Lady Booters Top Wyomissing, Fall to Elco October 28, 2018
The Pequea Valley girls' soccer team opened its District Three Class-AA playoffs with a 4-1 win at home, defeating Wyomissing on Tuesday night. By beating the 10th-seeded Spartans, the No. 7 ranked Braves advanced to the District quarterfinals with a date at Lancaster-Lebanon League foe Elco on Saturday.
The Braves jumped on the scoreboard right away, taking advantage of an own goal by Wyomissing (10-6-3). Brittany Shirk doubled that slim lead in the 32nd minute of the game.
Following intermission, Baleigh Henshaw took matters into her own hands..., or feet, rather. She struck two shots into the Spartans' net - both goals coming three minutes apart from each other. Meanwhile, Alyssa Yoder and Grace Martin each recorded an assist on the night.
The Braves, who improved to 12-4-3, allowed only seven shots on goal. Kyrstin Jarvis grabbed six saves while anchoring a strong defensive effort.
In Saturday's second-round game, the Raiders demonstrated the offensive fire power that had helped them achieve an unbeaten record through the regular season and the L-L League playoffs. The team that had registered shutouts in nine of its final 10 regular season games blanked the Braves 7-0 as Natalie Swingholm put up a hat trick and Tanisha Grewal added two more goals.
The Braves' record fell to 12-5-3.
Pequea Valley played its first match in two weeks as it visited Fleetwood in the first round of the District Three Class-AA boys' soccer playoffs. Entering the playoffs as the sixth-ranked team at 14-3-2, the Braves visited the Tigers on Saturday night under brisk, rainy conditions.
Despite trailing at halftime and again falling behind by a 3-1 score in the second half, the Braves battled back only to have a late Fleetwood goal end their season at 14-4-2.
"It was frustrating," said PV head coach Peter Bennett. "It was 3-3 and both sides were pushing to get the game-winner in the final 10 minutes. Unfortunately, they got behind us and were able to finish with about two or three minutes left.
"They're a good team with some good offensive players," he added.
The Tigers scored the only goal of the first half and padded the lead early in the second half.
"In the beginning of the game, they came out ready to go," Bennett remarked. "They had a couple of chances early on. They had an early goal eight minutes in. We worked our way back into the game and it was a tight match. It was 1-0 at halftime."
Elijah Elkins scored the Braves' first goal of the game, cutting the deficit to 2-1. The Tigers reclaimed the two-goal lead only to see the Braves erase the huge advantage by scoring the next two goals.
"It is something that I've been proud of this team all season - our ability to weather adversity," Bennett said. "It would've been easy when it was 2-0 or 3-1 to pack it in. Our guys did well to rally and keep doing what has been successful for us. I thought we played better in the second half."
With a foul on Elkins in the penalty box, Joshua Heinrich stepped up and scorched the penalty kick into the Tigers' goal to make it 3-2. Brandon Ratjavong scored the equalizer minutes later.
With players like Elkins and Ratjavong, who are juniors, as well as sophomore goalie Nehemiah Glick, the head coach anticipates continued success in the future.
"We have a lot of players coming back," he said. "We have a big class of juniors coming through. For them to show that fight certainly bodes well for the future."
The beleaguered Pequea Valley offense was unable to score against Lancaster Catholic on Friday night. The Braves suffered a 37-0 Lancaster-Lebanon League loss to the top team in Section Three. It was a Goliath of an opponent for the Braves, who were hosting a team that had outscored opponents 327-82 in its previous nine games. The Crusaders (10-0) had averaged 36.3 points per game and just about matched that on Friday night in Kinzers.
The Braves, who fell to 0-9 in league play (0-10 overall) kept it close for the first half. At intermission, it was 16-0 Lancaster Catholic with the first two points of the game coming on a safety.
"We played a really good team with some great, well-coached athletes," said head coach Mike Choi. "I'm very proud of the way our guys played."
Choi emphasized the strong defensive effort that kept the Crusaders' offense to only two touchdowns, especially with injuries to four defensive starters.
"We had two linebackers out, a defensive end and a cornerback," he said. "We had guys learning new positions this past week in practice. It was a challenge to get them ready to play a fundamentally sound game.
"What they did in the first half defensively was to slow them down," continued the coach. "We slowed them down and forced them to make some adjustments. Catholic went more for throwing the ball. When you take the powerhouse that they are and force them to make adjustments, that's something to be proud of."
One of Lancaster Catholic's second-half touchdowns did come in the air. Quarterback Gavin Sullivan finished with 129 passing yards.
Nevin Roman made it 23-0 with a three-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Philip Bomberger caught a five-yard TD toss from Sullivan later in the period - Sullivan's second TD pass of the game.
Roman then capped the scoring on a 33-yard fourth-quarter dash to the end zone.
Though he didn't score, Malkam Lawrence led the Crusaders in rushing with 117 yards on 15 carries. Jeffrey Harley gained 87 yards on the ground. One of his nine carries was a touchdown in the second quarter.
Not giving up throughout the game, the Braves' rushing attack was led by Dylan Jackson. The senior running back, playing his final game at PV, gained 75 yards on 16 carries. The Crusaders shut down the Pequea passing attack, allowing only 12 yards on three completions.
"You don't usually give game balls on losses," said Choi. "I gave it to Dylan Jackson for this game. He was a stalwart on defense and an outstanding leader. He plays for the love of the game; he played for his teammates."
Choi has emphasized his pride as a takeaway throughout the season.
"These guys came out for practice this week, not even thinking about our 0-9 record," he said. "Whether we're winning or losing, what our guys are going to remember is the experience. High school football is about the memories you build and the meaningful times aren't always what you see when you look up at the scoreboard.
"We had a really young team that took on a ton of experience," he added. "Sure, you have to take bumps and bruises in the game of football to go along with the experience. But the kids know they just have to get stronger and better. The experience will motivate them to get better."
Short-Handed Braves Bow to Ephrata October 21, 2018
In a clash of two Lancaster-Lebanon League football teams, the Ephrata Mountaineers came out on top Friday night at Pequea Valley, defeating the Braves 45-0.
The Mountaineers, who had been in a number of high-scoring games this year, evened their L-L League record at 4-4 and improved to 4-5 overall. The Braves suffered their eighth league loss and fell to 0-9 overall.
It was the second game in a row that the Braves were blanked. The previous week they suffered a 34-0 loss that was deceptive in that the Elco Raiders scored 20 of those points in the fourth quarter.
"Against Elco, we had three series that were first-and-goal and we didn't get it done," noted head coach Mike Choi.
The big handicap to overcome against the Mountaineers was the loss of workhorse running back Brandon Hershey, who was hurt prior to the game.
"We kept him out for precautionary reasons," Choi explained. "When you only have 20 players on the roster and you're facing a team with 43 players, then you take a two-way starter out of the game, it's not like you can just patch things together. It's tough.
"Early in the game we lost Luke Brown, our middle linebacker, and offensive lineman to a knee injury," he added. "We were really scrambling after losing two two-way players."
The Mounts first scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Caden Keefer to Trent Martin. Two big rushing touchdowns followed - a 35-yarder by Miracle Watto and a 58-yard run by Keefer for the first score of the second quarter.
Keefer finished with seven completions for 91 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 95 yards on seven carries. Brandon Walton gave Ephrata 54 rushing yards on 12 carries, including two touchdowns.
They carried a 35-0 lead into the second half. Kai Mast, who converted all six of his PAT kicks, added a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Choi was asked to comment on the mental make-up of the Pequea Valley Braves, who come into games over-matched in terms of roster size and flexibility of personnel.
"I wish more people saw how special these kids are," he said. "They come out knowing they have to play a full 48 minutes on both sides of the ball. Some kids don't get to come off the field. We even play against some teams with platoons at positions.
"When you're facing a team like Ephrata or Annville-Cleona, you tend to wear down without many people on the sidelines, who are ready to go in," said Choi. "Our kids are incredible as far as their efforts. You come out for a football team, understanding that there are going to be some challenges. You're not looking at the scoreboard, the wins and the losses; you look at the efforts they give. They've learned a lot of life lessons sticking together and picking each other up on the field."
PV Lady Booters Sit 6th in District Rankings October 14, 2018
The Pequea girls' soccer team sits in sixth place in the district power rankings. The team completed the regular season with an 11-4-2 record (7-3-1 in league). The Braves, who finished third in Section Four and didn't qualify for the league playoffs, faced Middletown in a non-league game on Monday.
It was a game of comebacks and endurance. The teams traded leads until the score was tied after regulation play. Middletown's Camryn Russ finally ended the match in its 98th minute, which came in the second overtime period.
Grace Martin's goal 70 minutes earlier had given PV a 1-0 advantage, which carried into the second half. Six minutes into the second half, the Blue Raiders tied the score on Hayli Akakpo-Martin's goal and took the lead eight minutes later on Sarah Miscevich's goal.
Brittany Shirk tied it up again, scoring in the game's 68th minute. It stayed tied for 30 minutes of play.
For the Pequea Valley boys' soccer team, it's a wait-and-see situation in terms of who will be the Braves' next opponent. After securing the Section Four title with a 10-1-1 league record, the Braves, who are 14-3-2 overall, now wait to see who their opponent will be in the District Three Class-AA playoffs. Currently the team is sixth in the district's power rankings.
The final week of the regular season had its ups and downs, including an opening-round loss to Warwick in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.
"You never like to lose in the playoffs," head coach Peter Bennett stated. "Given that they're Section One co-champions and in the top-five of 4A rankings in the district, for us to walk out with a 1-0 final bodes well with what we'll be up against in districts. We have to wait until Thursday to see who we'll be matched up against."
Taking a defeat with a positive note - the thinking that it brings a team something to learn from - was what happened earlier in the week to the Braves. The team faced Lancaster Mennonite on Monday in a non-league road game. The Blazers blanked the Braves 2-0 as Mesa Dula and Shota Totani scored off assists by Ben Lefever and Tyler Wagner.
"The Lancaster Mennonite game was also a good non-league game for us to see what we'll be up against in districts," Bennett said. "It was also a preparation for us to be disciplined and ready against another good team. It was frustrating to lose, but we learned a lot from it."
That other good team was the one on the Braves' schedule for the regular season finale. The Braves did respond in positive fashion by defeating Lancaster Catholic on the road Thursday afternoon. After falling behind 1-0 to their league rivals, the Braves came back for a 3-1 victory.
"It hasn't happened very often that we've had to come from behind in a match," Bennett said. "But it tells you a lot about our maturity. We did not get flustered; we stayed the course.
"We took care of our business throughout the season," continued the coach, "and we put ourselves in a position to go there and get a win. I'm proud of how the boys overcame the deficit."
Only six minutes after Catholic had taken the lead, the Braves tied the game on a free kick which resulted in an own goal by the Crusaders' defense.
The tie score stayed until 19 minutes into the second half where Josh Gingrich scored off a Bennett Nordhoff assist. Nordhoff would go on to assist on PV's third goal as well.
"Bennett has been a nice player for us in the back line," said the coach. "We sort of moved him into the midfield. His vision and flexibility - going out of defense to midfield - certainly gave us a lift."
That third goal came courtesy of Brandon Ratjavong in the final minute of the match - Pequea's 13th shot on goal.
"Brandon scored with about 30 seconds left to put the game out of reach," Bennett explained. "It got crazy in the last couple of minutes. I was glad to see we didn't just pack it in and defend. It was nice to see him break through for one more goal."
Goalie Nehemiah Glick anchored the defense. Glick, who had four saves in each of the shutout losses this week, recorded seven saves against the Crusaders.
In the L-L League Flight Championships at Conestoga Valley on Monday, the duo of seniors Sophia Weaver and Naomi Feister came in second at the Flight One doubles. Isabel Midcap and Riley Smith came through with 6-0, 6-0 victories.
In singles competition, Weaver finished fifth in Flight One singles with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
In District Class-AA competition, Weaver faced Kendall Kubis of Lancaster Country Day in the opening round on Friday at the Hershey Racquet Club. Kubis made it through to the second round with a 6-4, 6-0 win.
In Thursday's District Three 2A team championships at HRC, the Braves lost to Wyomissing 5-0.
Weaver suffered a 6-0, 6-0 defeat in the first singles while Feister came up short in a 6-1, 6-1 final at second singles and sophomore Adalie Clemmer lost a tough 6-4 set at third singles.
In doubles, Hope Fisher and Ryleigh Kurtz suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss while Caroline Bragg and Kristin Huenink were on the short end of a 6-1, 6-2 final.
The Elco Raiders intercepted three passes and recovered a Pequea Valley fumble in Friday night's L-L League Section Three clash at home. They went on to defeat the Braves 34-0, and improved to 7-1 (6-1 league) while Pequea fell to 0-7 in league play, 0-8 overall.
It was a fairly close game, however, until the fourth quarter. The Braves were within two touchdowns heading into the final period. Elco scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Braden Bohannon to Erik Williams in the second quarter and held only a 6-0 halftime lead. Bohannon ran for the Raiders' next TD from four yards out in the third quarter and moments later found Ethan Kissinger in the end zone for a two-point PAT pass play, making it 14-0.
However, three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter put the Braves' comeback hopes out of reach. The three scores included a five-yard fumble return by Austin Sprenkle.
Braves quarterback Collin Bailey did complete 14 passes for 113 yards. Dylan Jackson carried the ball seven times for 84 yards and caught two passes for 12 more yards.
Dalton Temple was on the receiving end of six passes for a total of 32 yards while Carter Rohrer caught an 18-yarder from Bailey.
Bohannon ran for 147 yards on 25 carries and the rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Luke Williams ran for 90 yards on 17 carries and the games' final score.
The Braves' next game will be at home against Ephrata
Lady Braves Blank A-C, Currently 5th in Districts October 7, 2018
With a scoreless draw and a 6-0 victory, the Pequea Valley girls' soccer team improved to 6-3-1 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and upped its record to 10-3-2 overall.
The Braves head into the final week of the regular season, battling for second place in a tough Section Four. Lancaster Catholic (10-0-0) has clinched the section while Annville-Cleona is one game ahead of the third-place Braves. Regardless of how things shape up for the league playoffs, Pequea Valley finds itself fifth in the District Three Class-AA power rankings while Eastern Lebanon County and Lancaster Catholic - two unbeaten teams - occupy the top two spots.
The Braves faced Annville-Cleona on Monday. Despite 80 minutes of play in regulation time plus two overtime periods, neither side was able to score. The Braves registered 24 shots on goal and Dutchmen goalie Alyssa Ulrich turned away all 24. Meanwhile, Krystin Jarvis needed to make only four saves to keep the opposition scoreless as well.
Instead of 24 shots all being for naught, the 23 shots on goal at Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday afternoon netted six goals for the Braves. Alyssa Yoder scored two of those goals while fellow seniors Katelyn Keen and Lindsey Hoover as well as sophomore Megan Yoder each registered one goal and one assist. Megan Rogers also scored while Baleigh Henshaw chipped in with an assist.
For Jarvis, the job was even easier in this match as she snagged one save for a shutout.
In boys' soccer action, Pequea Valley earned three crucial victories in the L-L League and managed to stay atop the Section Four standings as the season headed into its final two games. Nehemiah Glick earned two shutouts as Pequea Valley won at Annville-Cleona by a 5-0 score and blanked Lebanon Catholic 7-0 back at Kinzers. The Braves improved to 13-1-2 overall (9-1-1 league) by wrapping up the week with a 5-1 victory at Lancaster Country Day.
"We've been focused on each game and have had success so far to have us in line to win the section," head coach Peter Bennett said. "We're pretty much tied with Lancaster Catholic who's 8-1-1."
Glick had four saves in the Annville-Cleona game on Monday and needed to snag only one shot away from the crossing the plane in Wednesday's home game.
"We've been trying a couple of new things offensively, but you have to make sure your defense in order," Bennett said. "It's going to get tougher from here on out."
On offense, T.J. Hershey scored twice at A-C, registering both of his goals before the match was five minutes old. He went on to assist on two more goals as Elijah Elkins, Josh Gingrich and Nevin Stoltzfus each scored once - all of which came in the first half. Bennett Nordhoff registered an assist.
The Lebanon Catholic game featured a host of PV teammates earning points on both goals and assists. Gingrich and fellow junior Johan Gomez-Mendez each had one goal and two assists while Josh Bailey scored twice - once in each half.
"Johan is one of our junior varsity players," Bennett explained. "We've been having enough success to have our jayvee guys get some experience here and there. You need to rely on that depth as you're getting into the post-season."
Hershey, Josh Heirich and Evan Johns each had one goal and one assist while Dylan Ratjavong chipped in with one assist.
With a 3-0 halftime lead in Friday's match, the Braves cruised to a win at LCD. Hershey scored early in this game also, putting PV up 1-0 less than two minutes into the game. He scored again at the midway mark of the first half. Bailey scored a quick two minutes following Hershey's second goal while Heinrich added two second-half goals. He and Bailey each notched an assist as well.
It was senior Rafael Juarez keeping the Cougars in check. The goalie recorded two saves in the win.
The final two games on the Braves' schedule include a showdown with Section Four foe Lancaster Catholic in Thursday's regular-season finale. The Crusaders (12-1-1) ended the week with an 8-1-1 league mark and are on Pequea's heels.
Also, as the post-season draws closer and closer, the Braves find themselves fourth in the District Three Class-AA power rankings behind Lancaster Mennonite, Greenwood and Fleetwood while Lancaster Catholic is eighth.
Pequea Valley hosted an Annville-Cleona football team that had outscored its opponents 212-109 in its previous six games, compiling a 4-2 record (2-1 in league). The Little Dutchmen had also been involved in a few high-scoring contests and Friday's Section Three game was another one in which they succeeded in doing so, defeating the Braves 54-18.
Pequea Valley fell to 0-7 on the year (0-6 in LL League) while the Dutchmen improved to 5-2, 5-1.
Annville-Cleona quarterback Jeremy Bours ran for two touchdowns, gaining 77 yards on the ground Friday night, while completing seven passes for 105 yards. Caleb Tuner was the game's leading rusher with a 100 yards and scoring twice.
"What makes them explosive is that they're good in all phases and their precision on offense makes them tough to play against," said head coach Mike Choi. "You have to play disciplined football. You have to know what you're looking at in order to play at a high level."
As is often the case in high school football, a momentum swing just before halftime becomes a critical turning point. This was the case with A-C ahead 26-6 following Macrae Plummer's second field goal of the game, the Dutchmen kicked off with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter.
The Braves' miscue on the return attempt, however, turned into the break the Dutchmen needed to ride the wave of momentum into the locker room.
"They kicked the ball off with less than a minute left and we fumbled it," Choi explained. "They got a short field and scored a back-breaking touchdown. It took the momentum away from us.
"We had made some adjustments on defense and thought we would get out of the half down 26-6," he added.
On the second play of the short drive, Bours scored with a two-yard quarterback keeper, making it 33-6.
Choi started Colin Bailey at quarterback. He connected with Dalton Temple on a 50-yard touchdown pass for the Braves' only touchdown of the first half. Dylan Jackson, who finished with 81 yards rushing on 10 carries, scored twice in the second half, including a 56-yard dash.
"Colin Bailey started and called a really good game for a first start," Choi commented. "We had another near miss where if we had gotten the play off, we might have had a touchdown. But one of our guys was called for being off sides.
"You learn to focus more at moments like these as you gain more experience," Choi added.
Bailey had six completions, including the TD to Temple. He compiled 73 yards in the air and only one interception, which came early in the second half.
"It was just underthrown to our tight end," said Choi. "If we complete that pass, he could have run for another 20 or 30 yards. It was the first play of the second half."
The Dutchmen scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, including rushing TD's of six and 23 yards by Turner.
The Braves' next game will be at Elco.
"Last year we broke a string of 15 straight wins by Elco," Choi noted. "We hadn't beaten them in 15 years. We pulled it out on the last play. It has been a good rivalry for all the years I've been here.
"They're very talented with an incredibly gifted quarterback," he added. "Their coaching staff has done a good job. Last year they were a team with some inexperienced players just like we are this year. They have turned it around."
Choi did go on to emphasize that despite the "W" column failing to show a more favorable integer, he has seen tremendous efforts by the Braves.
"I'm proud of our team, to be honest," he said. "This isn't a season where you feel down about what you're doing. We're gaining as much experience as possible. We have a young team. They keep plugging away no matter what type of adversity we face. We may not be as experienced as some of our opponents, but we keep fighting for each other."
In the Class-AA quarterfinals of the L-L League Flight Tournament, Sophia Weaver came up short in a 6-1, 6-1 final on Thursday. Earlier in the day, she had posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory to reach the quarterfinals of Flight One singles.
In Flight Three quarterfinals, Adalie Clemmer won 6-4, 6-7, 11-9. The sophomore's path to the quarterfinals was also challenging as she made it through the first round with a 2-6, 6-4, 10-5 win.
In Flight Four singles, Ryleigh Kurtz played a tough match, finishing on the short end of a 7-6(3), 6-3 result. In Flight Two, PV's Naomi Feister suffered a 6-2, 6-1 defeat.
In Flight One doubles, Weaver and Feister were winners in the quarterfinals. Kurtz and Hope Fisher won an 8-2 set in the first round of Flight Three doubles while Clemmer and Kristin Huenink lost by the same margin at Flight Two doubles.
In a non-league road game, the Braves suffered a 6-0 defeat to Tulpehocken on Monday. The goalie tandem of Jordan Melson and Maria Gregory made seven and nine saves, respectively as Tulpehocken recorded 23 shots as a team.
The Braves' next two contests ended in defeat by the identical score of 8-0. Pequea Valley hosted Octorara on Thursday and traveled to Elco the following afternoon. Melson's tenacious goal keeping racked up 22 saves in the Octorara match while she added 10 more saves versus Elco with Gregory recording three more.
PV Girls' Soccer Extends Winning Streak to 4 September 30, 2018
The Pequea girls' soccer team extended its winning streak to four games, claiming that fourth consecutive win on Saturday at Berks Catholic, topping the non-league opponent 2-1. The Braves improved to 9-3-1 overall. Given that two of the four victories were against league opponents, the team improved to 5-3-0 in the L-L League.
The win streak, which dates back to the previous week, was extended to two games in a 1-0 win at Northern Lebanon on Tuesday afternoon. The Braves topped their league foe in overtime thanks to Megan Yoder breaking the scoreless deadlock.
Kyrstin Jarvis helped keep the Vikings off the board, recording 10 saves in the marathon match. The Braves out-shot the Vikings 12-10.
In another league match, the Braves' offense got out to a quick start and kept the proverbial "foot on the accelerator" in a 5-1 victory at Lebanon on Friday afternoon. Twenty-four shots on goal included two goals by Grace Martin and one each by Dana Diluzio, Jasmyn Stoltzfus and Emily Diller, who also had one assist. Gweneth Markell also provided an assist while on the defensive side of the pitch Jarvis and Maddy Weaver each notched one save.
The victory at Berks Catholic was in double overtime, actually. Kalyn Keen scored in the 92nd minute of a match where the Braves had to battle back for a win.
The Saints had taken a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the second half. Baleigh Henshaw scored the equalizer in the 62nd minute. Yoder and Brittany Shirk each dished out an assist in the win.
Jarvis once again was reliable in goal, making 12 saves in the 92-minute affair.
The Pequea Valley field hockey team faced Lancaster Mennonite on Monday. The Blazers were coming off a tight 2-1 defeat of Lancaster Catholic the previous week.
The Braves were unable to hold off the Mennonite attack as the visitors pulled off a 6-0 Lancaster-Lebanon League win, scoring three times in each half.
Rebecca Lane scored twice - one in each half - as the Blazers recorded 21 shots on goal.
Pequea's Jordan Melson and Maria Gregory were relentless in front of the cage, making seven and eight saves, respectively.
The Braves fell to 0-9-0 in the L-L League (0-10-0 overall) while Mennonite improved to 5-3-0 in the league.
Emily Ammon scored off an Emily Bologa assist at the 24:45 mark of the second half on Wednesday at Annville-Cleona. However, it was all A-C the rest of the way in an 8-1 league win for the Dutchmen. Three different A-C players scored two goals each.
The home team had 35 shots on goal with Melson making 24 saves and Gregory notching 11 more.
Gregory handled the goal keeping duties and recorded 18 saves at Lancaster Country Day on Saturday afternoon in a 6-0 league loss.
Pequea Valley is in the hunt for Section Four boys' soccer title, as well as league and District Three playoff aspirations.
"One of our things is to keep building with each game," said PV head coach Peter Bennett.
"Each game grows increasingly difficult - especially difficult," Bennett added, referring to upcoming games with section contenders Lancaster Country Day and Lancaster Catholic, who are 6-1-0 and 6-0-1 in the league, respectively, and only percentage points ahead of the 6-1-1 Braves. "We have big matches coming up that have both section and district seeding implications."
The Braves (10-1-2 overall) opened their week with a 15-0 defeat of Northern Lebanon on Tuesday. They had 29 shots on goal, scoring seven times in the first half.
"We've gotten to the point where we're pretty settled in to the way we're playing and what we're trying to do," Bennett said. "We played our game as a team and good things happened for us."
Josh Heinrich had an amazing day, scoring five of the 15 goals. He had a hat trick before the match was so much as 10 minutes old. Brandon Ratjavong also notched a hat trick, scoring two goals within two minutes of each other in the first half and adding a third in the second half.
Dylan Ratjavong also scored a goal while Evan Landis and Clint Landis both scored in the final 10 minutes of the match.
"It was nice seeing the two sets of brothers each score," Bennett remarked. "We ended up getting a lot of our junior varsity players into the game. Anytime I can do that, I'm happy to do so. It gives the younger players experience and helps build their confidence for the future."
Other scores came from Nevin Stoltzfus, Mason Smucker, Josh Gingrich and Johan Gomez-Mendez.
Goalie Nehemiah Glick notched a shutout as well as another on Thursday against Lebanon. The Braves limited the Cedars to only one shot on goal in the 4-0 victory.
Heinrich, and T.J. Hershey scored in the first half, with Hershey scoring twice and adding an assist on the day. Kyle Diller added another goal in the second half.
The Pequea scoring was also aided by Nevin Stoltzfus and Winston Thomas, each of whom recorded an assist.
"The Northern Lebanon match felt like we couldn't do anything wrong," Bennett said. "It was good to return on Thursday, especially with the rain and the uncertainty of the weather, and see everyone play our game. The guys didn't take anything for granted [after the 15-0 win] and didn't feel like they deserved anything."
The Braves played host to Middletown in a non-league game on Saturday night. The offense was again potent, scoring eight times in an 8-3 victory.
Glick came through with four saves after the defense cooled off the opposition following halftime. The Braves actually trailed 3-2 at the midway point.
Hershey scored four of PV's goals, scoring three times in the second half. Stoltzfus and Heinrich each notched one goal while Elijah Jenkins netted two more.
Hershey and Heinrich, each had one assist as did Josh Bailey, Brandon Ratjavong and Josh Jarvis.
Along with the offensive firepower, the goal tending of Glick has helped keep Pequea hot all season long.
"Nehemiah has done well for us," Bennett said. "We didn't have a goalie at the start of the season but he stepped up.
"As a collective group, the defense has done well," he added. "Winston Thomas has been our vocal leader there."
Pequea Valley came up short in a 20-6 contest on Friday night at Northern Lebanon. The Vikings held off the Braves in the second half after taking that same 20-6 lead into the locker rooms at the half.
The Braves fell to 0-6 (0-5 in league) while the Vikings (1-4 league) notched their first win of the season.
John Smith scored the Braves' lone touchdown on a one-yard quarterback keeper in the second quarter.
The Vikings scored their touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams, meaning that the PV defense once again played an impressive contest. Alex Folmer's 20-yard rushing TD was the only touchdown allowed by the PV defensive unit. They limited the Vikings to only 85 aerial yards on seven completions. Ethan Herb, NL's leading rusher, only gained 34 yards while Folmer ran for 31.
The Braves' comeback attempts were foiled by the Vikings defense, which limited Smith to six completions on the night for 63 yards. Dylan Jackson ran for 36 yards on 11 carries to lead Pequea's rushing attack.
Pequea Valley topped Kutztown in a non-league girls' tennis match on Wednesday afternoon. The Braves posted a 5-0 win. They followed that with a Section Two battle against Lancaster Country Day on Friday afternoon at home. The Cougars prevailed 4-3 in a close battle.
In the defeat of Kutztown, Hope Fisher and Ryleigh Kurtz combined for a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles followed by Caroline Bragg and Kristin Huenink posting a 6-0, 6-1 win.
Sophia Weaver (6-2, 6-1), Naomi Feister (6-4, 6-3) and Adalie Clemmer (6-0, 6-1) all won straight sets in singles play.
Weaver and Feister were a formidable pair at number one doubles against LCD. They won by an 8-0 score. Clemmer and Huenink came up short in an 8-4 match but Kurtz and Fisher claimed a team point at number three doubles, winning 8-3.
In singles play, Clemmer won 7-5, 6-0 as the Braves finished the regular season at 12-2 (4-2 in league).
Henshaw Notches Game-Winner Against Blazers September 23, 2018
The Pequea Valley girls' soccer team played through two low-scoring Lancaster-Lebanon League matches before facing Octorara in a Saturday afternoon game.
Sophomore Baleigh Henshaw's goal in the 34th minute of the match was all the offense Pequea needed in a 1-0 defeat of league rival Lancaster Mennonite on Wednesday. The match was played a day late after rain caused the postponement of the game at Kinzers.
Henshaw scored off an Alyssa Yoder assist. It was one of only six shots on goal by the Braves.
On the Pequea side of the pitch, meanwhile, Kristen Jarvis made certain that the low-scoring was enough scoring. She made 10 saves to preserve the shutout.
Pequea improved to 3-2-0 in the L-L League and 4-2-1 overall.
Also on Wednesday, Lancaster Catholic was busy pouring in nine goals in a 9-0 defeat of McCaskey. The following day, that same offense was able to score only once against Jarvis and the PV offense.
However, the Crusaders limited the Braves to only two shots on goal in a 1-0 victory in Lancaster. Camille Zapata scored 18 minutes into the second half off a Hannah Schmidt assist. Jarvis saved the other four shots launched in her direction.
Jarvis recorded six more saves in the 1-0 defeat of Octorara on Saturday afternoon. Megan Yoder's goal in the 27th minute came off an Alyssa Yoder assist, giving PV a 1-0 lead, which stood for the final margin.
The Braves and the Braves battled it out on the gridiron in what has become known as the annual Brave Bowl.
In this year's showdown, which was held at Kinzers, the Octorara Braves topped the Pequea Valley Braves 19-6. What made this different this year was that for the first time it was played as a league game.
Octorara held off a Pequea drive in the waning seconds of the first half and headed into the locker room leading 7-0.
Dalton Temple capped a successful drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, pulling Pequea Valley to within a point, 7-6. The visiting Braves, however, went on to put up 12 more points in that stanza while the defenses fought the rest of the way in a 19-6 Octorara victory.
The win improved Octorara's record to 2-3 (2-2 in league) while Pequea Valley fell to 0-5, 0-4.
Head coach Mike Choi commented on how pleased he was with his defensive unit.
"I saw a lot of improvements," he said. "We had to implement a sophisticated game plan to stop their offense.
"They do three things off the jet series or they'll fake the jet," continued the coach. "Either someone goes in motion to the wide side of the field and they'll have the inside receiver go in jet motion with the quarterback and either hand it off to him, sweep to the outside, or pull the linemen to give the quarterback to run it inside the tackle.
"He's reading the defensive linemen and if there's a hole there, he'll run it through," Choi explained. "You have to be consistent in defending the quarterback and the run. They can also fake the sweep and step back and throw to one of their receivers."
Given the youth and relative inexperience of this young PV squad, it was a phenomenal display of disciplined defense on the gridiron. It did not go unnoticed by the opposing sideline.
"Their coach Jed King shook my hand after the game and told me our defense played a fantastic game," Choi added. "It's really nice when the other team's coach comes over and compliments your defense."
As for the low-scoring affair, the Octorara side scored on a defensive touchdown in the first quarter before the aforementioned drive by PV ended inside the red zone.
That Pequea Valley drive ended at the Octorara two-yard line when quarterback John Smith's dash was stopped short of the goal line as the halftime whistle sounded.
"We drove the ball well from 20 to 20," Choi commented, referring to the yard markers on the field. "We did it efficiently. And that's when you have to put points on the board. They tightened up the defense and we made mistakes.
"On that play, at about the four-yard line, John could have either put his shoulder down and tried to get into the end zone or try to get out of bounds, which could have given us two seconds for a field goal on fourth down. It would have been nice to get the field goal and when we scored first in the second half, we would have been up 9-7. But they tackled him at the two-yard line."
Pequea Valley earned 145 yards of rushing offense shared between Temple, Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey.
"They're the three-headed monster for our rushing game," Choi said. "Dylan had another big run called back on a penalty. Dalton was fantastic, using his ability to find open holes in the field. He also had a nice interception in the end zone and had a catch on a third-and-long, setting us up inside the 20."
Following Temple's touchdown, the visiting Braves went up 13-6 on quarterback Nick Mattingly's 68-yard dash to the end zone. Mattingly later connected with Jansen Schempp on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
Hershey ran for 59 yards on 17 carries. Jackson had 28 yards on eight rushes while Temple was handed the ball eight times for 46 yards of real estate. He also had five receptions for 30 yards.
"Two of their jet series plays resulted in touchdowns," Choi said. "We missed a couple of tackles on one play as their quarterback did a fantastic job breaking some tackles.
"We had a breakdown in the secondary and it might have been fatigue in the second half," Choi added, referring to the pass to Schempp.
Octorara improved to 6-3 in the Brave Bowl history.
Pequea Valley's next game will be at Northern Lebanon as both teams will be going for their first win of the season.
The stellar goal tending of Jordan Melson was just what this Pequea Valley field hockey team needed in Friday's road game at Section Three rival Lebanon. Melson faced 16 shots on goal and finished the day with 15 saves a in a close 1-0 loss to the Cedars.
The Cedars kept the Braves out of the crease and denied the Pequea offense. The only goal came at the 20:22 mark of the first half - off the stick of Giahny Correa, who took an assist from Kayla Rohner.
Pequea Valley fell to 0-7-0 on the year (0-6-0 in league). The Braves were coming off a 6-0 loss to Lancaster Catholic.
In its quest to claim a league playoff berth, the boys' soccer team played to a 1-1 draw with Lancaster Catholic on Thursday and defeated Octorara 2-1 on the road Saturday.
The Braves' record improved to 7-1-2 (4-1-1 league).
Nehemiah Glick was solid in goal for both games, recording four saves in Thursday's draw and three more in PV's victory.
Josh Heinrich came through with the equalizer against Catholic, scoring 28 minutes into the second half. Chris Richards had given the Crusaders the 1-0 lead just before halftime.
Despite 10 shots on goal, the Braves were able to only get Heinrich's shot past Crusaders keeper Ben Ryan.
PV needed extra time to top Octorara on Saturday afternoon. In the defensive battle, T.J. Hershey put PV up 1-0 at the midway point of the first half. Octorara tied it in the second half and with only three minutes gone in the first overtime, Winston Thomas scored the game-winning goal. Josh Gingrich provided an assist.
Pequea Valley finished a close third to Lancaster Country Day in a Section Four golf match at Crossgates on Tuesday afternoon. The Lancaster Mennonite team finished first with 322 team points while LCD took second (373). The Braves were only three strokes behind the Cougars at 376.
Josiah Nissley was sixth overall with a score of 82. LCD's Nickolas Hooper was the top golfer of the day with 75.
Taking ninth and 10th were Tyrell Stoltzfus and Austin DeForest with respective scores of 93 and 95.
Parker Allain gave PV another spot in the top-15 with a score of 106.
With this match in the books, Pequea's record goes to 16-9 on the year. Lancaster Mennonite improved to 25-0 while LCD improved to 19-6.
Following a 5-2 defeat of L-L League foe Elco on Tuesday, the Pequea Valley girls' tennis team continued its busy week by beating Linden Hall at home in a non-league match the following afternoon.
The team played two more league matches before closing out the week - all victories. The successful run improved PV's record to 11-1 overall (4-1 in league).
The Elco match featured a sweep in the doubles competition, including 8-0 victories by Adalie Clemmer and Kristin Huenink at number one doubles as well as Hope Fisher and Ryleigh Kurtz at number three doubles. At number two doubles it was Sophia Weaver teaming up with Naomi Feister for an 8-4 victory.
Feister and Clemmer also won their singles matches with Clemmer doing so in 6-4, 6-0 straight sets and Feister bouncing back from a 6-2 setback at the second set to win the tiebreaker 10-3.
Following the 4-1 win over Linden Hall, the Braves visited Annville-Cleona for a section match on Thursday. They blanked the Dutchmen 7-0, including straight set victories by Weaver (6-0, 6-0), Kurtz (6-2, 6-0) and Huenink (6-0, 6-0) in the first three singles matches. Caroline Bragg grabbed a 6-4 opening set win at number four singles. After a 6-1 setback, she battled to a 12-10 tiebreaker triumph.
In doubles it was Weaver and Feister winning 8-0 while the duo of Fisher and Kurtz posted the same winning margin of 8-1 as the twosome of Clemmer and Jessica Hurst.
There was more dominance on Friday as the Section Three match was played on Pequea's home court. The Braves downed Columbia 7-0, including straight set wins by Kalexsia Lassak (6-0 6-2) and Hurst (6-0, 6-1). Hurst and Lassak also teamed up for an 8-0 win at doubles.
Fisher and Kurtz won the other two singles matches and teamed for an 8-0 doubles win.
Braves Play 4 Games in 6 Days, Improve to 6-1-1 September 16, 2018
The past week was a busy one for the Pequea Valley boys' soccer team. The Braves played four matches in a span of six days, outscoring opponents 21-3. It wasn't all W's for PV, however. One of those matches proved to be a low-scoring one as Lancaster Country Day edged Pequea 2-1 at Kinzers on Friday.
The week began with a Lancaster-Lebanon League opponent visiting Pequea Valley on Monday night. The Annville-Cleona Little Dutchmen couldn't plug up the holes in the dam as the Braves scored seven times in a 7-1 victory.
One of the offensive weapons for Pequea was Josh Heinrich. The senior scored four times, including a hat trick before the first half was even at its midway point.
"He has come in very determined and wants to lead us to big things this year," said head coach Peter Bennett. "He has scored in various ways - headers, breakaways, and such. He and T.J. Hershey have been leading our offense."
Evan Johns added another goal in that early blitzkrieg of soccer balls blasting toward the A-C net.
In addition, Heinrich had one assist. T.J. Hershey, who had two assists in the game, scored a second-half goal as did Josh Gingrich.
"T.J Hershey plays hungry," said the coach. "His speed up top helps us go forward fast. He starts the play for us by breaking up the opponent's play.
"Josh Gingrich is a smart player and gets himself in positions where he can finish our offensive plays," commented the coach.
Nehemiah Glick made one save.
The offensive power was showcased once again at Lebanon Catholic two days later as the Beavers could not work quickly enough to build a defense against the strong current of goals by Pequea. With a hat trick by Hershey and two more goals by Heinrich, the Braves went on to post a 9-0 win.
The goals came early as well as consistently. Heinrich and Hershey scored in the first 10 minutes of the match. Heinrich made it 3-0 while an own goal by the Beavers and junior Brandon Ratjavong's shot in the 31st minute gave the Braves a 5-0 lead before halftime. Ratjavong also had an assist in the game as did his freshman brother Dylan Ratjavong along with Heinrich, Johns, and Nevin Stoltzfus.
In the second half, Hershey scored his second and third goals of the game. Dylan Ratjavong and Bennett Nordhoff capped the scoring.
"We have a nice group of upperclassmen who have been doing a great job," Bennett noted. "In games like this when we can play some of the younger guys, I'm very pleased to do that. Hopefully building guys like Dylan Ratjavong for the longer picture."
Glick recorded four saves to claim the shutout.
Lancaster Country Day earned only its third league victory of the season in the 2-1 double overtime defeat of the Braves. Matt Gerace scored in the 95th minute to give the Cougars the win. The visitors, who were held to only three shots on goal in 95 minutes, tied the score on a penalty kick with three minutes left in regulation. Heinrich scored an unassisted goal for Pequea in the first half.
The Braves bounced right back with a 4-0 shutout of Wyomissing in a non-league game on Saturday evening.
Hershey and Heinrich (1 assist) scored two goals each. Bennett Nordhoff also provided an assist.
The Braves went ahead in the seventh minute on Heinrich's first goal. In the 24th minute Hershey doubled the lead before Heinrich made it 3-0 five minutes prior to halftime.
Glick claimed another shutout, making five saves.
The Braves improved to 6-1-1 overall.
The final score of Friday night's football game against Columbia was 25-13 in favor of the Crimson Tide. Columbia put up two fourth-quarter touchdowns and held off the Braves, improving to 1-2 in Section Three (1-3 overall) while the host Braves fell to 0-3 (0-4).
That may have been what the scoreboard and the eventual result in the standings said. However, Pequea Valley head coach Mike Choi felt that his squad's and coaching staff's feeling was that things could have gone the other way.
"We lost the game because we gave it away on penalties, with fumbles and interceptions," said Choi. "In our first five drives, we stopped ourselves.
"There was no doubt on our sideline that we were going to win that game," he added. "We kept driving down, but would either turn the ball over or shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties. We would break out with a 20-yard run but have it called back with a 10-yard penalty. So instead of a first-and-10 on their 20-yard line, for instance, it would be first-and-20 farther back."
Matt McCleary, the Columbia quarterback, threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns on 14 completions. He connected with Demetrius Diaz twice for TD's, including a 67-yard score in the second quarter.
"Besides the broken plays on defense where we allowed their receivers to get behind us, they only had about 80 yards of offense," Choi noted. "Not taking anything away from their quarterback; he was poised. We put pressure on him the entire game and he stood right in there.
"Overall, I was thrilled with our improvement on defense - running pursuit angles, making tackles," Choi continued. "We just need to play assignment football on every snap."
Pequea Valley scored in the first quarter on a 14-yard run by quarterback John Smith. The 5-foot-11 junior also completed seven passes for 113 yards, which included a fourth-quarter 44-yard scoring pass to Dalton Temple. Smith also ran the ball eight times for 37 yards.
McCleary also hit Justin Elliott on a 17-yard touchdown toss. One of Smith's passes was picked off by Matt Gambler, who went 40-yards the other way for a Columbia defensive touchdown.
As always, the running attack for the Braves was shared by Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey.
"Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey each ran for over 60 yards," Choi noted. "Jackson had 45 yards taken away for penalties. We could have had two 100-yard rushers in the game if it weren't for the penalties."
The next game for Pequea Valley will be a home game against Octorara. This has become known as the "Brave Bowl" as both teams have the same moniker for their sports teams. This year, however, Octorara is in the L-L League.
"They have a good program," Choi said. "It's going to be a very exciting game and we expect both schools will be well represented."
Pequea Valley improved to 4-1-1 on the year, playing a three-game stretch over a course of three days. The games included the Braves' first loss of the year - a 1-0 setback at Section Three foe Annville-Cleona on Thursday.
The loss was sandwiched between victories over Lebanon Catholic and Lancaster Country Day.
In an 8-0 thumping of the Beavers on Wednesday, as one might expect, there was a hat trick to Pequea's credit. As part of the 19-shot attack, Brittany Shirk scored twice in the first half and added another score in the second half while also registering an assist.
Grace Martin and Alyssa Yoder also scored first half goals as Pequea finished with four goals per half.
Megan Rogers, who also had one assist, scored in the 56th minute. Megan Yoder and Emily Diller each added a late goal.
Kalyn Keen, Megan Yoder and Diller each notched an assist. Krystin Jarvis and Maddy Weaver each had one save in the shutout.
Gweneth Markell's goal in the 22nd minute of Friday's game at Lancaster Country Day was all the Braves needed to put a 1-0 win in the books. With Krystin Jarvis in goal and making two saves, the defense held off the Cougars.
In a Wednesday afternoon game at Iron Valley, the Braves battled Lancaster Mennonite, Lancaster Country Day, Lebanon Catholic, Annville-Cleona, and Lebanon, finishing a close third.
Pequea finished with 383 points to LCD's 370. Mennonite won the match with a 362.
Josiah Nissley led Pequea, shooting an 88 on the day. He finished fourth overall. Matt Berkenstock and Nick Hooper of LCD finished atop the field, each shooting 80.
Tyler Stoltzfus recorded a 92 and PV teammate Austin DeForest shot a 95 while Parker Allain came away with a108.
The Braves' overall league record goes to 13-7 on the year.
Pequea posted two more victories and improved to 7-1 on the year. The girls' suffered a 7-0 loss to league rival Lancaster Catholic on Wednesday, slipping to 1-1 in league play.
In a 5-0 defeat of McCaskey on Thursday, Hope Fisher came through in singles and doubles competition. She paired up with Ryleigh Kurtz for a 3-6, 6-3 (10-6) win at first doubles. She also won her match at number two singles by straight set scores of 6-2, 6-1.
In second doubles it was Kristin Huenink and Caroline Bragg winning 6-3, 6-3. Sophia Weaver came through 6-2, 6-0 at number one singles. Adalie Clemmer gave PV another team point at number three singles, winning by the same scores in straight sets.
Fisher, Clemmer, Weaver and Naomi Feister were multiple winners in the 7-0 win at Penn Manor on Friday. Clemmer and Kurtz took the first doubles by an 8-3 count while Weaver and Feister, at second doubles, and Fisher and Bragg, at No. 3, both won by 8-1 counts.
The Braves won all four singles in straight sets. Fisher (6-4, 6-1) took the first singles while Clemmer (6-1, 6-0) won at number two singles. Feister's 6-1, 6-1 third singles and Weaver's 6-3, 6-3 fourth singles wrapped things up in the shutout.
The Braves suffered a pair of league losses last week, falling to 0-4 in L-L League play (0-5 overall). In Wednesday's 6-0 loss at Lancaster Mennonite, goalkeeper Jordan Melson came through with 18 saves while Olivia Ammon and Camryn Bailey each notched one save. The Blazers pounded out 26 shots with Rebecca Lane scoring twice.
Melson had seven more saves in the loss to Elco on Friday afternoon. In the Raiders' 18-shot attack, Alicia Yoh and Anya Kissinger each notched a hat trick.
Maria Gregory also helped out in front of the Braves' cage, making two more saves.
Pequea Valley Tennis Tops Blazers, Now 5-0 September 9, 2018
In a Section Three match against Lancaster Mennonite, the Pequea Valley girls' tennis team cruised to a 7-0 victory, winning its first league match of the season. The Braves improved to 5-0 overall.
Each of the three doubles pairings worked in Pequea's favor as Sophia Weaver and Naomi Feister first posed an 8-1 victory followed by Adalie Clemmer and Kristin Huenink, who won the second doubles by an 8-0 margin. Ryleigh Kurtz and Hope Fisher were just as dominant, defeating Kate Hoober and Olivia Beiler 8-1.
Weaver came away with straight set wins at number one singles (6-1, 6-1) Fiester won the second singles while Clemmer (6-2, 6-0) took the number three singles. Kurtz made it a singles sweep with a defeat of Elleah Stillman.
The Pequea Valley Braves faced a relentless barrage of shots in their Wednesday afternoon Lancaster-Lebanon League field hockey match with Annville-Cleona. With 35 shots on goal, the Little Dutchmen posted a 10-0 victory, highlighted by hat tricks from Grace Renninger and Emily Brightbill.
In addition to the hat tricks, Lauren Schrader came through with three assists for the visitors. Pequea Valley fell to 0-2 on the year.
Goalkeeper Jordan Melson came through with 25 saves in a match that would have been overwhelming for most keepers.
The Braves are looking to find the scoring groove early in this 2018 campaign. Their only other match of the season thus far was a 7-0 setback against league foe Lancaster Country Day, which was played on Friday at Kinzers. Two more league games are scheduled in this coming week - Lancaster Mennonite and Elco.
Sometimes a victory isn't what is tallied in points on the scoreboard at the end of a game; it can be an effort that boosts a team's morale and gains momentum into its next game.
The Pequea Valley football team came into Friday night's L-L League game having scored only six points in its first two contests.
The Braves were trailing Lebanon 37-0 at halftime as Isaiah Rodriguez had thrown touchdown passes of 37 yards and 52 yards in addition to Jahlil Young breaking through the Braves' defense for a 70-yard scamper to the end zone.
The Cedars (1-2; 1-1 in league) added to that lead with a 57-yard fumble return by Andrew Bowers.
"We were down 44-0 in the second half," head coach Mike Choi pointed out. "It's easy to feel sorry for yourself and not go out to give maximum effort. But our guys realized they had an opportunity to play a tough second half. They believed in themselves, the coaches and the program to come out and play the way they did. We played better defense too. I'm proud of our guys."
From that point on, the Braves outscored the Cedars 26-14. The final score of 58-26 dropped Pequea's record to 0-3 (0-2 in league). But the offense started to fire on the right cylinders.
The Braves first scored on Dylan Jackson's 10-yard run. Following another big play score by the Cedars, which came in the form of Leighton Rivera's 61-yard run, Brandon Hershey powered his way over the goal line for another PV touchdown.
"Brandon had 130 yards rushing," Choi pointed out. "He is our power back. He's going to hit the hole going hard and run with authority.
"Dylan Jackson is very dangerous," continued the coach. "He has the ability to elude tacklers. You can't get a square tackle on him. He has incredible vision.
"Having those guys play off each other helped keep the defense off balance," said Choi. "I'm excited to see how those two will help our offense going forward. They are the motor that makes our offense go."
Jackson scored two more touchdowns and was on the receiving end of a two-point PAT. He had a five-yard rushing TD followed by the two-point conversion - a pass from John Smith. He also caught a four-yard TD pass from Smith, the junior quarterback.
Choi talked about how the growing process involves both players and coaching staff.
"We only had one scrimmage game and we had an earlier start to the season," he pointed out. "Offensively, in the first half, it takes a little from the coaching staff to understand what you have - what the players are good at. You usually get it by the second or third game.
"We started to figure out who we are in the second half of this game," he added.
The understaffed Braves, who dressed only 24 players for the game and lost a player to injury early on, will host Columbia this Friday night.
"We don't have a ton of depth but we go out and give a strong effort each and every game," said Choi.
Heading into the weekend, it was feast or famine for the boys' soccer team. The Braves pounded league opponent Lebanon 7-0 on Friday afternoon, scoring four times in the first half alone as they directed 20 shots on goal in the match. On Saturday, the squad played to a scoreless draw with Tulpehocken in a non-league road game with Nehemiah Glick saving seven shots to help the Braves (3-0-1) earn at least a draw.
The victory over the Cedars improved the Braves' L-L League mark to 2-0-0. T.J. Hershey was the offensive hero, recording a hat trick. Josh Gingrich came away with two goals while Josh Bailey and Nevin Stoltzfus each netted one goal. Brandon Ratjavong and Josh Heinrich each came through with an assist while Glick made five saves to record a shutout.
The Braves had outscored opponents 18-2 coming into the Tulpehocken game. Half of those goals came in a 9-1 defeat of Northern Lebanon on Wednesday. Pequea's offense was efficient with nine scores coming on 15 shots on goal.
Hershey's goal came just 3:00 into the game and Elijah Jenkins, who also had an assist on the day, made it 2-0 in the 10th minute.
Heinrich, who finished with a hat trick and two assists, made it 3-0 prior to the midway point of the first half. He scored two quick goals in the 43rd and 46th minute of the match with Hershey's second goal of the game sandwiched in between. Gingrich also scored one of the four first-half goals while Josh Jarvis and Ryan Stoltzfus each added one in the second half. Nevin Stoltzfus had an assist while Winston Thomas dished out two assists.
Glick faced only two shots on goal and claimed one save.
In girls' soccer, Pequea Valley (2-0-1) claimed its first league win with a 4-0 shutout of Lebanon on Friday. In the home game against the Cedars, the Braves had one goal each from four different goal scorers - Megan Rogers, Brittany Shirk, Alyssa Yoder and Abby Stoltzfus.
The Braves were in attack mode for much of the game, recording 25 shots on goal. Lebanon goalies Shannon Simmons and Makayla Gingrich had 10 and eight saves, respectively.
Meanwhile on the other side of the pitch, Krystin Jarvis needed to make only two saves to claim a shutout.
In addition to their goals, Rogers, Shirk and Yoder each assisted on a score.
Jarvis had another shutout in Saturday's non-league game against Tulpehocken.
The Trojans out-shot the Braves 8-7 and had four corners to none by Pequea. However, it was Yoder's overtime goal off a Rogers' assist that clinched the victory for the Braves. Yoder scored seven minutes into the extra period to give Jarvis (6 saves) and the Braves a shutout victory.
Braves Fall in District Three Opener Against A-C May 24, 2018
The Pequea Valley softball team managed to start the District Three Class 3A playoffs on Wednesday afternoon at home - one day following the originally scheduled date for the match against Annville-Cleona.
The Little Dutchmen, whom the Braves had played twice during the regular season, took advantage of walks, fielding errors and timely hitting to post a 5-0 victory, ending Pequea Valley's 2018 campaign at 13-8.
"It was a disappointing loss," said head coach Doug High. "I feel bad for the girls because they wanted to win. They only had four hits, but we gave them a lot of base runners on walks, hit batters and a couple of errors."
Singles by Sophia Weaver and Katelyn Smoker were all the offense the Braves could muster. Smoker also stole a base.
"Kate Smoker, in her first year, had a tremendous season in the outfield," said High. "Our whole outfield was very talented."
"Statistically this was probably the most talented unit I've been associated with in 16 years at Pequea Valley," continued the coach. "Best defensive unit and one of the top offensive groups I've coached."
The Dutchmen scored twice in the first three innings off PV starter Sarah Moore. She only gave up four earned runs on the day, striking out three batters.
Annville leadoff hitter Lauren Schrader was on base all three times she batted. Desiree Loy had a big triple in the Dutchmen's three-run seventh inning.
The Braves were coming off a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff loss the previous week where the Garden Spot Spartans won a bizarre 12-9 ballgame in the opening round of leagues.
"We had 12 base runners and scored nine runs," High recalled. "I was proud of them. They didn't give up. We were down 6-0, got two runs and battled back to 8-7. They just kept battling."
Garden Spot had 18 hits. However, Pequea Valley pitcher Olivia Ammon and her teammates in the field made the Spartans earn their runs
"We didn't have any errors," High noted. "Olivia struck out three."
The Braves took advantage of some sloppy play by the Spartans to plate a few of its runs. The Braves only had five hits in the game.
Caroline Bragg was a big spark in Pequea's offense. She had two hits, two walks, three stolen bases and scored four times.
"She was on fire," said High. "She also drove in two runs. She did a great job."
Claudia Schaubach had two hits and three runs batted in.
As the league's post-season play started, the all-star selections came out. Schaubach, Moore, third baseman Maggie Johnson and shortstop Makenzi Dienner were named first-team all-stars. Smoker was named Honorable Mention.
Braves Win Five Straight, Clinch Section 4 Title May 11, 2018
The Braves needed to keep on winning.
Annville-Cleona was one game behind Pequea Valley with the Lancaster-Lebanon League softball schedule nearly wrapped up. The Little Dutchmen won seven of their final eight games, including six straight league victories. The Braves bounced back from a 3-1 loss to A-C in late April by winning five straight L-L League games and clinching Section Four's pennant.
This past week, victories over Columbia and Elco helped Pequea finish the regular season at 13-6 (12-4 league).
"We finished fourth in the District Triple-A rankings," said head coach Doug High. "As of Wednesday, we are playing Annville-Cleona at home in the first round."
It will be the third meeting between the two teams, who split their regular season games in Section Four head-to-head action.
"It isn't the first time we've played them in the post-season," said High. "Sometimes we even play them for the section championship and again get them in districts."
Asked how the Braves were able to stay on course and record the wins necessary for a section crown, High simply replied, "Good pitching, defense and offense."
Olivia Ammon pitched the Braves to victory in a 6-3 win against Elco in the regular season finale on Tuesday. She struck out 11 batters.
"They scored all of their runs in the final inning and we got out of it with the bases loaded," said High.
Maggie Johnson drove in two runs and Sarah Moore slugged a home run.
Moore was coming off a winning performance the previous day at Columbia. She pitched the Braves to victory on a day the head coach was resting some of the starters.
"We weren't generating any offense in the first few innings, so I put the starters back in," he said. "We did give the younger kids some reps."
Senior Alexis Melson went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in.
"She was already 2-for-2 and she was up in a sacrifice situation," High explained. "I let her swing away and she got hit to help us out."
High hopes that Pequea can turn its fortunes around for the 2018 playoffs.
"We have been district runners-up two years in a row," he pointed out. "Maybe this year we'll break that pattern and be district champs. Only the top two teams from Triple-A make it to states."
Last year the Braves suffered a first-round loss in PIAA's.
Brady Burns came into last week's District Three Class-AA singles championships as the third seed. The freshman made his way to the district semifinals before having to settle for fourth place at the Hershey Racquet Club.
Burns battled by Quin Bucheit of Hamburg by scores of 6-3, 7-6 (4) and played another tough match against Will Schreck of Wyomissing, posting scores of 7-5, 3-6 and 6-4.
Second-seeded Johan Rebert of Lancaster Country Day defeated Burns 6-4, 6-4 in the semis, sending the Pequea underclassman to the consolation match where he suffered a close defeat at the hands of York Suburban's Parker Lando, 4-6 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3).
In the District Three Class-AA Team Championships, which began on May 3, the Braves advanced to the second round only to suffer a 5-0 loss to top-seeded Wyomissing on Tuesday evening at HRC.
Burns suffered a 6-2, 6-3 setback at number one singles. Fellow freshman Nehemiah Glick lost 6-2, 6-1 at third singles.
In doubles competition, Hunter Winey and Josh Gingerich fought a closely-contested match, only to be on the short end of 7-5, 6-4 sets.
In the prior week, the Braves' opening-round victory came against York Suburban with Winey and Gingerich posting a 6-2, 6-3 win while Malachi Clark and Josh Heinrich came back to win the first doubles 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Burns was a 7-6(5), 6-2 winner in singles and Devon Clemmer a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 winner at third singles while Elliot Esh came up just short against Liam Waterbury in 6-3, 6-2 straight sets.
The Braves do play in the third-place consolation match for a chance to make the PIAA's as the third-seeded team from District Three.
Adryan Yothers pitched six strong innings and combined with senior Joe Olonovich for a shutout on Monday afternoon in a Section Four ballgame against Columbia.
"Adrian was mowing them down," said head coach Dwayne Reiter. "He had 12 strikeouts - was doing a really good job throwing strikes and overpowering them. He didn't need to use his off-speed stuff."
The Braves had entered the game with a .500 record (9-9), thus finishing the season at 10-9, which included a 9-6 league mark. They claimed third place in Section Four.
Reiter pointed to a game the previous week against Section champ Lancaster Catholic - a heartbreaking 5-3 loss at home in extra innings.
"The loss to Catholic was a hard one to take," he said. "These boys gave 110 percent. We knew we had to win out the season to put us in good position for district playoffs.
"They boys played well the second half of the season" he added. "Watching that game slip away at the end was tough. We played better in the second half of the season and it showed."
The Braves won eight of their last nine games.
"We were better than our record showed," said Reiter.
Part of the offensive punch all year has been Ryan Lockhart. The junior slugged a two-run triple and finished with three runs batted in. Senior Terrell Stoltzfus went 2-for-3 with a double and scored two runs while Dalton Temple had a hit and stole three bases.
"We got two runners on base in the first inning and Ryan came through with a nice triple," Reiter said. "That was all we needed."
Zach Lynch had a double and Yothers and Olonovich each had a stolen base.
Yothers allowed only one base hit Olonovich came on in relief and allowed two base hits.
"Joe came in to close out the last inning with what could be his last career game here," said the coach.
Brady Burns Wins Class AA Singles Tennis Title May 4, 2018
In Monday's Lancaster-Lebanon League Tennis Championships, there was a repeat champion and a first-time champion in flight one of singles.
While Cedar Crest's Jackson Muraika, who's a junior, claimed the Class-AAA crown for a second straight year, Pequea Valley's Brady Burns won the Class-AA singles for his first time.
First time only?
Oh yes, Burns happens to be a freshman.
He played an impressive tournament and capped it with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lancaster Catholic freshman Brendan McNamara on the court at Conestoga Valley.
Even more impressive was the fact that Burns and teammate Devon Clemmer paired up for a doubles championship at 2A. Clemmer, who also competed at flight four singles, and Burns gave the audience their money's worth, playing an intense match versus Dawson Smith and Mason Bennetch of Elco, the latter of whom placed third in 2A singles.
The Pequea pair posted a 6-2 win and won the tiebreaker 10-5 after Bennetch and Smith had opened with a 6-2 victory of their own.
With victories on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Pequea baseball team extended its winning streak to eight games, which included seven straight over L-L League opponents.
The Braves topped Elco and Lebanon Catholic on the road, defeating the Raiders 9-3 on Tuesday and blanking the Beavers 7-0 the following afternoon.
In the victory at Elco, the Braves stroked eight hits and took advantage of seven walks to manufacture runs. The slugging included doubles by Ryan Lockhart, Zachary Lynch, and Brody Mann.
Pequea Valley scored early in this contest, going up 3-0 before the Raiders cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. The Braves promptly put up three more runs and an additional pair in the sixth.
Lockhart and Lynch each drove in two runs. Lynch and Logan Beegle each scored twice. Dalton Temple was a solid 2-for-3 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot. He also came on to relieve starter Adryan Yothers in the seventh inning. Yothers struck out four batters and walked three, allowing only two runs on four hits through the first six innings.
For the Raiders, Joe Ginder went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run.
Playing three games in as many days, the Braves allowed the tying run in the sixth inning of Thursday's league game. The Crusaders evened the score at 3-3. They added two runs in the top of the eighth to post an extra-inning win at Kinzers.
The loss dropped the Braves' overall mark to 9-9 and to 8-6 in league play..
The Pequea Valley softball team bounced back from a 3-1 loss on the road to league rival Annville-Cleona by winning three straight league games - two of which saw them score 10 or more runs.
Saturday, April 28 saw the Braves let A-C climb closer to the top of the Section Four standings. However, the three-game win streak which followed kept Pequea (9-5, 10-6 overall) a game ahead of Annville-Cleona.
"We put up a lot of runs on Annville the first time we played them," said head coach Doug High, referring to the 10-0 win on April 10. "But we couldn't hit against them in our last game - same pitcher."
Pequea came back with a 10-2 victory over Lancaster Mennonite with Sarah Moore picking up the win.
Moore went four innings, struck out three and walked four, allowing a run on four hits.
Freshman Olivia Ammon came in to pitch the next three innings. She was impressive in relief with five strikeouts and no walks, allowing a run on three hits.
High was asked if the consecutive days of playing games had anything to do with relieving Moore.
"Neither of them pitched the next game," replied the coach. "I was just keeping them sharp by giving them work."
On offense, Claudia Shaubach went 3-for-4 with a triple. Katelyn Smoker added two RBIs.
"Sophia Weaver had two walks and went 1-for-2," High noted. "She scored three runs.
"Third inning was the big one," he added. "We scored five runs.
"The Annville game was just one where nothing worked," continued the coach. "We just didn't get on base."
As for the hits falling in place and the runs coming in double digits, High said it was a team effort to catch that spark.
"It's contagious," he said. "The mood is positive. Everybody starts swinging the bat well and making contact. Five different kids had base hits."
As for the base hits coming, they certainly didn't come that often in the 13-0 victory over Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday.
What if a team had 13 runs and less than 10 hits? Possible?
What if the team had 13 runs on fewer than five hits?
"As a team we had four hits," said High. "We had 13 runs on four hits. Yvonne Beiler had a double and a triple and she was our offensive spark. She scored twice - once after a leadoff triple - and hit a two-run double."
As for the base runners who resulted in the parade of runs, High explained that the team took advantage of poor control by the Beavers' pitching staff.
"They had 14 walks," he noted. "Leadoff batter Makenzi Dienner walked four times and scored twice."
As for the shutout pitching, it came from freshman Chloe Colburn, who tossed a no-hitter.
"She pitched a great game," said High. "She had struggled the night before in the junior varsity game. But she felt good and I was happy to see that for her. She had four walks, which isn't normal for her. This was her second start of the year."
Thursday's victory was a big one as the Braves posted a 9-1 defeat of Lancaster Catholic on the road. They stayed a game ahead of the A-C Dutchmen.
"We needed to win this one," said High. "Well, we need to win them all. These guys scored six runs against us the first time. They have some hitters."
Ammon held the Crusaders to a run on only three hits, striking out five.
"We played good defense behind her - no errors," said the coach.
Maggie Johnson and Abigail Tobelmann each drove in a pair of runs. The eight Pequea hits came from eight different batters.
"We also scored a couple of runs on passed balls," High pointed out.
Braves Score 21 Runs, Beat Cocalico and Lebanon April 27, 2018
With their batters stroking timely hits or long drives and with their base runners swiping a bag or two, the Braves scored 21 runs to open the week, going on to defeat Lancaster-Lebanon League foes Cocalico and Lebanon.
In the Lebanon game, senior Ryan Lockhart slugged a double and a three-run home run, driving in four of the Braves' runs in a 9-4 victory. The win improved Pequea Valley's record to 3-5 in the league (3-8 overall). As a team, the Braves had 11 hits, three of which came off the bat of Adryan Yothers.
"It's what we've been expecting from this group," said head coach Dwayne Reiter, discussing the recent offensive spark.
"Yothers had a single and two doubles," Reiter added. "He has really come on in the last four or five games. He is one of the hitters who has been turning it on.
"Ryan Lockhart hit his homer in the third inning," continued the coach. "When he came to bat in the sixth inning with two runners on base, he was intentionally walked. Zach Lynch then hit a nice base hit over the shortstop and drove in two more."
Lynch went 1-for-4 with the two RBI. Seniors Brody Mann and Terrell Stoltzfus each had one hit and two runs scored. Mann also had a walk.
Dalton Temple and Ryan Tobelmann, each of whom went 1-for-3, as well as Lynch also had a stolen base.
"We're not quite as aggressive as last year," said Reiter. "The guys know that I like them to be that way on the base paths. There are a couple of guys who have the green light if they're on second base. Dalton Temple is one of them."
Production at the plate doesn't necessarily translate into victories if the pitching does not come through. The combination of sophomore Jack Olonovich and older brother Joe Olonovich provided that pitching.
With the team up 6-4 and with two outs in the fifth inning, the senior Olonovich came on in relief. Joe went on to pitch 2.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the save for his sibling.
"Jack started and did very well," said Reiter. "He cut down on his walks in this game (two) and struck out six.
"I was very happy to see that his control had improved," Reiter said. "He does pitch inside, so he hit a couple of batters. His brother closed it down for him."
Aided by a big six-run third inning on Tuesday, the Braves doubled up Cocalico 12-6 on the road. Pequea punched out 14 hits in the game, including a 4-for-5 effort by Temple out of the leadoff spot. He also stole two bases and scored three times.
"He was a player who I knew early in the season could be a .400 hitter," Reiter said. "He has been hitting the ball hard and I hope this game gets things going for him. He went over .300 with the 4-for-5."
Lynch went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBI's.
"Zach Lynch is another player who has been hitting the ball well the past three or four games," said Reiter. "Hopefully, he and Dalton will continue to contribute."
Yothers drove in three runs, two of which came on sacrifice flys.
"Even if he doesn't get on base with a hit, he contributes," said Reiter. "He also gets on base with walks and has been hit by a pitch six times."
The Eagles had a two-run home run by Nick Lucky. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Braves scored six in the third and two more in the fourth.
"Cocalico is a pretty good hitting team," said Reiter. "They've been hitting the ball well.
"We had a base-running mistake in the first inning," he added. "At the time I was concerned it might come back and haunt us."
Cam Yoder and Temple pitched, holding off the Eagles' comeback bid as the home team put together another three-run rally.
The boys' tennis team wrapped up the regular season by winning its eighth straight match. Coming off a 7-0 shutout of Annville-Cleona the previous week, the Braves handled McCaskey in the regular season finale, winning 5-1 at home on Wednesday.
The Braves swept the doubles matches with Hunter Winey and Joshua Gingerich winning the first one 8-0. Nehemiah Glick and Joshua Heinrich handled their opponents by an 8-2 margin before Brady Burns and Devon Clemmer came away with an 8-3 victory at No. 3.
Taking the winning momentum into singles, the Braves picked up another team point thanks to Clemmer, who downed Chad Haiges 6-2, 6-1. Burns was a 6-1, 6-0 winner.
The Braves stayed atop the Section Four standings in softball, grabbing a key 12-2 victory over L-L League foe Cocalico on Tuesday. Pequea Valley was coming off a 10-0 shutout to Donegal, the top team in Section Three on Monday.
The Braves improved to 7-3 in the league, which was good for a two-game lead over Annville-Cleona.
Sarah Moore struck out eight batters against Cocalico the bats got hot early in the game. Pequea put six runs on the board in the first frame and four more in the second inning, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit.
Olonovich Pitches Braves Past Garden Spot April 20, 2018
The Pequea Valley baseball team played two close ballgames last week, getting some great pitching from Joe Olonovich in a 3-1 victory over Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Garden Spot on Wednesday - one day after a close 5-4 loss at Lampeter-Strasburg.
"We took an early lead on Lampeter-Strasburg with Jack Olonovich, who's Joe's younger brother, pitching for us," said head coach Dwayne Reiter. "They scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning, but Jack hung in there."
Reiter gave his sophomore starter a vote of confidence by keeping him in the game despite the shaky second inning in which the Pioneers took a 2-1 lead.
"He pitched very well," Reiter remarked. "He struggled in that second inning with control. He worked his way out with only two runs, which was impressive.
"He settled down and made it all the way to the fifth inning, which was when his pitch count got up there," said Reiter, who then brought in another young hurler in relief.
"I brought up a JV player, who came in and did a good job with runners on first and second and nobody out," Reiter explained. "Austin DeForest did an excellent job getting us out of that inning. They had a sacrifice and a sacrifice fly to take a 4-3 lead."
The Braves did tie it in the top of the sixth only to see the Pioneers regain the lead in the home half of that inning.
Offensively, Adryan Yothers stroked three singles for PV. He scored one run and drove in another. Ryan Lockhart went 1-for-4 with a run. Ryan Tobelman had a walk, a stolen base and came around to score a run as well.
"We could not score again in the seventh," Reiter noted. "It was a good game against a bigger school. We hung in there with a good team and made them work. They even threw one of our runners out at the plate on a safety squeeze."
The Braves fell to 1-7 on the year - a season that has included four losses by two runs or fewer.
They posted the 3-1 victory over Garden Spot the following day thanks to a great complete-game effort by Joe Olonovich and a two-run home run by Lockhart.
"He was mixing up his pitches well," Reiter said. "He was keeping his fastball down and hitting his spots. His pitch count stayed low and he pitched a complete game."
The senior starter allowed only two hits, recorded two strikeouts and allowed only one walk.
Lockhart's home run came on a 3-2 pitch that was a case of serendipity following what seemed like a mistake.
"He was ahead in the count 3-1 and he swung at ball four," Reiter laughed. "I was a little upset with him. But I had to take everything back because he hit the next pitch for a home run."
The Braves plated an insurance run for Olonovich in the bottom of the sixth inning.
"It was important that we gave Joe some breathing room for the seventh inning," Reiter said. "I brought up another player - Dale Stoltzfus - from the jayvee team. He got his first varsity hit and it was a nice line drive to give us that third run."
Brody Mann had a double. Chad Kunkel also had a hit in this game.
"We've been playing well and have had some close games," said Reiter. "This team is frustrated because we're a better team than our record has shown.
"We are looking to put together five or six wins in a row," continued the coach. "We are doing section crossovers, which is a tough stretch."
The tennis team improved to 6-1 in the L-L League following victories over Northern Lebanon and Annville-Cleona.
In Tuesday's win at Northern Lebanon, the Braves won all three doubles matches, featuring Nate Riehl and Parth Patel in the number one doubles as the two seniors cruised to an 8-0 win.
Daniel Xentaras and Elliot Esh were nearly untouchable in the second doubles, winning it 8-1. Brady Burns and Devon Clemmer came through with an 8-0 win also.
Clemmer posted a straight set win at second singles, winning 6-1, 6-0. Joshua Heinrich won by the same scores at number three while freshman Nehemiah Glick earned 6-2, 6-2 victories at fourth singles.
Xentaras teamed with Hunter Winey at first doubles on Wednesday as the Braves topped the Little Dutchmen 7-0. The pairing of Winey/Xentaras resulted in an 8-2 final, which was the same score for Josh Gingerich and Clemmer at number two doubles. Glick and Heinrich claimed the third doubles, 8-1.
Winey and Clemmer won the first two singles matches in straight sets. Heinrick took the third singles 6-2, 4-6, 12-10. Glick came away with the fourth set - 7-6, 3-6, 10-3.
For the Braves, it was feast or famine this past week. The team had an 11-7 victory over Berks Catholic in a non-league game on Tuesday. The following day, they lost 11-0 at Lampeter-Strasburg.
"They're a good hitting team," Doug High said of the Pioneers. "They got ahead of us early and we didn't score any."
Three of the Pioneers runs were unearned off freshman pitcher Chloe Colburn, who pitched her first varsity game.
Sarah Moore's double may have been the lone offensive highlight of that game.
However, Pequea Valley had plenty of offensive highlights in the Berks Catholic game. With Moore pitching, the Braves led all the way and had an 11-3 lead in the seventh inning when the Saints put together a four-run rally. Moore also went 2-for-2 at the plate.
"We had a lot of singles in that game and a lot of walks," High noted. "Caroline Bragg had a double and that was our only extra-base hit.
"Sarah Moore pitched the whole game," he went on. "It started to get cold and she allowed some walks in the seventh inning. But she did have a strikeout and got out of the inning."
Moore finished with eight strikeouts and only three walks.
Claudia Shaubach went 2-for-3.
The Braves improved to 5-4 overall. With the loss to L-S, they fell to 4-2 in the league.
PV Softball Posts Four Straight Wins April 14, 2018
Pequea Valley's softball team faced a very busy week jam packed with several league games.
How did they respond?
They won the first four games of the week, including a dominant 18-2 victory at Lancaster Mennonite on Thursday.
"We have a good team and we're winning the games we should be winning," said head coach Doug High. "Hopefully we'll not be letting any get away."
The team improved to 4-2 overall as it played its first four L-L League games of the year this past week.
Abby Tobelman hit a home run against LMH. It was the Braves' second homer of the season.
"The game went only three innings," High pointed out, referring to the mercy rule. "We did our job and left. LMH struggled."
The Braves had 13 base hits on the afternoon, including two by Maggie Johnson.
"She has been swinging a hot bat," said High.
"We had about as many hits as walks and we did a good job of moving runners," he added. "We got 13 kids into the game."
On Wednesday the Braves hosted Columbia. Sarah Moore pitched a complete game as Pequea's offense put 12 runs on the board in support of their sophomore pitcher in a 12-2 win. She had seven strikeouts and no walks in the six-hit effort.
"She did a great job," said High. "She also went 4-for-4 with four runs scored - three singles and a triple."
Johnson was 2-for-3 with two runs driven in. Mackenzi Dienner was 2-for-4 with a triple.
Against Annville-Cleona on Tuesday, Olivia Ammon took toed the rubber and pitched the Braves to victory. She recorded a five-inning shutout.
In the 10-0 win, Dienner went 3-for-4 with three runs scored while Claudia Shaubach (2-for-3) drove in a pair of runs
Moore was 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBI. Johnson also had two hits and drove in one.
The boys' tennis team has been putting together a successful campaign as a blend of experienced returning players and young stars have made for a winning blend on the Braves' roster.
"We have a lot of returning players from last year," said PV head coach Eric Burns, whose freshman son Brady Burns accounts for one of the successful underclassmen on the team.
"We also have a sophomore and junior, who are in their first year," Burns added, referring to Josh Gingerich and Devon Clemmer, respectively.
The Braves have served up four victories against Lancaster-Lebanon League foes and only trail Cocalico (5-0) by one match in the Section Two standings. With a 5-2 defeat of Lampeter-Strasburg on their home court Thursday, the Braves improved to 4-1 in the league and 7-1 overall.
Burns and Clemmer won the number three doubles in that match with a score of 8-2. Clemmer also won the first singles, taking his opponent in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Joshua Heinrich held on to win the second singles 6-3, 2-6, 10-7 while Glick and Burns won the third and fourth singles, respectively.
On Wednesday, the team topped Manheim Central 6-1 with the only Barons point coming in a close match at third singles.
Burns explained that with the league format putting the doubles matches first and the team's success therein, the Braves are typically riding a winning momentum heading into singles action.
"That has been a key for us," said the coach. "We have had a lot of success in doubles and it means we already have the lead in the matches going into singles. Even though we have had a lot of success there as well. It's easier starting our singles matches knowing we have won all or two of the doubles matches."
Against Central, the duo of Gingerich and Hunter Winey won the first doubles 8-3. Glick and Heinrich posted an 8-4 win at second doubles while Burns and Clemmer won the third by an 8-3 margin.
Clemmer also won the first single (6-1, 6-2) with Heinrich winning the second 6-4, 6-3 and Burns also winning in straight sets (6-1, 6-0) at fourth singles.
Elco was Tuesday's victim with Pequea posting a 7-0 win. The combo of Clemmer and Burns claimed the first doubles 8-0 followed by Glick and Heinrick taking the second one 8-1. Winey and Gingerich came on to take the third doubles 8-2.
In singles competition, Burns (6-2, 6-2), Heinrich (6-1, 6-4) and Clemmer (7-5, 6-0) won in straight sets. Glick won the second singles in a tiebreaker. He won 6-4 before losing 7-5 then winning the tiebreaker 10-2.
So far the only loss of the season was a loss to Cocalico early on.
"We lost that match 4-3," Burns noted. "It was a very close match. We still have a challenge or two in the league. But we are happy with where we are and hope to finish strong."
In a busy week for the Braves baseball team, the Pequea nine lost two of their three L-L League games - both close games - and fell to 1-5 overall (1-3 in league).
Monday's game was a pitchers' duel that ended in a 2-0 final at Lancaster Catholic. The Crusaders combination of Dillon March and Cam Barto pitched a one-hit shutout with Marsh picking up the victory and Barto tossing the final two innings for the save.
While Marsh struck out 14 and allowed only a single to Ryan Lockhart, he did walk four batters. But the Braves were unable to take advantage of those opportunities. Chad Kunkel had one of those walks and stole a base to put himself into scoring position.
Jack Olonovich was the hard-luck loser in this one, pitching 4.1 quality innings and allowing two runs on only three base hits. He recorded two strikeouts. Cameron Yoder went 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
The Braves went back on the road the very next day and started the game with a nice burst of offense, breaking out of Monday's shutout funk. Pequea Valley posted three runs in the top of the first at Annville-Cleona before the Section Four rival came back to tie it in the bottom of the second and added three more in the sixth inning of a 7-5 victory.
Lockhart tripled and drove in a run, scoring later in the rally. Kunkel had a pair of singles, an RBI, a stolen base and a run while fellow senior Terrell Stoltzfus went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Dalton Temple's run batted in was on a sacrifice fly.
Ryan Tobelman helped manufacture a run with a walk and two steals before crossing the plate.
On the road again Wednesday, the Braves put together a three-run fourth at Columbia and Adryan Yothers pitched a one-hit shutout, dominating the Crimson Tide batters with 12 strikeouts.
Austin Smoker's two-run hit was the big offensive highlight for the Braves. He drove Lockhart and Stoltzfus home. Temple went 1-for-3 and scored a run too.
Ryan Redding pitched a complete game for Columbia in a losing cause. He struck out four and walked two, allowing five hits.
PV Baseball Battles Blazers in Section Opener April 6, 2018
The Pequea Valley baseball team came up short in a tough Lancaster-Lebanon League game on Wednesday afternoon. Behind the shutout pitching of Nelson Habacivich and Shawn Oshikawa, the Lancaster Mennonite Blazers blanked the Braves 3-0 at Kinzers.
It was the first league game for the Braves, who fell to 0-3 overall. The Blazers improved to 2-0 (1-0 in Section Four).
Austin Martinez had a double and knocked in a run for LMH. The pitching combination of Habacivich and Oshikawa allowed a total of five hits as Dalton Temple stroked two of those hits.
The Braves were coming off a 10-4 loss to Kutztown in a non-league game the previous Thursday. The Braves' 10-hit attack yielded only the four runs- two of which were scored by Adryan Yothers. The sophomore went 2-for-3.
Ryan Lockhart slugged a two-run home run and went 2-for-4. Terrell Stoltzfus drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and scored one more. Ryan Robelmann and Winston Thomas each singled for the Braves. Zach Lynch also picked up a RBI.
In the spring season for sports, nearly everything is an outdoor sport.
Because spring comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb, the sheep dog hasn't had any lambs to look after with cold, rainy and even snowy weather being the talk of the region in the early part of the season as well as the schedules for high school sports.
Pequea Valley played Schuylkill Valley on Thursday in what was a makeup game from earlier on the Braves' schedule. In fact, it was supposed to be the season opener back on March 23 - two days after spring started with a few inches of snow.
Pequea Valley played Schuylkill Valley into extra innings before falling short 4-3 on the road. The Panthers had a walk-off hit by sophomore Sarah Moore, who came on in relief of freshman hurler Olivia Ammon in the sixth inning.
Ammon also hit a home run to help her own cause, but it wasn't enough offense against the Panthers.
"In the last two games, we had 10 hits in each game," head coach Doug High pointed out. "Today we didn't have the hits."
The Braves fell to 0-3 on the year - all non-league games. They were coming off a 7-4 loss at home against Solanco the previous week.
"In the Solanco game, we had the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning," said High. "We rallied late in the game. It was nice to see a young team rally like that.
"We did have an untimely error or two," he added. "In our late rally, we had [base runners on] first and second with nobody out and our fourth, fifth and sixth hitters coming up. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get anything out of it."
Ammon and Moore have been carrying the load as far as pitching duties have gone so far. Ammon has tossed 14 innings in three games while Moore has logged eight frames.
"We have a busy week coming up," High said when asked how badly the rainouts have affected the schedule. "We have Lancaster Catholic, Annville-Cleona and Columbia. After that our section crossover games start with Manheim Central on Friday."
The game of tennis has also been hindered by bad weather. The boys' team did post a decisive 5-0 victory over Octorara in a non-league match between two teams that call their sports teams "Braves."
In the March 27 match at home, Pequea's Joshua Heinrich posted a 6-0, 6-0 victory at first singles and Malachi Glick, one of the returning seniors, went on to win 6-2, 6-0. Brady Burns showed his freshman skills with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at number three singles.
In doubles action, Heinrich teamed up with Joshua Gingerich at second doubles, posting a 6-1, 6-0 victory. At No.1 doubles it was Deon Clemmer and Daniel Xentaras pairing up for a 6-1, 6-3 victory.
Pequea Valley improved to 3-1 on the year. The team is 1-1 in league competition.
Gabe Miller Finishes Sixth in State Wrestling March 16, 2018
Pequea Valley featured five wrestlers at the PIAA Class-AA Southeast Region Championships, which were held at Wilson High School on March 2-3. Of the five wrestlers, junior Gabe Miller and senior Tanner Ball moved on to the state championships the following week at the Giant Center with Miller finishing in sixth place.
In the Southeast Region championships at Wilson, Ball finished strong in the 132-pound weight class with consolation bracket victories over Jack Coulston of Boiling Springs and Zach Rupp of Upper Dauphin.
Earlier in the tournament, Ball beat Pierce Demetriates - a sophomore out of Tamaqua - by a 4-0 score. Following a gritty battle and 7-4 victory over Sebastian Corrales of Church Farm School, Ball suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Ryan McGuire of Notre Dame Green Pond - the top seed out of District XI.
Ball battled back through the consolations with the 5-1 defeat of Coulston and a 12-4 major in the third-place match with Rupp.
Connor Walsh suffered a one-point loss to Zavery Lester of Wilson Area in the opening round of the 138-pound bracket. The PV senior pinned T.J. Alderfer of Faith Christian Academy 2:56 into the first consolation match and pinned Lucas Shoop just 2:41 into the second-round consi battle.
However, a loss to Colin Rex of Northwestern Lehigh ended the quest for Walsh. Rex would go on to claim fifth place.
Miller's finish in the Southeast Region was in fourth place at 145 pounds. He opened with a powerful 18-3 technical fall, defeating Lehightown's Chris Whiteman. He downed a tough opponent in Bermudian Springs sophomore Trenton Harder, winning 11-4.
Though he suffered a loss to eventual champ Nathan Haubert of Palisades, he pinned Newport's Mike Capozzoli in only 55 seconds before losing the third-place match in a shootout. Lucas Christman of Palmerton won 16-12.
The 220 and 285 pound weight classes had Joey Coblentz and Nate Miller, respectively, battling for Pequea. Coblentz pinned Quinn Moyer of Northwest Lehigh but suffered a tough 10-7 loss to Bishop McDevitt's Nessir Pettus.
The consolation victory over Micah Springer of Camp Hill came in overtime by a 6-4 score. However, Wilson Area's Kolby Plank - the third-place finisher - eked out a 3-2 victory.
Nate Miller also opened with a win, registering a pin in 3:42 against Eddie Goldsmith of Springfield Township. Though he was pinned by eventual champ Dan Scheib of Tri-Valley, he did post a 5-4 consolation win before bowing out.
Ball would earn his 120th career victory before being ousted in the state championships in Hershey. Though he started in the hole with a 7-0 loss to Rocco Bartolo of Reynolds, he pinned Northwestern's Caiden Mooney in only 57 seconds and blanked Coulston - the same Coulston he had defeated in the Southeast Region consolation semis - by a 5-0 score. That was victory 120.
However, a tough 4-2 loss to Mark-Samuel Sallot of Harbor Creek - the eventual fourth-place wrestler - ended Ball's season.
Gabe Miller's season would end on a heartbreaking 8-6 overtime loss in the fifth-place match of states. He extended his wrestling competition into a third day after going 4-2 over the first two days.
Miller gained an 8-0 major over St. Joseph Academy's Evan Courts and blanked Montoursville freshman Dylan Bennett 7-0 on March 8. The following day had the first of three close losses for Miller. Tyler Griffiths of Southmoreland edged the PV junior 6-5. The pin versus D.J. Erickson of Hanover Area righted his path in the consolations and he strengthened his hold with a pin against Mike Doerfinger of Slippery Rock only 10 seconds into the second period.
Caleb Hetrick of Brookville shaded Miller 1-0 in the consolation quarterfinals and the 8-6 overtime loss to Hunter Michaels of Reynolds resulted in the sixth-place finish.
Lady Braves Finish 4th in District Three Playoffs March 2, 2018
The Pequea Valley girls' basketball team had to settle for fourth place in the District Three Class-AA playoffs, suffering a close 48-47 loss to Delone Catholic in the district consolation match at Warwick on Tuesday night.
The Squires hung on despite an intense comeback bid by the Braves, whose season came to a close with a 13-12 record. The top three teams from Class 2A advance to the PIAA state playoffs, eliminating the Braves.
Pequea Valley led from start to finish in the first quarter, taking a 13-8 lead into the second period. The Squires outscored the Braves by 10 points in the second stanza, heading to the locker room with a 25-20 advantage.
The Braves did hit a pair of three-point shots to make it close before the half. Bethany Bills and Sommer Reeser finished with 10 points each with Bills hitting from three-point range three times.
Reeser and Abbey Leslie, who had eight points, each connected twice on three-pointers. Caroline Horst finished with seven points.
Looking to erase the five-point halftime deficit, the Braves edged DC 17-16 in a high-scoring third quarter. They held the Squires to only four points in the fourth quarter, evening the score at 45-all with 3:44 left to play.
Delone Catholic's Brooke Lawler, who scored a game-high 21 points, hit a key three-pointer to give her team its final lead - one that the Squires would not relinquish.
The Braves were coming off a 61-53 loss to the district's top-seeded team from Friday, February 23. In that semifinal match at West York, Trinity's early 20-3 lead was nearly matched by the Braves in the second quarter as PV outscored Trinity 23-8, making it only a two-point game at the half - Trinity on top 28-26.
Another fourth-quarter comeback fell short in this game after the Braves saw the Shamrocks go on a 16-11 run in the third quarter.
Reeser led the Braves with 15 points, hitting from three-point range three times and going 2-for-2 at the foul line. Bills poured in 13 more points while Leslie also hit double digits with 10 points - six of those on three-point baskets.
The Pequea Valley wrestlers battled like champions in last week's District Three Class-AA championships at the Giant Center. The will and heart of champions resulted in five of the six wrestlers qualifying for the PIAA Class-AA Southeast Region championships.
Pequea head coach Dave Finger pointed to the great efforts, which resulted in a third-place finish in the 285-pound weight class and four second-place finishes.
Freshman Nate Miller, who took third at 285, punched a ticket to the PIAA Southeast Regionals with seniors Tanner Ball and Conner Walsh as well as juniors Gabe Miller and Joey Coblentz.
Ball opened with a 10-0 major decision over Brogan Loudon, a senior from Susquenita. He went on to defeat Upper Dauphin's Zach Rupp 9-4 in the semifinals before losing a tough 4-3 decision to Bishop McDevitt senior Brodee Tolbert in the 138-pound title bout.
"He has run into him a couple more times," Finger noted. "I really believe that with him being 100 percent healthy, that match goes a different way.
"He has had a nagging shoulder injury for the past couple of weeks," Finger explained. "Hopefully he gets a repeat of the match in states."
Making his way through the 138-pound bracket and reaching the championship was Walsh. He suffered a 10-6 loss to another Bishop McDevitt foe - sophomore Tyler Martin.
"What it really came down to was he gave up some takedowns," Finger explained. "It was one of those things where you take the wrong step and wind up in the wrong position. He went for a takedown and gave one up. Hopefully, we correct those issues in practice."
Walsh won his opening match by a 5-2 margin over Susquenita's Jacob Hammaker. He notched a pin 3:52 into the semis before facing Martin.
"Conner Walsh wrestled very well," Finger added. "I'm very pleased to see him advance."
Miller's final was another close battle. Following two pins that advanced him to the 145-pound championship match, he came up short in an 8-4 decision to Kollin Myers of Boiling Springs.
Following a pin at the 3:00 mark of the opening match, Miller pinned Middletown's Devin Martin - an opponent who was coming off a 20-5 technical fall and a 9-4 victory. The pin for Miller came 3:15 into the semifinal match.
"Gabe is tough," said Finger. "He's amazing to watch. He's never out of a match. The Middletown kid got the first takedown. Gabe is tough on top. He worked hard on his riding."
Coblentz pinned in his opening match also, ending the battle with Ken Norfleet of Susquehanna Township after 5:28.
He earned a 4-0 victory over Walker Klinger of Newport in the semis.
"He actually lost to that Newport kid earlier in the season by a couple of points," Finger said. "We had a tournament at Lancaster Catholic and it was a fairly close match."
In the championship, he was pinned by Boiling Spring's Austin Taylor - a formidable opponent according to the PV coach.
"Coblentz ran into someone who I think placed in states last year," said Finger. "He was a really solid kid."
Miller came on strong and pinned Dave Brennan of Camp Hill. Following a loss to Tanner Harkins of Kennard-Dale, he took the consolation route and wrestled his way back to an impressive third-place finish.
"He ran into Tanner Harkins, who's a state qualifier," Finger commented. "Nate is probably giving up 60 pounds to him. That was a big, strong wrestler who had an early takedown in the match.
"Nate is a freshman and has been doing well for us in the upper weight classes," continued the coach. "He followed it up with two pins to take third place," he added. "That's great to see. So many times in wrestling, a kid loses a match and he knows he can't go for first place; he can go on a downhill slide. He picked himself up and kept advancing."
Miller pinned Nate Raudenbush of Kutztown in 3:36. He then pinned Northern Lebanon's Kyle Sonner in the third-place match.
Winning his opening match in the 106-pound class was freshman Jace Beegle. He posted an 11-4 victory.
Following a loss via fall to eventual champ Patrick Damark of Trinity, he suffered a 9-4 loss to Ryan Stahl of Halifax to end his tournament.
"How well we did shows that we have quality wrestlers on our team," Finger remarked.
Lady Braves Crush Hanover in District Qtrs February 23, 2018
There are many ways to express the domination levied by Pequea Valley's basketball team in its Tuesday night victory over Hanover.
In the quarterfinals of the District Three Class-AAA girls' basketball playoffs, the Braves defeated the Nighthawks by a one-sided margin of 69-18 on the Braves' home court, sending Pequea Valley (13-10) back to the district semifinals. It was so one-sided that the game's leading scorer - Pequea Valley sophomore Sommer Reeser - had more points (20) than the entire Hanover squad.
The Braves' defense held Hanover to single-digit scoring in each quarter. Having not qualified for the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, PV had not played since their 73-47 victory over Columbia in the regular season finale two weeks ago.
"In the second quarter we went on a 20-2 run," said head coach Jason McDonald. "It was all started by our press and by forcing turnovers."
Speaking of turnovers, sophomores Caroline Horst and Abbe Leslie combined for a total of 18 steals with Horst nabbing 10 of them.
By halftime, the Braves were up 35-10 and retained the momentum in the second half, outscoring the Nighthawks 23-6 in the third quarter.
"We played good fundamental half-court defense and pressed them in the full court," said McDonald.
The Pequea offense kept pouring it on. Reeser's game-high 20 points included four three-point baskets. Marlena Ferry's 11 points included three treys while Leslie added eight points. Reeser also had four assists to go along with her game-leading points total. Ferry added five rebounds.
Helping keep the rock away from the Nighthawks were the likes of Clara Neff and Bethany Bills, who led PV with 11 and seven rebounds, respectively.
"We moved the ball and shot well, which was huge," McDonald added. "Fatigue became a huge factor for Hanover and our depth was a huge advantage. We started the third quarter on an 8-2 run and just stayed in charge from there."
The top three teams from Class-AAA advance to states from District Three. The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28 at The Giant Center
Tanner Ball, Conner Walsh, Joe Coblentz, Gabe Miller, Nate Miller and Jace Beegle earned a trip to the district's regional tournament. For Beegle it was based on his second-place finish in the District Three Class-AA Section I wrestling championships on Saturday, February 17.
In all, five Pequea wrestlers finished first on the day.
Beegle, who was the third seed in the 106-pound weight class pinned Wyomissing's Nathan Lord in the semis but the Braves freshman came up short against Bailey Gimbor of Brandywine Heights in the title match.
Walsh came into the tournament as the second seed at 138. He showed his championship worth by defeating Carlens Lapaix of Schuylkill Valley on a technical fall before winning the title bout 6-0 over third-seeded Brant Mason of Hamburg.
Ball, a senior, was the top-seeded wrestler in the 132-pound class. He showed his championship pedigree and earned the gold medal with a technical fall over Matt Deysher of Brandywine Heights. In the semis, Ball pinned his opponent in only 50 seconds.
Coblentz (220), a junior, also claimed the gold. He pinned Austin Strunk of Hamburg and won the title match with a 6-1 decision, defeating Wyomissing's George Nanouh.
Gabe Miller cruised from his entry as the top seed in the 145-pound class through the championship bout. He notched a pin in only 40 seconds in the semis and earned a 10-3 victory in the title match.
Nate Miller, who was the third seed at 285, coerced a pin in the final seconds of the semifinal match. The freshman heavyweight won the championship with a pin 3:30 into the bout against Kutztown's Nate Raudenbush.
Sophomore Michael Beals was the fourth seed in the 113-pound class. He suffered a tough 11-9 loss in the quarterfinals against Cody Reimert of Hamburg.
Trevor Huber competed in the 152-pound bracket. The fourth-seeded sophomore suffered a loss in the semis and also came up short in the third-place match, losing to Elco's Carson Nell. Huber finished fourth in the weight class.
Braves Cap Season Against A-C and Columbia February 9, 2018
The Pequea Valley boys' basketball team finished strong despite two season-ending losses. The Braves faced Lancaster-Lebanon League opponents Annville-Cleona and Columbia last week.
The Braves were holding a 37-29 lead after three quarters. The Crimson Tide overcame the deficit with a 20-7 run in the fourth for a 49-44 victory at Kinzers on Wednesday night.
"It was the best defensive game we've played all season," said Thad Rittenhouse, the head coach of the Braves, who fell to 2-12 in the league (3-19 overall). "What hurt us in the game was fouls."
Senior Luke Purcell led the Braves offensively, scoring a game-high 19 points, including a three pointer.
"Luke's performance offensively was his best all season," Rittenhouse remarked. "Most of his shots were from the inside. He was able to drive and finish.
"He also rebounded well," added the coach. "His best game he saved for the last game of his high school career."
Malachi Glick also hit a three-pointer and finished with 13 points. Nathan Kovalick scored six points and Devon Colyer went 4-for-4 at the foul line for four points.
"Devon fouled out in the third quarter and that hurt us," said Rittenhouse. "He's a great ball handler. Ryan Lockhart was out too. He's our big center."
In a Friday night game at Annville-Cleona on February 2, the Braves came up short in a 66-52 final. PV came on strong in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Dutchmen 27-15, but it was too little too late in a game where the Braves did not get off to a good start.
"We couldn't buy a bucket in the first half," Rittenhouse lamented. "We didn't shoot well. When we would get a good look, the ball wouldn't go in. We also had too many turnovers.
"We scored 39 in the second half," he added. "It was a tale of two halves."
Glick scored a game high 22, draining three treys on the night.
"Malachi shot the ball extremely well - especially in the second half," stated Rittenhouse. "That was part of what helped bring us back. The players rebounded well too."
Colyer, another one of the Braves' offensive threats, scored 18 on the night. Half of those points came on three-point field goals. Lockhart had four points, putting up two layups.
"They played a zone defense on us and we struggled with that," Rittenhouse explained.
With their second highest point total of the season, the girls' basketball team improved to 7-7 in Section Three and 12-10 overall with a dominating 73-47 home victory over Columbia last Tuesday. The team had previously scored 72 points against Lancaster Mennonite, and Columbia in their first half meeting.
The girls got off to a solid start, winning the first quarter 19-14 but took charge for good over the middle two frames, outpointing the Tide 45-21. Columbia, behind a game-high 22 points from Janeah Neal, did win the final quarter, 12-9, but the damage was done.
Sommer Reeser led four Braves in double figures with 18 points, including four triples. Clara Neff added 14 points and Abbey Leslie hit ten. Both dropped in a pair of treys as the Braves hit nine times from long range. Caroline Horst also hit double figures with 11 while Bethany Bills was just off the mark with nine.
The Braves were coming off another crushing result, this one a 64-42 victory over Annville-Cleona on Friday, February 2.
Unlike the Columbia game, Pequea used a strong first and fourth quarter effort to pull away from the Dutchmen. Behind 20 point performances by both Neff and Reeser, the Braves jumped out to a 17-8 first quarter lead and, after winning the middle frames 31-26, pulled away with a 16-8 advantage down the stretch.
Neff and Reeser also accounted for seven of Pequea's ten made three's with Marlena Ferry's nine points coming on three triples. Lydia Caciola, Bills and Leslie each added four points.
The girls will enter the District Three Class 3A playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
Miller Wins Outstanding Wrestler Award February 2, 2018
The L-L League Wrestling Championships took place at Garden Spot High School on Friday and Saturday, January 26-27.
And the athlete who came away with the D. Kenneth Ober Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament was Pequea Valley's Gabe Miller.
In a classic bout against Garden Spot's Connor Finkey, the PV junior was the winner in an 8-3 decision at 138. He was last year's 132-pound champ.
As a team, the Braves compiled 106.5 points and finished ninth overall in team standings. Manheim Central finished first with 219 points while 2017 champ Northern Lebanon finished second with 203 team points.
Miller pinned Hector Colon of Lampeter-Strasburg 2:52 into the opening-round bout. He pinned Hayden Shreiner of Warwick in half that time (1:21) before defeating Finkey in the title match.
Junior Joey Coblentz opened with a 5-3 loss in overtime to Zac Bicevskis of Hempfield in the 285-pound bracket. Coblentz defeated Eddie Torres of Lebanon on a quick pin, 38 seconds into the consolation quarterfinals. He then topped Austin Shaver of Cocalico 5-1 and in a rematch with Bicevskis got a pin at 2:45 of the third-place match.
Conner Walsh also had a third-place finish, earning it in the 138-pound class. The PV senior pinned Bobby Walters of Elizabethtown and Ramon Estevez of L-S in the first two rounds.
After a 9-6 loss to Gunner Gehr of Garden Spot in the semis, Walsh came on strong in the consolation matches, topping David Over of Manheim Township in another pin. He recorded his fourth pin of the tournament, topping Chad Mowbray of Penn Manor 2:13 into the third-place bout.
Jace Beegle lost a close 5-2 decision to Garden Spot's Mason Casey at 106. The loss came after Beegle's 7-2 victory over Hunter Erb of L-S. Beegle battled back and won the fifth-place match 14-0 - a major decision over Jordan Holland of McCaskey.
Nate Miller earned seventh for Pequea, doing so in the 220-pound class. He pinned his first opponent but came up short against Cocalico's Ben Fromm. In the consi's he topped Conestoga Valley's Leo Marente 3-0 and won the seventh-place match, pinning Noah Myers of E-town in 3:53.
The Elco Raiders edged the Braves 42-39 at Pequea Valley on Wednesday night in a Section Three match.
Walsh and Gabe Miller opened with pins at 138 and 145 respectively, followed by Trevor Huber's 7-4 decision at 152, giving the Braves a 15-0 lead.
The Raiders charged back with two pins and a pair of Pequea forfeits, taking the lead at 24-15 before Nate Miller's pin cut that deficit to 24-21.
Coblentz won the heavyweight bout on a first-period pin and Beegle pinned at 106, making it 33-24 Braves.
Mike Beals added another pin for the Braves, making it 39-24 before three straight forfeits gave the match to the Raiders.
The Pequea Valley boys' basketball team came up short in a non-league game against Schuylkill Valley on Monday. The Panthers posted a 56-38 victory over the Braves at Pequea Valley.
"We struggled offensively from the floor," said head coach Thad Rittenhouse. "We also had a lot of turnovers that hurt us."
The score was close at the midway point as the Panthers took a 31-22 advantage. In the third quarter, they held Pequea to only four points, helping build a bigger lead.
"We were competitive in the first half," Rittenhouse said. "The second half got away from us."
Pequea's Dalton Temple led the squad with 13 points, including three three-point field goals.
"Dalton shot well in that game," Rittenhouse said.
Malachi Glick added eight points and Devon Colyer scored seven, including a three-pointer.
"A lot of teams will collapse on Devon and try to take away from him driving," noted Rittenhouse.
The Braves fell to 3-16 overall with the loss to Schuylkill Valley.
The Elco Raiders posted a Lancaster-Lebanon League victory over the Braves on Tuesday, using a strong 20-7 third-quarter run en route to a 54-34 win.
"We struggled in terms of shooting the ball - especially in the third quarter," Rittenhouse remarked. "We also had some key turnovers."
Pequea Valley fell to 3-12 in the league while the Raiders improved to 7-5 (10-10 overall).
Colyer tied Elco's Braden Bohannon for the top-scoring honors in the game with 13 points. He made a pair of three-point shots. Glick scored all seven of his points from the foul line.
The girls' basketball team poured it on against Schuylkill Valley on Monday, winning the non-league game 61-48. It improved the Braves' record to 10-8.
"We played very well in the second half as we extended our three-point lead in the third quarter," said head coach Jason McDonald. "We hustled and rebounded the ball very well. With our great defensive rebounding, we were able to get into transition very well."
A big part of the rebounding came from Caroline Horst, who hauled in 15 boards and also scored 12 points. Clara Neff had seven rebounds while Marlena Ferry grabbed six boards.
Sommer Reeser led all scorers with 23 points. She made five three-pointers. Ferry scored 17 points, including a three-pointer. She also nabbed four steals and dished out three assists.
Jamie Stephan scored five points, grabbed two rebounds and a steal. Abbey Leslie led the team in assists with eight, and also helped with two steals and four boards.
The Braves lost their lone league game of the week, falling to Elco in a close 56-50 final on the road Tuesday. The Braves fell to 5-7 in the league and 10-9 overall.
"We played hard, but were out rebounded, and we struggled making shots," McDonald remarked. "This was the type of game that will get us ready for the post-season. It showed us that we have to come out aggressive every night if we want to win."
It was an up-and-down first half as the Braves took a 19-16 lead into the second quarter but found themselves behind 34-28 at halftime. The six-point margin translated into the winning one for Elco as both teams scored 22 in the second half.
Reeser led Pequea with 13 points, including a pair of treys. The rest of the offense was evenly distributed. Bethany Bills scored nine as did Neff, who had 10 rebounds. Horst, who had a team-high 13 rebounds, and Leslie each scored eight.
Ferry had four rebounds while Lydia Cacciola grabbed five boards.
In another non-league game, the Braves lost 56-47 to Twin Valley on the road Wednesday night. The Raiders scored 14 in each of the final two periods.
"We played hard and with great energy," McDonald said. "Unfortunately, we did not make enough shots. "On nights like this, we have to limit the opposing team's offensive rebounds. We gave up 20 offensive boards.
"We played great defense initially, but struggled finishing the possession," continued the coach. "On the offensive end, we executed our plays. We just missed the shots, which was uncharacteristic of us."
Reeser led the way with 19 points and Horst scored 10 more while hauling in 10 rebounds and assisting on seven baskets. Leslie had seven points and seven boards. Neff added nine points and seven rebounds. Bills also had seven rebounds.