers laid out some expectations for areas the team hopes to improve.
"Our goal against West Shore was to continue to posses the ball more on offense and create opportunities to score. We have shown small sparks of possession in our few games, but we need to execute simple passes and keep the ball," he explained.
Taking the coaching to heart, the Chargers implemented much of that in their game against West Shore, resulting in a hard-fought 4-3 outcome.
After going down by one early in the contest, Mount Calvary rallied and sent not one but two shots into the Bobcat net to take a temporary advantage 2-1.
The Bobcats evened the score by tucking their second goal in just before the break, and then continued an aggressive attack with two quick goals in the second.
"We played with heart and all the players kept their heads up and battle hard," encouraged Myers. "We made the last minutes interesting by getting one back and pushed for a fourth, but weren't able to find the equalizer."
Damian Rutt and Hansen Crick each knocked in a first half goal for the Chargers, and Rutt supplied the final Charger goal with eight minutes left to play.
"Though we are all disappointed with the loss and allowing four goals, I'm very proud of the effort and fight of all the players," concluded Myers.
The only Mount Calvary team not greatly affected by the continually damp weather is the Lady Charger volleyball squad-and they are taking advantage of every opportunity to get on the court, improving their record to 6-1 with the addition of three wins and one loss last week.
Wrapping up the exhausting four-game week at West Shore Christian, the Chargers secured their third victory of the week in a four-set exchange (25-4, 24-26, 25-8, 25-17).
Haley Witmer served the first rotation, going up 13 points before surrendering the serve.
Passing errors and inconsistencies caused the Chargers to falter in the second set, but they regained control in the third.
"Haley was able to connect with both outside hitters, Kami Mummau and Kara Locker, to earn us a good lead," explained head coach Kate Ferrari.
A fourth set included more of the same great energy for the Lady Chargers with Witmer finishing the contest with 27 assist and 9 aces, Mummau nailed 28 kills and 9 digs, and Brie Lehman came up with two blocks.
Friday night's 3-0 loss to the Covenant Christian Falcons marked the first defeat for the Lady Chargers this season (25-23, 25-23, 25-13), and was a tough evening as the team played without two of their starters.
The Chargers narrowly lost set one after a back-and-forth battle of lead changes. Coming out hungry for redemption in set two, the Lady Chargers went on a 6-0 run with Witmer serving. After such a strong start, they managed to hold the lead until the Falcons fought back to even the score at 17 before going ahead to take set two by the same score.
"We struggled to get in a rhythm. When we got the ball back and had an opportunity to capitalize we struggled to keep our serves in the court," explained Ferrari.
Tuesday's 3-1 win over Veritas Academy was a highlight for the week, with both offense and defense clicking for the Chargers the more they communicated as a team (25-19, 25-20, 24-25, 25-13).
"Our offense was on in this match. Kami Mummau was smart with her plays, and we had strong defense with Gracie Hilsher and Kara Locker digging up the back line," noted Ferrari.
After dropping the third set, the Veritas momentum was building, but the Lady Chargers kept cool and amped up their communication, finishing the contest in four sets.
"Our girls truly play best when they communicate on the court," she added.
Key to turning the tide back to Charger favor was sophomore Rachel Green who dished out 10 aces over the match.
"Rachel's serves were just proving to be a challenge for the Veritas team to play back. She was an important part of the fourth set," acknowledge Ferrari.
Mummau fired 15 kills over the net, Witmer supplied 16 assists, and Locker contributed 15 digs.
Last Monday, the team kicked off their marathon week with a decisive 3-0 triumph over Fairfield (25-21, 25-17, 25-21).
"Our attacking game was strong and our serving game was as well," noted Ferrari.
Mummau was influential in multiple aspects racking up 11 kills, 8 digs, and 9 assists. Intense serving was contagious as Grace Hilsher, Kara Locker, and Molly Bert slammed three aces apiece.
After the whirlwind week, the team looks to catch their breath before next week's challenge of two more conference games and meanwhile seeks to continue growing as a team.
"Our leadership is strong; the upperclassmen have been so supportive. They keep in mind the big picture and know how important it is to encourage," summarized Ferrari.
Soggy fields and endless rain put a damper on soccer schedules, so the Lady Chargers experienced a five-day stretch of postponements before getting back into the action for back-to-back wins over the weekend.
Saturday, the Lady Chargers overcame the West Shore Bobcats, 3-2, with all three Charger goals coming from different players.
Brittney Taylor was first to strike, driving forward with the ball and sailing a shot past West Shore's keeper in the first half.
Minutes later, Taylor once again had the ball within striking distance and dished an assist to Julia Martin who finished with a well-placed shot.
The Chargers headed into the second half with a two-goal advantage, but having played an intense 80 minutes less than 24 hours before, fatigue became a factor and West Shore capitalized with back-to-back goals to level the score.
"We knew we need to maintain focus-we also knew we were tired," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons.
Digging deep to finish strong, Naomi Ewing pressured a West Shore possession, came up with the ball, and fired a shot from the top of the 18 to give the Chargers the golden goal with 14 minutes left on the clock.
Heading into Friday's clash with Lancaster County Christian, Schmitkons set the tone for what she expected to see from her players.
"I wanted to see us playing with passion and desire the whole 80 minutes. We have emphasized our need to communicate consistently with each other and become passing options to support each other. We played both games with low numbers, so every player needed to be giving their best effort," explained Schmitkons.
The Friday night contest ended up being a high scoring affair, with Mount Calvary rising to a 5-4 victory.
The Lady Chargers came out strong against the Lancaster County Lions, racking up a trio of unanswered goals in the first half, but the Lions found their footing and came roaring back with four second half goals.
The Chargers first two goals mirrored each other; Martin carried the ball up the flank before delivering a cross to the center of the field-both times finished by Taylor.
Martin complimented her two assists with a first-half goal of her own to give the Chargers a 3-0 advantage before the half.
"In the second half, LCCS pressed us hard and we lacked communication and energy in the back of the field," described Schmitkons.
Though the Lions succeeded in netting four goals in the half, the Chargers weren't done, and Martin secured two additional goals to complete a hat trick, as well as put the Chargers back on top before the final buzzer.
"All in all, both these games turned out to be the physical and mental challenge that we were expecting, and the girls gave their all to squeak out both wins in two very intense, well-played matches," summarized Schmitkons.
Moving forward, the team will take both impetus and lessons learned from the two wins and they head into the middle of their season.
"During each practice I try to be clear about what game aspect we are focusing on. Putting our practice into context helps motivate the girls to work harder. We are constantly drawing the parallel between that practice attitude and our Christian lives - maintaining focus on the prize of Jesus and ever striving to be more Christ-like," concluded Schmitkons.
Charger Volleyball Opens With Three Wins September 9, 2018
Three up, three down-that was the rhythm of the Lady Chargers volleyball squad racking up three consecutive victories to open the season.
"Everyone is playing healthy and our girls have really come together as a team unit," explained head coach Kate Ferrari regarding the surge of momentum the Lady Chargers are experiencing.
Key to igniting that momentum has been freshman Kami Mummau, who has been a driving offensive force, firing double digit kills in all of the Chargers games thus far.
"Kami Mummau and Haley Witmer really seem to be in a zone in terms of setter/hitter combo," elaborated Ferrari. "If we're in a bit of a slump, heading to Kami with the set has made a huge difference. When she gets that kill it ignites the team."
Against West Shore Christian last Friday, Mummau nailed 15 kills over the course of the 3-0 contest (25-15, 25-14, 25-15). As demonstrated by the similarity of the set scores, the Chargers steadily held control of the contest.
Grace Hilsher's 15 digs were accompanied by four aces making her an all-around threat.
"Grace was hitting the center of West Shore's defense which really helped us to capitalize. Our girls were covering our hitters and blockers, and digging up plays that were close to the net," added Ferrari.
The night before, the Chargers hosted Linville Hill Christian School, and dropped their only set of the week, but still rose to a 3-1 triumph (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18).
"Linville was a tough competitor-they had some intense servers who challenged our passing game," acknowledged Ferrari. "We had to make adjustments to be effective."
The adjustments paid off, as the Chargers toppled Linville, a team they have narrowly lost to in the past.
Mount Calvary struggled most in the first and third set making hitting errors that converted to Linville points, but the Chargers still managed remain on top for the first.
The third set loss was a setback the Chargers turned into incentive to close the game after set four. Using strong service, led by Kara Locker's four aces, the Lady Chargers worked their way back into control.
"Our girls have been really practicing various zones in serving and tonight it paid off," celebrated Ferrari. "After winning against Linville we really gained a morale boost and that sent us into West Shore's match ready to execute."
The team's first victory of the season came on the road with a visit to Columbia High School where they took down the Crimson Tide swiftly in three (25-7, 25-19, 25-15).
Molly Bert dished out eight aces, while Witmer used her 12 assists to provide a variety of attacks that kept the Tide defenders scrambling.
"Haley Witmer was able to mix up the sets in order to get everyone involved in the offense. Even when we had an off pass, Haley was able to set up the play and turn it into an aggressive attack in the back row. The girls did a nice job of covering and closing up any open spots on the court," summarized Ferrari.
Lady Charger soccer picked up a win and two losses, but provided plenty of positives to build on in the upcoming season.
"We've had a high player turn over this year, and many of our returners are in new positions as well," commented head coach Kim Schmitkons starting her second season at the helm.
Saturday's trip to Brandywine Heights resulted in a rainy 7-0 setback to end the week, but came on the heels of a shutout of their own less than 24 hours earlier.
On Friday night the Lady Chargers treated their home crowd to an exciting 4-0 victory over the New Covenant Christian Flames.
Mere minutes after the contest began, the teams were forced to take an unscheduled and lengthy break due to thunderstorms.
Rather than lose their focus, the Lady Chargers took advantage of the extra downtime to loosen up and subsequently owned the field in both halves, netting a pair of goals on both sides of the midway break.
"We started the game playing kind of panicky," noted Schmitkons. "We were able to regroup during the lightning delay and went back out to support each other on the ball and play each minute with intensity."
Brittney Taylor scored twice, while Julia Martin collected a goal and two assists, and Naomi Ewing chipped in both a goal and an assist.
The Flames didn't give up under the constant pressure, and managed to break away for several good looks at the Charger net, but MC keeper Leah Hawryluk was ready and waiting and scooped up six saves to stop the Flames from getting on the board.
In the first game of the season, Mount Calvary was paired against Susquenita, and resulted in a 4-3 loss. But the Chargers showed promise as they came from behind and nearly evened the score in the final minutes.
"We struggled with our intensity," acknowledge Schmitkons. "Naomi Ewing put in the effort to cover ground and held us in the game until we found a spark in the last 20 minutes."
The spark Schmitkons refers to was ignited by a pair of goals from Taylor and a penalty kick opportunity successfully converted by Julia Martin; all taking place in the latter end of the second half.
While it wasn't enough to overcome the four goals already secured by Susquenita, it proved the Lady Chargers have a lot to offer on the field.
"Going forward we will be looking to start with that intensity and keep everyone involved for the whole 80 minutes," added Schmitkons.
Taking down York Country Day 6-0, in a pre-season scrimmage gave the Lady Chargers a glimpse of what they are capable of-and now they are looking to implement that same work in their regular season schedule.
"We have been focused on maintaining our shape and communicating. Brittney Taylor and Julia Martin stepped up against York Country and gave us some creative offense. Olivia Yordy stepped into the central back position and took ownership there," reflected Schmitkons.
The Lady Chargers are emphasizing a team mentality as they approach their season, working together as a unit instead of as individuals.
Their team verse puts it this way, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
Continuing with a nine-year tradition, the MC boys' soccer team kicked off their season with the Agape Cup, an annual matchup held against Lititz Christian emphasizing sportsmanlike conduct that brings honor and glory to the Lord.
While the score ended 1-0 in favor of Lititz, the competition still allowed the team to gain valuable experience heading into the heart of their season.
"The Agape Cup provides an opportunity for the teams to call attention to the Christian character they demonstrate on the field," noted head coach Marc Myers.
Agape is a Greek word meaning "love", and when used in the New Testament very specifically is referring to the type of love demonstrated by God Himself. This love is not merely a feeling, but an action and commitment, the type of love required for the Creator of the world to die for mankind-His creation.
Each year the dedication of this game serves as a reminder that while the athletes are opponents on the field, beyond the 80 minutes of competition, they are truly brothers in Christ serving their Savior.
"It is important to instill in players the principles of hard work, playing with heart and desire, discipline, sacrifice, and a team-focus," elaborated Myers. "Throughout the season they will be pushed and pulled, tackled and yelled at, both fail and succeed. Helping them learn how to compete in a Christ-like way will help them on their journey to become men of God."
Charger golf club is attacking each match with a purpose-and it turns out, the biggest lessons don't always come from the final score.
Three matches into the season, the MC squad found themselves outshot by Dayspring Christian Academy 246-183, and fell to third place in a tri-meet against Millersburg and Pine Grove. Heading into that third match still seeking a victory, it was important to the team to keep their focus on the big picture of playing to the best of their abilities while honoring the Lord in their conduct.
"Golf is a great picture of life with its many challenges and struggles," explained head coach Matt Owlett. "Even when things are going well, it doesn't take much for them to turn south quickly. At times it is easy to quit, but the Lord provides strength-this important lesson is our focus for golf this year."
Refusing to quit, they showed a fighting spirit in their most recent match, and four-team event held at the Highlands of Donegal and were rewarded with a third-place finish.
Hosting Dayspring Christian, High Point Baptist and Lancaster County Christian for the nine-hole round, the scorching temperatures were hard to ignore. With a heat index reaching above 100 degrees, the Charger team plugged away and encouraged each other to a 207-stroke count, behind Dayspring's 187, High Point's 197, but enough to edge ahead of LCCS' 209.
"The team played great overall, and were happy to finish just ahead of LCCS for our first win of the season," celebrated Owlett.
Danny Smullen carded a 46 to led the team while David Ellis' 49, Tyler Masters' 55, and Hayden Merrick's 57 rounded out the team total.
"Hayden came up big for us, shooting a personal best," pointed out Owlett.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, the Charger club hopes to continue to climb the ranks in golf standings, but also plans to use the opportunities for personal growth.
"Varsity golf at MCCS operates with some basic tenets," elaborated Owlett. "Honor God in what we do, have fun, and improve in a game these students can enjoy for the rest of their lives."
Mt. Calvary Baseball Falls in District Opener May 23, 2018
Mount Calvary baseball battled to the final inning of their 2018 season but bowed out of PIAA District III playoffs after a high-scoring, 9-7 showdown against Millersburg High School in round one.
The loss ended the Charger's playoff run and capped their season, giving them an overall record of 8-9.
"Finishing the season at 8-9 might not seem like a great accomplishment. However, for a team that only collected four wins in the previous season, it was a marked improvement," noted head coach Jim Sintic. "Our players developed and progressed nicely throughout the season. There were highs and lows but as a team we continued to communicate and focus on getting better," he continued.
Millersburg jumped out to an early lead in the final contest, racking up six unanswered runs by the end of the third inning, but the Chargers weren't done yet, and fired back with a five-run frame of their own in the fourth.
"In the fourth inning we were able to get things going, taking advantage of a Millersburg error and collecting three hits," pointed out Sintic.
Millersburg responded in kind, crossing three more to give them nine, and while the Chargers continued to churn momentum to gather another two runs, they ended up just short.
Hunter Stewart led the Charger attack at the plate with three hits, and defensively also picked up two strikeouts during his time pitching in relief.
Aidan Masters was tagged with the loss after two innings pitched but continued to contribute with his work on offense gathering two hits and an RBI.
"We battled as a team and hit the ball extremely well," praised Sintic.
David Ellis and Tyler Masters each supplied a pair of hits, and Dakota Lamb and Scott Lane each drove in two RBIs apiece.
Continuing to connect, Damian Rutt, Lamb, Lane, and Evan Barnes each supplied an additional hit to bring the Chargers to a season-high total of 13 hits in the loss.
"We know we need to improve defensively next season," noted Sintic. "We believe that as a team we can be successful if we continue to grow and improve."
The young team was comprised solely of underclassmen this year and have the advantage of returning and adding to their numbers next season.
"Our focus this season was building our knowledge of baseball and our relationship with the Lord," elaborated Sintic. "It is wonderful as a coach to see your team encouraging each other and building each other up spiritually. John the Baptist explained 'He [Christ] must increase, and I must decrease", and we are learning how that pertains both in life and being a part of a team."
Chargers Fall Short in CCAC Playoffs May 17, 2018
Charger baseball faced the Lancaster County Christian Lions in the semi-final round of the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs last Monday and displayed tenacity and resilience but came up just short in the 3-2 clash that ended their conference run.
The two clubs faced off twice in the regular season, with each team claiming one of the contests, making the teams that much more eager to break the tie with this third meeting.
The Chargers struck first, with a run during their first turn at bat.
Lead-off batter, David Ellis singled, then worked his way around the bases on a steal and wild pitch to put himself on third. Tyler Masters grounded out to the second baseman giving Ellis the opportunity to cross the plate.
The Lions had a strong bottom of the second, bringing home two to runs push ahead, but strong pitching and good defense kept both teams in contention and Mount Calvary evened up the score with a run in the fourth.
With bases loaded, Scott Lane took one for the team and advanced after being hit by a pitch, pushing Aidan Masters home to level the scoreboard at two.
Still tied in the bottom of the seventh, the Lions took advantage of runners on second and third and produced a single-enough for the walk-off run to end the contest.
"We knew going into this one that it was going to be a tough game versus a good opponent," acknowledged head coach Jim Sintic. "We had a solid all-around game and played hard, we just came up a little short in the end."
Pitching was a highlight for the Chargers as, once again, the two freshman aces combined for a total of nine strikeouts. Hunter Stewart started on the mound, striking out five over four innings pitched. A. Masters pitched in relief, striking out an additional four.
Ellis and A. Masters supplied the two runs scored, while T. Masters and Lane were responsible for the teams two RBIs. Chip Stambaugh added a double to the team's batting resume.
Despite the disappointment of the loss that halted their CCAC playoff run, the Chargers keep their heads up with more baseball to play as they head to PIAA District III playoffs this week.
In the interim, the club is honing their skills and reflecting on all they've learned through the season.
"We have focused on communication, our attitudes, and our responsibilities," noted Sintic. "With communication, we need to be a step ahead at all times. With our attitude, we need to be an example of the Savior that we serve. Our responsibilities need to be taken care of on and off the field so that our team is as effective as possible."
The team has been studying John chapter three over the course of the season, taking note of how John the Baptist's role was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.
On the baseball diamond, that same emphasis of reflecting Jesus Christ can have far reaching effects-much more lasting than the final count on the scoreboard.
"We know that as followers of Christ, our role and calling is to show people the love of Christ in our attitudes and the way that we play. At times this can be difficult and we all make mistakes, but we are encouraging each other to this goal. I'm thankful for the heart and attitude of this team, and I'm also proud of the progression we've shown in many areas of the game," concluded Sintic.
Chargers Post Split Results, Prepare for Playoffs May 11, 2018
"Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical," - Yogi Berra.
In their final week of the regular season schedule, the Mount Calvary Chargers faced back-to-back conference clashes on the road and split the results.
After a disappointing 8-0 loss on Monday to High Point Baptist, the Chargers had to dig deep to turn things around for their 4-0 triumph over Christian School of York just 24 hours later.
A messy first inning led to a High Point scoring surge as they crossed five runs over the plate all with two outs against them.
"We are a young team still learning to play and communicate the right way," explained head coach Jim Sintic. "Giving up five runs in the first inning was obviously deflating and tough to come back from."
Tyler Masters was on the hill for the Chargers, throwing just over four innings and scattering two hits and striking out one.
"Defensively we must do a better job backing up our pitchers," noted Sintic. "After the game we talked about what is necessary for us to improve and grow as a team."
David Ellis, Aidan Masters, Evan Barnes, and Hunter Stewart each supplied a Charger hit in the loss.
Regrouping and looking for redemption the following afternoon, the Chargers flipped the script and it was their turn to deliver a shutout, taking down the CSY Crusaders 4-0.
The Mount Calvary intensity was evident from the first at bat. Coupling patience and teamwork, the Chargers worked as a unit to cross three runs.
"At times, as a team we have displayed a selfish attitude, but this game was a great way for us to turn that around and play for each other," explained Sintic. "I was impressed by the way our team communicated and encouraged each other throughout."
Taking their first turn in the field, the MC club backed up their offense with the defense they have been lacking.
"The first inning was one of the best we've played this season," praised Sintic. "Pitching and defense wins games and we did both well."
A. Masters earned the win on the hill throwing six and a third innings, scattering four hits and allowing zero runs, while striking out an impressive 10 batters.
Stewart pitched two thirds of an inning in relief, and did his job efficiently, striking out both batters he faced to end the contest.
"Over the course of the season, Hunter Stewart and Aidan Masters have combined to strikeout an incredible 105 batters in just 67 innings pitched," Sintic pointed out regarding the talented freshman duo. "Their individual performances have allowed us to compete any time they are on the hill."
At the plate the Chargers celebrated several noteworthy performances. Ellis reached twice on walks and scored two runs. Stewart highlighted his two-for-three day at the plate with an RBI and a run scored, and Barnes picked up a hit.
"I was extremely proud of our execution and communication," elaborated Sintic. "If we continue to play like this we can compete with anyone."
The MC club's 6-4 conference record places them as the number three seed heading into this week's Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs. Their first test will be a showdown against Lancaster County Christian having split results in their two regular season meetings.
Overall, the Chargers hold an 8-6 record, good enough to send them into PIAA District III playoffs to take place the week after the CCAC tournament.
Chargers Jostling for Playoff Berths May 4, 2018
"Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are," - John Wooden, legendary NCAA basketball coach.
Last week's three-game lineup was packed with action for the Chargers as they split results in their two conference contests and stumbled in a non-conference loss, still jostling for a position in both Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs as well as the PIAA District III post season.
Thursday evening's clash with the Lancaster County Christian ended 9-3 in favor of the Lions and marked the final home game of the regular season for the Chargers.
Fielding mistakes plagued the Chargers throughout the contest and the Lions capitalized when it mattered and out-hit the Chargers 11-4.
"It's tough when you beat yourself at times," commented head coach Jim Sintic. "We feel like we're a team that can compete against anyone, but if you can't make plays in the field it's nearly impossible to have success."
David Ellis had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-4 to collect three of the team's four total hits.
"David hit the ball well, and as a team we put the ball in play. The difference was LCCS played solid defense and we struggled," summarized Sintic.
Hunter Stewart was saddled with the loss after four innings, allowing five hits and striking out four.
Earlier in the week, the club took a Monday trip to Greenwood High School to take on the Wildcats and came up short, 16-6.
Despite taking the early lead with a three-run first frame, the Chargers allowed the Wildcats to methodically edge ahead, registering runs in all innings but the fifth, finalizing the game with a two-run sixth that clinched the double-digit lead and halted the contest.
Things were looking promising for the Chargers when they were first to cross home in the top of the first, with a run batted in on a single from Tyler Masters.
Freshman Damian Rutt stepped up and sent a line drive double into centerfield pushing across two more Charger runs.
The Wildcats retaliated with two runs in the opposite frame but extended the damage with a five-run second and a four-run third to put the Chargers at an insurmountable deficit.
"Greenwood made us pay for our many defensive mistakes," reflected Sintic. "When you have errors in the field against a tough opponent they take advantage and that's what happened."
T. Masters took the loss for the Chargers, but it was his offensive performance that was the highlight, going 3-for-3 at the plate, including three RBI and a run scored.
In spite of the loss, the infectious Charger hitting evidenced they were in contention if they were able to eliminate fielding errors. Gathering a collective eight runs, other offensive highlights included Ellis' 2-for-3 day with two runs scored, a double from Chip Stambaugh, and a hit followed by a run scored from Nathan Lerro.
"Moving forward we know what we're capable of," elaborated Sintic. "If we play good defense and get timely hitting, we are confident we can compete.
"After the game we focused on being more team-oriented," continued Sintic. "It's easy at times to focus on your own personal mistakes and challenges, but with baseball you have to be able to learn and move on quickly."
The previous Friday, the Chargers treated their fans to a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Conestoga Christian Cougars.
This time, it was the Chargers who found themselves behind early in the contest, with an error in the first frame allowing two Cougar runs to cross the plate, putting the Chargers at a deficit before their first at bat.
"After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, I was proud of the way we continued to battle," praised Sintic. "We never panicked or got down on ourselves but showed a great team spirit and never quit."
The scoreboard didn't reflect a Charger response until the bottom of the second. After Dakota Lamb reached on a walk, Rutt powered a sacrifice fly into right field to send Lamb home.
Still playing catchup, the Chargers allowed another Cougar run in the third, and the score read 3-1 Cougar advantage for the next three innings.
Aidan Masters' work on the mound limited the Cougar's offensive changes, throwing seven innings and collecting an impressive 12 strikeouts.
"Aidan pitched extremely well and commanded the strike zone," acknowledged Sintic. "He had Conestoga off balance and guessing throughout the game."
With opportunities starting to dwindle the Chargers made their move in the bottom of the sixth. The Masters brothers were the first two Chargers to bat with T. Masters leading off with a single and propelled home by the subsequent double from A. Masters.
Still trailing, it wasn't until the bottom of the seventh that the Chargers evened the score. This time, aggressive base running by Stambaugh allowed him to score on a Cougar error.
Advancing into extra innings, the Charger defense held strong, not allowing the Cougars to gain an edge. Pitching in relief, Stewart stuck out the final Cougar batter to end the inning.
Pressure was on to make their move in the bottom of the eighth, score knotted at three, having never held the lead in the game.
Lamb got things moving reaching on a walk. Scott Lane took one for the team got on base after being hit by a pitch. Meanwhile, Lamb's heads up baserunning allowed him to steal his way to third.
Once again, it was a freshman pulling through in a high-pressure moment for the Chargers as Rutt took his turn at the plate and with a 0-1 count crushed a single up the middle for a walk-off win.
"Damian Rutt has been a clutch player for us," noted Sintic. "He never seems to let the situation overwhelm him."
The Chargers continue their intense schedule with a three-game week to complete their regular season, each game holding playoff implications in both CCAC and district standings, as they currently sit with a 7-5 overall record.
"Getting a conference win like this was huge for our confidence," explained Sintic. "We're a very young team and to be in situations like this and have success is great for us moving forward."
With a three-game road trip to cap the season, a lot can happen before playoff time.
"We're hoping to get back on track this week," concluded Sintic.
Mt. Calvary Baseball Wins Two, Now 6-3 April 27, 2018
"There are only two seasons-winter and baseball," Bill Veeck, late MLB general manager.
Now that winter has finally released its hold on the area, baseball season is truly in full swing. Mount Calvary baseball took advantage of every opportunity in their two contests last week, making quick work of both opponents and improving their overall record to 6-3.
On Monday, the Chargers picked up their second consecutive win with a 12-3 triumph over the Harrisburg Christian Knights.
In their first at bat, Mount Calvary had two outs and had yet to score, when freshman Aidan Masters sparked some contagious hitting. Masters' single was followed by one from fellow freshman Hunter Stewart, pushing in the first run. Charger backstop, Dakota Lamb, sent another shot into left field to drive in Stewart putting them up by two.
In the opposite frame, the Knights put together some solid base running to score a run of their own.
It was the third inning in which things really came together for the Chargers, collecting five runs with two outs.
This time, Stewart started the rally of singles, followed by one from Lamb, Scott Lane, Damian Rutt, Evan Barnes, and Chip Stambaugh, who methodically pushed in run after run across the plate.
"When you get two quick outs against you in an inning it has a tendency to effect you as a team," acknowledged head coach Jim Sintic. "We showed a great deal of resilience, doing a lot of our damage with two outs."
A. Master's was on the mound for the Chargers, keeping the Knights from working their way back into the contest, striking out seven, walking one, and allowing zero earned runs in his four innings of work.
Stewart pitched in relief, striking out five, walking none, and giving up just one earned run.
The Knights managed to secure a third run in the bottom of the fifth and started to string together some momentum in the fifth but was squelched by a fine defensive stop by second baseman, Rutt.
Lamb finished the day with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate in addition to a pair of RBI. Rutt and Stewart both scored three times, and Barnes produced a 3-for-4 contribution, picking up a RBI and scoring twice.
"Our pitchers threw well and had HCS off balance most of the day," noted Sintic. "Moving forward, we need to improve defensively. We know that to compete with the top teams in our conference and district we need to continue to get better."
The previous Friday's 13-3 win over Christian School of York sent the Chargers into their weekend on a high note.
Tyler Masters had a standout performance, going 3-for-4 at the plate, including four RBI and three runs scored.
Though the Crusaders were able to cross the plate once in their first at bat, their lead was short-lived.
T. Masters got things started for the Chargers in his first at bat with a double that drove in David Ellis who had reached on a walk.
With two outs against them, Lamb and Rutt displayed patience at the plate reaching on walks and setting the stage for Lane's subsequent at bat.
With a 2-2 pitch count, Lane saw the pitch he liked and soared a double into the left-centerfield ally pushing across both Lamb and Rutt to give the Chargers their first lead, 3-1.
The Chargers doubled their score with another three-run frame in the second. Once again Ellis was on base having reached on an error, when T. Masters crushed his second double of the game picking up another RBI.
"We consistently capitalized on CSY's mistakes throughout the game," noted out head coach Jim Sintic.
Accumulating runs during every at bat, the Chargers methodically extended their lead, but had their biggest advancement with a five-run bottom of the third.
Again, playing their best with two outs against them, singles from Hunter Stewart and T. Masters produced three runs. With bases loaded, A. Masters sent a line drive into center for a two RBI double.
As the Chargers approached the necessary double-digit lead required to end the contest in five, defensive play became critical.
Stewart was on the mound, earning the win while only surrendering two runs on three hits, and striking out nine.
"Our pitching and defense were excellent," commented Sintic. "When you throw strikes and play good defense, you give yourself a chance to win against any opponent."
First to bat in the bottom of the fourth, Lane crushed the ball over the left field fence putting the Chargers ahead 12-2.
"Scott Lane broke out today with his first home run and a clutch double," pointed out Sintic. "It's exciting to see hard work pay off with different players, and Scott has put in a lot of time improving his skills-this was a great example of that."
After the Crusaders managed to send a player across the plate in the top of the fifth, the Chargers needed one additional run to end the game in five innings.
Stewart got the sequence going with a single, and Lamb reached on a walk. Rutt managed to connect, sending a line drive into right field, plating Stewart and ending the contest.
Looking ahead, the Chargers face a three-game week, taking on Greenfield High School, and conference opponents Conestoga Christian and Lancaster County Christian.
Mt. Calvary Baseball Sits at 4-3 April 20, 2018
"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth, legendary MLB player
Mount Calvary baseball couldn't have faced more diverse settings for their two conference contests last week, and the results were also spilt, earning them a tally in both the win and loss column to currently sit with a 4-3 record.
With temps climbing into the mid-80s, the Chargers entered their weekend on a high note, topping the Lancaster County Christian Lions 11-6 on Friday, April 13.
Freshman Dakota Lamb set the tone for the contest powering a home run over the centerfield fence to drive in three runs in his first at bat, giving the Chargers an early 3-0 advantage.
"As a team we were able to jump out to an early lead which allowed us to play with confidence," noted head coach Jim Sintic.
The Lions were able string together some momentum of their own in the opposing frame, scoring on an error and a RBI single, but the scales began to tip in Charger favor as the innings progressed.
The Chargers matched their first inning run count with another three-run frame in the second. After initial batters patiently loaded the bases, pitcher Hunter Stewart stepped up to supply a RBI single.
A hit batter and a walk later, two more Chargers had made it safely across the plate to give the Chargers the upper hand, 6-2.
A noteworthy defensive inning in the bottom of the second allowed the Chargers to silence any retaliation efforts from the Lions.
Stewart struck out batters one and two, and shortstop Aidan Masters threw the subsequent batter out at first to make quick work of the inning.
"Hunter was extremely efficient. His command was great and 1-2-3 innings are huge to gaining momentum for the team," commended Sintic.
After four innings on the mound, Stewart earned himself the win with seven strikeouts, two walks, and five scattered hits. A. Masters pitched in relief, picking up four more strikeouts and two walks.
"Both Hunter and Aidan made LCCS swing the bat which kept our defense engaged," pointed out Sintic.
The Lions brought the game within two (7-5), after a two-run bottom of the fifth, scoring on a double and wild pitch, but the Chargers squelched any further advancement.
Picking up a run in the sixth, followed by three in the final frame, the Chargers capitalized on a Lion error for two runs and Tyler Masters powered a RBI single in the seventh to put the game away.
T. Masters total of three RBIs and two hits led the day at the plate. David Ellis and freshman Damian Rutt also picked up two hits apiece.
Lancaster County's Seth Stoltzfus was saddled with the loss, allowing eight hits and striking out nine.
"We put constant pressure on their defense, putting runners on base every inning," elaborated Sintic. "It's always good to get a conference win, and this was a nice momentum boost for us."
Four days later, the setting couldn't have felt much different, as temps had plummeted over 40 degrees and instead of dealing with sunburns, the players were dodging snow squalls, in a 5-1 showdown that went in favor of last season's CCAC and District III champs High Point Baptist.
Mount Calvary took the early lead, with Ellis reaching on a walk and scoring on an error to provide a 1-0 score that held through the first two innings.
The third inning proved to be the catalyst in which High Point pounced on three Charger errors and crossed four over the plate.
Taking the loss for the Chargers, A. Masters pitched 2.2 innings, striking out three, and allowing 1 earned run. Stewart collected five strikeouts during his 4.1 innings pitched.
"Aidan and Hunter pitched very well which has been a theme for them both this season. They kept us in striking distance all game; we just struggled to get the bats going," summarized Sintic.
Stewart had a good showing at the plate going two-for-three, and T. Masters picked up one RBI for the Chargers.
"At the end of the day, it's not about winning and losing, it's about winning and learning. We learned a lot from this game about ourselves and what we as a team need to improve on," added Sintic.
Chargers Open Season With 3 Wins, 2 Losses April 14, 2018
"You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried." -Stephen McCranie, American author.
Charger baseball faced an array of opponents in their opening week of competition experiencing rain, snow, triumph, and defeat while they accrued three wins and two losses to kickstart their season.
The biggest showdown of their early season came in their first conference win, in which the Chargers took down the Harrisburg Christian Knights in an exciting 7-6 walk off victory thanks to a single from Tyler Masters in the bottom of the seventh.
Rocketing out to a 5-0 first inning lead, the Chargers appeared to have the game in hand, maintaining that score through three innings.
T. Masters was the first Charger on base, reaching on a walk, and was driven home by a double from Hunter Stewart. Dakota Lamb followed up with a RBI single, and an additional first inning single off the bat of Scott Lane earned him two RBIs.
"As a team, we took the field with confidence and it showed. Our hitting was contagious and we managed to jump to an early lead," explained head coach Jim Sintic. "I was impressed throughout the game with the way that our team encouraged each other."
T. Masters and Lamb led the team at the plate with two hits apiece.
Stewart was at the helm for the initial four innings, throwing seven strikeouts, scattering two hits, and giving up zero runs.
Late game walks coupled with fielding errors allowed the Knights to work their way back into the contest, leveling the game at six in the sixth inning.
"We know as a team we need to be more active and focused on defense," acknowledge Sintic. "We let HCS back into the game, but I was proud of our fighter's attitude. After surrendering a large lead, we battled in our last at bat and put the game away."
In the bottom of the seventh, game tied at six, the Chargers had one last opportunity to reignite their early game intensity.
Freshmen Evan Barnes drew a walk and managed to advance to second on a wild pitch. Lane put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Barnes to third, and Nathan Lerro patiently drew a walk and then capitalized on an opportunity to steal second.
The Knights chose to intentionally walk Aidan Masters, loading the bases and setting the stage for T. Masters' final at bat. Masters connected with the third pitch and sent a scorching line drive down the left field line for the walk-off victory.
"Walk-offs are always exciting, and as a team this was a big moment for us in our young season," celebrated Sintic.
David Ellis was on the mound after the Knights knotted the game, earning himself the game win for one and a third innings pitched, striking out two, allowing zero hits and one walk.
The Chargers dropped their only other conference contest in a 3-0 loss to Conestoga Christian.
Though the Chargers held Conestoga to four hits, the Cougars were able to convert three runs, while 11 Charger runners ended up stranded on base.
"We did a good job getting runners on base and in scoring position, but we just were not able to execute in the clutch," reflected Sintic.
A. Masters and Stewart shared control of the mound, throwing for a combined seven innings and eight strikeouts with A. Masters getting the tough loss.
Barnes supplied two of the Chargers three total hits in the contest, going two-for-three at the plate.
Rewinding back to their long-anticipated season opener, the Chargers methodically worked their way to a 12-3 triumph over Columbia High School.
A. Masters made the most of his varsity debut, striking out two batters in his first inning on the mound, followed by lining a double into center field to pick up the Chargers first hit of the season, and was the first of four Charger runs to cross the plate in their first at bat.
Gaining momentum, the Chargers brought home all 12 runs in the first four innings before Columbia was able to respond with a three-inning top of the fifth.
Young talent was evident from the mound, as all three pitchers for the Chargers were freshmen. A. Masters was awarded the win as he picked up seven strikeouts, walked two, and gave up one hit and zero runs over his three innings of work.
Stewart pitched in relief racking up six strikeouts, and Damian Rutt threw for one inning and struck out an additional Columbia batter.
"Our pitching was a highlight, as our three freshmen struck out 14 batters and gave up zero earned runs," commented Sintic on the collective effort.
A. Masters also led the team at the plate going three-for-three and gathering three of the teams 11 total hits. Ellis and T. Masters each produced two hits, and Stewart collected two RBIs.
"We had a balanced attack of offense, defense, and pitching," commented Sintic. "We are a team focused on getting better. After every practice and game, we concentrate on what we need to do to improve."
The Chargers faced a reverse outcome in their 10-0 loss to Millersburg High School, taking their first black mark on the overall record.
"We came out a little tentative as a team, this affected our play significantly early on," noted Sintic.
Neither club got on the scoreboard in the first inning, but Millersburg was first to strike, crossing a single run in both the second and the third. Millersburg steamrolled through the fourth and fifth amassing an additional eight runs to end the game by run rule after five.
"After a few defensive miscues, along with our offensive struggles we found ourselves in a hole that was too much to overcome," recalled Sintic.
A. Masters produced a solid showing from the mound throwing three frames to post four strikeouts, zero walks and zero earned runs.
T. Masters had the Chargers best day at the plate coming up with a hit and a walk.
A 12-3 win over Steelton-Highspire marked another highlight for the Charger club.
"We came out with intensity. Our energy was infectious and helped us get our offense going early on," Sintic recalled.
That offense was sparked by multiple hits from a variety of players. A. Masters and Ellis had three hits and three RBIs each while Lamb collected two hits and a RBI.
T. Masters earned the victory after four innings of work, striking out two and allowing only five hits and three walks.
"Tyler pitched extremely well, managing to get ahead of hitters and scattering walks and hits" added Sintic.
Chargers Fall in District 3 1A Opener February 23, 2018
The Mount Calvary basketball season was brought to a halt in the first round of the District III playoffs after a clash between the 10th seeded Chargers and the 7th seeded Conestoga Cougars resulted in a Cougar advancement, 62-51.
"I was really impressed that our team did not give up," encouraged head coach Jared Griest. "We were down 10 points or more four different times, and each time we closed to gap to less than five."
Despite their valiant comeback attempts, the Chargers were unable to gather enough momentum to overtake the lead.
"Credit should be given to Conestoga, who answered every one of our runs with a run of their own," acknowledged Griest.
Jack Hilsher, a dominate offensive force for the Chargers all season, put up a game-high 21-point effort to lead the Charger cause.
"He [Hilsher] didn't settle for three-point shots, and drove to the rim with a tenacity that I hope he keeps moving forward," Griest said of the sophomore.
Tyler Masters, a junior, continued to embrace his position as a team leader, a role he has played for the team with both intensity on the court and mature emotional leadership off-court.
Wyatt Hawthorne, the team's lone senior, encouraged his teammates at the conclusion of the game, signaling a passing of the mantle to future players. While Hawthorne's presence will be missed, the team already sees an exciting potential developing in the underclassmen.
Wrapping up their season with an overall 12-11 record, claiming the second seed in the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference, and earning themselves an appearance in district playoffs are just a few of their season achievements.
Growth in areas such as teamwork, leadership, and unity are harder to measure, but the effects are far-reaching.
"We were a young group, but the spiritual growth of our players was very evident," Griest reflected on the squad. "The on-court leadership development during our season will carry into the future."
Chargers Fall Short in CCAC Playoffs February 16, 2018
The Chargers entered the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs as the number two seed, but were forced to an early exit at the hands of the third seeded Lancaster County Christian Lions on Monday night, with a final score of 55-45.
Fueled by the energy of their home crowd, the starting five came out hot from downtown, building an early 9-2 lead after three-point buckets from Jack Hilsher, Tyler Masters, and Aidan Masters. Hanging on to their advantage through the quarter, Mount Calvary was up 16-12 headed into the second.
It didn't take long for the Lions to retaliate. They knotted the game at 16 in the first minute of the second. The teams traded possessions, going bucket for bucket for the next two quarters.
Late in the third, Charger freshman Damian Rutt nailed a three pointer to give the Chargers their final lead of the game 36-34. Unfortunately, Mount Calvary hit a scoring drought, and the Lions seized the opportunity, surging ahead with 15 unanswered points.
"Lancaster wore us down physically," acknowledged head coach Jared Griest. "As the game progressed, we struggled to stay in front of our man in one-on-one defensive and rebounding situations."
Hilsher broke the famine with a strong take to the basket, accompanied by another two points from Hunter Stewart to spark some fourth quarter momentum, but by then the Lions were up by 11 with less than two minutes to play.
A. Masters collected 14 points to lead the Chargers, while Hilsher and T. Masters each chipped in another 12.
"We also didn't have a balanced attack," continued Griest. "Tonight, we had three in double digits. As we move into districts, we need that fourth player to step up and make additional contributions."
Prior to their short CCAC playoff run, the Chargers celebrated a 68-33 victory over Harrisburg Academy that secured them a spot in the upcoming District III post-season competition.
Battling illness and fatigue, the Chargers entered the contest down five players with only nine players healthy enough to make the roster. Only half the team was well enough to practice in the days leading to the final game of the regular season.
Down in numbers, but full of determination, the small squad got the job done.
"There was a lot on the line going into this game," pointed out Griest. "We were able to disrupt Harrisburg Academy's offensive flow and we shot the ball better than we have all season."
Three-point shooting created distance between the teams from the get-go, as the Chargers nailed five shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter alone, three from Hilsher.
Freshmen A. Masters and Rutt stepped up big for the Chargers on the offensive end, with 22 and 10 points respectively.
While their quarterfinal departure from the CCAC playoffs leaves them with a few days break, the Chargers now turn their focus to getting healthy and preparing for a District III playoff appearance this week, entering as the 10 seed and facing their first test in the seventh seeded Conestoga Christian.
Chargers Rebound With Victory Over Hershey February 9, 2018
Charger basketball got knocked down twice, forced to swallow back-to-back losses, but fired back with a 61-17 conference win at home over Hershey Christian to keep district playoff hopes alive.
"After two tough losses it was good to see the guys come out and take care of a game that we knew we needed," explained head coach Jared Griest after the Hershey contest.
Tyler Masters was tasked with the challenge of stifling Hershey's top scoring guard, Matthew Musser, who averages 20 points per game. Master's intense defense held Musser to seven points and ignited several offensive transitions for the Chargers.
Jack Hilsher cranked up the offensive attack netting 19 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc, while also supplying four rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
The Chargers sole senior, Wyatt Hawthorne, was honored before the contest, and in turn put up big numbers for the team, dropping in 13 points, grabbing four rebounds, and picking up two steals.
"Wyatt has been a steady part of our program for four years and has committed himself to improvement on the court and in leadership skills," reflected Griest. "He is averaging nearly double-digit rebounds, and has significantly improved his shot blocking and defensive abilities. We look forward to seeing what Wyatt can do as God leads him to further his education and basketball at Lebanon Valley College," concluded Griest.
A few days earlier, the Chargers had to taste defeat in a 55-26 loss to Delaware County Christian, and again 46-38 at the hands of Lancaster Country Day.
Against Delaware County the Chargers fell behind early and were unable to overcome DELCO's heavy hitting offense with three players scoring double digits.
In the loss to Lancaster Country Day, the Chargers battled to stay close throughout all four quarters, but turnovers plagued their progress and were converted to baskets on Lancaster's end.
Hawthorne had another notable contribution to lead the team with eight points and nine rebounds.
Hoping to build upon their upward turn, the Chargers shift their focus to their final game of the regular season and then to the CCAC playoffs, entering as the second seed in the CCAC West. Lancaster County Christian will be their first test in their quest for the conference championship.
Lady Charger's basketball bounced back after two hard-hitting non-conference losses, to take an at home CCAC victory over Lancaster Mennonite-Hershey Christian on Tuesday.
Mental focus and a rejuvenated energy helped the Chargers to break out of their losing streak with a 47-29 triumph, supported by an enthusiastic crowd ready to honor the team's four seniors in the final home game.
Still missing a key starter with Haley Witmer out due to injury, the Chargers honed in on establishing an early lead and limiting Hershey Christian's opportunities.
"We new we would need a great team effort," reflected head coach Phil Ferrari. "Our focus was to come out and score early and often in transition."
A 13-6 first quarter demonstrated the Chargers achieving their goals, but the Warriors battled back with an even 9-9 in the second.
"Our focus at halftime was just getting back to our original game plan, and after some really good defense, we slowly began to build the lead," elaborated Ferrari.
Freshman Kara Locker led the offensive attack with 12 points, giving a nod to the future potential of the Charger program, and fittingly all four senior players, Jayln Maulfair, Emily Wolfe, Madison Martin, and Jenna Romberger got in on the scoring action in the celebratory contest.
Taking time to acknowledge the seniors, Ferrari thanked each for their contributions in front of the supportive fans.
"I will miss all of the seniors. I truly appreciate the time and energy they gave to our program," noted Ferrari.
A 35-26 loss to Delaware County Christian and a 53-14 loss to Lancaster Country Day preceded the home court rebound.
Locker again led the Chargers with 11 points against Delaware County, and Maulfair knocked in seven against Lancaster Country Day.
Closing the books on the season, the Lady Chargers finished with a 5-7 conference record and were 7-14 overall.
"We definitely have seen a lot of growth and maturing from all of the players. I'm already excited to start over again next year, looking forward to building off of the knowledge we've gained this year," added Ferrari.
"As coaches, we are excited to see how God is going to use each of our players to further His purposes. No matter what we faced all year long, we never gave up and continued to fight through all of the adversity that came our way," he concluded.
Lady Chargers Stumble Twice February 2, 2018
The Lady Charger's basketball team hit a few bumps in the road last week, falling first to Covenant Christian and then to Steelton-Highspire.
In the pairing against the Covenant Christian Falcons, the Lady Chargers had a rough first half and found themselves trailing by double digits at the break, 16-4, but battled back to a close 25-22 final score.
"We had several open shots that we couldn't get to fall, and a couple of possessions on defense where we gave up offensive rebounds and follow up baskets," acknowledged head coach Phil Ferrari regarding the first half.
Turning the contest around, the Lady Chargers rallied to get back into contention.
"We challenged the girls to come out and fight hard. We knew we would eventually start to make some shots," explained Ferrari of the halftime pep talk.
Baskets from Kara Locker, who finished with seven points, Madison Martin, six, and Haley Witmer, five, brought the Lady Chargers back into contention making it a one-possession game in the fourth.
"It was a close game as we battled hard to come back, but ultimately we couldn't make enough plays down the stretch on offense or defense," said Ferrari. "We were proud of our effort but we told the girls that we have to start playing consistent good basketball for all four quarters if we want to win close games."
Emily Wolfe pulled down 12 rebounds and Witmer grabbed another eight.
Thursday's contest at Steelton-Highspire went quickly in favor of the hosts and remained that way until the 67-21 final.
"We battled all game long and even though the score was ugly, we played hard and fought together through it all. We were proud of our effort and our attitude," concluded Ferrari.
Locker once again led the Chargers with 13 points.
The Chargers looked to secure their post season spot in the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs last week, and with Tuesday's 50-26 win over Covenant Christian they are that much closer to their goal, currently sitting in the second seed of the CCAC West.
In the first half against Covenant Christian the Chargers struggled to get their shots to fall, shooting just 26 percent from the field and going 3-of-10 from the line, but in spite of that found themselves up by 18 at the half.
"This win was about finishing and some resilience," noted head coach Jared Griest. "The guys battled through it, and we came around in the second half."
That second half saw the shots begin to fall and the distance stretch between the Chargers and the Falcons.
Eight Charger players knocked down baskets in the win. Jack Hilsher led the charge with 16. Hilsher was supported by a well-rounded attack as Tyler Masters netted nine and Aidan Masters seven. Hunter Stewart paired six points with seven rebounds to promote the Charger cause.
"We built a cushion and could finish out the game with some of the younger guys playing together," added Griest.
Making the most of their minutes, several underclassmen contributed buckets to add to the team total. Sophomores Chip Stambaugh and Harrison Crick chipped in five and three points respectively, and freshman Leighland Olsen went 2-of-2 from the line.
With an 8-3 conference record, 10-7 overall, the Chargers have aspirations for a playoff run both in the conference and also at the district level.
"For districts we are currently ranked at number eight, and ten teams go. We have some work to do to make sure we qualify," pointed out Griest while considering the remainder of their schedule."
The next test toward those district goals was last Thursday's home contest against York Country Day which resulted in a role reversal, and it was the Chargers turn to suffer defeat 67-40.
Heading into the pairing, Griest had several goals for his players.
"We need to limit our turnovers and control the oppositions athleticism with quick, sharp passing. We need players to step up defensively throughout the game," elaborated Griest.
The contest came at a tough point for the Chargers, down several players due to illness. Missing their usual point guard, the Chargers struggled gaining a rhythm.
Despite facing a formidable uphill climb of 45-20 at the half, the Chargers took the court with energy and secured the first four points of the second half, but were unable to gather enough impetus to close the gap.
T. Masters spurred several bursts in Charger scoring, leading the team with 14 points, and three-point shooting from Hilsher served to cut the deficit in the fourth with back-to-back shots from downtown. Hilsher finished with 13 and Stewart dropped in another five.
Without time to dwell on the loss, the Chargers will be back in action with three pivotal matchups coming their way this week.
Chargers Post Back-to-Back Victories January 26, 2018
After a 71-50 loss on the road to West Shore Christian, the Chargers were eager to get back on the court and rebounded with back-to-back wins over New Covenant and Christian School of York.
In the disappointing second clash of the season against the West Shore Bobcats, the Chargers kept pace for the initial two quarters, but a second half of missteps coupled with fatigue opened the door for the Bobcats to extend their lead and take control.
"We continue to learn that we need to play four complete quarters of solid basketball in order to have success against top tier teams," elaborated head coach Jared Griest.
West Shore's team, laden with experience, starts four seniors and was ready to pounce on any errors made by the Chargers.
"West Shore is athletic, experienced, and feasts on opportunity," acknowledged Griest. "Unfortunately, we provided them with opportunities in the second half and the game got away from us."
Despite shortcomings, the Chargers have reason to be encouraged. Presenting a well-balanced offensive line up, they had five scorers with similar contributions to collect their 50 points. Jack Hilsher and Tyler Masters led the team with 11 apiece, Wyatt Hawthorne added 10, and young talents Hunter Stewart and Aidan Masters chipped in nine and seven respectively.
Hilsher also converted six assists, further demonstrating the teams' unselfish mentality.
Eager for redemption, the Chargers came out hot in their subsequent matchup, and after a relatively close first quarter turned up the defensive intensity to widen the gap and conclude with a convincing 55-21 triumph.
"The night's theme was 'take care of business'," reflected Griest. "We went out and accomplished that goal."
The loud fan base in the New Covenant gym was enthusiastic about the close 16-10 first quarter scoreboard, but then the Chargers locked down on defense only allowing 11 total points Flames over the remaining three quarters.
The defensive end of the floor doesn't always get the attention the offensive side enjoys, but the contributions made on the back end of the court make all the difference to the outcome.
"Harrison Crick and Dimere Williams are two guys who have helped recently, and both are natural defenders," pointed out Griest. "Harrison had a great run against Harrisburg Christian and again against New Covenant.
"Dimere had foul issues during the early part of the season that he has corrected in recent weeks," elaborated Griest.
Headed into their third league pairing of the week, the Chargers knew the critical nature of their matchup against Christian School of York.
"We are in a battle to make our league playoffs," Griest said referring to CSY. "A win goes a long way in securing that spot."
In addition to its impact on league playoffs, the game also held weight in PIAA District III standings.
"We have nearly identical league and overall records. We are rated in the district beside each other and are fighting for one of the last spots in the postseason," recognized Griest.
Knowing the immense implications of the home match, the Chargers took the court with determination. Having previously bested CSY 58-46 early in January, the Chargers goal was to repeat and improve that performance-and they succeeded, treating their fans to a 58-45 victory.
Striking early the Chargers shot out to an initial 7-2 lead, and made sure the Crusaders earned each basket thwarting their first three possessions with blocks by Chip Stambaugh, Hawthorne, and A. Masters.
The Crusaders gathered their composure and came back to tie the game at 14 in the early minutes of the second quarter, but before they could build too much momentum, Hilsher buried a three to put the Chargers back in the lead.
Trading baskets and possessions, the teams stayed even throughout the second quarter.
T. Masters put the Chargers up by two, 27-25, just before the half. Carrying that energy into the third, Masters got things moving with a steal converted to another two points. Hilsher tacked on another downtown bucket creating a 5-0 scoring run to set the tone for the second half.
The remaining minutes displayed the Chargers continuing to put distance between themselves and the Crusaders and comfortably claim the contest.
T. Masters led all scorers with 18, Hilsher finished with 13, and A. Masters knocked in 12.
"It was a good team win with contributions from multiple players off the bench," summarized Griest.
While it might be tempting to celebrate the triumph, the Chargers won't dwell too long on the achievement, but instead look ahead to their next challenges.
"Three games this week and three the week after; there's a lot of basketball ahead of us," concluded Griest.
The Lady Chargers kicked off an intense three-game week on a high note, collecting a win over West Shore Christian before falling to New Covenant and Christian School of York.
Saturday's 32-23 triumph at West Shore displayed a well-rounded Charger team utilizing every angle to gain an edge on the Bobcats.
"We just continue to play good team basketball, getting contributions from everyone that gets in the game," explained head coach Phil Ferrari.
Offensively, those 32 points were gathered by an impressive spread of nine Charger scorers. Freshman Kara Locker led all scorers netting nine, while five-point contributions came from Naomi Ewing and Haley Witmer.
"It is exciting to see the growth of so many players as they gain more confidence in their skills," praised Ferrari.
The team effort transferred to the defensive end as they held the Bobcats to only 12 first half points.
"The defensive effort is a team one as well," pointed out Ferrari. "We have been working hard to get better at communicating and trying to figure out how offenses are trying to attack us."
Emily Wolfe played a quiet offensive role, netting two points, but nothing was quiet about her presence on the boards as she pulled down 13 rebounds. Witmer seconded the effort with grabbing nine more Charger boards.
The outcome was reversed in the Chargers subsequent game, falling 38-29 to the New Covenant Flames.
The first two quarters were neck-and-neck with traded possessions and lead changes, but the Flames entered the half with a three-point advantage, 20-17.
Turnovers and lack of offensive opportunities proved to be a detrimental combination for the Chargers in the third, their weakest quarter of the contest.
"At the time we were struggling offensively, they continued to attack the basket hard and get layups or free throws," acknowledged Ferrari. "By the end of the [third] quarter they had built a 12-point lead."
Unable to gain back that lost ground during the fourth, the Chargers finished nine points shy of the Flames.
Witmer produced a solid performance on both ends of the floor, leading the Chargers in scoring with 10. She also pulled down six rebounds, snatched three steals, and dished out three assists.
Jaylyn Maulfair topped the rebound stat line with seven, while Locker and Brittney Taylor supported the offensive efforts with six and five points respectively.
Looking to make improvements with the lessons learned, Ferrari honed in their focus on several key aspects.
"We definitely continue to stress the importance of taking care of the basketball, when we don't turn it over it gives us a chance to end possessions with good shots," he pointed out. "The other focus is that we have to continue improving our defense and make teams beat us from the outside," he concluded.
Wrapping up the week, the Chargers hosted Christian School of York and ended up on the wrong side of a 39-16 scoreboard.
Struggling to get any offensive momentum, the Chargers regrouped for a stronger second half netting 12 of their 16 total points, but were unable to rally enough for a comeback. Witmer produced seven points.
Without much time to concentrate on the loss, and eager to get back into the game, the Lady Chargers face a three-game week that will provide plenty of opportunity for improvement.
Lady Chargers Split With Harrisbug and Hershey January 19, 2018
The Lady Chargers' two games last week were split both in outcomes as well as separated by a five-day hiatus due to weather conditions.
Thursday's contest against the Harrisburg Christian Knights started out promising for the Chargers, who led by as much nine in the first half. Unfortunately they finished on the wrong end of the 33-29 final score.
Freshman Kara Locker put the Chargers ahead early and defensive efforts kept the Knights in the single digits until they hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer putting the scoreboard 16-11 in Charger favor with one half remaining.
The Knights created a momentum shift in the third when they hit back-to-back three pointers to bring the game within one. With two minutes left in the third, the Knights hit a jumper to give them their first lead of the game at 21-20.
Four lead changes later, the Knights finished a three-point play to give them the boost needed to go-ahead the final time.
Down by five, with seconds remaining, the Chargers looked to Locker for shot from downtown. Fouled on the shot, Locker stepped up and hit 2-of-3 from the line, but the Knights were able to hold onto their slim lead nailing two free throws of their own and running out the clock.
Locker finished with nine and Haley Witmer added seven.
Consistent scoring from a variety of players worked to the Lady Chargers advantage in their 42-28 triumph over Hershey Christian.
In six out of 11 games, the Lady Chargers have relied on a different lead scorer, baffling their opponents' efforts to shut down offensive threats.
"We are clearly embracing the dynamic of having a different leading scorer each game," commented head coach Phil Ferrari. "We like the fact that on any given night, anyone on the team can step up and contribute in a big way on the offensive end."
The high scorer of the evening was Hershey's Ruthanna Eckert with 13, but four Lady Chargers hovered close to double digits, giving them a depth that Hershey could not match.
This time, Naomi Ewing led the Chargers with 10, Locker added nine, while Jaylyn Maulfair and Brittney Taylor netted eight apiece.
"Defense was key for us," elaborated Ferrari. "We forced a lot of turnovers, over 30, and used that to spur our transition game which resulted in a lot of easy layups."
Emily Wolfe was a big factor in that defensive prowess, snatching up five steals. Haley Witmer pulled down 13 rebounds, and Julia Martin provided a well-rounded contribution dishing out four assists while grabbing five rebounds and four steals.
Entering the final quarter with a comfortable 30-13 advantage, the Chargers' intensity started to wane, opening the door for a potential Hershey comeback. After holding Hershey to only 13 points over the course of three quarters, allowing a resurgence of 15 points during the fourth is a weakness Ferrari intends to address.
"We did not play very well on the defensive end in the fourth quarter," acknowledge Ferrari. "We want to work on finishing the game strong and not allowing a team to come back."
Still comfortably taking the victory, the Chargers look to make improvements and celebrate their growth as they head into the latter half of the season.
"Leadership on our team has been solidified as the captains have stepped up and continued to lead the way. We continue to bond as a team and I'm excited to see how we finish our season as we look to make a push for the playoffs," summarized Ferrari.
Missing practices and rearranging schedules did not hurt the Chargers record as they picked up a pair of wins in the two contests they were able to get in last week.
In the first full day of school after a week of interruptions, the Chargers displayed a bit of rust in their opening half against the Harrisburg Christian Knights, but an explosive third quarter turned the tables and led to a 52-43 Charger victory.
Turnovers and poor defense plagued the first half, leaving the Chargers trailing by 12 during the second quarter. Just before the half, Chip Stambaugh netted back-to-back buckets to give the Chargers a boost, but they still entered the second half at a 25-17 disadvantage.
The third quarter changed everything, as the Chargers rocketed ahead on a 16-1 scoring blitz to open the quarter, including three downtown buckets from Jack Hilsher and a pair from Aidan Masters.
"The second half was ignited by a few key changes made at halftime," explained head coach Jared Griest. "Wyatt Hawthorne stepped up and guarded Harrisburg's big man, putting us into a more natural guarding rotation. The defensive unit stepped up forcing turnovers and poor shots, which led to transition baskets."
The energy was contagious. Tyler Masters exploited the Knights' weakness with four consecutive backdoor layups, and Harrison Crick came up with a steal and took the ball coast to coast for another two points.
After entering the quarter with an eight-point deficit, the Chargers ended the third clearly in control 42-30.
The fourth quarter involved some back-and-forth jostling from both teams, but the Charger's maintained control of the contest with T. Masters scoring eight of the Charger's 10 fourth quarter points.
T. Masters finished with 16 points, followed by Hilsher's 12, and Crick with nine.
Prior to stretch of bad weather, the Chargers squeezed in a contest against Hershey Christian, coming up with a 55-18 win.
"Offensively we shared the ball well, found holes in their 2-3 zone defense and got easy shots," recalled Griest of the 19-2 first quarter.
Getting the second string in early during the contest was an exciting aspect of the game, giving younger players the opportunity to get game-time experience.
"It's always a lot of fun to get all of the bench in early in a contest," explained Griest. "For these younger, developing players, this time is a reward. It's also invaluable because as we continue into the later part of the season, when other teams tighten down on rotations and legs start to wear down, we hope we have some bench guys who can step up and contribute."
Ten different Chargers contributed to the team total with brothers T. and A. Masters leading the charge with 13 and 11 respectively.
Freshman Evan Barnes netted in his first varsity basket and fellow freshman Leighland Olsen added a bucket along with three rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Sam Robinson picked up a pair of field goals in addition to two rebounds and two assists.
Lady Chargers Earn Two Conference Wins January 12, 2018
The Lady Chargers jumped into the New Year in search of their first conference victory, and last week they secured two.
Taking down West Shore Christian on Tuesday by a 21-point margin the Lady Chargers are beginning to find their roles and reap the benefits of their efforts.
After a low-scoring first quarter (4-3), the Chargers caught fire in the second going on a 16-4 scoring blitz to extend their lead to 13 heading into the second half.
"We are playing more consistent team offense, cutting down on turnovers and making better passes to put our teammates in good positions to score," pointed out head coach Phil Ferrari.
Free throw shooting also proved to be a factor. The Chargers shot over 60 percent from the line, netting 12-of-19 attempts, contrasted with West Shores 2-of-10.
Brie Lehman took her turn leading the Chargers in scoring gathering a total of 10 points, including going three-of-three from the free throw line. Emily Wolfe collected the bulk of her points at the line with a four-of-six performance.
Julia Martin and Haley Witmer knocked in eight points apiece to boost the Charger advantage.
"We played well on defense, limiting their best player to six points, and we rebounded the ball very well," summarized Ferrari referring to the Charger's collective 56 rebounds, compared to West Shore's 36.
Witmer brought down the most boards with 11 and Jaylyn Maulfair was close behind grabbing nine.
The Mount Calvary victory over Covenant Christian also started out slowly, but Julia Martin got the Chargers on the scoreboard after five minutes transpired, netting a pair of free throws. Both teams struggled to gain an edge, finishing the first quarter with the game tied at six, but ultimately it was the Chargers who succeeded in the 29-27 final.
Good defense is often the catalyst for kickstarting offensive momentum, and that proved true for the Chargers and the Falcons as they started to gain rhythm. Madison Martin picked off two steals early in the quarter to ignite some Charger offense, and Maulfair added a pair of buckets on the ensuing possessions.
"We played much better on the defensive end, forcing 28 turnovers and making them shoot contested shots," acknowledged Phil Ferrari.
Reacting to the Charger success, the Falcons answered with jumpers of their own and edged ahead 14-12 at the half.
Evenly dispersing their scoring attack, the Chargers gained points from five different players in the third quarter alone, but Covenant continued to retaliate and sunk a buzzer beater to end the third with a 24-23 advantage.
"This is how we have played all year long, we have extreme breadth of scoring," noted Ferrari.
In a low-scoring contest, every bucket makes a huge difference, and Wolfe came up big for the Chargers when they needed it most, driving for a layup to tie the score at 27 before adding the game-winning jump shot.
"Emily [Wolfe] couldn't have timed her contribution better, scoring four points all in the fourth quarter," added Ferrari.
Maulfair was the Charger's high scorer with 10 for the evening, while Witmer and Taylor joined Wolfe with four.
Witmer dominated the boards grabbing 14 rebounds, while Naomi Ewing picked up four steals and dished six assists.
In a third conference matchup prior to their back-to-back successes, the Chargers fell 50-22 to Christian School of York. The Lady Chargers refused to quit but were unable to climb their way out of the deficit created by a 25-9 first quarter.
Brittney Taylor led the offensive efforts with nine points, while Maulfair hauled in 11 rebounds.
"We have had five different players lead us in scoring in our ten games so far," noted Ferrari. "We are still working through learning our roles and we have a lot of youth playing big minutes for us this year."
Experiencing a triple dose of conference competition, the Chargers topped Christian School of York and Covenant Christian just 24 hours apart to boost their conference record to 3-1, before they suffered a defeat at the hands of West Shore Christian.
The final scoreboard at CSY registered 58-46 in favor of the Chargers, with Jack Hilsher blazing the way with 21 points. Twelve of Hilsher's game-high total came from beyond the arc.
Freshman Hunter Stewart also stepped up to make major contributions, netting 12 points including 2-for-2 from the line. Stewart added seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists to his resume for the night.
Tyler Masters was the third Charger player to hit double digits, netting 10 points in the victory.
Wyatt Hawthorne made his presence known, particularly on the defensive end, snatching up 15 rebounds in addition to four blocks.
"It was impressive to see the guys come together as a group," commented head coach Jared Griest. "The biggest thing was ball movement throughout the game. The team was often getting good dribble penetration then kicking out to open shooters."
In their 55-37 win over Covenant Christian, the Chargers held the lead from start to finish, but didn't pull away until the second half.
Sophomore Chip Stambaugh had a standout first quarter, making himself available under the basket for several early layups, and an offensive rebound put back from Wyatt Hawthorne made the score 8-2 in favor of the Chargers midway through the first quarter.
"Playing our two big men has really given us an advantage on the boards, and puts us in a size advantage most nights," Griest noted referring to Stambaugh and Hawthorne. "Chip's been on the verge of a breakout game for about a month now. He shows glimpses of excellence, and last night it came together for him," praised Griest.
Tyler Masters continues to lead with intensity for the Chargers coming up with three steals in the first quarter to give them additional offensive opportunities to pull ahead.
Capitalizing on those opportunities was Aidan Masters, who buried four from three-point range and totaled 15 points in the contest.
"Aidan stepped up and shot the ball extremely well. He recognized a need and took advantage," commented Griest.
As Covenant gained their footing and began to create some offensive prospects of their own, that three-point shooting became a determinant to the Charger success. Collectively the Chargers hit seven baskets from downtown.
Registering a nine-point lead at the half, the Chargers needed to make some second half adjustments to ensure victory.
"The guys stepped up and forced 20 second half turnovers, only allowed 13 second half points, and started finishing around the rim," Griest pointed out regarding the dramatic second half dominance.
A. Master's 15 points led all scorers, with Stambaugh close behind knocking down 14.
After two great successes, the 55-51 loss to the West Shore Christian Bobcats was a tough hit to the Chargers, but not without valuable lessons.
Getting out to a strong start, the Chargers established a double-digit lead heading into the second half of play, but the Bobcats chipped away at that advantage and overtook them in the final minutes of the game to claim the victory at the end of 32 minutes.
"We learned from this contest that little things matter. Some inconsequential early fouls became a major problem for us down the stretch," acknowledged Griest. "We need to learn to continue to attack when we have a large lead."
Hilsher and Masters collected 17 and 12 points respectively, with Hilsher going five-of-five from the line, but despite their efforts, the Chargers were unable to recapture the lead before the final buzzer sounded.
Chargers Win Christmas Tourney, Top Falcons January 5, 2018
Winning the annually held Mount Calvary Christmas Tournament resulted in a big boost to Charger momentum, as they looked to turn the tide after an uphill start to their season.
The two-day holiday event culminated in the Chargers claiming the title game 51-31 over the Faith Christian Falcons of West Virginia.
Entering the championship after toppling Linville Hill in the first round, the Chargers channeled their impetus into an energized start. In the opening minute, sophomore Chip Stambaugh earned an 'and one' to put the Chargers on the scoreboard first.
The Falcons took a moment to gain their footing, but then surged into contention keeping the score balanced until deep in the second quarter. With the scoreboard reflecting identical 17s, and less than a minute before the half, freshman Hunter Stewart delivered a strong take to the basket resulting in the layup and the foul, to give the Chargers the three-point lead.
Winding down the clock on their final possession of the half, fellow freshman Aidan Masters, buried a shot from downtown to stretch the Charger advantage to six at the break.
The second half displayed a confident Charger squad immediately setting out to take control of the contest. Rocketing ahead with 11 unanswered points, the Chargers were led by aggressive offense from Tyler Masters, who produced 12 of his 15 points in the second half. Stewart collected six additional points to bring his total to nine for the night.
Jack Hilsher's leadership role and 16 points, including three buckets from beyond the arc, also contributed to the Charger's dominant conclusion.
While points may win the game, it's often the effort on defense that enables those points, as was evidenced by the Chargers progression through the contest.
"We gave up 15 points in the first quarter, and then only 16 points the rest of the game," noted head coach Jared Griest emphasizing the importance of the defense. "Our success in the Christmas Tournament actually started the week prior. All of the players on the team have exponentially increased defensive effort," he added.
The previous evening's triumph over Linville Hill was marked by a well-rounded attack, again led by T. Master's 13 points and Hilsher with 11. A. Masters knocked in 10 points, while Stewart and Wyatt Hawthorne chipped in eight apiece. Six of Stewart's points came from the line, where the freshman displayed composure maintaining 86 percent free throw shooting. Hawthorne also added five blocks to his performance.
T. Master's two-day contribution of 28 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals earned him tournament MVP honors.
"Tyler is showing on-court and in-practice leadership. We challenged the players to work harder in practice-to make things as game like as possible. Tyler has done that, and others are following," commented Griest.
Hilsher was also named to the All-Tournament team with two-day totals of 27 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists, and five steals.
"To see him mature as a sophomore has been fun to watch," said Griest.
Earlier in December, the Chargers experienced their only two conference games thus far this season taking split results, falling to Harrisburg Christian 54-41, before overcoming New Covenant 70-28 twenty-four hours later.
"We are a little disappointed to have a split conference record to start the year," acknowledged Griest. "New Covenant was a great win to get some confidence going, but we know that we'll need to be more competitive against teams like Harrisburg."
With plenty of league competition on the horizon, the Chargers will have ample opportunity to apply the lessons learned from their early season, facing three league contests next in the schedule.
A home court win on homecoming night was just the boost the Lady Chargers were hoping for before heading into the Christmas break, as they secured a 49-39 triumph over Millersburg High School.
Freshman Kara Locker had a huge night for Mount Calvary, with 16 points, five rebounds, two steals, and an assist.
"It was a huge performance for us, as it was an important game," noted head coach Phil Ferrari, currently in his third year at the helm of the coaching staff. "Kara is a freshman and still trying to learn her role and where she fits. She showed a lot of courage and determination."
Rebounds and second chances played a big role in the triumph. Haley Witmer's 12 boards and nine more from Emily Wolfe kept the Chargers a step ahead, giving them a 22-17 edge at the half.
Millersburg attempted to regroup for the second half, but the Chargers continued to thwart their comeback attempts. Jenna Romberger pulled up for deep jumper at the buzzer to end the third quarter with a comfortable 35-24 advantage.
"I always love playing at Homecoming because there is a packed house and the crowd is loud and supportive," explained Ferrari. "We were excited to play Millersburg again because we had scrimmaged them two weeks earlier and did not play particularly well, but felt we had gotten better. Playing our best all around game on offense and defense was very important," he added.
Additional contributions from players such as Naomi Ewing with seven points, four assists, and two rebounds, in addition to six points apiece from Witmer and Wolfe, supplied the Chargers with the depth they needed to pull off the win.
Earlier in December, the Lady Chargers kicked off their season with split results in the Tip Off tournament, getting an early season taste of both ends of the scoreboard. The loss on day one bumped the Chargers into the consolation game, but their continued efforts granted them the triumph on day two.
In the tournament opener, the Lady Chargers took on New Covenant Flames and got off to an encouraging beginning, holding a 11-5 lead at the conclusion of the first period.
"I couldn't have been more pleased with how the team played in the first quarter," commented Ferrari.
The Lady Chargers stretched their advantage to a double-digit lead in the second, going up 17-7, before the Flames began to make adjustments and crack the Charger defense.
"They beat us deep several times for easy layups, and they closed the first half on a 10-3 run," pointed out Ferrari.
A Charger scoring drought in the third gave the Flames the momentum and the 27-22 upper hand heading into the final quarter.
Witmer stepped up big for the Chargers tallying 12 points while pulling down four rebounds, snagging two steals, and dishing a pair of assists.
On the boards, Jayln Maulfair led the team securing nine rebounds. Sophomore Brie Lehman gave the Chargers a glimpse of success beyond the arc, sinking two-for-two from three-point range.
"They were definitely the better team on this night, but we look forward to playing them again in January to see if we have grown as a team," encouraged Ferrari.
Turning the page to their second game of the tourney, the Lady Chargers got off to a rocky start, only scoring three points in the first half against Harrisburg Academy, but flipped the switch to come roaring back for a 31-21 victory.
Finding themselves outscored 15-3 at the half, the Lady Chargers headed into the break facing an uphill battle.
"Nothing could have prepared us for how poorly we shot the ball in the first half," admitted Ferrari. "We didn't need to panic because we felt like we were doing some good things on offense, and that the shots would eventually start to fall."
Focusing on what they could do to spark that comeback, Ferrari reminded his team to keep up the defense and continue striving towards their goal.
"Keep doing the same things we were doing in the first half, and we would eventually begin to score some points. If you continue to do the right things long enough, the results usually take care of themselves," encouraged Ferrari.
As Ferrari predicted, the shots began to drop, spurring the Lady Chargers into a 28-6 second half run and resulting in the win by a double-digit difference.
"As a coach, I love to see when our players respond to adversity, but honestly, I cannot take any of the credit for what they accomplished on the court," praised Ferrari. "Maybe something we said at halftime inspired them or encouraged them, but the bottom line is, they were the ones on the floor making game-changing plays and all of the credit goes to them for stepping up."
Witmer's contribution of nine points, eight rebounds, and three steals earned her All-Tournament recognition.
Locker, in her debut weekend of varsity competition, was another influential factor, totaling nine points, seven of which came in the win over Harrisburg.
The Lady Chargers were tested in two subsequent losses to opponents Veritas Academy and Harrisburg Christian, before they rallied for the Millersburg homecoming win. They enter the new year with the goal of securing their first league competition win.
"We have already shown great strides in many areas, mainly in our never give up attitude during games where we have come back and fought hard till the end to give ourselves chances to win," summarized Ferrari.
Over the Christmas break, the team took some time to focus their efforts on causes other than basketball. Receiving a list of needed items for the Elizabethtown non-profit homeless shelter (ECHOS), the players shopped together for items to donate.
"It has been fun to watch is how the team is bonding together and having fun while still working hard and serving our community," explained Ferrari.
Lady Chargers Cap Season With 14-3 Record October 30, 2017
The Lady Chargers' capped their season with a PIAA District III playoff run that advanced them as far as the quarterfinals before they bowed out against Fairfield High School.
In order to earn their way into the quarterfinals, the Lady Chargers were first paired against Millersburg High School and prevailed 3-0 last Monday.
A previous meeting with Millersburg during the regular season ended 4-0 in favor of Millersburg, but the Lady Chargers turned the tables and caught the Indians off guard to oust them in the first round.
Two first half goals put the Lady Chargers in command of the home field contest, and they rode that momentum surge right through the final minute.
"It definitely helped to have played them earlier in the season and to know what their attacks looked like. We were much more prepared to cut off through balls and for the speed they have up top," noted head coach Kim Schmitkons.
Precise defensive execution enabled the Lady Chargers to get the ball upfield and create scoring opportunities.
"Our defensive line knew the importance of double teaming Millersburg's strikers to prevent shots. Our center backs did a great job of stepping up to win the ball," praised Schmitkons.
Going on the offensive was something the Chargers struggled to do in their first meeting against the Indians, but that presented no problems this time around.
Brittney Taylor struck first, powering an unassisted shot into Millersburg's net midway through the first half.
"The biggest difference in this game was our mindset. We had to be challenging balls together and supporting each other consistently," elaborated Schmitkons. "In the first five minutes we started controlling the ball and attacking forward. The girls embraced that initial success and used it as momentum."
Just before the half, an illegal contact whistle awarded the Chargers with a free kick from well outside the 18. Emma Moore stepped up sail the ball into the Millersburg box, and after it rattled around, Naomi Ewing dished the ball to Julia Martin who finished the play to put the Chargers up by two.
Knowing Millersburg was capable of a comeback, the Lady Chargers faced a critical task of maintaining control for the second half. As expected, Millersburg went on the attack directly after the break. One of their strikers made a move at midfield to shake a Charger defender, and earned an open look at the 18, but Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk held her ground for one of nine saves.
Switching back to their offensive end, the Chargers' third goal came from yet another source, this time Ewing received the ball from Martin and used her quick feet to create space inside the box and sent the ball home.
"Our variety of attack has been very important. We really play better when we are looking to attack in different ways through different players," said Schmitkons. "In addition, we are constantly working on following up each other's' shots, not giving up on the play, and putting the second or third ball into the net."
Their quarterfinal match against Fairfield resulted in a resounding 10-0 Fairfield triumph and also brought the Lady Chargers' season to a halt. Despite the lopsided final, Mt. Calvary has a vast amount of accomplishments and success to their credit.
"Winning the CCAC championship, finishing atop the league, and making it to the second round of districts are great accomplishments," acknowledged Schmitkons. "More than that, I will boast in the unity in this group of girls who worked to support each other on and off the field," she continued.
Referencing Romans 12:4-5 "All members do not have the same function, so we being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one body." Schmitkons noted how the spiritual concept of believers in Christ working together to fulfill the will of God was an ideal picture of how the team sought to put that sort of unity into their play.
"Whatever challenges came-injuries, physical exhaustion, mental fatigue, big games-it was great to help the girls face them together. We will sorely miss the leadership brought by our seniors, and the joy they bring to practices and games with their work ethic and positive attitude," continued Schmitkons.
Completing their 2017 season with an unblemished 12-0 league record, a fourth consecutive CCAC championship title and a 14-3 overall record is quite the feat, but that won't stop the Lady Chargers from pushing for more next season.
"Each player has grown through the season in how they play and their awareness of each other on the field. We look forward to building on this next year," summarized Schmitkons.
Lady Chargers Win 4th Straight CCAC Title October 22, 2017
The Mount Calvary girls' soccer had plenty to prove in search of their fourth consecutive CCAC championship, and they proved they still deserve it, taking home the title with a 2-0 win over Harrisburg Christian.
Before heading to the championship, their first post-season test came in a pairing against West Shore Christian in the semifinal round of the CCAC tournament last Tuesday, and though it took 33 minutes before the scoreboard registered a change, the Charger offense erupted for a 5-0 victory.
"The girls knew how important this game was and were determined not to start slow. Our plan was to attack West Shores' weaker defensive side, get ball through into the corner and then into the box," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons.
Executing that game plan flawlessly, the Lady Chargers worked their way down the sidelines before propelling the ball into the centerfield for ideal shooting opportunities. Brittney Taylor was the first to complete the play, connecting with the back of the net seven minutes before the half.
"The midfield did a great job of linking passes to work the ball up the field. Our passing was vital to controlling the game," noted Schmitkons.
Taylor and Naomi Ewing finished with two goals apiece and Julia Martin supplied the other. Taylor and Abby Bert each picked up an assist in the attack.
The win advanced the Lady Chargers into the CCAC championship game against the Harrisburg Christian Knights. Pressure was high for the Lady Chargers to defend their title, having claimed the championship each of the past three years. Looking to keep their streak alive, they prepared knowing not to underestimate their opponent.
"We want to see the same level of intensity and controlled passing on Friday night," explained Schmitkons in the days leading up to the championship. "We know how Harrisburg Christian plays, and knowing that we have beaten them before, it is a challenge to not come into the game overconfident."
"We are trying to keep a balanced mindset of playing intense and with confidence in ourselves, and at the same time respecting Harrisburg Christian and all that they have been able to accomplish this season," she added.
The Lady Chargers came out ready to play in Friday night's championship held at In the Net, but did not notch a goal until six minutes before the half, when Naomi Ewing carried the ball between the Knight defenders and slipped in a low shot for the go-ahead goal.
Opening the second half, the Chargers found themselves on the defensive as the Knights came out hot and started creating options on their offensive end. Several loose balls rattled around the Charger box dangerously close to the line, but time and again a Charger defender was able to clear the ball.
"Julia Martin and Emma Moore alternated in a vital role in cutting off Harrisburg's primary striker," pointed out Schmitkons.
It was obvious the Knights would not go down easy. At the 58th minute mark, a Knight shot sailed over Charger defense and ricocheted off the upper left goal post, narrowly missing the equalizer the Knights were desperately seeking, and keeping Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk (8 saves) on her toes.
"Leah continues to step up her game and be aggressive off her line to pick up the long balls and through balls on the turf," praised Schmitkons.
The Lady Chargers began to resettle and take control, using passing sequences to push the action back to the opposite end of the field.
"Katelyn Esbenshade and Naomi Ewing worked the center of the field with Katelyn providing a constant defensive presence and Naomi attacking aggressively," said Schmitkons.
With 13:00 left to play, freshman Olivia Yordy worked her way down the left sideline and placed a cross directly in front of the Knight box. Fellow freshman Ruth Hoffman was in the right place at the right time and redirected the ball into the net, all but sealing the fate of the contest.
The Knights did not give up, sailing a breakaway shot just wide with 27 seconds left, but to no avail.
The sound of the final buzzer was sweet as the Chargers celebrated their title for the fourth year running.
"Like every one of our tough games, this win took a team effort," acknowledged Schmitkons. "I am proud of our girls for playing with great determination and a team mentality. They have accomplished a tremendous amount this season, but I am most proud of their support for each other and willingness to work hard in any role for the team."
Worn thin by an intense schedule and team injuries, Mount Calvary volleyball dug deep to battle out three games in four days, and ended their season with a mixed bag of results. In their final week of play the Chargers experienced being on both sides of a sweep in addition to a back-and-forth five game contest.
Facing their first opponent of the week in Linville Hill, the Lady Chargers suffered a loss in three 25-21, 25-13, 25-21.
Serving and passing errors quickly put the Chargers behind 2-0 in the set count.
"Our passes on serve receive and on defense were pushed too tight to the net," noted head coach Kate Ferrari. "Essentially with these tight passes we set up the opponent to attack right back at us."
Rallying in the third set, Grace Hilsher churned some Charger momentum, nailing two aces during her service turn. Hilsher paired with Molly Bert to boost defensive play, giving the Chargers a much-needed shot at a comeback.
"Grace and Molly were all over the back line digging up attacks and making it possible for us to set up our offense," said Ferrari.
Unfortunately, the surge came a little too late, and Linville recovered to close the window of opportunity and the match.
Highlights for the Chargers included Kami Mummau's 11 kills and a block; Hilsher's 9 digs and 4 aces; and Kara Locker's 14 assists.
Twenty-four hours later, it was the Chargers turn to dole out a 3-0 defeat, and they swiftly overcame Columbia High School 25-4, 25-6, 25-16.
"The ladies played really well tonight and did a really nice job of not letting up; making sure they communicated throughout the entire set," pointed out Ferrari.
Mummau's game-high 15 aces set the tone for the match, not only racking up points but inspiring an abundance of aggressive serving. In set two, Mummau nailed four aces, McMahon and Locker each fired two, and Carley Herndon provided one.
Mummau added 4 kills and 5 assists to her performance, Hilsher delivered 4 kills, Locker chipped in 5 assists, and Rachel Green came up with 5 digs.
Thursday night, the Charger season came to a close after a five-game battle that tipped in favor of Veritas Academy 25-20, 11-25, 25-21, 25-15, 16-14.
Serving errors continued to plagued the Chargers, making set one a relatively easy snag for Veritas.
Set two display a revamped Charger squad that used the serve to secure the win as Mummau, Locker, and Bert each fired five aces to account for 15 of the set points.
"They were unstoppable and made very few errors in this set," praised Ferrari.
The following two sets were almost exact replicas of the first two, with Veritas claiming the third, but the Chargers dominating the fourth.
"They pushed hard. Grace provided 5 digs, Kami was aggressive at the net, and Kara and Grace had key serves," elaborated Ferrari regarding the fourth set. "There was so much energy on the court, it was amazing! The girls were pumped to get this win."
The fifth was neck-and-neck as the two even teams battled to the final points. Veritas crept ahead to an 11-7 lead, but Locker delivered three aces to bring the Chargers right back into contention. With the game knotted at 14, Veritas lined up two consecutive attacks to go ahead at the right moment and claim the final set.
The loss signified the end of the Charger season, finalizing their record at 7-9, but certainly not the end of their potential.
"I was truly encouraged by this game. We have a bright future ahead," summarized Ferrari of her young squad. "Lady Charger volleyball has a lot to look forward to."
Chargers Cap 4th Straight Unbeaten League Mark October 15, 2017
Last Monday's 3-2 win over Lancaster County Christian might have appeared to be just another exciting overtime victory for the Lady Chargers, but the event signified much more.
The contest, played at home, marked the Lady Charger's final league contest of the regular season, and by grasping the grueling double overtime win, they earned a flawless CCAC league record of 10-0.
In addition to that achievement, the senior players on the team celebrated the feat of four consecutive perfect league records.
Racking up a history of 46-0, the Mt. Calvary Lady Chargers have not dropped a league contest in the past four years, giving this year's seniors the distinction of having never lost a league match in their varsity careers.
Monday's faceoff against the Lions did not start out in favor of the Lady Chargers, and they were forced to take nothing for granted, when they found themselves trailing 1-0 at the half.
"We were really struggling to play our game," noted head coach Kim Schmitkons. "LCCS was beating us to the ball, and we were playing very defensively."
With so much riding on the contest, Schmitkons spent the break inspiring her players to raise their level of play.
"Coach Pruner and I talked to the girls about playing our game, and attacking instead of just defending," added Schmitkons.
Linking their defensive work with connecting passes, the Lady Chargers tweaked their tactics in order to launch methodical offensive attacks.
"We shifted some girls around, and we earned corners by playing to our outsides and making diagonal runs," explained Schmitkons.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, the adjustments paid off, and Julia Martin and Naomi Ewing paired for the Charger equalizer. Ewing propelled a corner kick into the goal box finding Martin, who headed the ball into the net.
The Lions refused to bow out early, and retaliated 14 minutes later to once again hold the edge 2-1.
Time was not on their side as the clock wound down, and the Lady Chargers looked like they might fall one game short of an unblemished league season. Refusing to not quit, it was freshman players Martin assisting Olivia Yordy, that got the job done, notching the second equalizer with less than three minutes on the clock.
"High pressure and aggression from Brittney Taylor, Olivia Yordy, and Julia Martin is what helped create our second goal opportunity," commented Schmitkons.
Riding their momentum surge into two overtime periods, the Lady Chargers controlled the tempo of the game and it was only a matter of time until their constant pressure provided an opening for Martin to power an unassisted goal into the back of the Lion's net.
"We've been in an overtime situation before, so the girls knew what they needed to do. We stayed strong defensively and just kept taking opportunities as they came," acknowledged Schmitkons. "It was a tough mental game to work through, and we are very proud of the way the girls kept fighting to pull out the win," she added.
Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk grabbed eight saves, robbing the Lions of any further attempts to claim the contest.
On the heels of their big win, it was fitting that Tuesday night marked Mount Calvary Senior Night, a moment to honor the contributions of the senior players who have been a part of such a great run. Melissa Martin, Jenna Romberger, Emily Wolfe, and Katelyn Esbenshade are a group of defenders that have anchored much of the success the Lady Chargers have enjoyed over the past four years. Abby Bert is a welcome recent addition to the team, adding an extra spark to the team dynamic on and off the field.
Taking a moment to reflect on the unique attributes of each senior, Schmitkons shared her thoughts.
"Katelyn is an inspiring servant-leader. She is most often seen after a game carrying balls or the water jug to the shed. She plays selflessly on the field, giving 110% while also demanding that everyone stays focused in our huddles," said Schmitkons.
"Abby jumped right into a game and started running through balls in offense and defense. Her energy, enthusiasm, and encouragement came at just the right time in the season," Schmitkons noted of their newest player.
"Missy helps keep us all energized and fired up with her positive attitude, music playlists, and dance moves. On the field she may be constantly critiquing herself, but she has shown more and more aggression each game. Her vocal encouragement makes every game and practice more enjoyable," the coach continued.
"Emily is the leader we can all fall back on. On the field she will make the extra sprint, the extra challenge, the extra switch of field. Her example of hard work through every practice and every 80-minute no-subs game is invaluable to our team.
"Jenna has helped lead our team with her work ethic and dependability. Whether in the center or on the side, we rely on her defensive aggression and consistent play to keep the ball out of our net. We appreciate her example of commitment and hard work," concluded Schmitkons.
The volleyball team experienced a heartbreaking loss to start last week, but rallied for an end of week triumph.
Initially the Chargers looked strong, going up 2-0 against High Point Baptist before succumbing to a 3-2 loss.
"Our biggest issue was communication," explained head coach Kate Ferrari. "As soon as we give up two or more points, our communication takes a big hit. Unfortunately, communication is the key to getting out of a lull," she elaborated.
The first two sets displayed the Chargers reading their opponents and capitalizing on High Points' mistakes, but the team faltered in the remaining three.
"In addition to communication, we struggled in consistency," noted Ferrari.
Despite the disappointment, Ferrari encourages her girls to move forward and learn from the tough loss.
"Grace Hilsher did a nice job attempting to defend the back line with 12 digs," she pointed out.
Hilsher also supplied seven aces. Kelsey McMahon put down 10 kills, and Brie Lehman provided two blocks.
During Senior Night, Ferrari took the time to note the contributions of the two senior players, Carley Herndon and Kelsey McMahon.
"Carley is always so willing to work to better her skills and never lacked effort. One of the things I admire most about Carley is her selflessness and her ability to encourage her teammates, she lives out Philippians 2:3, 'Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself'," shared Ferrari.
"Kelsey has strong leadership skills and a great ability to get the girls pumped during a game. She has a great awareness of her other teammates feelings and encourages them in their endeavors. A great verse to attribute to Kelsey is Proverbs 17:17, 'A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity'," summarized Ferrari.
Regrouping after the early week defeat, the Lady Chargers showed their heart and tenacity toppling Fairfield High School in three well-earned sets 26-24, 25-23, 25-18.
Freshman Kara Locker set the tone firing an ace for the first point of the game. From there, Fairfield was forced to scramble adjusting to the Charger attack.
Unfortunately, the Chargers suffered a setback when Lehman injured an ankle midway through set one. Forced to alter their game plan, Rachel Green, another freshman, stepped in to fill the void.
"I was very pleased with how the girls adjusted to changing up our lineup. Rachel ended up playing all the way around holding her own," praised Ferrari.
Though the score remained tight, the Chargers held out for the set win.
Set two was critical to the outcome of the game, with Fairfield finding their rhythm and the Chargers reeling from the injury, the game could have easily gone either direction, but the Chargers dug deep to hang on.
"I reminded them that they needed to communicate and keep up the intensity," said Ferrari. "I wanted them to keep pushing every single point. They took that advice and ran with it."
After claiming the second set, the girls headed into set three with revitalized enthusiasm.
"Confidence was high. They were determined to pull out the win in three," acknowledge Ferrari.
Not only did the Chargers claim the match in three, but improved their consistency, taking the third set with their largest lead, 25-18.
Kami Mummau was all over the court with 4 aces, 3 kills, and a block. Hilsher guarded the back line with 10 digs, and Locker dished out 3 assists.
Victory was elusive for the boys' soccer team last week, falling 4-1 to High Point on Monday, and 4-0 to Antietam on Friday, but despite the losses, they celebrated the season long effort of the team, and most specifically the senior players.
The Chargers graduate two seniors this year, Matt Kark and Aaron Shambaugh, both have been four-year starters for the team. Head coach Marc Myers took the Senior Night opportunity to explain why each of them will be missed.
"Matt is passionate, motivates others, and is a strong leader on this team. He is versatile and he could play any position on the field," commended Myers.
"Aaron is a hard worker and quiet leader. He has been a big asset to our team and has given us consistency in our defense," noted Myers.
The senior night honors came during the tough home loss to High Point Baptist. Despite the scoreboard reading in favor of High Point, the Chargers focused on the positives and the bigger picture as they acknowledged their seniors.
David Ellis supplied the Chargers' goal, assisted by Kark.
Wrapping up their season with a record of 3-12, might not be the outcome they were hoping for, but the young team can choose to use it as incentive to build toward future improvement.