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PV Booters Cap Season With Two League Wins October 15, 2017

The boys' soccer team accomplished a few positive things in closing out the 2017 season. Not only did the Braves finish with a winning record of 9-8-0, they were 8-6-0 in the L-L League. They finished strong by beating two league rivals.

And the other thing they achieved? It had to do with one of the Section Three opponents they beat this past week.

"In the Elco game, we were out for a little revenge, having lost to them in overtime before," said head coach Peter Bennett. "Going into that game, we were motivated for the revenge factor and hoping that getting a good win would help us leapfrog over them in the district standings."

Josh Heinrich and T.J. Hershey not only scored, but assisted in the final 20 minutes of the second half and Malachi Glick saved all 11 shots that came his way, all assuring the Braves that no overtime minutes would be needed. Pequea held on for a 2-0 win.

"The boys were pretty confident going into that game," Bennett added. "We looked back at the first time we played them. We had the lead at 1-0 and 2-1. Unfortunately, they beat us in overtime.

"We addressed our fixable mistakes not just in regards to that game and that loss, but for the second half of our season."

Indeed, the Braves went on to win four of their next five league games.

"Also, it was senior night, so their energy was up there," Bennett added.

In the regular-season finale, which was played at Northern Lebanon on Wednesday, the Braves beat the Vikings 7-1.

Hershey scored twice - both in the first half - and had an assist as well. Heinrich also scored twice and assisted on another. Al-Hassan Mozab, Bennett Nordhoff, James and James Diluzio each chipped in with one goal.

As for the post-season, the Braves narrowly missed the District Three Class-AA playoffs.

"We were just short," Bennett explained. "We ended up a game behind in the league standings [fourth instead of third in Section Three] and in the districts we were 11th.

Though 2017 is ending, there is a great deal of hope for next season.

"Hershey and Heinrich - our top two goal scorers - are coming back," Bennett noted. "The spine of our team should be back. Winston Thomas, the anchor of our defense, and sophomore Brandon Ratjavong, who had a few assists, should be back.

"We were disappointed to miss out on the playoffs," continued the coach. "But as close as we were and the strong wins we had give us something to build on, something to be excited about."

FOOTBALL

Pequea Valley's football team, coming off a bye week, hosted a strong Lancaster Catholic team in Friday night's Section Three showdown at Kinzers. In a game where the Braves were the underdogs, they kept things close until two Crusader touchdowns helped the visitors pull off a 38-14 win.

"It was 17-7 with about four or five minutes left in the third quarter," said head coach Mike Choi. "We had the ball and the opportunity to go down field and tighten up the game even more.

"But they did their job defensively and made us punt," Choi continued. "After that, they adjusted offensively and instead of a power running game, they started hitting their passes, working their way down the field with a couple of big passing plays on third down."

Pequea Valley fell to 2-5 overall and to 1-2 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League while the Crusaders improved to 3-4, 3-0.

Lancaster Catholic quarterback Gavin Sullivan completed 10 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Andrew Miklos, who was on the receiving end of six Sullivan completions, caught a 21-yard TD pass for the Crusaders' first score of the fourth quarter. Prior to the end of the third quarter, the Crusaders capped a scoring drive on a five-yard TD toss from Sullivan to Andrew Kirchner, making it 24-7 going into the final period.

"We had to pen it up once it got to 24-7," Choi explained. "In so doing, you open yourself up to having short drives. We also had a couple of dropped passes and had to turn it over to them."

Pequea Valley scored on Tim Malloy's six-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Ryan Lockhart converted the first of his two PAT kicks.

In the fourth quarter, after Catholic had pulled ahead by a 31-7 margin, Jordan Lapp led the Braves to their second TD of the game. Lapp (12-for-22, 72 yards) hit Dylan Jackson on a nine-yard scoring pass.

"We just made too many mistakes to beat that team," Choi said. "They did a good job at limiting their mistakes and not giving us more opportunities.

"Anybody who watched that game would tell you that it was a tighter game than the score indicated," added the coach. "I was proud of our guys. They were mentally disciplined, especially on defense and special teams. We struggled in execution - dropped passes, a play here or there."

Choi also pointed out that Pequea Valley's roster is slim compared to most teams in the league.

"We are stretching 19 guys and taking on Lancaster Catholic," he noted. "That's another reason to be proud of them."

FIELD HOCKEY

The Braves' 2017 field hockey season came to an end with head coach Erin Lewis seeing some positive signs.

"The girls are getting better at reading the field, anticipating what's coming and anticipating what their teammates are doing," Lewis explained.

The Braves (0-16-1) closed out the season with a pair of L-L League losses, including a Tuesday night Section Three match with Elco. The Raiders (10-6-1, 7-2-1 LL) pulled off a 7-0 victory at Kinzers.

"Elco is toward the top of our section," Lewis said. "They are definitely a challenge for us. The girls played well, though the scoreboard did not reflect that.

"We really did well on offense, trying to get the ball more in our favor," she added. "Overall, we've really grown in that aspect this season."

Lewis explained that the team is putting together good offensive possessions though not necessarily finishing them with goals scored. Part of that has to do with the limited roster in which the necessary versatility takes away from consistency at some positions.

"With fifteen girls on the team, we have trouble trying to keep them in the same exact position all of the time," she added. "They're not mastering any one position on the field. That has been a challenge for us."

One of the positions that has been solid has been that of goalkeeper. Jordan Melson, a junior who should bring back some experience next year, has held her own, despite the team's winless record.

"Jordan Melson's save percentage is near 70," Lewis noted. "Though our scores are shutouts on the other team's parts, in some of these games she has had 20, 25 or 30 shots on goal. She has saved the majority of what comes her way. Eventually, the percentages catch up with you when you're facing so many shots."

She had 16 saves against Elco. Melson also recorded 16 more in the regular-season finale at Lancaster Mennonite on Wednesday. The Blazers had 23 shots on goal and earned a 6-0 victory.

GIRLS SOCCER

The girls' soccer team earned a playoff berth thanks to its L-L League 9-3-2 record (10-6-2 overall) and a solid third-place finish in Section Three. The Braves kept the foot on the proverbial gas pedal with back-to-back wins against Section Three rivals Elco and Northern Lebanon to close out the regular season

Three weeks prior to Monday's match at Elco, the Raiders had come to Kinzers and blanked the Braves 5-0. But the Braves were having none of that on Monday. They got out to a 2-0 halftime lead and were on cruise control until they exited with a 2-1 win.

Alyssa Yoder and Grace Martin scored for PV, who had four shots on goal. Megan Rogers provided an assist.

On the Pequea end of the pitch, goalie Kysten Jarvis faced seven shots and saved six in the close victory.

Wednesday night's match featured 13 shots on goal with a pair of goals by Lydia Cacciola, another by Kalyn Keen, who also had an assist, and one by Leona Stoltzfus. The Vikings also helped with an own goal.

Stoltzfus broke the scoreless tie 31 minutes into the match. Only two minutes later, Cacciola made it 2-0. She increased that lead with PV's third goal of the game seven minutes into the second half. Keen's goal capped the scoring. Rogers had two assists. Yoder had one.

Jarvis needed only one save to record this shutout.

With those wins under their belts, the Braves opened the L-L League playoffs on Saturday. They faced Conestoga Valley in a morning match on a drizzly day in Denver.

The lone goal in that match didn't come in the first half; it didn't come in the second half. In fact, it wasn't until 18 minutes into overtime that Gabrielle Barone gave the Buckskins a 1-0 win over the Braves. It was the 13th of 13 shots on Jarvis, who had saved the previous dozen.

The quest for a league title stopped in that first round, but the season didn't end. The Braves are fifth in the District Three Class-AA power rankings and look forward to the start of districts.

GIRLS TENNIS

In the L-L League Tennis Tournament singles championships played at Conestoga Valley on Monday, Sophia Weaver claimed fifth place in the Flight One Class-AA brackets.

Though she suffered an early loss to eventual semi-finalist Meg Grasberger of Lancaster Catholic, she fought back with a 6-3, 6-3 win in the first round of consolations and followed with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of LC's Meredith Debord. Meanwhile, Grasberger won her consolation match to take third place.

Weaver and Natalie Stoltzfus were the number two doubles seed in Class-AA. They defeated the LC twosome of Debord and Angelle San Jose by a 6-3, 6-2 score to reach the title match, but Lancaster Catholic's Riley Smith and Isabel Midcap, who came in as the top seed, prevailed 6-0, 6-2.

Grasberger also earned a District Three Class AA victory over Weaver, winning 6-2, 6-1 on Friday afternoon at Hershey Racquet Club.

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Braves Even League Record With Mixed Results October 8, 2017

The theme for the Pequea Valley boys' soccer last week could be described in two different ways - feast or famine; heartbreaking.

The heartbreaking part came from the 3-2 setback at Lancaster Catholic on Monday afternoon. Despite a pair of goals by Josh Heinrich, Pequea's push to even the score in the second half of this Lancaster-Lebanon League game fell just short.

The Braves opened the scoring with Heinrich getting his first goal in the ninth minute of the match. The Crusaders, who also had a multiple goal scorer in the person of Connor Engle, tied it 12 minutes later on Engle's first of the game.

"We took an early lead and it was kind of back-and-forth in the first half," head coach Peter Bennett explained. "We felt pretty good at halftime, tied 1-1."

The Crusaders took the lead and added on with two quick goals in the first five minutes of the second half - Engle and Chris Richards, who got an assist from David Kamwaga.

"We came out kind of slow after halftime and they got two goals on us," Bennett added. "We kind of checked out for a little while."

With 26 minutes left in regulation, the Braves cut the deficit to 3-2. The Crusaders out-shot the Braves 13-4

"I was proud of the boys for how they rallied," commented the coach. "We got one goal back and had a few chances. Going down 3-1 so quickly in the second half and for as young as we are, it was nice to see the boys rally.

"I'm glad to see our players buying into the idea of being in it together and working together," Bennett added. "We're a young team and Lancaster Catholic is almost exclusively seniors and juniors."

Two days later, playing on their home pitch, the Braves put six goals in the net by halftime on their way to a 10-0 defeat of Lebanon Catholic. The "feast" theme for the week.

"We were at both ends of the spectrum," Bennett said. "It was a frustrating loss against Lancaster Catholic, but Wednesday we got our confidence up with that win."

The Braves had 20 shots on goal with James Diluzio scoring twice. He was the lone player with multiple goals, however, as many others got into the scoring column.

"We were fortunate that our success allowed us to get different players in throughout the game," he said. "It got guys experience playing different spots and positions. Things were working well all over the field.

"We stuck with the game plan on Wednesday," he added. "As frustrating as Monday's loss was, it was good to not see the frustration carry over."

Diluzio scored three minutes into the second half to make it 7-0 at that juncture. His first goal came 23 minutes into the game.

The Braves got on the scoreboard with Bennett Nordhoff's goal and Heinrich added another to make it 2-0. T.J. Hershey's goal in the 11th minute, made it 3-0. Heinrich and Hershey each had an assist on the day.

Evan Johns and Al-Hasszn Mozab tacked on goals of their own, making it 6-0.

Following Diluzio's goal, Hunter Winey made it 8-0 five minutes into the second half. Jafeth Arrieta and Mason Smucker rounded out the scoring. Elijah Elkins and Connor Walsh each had an assist.

Chase Riehl needed to make only one save in recording the shutout.

Lancaster Mennonite held the Braves to two shots on goal in a 4-0 shutout at PV on Friday - the famine. The Blazers improved to 16-0-0 overall (12-0-0 league), getting two goals from Matthew Lynch, a goal and an assist by Tyler Wager and another goal by Ben Lefever.

Malachi Glick stopped 11 of the 15 shots on Pequea's goal. The Braves fell to 6-6-0 in the league and 7-8-0 overall.

FIELD HOCKEY

Pequea Valley's field hockey team held its ground in a hard-fought L-L League game against Lebanon on Tuesday evening.

The defense was rather stingy in this home game for the Braves, allowing only one shot on goal. The Cedars made that one shot count, however, getting the game's lone goal off the stick of Barb Pyles in the first half.

The Braves had six corners, but couldn't get a good shot on goal to record the equalizer.

Lebanon improved to 3-9-2 (1-7-1 league). The Braves fell to 0-13-1, 0-8-1.

On Thursday, Pequea visited Lancaster Catholic. The Crusaders had 22 shots on goal and recorded a 6-0 victory. Jordan Melson recorded 16 saves in the loss.

GIRLS' SOCCER

The girls' soccer team grabbed a key Section Three win at home on Monday night, defeating Lancaster Catholic 2-0. The Braves went on to crush Lebanon Catholic 8-1 on Wednesday only to come up on the short end of a 2-1 loss Friday at Lancaster Mennonite.

Following the week's slate of games, the Braves hold a 7-3-2 league record (8-5-2 overall) and hold down third place in the section. Looming over the horizon is a game against Elco (15-0-1, 11-0-1 league).

"It's going to be a tough one," Kent Buohl replied when asked about the upcoming Elco game. "I think if we go up there and we're in the right mindset, we can really give them a game. We tied them there last year in overtime."

Lancaster Mennonite inched closer to Pequea Valley with their 2-1 win, improving to 6-5-0 in the section.

Shae Stoltzfus scored in the final minutes of the first half and added another goal 24 minutes into the second half for Mennonite. Pequea's lone goal came courtesy of Brittany Shirk.

Alyssa Yoder had a sensational game against Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday. She scored four times and opened the scoring three minutes into the game. She scored again in the 18th minute and added one more 30 minutes into the match.

"As long as I've been here, nobody has scored four in a game," remarked third-year head coach Buohl.

The Beavers lone goal was scored by Neesha Pierre. By halftime it was Yoder 3, Beavers 1.

Yoder made it 4-1 Braves two minutes into the second half. Only one minute later Grace Martin added another.

Pequea Valley got goals from Lydia Cacciola, Camryn Davies and Makenzie Dienner to close out the scoring. Krysten Jarvis finished with two saves for PV.

As is the case with many decisive wins, more players got an opportunity to gain experience.

"It was good to play a lot of the younger players with the older players," said Buohl. "They did a nice job. We possessed the ball very well that day."

Jarvis had 10 saves and recorded a shutout in the Lancaster Catholic match to open the week for Pequea. Cacciola and Brittany Shirk scored while Megan Rogers added an assist. Carriola's goal came just four minutes into the match, giving the team a lift.

"The Lancaster Catholic victory was a big win for us," Buohl commented. "We tied them the first time."

The Braves out-shot the Crusaders 14-13.

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Braves Win Homecoming Battle Against Columbia October 1, 2017

The Braves hosted Columbia in Friday night's Lancaster-Lebanon League football game. On Homecoming night at Pequea Valley, the Braves rose to the occasion and defeated winless Section Three rival Crimson Tide, 55-22. The victory evened PV's record at 1-1 in league play (2-4 overall).

"It was a great win for us," head coach Mike Choi stated. "Our guys have worked really hard and they all made an effort to be tougher mentally and to not miss assignments."

Whether it was the defense, the offense or the special teams, the Braves played a balanced game to earn a victory. Not only did quarterback Jordan Lapp throw for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns, he ran for two more touchdowns and scored on a two-point conversion, utilizing the old quarterback sneak.

Senior running backs Tanner Ball and Timothy Malloy scored the Braves' first two touchdowns, giving the home team a 12-8 lead after the first quarter.

But don't just look at the so-called "skill players" giving PV a strong offensive performance; the head coach felt the offensive line deserved recognition.

Sophomore Seth Gray joined the offensive line unit when Nathan Kovalick was moved to fullback early this year. Ray Chilcote, Austin Sage, Sean Gray and center Joe Coblentz were solid in Friday's win.

"We have some outstanding skill guys and we can keep getting better when we block for them up front," said Choi. "We really play our offensive game when we block well up front.

"We moved Kovalick from offensive tackle to backfield," he said of the 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior. "It has really been a good move since the Kutztown game. He has provided a true fullback in front of Tim [Malloy]."

Pequea Valley took the four-point lead in the first quarter, coming back from an early deficit. The Tide had gone up 8-0 after quarterback Maleik Crenshaw connected with Kobie Wakefield on a 14-yard TD pass in addition to tacking on the two-point PAT. That touchdown would be the first of two Crenshaw-to-Wakefield scoring plays. After trailing 28-16 at the half, the only points the Tide would go on to score would be Wakefield's third-quarter TD catch.

Lapp scored on a 64-yard dash and added that two-point conversion himself to make it 20-8 Braves. Columbia rolled right back and completed a scoring drive that ended with a rushing TD and Crenshaw carrying it in for the two-point PAT. It was suddenly 20-16. But something was waiting to put a spark back into Pequea Valley.

Enter Tanner Ball.

He returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards and Lapp added another two-point PAT to make it 28-16 before halftime.

"What a momentum swing!" Choi remarked. "High school football can be all about momentum. That was huge for us. We get a touchdown and a two-point conversion so we were able to breathe easier."

Three more touchdowns came in the third quarter - Malloy's seven-yard rushing TD, Lapp's 25-yard scoring pass to Dylan Martin and a 74-yarder to Brody Mann.

Lapp added a 24-yard scamper for a final score in the fourth quarter. Ryan Lockhart kicked his third straight extra point, making it 55-22.

"Another thing was that the extra efforts on plays were outstanding," Choi explained. "Our downfield blocks were key and our yards after catches were outstanding."

The defense was also more focused in this game, limiting the Tide to less than 20 yards total offense in the second half.

"I give Rob King, our defensive coach, a lot of credit," Choi said. "In the Northern Lebanon game [40-6 loss on Sept. 22] we felt good coming in. We had some mental breakdowns and gave up some big plays.

"Rob King did a great job with our kids, getting them to focus on their assignments and trusting the guy next to them," Choi continued.

"We are only 25 strong," he added, referring to the roster. "We are constantly putting guys in. It didn't matter if you were first or second team, each of the players who went in there did an amazing job."

Ball was one of the players Choi wanted to praise on defense.

"The hidden key to our success was Tanner Ball," commented the coach. "We asked Tanner to handle their number one guy, Edwin Ramos, out of the backfield. He handled this quick kid as soon as they put the ball in his hands."

The Braves return to the gridiron on Friday, October 13, hosting Lancaster Catholic. The Crusaders got their first win of the year on Friday (1-4, 1-0 league) and have been a perennially tough opponent for Pequea.

"We have some big games coming up - Lancaster Catholic, Donegal and Annville-Cleona," Choi pointed out. "Those are league games for us and the next step in our program is to beat teams like that. It would be a signature win.

"I love the make-up of this team and I like where we are," Choi continued. "The next three games are going to be a challenge."

GIRLS SOCCER

Pequea Valley came up short in a Section Three game at Donegal on Wednesday. The Indians took advantage of a couple of PV infractions to go up 2-0 en route to a 3-0 victory.

"It was scoreless and we had a handball called on us," head coach Kent Buohl explained. "It gave them a direct kick and that was their first goal.

"They got a penalty kick on another handball in the penalty box," Buohl added.

The Indians, who improved to 6-1-1 in the league, added a late goal when the Braves were pushing forward as many players as possible.

"We were pressing late in the game and they got one more because we were pushing people forward," Buohl explained. "You almost have to.

"I thought we played well. It was a closer game than the score indicated," he added. "They're a good team. Give credit to Donegal."

Friday found the Braves at Annville-Cleona for another Section Three match. They out-shot A-C 11-2 and posted a 1-0 victory, improving their league mark to 5-2-2 (6-4-2 overall). The team is in a spot where Buohl hopes the momentum would carry them into post-season play.

"We are ranked fourth in the district for AA teams," he explained. "We are hoping to make the district playoffs for the second straight year.

"And if we can stay at or improve on where we are in the section, we can make the league playoffs for the first time," he added.

As for the game itself, Lydia Cacciola's goal four minutes into the second half broke a scoreless tie and stood up for the margin of victory.

Kyrsten Jarvis, who had six saves in the Donegal game, snagged three shots away from the goal to record a shutout.

"That's her seventh shutout of the year and fifth league shutout," Buohl noted.

"We played very well," continued the coach.

BOYS SOCCER

The Braves' barrage of shots on the Annville-Cleona goal resulted in a close 4-3 victory over the Little Dutchmen in Friday's Section Three win at home. Pequea Valley put up four goals in the first half alone and held on for the win in an exciting match.

It was a see-saw battle in terms of both sides converting on scoring opportunities. The Braves went up 1-0 five minutes into the game on a goal by Josh Heinrich. About four minutes later, Lucas Guzman evened the score with his first goal of the game. The Little Dutchmen enjoyed that for all of two minutes as Connor Walsh put Pequea back on top 2-1.

That lead lasted 15 minutes until the Dutchmen tied it one last time. T.J. Hershey's first goal of the game came in the 29th minute. Hershey, who had an assist earlier in the match, increased that lead less than three minutes later, giving PV a 4-2 advantage.

The only scoring of the second half was Guzman's second goal of the match.

Malachi Glick grabbed seven saves to help the Braves hang on and to improve their league mark to 5-4-0 (6-6-0 overall).

That win was the Braves' second straight league win at home. On Wednesday, Josh Gingerich and Brandon Ratjavong scored first-half goals to give the Braves a 2-0 win over Donegal. Hershey and Walsh each got an assist.

Glick came through in a huge way, getting a shutout with 11 saves.

GOLF

On Monday afternoon, golfers from around the league converged on Honeybrook Golf Course for the L-L League Championship. The Braves' leading golfer was Ty Stoltzfus. The sophomore shot a 93, finishing 55th overall, but 10th among the Class-AA schools.

Tied for 58th on the day was Austin Deforest, who shot 94. Nate Miller (106) was third on the team.

GIRLS TENNIS

The Pequea Valley tennis team has been in contention with the top teams in Section Two. This past week, the Braves improved their league mark to 7-2 (10-3 overall) by beating Annville-Cleona and Cocalico.

In the 7-0 win Monday, the Braves got straight set victories from each of the singles players. Only one of the doubles matches against A-C was contested and the twosome of Ryleigh Kurtz and Naomi Feister came through 9-7.

This was sandwiched between an 8-0 win by Sophia Weaver and Natalie Stoltzfus at first doubles and an 8-1 win by Kristen Huenink and Hope Fisher at number three doubles.

Weaver and Stoltzfus each won their sets 6-1, 6-0 at first and second singles, respectively. Kurtz won hers by the same scores at fourth singles while Feister claimed the third singles 6-0, 6-0.

The 4-3 victory at Cocalico on Wednesday was a tougher match for the Braves. The matches involved some extra intensity with both sides featuring players that answered the challenge.

Weaver and Stoltzfus were 8-4 winners in the first doubles, topping Jacquie Lagaza and Cara DiCiano.

Kurtz and Feister, however, were on the losing end of an 8-5 match at second doubles.

The third doubles ended in a 9-8 (7-3) final with Fisher and Huenink coming through with a team point.

Lagaza and Angel Stricker got team points for the Eagles in singles play with Stricker winning a tight 7-6 (8-6) first set against Kurtz and the next one 6-2.

Stoltzfus battled to a 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 10-6 triumph over DiCiano at second singles and Feister edged Nichols 6-4, 6-3.

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Hockey Team Improves Despite W-L Record September 24, 2017

The Pequea Valley field hockey team keeps on gaining momentum with the players' strong work ethic and commitment to the program.

The Braves, who got their first point of the season with a 0-0 draw at Lebanon the previous week, had two Lancaster-Lebanon League matches this past week - playing host to Lancaster Catholic on Monday and visiting Elco on Wednesday. They scored a goal in each match, but came up short.

"It was a touch match against Elco," said head coach Erin Lewis. "They're a good, skilled team. The girls learned a lot."

And sometimes when one fails at something, there are lessons to be learned from it. Therefore, playing a highly-skilled team can almost be a hands-on coaching tool.

"We always learn something new in our games," said Lewis. "We also take it to practice to teach the girls new strategy and skills. The girls use those in games and it makes us better each time."

In an 8-1 loss to LC at Kinzers, Emily Bologa scored a goal at the 19:45 mark of the second half, taking an assist from Olivia Ammon. The Braves got in five shots against the Crusaders, who had a hat trick from Alexis Howe.

Jordan Melson was tough in goal for the Braves, making 12 saves.

Katie Fisher scored her team's lone goal of the game at Elco on Wednesday in a 10-1 loss. Elco improved to 4-2-0 in the league while the Braves fell to 0-4-1.

The team is scheduled to play Annville-Cleona on Tuesday, September 26. The undefeated Dutchmen turned away Pequea by a 9-0 score nearly three weeks prior to this upcoming game.

"They're a tough team," said Lewis. "Our goal is to definitely score on them and get a better outcome than earlier in the season."

FOOTBALL

On the strength of Steve Herb's ball carrying and his two interceptions, the Northern Lebanon Vikings spoiled Pequea Valley's Section Three season opener at Kinzers on Friday night. The Vikings topped the Braves 40-6 as both teams got their Lancaster-Lebanon League schedule underway.

Herb rushed for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns - both from 85 yards out. It was part of a 229-yard rushing night for the Vikings, who improved to 3-1 (1-0 in league). Quarterback Mitch Daub completed 11 passes for another 197 yards, hitting Christian Trader for two of his three TD passes.

Isiah Davis, who hauled in Daub's other TD pass, also contributed to the scoring, running one in from 17 yards out in the second quarter.

The game went into the second quarter with the Vikings up 7-0 on Trader's first TD reception of the night. The two touchdowns by Davis both came in the second quarter, giving the visitors a 20-0 halftime lead.

All it took for Herb to get his first touchdown of the game was a small opening from his own 15-yard line. He got through the defensive backfield and out for an 85-yard sprint to the end zone.

The Braves responded with their only touchdown, cutting the deficit to 27-6. Jordan Lapp ran it in from 44 yards out.

BOYS SOCCER

Sometimes the measure of a team isn't in the wins or losses, but the way it attains its wins - the conditions under which the players have to come through with not just a good performance, but a winning one.

Though the PV boys' soccer team has a respectable record in the L-L League, the Braves' 5-0 victory over Northern Lebanon on Thursday was one of those character-building wins. The team was coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss at Elco on Tuesday night.

"I was pleased to see how they responded against Northern Lebanon after a frustrating loss on Tuesday," said head coach Peter Bennett. "It's hard to refocus after a loss like that and only one night of practice."

The victory improved PV's league record to 3-4-0.

The Braves scored two early goals and doubled that lead for a 4-0 halftime edge. They finished with 14 shots on goal to only a pair of shots by the Vikings. Chase Riehl saved both shots for PV.

"We got off to a good start and were able to control things," Bennett said. "We locked it up defensively."

The two early goals came in the first five minutes of the match. Bennett Nordhoff scored them both.

"Bennett Nordhoff has been our center back and we moved him up in the midfield," explained the coach. "He did well for us. He got his first two goals of the season. I was pleased to see him get rewarded."

Nordhoff's goals were less than three minutes apart. The same went for T.J. Hershey's two goals, which he scored in the 25th minute and also 27:00 into the game. Brandon Ratjavong added a fifth goal 13 minutes into the second half. Joseph Gingerich provided an assist.

Playing at Elco on Tuesday night, the Section Three match went into overtime as the Braves lost a one-goal lead twice in the contest.

Elijah Elkins gave visiting Pequea Valley a 1-0 lead with just over two minutes played. With less than a minute to play in the first half, however, Mason Bennetch tied it for Elco.

"I thought we played very well in the game - got out to a lead twice," Bennett noted.

"We started the game strong," continued the coach. "But it seemed Elco, in the later part of the first half, put some pressure on us and scored on us toward the end. We played pretty well for a good part of the second half as well."

The Braves regained the lead 16 minutes into the second half thanks to Connor Walsh. But only seven minutes later, Gabe Kiene scored the equalizer, which stood until overtime where Trey Donmoyer's goal was the game-winner in the 88th minute of the match.

"We wanted to get off to a good start in overtime," said Bennett. "I thought we controlled the first five minutes. They came down and got through on a breakaway. I think it was their first shot on goal of the overtime.

"It was a hard pill to swallow - to see us control and then see them score on their first shot," added Bennett.

"It was a good section game between two good teams," Bennett remarked. "I think we have been playing well in those tight games."

The Braves had a non-league game on Saturday afternoon at home. With a pair of second-half goals by AJ Gradwell, the Trojans posted a 2-0 victory.

GIRLS SOCCER

Following a 5-0 league loss, the girls' soccer team bounced back with a 5-2 win at Northern Lebanon and a 3-0 shutout victory over Tuplehocken at home, improving to 5-3-2 (4-1-2 league) on Saturday.

The Braves had 18 shots on goal while PV keeper Kyrsten Jarvis needed to make only one save to preserve the shutout.

Goals came courtesy of Megan Rogers, whose two goals were sandwiched around one scored by Leona Stoltfus late in the first half. Stoltzfus assisted on both goals Rogers scored - one in the 21st minute and another in the 54th minute of the game. It was a day of reciprocal offensive contributions because when Stoltzfus scored four minutes before halftime, it was Rogers providing the assist.

At Northern Lebanon on Thursday, the Vikings got a couple of their nine shots past Jarvis (7 saves). But thanks to a hat trick by Lydia Cacciola plus two more goals, which were part of a second-half scoring barrage, and two more Stoltzfus assists, the Braves posted a 5-2 league victory.

Cacciola scored the lone goal of the first half. It came at the 31:46 mark of the game. The Vikings evened the score on Brianna Seip's first goal of the game, which came at the 37:50 mark. Cacciola helped her team regain the lead with a score just 3:45 into the second half.

Within a five-minute span, which started in the 56th minute, the Braves scored three times. Cacciola (55:01), Grace Martin (60:26) and Camryn Davies (64:30) scored. It was, in fact, part of a four-goal stretch because Seip's second goal of the game for the Vikings was sandwiched between the ones by Davies and Martin.

GOLF

In last Monday afternoon's Section Three match at Honeybrook, Lancaster Catholic edged Lancaster Mennonite by four strokes. The Crusaders shot 333 as a team while Mennonite finished with 337.

The Braves just missed fifth place by five strokes as Northern Lebanon claimed that spot with a 383 and the Braves ended at 388.

Cameron Yoder had an impressive afternoon, shooting an 85 and finishing tied for ninth place with Jonathan Glick of Mennonite. Ty Stoltzfus shot a 97 for the Braves. Nate Miller (102) and Ambrose Shirk (106) rounded out the counting four.

Mason Moore of Annville-Cleona led all golfers with a 74.

TENNIS

The girls' tennis team improved its L-L League record to 5-2 with a win at Elco on Monday. With a sweep of the singles matches and two out of three doubles matches going in the visitors' favor, Pequea Valley won it 6-1.

Sophia Weaver and Natalie Stoltzfus posted an 8-4 win at first doubles while Naomi Feister and Ryleigh Kurtz won the second doubles match 8-5.

The Raiders posted an 8-3 victory at third doubles for their lone team point.

Weaver was a 6-3, 6-2 winner at number one singles. Stoltzfus claimed the second singles 6-3, 6-4. Feister (6-0, 6-4) was the winner at third singles. Nash gave Kurtz a good battle at number four singles, but the Pequea junior prevailed 6-1, 4-6, and 10-6.

Kurtz and Fisher had a good doubles match in PV's trip to Lancaster Catholic on Tuesday. They came up on the short end of an 8-5 decision. The Crusaders defeated the Braves 7-0 in a non-league match, dropping the Braves to 8-3 overall.

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PV Booters Rebound With Win Over L. Catholic September 17, 2017

The Pequea Valley boys' soccer team was coming off a tough 1-0 defeat when it took on Lebanon Catholic on the road Thursday afternoon. The loss was at home on Monday night to Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Lancaster Catholic.

"They came out and probably had the better of the play in the first half," said head coach Peter Bennett of the Lancaster Catholic game. "I thought we really played well in the second half and created some good chances. We just couldn't score. They scored with a pretty good shot from a distance with about three minutes left. It ducked just under the cross bar."

Scoring was not a problem, however, when the Braves visited Lebanon Catholic on Thursday. They scored four times in the first half and defeated the Beavers 5-0. That win evened Pequea Valley's record at 3-3-0 (2-2-0 league).

"The boys were disappointed after the loss to LC, but we rebounded pretty well," said Bennett. "Glad to see that. We were looking for a chance for a confidence boost. We lost a close one Monday night and another one last Saturday. The boys got up for this game. They got after it and scored some goals."

Of the 29 shots on goal by PV, a pair of T.J. Hershey shots went in. Hershey also assisted on another goal. He scored one minute into the match and Elijah Elkins made it 2-0 a couple of minutes later.

James Deluzio and Evan Johns also scored in the first half and Hershey capped the scoring eight minutes into the second half. Deluzio was also credited with an assist.

"Our offense has been pretty balanced so far," said Bennett. "We're getting the scoring from a few different guys."

The Braves had another league game on Saturday, playing Lancaster Mennonite on the road. The Blazers took a 1-0 lead into the second half and scored two more for a 3-0 victory.

The Blazers stayed unbeaten in both league (4-0-0) and overall competition (7-0-0).

GIRLS SOCCER

Sometimes the result of a game isn't a win or a loss; it's a draw.

However, depending on how well you've played that game, perhaps even against a formidable foe, coming away with only a point in the standings isn't a bad thing.

That was what the Pequea girls' soccer team did against Lancaster Catholic on the road Monday night. The two teams played to a scoreless draw.

"They're a very good team and that was a good result for us," said head coach Kent Buohl. "Coming away with a tie there was a good game for us. Both teams are close in abilities."

Pequea goalkeeper Krysten Jarvis made eight saves in helping keep the Crusaders off the scoreboard.

"She has played well for us," said Buohl.

The Braves had 14 shots on goal. According the head coach, the team turned it up a notch in the second half.

"I thought the first half of the game was pretty even," Buohl said. "We had the better of the play in the second half, I thought. We had a couple of good scoring opportunities, but could not convert.

"Defensively, we had an opportunity to engage them higher up in the field," continued the coach. "So, we didn't give them many shots on goal. They had two opportunities in the second half and our goalkeeper made one save and the other hit the cross bar."

Pequea went on to post a 9-0 victory over Lebanon Catholic in a Section Three game at Kinzers on Thursday. Camryn Davies and Leona Stoltzfus each scored twice in the victory, which improved the Braves' record to 2-2-2 while the team remains unbeaten (2-0-2) in its section.

It was a contest in which the Braves kept it coming. They actually scored more in the second half than they did in the first half, even though it wasn't a case of trying to run up the score.

"Our varsity played the first 10 or 12 minutes of the game," Buohl explained. "I had a lot of younger, junior varsity players play the rest of the game and they did quite well. Everybody saw significant minutes in that game."

Davies and Kylin Keen each scored a goal in the final 10 minutes of regulation as PV put up five in the second half.

The Braves got on the board with a Lydia Stoltzfus goal four minutes into the match. Five minutes later Leona Stoltzfus doubled that lead. Megan Rogers would make it 3-0 in the 26th minute and Hannah Huyard, a jayvee player who also chipped in with an assist, gave the Braves a 4-0 lead five minutes before the half.

After an own goal by the Beavers made it 5-0, Davies scored her first goal of the game. Only a minute later, Leona Stoltzfus made it 7-0. It stayed that way until the 73rd minute when Davies made it 8-0 and Keen, who had already assisted on an earlier goal, capped the scoring with her goal in the final minute.

Gwen Markell, from the jayvee squad, Lydia Cacciola and Makenzie Dienner each notched an assist as the Braves recorded 29 shots on goal.

Jarvis made seven saves in notching a shutout.

"We are playing very well as a team right now," Buohl added.

FOOTBALL

Pequea Valley's football team got its first win of the season in a big way. The Braves topped Kutztown on the road in a non-league game, coming back from an early 6-0 deficit to tie the game and adding 33 unanswered points before the home team crossed the goal line again with a meaningless fourth-quarter score. It was 39-14 Braves.

Jordan Lapp, who ran for a first quarter touchdown from 10 yards out, connected with Dalton Temple on a 12-yard TD toss in the second quarter, giving the Braves a 13-6 lead - one they would not relinquish.

Lapp had a 25-yard touchdown strike to Ryan Lockhart before the end of the half. Sandwiched between his two TD passes was a fumble recovery by PV's Tim Malloy, who returned it 45 yards to the Cougars' end zone.

The victory improved Pequea Valley's record to 1-3. Kutztown fell to 0-3.

In the third quarter, Lapp found Temple again for a seven-yard touchdown pass. He also had a 32-yard touchdown run on a QB keeper.

The Cougars' scores were like bookends on the night. Charlie Maddocks threw for a 58-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, connecting with Tyler Fisher for a 6-0 lead and found Fisher again for a short TD pass in the fourth.

Next up the Braves will host Northern Lebanon in their first L-L League Section Three game of the year.

FIELD HOCKEY

The Braves seemed poised to deny the Cedars in Thursday's Section Three field hockey match at Lebanon. Pequea Valley kept the opposition scoreless in a 0-0 tie.

The defense allowed six shots on goal and Jordan Nelson was up to the challenge, with stellar play that helped her keep Lebanon off the scoreboard.

The Braves were unable to capitalize on their shots on goal. With the draw, Pequea went to 0-5-1 (0-2-1 league).

On Monday, PV hosted Northern Lebanon in a league match. The Vikings got a burst of offense in the second half and went on to post a 7-0 victory.

TENNIS

The tennis team came up huge in two league matches last week, defeating Lancaster Mennonite on Monday and Manheim Central on Friday.

In the Mennonite match, Pequea Valley swept the doubles matches and won three singles matches for a 6-1 victory. The pairing of Sophia Weaver and Natalie Stoltzfus resulted in an 8-5 win at first doubles. Naomi Feister and Ryleigh Kurts had a tough time against Bethany Bronkema and Yang Huang, yet outlasted their LM counterparts 9-7. In fact Bronkema won the number two singles for LM's lone team point.

The number three doubles went to the team of Hope Fisher and Kristin Huenink, who won 8-1.

Weaver took the first singles 6-4, 7-5. Feister was a 6-0, 6-1 straight sets winner at third singles and Kurtz took the fourth singles 6-4, 6-2.

The match at Manheim Central ended in a 5-2 final for Pequea. Feister (6-4, 6-0), Stoltzfus (6-4, 6-1) and Weaver (6-1, 6-2) were straight set winners at second, third and fourth singles, respectively.

Kurtz came up short at number one singles 4-6, 3-6. However, in pairing up with Feister, the Braves got a team point at number one doubles thanks to an 8-6 victory there.

Weaver and Stoltzfus played a strong second doubles, but were on the short end of an 8-5 match. Huenink and Fisher prevailed by an 8-5 margin at third doubles.

These victories raised the Braves' league mark to 4-2 and 7-2 overall.

GOLF

On Wednesday afternoon, league rivals Annville-Cleona, Pequea Valley, Lebanon Catholic, Elco, Lancaster Catholic, Northern Lebanon and Lancaster Mennonite gathered at Iron Valley Golf Club in Lebanon.

The winning team was Lancaster Mennonite as the Blazers edged Lancaster Catholic by three strokes, 341 to 344. Elco finished third with 357. The Braves, led by Cameron Yoder's score of 88, finished with a team score of 395.

Though his team lost by three strokes, LC's R.J. Vantash topped Mennonite's Jonathan Glick by three, shooting a 76 to Glick's 79.

The Braves got a 96 from Josiah Nissley. Ty Stoltzfus and Austin Deforest shot 105 and 106, respectively.

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Pequea Booters Top A-C, Even Overall Record September 10, 2017

Pequea Valley's boys' soccer team won convincingly on Friday, topping A-C by a 3-0 score on the road. The victory evened the Braves' record to 2-2 (1-1 in league).

The Little Dutchmen actually out-shot the Braves 10-7. But each of their shots found Malachi Glick's sure hands ready to make a save.

Taking care of things on the offensive end were Evan Johns, T.J. Hershey and Josh Heinrich, each of whom scored one goal, as well as James Diluzio, who had one assist. The Braves took a 2-0 lead before halftime. Heinrich scored his goal midway through the second half.

Donegal came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to edge the visiting Braves 2-1 on Tuesday. Glick recorded four saves in a losing cause.

FOOTBALL

Octorara High School was the site this year for what has become known as the Braves Bowl. Two schools, which have picked the same name for their sports teams, play annually in an early season non-league football game for Brave bragging privileges.

This year's victory went to the Octorara Braves (2-1). In a game that was 14-13 in the home team's favor going into the fourth quarter, Octorara quarterback Trent Pawling tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to help give his team a 21-13 victory over Pequea Valley. For Pawling, who also scored a rushing touchdown in the first quarter, it was the second TD pass of the night.

He also picked off two passes, making it difficult for the PV Braves (0-3) to tip the scales in their favor in a close football game.

"We turned the ball over five times," said PV head coach Mike Choi in a telephone interview. "When you do that, it's really tough to win a football game.

"We thought we could take advantage of them with our passing game," added Choi, who welcomed back starting QB Jordan Lapp from a high ankle injury in the season opener two weeks prior. Lapp threw for 115 yards, some of which helped set up his own three-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. The Braves scored on that drive and another, which culminated with senior running back Tim Malloy punching it across the goal line from two yards out. Pawling's nine-yard rushing TD was sandwiched in between those, making it 13-7 Pequea Valley heading into the second quarter. Pequea had 114 rushing yards as a team.

Pawling's 20-yard scoring toss gave Octorara a 14-13 lead before the half. It stayed that way until the final stanza.

"We got off to a great start," Choi pointed out. "We had the lead twice in the first quarter."

Pawling, picking off two passes, and Nick Mattingly, intercepting another, were examples of how the PV Braves hurt themselves Friday night.

"We made some mistakes and they made some good plays," Choi remarked. "Their linebackers made some good plays, dropping back on pass plays. Two of their interceptions were after deflections by their linebackers. We also fumbled twice.

"You're in tight games, you need to execute properly throughout the game," added the PV coach. "There were a host of holding calls on offense and a blown assignment on defense that allowed them to score their last touchdown."

Under Choi's leadership, the Pequea program went 15-15 overall in the previous three years combined. That included a 6-4 season, a .500 year (5-5) and a 4-6 campaign. The culture of winning is instilled in a number of upper classmen on this roster, which includes some inexperienced players as well.

"We have kids who have a lot of experience and that makes up seven or eight of our starters on each side," he pointed out. "But we have an interesting dichotomy because there are the three or four young players on each unit who are in their first season with varsity.

"We've done a god job of teaching these kids how to win games," he continued. "We expect to be in the game in the fourth quarter."

All in all, the coach is happy to have Lapp back on the active roster.

"Jordan is our leader," Choi said. "He's our senior, three-year starting quarterback. He is very important to us. We need to sometimes put this team on his shoulders. He understands our offense."

The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Braves, who will have another non-league road game at Kutztown before embarking on their Lancaster-Lebanon League slate of games. On September 22, they'll play Northern Lebanon in a Section Three clash.

FIELD HOCKEY

For the Pequea Valley squad, 2017 is a rebuilding year, according to head coach Erin Lewis.

"Pequea is coming off only playing junior varsity for us," Lewis explained in a phone interview. "It's a rebuilding year."

Though the Braves suffered a 9-0 league loss at home to Annville-Cleona on Wednesday, Lewis saw some bright spots in the team's next game - a road match at Reading on Saturday.

"We played Reading and lost 4-1, but got much better play from the girls," she stated. "Our defense - Alexis Melson and Jamie Stephan - really kept us in the game. They blocked a few shots. Alexa Fritz had a breakaway and scored our goal."

The Braves, who fell to 0-4 overall, had been blanked in each of their first four defeats.

"Our next big thing is to work offensively to get the line down the field to score some goals," Lewis said.

In the Annville-Cleona game, which is the only league game thus far, the Braves saw Emily Brightbill and Liz Matusiak each record a hat trick. Brightbill also notched an assist for the Little Dutchmen, who had 13 shots on goal.

"Finding those offensive players and making sure that defense is keeping double-man coverage on them is a work in progress for us," added the coach.

In the Reading game, Jordan Nelson made 12 saves in front of the PV cage.

"We're sticking with Jordan," said Lewis. "She is a sophomore. This is her first year playing varsity. She did fantastic [in the Reading match]. We worked closely with her and she listens.

"Every game they try what we teach them in practice and as they see that's successful, we'll get better going forward," Lewis added.

GOLF

The Braves hit the links twice this past week. In a Tuesday afternoon game at Bent Creek, they finished with 208 team points in a day that 18 holes were not played. Cameron Yoder and Josiah Nissley led the Braves with respective scores of 45 and 48.

Austin Deforest shot a 55 and Ty Stoltzfus finished with a 60.

Two days later the Braves were at Pine Meadows, facing teams from Northern Lebanon, Annville-Cleona, Lancaster Mennonite, Elco, Lancaster Catholic and Lebanon Catholic.

R.J. Vantash of Lancaster Catholic led all golfers with a 72 followed by three Elco golfers, who occupied second, third and fourth places.

Stoltzfus led the Braves with a score of 101. Deforest shot 104 on the day while Matt Vaughn scored 116 and Nate Miller came away with a 121.

GIRLS SOCCER

The day following the football team's game against the Octorara Braves, another football team faced Octorara in a non-league match at Parkland. The Octorara Braves edged Pequea 1-0 in girls' soccer action Saturday morning, handing PV its second setback of the season.

Pequea's attackers were unable to get any of their 17 shots past Octorara keeper Paige Strausser. On the Pequea side of the pitch, Kyrsten Jarvis held off the opposition except for Emily Watson's unassisted goal in the first half. Pequea fell to 1-2-1.

On Friday afternoon the Braves were assured they wouldn't be blanked thanks to Lydia Cacciola's goal just one minute into the Section Three match versus Annville-Cleona. Cacciola added another goal in the 68th minute, making it 3-0 - the final margin of victory. Sandwiched between the senior's two goals was Makenzi Dienneer's goal in the 32nd minute. Megan Rogers, Alyssa Yoder and Kalyn Keen each provided assists while Jarvis snagged seven saves.

Donegal and Pequea Valley went into the second half scoreless in Tuesday evening's L-L League match. The visiting Indians got on the board thanks to Kasey Buchmoyer's goal eight minutes into the second half. Jarvis, however, saved 13 other shots and kept her team in the game. In the 66th minute, Rogers scored the equalizer and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

GIRLS TENNIS

It was a sweet 7-0 triumph for the Braves' tennis team at Columbia on Wednesday. In two of the singles' matches, the Braves went 6-1, 6-0 with straight set wins.

Ryleigh Kurtz and Sophia Weaver won by those margins in the second and fourth singles matches, respectively. Hope Fisher claimed the number one singles 6-0, 6-2 and Natalie Stoltzfus won the third singles 6-2, 6-0.

Weaver and Stoltzfus were a winning pair at number two doubles, winning 8-1. At first doubles, the Braves put together Naomi Feister and Kristen Huenink, who proved to be a formidable pair in an 8-0 win. The third doubles featured an 8-0 win by Kurtz and Fisher.

The victory evened Pequea Valley's league mark at 2-2 (4-2 overall).

The team was playing on its home court on Wednesday and defeated Northern Lebanon in a non-league match 6-0.

Weaver and Stoltzfus were 8-0 winners at first doubles. Huenink and Fisher won by the same margin at number two doubles.

In singles competition, Weaver took the first singles 6-1, 6-1 and Stotlzfus won 6-0, 6-2 at number two singles. Also winning in singles were Feister and Kurtz - both by 6-0, 6-0 scores.

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PV Softball Settles for Second Place in District June 2, 2017

There are sayings that we hear when in hindsight, we are coping with either defeat or victory. The expressions include the luck of being the hammer or the nail and the one about "sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug."

Whichever of these diametrically opposing forces you feel you are, there are times that you can be the one which is in the more favorable position.

For instance, a year ago, in the District Three Class-AAA softball playoffs, the Pequea Valley Braves knocked off the Brandywine Heights Bullets with a 1-0 win in the semifinals.

This year, in the district championship game, the Braves weren't so bulletproof, losing 6-1 Tuesday night at Muhlenberg High School and finishing as the district runners up for the second season in a row.

"They're a good-hitting team," said Pequea Valley head coach Doug High in a phone interview. "They average 10 runs per game. They're solid hitters up and down the lineup.

"We had some hits and opportunities, but not many," he added.

The Bullets (23-2) were the top-seeded team in Class 3A this year and the Braves (17-6) were the second seed.

Included among the Braves' opportunities were getting the leadoff batter on base two innings in a row.

"We had three hits," High noted. "Sarah Moore led off one inning with a double. The next inning we had a leadoff walk. Both got picked off."

Moore scored the lone Pequea run. She reached on a walk and moved up on a single. Sophomore shortstop Makenzie Dienner laid down a squeeze bunt to drive in Moore.

Another factor involved was that of revenge. You know, when you're the nail or the bug, you want to crack the windshield in your next encounter.

"I think they were looking forward to this day because last year's loss was a hard one to swallow," said High. "They were the number one seed and we beat them 1-0."

Sabrina Ryan, who was a junior in 2016 when both teams were in Class 2A, led the fourth-seeded Braves to that 1-0 victory with her rising fast ball.

"They chased more high balls last year," High commented. "In this year's game, they were more disciplined."

Jess Davidheiser got the win for Brandywine Heights. The sophomore hurler allowed three hits and two walks and helped herself by driving a shot over the wall for a two-run homer in the third inning.

"That home run hurt us," High remarked.

Taylor Sweigart's RBI triple in the first inning brought in the first run for Brandywine Heights. Corinne Mammarella stroked another RBI triple in the second inning.

As for the Braves reaching the championship game, High was disappointed about the team coming up short for a second straight year.

"We have never won a district title," said High, who is a first-year head coach but has been with the program for a lot longer. "We have some kids that worked really hard this year and we were hoping to make something special come out of it.

"I'll never forget my first year as head coach and reaching the district title game," he added. "Now it's on to states."

On Thursday, May 31, the Philipsburg Osceola Mounties blanked Ligonier Valley 2-0 in the District Six 3A championship game played at Penn State. Kamryn Harris struck out seven as she held the Rams (20-3) to four hits. The PIAA 3A state playoffs, scheduled to begin on June 5, will pit Pequea against Philipsburg-Osceola.

The victory that earned Pequea Valley the right to advance to the championship was a semifinal game at home against Kutztown. That also was a hammer and nail comparison of sorts. The reason PV had to settle for second place in the 2016 districts was because of Kutztown.

"They beat us 2-0 in the championship, so we were gunning for them," High pointed out.

The Braves posted a 10-1 win on their own ball field, getting a gem from Ryan, who struck out 12, and offensive support throughout the lineup.

"Everything was working for us," said High. "There was a 30 mile-per-hour wind blowing, so anything that had any air on it was dead. We didn't have any extra-base hits; we had nine singles."

Ryan helped herself with two hits and two runs batted in. Dienner went 2-for-4 with three runs and a stolen base. Moore got on base three times - all via walks. She also swiped two bags and scored a run.

"We were aggressive on the base paths," High noted. "We stole four bases.

"Also, their pitcher struggled," he continued. "They gave up nine walks. In our lineup, everybody contributed one way or another."

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Braves Face Knights in L-L League Playoffs May 18, 2017

By virtue of locking up its tenth Section Four title, the Pequea Valley (14-1, 16-5 overall) girls' softball team opened Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff action last Monday opposite Section One runner-up Hempfield (13-3, 18-4 overall) at Garrett Park in Willow Street. Despite facing a 6-1 deficit after four complete innings, the Braves rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh only to fall short, 6-4.

While the loss knocks the Braves out of the League playoffs, their season will continue with District Three tournament action which gets underway May 23.

"We committed two of our three errors in the third inning and they only scored once," said head coach Doug High. "But we only had five hits so hitting-wise we were a bit flat.

"Overall, I was happy with the way we played," he added. "But in moving forward we have to sure up the defense."

After yielding a leadoff single to Asaysha Raihl, Sabrina Ryan struck out the next three batters and quickly sent the Braves to the plate. Pequea took advantage and jumped in front when Sarah Hill beat out a dropped third strike and scored on a two out, two strike double by Lexie Unangst.

Hempfield came back with single runs in the second and third innings before breaking the game open with a four run, two out rally in the fourth. After giving up a walk and a bloop single, Ryan struck out the first two batters in the lineup before the Knights cracked a RBI triple, a two run double and a run scoring base hit over second. A strikeout ended the rally.

Hempfield came up empty over the next three innings, including striking out four times.

Pequea finally got rolling in their last at bat. Sierra Glick worked a one out walk, Naomi Feister singled up the middle and Makenzie Dienner's bunt base hit loaded the bags. Sophia Weaver's walk cut the lead to 6-2 and Tara Doratt followed up with a two run single. Hempfield pitcher Kara Cook then picked up her second strikeout of the inning (12th of the game), and forced a ground out to end the game.

The Braves finished with five hits on the day, three in that seventh inning. Ryan fanned 12 batters, surrendered one walk, and gave up nine hits.

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PV Softball Prepares for the Post-Season May 12, 2017

The Pequea Valley girls completed their regular season games, splitting decisions against section foe Columbia and crossover opponent Solanco. They end the regular season as Section Four champions with a record of 14-2, three games in front of second place Annville-Cleona. Overall, they enter the post season with a 16-4 mark

In the contest against the Red Tide at home on Monday, May 8th, the Braves upped their final league record to 14-2 with a 7-1 win.

After dropping behind 1-0 to the Tide in the top of the fourth inning, the Braves answered right back with a six-run outburst, and added an insurance tally in the fifth for the final score of the game.

Sabrina Ryan started for the girls, and was credited with the win, but in a rarity for her, did not complete the game, giving way to Sarah Moore to finish. Ryan added another 10 strikeouts to her season total. Her impressive statistics also include a league-leading 1.55 earned run average, and 13 wins in 15 decisions.

She is being backed by an offense that includes Moore with an impressive .410 batting average, and Claudia Schauback with a .687 slugging percentage.

In a game originally scheduled for March 29th, the girls lost to Section Two champ Solanco at the Mare's home field, 2-0 on Wednesday, May 10th.

Ryan only gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out eight, but was undone in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Solanco's leadoff batter, Abby Heidelbaugh, reached on an error, stole second base and scored on Kara McClune's home run shot to center field.

In a game not reported until recently, PV beat the Lebanon Catholic Beavers on May 3rd by a 21-2 mercy shortened three-inning meeting in Lebanon.

Moore, a freshman, pitched for the Braves, and struck out five while walking none.

The offense scored seven, nine, and five runs in their three innings of at bats, while the defense allowed two runs (one earned) by the Beavers in the bottom of the third with the game well out of reach.

Using only underclassmen as starters, the team was led by freshman Jordan Melson, who plated three teammates on a triple and a walk in her three plate appearances. She was also hit by a pitch in her other at bat.

Junior and sister Alexis Melson batted in a pair with her double, while sophomore Katelyn Wesley and freshman Ariana March pushed across one each.

Most of the rest of the scoring came on walks (nine) and Lebanon errors (8) in the quickly finished game.

BASEBALL

The baseball team ended their 2017 season with a 6-1 win over non-league opponent Kutztown (re-scheduled from March 31st to Friday, May 5th), and a loss to league opponent Columbia 4-3 at the Red Tide's home field on Monday, May 8th.

In the Kutztown matchup, a five run outburst by the PV offense in the fourth proved to be enough for the victory, with an insurance run in the sixth to offset the Cougar's bottom of the fourth run.

Junior Ryan Tobleman and freshman Adryan Youthers both had two hit games to lead the offense, and both knocked in one and scored one as well. Tobleman's RBI was the result of the game's only extra base hit, a double in the fourth inning outburst.

Eight walks by seven batters also contributed to the victory.

Joe Olenovich got credit for the win, tossing all seven innings, scattering four Cougar hits.

Against Columbia, the boys came back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth before watching as the Tide come back with their own two run response for the win. Yothers took the loss for the Braves, relieved by Brody Mann in the fifth inning.

The boys end their season in fourth place with a 5-11 record in Section Four of the L-L league, and finished 7-13 overall.

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PV Baseball Falls Short Against Blazers May 12, 2017

The Pequea Valley baseball team was shut out at home playing the Blazers on Monday, May 1st by a 5-0 score.

The team struggled at the plate, held to just five hits for the day, two of which were by Chad Kunkle. Ryan Tobleman, Dalton Temple, and Terrell Stoltzfus had the other three PV hits.

Junior Joe Olanovich took the loss, pitching into the sixth, and up until then limiting the Blazers to a single unearned run. He was relieved in the inning by Devon Clemmer, who finished the game.

The Blazers took advantage of three PV errors in the sixth inning, resulting in three additional runs.

Playing at home against Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday, May 3rd, the PV offense came alive as they beat the Beavers 18-3 in a mercy-shortened three-inning game.

After falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning, the Braves answered with four in the bottom of the inning, exploded for 12 runs in the second, and ended the game with a pair in the third.

CV garnered only eight hits, all singles, but were aided by five walks and a pair of hit batsmen by the Beavers pitching staff. In the infield, the Lebanon team was guilty of four errors, and two dropped balls in the outfield accounted for two more errors.

Joey Buonomo was 2-2 at the plate, swatting in three runs to lead the team. He also earned the win, pitching the first two innings before being relieved by freshman Jack Olonovich, who was credited with a pair of pickoffs for two of his three recorded outs.

Nick Patrone, Stoltzfus, and Adryan Youthers each knocked in a pair in the Braves attack. Joe Olonovich was one-for-one at the plate with a walk and a run batted in, and led five Braves (Tobleman, George Detore, Chad Kunkle, and Clemmer) with a stolen base each.

Winston Thomas had a bases-loaded walk for another PV RBI.

The team met Section Four leader Lancaster Catholic at Clipper Stadium on Thursday, May 4th, and lost 4-2, dropping their league record to 4-10, and their season mark to 5-12.

SOFTBALL

Continuing their run for the Section Four title, and tuning up for District play, the girls beat Lancaster Mennonite on Monday, May 1st at the Blazers home field 2-0.

Solo runs in the first and seventh innings accounted for the scoring.

Sarah Moore went two-for-three with a RBI double in the first to score Sophia Weaver (also two-for-three), and Tara Doratt added an insurance run in the seventh by plating Sierra Glick.

Sabrina Ryan tossed a one-hitter for the Braves, striking out 16 of the 24 batters she faced to run her record this year to 12-2.

On Wednesday, May 3rd, the team traveled to Lebanon Catholic and came home with a 21-2, three-inning victory. The Braves led from start to finish, plating seven runs in the first, nine in the second and five more in the third before yielding two in the bottom half.

Thursday, May 4th, the girls hosted Lancaster Catholic and won the Section Four title by shutting out the Crusaders 10-0 in a five inning game shortened by the PIAA mercy rule.

Ryan not only pitched a shutout, but gained her second no-hitter of the season, shutting the visitors down with 14 of 15 outs made by strikeouts.

She lost her perfect game bid on a third inning walk, her only mistake of the game.

The win put PV's league record at 12-2, and overall at 14-3.

As of May 4th, the girls are ranked second in District Three's AAA teams, trailing only Brandywine Heights.

BOYS TENNIS

The boys wrapped up L-L League tournament competition on Tuesday May 2nd.

Malacai Glick finished in sixth place in AA singles, losing his semifinal match to Joseph Jing of Lancaster Mennonite 6-1, 6-1.

In the playbacks, he defeated Danny Bomberger of Lancaster Catholic 6-4, 6-2, but had to default in the play for fifth place to Andrew Ashley of Donegal due to injury.

After earning a first round bye, Glick and Garrett Elmer lost their second round AA doubles match to Manny Brubaker and Jing from Lancaster Mennonite 6-1, 6-2.

In Flight Two singles play, Elmer lost to Conestoga Valley's Daniel Scala 7-5, 6-2 in his first round match.

Flight Three doubles had Evan Esh and Danny Gingrich beating R.J. Smith and Lawrence Hoover from Elizabethtown 9-8 (8) in their first round matchup, but dropping their second round to Darville Engle / Josh Glick from Cocalico 8-4.

Josh Heinrich dropped his first round match in Flight Three singles to Colin Hinkley from Cocalico, 7-5, 6-1.

Finally, Hunter Winey dropped a 6-4, 6-0 decision to Manheim Central's Trent Martin in Flight Four singles play.

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Braves Blank A-C, Improve to 12-3 Overall April 28, 2017

It was senior night for Pequea Valley, and ace pitcher Sabrina Ryan and her teammates bested Annville-Cleona 5-0 at Paradise Park on Thursday evening April 27th to up their league record to 10-2, and their overall mark to 12-3.

"We're right up at the top, where we want to be this late in the season," said first year head coach Doug High. "With four games left in league play, and sweeping A-C, we are looking good for the playoffs and beyond."

Ryan fired a two-hitter in the shutout, striking out 13 opponents while walking none. Another A-C batter got on base by way of a Braves fielding error.

The PV standout received all the run support she would need in the bottom of the first, when her offense spotted her with two quick runs, aided by a Little Dutchman error that prolonged the rally.

Designated player Claudia Shaubach doubled to center field, scoring Sophia Weaver (safe on an infield error), and Makenzie Dienner (bunt single).

The Braves increased the advantage to three with a single run in the third on Sierra Glick's double, and plated their final two in the fourth inning on a two-out single by Shaubach.

Seniors catcher Tara Doratt, Alexis Melson, Kaitlyn DiLuzio, and Glick all were honored before the game's start.

The team beat their crossover foes from Elco at Meyerstown on Wednesday, April 26th by a 5-1 score to continue to hold on to first place in Section Four of the L-L League.

Ryan continued her dominant strikeout performances, whiffing 19 of the possible 21outs during the contest. She scattered four hits, and only walked a single batter.

Offensively, the Braves took advantage of a sloppy Raider defense that committed six errors in the field, leading to three unearned PV runs.A three inning third frame gave Pequea all the runs they would need, but the Braves tacked on another pair in the fifth to pad the lead.

A rare, and heartbreaking loss was suffered by Ryan and her teammates on Monday, April 24th when they hosted the Donegal Indians in crossover play and fell short, 1-0.

A fourth inning unearned run was the only crossing of the pate for both teams as Ryan dueled Indian ace Makyla Yoder pitch-for-pitch for the full seven innings.

Ryan came away the winner in the K's department, sitting down 11 Indians to Yoder's 10 whiffs, but she also gave up an unusually high five hits and hit a pair of batters, while walking another.

Catcher Tara Doratt managed the only base hit for the Braves while Yoder walked none, and hit one batter for the only other PV runner.

Back on Friday, April 21st, the Braves traveled to Northern Lebanon and came home winners, 3-0.

The girls scored three unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning. The big hit of the inning was Doratt's two run single to deep right. Doratt went to second on a throwing error on an attempt to retire the second PV runner at the plate. She scored on a two-base throwing error by the Raider infield for the third run.

Ryan did her usual masterful job on the mound, striking out 16, while only walking one, and giving up a pair of singles in her two-hit shutout.

As of April 25th, the Braves are ranked 108th overall in Pennsylvania, and 24th in AA competition in the state. The only team in the area rated higher is Brandywine Heights at fifth, a possible opponent in the upcoming May District Three tournament.

BASEBALL

Hosting Elco, the visitors bested the baseball team by a score of 6-1 on Wednesday, April 26, dropping the team at that time to a 4-7 Section Four mark, and 5-9 overall.

Three costly errors allowed the Raiders to score four unearned runs in the top of the second inning, and insurance tallies were recorded by the visitors in the fifth and seventh innings.

The Braves scored their lone run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Devon Clemmer double that scored Terrell Stoltzfus, who had singled and gone to second on a Ryan Lockhart groundout.

Joey Buonomo took the loss for the team, giving way in the second inning to reliever Clemmer, who finished the game.

On Monday, April 24th, the Braves traveled to Lebanon, and came home 9-5 victors over the Cedars.

A solo run in the first was followed by a two run third inning, and a four run fourth put the team ahead 7-0 before the Cedars countered with a four-spot of their own in the bottom of the fifth to cut the margin to 7-4.

A sixth inning run by Lebanon closed the gap to 7-5 before the Braves, who finished with nine hits, put the game away with another deuce in the seventh inning.

Ryan Tobleman scored three times without an official plate appearance, reaching on three walks and being hit by a pitch once. He also stole three bases.

Adryan Youthers slapped in three of the team's nine runs on three singles, while Ryan Lockhart found the other side of the outfield fence for a homer, PV's only extra base hit.

Cameron Yoder tossed all seven innings for the Braves, giving up all five earned runs while throwing 95 pitches. He struck out three and walked one.

Back on Friday, April 21st, the team hosted Northern Lebanon, and in a slugfest lost to the Vikings 11-10.

The Braves took an 8-4 lead in the bottom of the third on a seven run outburst, only to see the Vike's score one in the fourth and six in the top of the fifth to go in front, 11-8.

Comeback runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings were not enough, and the team went quietly in the bottom of the seventh for the loss.

Dalton Temple was the big gun for PV, knocking in three runs on a base-clearing triple.

Youthers scored a pair on a sacrifice fly and a bases loaded walk. Tobleman was four-for-five at the plate, scoring twice and slapping a double, while Joe Olonovich and Austin Smoker also doubled.

Yoder, Temple, and Smoker all saw action on the hill with Smoker taking the loss.

On the road Thursday, April 27, the Braves dropped a 4-1 final against Annville-Cleona.

A game lost by the Braves 4-1 on Thursday April 27th against Annville-Cleona at the Little Dutchmen's field.

Tied at 1-1 after two complete innings, Annville took the lead for good with two in the fifth and tacked on a single run in the sixth. The Braves finished with three hits on the day but couldn't take advantage of eight walks.

Yothers struck out nine batters but suffered the loss.

The loss put the team at 4-8 in Section Four play, and 5-10 overall, in fourth place in the standings.

BOYS TENNIS

The tennis team has completed their regular season and awaits the league tournament.

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PV Softballers Lead Section Four Standings April 21, 2017

Playing three straight games early last week, Pequea Valley's girls' softball team went 2-1 and remains on top of the Section Four standings at 7-1.

Last Monday the team continued the crossover portion of their schedule at Cocalico and bested the Eagles 5-0.

Four Braves' runners crossed the plate in the third inning, and another run was added in the sixth to give pitcher Sabrina Ryan more than enough offensive assistance as she shut the Eagles out, only allowing a total of four batters to reach base on a pair of hits, a walk, and a defensive error scattered throughout the game.

Ryan also added 15 strikeouts to her impressive total for the year so far.

In a game postponed from March 31st, the Braves played last year's highly rated Berks Catholic at home last Tuesday and shut out the visitors, 11-0.

The Braves plated four runs in the first inning, sending nine batters up. In a game shortened by the PIAA mercy rule, the team scored another three in the third, and added four more in the fourth to go over the necessary ten runs to end the game early.

Ryan then shut down the visitors in the top of the fifth for her eighth win of the season.

She allowed only two hits, and struck out six with one walk in her shortened day's work.

Wednesday saw the Braves host the Pioneers from Lampeter-Strasburg, and their nine game winning streak ended with a 10-2 loss.

After allowing the Pioneers to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning, the Braves rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the third, only to see that tie disappear when L-S scored three in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good.

Another three-spot by the visitors in the sixth, plus a pair of runs in the seventh put the game out of reach for the Braves.

Ryan took her first loss of the season, while striking out 13 batters and walking an unusually high five Pioneers. She also gave up a not so typical ten hits. Three errors gave the visitors several unearned runs while a ten-hit PV attack stranded runners in almost every inning.

On Thursday, April 13, the girls played an evening game at Paradise Park against Manheim Central, and bested the Barons, 3-1.

A pair of first inning runs was all Ryan would need, as the star pitcher fanned 13 Baron batters, while giving up a lone run in the fourth inning and allowing a mere three hits while walking none.

The Braves added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth to offset the Manheim score.

TENNIS

Playing a match at the Comets home courts in Millersville last Monday, the boys beat their hosts from Penn Manor 7-0.

In doubles play, partners Josh Heinrich and Danny Gingrich posted an 8-5 win over Petros Karpouzis and Nick Barnard, Micah Glick and Garrett Elmer were easy 8-0 winners over Bryce Hanna and Toby Singer, and the duo of Parth Patel and Starvos Xentaras topped Avery York and Cole Shenk 8-2.

The four singles wins were by Hunter Winey (6-2, 6-0 over Bernard), Heinrich (6-2, 6-2 battling Karpouzis), Elmer (6-2, 7-6, (1) over Singer), and Glick (6-0, 6-3 against Hanna).

On April 13th, the netters traveled to McCaskey, and lost to their hosts 5-2.

The pairing of Micah Glick and Garrett Elmer bested brothers Tom and Tyler Coder 8-3 for the lone win in doubles.

Josh Heinrich registered the only other win with a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles over Will Fenimore.

A match against Lebanon on April 20th was not reported in time to be included in this article.

The boys are 2-3 both in league and overall play as of this writing.

BASEBALL

In a game rescheduled from late March, the Braves traveled to Kennard-Dale High in York County, and shut out their hosts 9-0.

Adryan Youthers pitched six and two-thirds innings for the win, allowing just two hits while striking out ten.

The Braves scored a pair of runs in the second inning to take the early lead. They picked up three more runs in the third that pushed the difference out to five, and a solo run in the fourth and three more in the fifth added up to the 9-0 final.

Terrell Stoltzfus had a big day at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a walk, and a pair of runs batted in. Ryan Lockhart, who scored twice, had a ribbie on the only extra base hit of the day, a double. Devon Clemmer, who scored twice, stole two bases to put himself into scoring position.

Traveling to the home field of the Spartans on Wednesday, the Braves came back without scoring a run in a 12-0 shutout by the Spartan's pitching staff ace.

Only three PV batters reached base against the Spartans' Dave Petersheim, who allowed just one hit, a walk, and a fielding error.

Travis Clemmer took the loss for the Braves, who fell to 3-5 in the league, and 4-7 overall.

Austin Smoker and Ryan Lockhart pitched two and four innings respectively in relief. Smoker also tallied the only PV hit in the game.

Playing at home against the Cocalico Eagles, the Braves were doubled up by their visitors 8-4.

Smoker went 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles to lead the Braves in batting, while Ryan Tobleman and Joey Buonomo knocked in runs.

Joe Olanovich and Dalton Temple split pitching duties for PV, with Olanovich taking the loss.

The Braves were hosted on April 13th by Manheim Central and, in a close game, suffered a 3-2 loss.

Smoker and Lockhart knocked in the runs for the team, with Olanovich and Youthers crossing the plate.

The baseball team's record now stands at 3-3 in the league, and 4-7 overall.

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PV Baseball Bows to Catholic, Tops Columbia April 13, 2017

The baseball nine dropped a 4-0 league game to Lancaster Catholic on April 10 at home in Kinzers, but bested Columbia two days later, 10-0, in a mercy rule shortened five inning game.

Against the Crusaders, a three run third inning burst by the visitors would be enough, but they tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh for the 4-0 final.

Joe Olanovich was the unfortunate loser for the Braves, giving up the three runs on nine hits, while Austin Smoker, in relief, allowed the seventh inning run.

The Braves failed to help their cause at the plate, managing just two hits against winning pitcher Dontel Marsh.

Smarting from the loss to the Crusaders, the Braves showed no mercy against the Crimson Tide nine, plating five in the first, and adding four more in the bottom of the second to jump out to a 9-0 lead.

The game ended by the PIAA ten-run rule when they tallied another run in the bottom of the fifth.

Senior Joey Buonomo was the benefactee of the offensive outburst by his team, allowing no hits and striking out six in his four innings of work. Freshman Adryan Youthers worked an inning-plus of relief, striking out three, coming from his starting catchers' position where he guided Buonomo's outing.

In a game originally to be played April 7th, but rescheduled to the 11th, the team traveled to Lebanon Catholic and was involved in another mercy-shortened game, this time only having to go three innings in a 31-0 besting of the host Beavers.

A 20-run explosion in the first inning (yes 20!!) was followed by another four in the second, and seven more in the third. All that starting pitcher Cameron Yoder had to do was record the necessary outs. This he did, facing only six batters in his two innings of work, the lone blemish, a walk, while allowing no Lebanon batter to reach by a hit. Yothers worked the third inning for PV, striking out all three batters he faced, and was also a sensation at the plate, going three-for-three with two runs scored and six RBI. All three of his hits were doubles, all with the bases loaded. He was also the lone Brave not to be walked in the game that featured 24 free passes.

PV now sports a 4-4 season record, and is 3-2 in Section Four play in the Lancaster-Lebanon league

SOFTBALL

The girls continued their run of success on the softball diamond with a 17-0 thumping of Lebanon Catholic at home on April 7th, and a 9-2 decision at Lancaster Catholic last Monday.

Just like their male counterparts, the Lebanon game was shortened to three innings under the PIAA mercy rule when the Braves' plated 12 runs in the first inning, and surpassed the needed 15 run mercy limit with a seven run outburst in the second inning.

Allowing leading pitcher Sabrina Ryan an unusual day of rest, Sarah Burns took the hill and allowed no hits while striking out four in three innings of work.

Going up against a tougher foe in Lancaster Catholic, pitcher Ryan was unfazed by the Crusaders batting order, striking out 18 of the 21 recorded outs, while allowing only three hits and walking none.

Her teammates assisted her offensively with four runs in both the second and fifth innings. They had taken an early first inning lead on a solo run.

The Braves were also aided by sloppy fielding by the host Crusaders, who were charged with five fielding miscues.

Wednesday's score against Columbia was unavailable by press time.

The Braves are currently 5-1 overall, and 4-0 in league play.

BOYS TENNIS

The tennis team dropped back-to-back-to-back matches against Lancaster Mennonite last Monday, Cocalico on Tuesday, and Manheim Central Wednesday, all by 7-0 scores.

The losses dropped their overall record to 3-5, and their league record to 1-5.

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PV Softballers Top Annville, Blank LMH April 8, 2017

The girls' softball team increased their L-L record to 2-0 with wins over Annville-Cleona, 10-2, and Lancaster Mennonite, 10-0, last week.

Against the Little Dutchmen on April 3rd in Annville, Sabrina Ryan picked up where she left off in league play last year as one of the premier pitchers in the L-L league.

Ryan fired a six hitter while striking out 15 and only walking a pair.

If first year head coach Doug High didn't know what kind of an ace he was inheriting after a long stint as former coach Amy Shay's assistant, she let him know two days later at home when she no-hit Lancaster Mennonite's Blazers in a game shortened to six innings by the PIAA mercy rule.

Again whiffing 15 batters, this time she walked none, and only allowed five base runners, three by way of hit batsmen and two on defensive errors.

Offensively, she got all the help she needed in the second inning when outfielder Sierra Glick chipped a single to right to score a teammate for a 1-0 lead.

The lead increased in the third on a pair of runs knocked in by third baseman Kayla Diluzio, and another unearned run for a 4-0 score.

In the fourth inning, shortstop Claudia Shaubach slapped a home run to boost the margin to 5-0, and a four run outburst nearly put the game away in the fifth.

The game ended on the mercy rule on another Braves run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

BASEBALL

First year head coach Dwayne Reiter has had some problems adjusting his squad to his system, but his 2-3 Braves (1-1 league) never seem to be out of any game they have played so far.

Last Wednesday, April 5th, the team had one bad inning, the second, allowing four unearned runs in a 5-1 loss to the hosting Blazers of Lancaster Mennonite.

Sophomore Devon Clemmer took the loss, giving up only one earned run of the five scored against him. He struck out four and only walked a pair, with eight hits registered against him.

Clemmer also knocked in the only Braves run in the fifth inning.

Austin Smoker came on in relief in the sixth, and held the Blazers scoreless in his two innings of work.

Annville-Cleona visited the Braves on Monday, April 3rd, and were sent home losers by the Braves, 8-7

A six run outburst by PV in the bottom of the second inning put them out in front to stay. The Little Dutchmen mounted a comeback with four runs in the top of the seventh innings, cutting the lead to 8-7.

Dalton Temple got the save, coming on in the seventh for starter Joe Olanovich and recording the final two outs.

Olanovich was also the star hitter for the Braves, going 3-for3 at the plate with a walk, a run scored and two batted in.

Six of the other eight starters plated runs for the team, while Temple also snatched two of the four bases stolen by the Braves.

BOYS TENNIS

The netters moved their overall record to 3-2 with a 7-0 shutout hosting the other local Braves team, Octorara, on April 4th.

Micah Glick and Garrett Elmer started the sweep for the Braves, besting the duo of Jason Murphy and Jimmy Dagney 8-3.

On the court at No. 2 doubles, Josh Heinrich and Hunter Winey were victors over David Myers and Matthew Michalski 8-2, while Danny Gingrich and Evan Esh capped the sweep by defeating the visitors' Sellers Ward and Mark Distalfo 8-5.

At No. 1 singles for the Kinzer Braves, Heinrich defeated Ward 6-3, 7-6 (4).

At No. 2, Elmer defeated Dagney 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (7) in one of the longer matches of the day.

Glick, playing No. 3, bettered Murphy 6-2, 6-1, and in the day's final singles, Winey was a straight sets winner, 6-0, 6-3.

One day before, the Braves visited Lampeter-Strasburg and were shut out by the Pioneers.

A match against Tupehocking, postponed from the 30th of March has yet to have a makeup date scheduled.

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Spring Sports Slowed By Weather March 31, 2017

"It's been challenging," Athletic Director Dan Meyers said of the springtime weather problems facing his school's teams this March. "We had that great February, and then got hit with another kind of 'March Madness'. We lost almost all of our scheduled scrimmages, and already are behind on games to be played. We just have to struggle on and get creative."

SOFTBALL

After losing one of two of their scrimmages due to the weather, the Braves started their 2017 season at home against Schuylkill Valley on Friday, March 24th, and were doubled up 22-11 by the visiting team.

The Braves defense was mostly to blame in the lopsided loss, committing 10 errors in the contest shortened to five innings by the PIAA mercy rule.

The girls fell behind 6-1 after the first inning, and had climbed back to within four at 14-10 at the end of four innings before the visitors plated eight in the fifth to pull away. PV mustered one more in the bottom of the inning, but needed two more to keep the game going.

A game scheduled for the 28th against Kennard-Dale was postponed to the 30th, while a contest against Solanco was moved to May 10th.

BASEBALL

On the baseball side, the boys were rained out of their two scheduled scrimmages on the 14th and 20th, and were coming in with little outdoor practice before opening day.

The diamond nine opened their season against Schuylkill Valley with a 9-6 loss at home on the 24th.

After falling behind 4-0 in the third, the boys chipped away with a quartet of their own to tie at 4-4 after four complete.

The visitors answered in the top of the fifth with a trio of runs, and added two more in the seventh for their final. PV attempted to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, rallying for two runs but it wasn't enough.

Playing at home last Wednesday, March 29th against Lampeter-Strasburg, the team lost 13-3 after being in the game up to the seventh inning.

The Pioneers had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, but the Braves responded with their own trio in the second to tie. A solo score by the visitors held at 4-3 until the seventh inning disaster, when PV allowed nine runs in on just three hits.

A game to be played at Kennard-Dale on March 28th was postponed due to the weather.

BOYS TENNIS

The only scrimmage scheduled for the netters was cancelled on March 14th.

A scheduled match against Penn Manor was postponed with no date set for the rescheduling. Also postponed was a match against Cocalico on the 20th.

On Thursday, March 23rd, the team finally opened the season at home with a 5-2 loss to Elco.

No. 3 doubles partners Danny Gingerich and Hunter Winey defeated Wyatt Woelfling and Brett Bohannon 8-2, and at No. 4 singles Josh Heinrich bested his opponent, Adam Omar 6-3, 6-4 to account for Pequea's final team point.

Visiting Lancaster Catholic on the 27th, the Braves again lost 5-2 to the Crusaders.

The second doubles duo of Elliot Esh and Parth Patel won over Matthew Idoeta and Peyton Schaefer by 8-4, while first singles player Winey took his opponent Idoeta 6-4, 6-0.

The tennis team finally got a win in their season at Annville-Cleona on the 29th with a 5-2 win.

The Braves swept the doubles matches, with first doubles Esh and Patel winners by 8-5 over Dan Tobias and Liam Nyce.

Second doubles players Heinrich and Winey won a close one, 8-7 over Drew Speraw and Sam Mintz.

In the doubles finale, Micah Glick and Garrett Elmer defeated William Klatchko and Koy Alwine 8-1.

The boys dropped the first two singles matches, but at third singles, Elmer defeated Alwine 4-6, 6-2, (10-5) to assure the Braves winning the contest.

Fourth singles Glick added on an extra point for PV by winning 6-3, 6-3 over Klatchko.

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Braves Compete In District Playoffs March 3, 2017

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Lady Braves Win District Three Hoop Opener February 23, 2017

The Hanover coaching staff was worried about the Braves ability to shoot the three-point shot in the game at Hanover on Tuesday, February the 21st. Sommer Reeser had won the league title with an amazing 70 shots made from behind the arc, followed by Marlena Ferry with 35. They should have worried more about the shots coming from inside.

Although putting in four treys to none for the Nighthawks, PV scored 13 additional two-pointers, many on baseline drives to the basket.

The girls ran out to a 13-5 first quarter lead, and were never challenged from that point on, outscoring their opponents 10-4 in the second, and 12-8 in the third.

In the last eight minutes, the Braves were outscored by the home team by a point, 14-13 for a final of 48-31.

Senior Megan Stoltzfus led the assault on the rim with 16 points on four deuces, a three, and 5-for-10 from the foul line to lead the Braves. Caroline Horst and Reeser each chipped in with 10. Lydia Cacciola added four points, Tonia Holmes and Ferry scored three each and Clara Neff rounded out the scoring with two.

The Nighthawks got a team-high eight points from their leading scorer.

The Braves will face top seed York Catholic in a semifinal matchup.

Depending on the semifinal and consolation results, the girls will still have a chance to qualify for the state tournament

WRESTLING

At the District Three Sectional Wrestling Tournament held at Hamburg High School on February 18, the Braves walked away with five gold medals out of the 14 weight classes in AA schools.

Tanner Ball at 126 and Gabe Miller at 132 continued their undefeated streaks, while Dylan Jackson (145), Dan Wanner (152), and Joe Coblentz (220) also won their respective classes.

Ball, starting the action for the Braves, pinned his second round opponent Hunter Smith of Kutztown in 1:16. He followed that up with an even quicker pin of just 40 seconds on Fabian Adameses of Wyomissing to advance to the championship against Jethro Solomon of Schuylkill Valley. Solomon proved to be the toughest opponent for Ball, but fell to the undefeated Brave 6-1.

Miller had an easier road than his teammate, getting two byes in rounds one and two to automatically enter the semifinals. In his first match, he pinned Noah Reesover from Kutztown in 3:35 to set up a championship bout against Payton Gonzales of Wyomissing, whom he bested by a pinfall in the second period at 3:23.

Jackson also was awarded two byes, and entered the semis against Brandywine Heights' Dylan Miller. Although not advancing by pinfall like his teammates, Jackson easily defeated his opponent by a 9-0 major decision, putting him in the championship round.

In the gold medal match, Jackson met Schuylkill Valley grappler Carlos Altimiriano, who took Jackson into the last seconds of the match before falling short, 5-3.

Dan Wanner continued the Braves unimpeded entries into the semis with two byes, and then took on Brendon Hamilton of host Hamburg. In the third period, Wanner flipped Hamilton and neatly finished him off with a pin in 4:37.

His championship round was against another wrestler from the Wyomissing Spartans, Jakob Naylor, who brought a 22-4 record into the match. The Spartan wrestler gave Wanner a long, hard-fought match, but ended up on the short end of a 3-1 score.

The last gold medalist for PV Coblentz, like three of his teammates, entered the day with an automatic berth in the semis. He first took on a familiar foe in Elco's Quentin Weaver, whom he had met during the regular season. Knowing his opponent's weaknesses, Coblentz dropped the Raider to the mat and pinned him in just 1:21, setting up his championship against Tupehocking's Josh Daub. The Brave heavyweight was pushed into the third period before pinning in 5:02.

The boys finished in fourth place in the team standings with their five wins totaling 107 points.

All five boys are seeded in their respective classes for the District Three finals at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 23-25th, and gain first round byes.

Ball, now with a 31-0 record, will await the winner of a match with familiar foe Hayden Funck from Annville-Cleona (21-11 record) or Jacob Coniglio of Camp Hill (17-10).

Miller takes his 34-0 record up against either Jalin Hankerson from Boiling Springs (3-1), or Justin Cameron Miller of Kennard-Dale (17-8).

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PV Girls Wrap Up Regular Season at 9-13 February 10, 2017

The girls split their season ending games against league foes Annville-Cleona and Columbia, and now wait to see if their record will qualify them for District Three play.

Battling Columbia at home on the February 7th, the Braves were without leading scorer Sommer Reeser (15.38 ppg), and had to rely on her teammates to try for the win.

Down only one in the first quarter, 11-10, the girls saw the visiting Crimson Tide pull away with a 12-7 run in the second to go into the locker room at halftime behind 23-17.

Although matching the visitors point for point in the third quarter, the team was unable to gain enough momentum for a last quarter comeback, and fell by a 45-34 final.

Tonia Holmes, playing one of her best games of the year, led the girls with 11 points.

Senior Megan Stoltzfus, in her last home court appearance, added in seven, while Caroline Horst was responsible for six more. Marlena Ferry had five, and Abbey Leslie contributed three.

Visiting the Little Dutch Ladies on the February 3rd, and with scoring leader Reeser leading the way, the Braves jumped out to a 16-5 first quarter margin, and were never threatened, although the hosts tried to make a late fourth quarter comeback.

Reeser was firing from the field, putting in four from behind the arc, three from inside, and adding a foul shot for a game high 21 points.

Ferry followed with 11 points, including three more treys, and Stoltzfus contributed ten, including four-for-six from the line. Horst almost made it a foursome of double-digit scorers, ending with nine points. Abbey Leslie with three, and Regan Donecker with two finished up the PV scoring.

The team finishes the regular season in fifth place in Section Three with a 4-10 record. Overall, they are 9-13.

In District Three power ratings, they hold fifth place for seeding purposes as of the game against Columbia.

BOYS BASKETBALL

The boys ended their season with losses to league foes Annville-Cleona and Columbia and finished 2-12 in the league, and 6-16 overall.

Visiting Columbia on the 7th, the Braves let a 32-29 halftime lead evaporate with a forgettable four point third quarter to fall behind 50-36.

Battling back, the team ran out of time pulling to within seven for the final at 63-56.

Malachi Glick led the Braves with 15, followed by Grant Gaynor's 13. Josh Stoltzfus added nine, and Luke Purcell seven. Justin Torres and EJ Stoltzfus chipped in with six each.

Against Annville-Cleona at home on senior night February 3rd, a 36-33 halftime lead was overcome by the visiting Little Dutchmen, as they pulled within one at 44-43 after the third, and moved in front of the Braves by outscoring them 17-10 in the final eight minutes for a final of 60-54.

Seniors Josh Stoltzfus and Albert Hanna led the team with 18 and 17 points, respectively while a third senior, Emmanuel Stoltzfus, added 10.

Purcell, a junior, netted four, Glick three, and Torres, also a senior, finished with two.

WRESTLING

The Braves grapplers await seedings for the upcoming Sectional Tournament.

Expected to get high positions due to their undefeated records are 126-pound wrestler Tanner Ball, and 132-pound Gabe Miller.

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Lady Braves Top Elco 59-56 in Overtime February 3, 2017

The Braves took visiting Elco into overtime before coming away with a 59-56 win at Kinzers last Tuesday, January 31st.

The team looked like they were in for a hard time after the first quarter, falling behind 16-7.

"We were flat coming out," said head coach Jason McDonald. "They played hard though after that opening eight minutes, and came back for a nice halftime tie."

In the second quarter, the Braves ran off eight straight points and 12 overall, while shutting down the Raiders, limiting them to just a three-point shot by normally high scoring Taylor Bossert, and went into the locker room tied at 19-all.

"Lydia (Cacciola) plays her best on defense, even if she's not a scorer. She shut down their high scorer (Bossert), and kept us in the game," said McDonald.

The second half saw the teams trading baskets and turnovers, with the visitors holding a one-point lead after three, 35-34.

In the fourth period, it appeared to be over for the Braves, as they found themselves trailing by two, 50-48 and Elco in control of the ball.

A drive to the baseline by the Raiders seemed sure to end the game on a layup, but Tonia Holmes had other thoughts. Reaching as high and straight as she could, she blocked the shot, and deflected it to teammate Megan Stoltzfus.

"She played her best game of the year," said McDonald. "She not only scored, but collected eleven rebounds, and three blocked shots as well."

Stoltzfus, after grabbing the deflected rebound by Holmes, sprinted upcourt with the ball, and appeared to be driving in for a shot, but found a barely open Sommer Reeser, who got off a jumper from about 10 feet out as the clock expired.

The ball rolled once around the rim before falling through, and the teams were headed into the overtime.

"Megan just seems to find the right person at the right time, and this was an important one," stated the coach.

The overtime belonged to Pequea, as they ran off the first five points, jumping out to a 55-50 lead, and from there on held it until the buzzer sounded, ending the thriller.

Reeser, along with her game-ending heroics, also was the game high scorer, finishing with 24 points, including adding to her league lead in treys with four more.

Stoltzfus, along with the game-saving assist, added three more helpers, and was second in scoring with 15.

Holmes tacked on eleven to go with her boards and blocks, while Cacciola, when not shutting down the Raider offense, put in four important points, all in the overtime. Bethany Bills and Caroline Horst finished off the Braves scoring with three and two points respectively.

"All around, after that first quarter, they played a very well, very hard game," said McDonald. "Something we really needed to keep pace in the districts."

As of that game, the girls are fifth in District Three among the six qualifying positions for post-season play. Their league record is now 3-9. They are 8-12 overall with two games left on the schedule.

Prior to the Elco game, the girls were challenged in a game against Northern Lebanon on January 27, and lost 62-41.

"Considering the score didn't show it, the girls were in this game all the way against one of the best teams around for the past several years," commented McDonald. "Again, they played hard and well. They were not over awed by them. Marlena Ferry played one of her best games all year, looking like a pro at times."

Ferry ended up with a game high 19 points, 15 of which came on five bombs from outside the arc.

After breaking out to a 16-13 first quarter lead, the patient home court Vikings slowly caught up, and eventually passed the Braves, going into the halftime ahead 30-23.

The second half belonged to Northern Lebanon, as they pulled away in the third, 46-31, and dropped in 16 more in the fourth for the final scoing difference.

Along with Ferry's scoring fireworks, Reeser added 11 points, and Stoltzfus three. Cacciola, Holmes, Horst, and Jamie Stephan all finished with two points each.

WRESTLING

Gabe Miller, wrestling at 132, and Tanner Ball, on the mats at 126, won their weight classes at the Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament on January 27th and 28th at Garden Spot High School.

"Tanner and Gabe, what can I say," said an elated head coach Dave Finger. "These two boys never cease to amaze me. I think right now the two of them are focused on just one thing, standing on that podium at the end of the year."

Both wrestlers, along with Dan Wanner at 152, were seeded first, and proved their worthiness of their rankings.

Miller, a sophomore, starting his bouts in the second round because of his top seeding, made short work of his first opponent, Andrew Neally of Lancaster Christian, putting his shoulders on the mat in just 1:18.

Moving on to the quarterfinals, Hayden Schreiner of Manheim Central, found Miller too tough to handle, and was pinned in 1:40.

In the semifinals, Miller was again a winner by pinfall, stopping Justin Shelly of Elizabethtown in 5:14, setting up a finals match with a familiar foe.

Northern Lebanon's senior and returning champion Trevor Leonard, higher ranked than Miller in District Three, had previously lost to the PV grappler on their two previous meetings (10-7 and 2-0), and was looking for revenge. That revenge will have to wait until their probable meeting in the districts, as Miller took no prisoners, stopping Leonard on a technical fall 17-2, in 5:49.

"Gabe made a statement with his performance in the finals. It seemed nothing was going to get in his way," said Finger.

Ball, a junior, had little problem running the board in his matches, gaining a pinfall against a familiar foe in Annville-Cleona's Dave Fiebig in 1:38, followed by a pair of technical falls. In his quarterfinal match, Ball faced Ryan Keider from Manheim Central.

The Braves grappler jumped right out in front with a takedown, and went on to pick what looked like an easy 16-1 technical fall in 3:48.

In the semifinals, Bell met Conestoga Valley's Seth Martin, and picked up another technical fall, this one 16-0 in 4:53.

Eagle wrestler Nate Fritz went the distance with Ball before dropping a 9-1 decision to the new champion. Bell held Fritz to the defensive bottom position for almost the entire match after gaining a first period takedown.

"I think Tanner really wanted this one, after finishing third the past two years," stated Finger. "It's going to be fun following these young men into the post season. I can't wait to see what they accomplish."

The other PV first seed, Wanner, cruised through his first two matches, pinning Trent Martin of Conestoga Valley in 1:45, and Dallin Ocasio from Lebanon in 5:57, after building up an impressive 13-3 advantage.

Wanner met Max Martin from Cocalico in the semifinal match, and in a hard-fought bout, came out on the losing end of an 8-6 decision, relegating him to the wrestle backs to try for better than 8th place.

He did do better, but only by two places, settling for sixth out of the 20 competitors in his class, losing both consolation matches by scores of 4-2 and 8-5 to wrestlers from Warwick and Ephrata, Luke Hirtzer and Tyler Mentzer, respectively.

Joe Coblentz, a 220 pound sophomore, showed he will have two more seasons of great wrestling ahead of him, as he finished in 5th place in his division.

Coblentz, after besting his first two opponents, was pinned by eventual champion Evan Clark from Warwick in the third period.

In his wrestlebacks, he lost his bid for third place, being pinned by Cocalico's Austin Shaver in 2:16, but then won the fifth place match, pinning Connor Gill of E-Town, in 4:21.

Dylan Jackson finished in seventh place for the Braves with a record of 3-2 for the weekend at his weight of 145.

"I'm very proud of all my boys after this weekend," stated head coach Finger. "It's not too shabby to enter only six wrestlers, and place all six in the top eight, and finish seventh in the team standings. I keep telling the boys that this is preparation for the post season, and this is a good time of the year to get on a roll."

On February 1, the team hosted cross-section rival Lampeter-Strasburg, and lost 48-28.

Seven weight forfeits for 42 points made the diference, as in the classes wrestled, PV took five of the six matches.

Ball continued his win streak, besting Michael Hazboune (126) in a 19-1 technical fall in 5:01.

Miller also ran his undefeated string at 132 further, pinning Collin Guilder in just 1:47.

The only loss for the team was at 138, where Connor Walsh lost by pinfall.

Jackson pinned Kaden Campbell in 4:43 at 145.

Wanner, at 152, also won by tech fall, with the match stopped at 5:00 with a 19-2 final, and Coblentz ended the PV collection with a 3:11 fall over Tyler Phenegar..

BOYS BASKETBALL

Two more losses against league opponents dropped the Braves to 2-10 in Section Three, and 6-14 overall.

In Myerstown last Tuesday, January 31st, the Braves battled the Raiders but came home with a 66-43.

Although matching their opponents in field goals made with 17 each, the Elco outside shooting proved a large difference as they made nine from behind the arc, as compared to PV's two.

Josh Stoltzfus actually ended up as the game's high scorer, dropping in 16 for the visitors. Justin Torres added nine points, with Malachi Glick and EJ Stoltzfus chipping in with six each. Luke Purcell had four, and Dalton Al Temple finished up the Braves scoring with two.

On the 27th, the Braves hosted Elco, and lost to the visiting Raiders 64-57.

In this contest the difference was at the charity stripe, as Elco went to the line 30 times, making 20, while the home team was 11-for-12.

Josh Stoltzfus shot the lights out for the home team, pouring in a game-high 28 points including three treys, and seven-for-eight from the line. Glick tallied nine points with Grant Gaynor adding seven and Albert Hanna five. Emmanuel Stoltzfus and Purcell contributed four points each.

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Undermanned PV Matmen Host Donegal January 26, 2017

The grapplers took on the Indians from Donegal on January 25th at home, and not only had to forfeit nine matches, but were without top wrestler Tanner Ball, and lost 54-28.

"We knew tonight was out of reach for us, because Donegal had a full roster," commented head coach Dave Finger. "Tanner Ball was out with skin issues, and we only suited up five wrestlers. I told the boys tonight that even though the match was out of reach for them, the only matches they (Donegal) win tonight are the forfeits."

PV took what the coach said to heart, and responded with four pins and a major decision.

Gabe Miller continued his undefeated streak at 132, dropping Jarad Brown in 1:32.

Connor Walsh needed almost three full periods but pinned his foe, Christopher Daecenzo, with only thirty seconds left in the 138 class.

At 145, Dylan Jackson took the entire match, but registered the team's four point major decision with a 10-1 victory over William Small.

The night was also Senior Night, and the lone senior, Daniel Wanner, celebrated with a flattening at 152 over Dmitri Gonzales in the fastest time, 1:20.

Closing out the sweep of matches wrestled for PV was 220 pound Joey Coblentz, who ended his bout with a 1:35 fall over Cael Rapp.

"I'm very proud of all five wrestlers," said a smiling Finger.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

The tough season continues for the cagers, as they dropped a pair of league games, leaving them in 5th place in Section Three of the L-L league with a 2-8 record, and 2-12 overall.

Playing the Lancaster Mennonite Blazers at home last Tuesday, the 24th, the Braves fell behind 18-8 at the end of the first quarter, and were forced to play catch up the remainder of the game. Another big gap in the second period scoring put the team further behind at halftime, 40-22.

The boys played the visitors fairly even in the second half, only being outscored by one, 31-30, but the early deficit was just too much to overcome.

Josh Stoltzfus tossed in a game-high 21. Albert Hanna chipped in with 11, including three treys and two-for-two from the foul line. Malachi Glick added eight, Justin Torres and EJ Stoltzfus accounted for five each, with Luke Purcell putting in a field goal for two points.

On Friday, January 20th, the team visited league foe Lancaster Catholic, and were dealt a 68-50 loss.

The game was decided mostly at the foul line, with the Crusaders stopping there for 25 attempts, making 20, while the Braves only visited the charity stripe six times, converting on three.

Josh Stoltzfus was the leader for PV, scoring 16. Glick added 15 as the team's only other player in double figures. Hannah chipped in with eight points and Purcell connected on two from the field for four. Other scorers included Grant Gaynor with three, and both Brody Mann and Nate Kovalick with two points each.

GIRLS BASKETBAL

In two league games over the last weeek, a pair of losses dropped the Lady Braves' Section Three record to 2-8.

Two games against league opponents met with losses by PV over the last week.

The Braves were hosted by Lancaster Mennonite on Tuesday, January 24th and were defeated 62-58.

In this latest contest, the team was down 18-13 after the first period, but came within a bucket at halftime, 28-26 by outscoring their hosts 13-10 in the second eight minutes.

After coming out of the locker room, the Braves were met by a full-court press from the Blazers that slowed down their attack, and at the end of three, they found themselves down by five, 45-38.

"They play hard, but it's still a learning process for them," stated head coach Jason McDonald on their play. "When they miss shots, they start to lose their intensity. They are young. With five freshman playing and getting time, it gets hard for them to understand you don't have to make every shot."

PV came charging back in the final eight minutes, mostly on the hot hand of Sommer Reeser, even taking the lead halfway through the quarter, 54-52.

"She can shoot from anywhere, along with several others," commented the coach. "She doesn't need much space. If she's open just a little bit, she'll launch one."

Reeser hit a game high 22 points in the contest, including a trio of three-point shots late in the game.

Reeser's heroics were just not enough though, as the Blazers answered her baskets with points of their own and a few more to come back and gain the lead with just under a minute to play, 60-56.

"Offensively, we are doing very well, we just are not playing very well on defense," said Mc Donald. "In that respect, we're not doing as well as I would have hoped."

With the possession arrow in favor of the home squad, PV was forced to foul to try to gain the ball back, but the Blazers hit a crucial one-and-one to extend the lead, 62-56.

The Braves were pressured on the ensuing inbound, but worked the ball up court where Megan Stoltzfus hit a shot from just inside the arc to pull them within striking distance again, 62-58.

After a timeout was called, the Blazers inbounded the ball, and with good ball handling, ran out the final seconds on the clock, not allowing the Braves to send them to the line in an attempt to regain possession for any last second scoring attempts.

Caroline Horst was the only other Brave in double figure scoring, depositing 11. Stoltzfus and Abbie Leslie contributed nine each, with Marlena Ferry adding five and Lidia Cacciola tossing in a bucket to round out the scoring.

"Any time you score 58 in a game, you expect to win. We just didn't play as well on the defensive side of the basketball, we had too much dribble penetration," McDonald added.

On the 20th, the game was much more one-sided, as co-Section Three leader Lancaster Catholic handed the hosting Braves a 79-42 defeat.

"We played hard," said McDonald. "They just have a lot more experienced talent than we do."

"I play five freshmen," he added. "We're very young, but we're developing fast. I just keep hoping to make that jump over that two or three minute hiccup we have in a game that usually decides it. If we can eliminate those two or three minutes, we'll be fine."

Missing Reeser for the game, the Braves had to rely on another frosh, Horst, to try to fill the scoring gap.

Her team high 13, along with Lesley hitting 11 and Ferry's 10 gave the team three double-digit scorers for the game.

Also scoring, and playing well under the boards was another of the frosh five, Bethany Bills, who added in four points. Cacciola and Jaime Stephan finished up the Braves scoring with two each.

The team is now 7-11 overall.

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