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Braves Play 4 Games in 6 Days, Improve to 6-1-1 September 16, 2018

The past week was a busy one for the Pequea Valley boys' soccer team. The Braves played four matches in a span of six days, outscoring opponents 21-3. It wasn't all W's for PV, however. One of those matches proved to be a low-scoring one as Lancaster Country Day edged Pequea 2-1 at Kinzers on Friday.

The week began with a Lancaster-Lebanon League opponent visiting Pequea Valley on Monday night. The Annville-Cleona Little Dutchmen couldn't plug up the holes in the dam as the Braves scored seven times in a 7-1 victory.

One of the offensive weapons for Pequea was Josh Heinrich. The senior scored four times, including a hat trick before the first half was even at its midway point.

"He has come in very determined and wants to lead us to big things this year," said head coach Peter Bennett. "He has scored in various ways - headers, breakaways, and such. He and T.J. Hershey have been leading our offense."

Evan Johns added another goal in that early blitzkrieg of soccer balls blasting toward the A-C net.

In addition, Heinrich had one assist. T.J. Hershey, who had two assists in the game, scored a second-half goal as did Josh Gingrich.

"T.J Hershey plays hungry," said the coach. "His speed up top helps us go forward fast. He starts the play for us by breaking up the opponent's play.

"Josh Gingrich is a smart player and gets himself in positions where he can finish our offensive plays," commented the coach.

Nehemiah Glick made one save.

The offensive power was showcased once again at Lebanon Catholic two days later as the Beavers could not work quickly enough to build a defense against the strong current of goals by Pequea. With a hat trick by Hershey and two more goals by Heinrich, the Braves went on to post a 9-0 win.

The goals came early as well as consistently. Heinrich and Hershey scored in the first 10 minutes of the match. Heinrich made it 3-0 while an own goal by the Beavers and junior Brandon Ratjavong's shot in the 31st minute gave the Braves a 5-0 lead before halftime. Ratjavong also had an assist in the game as did his freshman brother Dylan Ratjavong along with Heinrich, Johns, and Nevin Stoltzfus.

In the second half, Hershey scored his second and third goals of the game. Dylan Ratjavong and Bennett Nordhoff capped the scoring.

"We have a nice group of upperclassmen who have been doing a great job," Bennett noted. "In games like this when we can play some of the younger guys, I'm very pleased to do that. Hopefully building guys like Dylan Ratjavong for the longer picture."

Glick recorded four saves to claim the shutout.

Lancaster Country Day earned only its third league victory of the season in the 2-1 double overtime defeat of the Braves. Matt Gerace scored in the 95th minute to give the Cougars the win. The visitors, who were held to only three shots on goal in 95 minutes, tied the score on a penalty kick with three minutes left in regulation. Heinrich scored an unassisted goal for Pequea in the first half.

The Braves bounced right back with a 4-0 shutout of Wyomissing in a non-league game on Saturday evening.

Hershey and Heinrich (1 assist) scored two goals each. Bennett Nordhoff also provided an assist.

The Braves went ahead in the seventh minute on Heinrich's first goal. In the 24th minute Hershey doubled the lead before Heinrich made it 3-0 five minutes prior to halftime.

Glick claimed another shutout, making five saves.

The Braves improved to 6-1-1 overall.

FOOTBALL

The final score of Friday night's football game against Columbia was 25-13 in favor of the Crimson Tide. Columbia put up two fourth-quarter touchdowns and held off the Braves, improving to 1-2 in Section Three (1-3 overall) while the host Braves fell to 0-3 (0-4).

That may have been what the scoreboard and the eventual result in the standings said. However, Pequea Valley head coach Mike Choi felt that his squad's and coaching staff's feeling was that things could have gone the other way.

"We lost the game because we gave it away on penalties, with fumbles and interceptions," said Choi. "In our first five drives, we stopped ourselves.

"There was no doubt on our sideline that we were going to win that game," he added. "We kept driving down, but would either turn the ball over or shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties. We would break out with a 20-yard run but have it called back with a 10-yard penalty. So instead of a first-and-10 on their 20-yard line, for instance, it would be first-and-20 farther back."

Matt McCleary, the Columbia quarterback, threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns on 14 completions. He connected with Demetrius Diaz twice for TD's, including a 67-yard score in the second quarter.

"Besides the broken plays on defense where we allowed their receivers to get behind us, they only had about 80 yards of offense," Choi noted. "Not taking anything away from their quarterback; he was poised. We put pressure on him the entire game and he stood right in there.

"Overall, I was thrilled with our improvement on defense - running pursuit angles, making tackles," Choi continued. "We just need to play assignment football on every snap."

Pequea Valley scored in the first quarter on a 14-yard run by quarterback John Smith. The 5-foot-11 junior also completed seven passes for 113 yards, which included a fourth-quarter 44-yard scoring pass to Dalton Temple. Smith also ran the ball eight times for 37 yards.

McCleary also hit Justin Elliott on a 17-yard touchdown toss. One of Smith's passes was picked off by Matt Gambler, who went 40-yards the other way for a Columbia defensive touchdown.

As always, the running attack for the Braves was shared by Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey.

"Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey each ran for over 60 yards," Choi noted. "Jackson had 45 yards taken away for penalties. We could have had two 100-yard rushers in the game if it weren't for the penalties."

The next game for Pequea Valley will be a home game against Octorara. This has become known as the "Brave Bowl" as both teams have the same moniker for their sports teams. This year, however, Octorara is in the L-L League.

"They have a good program," Choi said. "It's going to be a very exciting game and we expect both schools will be well represented."

GIRLS' SOCCER

Pequea Valley improved to 4-1-1 on the year, playing a three-game stretch over a course of three days. The games included the Braves' first loss of the year - a 1-0 setback at Section Three foe Annville-Cleona on Thursday.

The loss was sandwiched between victories over Lebanon Catholic and Lancaster Country Day.

In an 8-0 thumping of the Beavers on Wednesday, as one might expect, there was a hat trick to Pequea's credit. As part of the 19-shot attack, Brittany Shirk scored twice in the first half and added another score in the second half while also registering an assist.

Grace Martin and Alyssa Yoder also scored first half goals as Pequea finished with four goals per half.

Megan Rogers, who also had one assist, scored in the 56th minute. Megan Yoder and Emily Diller each added a late goal.

Kalyn Keen, Megan Yoder and Diller each notched an assist. Krystin Jarvis and Maddy Weaver each had one save in the shutout.

Gweneth Markell's goal in the 22nd minute of Friday's game at Lancaster Country Day was all the Braves needed to put a 1-0 win in the books. With Krystin Jarvis in goal and making two saves, the defense held off the Cougars.

GOLF

In a Wednesday afternoon game at Iron Valley, the Braves battled Lancaster Mennonite, Lancaster Country Day, Lebanon Catholic, Annville-Cleona, and Lebanon, finishing a close third.

Pequea finished with 383 points to LCD's 370. Mennonite won the match with a 362.

Josiah Nissley led Pequea, shooting an 88 on the day. He finished fourth overall. Matt Berkenstock and Nick Hooper of LCD finished atop the field, each shooting 80.

Tyler Stoltzfus recorded a 92 and PV teammate Austin DeForest shot a 95 while Parker Allain came away with a108.

The Braves' overall league record goes to 13-7 on the year.

TENNIS

Pequea posted two more victories and improved to 7-1 on the year. The girls' suffered a 7-0 loss to league rival Lancaster Catholic on Wednesday, slipping to 1-1 in league play.

In a 5-0 defeat of McCaskey on Thursday, Hope Fisher came through in singles and doubles competition. She paired up with Ryleigh Kurtz for a 3-6, 6-3 (10-6) win at first doubles. She also won her match at number two singles by straight set scores of 6-2, 6-1.

In second doubles it was Kristin Huenink and Caroline Bragg winning 6-3, 6-3. Sophia Weaver came through 6-2, 6-0 at number one singles. Adalie Clemmer gave PV another team point at number three singles, winning by the same scores in straight sets.

Fisher, Clemmer, Weaver and Naomi Feister were multiple winners in the 7-0 win at Penn Manor on Friday. Clemmer and Kurtz took the first doubles by an 8-3 count while Weaver and Feister, at second doubles, and Fisher and Bragg, at No. 3, both won by 8-1 counts.

The Braves won all four singles in straight sets. Fisher (6-4, 6-1) took the first singles while Clemmer (6-1, 6-0) won at number two singles. Feister's 6-1, 6-1 third singles and Weaver's 6-3, 6-3 fourth singles wrapped things up in the shutout.

FIELD HOCKEY

The Braves suffered a pair of league losses last week, falling to 0-4 in L-L League play (0-5 overall). In Wednesday's 6-0 loss at Lancaster Mennonite, goalkeeper Jordan Melson came through with 18 saves while Olivia Ammon and Camryn Bailey each notched one save. The Blazers pounded out 26 shots with Rebecca Lane scoring twice.

Melson had seven more saves in the loss to Elco on Friday afternoon. In the Raiders' 18-shot attack, Alicia Yoh and Anya Kissinger each notched a hat trick.

Maria Gregory also helped out in front of the Braves' cage, making two more saves.

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Pequea Valley Tennis Tops Blazers, Now 5-0 September 9, 2018

In a Section Three match against Lancaster Mennonite, the Pequea Valley girls' tennis team cruised to a 7-0 victory, winning its first league match of the season. The Braves improved to 5-0 overall.

Each of the three doubles pairings worked in Pequea's favor as Sophia Weaver and Naomi Feister first posed an 8-1 victory followed by Adalie Clemmer and Kristin Huenink, who won the second doubles by an 8-0 margin. Ryleigh Kurtz and Hope Fisher were just as dominant, defeating Kate Hoober and Olivia Beiler 8-1.

Weaver came away with straight set wins at number one singles (6-1, 6-1) Fiester won the second singles while Clemmer (6-2, 6-0) took the number three singles. Kurtz made it a singles sweep with a defeat of Elleah Stillman.

FIELD HOCKEY

The Pequea Valley Braves faced a relentless barrage of shots in their Wednesday afternoon Lancaster-Lebanon League field hockey match with Annville-Cleona. With 35 shots on goal, the Little Dutchmen posted a 10-0 victory, highlighted by hat tricks from Grace Renninger and Emily Brightbill.

In addition to the hat tricks, Lauren Schrader came through with three assists for the visitors. Pequea Valley fell to 0-2 on the year.

Goalkeeper Jordan Melson came through with 25 saves in a match that would have been overwhelming for most keepers.

The Braves are looking to find the scoring groove early in this 2018 campaign. Their only other match of the season thus far was a 7-0 setback against league foe Lancaster Country Day, which was played on Friday at Kinzers. Two more league games are scheduled in this coming week - Lancaster Mennonite and Elco.

FOOTBALL

Sometimes a victory isn't what is tallied in points on the scoreboard at the end of a game; it can be an effort that boosts a team's morale and gains momentum into its next game.

The Pequea Valley football team came into Friday night's L-L League game having scored only six points in its first two contests.

The Braves were trailing Lebanon 37-0 at halftime as Isaiah Rodriguez had thrown touchdown passes of 37 yards and 52 yards in addition to Jahlil Young breaking through the Braves' defense for a 70-yard scamper to the end zone.

The Cedars (1-2; 1-1 in league) added to that lead with a 57-yard fumble return by Andrew Bowers.

"We were down 44-0 in the second half," head coach Mike Choi pointed out. "It's easy to feel sorry for yourself and not go out to give maximum effort. But our guys realized they had an opportunity to play a tough second half. They believed in themselves, the coaches and the program to come out and play the way they did. We played better defense too. I'm proud of our guys."

From that point on, the Braves outscored the Cedars 26-14. The final score of 58-26 dropped Pequea's record to 0-3 (0-2 in league). But the offense started to fire on the right cylinders.

The Braves first scored on Dylan Jackson's 10-yard run. Following another big play score by the Cedars, which came in the form of Leighton Rivera's 61-yard run, Brandon Hershey powered his way over the goal line for another PV touchdown.

"Brandon had 130 yards rushing," Choi pointed out. "He is our power back. He's going to hit the hole going hard and run with authority.

"Dylan Jackson is very dangerous," continued the coach. "He has the ability to elude tacklers. You can't get a square tackle on him. He has incredible vision.

"Having those guys play off each other helped keep the defense off balance," said Choi. "I'm excited to see how those two will help our offense going forward. They are the motor that makes our offense go."

Jackson scored two more touchdowns and was on the receiving end of a two-point PAT. He had a five-yard rushing TD followed by the two-point conversion - a pass from John Smith. He also caught a four-yard TD pass from Smith, the junior quarterback.

Choi talked about how the growing process involves both players and coaching staff.

"We only had one scrimmage game and we had an earlier start to the season," he pointed out. "Offensively, in the first half, it takes a little from the coaching staff to understand what you have - what the players are good at. You usually get it by the second or third game.

"We started to figure out who we are in the second half of this game," he added.

The understaffed Braves, who dressed only 24 players for the game and lost a player to injury early on, will host Columbia this Friday night.

"We don't have a ton of depth but we go out and give a strong effort each and every game," said Choi.

BOYS' SOCCER

Heading into the weekend, it was feast or famine for the boys' soccer team. The Braves pounded league opponent Lebanon 7-0 on Friday afternoon, scoring four times in the first half alone as they directed 20 shots on goal in the match. On Saturday, the squad played to a scoreless draw with Tulpehocken in a non-league road game with Nehemiah Glick saving seven shots to help the Braves (3-0-1) earn at least a draw.

The victory over the Cedars improved the Braves' L-L League mark to 2-0-0. T.J. Hershey was the offensive hero, recording a hat trick. Josh Gingrich came away with two goals while Josh Bailey and Nevin Stoltzfus each netted one goal. Brandon Ratjavong and Josh Heinrich each came through with an assist while Glick made five saves to record a shutout.

The Braves had outscored opponents 18-2 coming into the Tulpehocken game. Half of those goals came in a 9-1 defeat of Northern Lebanon on Wednesday. Pequea's offense was efficient with nine scores coming on 15 shots on goal.

Hershey's goal came just 3:00 into the game and Elijah Jenkins, who also had an assist on the day, made it 2-0 in the 10th minute.

Heinrich, who finished with a hat trick and two assists, made it 3-0 prior to the midway point of the first half. He scored two quick goals in the 43rd and 46th minute of the match with Hershey's second goal of the game sandwiched in between. Gingrich also scored one of the four first-half goals while Josh Jarvis and Ryan Stoltzfus each added one in the second half. Nevin Stoltzfus had an assist while Winston Thomas dished out two assists.

Glick faced only two shots on goal and claimed one save.

GIRLS' SOCCER

In girls' soccer, Pequea Valley (2-0-1) claimed its first league win with a 4-0 shutout of Lebanon on Friday. In the home game against the Cedars, the Braves had one goal each from four different goal scorers - Megan Rogers, Brittany Shirk, Alyssa Yoder and Abby Stoltzfus.

The Braves were in attack mode for much of the game, recording 25 shots on goal. Lebanon goalies Shannon Simmons and Makayla Gingrich had 10 and eight saves, respectively.

Meanwhile on the other side of the pitch, Krystin Jarvis needed to make only two saves to claim a shutout.

In addition to their goals, Rogers, Shirk and Yoder each assisted on a score.

Jarvis had another shutout in Saturday's non-league game against Tulpehocken.

The Trojans out-shot the Braves 8-7 and had four corners to none by Pequea. However, it was Yoder's overtime goal off a Rogers' assist that clinched the victory for the Braves. Yoder scored seven minutes into the extra period to give Jarvis (6 saves) and the Braves a shutout victory.

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Braves Fall in District Three Opener Against A-C May 24, 2018

The Pequea Valley softball team managed to start the District Three Class 3A playoffs on Wednesday afternoon at home - one day following the originally scheduled date for the match against Annville-Cleona.

The Little Dutchmen, whom the Braves had played twice during the regular season, took advantage of walks, fielding errors and timely hitting to post a 5-0 victory, ending Pequea Valley's 2018 campaign at 13-8.

"It was a disappointing loss," said head coach Doug High. "I feel bad for the girls because they wanted to win. They only had four hits, but we gave them a lot of base runners on walks, hit batters and a couple of errors."

Singles by Sophia Weaver and Katelyn Smoker were all the offense the Braves could muster. Smoker also stole a base.

"Kate Smoker, in her first year, had a tremendous season in the outfield," said High. "Our whole outfield was very talented."

"Statistically this was probably the most talented unit I've been associated with in 16 years at Pequea Valley," continued the coach. "Best defensive unit and one of the top offensive groups I've coached."

The Dutchmen scored twice in the first three innings off PV starter Sarah Moore. She only gave up four earned runs on the day, striking out three batters.

Annville leadoff hitter Lauren Schrader was on base all three times she batted. Desiree Loy had a big triple in the Dutchmen's three-run seventh inning.

The Braves were coming off a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff loss the previous week where the Garden Spot Spartans won a bizarre 12-9 ballgame in the opening round of leagues.

"We had 12 base runners and scored nine runs," High recalled. "I was proud of them. They didn't give up. We were down 6-0, got two runs and battled back to 8-7. They just kept battling."

Garden Spot had 18 hits. However, Pequea Valley pitcher Olivia Ammon and her teammates in the field made the Spartans earn their runs

"We didn't have any errors," High noted. "Olivia struck out three."

The Braves took advantage of some sloppy play by the Spartans to plate a few of its runs. The Braves only had five hits in the game.

Caroline Bragg was a big spark in Pequea's offense. She had two hits, two walks, three stolen bases and scored four times.

"She was on fire," said High. "She also drove in two runs. She did a great job."

Claudia Schaubach had two hits and three runs batted in.

As the league's post-season play started, the all-star selections came out. Schaubach, Moore, third baseman Maggie Johnson and shortstop Makenzi Dienner were named first-team all-stars. Smoker was named Honorable Mention.

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Braves Win Five Straight, Clinch Section 4 Title May 11, 2018

The Braves needed to keep on winning.

Annville-Cleona was one game behind Pequea Valley with the Lancaster-Lebanon League softball schedule nearly wrapped up. The Little Dutchmen won seven of their final eight games, including six straight league victories. The Braves bounced back from a 3-1 loss to A-C in late April by winning five straight L-L League games and clinching Section Four's pennant.

This past week, victories over Columbia and Elco helped Pequea finish the regular season at 13-6 (12-4 league).

"We finished fourth in the District Triple-A rankings," said head coach Doug High. "As of Wednesday, we are playing Annville-Cleona at home in the first round."

It will be the third meeting between the two teams, who split their regular season games in Section Four head-to-head action.

"It isn't the first time we've played them in the post-season," said High. "Sometimes we even play them for the section championship and again get them in districts."

Asked how the Braves were able to stay on course and record the wins necessary for a section crown, High simply replied, "Good pitching, defense and offense."

Olivia Ammon pitched the Braves to victory in a 6-3 win against Elco in the regular season finale on Tuesday. She struck out 11 batters.

"They scored all of their runs in the final inning and we got out of it with the bases loaded," said High.

Maggie Johnson drove in two runs and Sarah Moore slugged a home run.

Moore was coming off a winning performance the previous day at Columbia. She pitched the Braves to victory on a day the head coach was resting some of the starters.

"We weren't generating any offense in the first few innings, so I put the starters back in," he said. "We did give the younger kids some reps."

Senior Alexis Melson went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in.

"She was already 2-for-2 and she was up in a sacrifice situation," High explained. "I let her swing away and she got hit to help us out."

High hopes that Pequea can turn its fortunes around for the 2018 playoffs.

"We have been district runners-up two years in a row," he pointed out. "Maybe this year we'll break that pattern and be district champs. Only the top two teams from Triple-A make it to states."

Last year the Braves suffered a first-round loss in PIAA's.

TENNIS

Brady Burns came into last week's District Three Class-AA singles championships as the third seed. The freshman made his way to the district semifinals before having to settle for fourth place at the Hershey Racquet Club.

Burns battled by Quin Bucheit of Hamburg by scores of 6-3, 7-6 (4) and played another tough match against Will Schreck of Wyomissing, posting scores of 7-5, 3-6 and 6-4.

Second-seeded Johan Rebert of Lancaster Country Day defeated Burns 6-4, 6-4 in the semis, sending the Pequea underclassman to the consolation match where he suffered a close defeat at the hands of York Suburban's Parker Lando, 4-6 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3).

In the District Three Class-AA Team Championships, which began on May 3, the Braves advanced to the second round only to suffer a 5-0 loss to top-seeded Wyomissing on Tuesday evening at HRC.

Burns suffered a 6-2, 6-3 setback at number one singles. Fellow freshman Nehemiah Glick lost 6-2, 6-1 at third singles.

In doubles competition, Hunter Winey and Josh Gingerich fought a closely-contested match, only to be on the short end of 7-5, 6-4 sets.

In the prior week, the Braves' opening-round victory came against York Suburban with Winey and Gingerich posting a 6-2, 6-3 win while Malachi Clark and Josh Heinrich came back to win the first doubles 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Burns was a 7-6(5), 6-2 winner in singles and Devon Clemmer a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 winner at third singles while Elliot Esh came up just short against Liam Waterbury in 6-3, 6-2 straight sets.

The Braves do play in the third-place consolation match for a chance to make the PIAA's as the third-seeded team from District Three.

BASEBALL

Adryan Yothers pitched six strong innings and combined with senior Joe Olonovich for a shutout on Monday afternoon in a Section Four ballgame against Columbia.

"Adrian was mowing them down," said head coach Dwayne Reiter. "He had 12 strikeouts - was doing a really good job throwing strikes and overpowering them. He didn't need to use his off-speed stuff."

The Braves had entered the game with a .500 record (9-9), thus finishing the season at 10-9, which included a 9-6 league mark. They claimed third place in Section Four.

Reiter pointed to a game the previous week against Section champ Lancaster Catholic - a heartbreaking 5-3 loss at home in extra innings.

"The loss to Catholic was a hard one to take," he said. "These boys gave 110 percent. We knew we had to win out the season to put us in good position for district playoffs.

"They boys played well the second half of the season" he added. "Watching that game slip away at the end was tough. We played better in the second half of the season and it showed."

The Braves won eight of their last nine games.

"We were better than our record showed," said Reiter.

Part of the offensive punch all year has been Ryan Lockhart. The junior slugged a two-run triple and finished with three runs batted in. Senior Terrell Stoltzfus went 2-for-3 with a double and scored two runs while Dalton Temple had a hit and stole three bases.

"We got two runners on base in the first inning and Ryan came through with a nice triple," Reiter said. "That was all we needed."

Zach Lynch had a double and Yothers and Olonovich each had a stolen base.

Yothers allowed only one base hit Olonovich came on in relief and allowed two base hits.

"Joe came in to close out the last inning with what could be his last career game here," said the coach.

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Brady Burns Wins Class AA Singles Tennis Title May 4, 2018

In Monday's Lancaster-Lebanon League Tennis Championships, there was a repeat champion and a first-time champion in flight one of singles.

While Cedar Crest's Jackson Muraika, who's a junior, claimed the Class-AAA crown for a second straight year, Pequea Valley's Brady Burns won the Class-AA singles for his first time.

First time only?

Oh yes, Burns happens to be a freshman.

He played an impressive tournament and capped it with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lancaster Catholic freshman Brendan McNamara on the court at Conestoga Valley.

Even more impressive was the fact that Burns and teammate Devon Clemmer paired up for a doubles championship at 2A. Clemmer, who also competed at flight four singles, and Burns gave the audience their money's worth, playing an intense match versus Dawson Smith and Mason Bennetch of Elco, the latter of whom placed third in 2A singles.

The Pequea pair posted a 6-2 win and won the tiebreaker 10-5 after Bennetch and Smith had opened with a 6-2 victory of their own.

BASEBALL

With victories on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Pequea baseball team extended its winning streak to eight games, which included seven straight over L-L League opponents.

The Braves topped Elco and Lebanon Catholic on the road, defeating the Raiders 9-3 on Tuesday and blanking the Beavers 7-0 the following afternoon.

In the victory at Elco, the Braves stroked eight hits and took advantage of seven walks to manufacture runs. The slugging included doubles by Ryan Lockhart, Zachary Lynch, and Brody Mann.

Pequea Valley scored early in this contest, going up 3-0 before the Raiders cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. The Braves promptly put up three more runs and an additional pair in the sixth.

Lockhart and Lynch each drove in two runs. Lynch and Logan Beegle each scored twice. Dalton Temple was a solid 2-for-3 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot. He also came on to relieve starter Adryan Yothers in the seventh inning. Yothers struck out four batters and walked three, allowing only two runs on four hits through the first six innings.

For the Raiders, Joe Ginder went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run.

Playing three games in as many days, the Braves allowed the tying run in the sixth inning of Thursday's league game. The Crusaders evened the score at 3-3. They added two runs in the top of the eighth to post an extra-inning win at Kinzers.

The loss dropped the Braves' overall mark to 9-9 and to 8-6 in league play..

SOFTBALL

The Pequea Valley softball team bounced back from a 3-1 loss on the road to league rival Annville-Cleona by winning three straight league games - two of which saw them score 10 or more runs.

Saturday, April 28 saw the Braves let A-C climb closer to the top of the Section Four standings. However, the three-game win streak which followed kept Pequea (9-5, 10-6 overall) a game ahead of Annville-Cleona.

"We put up a lot of runs on Annville the first time we played them," said head coach Doug High, referring to the 10-0 win on April 10. "But we couldn't hit against them in our last game - same pitcher."

Pequea came back with a 10-2 victory over Lancaster Mennonite with Sarah Moore picking up the win.

Moore went four innings, struck out three and walked four, allowing a run on four hits.

Freshman Olivia Ammon came in to pitch the next three innings. She was impressive in relief with five strikeouts and no walks, allowing a run on three hits.

High was asked if the consecutive days of playing games had anything to do with relieving Moore.

"Neither of them pitched the next game," replied the coach. "I was just keeping them sharp by giving them work."

On offense, Claudia Shaubach went 3-for-4 with a triple. Katelyn Smoker added two RBIs.

"Sophia Weaver had two walks and went 1-for-2," High noted. "She scored three runs.

"Third inning was the big one," he added. "We scored five runs.

"The Annville game was just one where nothing worked," continued the coach. "We just didn't get on base."

As for the hits falling in place and the runs coming in double digits, High said it was a team effort to catch that spark.

"It's contagious," he said. "The mood is positive. Everybody starts swinging the bat well and making contact. Five different kids had base hits."

As for the base hits coming, they certainly didn't come that often in the 13-0 victory over Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday.

What if a team had 13 runs and less than 10 hits? Possible?

What if the team had 13 runs on fewer than five hits?

"As a team we had four hits," said High. "We had 13 runs on four hits. Yvonne Beiler had a double and a triple and she was our offensive spark. She scored twice - once after a leadoff triple - and hit a two-run double."

As for the base runners who resulted in the parade of runs, High explained that the team took advantage of poor control by the Beavers' pitching staff.

"They had 14 walks," he noted. "Leadoff batter Makenzi Dienner walked four times and scored twice."

As for the shutout pitching, it came from freshman Chloe Colburn, who tossed a no-hitter.

"She pitched a great game," said High. "She had struggled the night before in the junior varsity game. But she felt good and I was happy to see that for her. She had four walks, which isn't normal for her. This was her second start of the year."

Thursday's victory was a big one as the Braves posted a 9-1 defeat of Lancaster Catholic on the road. They stayed a game ahead of the A-C Dutchmen.

"We needed to win this one," said High. "Well, we need to win them all. These guys scored six runs against us the first time. They have some hitters."

Ammon held the Crusaders to a run on only three hits, striking out five.

"We played good defense behind her - no errors," said the coach.

Maggie Johnson and Abigail Tobelmann each drove in a pair of runs. The eight Pequea hits came from eight different batters.

"We also scored a couple of runs on passed balls," High pointed out.

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Braves Score 21 Runs, Beat Cocalico and Lebanon April 27, 2018

With their batters stroking timely hits or long drives and with their base runners swiping a bag or two, the Braves scored 21 runs to open the week, going on to defeat Lancaster-Lebanon League foes Cocalico and Lebanon.

In the Lebanon game, senior Ryan Lockhart slugged a double and a three-run home run, driving in four of the Braves' runs in a 9-4 victory. The win improved Pequea Valley's record to 3-5 in the league (3-8 overall). As a team, the Braves had 11 hits, three of which came off the bat of Adryan Yothers.

"It's what we've been expecting from this group," said head coach Dwayne Reiter, discussing the recent offensive spark.

"Yothers had a single and two doubles," Reiter added. "He has really come on in the last four or five games. He is one of the hitters who has been turning it on.

"Ryan Lockhart hit his homer in the third inning," continued the coach. "When he came to bat in the sixth inning with two runners on base, he was intentionally walked. Zach Lynch then hit a nice base hit over the shortstop and drove in two more."

Lynch went 1-for-4 with the two RBI. Seniors Brody Mann and Terrell Stoltzfus each had one hit and two runs scored. Mann also had a walk.

Dalton Temple and Ryan Tobelmann, each of whom went 1-for-3, as well as Lynch also had a stolen base.

"We're not quite as aggressive as last year," said Reiter. "The guys know that I like them to be that way on the base paths. There are a couple of guys who have the green light if they're on second base. Dalton Temple is one of them."

Production at the plate doesn't necessarily translate into victories if the pitching does not come through. The combination of sophomore Jack Olonovich and older brother Joe Olonovich provided that pitching.

With the team up 6-4 and with two outs in the fifth inning, the senior Olonovich came on in relief. Joe went on to pitch 2.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the save for his sibling.

"Jack started and did very well," said Reiter. "He cut down on his walks in this game (two) and struck out six.

"I was very happy to see that his control had improved," Reiter said. "He does pitch inside, so he hit a couple of batters. His brother closed it down for him."

Aided by a big six-run third inning on Tuesday, the Braves doubled up Cocalico 12-6 on the road. Pequea punched out 14 hits in the game, including a 4-for-5 effort by Temple out of the leadoff spot. He also stole two bases and scored three times.

"He was a player who I knew early in the season could be a .400 hitter," Reiter said. "He has been hitting the ball hard and I hope this game gets things going for him. He went over .300 with the 4-for-5."

Lynch went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBI's.

"Zach Lynch is another player who has been hitting the ball well the past three or four games," said Reiter. "Hopefully, he and Dalton will continue to contribute."

Yothers drove in three runs, two of which came on sacrifice flys.

"Even if he doesn't get on base with a hit, he contributes," said Reiter. "He also gets on base with walks and has been hit by a pitch six times."

The Eagles had a two-run home run by Nick Lucky. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Braves scored six in the third and two more in the fourth.

"Cocalico is a pretty good hitting team," said Reiter. "They've been hitting the ball well.

"We had a base-running mistake in the first inning," he added. "At the time I was concerned it might come back and haunt us."

Cam Yoder and Temple pitched, holding off the Eagles' comeback bid as the home team put together another three-run rally.

BOYS TENNIS

The boys' tennis team wrapped up the regular season by winning its eighth straight match. Coming off a 7-0 shutout of Annville-Cleona the previous week, the Braves handled McCaskey in the regular season finale, winning 5-1 at home on Wednesday.

The Braves swept the doubles matches with Hunter Winey and Joshua Gingerich winning the first one 8-0. Nehemiah Glick and Joshua Heinrich handled their opponents by an 8-2 margin before Brady Burns and Devon Clemmer came away with an 8-3 victory at No. 3.

Taking the winning momentum into singles, the Braves picked up another team point thanks to Clemmer, who downed Chad Haiges 6-2, 6-1. Burns was a 6-1, 6-0 winner.

SOFTBALL

The Braves stayed atop the Section Four standings in softball, grabbing a key 12-2 victory over L-L League foe Cocalico on Tuesday. Pequea Valley was coming off a 10-0 shutout to Donegal, the top team in Section Three on Monday.

The Braves improved to 7-3 in the league, which was good for a two-game lead over Annville-Cleona.

Sarah Moore struck out eight batters against Cocalico the bats got hot early in the game. Pequea put six runs on the board in the first frame and four more in the second inning, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit.

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Olonovich Pitches Braves Past Garden Spot April 20, 2018

The Pequea Valley baseball team played two close ballgames last week, getting some great pitching from Joe Olonovich in a 3-1 victory over Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Garden Spot on Wednesday - one day after a close 5-4 loss at Lampeter-Strasburg.

"We took an early lead on Lampeter-Strasburg with Jack Olonovich, who's Joe's younger brother, pitching for us," said head coach Dwayne Reiter. "They scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning, but Jack hung in there."

Reiter gave his sophomore starter a vote of confidence by keeping him in the game despite the shaky second inning in which the Pioneers took a 2-1 lead.

"He pitched very well," Reiter remarked. "He struggled in that second inning with control. He worked his way out with only two runs, which was impressive.

"He settled down and made it all the way to the fifth inning, which was when his pitch count got up there," said Reiter, who then brought in another young hurler in relief.

"I brought up a JV player, who came in and did a good job with runners on first and second and nobody out," Reiter explained. "Austin DeForest did an excellent job getting us out of that inning. They had a sacrifice and a sacrifice fly to take a 4-3 lead."

The Braves did tie it in the top of the sixth only to see the Pioneers regain the lead in the home half of that inning.

Offensively, Adryan Yothers stroked three singles for PV. He scored one run and drove in another. Ryan Lockhart went 1-for-4 with a run. Ryan Tobelman had a walk, a stolen base and came around to score a run as well.

"We could not score again in the seventh," Reiter noted. "It was a good game against a bigger school. We hung in there with a good team and made them work. They even threw one of our runners out at the plate on a safety squeeze."

The Braves fell to 1-7 on the year - a season that has included four losses by two runs or fewer.

They posted the 3-1 victory over Garden Spot the following day thanks to a great complete-game effort by Joe Olonovich and a two-run home run by Lockhart.

"He was mixing up his pitches well," Reiter said. "He was keeping his fastball down and hitting his spots. His pitch count stayed low and he pitched a complete game."

The senior starter allowed only two hits, recorded two strikeouts and allowed only one walk.

Lockhart's home run came on a 3-2 pitch that was a case of serendipity following what seemed like a mistake.

"He was ahead in the count 3-1 and he swung at ball four," Reiter laughed. "I was a little upset with him. But I had to take everything back because he hit the next pitch for a home run."

The Braves plated an insurance run for Olonovich in the bottom of the sixth inning.

"It was important that we gave Joe some breathing room for the seventh inning," Reiter said. "I brought up another player - Dale Stoltzfus - from the jayvee team. He got his first varsity hit and it was a nice line drive to give us that third run."

Brody Mann had a double. Chad Kunkel also had a hit in this game.

"We've been playing well and have had some close games," said Reiter. "This team is frustrated because we're a better team than our record has shown.

"We are looking to put together five or six wins in a row," continued the coach. "We are doing section crossovers, which is a tough stretch."

BOYS TENNIS

The tennis team improved to 6-1 in the L-L League following victories over Northern Lebanon and Annville-Cleona.

In Tuesday's win at Northern Lebanon, the Braves won all three doubles matches, featuring Nate Riehl and Parth Patel in the number one doubles as the two seniors cruised to an 8-0 win.

Daniel Xentaras and Elliot Esh were nearly untouchable in the second doubles, winning it 8-1. Brady Burns and Devon Clemmer came through with an 8-0 win also.

Clemmer posted a straight set win at second singles, winning 6-1, 6-0. Joshua Heinrich won by the same scores at number three while freshman Nehemiah Glick earned 6-2, 6-2 victories at fourth singles.

Xentaras teamed with Hunter Winey at first doubles on Wednesday as the Braves topped the Little Dutchmen 7-0. The pairing of Winey/Xentaras resulted in an 8-2 final, which was the same score for Josh Gingerich and Clemmer at number two doubles. Glick and Heinrich claimed the third doubles, 8-1.

Winey and Clemmer won the first two singles matches in straight sets. Heinrick took the third singles 6-2, 4-6, 12-10. Glick came away with the fourth set - 7-6, 3-6, 10-3.

SOFTBALL

For the Braves, it was feast or famine this past week. The team had an 11-7 victory over Berks Catholic in a non-league game on Tuesday. The following day, they lost 11-0 at Lampeter-Strasburg.

"They're a good hitting team," Doug High said of the Pioneers. "They got ahead of us early and we didn't score any."

Three of the Pioneers runs were unearned off freshman pitcher Chloe Colburn, who pitched her first varsity game.

Sarah Moore's double may have been the lone offensive highlight of that game.

However, Pequea Valley had plenty of offensive highlights in the Berks Catholic game. With Moore pitching, the Braves led all the way and had an 11-3 lead in the seventh inning when the Saints put together a four-run rally. Moore also went 2-for-2 at the plate.

"We had a lot of singles in that game and a lot of walks," High noted. "Caroline Bragg had a double and that was our only extra-base hit.

"Sarah Moore pitched the whole game," he went on. "It started to get cold and she allowed some walks in the seventh inning. But she did have a strikeout and got out of the inning."

Moore finished with eight strikeouts and only three walks.

Claudia Shaubach went 2-for-3.

The Braves improved to 5-4 overall. With the loss to L-S, they fell to 4-2 in the league.

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PV Softball Posts Four Straight Wins April 14, 2018

Pequea Valley's softball team faced a very busy week jam packed with several league games.

How did they respond?

They won the first four games of the week, including a dominant 18-2 victory at Lancaster Mennonite on Thursday.

"We have a good team and we're winning the games we should be winning," said head coach Doug High. "Hopefully we'll not be letting any get away."

The team improved to 4-2 overall as it played its first four L-L League games of the year this past week.

Abby Tobelman hit a home run against LMH. It was the Braves' second homer of the season.

"The game went only three innings," High pointed out, referring to the mercy rule. "We did our job and left. LMH struggled."

The Braves had 13 base hits on the afternoon, including two by Maggie Johnson.

"She has been swinging a hot bat," said High.

"We had about as many hits as walks and we did a good job of moving runners," he added. "We got 13 kids into the game."

On Wednesday the Braves hosted Columbia. Sarah Moore pitched a complete game as Pequea's offense put 12 runs on the board in support of their sophomore pitcher in a 12-2 win. She had seven strikeouts and no walks in the six-hit effort.

"She did a great job," said High. "She also went 4-for-4 with four runs scored - three singles and a triple."

Johnson was 2-for-3 with two runs driven in. Mackenzi Dienner was 2-for-4 with a triple.

Against Annville-Cleona on Tuesday, Olivia Ammon took toed the rubber and pitched the Braves to victory. She recorded a five-inning shutout.

In the 10-0 win, Dienner went 3-for-4 with three runs scored while Claudia Shaubach (2-for-3) drove in a pair of runs

Moore was 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBI. Johnson also had two hits and drove in one.

TENNIS

The boys' tennis team has been putting together a successful campaign as a blend of experienced returning players and young stars have made for a winning blend on the Braves' roster.

"We have a lot of returning players from last year," said PV head coach Eric Burns, whose freshman son Brady Burns accounts for one of the successful underclassmen on the team.

"We also have a sophomore and junior, who are in their first year," Burns added, referring to Josh Gingerich and Devon Clemmer, respectively.

The Braves have served up four victories against Lancaster-Lebanon League foes and only trail Cocalico (5-0) by one match in the Section Two standings. With a 5-2 defeat of Lampeter-Strasburg on their home court Thursday, the Braves improved to 4-1 in the league and 7-1 overall.

Burns and Clemmer won the number three doubles in that match with a score of 8-2. Clemmer also won the first singles, taking his opponent in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Joshua Heinrich held on to win the second singles 6-3, 2-6, 10-7 while Glick and Burns won the third and fourth singles, respectively.

On Wednesday, the team topped Manheim Central 6-1 with the only Barons point coming in a close match at third singles.

Burns explained that with the league format putting the doubles matches first and the team's success therein, the Braves are typically riding a winning momentum heading into singles action.

"That has been a key for us," said the coach. "We have had a lot of success in doubles and it means we already have the lead in the matches going into singles. Even though we have had a lot of success there as well. It's easier starting our singles matches knowing we have won all or two of the doubles matches."

Against Central, the duo of Gingerich and Hunter Winey won the first doubles 8-3. Glick and Heinrich posted an 8-4 win at second doubles while Burns and Clemmer won the third by an 8-3 margin.

Clemmer also won the first single (6-1, 6-2) with Heinrich winning the second 6-4, 6-3 and Burns also winning in straight sets (6-1, 6-0) at fourth singles.

Elco was Tuesday's victim with Pequea posting a 7-0 win. The combo of Clemmer and Burns claimed the first doubles 8-0 followed by Glick and Heinrick taking the second one 8-1. Winey and Gingerich came on to take the third doubles 8-2.

In singles competition, Burns (6-2, 6-2), Heinrich (6-1, 6-4) and Clemmer (7-5, 6-0) won in straight sets. Glick won the second singles in a tiebreaker. He won 6-4 before losing 7-5 then winning the tiebreaker 10-2.

So far the only loss of the season was a loss to Cocalico early on.

"We lost that match 4-3," Burns noted. "It was a very close match. We still have a challenge or two in the league. But we are happy with where we are and hope to finish strong."

BASEBALL

In a busy week for the Braves baseball team, the Pequea nine lost two of their three L-L League games - both close games - and fell to 1-5 overall (1-3 in league).

Monday's game was a pitchers' duel that ended in a 2-0 final at Lancaster Catholic. The Crusaders combination of Dillon March and Cam Barto pitched a one-hit shutout with Marsh picking up the victory and Barto tossing the final two innings for the save.

While Marsh struck out 14 and allowed only a single to Ryan Lockhart, he did walk four batters. But the Braves were unable to take advantage of those opportunities. Chad Kunkel had one of those walks and stole a base to put himself into scoring position.

Jack Olonovich was the hard-luck loser in this one, pitching 4.1 quality innings and allowing two runs on only three base hits. He recorded two strikeouts. Cameron Yoder went 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.

The Braves went back on the road the very next day and started the game with a nice burst of offense, breaking out of Monday's shutout funk. Pequea Valley posted three runs in the top of the first at Annville-Cleona before the Section Four rival came back to tie it in the bottom of the second and added three more in the sixth inning of a 7-5 victory.

Lockhart tripled and drove in a run, scoring later in the rally. Kunkel had a pair of singles, an RBI, a stolen base and a run while fellow senior Terrell Stoltzfus went 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Dalton Temple's run batted in was on a sacrifice fly.

Ryan Tobelman helped manufacture a run with a walk and two steals before crossing the plate.

On the road again Wednesday, the Braves put together a three-run fourth at Columbia and Adryan Yothers pitched a one-hit shutout, dominating the Crimson Tide batters with 12 strikeouts.

Austin Smoker's two-run hit was the big offensive highlight for the Braves. He drove Lockhart and Stoltzfus home. Temple went 1-for-3 and scored a run too.

Ryan Redding pitched a complete game for Columbia in a losing cause. He struck out four and walked two, allowing five hits.

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PV Baseball Battles Blazers in Section Opener April 6, 2018

The Pequea Valley baseball team came up short in a tough Lancaster-Lebanon League game on Wednesday afternoon. Behind the shutout pitching of Nelson Habacivich and Shawn Oshikawa, the Lancaster Mennonite Blazers blanked the Braves 3-0 at Kinzers.

It was the first league game for the Braves, who fell to 0-3 overall. The Blazers improved to 2-0 (1-0 in Section Four).

Austin Martinez had a double and knocked in a run for LMH. The pitching combination of Habacivich and Oshikawa allowed a total of five hits as Dalton Temple stroked two of those hits.

The Braves were coming off a 10-4 loss to Kutztown in a non-league game the previous Thursday. The Braves' 10-hit attack yielded only the four runs- two of which were scored by Adryan Yothers. The sophomore went 2-for-3.

Ryan Lockhart slugged a two-run home run and went 2-for-4. Terrell Stoltzfus drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and scored one more. Ryan Robelmann and Winston Thomas each singled for the Braves. Zach Lynch also picked up a RBI.

SOFTBALL

In the spring season for sports, nearly everything is an outdoor sport.

Because spring comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb, the sheep dog hasn't had any lambs to look after with cold, rainy and even snowy weather being the talk of the region in the early part of the season as well as the schedules for high school sports.

Pequea Valley played Schuylkill Valley on Thursday in what was a makeup game from earlier on the Braves' schedule. In fact, it was supposed to be the season opener back on March 23 - two days after spring started with a few inches of snow.

Pequea Valley played Schuylkill Valley into extra innings before falling short 4-3 on the road. The Panthers had a walk-off hit by sophomore Sarah Moore, who came on in relief of freshman hurler Olivia Ammon in the sixth inning.

Ammon also hit a home run to help her own cause, but it wasn't enough offense against the Panthers.

"In the last two games, we had 10 hits in each game," head coach Doug High pointed out. "Today we didn't have the hits."

The Braves fell to 0-3 on the year - all non-league games. They were coming off a 7-4 loss at home against Solanco the previous week.

"In the Solanco game, we had the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning," said High. "We rallied late in the game. It was nice to see a young team rally like that.

"We did have an untimely error or two," he added. "In our late rally, we had [base runners on] first and second with nobody out and our fourth, fifth and sixth hitters coming up. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get anything out of it."

Ammon and Moore have been carrying the load as far as pitching duties have gone so far. Ammon has tossed 14 innings in three games while Moore has logged eight frames.

"We have a busy week coming up," High said when asked how badly the rainouts have affected the schedule. "We have Lancaster Catholic, Annville-Cleona and Columbia. After that our section crossover games start with Manheim Central on Friday."

BOYS TENNIS

The game of tennis has also been hindered by bad weather. The boys' team did post a decisive 5-0 victory over Octorara in a non-league match between two teams that call their sports teams "Braves."

In the March 27 match at home, Pequea's Joshua Heinrich posted a 6-0, 6-0 victory at first singles and Malachi Glick, one of the returning seniors, went on to win 6-2, 6-0. Brady Burns showed his freshman skills with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at number three singles.

In doubles action, Heinrich teamed up with Joshua Gingerich at second doubles, posting a 6-1, 6-0 victory. At No.1 doubles it was Deon Clemmer and Daniel Xentaras pairing up for a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

Pequea Valley improved to 3-1 on the year. The team is 1-1 in league competition.

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Gabe Miller Finishes Sixth in State Wrestling March 16, 2018

Pequea Valley featured five wrestlers at the PIAA Class-AA Southeast Region Championships, which were held at Wilson High School on March 2-3. Of the five wrestlers, junior Gabe Miller and senior Tanner Ball moved on to the state championships the following week at the Giant Center with Miller finishing in sixth place.

In the Southeast Region championships at Wilson, Ball finished strong in the 132-pound weight class with consolation bracket victories over Jack Coulston of Boiling Springs and Zach Rupp of Upper Dauphin.

Earlier in the tournament, Ball beat Pierce Demetriates - a sophomore out of Tamaqua - by a 4-0 score. Following a gritty battle and 7-4 victory over Sebastian Corrales of Church Farm School, Ball suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Ryan McGuire of Notre Dame Green Pond - the top seed out of District XI.

Ball battled back through the consolations with the 5-1 defeat of Coulston and a 12-4 major in the third-place match with Rupp.

Connor Walsh suffered a one-point loss to Zavery Lester of Wilson Area in the opening round of the 138-pound bracket. The PV senior pinned T.J. Alderfer of Faith Christian Academy 2:56 into the first consolation match and pinned Lucas Shoop just 2:41 into the second-round consi battle.

However, a loss to Colin Rex of Northwestern Lehigh ended the quest for Walsh. Rex would go on to claim fifth place.

Miller's finish in the Southeast Region was in fourth place at 145 pounds. He opened with a powerful 18-3 technical fall, defeating Lehightown's Chris Whiteman. He downed a tough opponent in Bermudian Springs sophomore Trenton Harder, winning 11-4.

Though he suffered a loss to eventual champ Nathan Haubert of Palisades, he pinned Newport's Mike Capozzoli in only 55 seconds before losing the third-place match in a shootout. Lucas Christman of Palmerton won 16-12.

The 220 and 285 pound weight classes had Joey Coblentz and Nate Miller, respectively, battling for Pequea. Coblentz pinned Quinn Moyer of Northwest Lehigh but suffered a tough 10-7 loss to Bishop McDevitt's Nessir Pettus.

The consolation victory over Micah Springer of Camp Hill came in overtime by a 6-4 score. However, Wilson Area's Kolby Plank - the third-place finisher - eked out a 3-2 victory.

Nate Miller also opened with a win, registering a pin in 3:42 against Eddie Goldsmith of Springfield Township. Though he was pinned by eventual champ Dan Scheib of Tri-Valley, he did post a 5-4 consolation win before bowing out.

Ball would earn his 120th career victory before being ousted in the state championships in Hershey. Though he started in the hole with a 7-0 loss to Rocco Bartolo of Reynolds, he pinned Northwestern's Caiden Mooney in only 57 seconds and blanked Coulston - the same Coulston he had defeated in the Southeast Region consolation semis - by a 5-0 score. That was victory 120.

However, a tough 4-2 loss to Mark-Samuel Sallot of Harbor Creek - the eventual fourth-place wrestler - ended Ball's season.

Gabe Miller's season would end on a heartbreaking 8-6 overtime loss in the fifth-place match of states. He extended his wrestling competition into a third day after going 4-2 over the first two days.

Miller gained an 8-0 major over St. Joseph Academy's Evan Courts and blanked Montoursville freshman Dylan Bennett 7-0 on March 8. The following day had the first of three close losses for Miller. Tyler Griffiths of Southmoreland edged the PV junior 6-5. The pin versus D.J. Erickson of Hanover Area righted his path in the consolations and he strengthened his hold with a pin against Mike Doerfinger of Slippery Rock only 10 seconds into the second period.

Caleb Hetrick of Brookville shaded Miller 1-0 in the consolation quarterfinals and the 8-6 overtime loss to Hunter Michaels of Reynolds resulted in the sixth-place finish.

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Lady Braves Finish 4th in District Three Playoffs March 2, 2018

The Pequea Valley girls' basketball team had to settle for fourth place in the District Three Class-AA playoffs, suffering a close 48-47 loss to Delone Catholic in the district consolation match at Warwick on Tuesday night.

The Squires hung on despite an intense comeback bid by the Braves, whose season came to a close with a 13-12 record. The top three teams from Class 2A advance to the PIAA state playoffs, eliminating the Braves.

Pequea Valley led from start to finish in the first quarter, taking a 13-8 lead into the second period. The Squires outscored the Braves by 10 points in the second stanza, heading to the locker room with a 25-20 advantage.

The Braves did hit a pair of three-point shots to make it close before the half. Bethany Bills and Sommer Reeser finished with 10 points each with Bills hitting from three-point range three times.

Reeser and Abbey Leslie, who had eight points, each connected twice on three-pointers. Caroline Horst finished with seven points.

Looking to erase the five-point halftime deficit, the Braves edged DC 17-16 in a high-scoring third quarter. They held the Squires to only four points in the fourth quarter, evening the score at 45-all with 3:44 left to play.

Delone Catholic's Brooke Lawler, who scored a game-high 21 points, hit a key three-pointer to give her team its final lead - one that the Squires would not relinquish.

The Braves were coming off a 61-53 loss to the district's top-seeded team from Friday, February 23. In that semifinal match at West York, Trinity's early 20-3 lead was nearly matched by the Braves in the second quarter as PV outscored Trinity 23-8, making it only a two-point game at the half - Trinity on top 28-26.

Another fourth-quarter comeback fell short in this game after the Braves saw the Shamrocks go on a 16-11 run in the third quarter.

Reeser led the Braves with 15 points, hitting from three-point range three times and going 2-for-2 at the foul line. Bills poured in 13 more points while Leslie also hit double digits with 10 points - six of those on three-point baskets.

WRESTLING

The Pequea Valley wrestlers battled like champions in last week's District Three Class-AA championships at the Giant Center. The will and heart of champions resulted in five of the six wrestlers qualifying for the PIAA Class-AA Southeast Region championships.

Pequea head coach Dave Finger pointed to the great efforts, which resulted in a third-place finish in the 285-pound weight class and four second-place finishes.

Freshman Nate Miller, who took third at 285, punched a ticket to the PIAA Southeast Regionals with seniors Tanner Ball and Conner Walsh as well as juniors Gabe Miller and Joey Coblentz.

Ball opened with a 10-0 major decision over Brogan Loudon, a senior from Susquenita. He went on to defeat Upper Dauphin's Zach Rupp 9-4 in the semifinals before losing a tough 4-3 decision to Bishop McDevitt senior Brodee Tolbert in the 138-pound title bout.

"He has run into him a couple more times," Finger noted. "I really believe that with him being 100 percent healthy, that match goes a different way.

"He has had a nagging shoulder injury for the past couple of weeks," Finger explained. "Hopefully he gets a repeat of the match in states."

Making his way through the 138-pound bracket and reaching the championship was Walsh. He suffered a 10-6 loss to another Bishop McDevitt foe - sophomore Tyler Martin.

"What it really came down to was he gave up some takedowns," Finger explained. "It was one of those things where you take the wrong step and wind up in the wrong position. He went for a takedown and gave one up. Hopefully, we correct those issues in practice."

Walsh won his opening match by a 5-2 margin over Susquenita's Jacob Hammaker. He notched a pin 3:52 into the semis before facing Martin.

"Conner Walsh wrestled very well," Finger added. "I'm very pleased to see him advance."

Miller's final was another close battle. Following two pins that advanced him to the 145-pound championship match, he came up short in an 8-4 decision to Kollin Myers of Boiling Springs.

Following a pin at the 3:00 mark of the opening match, Miller pinned Middletown's Devin Martin - an opponent who was coming off a 20-5 technical fall and a 9-4 victory. The pin for Miller came 3:15 into the semifinal match.

"Gabe is tough," said Finger. "He's amazing to watch. He's never out of a match. The Middletown kid got the first takedown. Gabe is tough on top. He worked hard on his riding."

Coblentz pinned in his opening match also, ending the battle with Ken Norfleet of Susquehanna Township after 5:28.

He earned a 4-0 victory over Walker Klinger of Newport in the semis.

"He actually lost to that Newport kid earlier in the season by a couple of points," Finger said. "We had a tournament at Lancaster Catholic and it was a fairly close match."

In the championship, he was pinned by Boiling Spring's Austin Taylor - a formidable opponent according to the PV coach.

"Coblentz ran into someone who I think placed in states last year," said Finger. "He was a really solid kid."

Miller came on strong and pinned Dave Brennan of Camp Hill. Following a loss to Tanner Harkins of Kennard-Dale, he took the consolation route and wrestled his way back to an impressive third-place finish.

"He ran into Tanner Harkins, who's a state qualifier," Finger commented. "Nate is probably giving up 60 pounds to him. That was a big, strong wrestler who had an early takedown in the match.

"Nate is a freshman and has been doing well for us in the upper weight classes," continued the coach. "He followed it up with two pins to take third place," he added. "That's great to see. So many times in wrestling, a kid loses a match and he knows he can't go for first place; he can go on a downhill slide. He picked himself up and kept advancing."

Miller pinned Nate Raudenbush of Kutztown in 3:36. He then pinned Northern Lebanon's Kyle Sonner in the third-place match.

Winning his opening match in the 106-pound class was freshman Jace Beegle. He posted an 11-4 victory.

Following a loss via fall to eventual champ Patrick Damark of Trinity, he suffered a 9-4 loss to Ryan Stahl of Halifax to end his tournament.

"How well we did shows that we have quality wrestlers on our team," Finger remarked.

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Lady Braves Crush Hanover in District Qtrs February 23, 2018

There are many ways to express the domination levied by Pequea Valley's basketball team in its Tuesday night victory over Hanover.

In the quarterfinals of the District Three Class-AAA girls' basketball playoffs, the Braves defeated the Nighthawks by a one-sided margin of 69-18 on the Braves' home court, sending Pequea Valley (13-10) back to the district semifinals. It was so one-sided that the game's leading scorer - Pequea Valley sophomore Sommer Reeser - had more points (20) than the entire Hanover squad.

The Braves' defense held Hanover to single-digit scoring in each quarter. Having not qualified for the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, PV had not played since their 73-47 victory over Columbia in the regular season finale two weeks ago.

"In the second quarter we went on a 20-2 run," said head coach Jason McDonald. "It was all started by our press and by forcing turnovers."

Speaking of turnovers, sophomores Caroline Horst and Abbe Leslie combined for a total of 18 steals with Horst nabbing 10 of them.

By halftime, the Braves were up 35-10 and retained the momentum in the second half, outscoring the Nighthawks 23-6 in the third quarter.

"We played good fundamental half-court defense and pressed them in the full court," said McDonald.

The Pequea offense kept pouring it on. Reeser's game-high 20 points included four three-point baskets. Marlena Ferry's 11 points included three treys while Leslie added eight points. Reeser also had four assists to go along with her game-leading points total. Ferry added five rebounds.

Helping keep the rock away from the Nighthawks were the likes of Clara Neff and Bethany Bills, who led PV with 11 and seven rebounds, respectively.

"We moved the ball and shot well, which was huge," McDonald added. "Fatigue became a huge factor for Hanover and our depth was a huge advantage. We started the third quarter on an 8-2 run and just stayed in charge from there."

The top three teams from Class-AAA advance to states from District Three. The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28 at The Giant Center

WRESTLING

Tanner Ball, Conner Walsh, Joe Coblentz, Gabe Miller, Nate Miller and Jace Beegle earned a trip to the district's regional tournament. For Beegle it was based on his second-place finish in the District Three Class-AA Section I wrestling championships on Saturday, February 17.

In all, five Pequea wrestlers finished first on the day.

Beegle, who was the third seed in the 106-pound weight class pinned Wyomissing's Nathan Lord in the semis but the Braves freshman came up short against Bailey Gimbor of Brandywine Heights in the title match.

Walsh came into the tournament as the second seed at 138. He showed his championship worth by defeating Carlens Lapaix of Schuylkill Valley on a technical fall before winning the title bout 6-0 over third-seeded Brant Mason of Hamburg.

Ball, a senior, was the top-seeded wrestler in the 132-pound class. He showed his championship pedigree and earned the gold medal with a technical fall over Matt Deysher of Brandywine Heights. In the semis, Ball pinned his opponent in only 50 seconds.

Coblentz (220), a junior, also claimed the gold. He pinned Austin Strunk of Hamburg and won the title match with a 6-1 decision, defeating Wyomissing's George Nanouh.

Gabe Miller cruised from his entry as the top seed in the 145-pound class through the championship bout. He notched a pin in only 40 seconds in the semis and earned a 10-3 victory in the title match.

Nate Miller, who was the third seed at 285, coerced a pin in the final seconds of the semifinal match. The freshman heavyweight won the championship with a pin 3:30 into the bout against Kutztown's Nate Raudenbush.

Sophomore Michael Beals was the fourth seed in the 113-pound class. He suffered a tough 11-9 loss in the quarterfinals against Cody Reimert of Hamburg.

Trevor Huber competed in the 152-pound bracket. The fourth-seeded sophomore suffered a loss in the semis and also came up short in the third-place match, losing to Elco's Carson Nell. Huber finished fourth in the weight class.

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Braves Cap Season Against A-C and Columbia February 9, 2018

The Pequea Valley boys' basketball team finished strong despite two season-ending losses. The Braves faced Lancaster-Lebanon League opponents Annville-Cleona and Columbia last week.

The Braves were holding a 37-29 lead after three quarters. The Crimson Tide overcame the deficit with a 20-7 run in the fourth for a 49-44 victory at Kinzers on Wednesday night.

"It was the best defensive game we've played all season," said Thad Rittenhouse, the head coach of the Braves, who fell to 2-12 in the league (3-19 overall). "What hurt us in the game was fouls."

Senior Luke Purcell led the Braves offensively, scoring a game-high 19 points, including a three pointer.

"Luke's performance offensively was his best all season," Rittenhouse remarked. "Most of his shots were from the inside. He was able to drive and finish.

"He also rebounded well," added the coach. "His best game he saved for the last game of his high school career."

Malachi Glick also hit a three-pointer and finished with 13 points. Nathan Kovalick scored six points and Devon Colyer went 4-for-4 at the foul line for four points.

"Devon fouled out in the third quarter and that hurt us," said Rittenhouse. "He's a great ball handler. Ryan Lockhart was out too. He's our big center."

In a Friday night game at Annville-Cleona on February 2, the Braves came up short in a 66-52 final. PV came on strong in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Dutchmen 27-15, but it was too little too late in a game where the Braves did not get off to a good start.

"We couldn't buy a bucket in the first half," Rittenhouse lamented. "We didn't shoot well. When we would get a good look, the ball wouldn't go in. We also had too many turnovers.

"We scored 39 in the second half," he added. "It was a tale of two halves."

Glick scored a game high 22, draining three treys on the night.

"Malachi shot the ball extremely well - especially in the second half," stated Rittenhouse. "That was part of what helped bring us back. The players rebounded well too."

Colyer, another one of the Braves' offensive threats, scored 18 on the night. Half of those points came on three-point field goals. Lockhart had four points, putting up two layups.

"They played a zone defense on us and we struggled with that," Rittenhouse explained.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

With their second highest point total of the season, the girls' basketball team improved to 7-7 in Section Three and 12-10 overall with a dominating 73-47 home victory over Columbia last Tuesday. The team had previously scored 72 points against Lancaster Mennonite, and Columbia in their first half meeting.

The girls got off to a solid start, winning the first quarter 19-14 but took charge for good over the middle two frames, outpointing the Tide 45-21. Columbia, behind a game-high 22 points from Janeah Neal, did win the final quarter, 12-9, but the damage was done.

Sommer Reeser led four Braves in double figures with 18 points, including four triples. Clara Neff added 14 points and Abbey Leslie hit ten. Both dropped in a pair of treys as the Braves hit nine times from long range. Caroline Horst also hit double figures with 11 while Bethany Bills was just off the mark with nine.

The Braves were coming off another crushing result, this one a 64-42 victory over Annville-Cleona on Friday, February 2.

Unlike the Columbia game, Pequea used a strong first and fourth quarter effort to pull away from the Dutchmen. Behind 20 point performances by both Neff and Reeser, the Braves jumped out to a 17-8 first quarter lead and, after winning the middle frames 31-26, pulled away with a 16-8 advantage down the stretch.

Neff and Reeser also accounted for seven of Pequea's ten made three's with Marlena Ferry's nine points coming on three triples. Lydia Caciola, Bills and Leslie each added four points.

The girls will enter the District Three Class 3A playoffs as the No. 4 seed.

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Miller Wins Outstanding Wrestler Award February 2, 2018

The L-L League Wrestling Championships took place at Garden Spot High School on Friday and Saturday, January 26-27.

And the athlete who came away with the D. Kenneth Ober Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament was Pequea Valley's Gabe Miller.

In a classic bout against Garden Spot's Connor Finkey, the PV junior was the winner in an 8-3 decision at 138. He was last year's 132-pound champ.

As a team, the Braves compiled 106.5 points and finished ninth overall in team standings. Manheim Central finished first with 219 points while 2017 champ Northern Lebanon finished second with 203 team points.

Miller pinned Hector Colon of Lampeter-Strasburg 2:52 into the opening-round bout. He pinned Hayden Shreiner of Warwick in half that time (1:21) before defeating Finkey in the title match.

Junior Joey Coblentz opened with a 5-3 loss in overtime to Zac Bicevskis of Hempfield in the 285-pound bracket. Coblentz defeated Eddie Torres of Lebanon on a quick pin, 38 seconds into the consolation quarterfinals. He then topped Austin Shaver of Cocalico 5-1 and in a rematch with Bicevskis got a pin at 2:45 of the third-place match.

Conner Walsh also had a third-place finish, earning it in the 138-pound class. The PV senior pinned Bobby Walters of Elizabethtown and Ramon Estevez of L-S in the first two rounds.

After a 9-6 loss to Gunner Gehr of Garden Spot in the semis, Walsh came on strong in the consolation matches, topping David Over of Manheim Township in another pin. He recorded his fourth pin of the tournament, topping Chad Mowbray of Penn Manor 2:13 into the third-place bout.

Jace Beegle lost a close 5-2 decision to Garden Spot's Mason Casey at 106. The loss came after Beegle's 7-2 victory over Hunter Erb of L-S. Beegle battled back and won the fifth-place match 14-0 - a major decision over Jordan Holland of McCaskey.

Nate Miller earned seventh for Pequea, doing so in the 220-pound class. He pinned his first opponent but came up short against Cocalico's Ben Fromm. In the consi's he topped Conestoga Valley's Leo Marente 3-0 and won the seventh-place match, pinning Noah Myers of E-town in 3:53.

The Elco Raiders edged the Braves 42-39 at Pequea Valley on Wednesday night in a Section Three match.

Walsh and Gabe Miller opened with pins at 138 and 145 respectively, followed by Trevor Huber's 7-4 decision at 152, giving the Braves a 15-0 lead.

The Raiders charged back with two pins and a pair of Pequea forfeits, taking the lead at 24-15 before Nate Miller's pin cut that deficit to 24-21.

Coblentz won the heavyweight bout on a first-period pin and Beegle pinned at 106, making it 33-24 Braves.

Mike Beals added another pin for the Braves, making it 39-24 before three straight forfeits gave the match to the Raiders.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

The Pequea Valley boys' basketball team came up short in a non-league game against Schuylkill Valley on Monday. The Panthers posted a 56-38 victory over the Braves at Pequea Valley.

"We struggled offensively from the floor," said head coach Thad Rittenhouse. "We also had a lot of turnovers that hurt us."

The score was close at the midway point as the Panthers took a 31-22 advantage. In the third quarter, they held Pequea to only four points, helping build a bigger lead.

"We were competitive in the first half," Rittenhouse said. "The second half got away from us."

Pequea's Dalton Temple led the squad with 13 points, including three three-point field goals.

"Dalton shot well in that game," Rittenhouse said.

Malachi Glick added eight points and Devon Colyer scored seven, including a three-pointer.

"A lot of teams will collapse on Devon and try to take away from him driving," noted Rittenhouse.

The Braves fell to 3-16 overall with the loss to Schuylkill Valley.

The Elco Raiders posted a Lancaster-Lebanon League victory over the Braves on Tuesday, using a strong 20-7 third-quarter run en route to a 54-34 win.

"We struggled in terms of shooting the ball - especially in the third quarter," Rittenhouse remarked. "We also had some key turnovers."

Pequea Valley fell to 3-12 in the league while the Raiders improved to 7-5 (10-10 overall).

Colyer tied Elco's Braden Bohannon for the top-scoring honors in the game with 13 points. He made a pair of three-point shots. Glick scored all seven of his points from the foul line.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

The girls' basketball team poured it on against Schuylkill Valley on Monday, winning the non-league game 61-48. It improved the Braves' record to 10-8.

"We played very well in the second half as we extended our three-point lead in the third quarter," said head coach Jason McDonald. "We hustled and rebounded the ball very well. With our great defensive rebounding, we were able to get into transition very well."

A big part of the rebounding came from Caroline Horst, who hauled in 15 boards and also scored 12 points. Clara Neff had seven rebounds while Marlena Ferry grabbed six boards.

Sommer Reeser led all scorers with 23 points. She made five three-pointers. Ferry scored 17 points, including a three-pointer. She also nabbed four steals and dished out three assists.

Jamie Stephan scored five points, grabbed two rebounds and a steal. Abbey Leslie led the team in assists with eight, and also helped with two steals and four boards.

The Braves lost their lone league game of the week, falling to Elco in a close 56-50 final on the road Tuesday. The Braves fell to 5-7 in the league and 10-9 overall.

"We played hard, but were out rebounded, and we struggled making shots," McDonald remarked. "This was the type of game that will get us ready for the post-season. It showed us that we have to come out aggressive every night if we want to win."

It was an up-and-down first half as the Braves took a 19-16 lead into the second quarter but found themselves behind 34-28 at halftime. The six-point margin translated into the winning one for Elco as both teams scored 22 in the second half.

Reeser led Pequea with 13 points, including a pair of treys. The rest of the offense was evenly distributed. Bethany Bills scored nine as did Neff, who had 10 rebounds. Horst, who had a team-high 13 rebounds, and Leslie each scored eight.

Ferry had four rebounds while Lydia Cacciola grabbed five boards.

In another non-league game, the Braves lost 56-47 to Twin Valley on the road Wednesday night. The Raiders scored 14 in each of the final two periods.

"We played hard and with great energy," McDonald said. "Unfortunately, we did not make enough shots. "On nights like this, we have to limit the opposing team's offensive rebounds. We gave up 20 offensive boards.

"We played great defense initially, but struggled finishing the possession," continued the coach. "On the offensive end, we executed our plays. We just missed the shots, which was uncharacteristic of us."

Reeser led the way with 19 points and Horst scored 10 more while hauling in 10 rebounds and assisting on seven baskets. Leslie had seven points and seven boards. Neff added nine points and seven rebounds. Bills also had seven rebounds.

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Braves Sit at 5-5 in Section Three, 9-7 Overall January 26, 2018

It has been an up-and-down season for the Pequea Valley girls' basketball team. And the Braves' 5-5 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League exemplifies that description.

This past week, prior to a non-league loss at Kennard-Dale, the Braves took on league rivals Lancaster Catholic and Lancaster Mennonite. The games against Lancaster Mennonite and Kennard-Dale were on successive nights with Pequea posting a 72-45 L-L League win against LMH.

In an away game with Section Three foe Lancaster Catholic on Friday, January 19, the Braves held their own and, in fact, took a 33-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.

"We were leading in the third quarter and were just out-rebounded in the fourth," said head coach Jason McDonald. "We played extremely well and the kids put together a tremendous game."

The Crusaders outscored the Braves 24-13 in a wild third quarter and held back the Braves in the fourth.

"We pressed them and changed defenses constantly," McDonald said. "I was very proud of how focused the kids were."

Sommer Reeser had a team-high 21 for Pequea, racking up a dozen of those points on the four three-pointers she drilled. She also had five rebounds, five assists, one block as well as a steal.

Bethany Bills, who led the team with seven rebounds, and Caroline Horst scored eight points each. Horst also had five rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. Marlena Ferry (4 points) added three steals.

Kiki Jefferson led Catholic with 27 points.

Pequea evened its league record at 5-5 with the victory over Lancaster Mennonite on Tuesday. The first half saw the Braves outscore the Blazers by 10 points in each of the first two quarters, taking a 35-15 lead into the locker room.

"We played an amazing game," McDonald said. "We pressed all over the floor and the kids hustled to make steals or to make LMH play out of their comfort zone or pace. We contested shots and worked hard as team."

Reeser had a game-high 20 points and Horst added 15. The hustle was evident in Reeser's stats as she came away with eight steals and four rebounds.

Clara Neff, who finished with six points, pulled down 10 rebounds. Lydia Cacciola and Abbey Leslie (5 points) each had five rebounds and three steals. Bills and Ferry each scored eight points with six of Ferry's points coming on a pair of three-point baskets. She also had four rebounds while Bills grabbed five and dished out four assists.

"We out-rebounded them 46-35," McDonald noted. "If we keep playing this way, we again will be tough to beat. This may be the best we've played as far as tempo and moving the ball."

Against Kennard-Dale one night later, the Braves suffered a 73-54 loss. The visiting Braves made a comeback bid early on, outscoring the Rams by seven points in the second quarter. It closed a nine-point gap to only a 33-31 deficit by halftime. The Rams, however, outscored the Braves 40-23 after the break.

The team's leading scorer again was Reeser, this time putting up 16 points, including two treys. Leslie added 13, Bills had a 10-point game, and Horst netted nine.

The team's overall record fell to 9-7.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

The boys' basketball team opened the week with its second L-L League win of the season. The Braves defeated Lebanon Catholic 80-61, earning their second win over the Beavers this season and improving to 3-14 overall.

"We shot the ball well and worked better as a team," said head coach Thad Rittenhouse. "We rebounded well and limited our turnovers."

Freshman Devon Colyer scored a game-high 27 points, netting 12 of those points on three-point shots. He was also a perfect 5-for-5 at the foul line.

"He had a good game on both ends of the court," commented Rittenhouse. "Devon took good quality shots and made them. He was consistent throughout the game, shooting at a high percentage. And when he would get fouled, he would make the shots."

Malachi Glick was also on fire, finishing with 19 points. His scoring included a three-pointer as did Luke Purcell's points total of 17.

"Malachi played well," said Rittenhouse. "Devon, Malachi and Luke shot the lights out. Luke drove to the baskets and made his foul shots too."

Ryan Lockhard and junior Jaylan Neff scored nine and eight points, respectively.

Humberto Valerio led the Beavers with 24 points. Kyle Kauffman, who hit four three-pointers, finished with 22.

Pequea Valley suffered a 77-34 loss at Lancaster Mennonite on Tuesday. The Blazers improved to 7-2 in the L-L League.

"Mennonite is a very strong team with a lot of solid basketball players," said Rittenhouse. "It's very tough in our league because the top three teams are among the top five in the district too."

Glick led the Braves with 13 points, shooting three three-pointers, and Colyer scored eight points.

"Other teams are usually all over him - they really key on him with a lot of pressure," Rittenhouse said of Colyer.

Kennard-Dale downed the Braves 66-28 on Wednesday night as Joey Thomas scored a game-high 20 for the Rams. Glick again led the team with 13 points while Purcell chipped in eight more.

"Kennard Dale is a very good team at Quad-A level," Rittenhouse remarked. "It's tough to play teams that go nine or ten players deep."

WRESTLING

The Braves suffered a 52-27 loss at Donegal on Wednesday as the Indians claimed five of their wins via PV forfeits.

Conner Walsh won the first bout that was contested. At 138, he claimed a 19-8 major decision over Mason Ober. By that time, the 120, 126 and 132 had gone to the Indians by way of forfeits, giving them a quick 18-0 lead.

Gabe Miller (145) got back three more points for Pequea, winning an 18-2 technical fall, and cutting the deficit to 18-9.

Dylan Jackson, at 152, had a solid outing, posting a pin at the 3:17 mark, making it 18-15 Donegal.

Will Small (160), Ryan Stalnecker (170) and Kyle Bixler (182) actually earned the next 18 points for Donegal, registering pins in their respective weight classes. Another Pequea forfeit (195) had the Braves in a 42-15 hole before Nate Miller pinned Joe Sheaffer 54 seconds into the 220-pound bout.

The Braves fell to 3-2 in league competition.

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Glick Nets 24 for Braves Against Annville-Cleona January 12, 2018

In a battle between Section Three rivals, the Pequea Valley boys' basketball team welcomed Annville-Cleona on Tuesday evening.

The Little Dutchmen overcame an early deficit to take a 26-19 lead into the locker room at halftime. The visitors came out of the gate even faster in the second half, outscoring the Braves 19-4 en route to a 65-47 victory.

Pequea Valley, which fell to 1-5 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League (2-10 overall) did turn it on in the fourth quarter, outscoring A-C by a 24-20 margin. The Dutchmen had come into the game without a league win. With this win they improved to 5-7 overall.

The one player for whom the Dutchmen could not find an answer was PV senior Malachi Glick. He scored 24 of his team's 47 points, hitting from three-point range three times.

Jaylan Neff had a pair of three-point field goals and finished with eight points while teammate Devon Colyer scored six points.

The Dutchmen had a balanced attack as four different players finished with double digits in points. Andrew Long led the team with 14 points while Noah Myers and Donald Friday each tallied 13. Ryan Matthews connected twice from three-point land and had a total of 12 points.

In their previous game, which was played on Saturday January 6, the Braves faced the high-scoring Elco Raiders, who were coming off a 75-68 win at Annville-Cleona.

The Raiders improve to 3-2 in the L-L League with an 83-38 victory over Pequea Valley. They went on to score over 80 points in their next game - an 84-48 defeat of Columbia on Tuesday.

In the Elco game, Glick had the hot hand again, scoring 17 points for PV. He drilled four three-pointers while Colyer connected on one three-point shot and finished with nine points. Nathan Kovalick added six more points.

Asher Kemble made eight baskets and went 4-for-4 at the foul line for his game-high 20 points on the Elco side.

WRESTLING

For the Pequea Valley wrestling team, it has been quite an accomplishment forging ahead to a 3-1 league record despite injuries, illnesses and weather conditions being such negative factors.

"We haven't been able to get into practice much with the snow," head coach David Finger said in a phone interview. "It showed last night."

The night in question where effects of minimal practice time were evident was Wednesday evening when the Braves faced Northern Lebanon at Kinzers. The Vikings posted a 72-6 victory as three of the weight classes were forfeited by the Braves while two others - 126 and 132 - went to Northern Lebanon on injury defaults.

"Obviously the injuries didn't help us plus the three forfeits," Finger added.

Gabe Miller notched a pin at the 145-pound weight class. Pequea's Nate Miller had a tough battle at 220 before coming up short in a 5-2 decision against the Vikings' Luis Negrerios.

One of the team's top wrestlers has also been suffering through an injury.

"Tanner Ball has been battling a sore shoulder," Finger explained. "He may be out another week.

"With sore shoulders and knees, we haven't been able to get our groove," continued the coach. "The flu bug has hit us too."

Also, sophomore Lexi Batton has been out with an injury.

"It certainly has hurt having Tanner and Lexi out," said Finger.

"But we've done fairly well in the league so far," he added. "We have two more league matches coming up. If everybody gets back, we have a good solid team and a shot."

Aside from the Lancaster Catholic Duals where the Braves went 3-2, beating Hanover, LC and Western York, the team's prior match was back on December 21 against L-L League foe Columbia.

With a pin by Nate Miller at 195 and a 6-4 decision by Dylan Jackson, the Braves went on to post a 45-0 victory, collecting 36 points via Crimson Tide forfeits.

Finger did remark that despite the injuries, he is more fortunate this year as he has a potentially complete roster of kids.

"We only had six kids last year - six very tough kids," he recalled. "Even with 14 kids in the room this year, it can be tough keeping them all healthy."

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The Pequea girls' basketball team earned its second league win of the season, topping Annville-Cleona on the road Tuesday. The Braves posted a 66-39 victory, taking a 33-17 lead into the second half and continuing to add to the lead. The exclamation point on this win was a 19-9 fourth quarter run. The win improved the Braves' league record to 2-3 (6-4 overall).

"We played very well in the first half, but we gave up too many offensive rebounds," commented head coach Jason McDonald. "In the second half we played a cleaner game and rebounded better."

Pequea's Sommer Reeser made seven three-pointers and finished with a game-high 29 points. She also grabbed two steals and registered a block.

Caroline Horst dished out eight assists and grabbed seven rebounds. In her all-purpose basketball clinic, Horst also had eight steals and three blocks while finding time to score nine points.

Bethany Bills, who hauled in six rebound, had 10 points, three of which came on a long-range field goal.

Marlena Ferry was also part of the reason McDonald was impressed with the rebounding. She had six boards while also giving out four assists. She nabbed the ball from the A-C side three times and also put up five points.

Clara Neff scored six and pulled down five rebounds.

"Annville-Cleona struggled with our full-court pressure and the pace of our game," McDonald said. "When we trap hard and run the floor like we did in this game, we are tough to beat.

"This is a great group of kids," the coach commented. "They listen, they play hard and they're very scrappy. They want to win."

Pequea Valley improved to 3-3, 7-4 with a Thursday win at home, beating Elco 49-42. The Braves held the Raiders to only five points in the second quarter and six in the fourth.

The third quarter of this game was a wild one. Both teams scored 19 points, heading into the final stanza with the Braves on top 40-36.

Reeser's 18-point production was tops in the game while Julia Nelson led the Raiders with 17.

Bills added 13 more for the Braves and Clara Neff finished with seven points.

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PV Lady Booters Fall in District Semis to Top Seed November 5, 2017

The Pequea Valley girls' soccer team was coming off a 2-1 triumph over Trinity in the District Three Class-AA quarterfinals when it traveled to Lower Dauphin Middle School on Tuesday for a semifinal match against Boiling Springs.

The Braves took an 11-6-2 record into the game, but their bid for reaching the district finals was denied by the top-seeded Bubblers (15-5) in a 3-0 final.

The game was close at the half as the Braves trailed by a 1-0 margin.

"We had to push forward to try and get ourselves a goal and get us back into the game," explained head coach Kent Buohl. "Unfortunately, we gave one up. They added another one on a direct kick late in the game.

"I thought we played a good game against a good team," continued the coach. "They capitalized on their shots. We gave them four good scoring opportunities and they scored on three. We couldn't get that final push to give ourselves a chance."

Olivia Olsen scored the first-half goal for Boiling Springs. Kayla Garman added another goal midway into the second half and Maddie Hughes capped the scoring in the 71st minute of the match.

The Braves' season ended at 11-7-2 as the district doesn't offer a consolation match for Class 2A or allow more than the two finalists into the PIAA state championships.

"Unfortunately they don't have that for double-A," Buohl noted. "This is the furthest our program has gone. We're trying to build a stronger program and each year we can hopefully continue to go further into the playoffs. You try to do a little better each year. We're building a culture where we expect to win every year - to be competitive. Over the past three years we've done a little better each year than the one before."

The Trinity game was a testament to Pequea Valley's success this year. The Braves defeated one of the strongest programs in the state when they edged the fourth-seeded Shamrocks (11-7-1) at Camp Hill on Saturday, October 28.

"They won the state championship three of the last four years," Buohl noted. "So they have a pretty good squad. We played extremely well against them."

Grace Martin gave PV a 1-0 lead six minutes into the match. Lydia Cacciola scored the team's second goal, which came in the 60th minute. Kalyn Keen and Alyssa Yoder each had an assist.

"Grace Martin broke free and put the ball into the corner of the net after three one-touch passes," Buohl explained. "Katelyn Keen had the assist.

"It was back-and-forth the rest of the game," he added. "We didn't give up too many chances. Their one goal came on a really nice shot from 20 yards out. It got inside the far post and tied the score."

Junior goalkeeper Kyrsten Jarvis made eight saves to help Pequea Valley advance to the semis.

"With 10 minutes left, she made a beautiful save," Buohl said. "For the final seven minutes they didn't get any shots. We closed out the game."

One of the keys to the Braves' victory was taking away the style of soccer the Shamrocks like to play.

"We played a very high-pressure game all over the field," Buohl explained. "They like to possess the ball and knock it around. We pressured it and didn't give them a chance to do that. One of our girls challenged them each time they got the ball."

Buohl addressed the team's returning talent as well as graduating class for 2018.

"I'm losing six seniors, but I have quality players coming back and coming up - some freshmen and sophomores," he said.

Cacciola is one of the seniors who'll be leaving the team along with Leona Stoltzfus and Danielle Byers.

"They were my starting seniors," Buohl said. "Lydia will be playing at Messiah College next year and that shows that we are growing.

"Our goalie and three of four defenders are coming back as well as our entire midfield."

FOOTBALL

Pequea Valley wrapped up its 2017 campaign on a winning note, defeating Elco in a Section Three road game on Friday night.

The box score showed that the Braves topped the Raiders 28-27, stopping the home team's attempt for a two-point conversion after a Braden Bohannon touchdown pass had pulled Elco to within one point with 13 seconds to play.

The victory that improved the Braves' record 3-7 overall and to 2-4 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, was more than just an addition in the "W" column, however, according to head coach Mike Choi.

"It's one of those games that we've been waiting for a long time because we haven't been able to close out games," said Choi.

"You have a tough year but have an opportunity at the end of the year to play a game that means so much," Choi continued. "We had a long drought against those guys; we hadn't beaten them since 2002. Therefore, it was a wonderful way for our seniors to end their careers at Pequea."

The Raiders (2-8, 1-5 Section Three) and the Braves were tied 14-14 at the half. Bohannon scored both Elco touchdowns in the first half while Ryan Smith scored two for the Braves - both on scoring passes from senior quarterback Jordan Lapp, who finished the game with eight completions for 174 yards and three touchdowns.

"Offensively we were keeping them off-balance," Choi commented. "Jordan Lapp was able to complete eight of 17 passes for three touchdowns. What set those up was our ability to run the ball effectively.

"It was a collective effort," continued the coach. "Everyone ran the ball well, putting pressure on their defense. It then opened up our passing game. Our offensive line - whether we asked them to run block or protect for the passing game - did a tremendous job."

Smith caught an eight-yarder and a 23-yard pass from Lapp for Pequea's second-quarter touchdowns. Senior Ryan Lockhart converted on both PAT kicks.

In the second half, the Braves pulled ahead by 14 points thanks to a 33-yard TD pass from Lapp to Dalton Temple and another scoring drive capped by Tim Malloy's one-yard surge over the goal line.

"Dalton has come up big for us all year," Choi said. "He came out this year after we did all we could to convince him to come out for the football team. He has been averaging significant yards on receptions.

He finds ways to get open, running excellent routes.

"He's our starting corner and we match him up against the toughest receiver for every opponent," Choi added.

Following the first touchdown, the Braves were unable to convert the PAT. So, Dylan Jackson scored on a two-point conversion to make it a 14-point game following Malloy's TD.

The Raiders came back thanks to two Bohannon touchdown passes - both to John Reynolds. The second one came with only 13 seconds on the clock, making it 28-27 Braves.

"We fumbled the ball with 58 seconds left," Choi explained. "They came down and scored with 13 seconds to go. The Elco coach decided to go for two points to win the game."

Choi gave credit to how the defense stood up to the Raiders' attempt to score on a two-pointer for the win rather than kicking the PAT for the tie.

"You've given up a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter," he said. "It's easy to hang your head and a lot of teams may do that. It was nice to see our kids make the play in that key moment. We stayed with our assignment. Tanner Ball came on and made a big defensive play."

Bohannon tossed a lateral back to one of his offensive linemen who, in turn, was going to find an open receiver in the end zone.

"Their quarterback threw the ball back behind him to their tackle, who had dropped back, so that gave him the ability to throw the ball," Choi said, explaining the eligibility of the lineman in that play. "The quarterback had rolled out to the right and tried to get us to pursue the play that way.

"With a lot of moving parts like that, it's hard to stay disciplined," he added. "We didn't hang our heads; we responded in a positive way - not just for the outcome of the game, but for the growth of our program."

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Braves Battle Dutchmen, Fall Just Short October 29, 2017

Pequea Valley head coach Mike Choi had anticipated a close contest between his Braves and the Little Dutchmen for Friday night's football game at Annville-Cleona. Choi's prediction was fairly accurate.

"We're two similar teams - we both run a triple option," Choi had said prior to the game. "It's going to be a quick game. It could come down to the fourth quarter."

In the Section Three clash, the Dutchmen came back from a 14-8 halftime deficit with a third-quarter touchdown and carried the slim one-point lead into the fourth quarter where a 49-yard sprint to the Braves' end zone by Noah Myers gave them their 22-14 margin of victory.

"It was exactly what I thought it was going to be," Choi said a week after the prediction quote above. "Both teams run similar styles. On film it looked like we matched up pretty well. And you know, we went into the fourth quarter with the score 15-14."

For Myers, it was his third touchdown of the game. He had scored on a one-yard carry in the first quarter - a touchdown after which the Dutchmen successfully converted a two-point PAT - and had scored on a 27-yard run that gave his team the 15-14 lead just over four minutes into the second half.

The victory improved Annville-Cleona's record to 6-3 and upped it to 3-2 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League while the Braves fell to 2-7 and 1-4.

The Braves jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the opening period, capping their drive on quarterback Jordan Lapp's five-yard rushing touchdown. Ryan Lockhart kicked the ball through the uprights to make it 7-0.

After the TD and two-point PAT gave the home team an 8-7 lead, the Braves responded with another scoring drive which ended on Lapp sneaking it over the goal line from a yard out. Lockhart's kick made it 14-8 in the second quarter, giving PV a halftime edge.

"We had the ball in the red zone four times," Choi pointed out. "We missed a field goal and we were knocking on the door near the end of the game also. We couldn't make that one play to tie the game.

"Offensively we couldn't make that one big play to get us over the top," continued the coach.

Choi gave credit to Myers and his performance.

"Their senior quarterback stepped up and made a big play," said the Pequea coach. "He's a tough kid who made good plays.

"But on top of that, a couple of missed assignments defensively hurt us," Choi continued. "When you're playing the triple option you can't have missed assignments or the opponent will take advantage. We needed to be a little tighter. You make 50 or 60 plays and make mistakes on three of them, it ends up in your end zone."

The Braves were able to move the ball effectively despite an injured running corps. Both Tim Malloy and Ryan Smith left last week's game with injuries.

"Dylan Jackson, a junior who doesn't have a lot of carries, had over 100 yards," Choi pointed out. "He stepped up for us.

"Ryan Smith played a limited role because of his shoulder being banged up," added the coach. "Tim Malloy was playing with a club on his hand, so carrying the ball was not something we could do with him.

"Given the issues we had, we still did a good job moving the ball up and down the field," said Choi "I give our offensive line lots of credit. "But when you have an opportunity to score, you have to score. Annville is a really good football team and we put together a good game. So, if we are a little more consistent, we can beat a good football team."

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Braves Battle Indians in Section Three Football October 22, 2017

Pequea Valley's football team visited Donegal on Friday night for a Section Three football game. The Braves, with two key injuries, struggled to contain the Indians' offense as Donegal posted a 49-0 victory. The win evened Donegal's overall record at 4-4 while improving the Indians' Lancaster-Lebanon League record to 3-1. The Braves fell to 2-6, 1-3.

"It was a frustrating game," said head coach Mike Choi. "Our game plan was to come in and start fast. Unfortunately, it worked the other way.

"We had them on a third-down and 15 and we blew a coverage," Choi said of the team's first defensive stance. "Otherwise, we get the stop and get the ball back after their initial possession."

Donegal instead marched down the field and scored on Nick Kettner's first touchdown of the game. The senior running back finished with five touchdowns as he gained 170 yards on 10 carries.

The injuries to Pequea running backs Timothy Malloy and Ryan Smith stalled the Braves' offense early in the game. For Smith, it was a lingering injury from the previous week's game with Lancaster Catholic. With Malloy, it was a broken finger that sidelined him in the first quarter of Friday night's game.

"Ryan had a separated shoulder in the Lancaster Catholic game," Choi explained. "He rested it during the week and he tried to play Friday night, but it hurt too much. There was no way I was risking his health."

Smith is one of the two-way players on this depleted roster for Pequea Valley.

"Ryan was on his way to 100 tackles for us this year," continued the coach. "He and Nate Kovalick are the heart and soul of our defense. Without those guys we struggled on defense. Without them on the field it hurts - especially against a team that runs a Wing-T as Donegal does."

Malloy made attempts to return to the game, but eventually had to bow out.

"Tim tried to come back a couple of times after resetting his broken finger," Choi said. "He eventually said that he thought he was hurting the team more than helping with his injured finger.

"He has it in a cast," Choi added. "If he gets permission from the doctors to play, he'll have to play the next game with a cast."

After Kettner scored on a 40-yard run to spark the Indians' attack in the first quarter, the team came right back and made it 14-0 on Kettner's three-yard TD run.

"When we couldn't hold them on their initial possession, we had to now go back and answer," said Choi. "We felt good about what we had planned, but we threw an interception. They went down and scored, making us play catch-up."

Keeryen Stevens, who had that interception on PV's first drive of the game, caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter. By that time, the Indians had already taken a 35-0 lead on four Kettner touchdowns and a three-yard TD run by Tyler Rupp.

The Indians scored 21 points in each of the first two periods. Kettner capped the scoring with a third-quarter TD to make it 49-0.

"Their offense did a good job isolating one of our young linebackers - releasing their guards on him," said Choi. "They took advantage of our issues with a good game plan."

The Braves' next game will be at Annville-Cleona. The Little Dutchmen are 2-2 in the league and 5-3 overall.

"We're two similar teams - we both run a triple option," Choi noted. "Their coaches do a good job.

"It's going to be a quick game," he continued. "It could come down to the fourth quarter. Two years ago it was a heck of a game when we were both very balanced. This year they've started the year off pretty well but have fallen off over the past couple of weeks. So, you don't know what to expect."

There may also be a revenge factor involved, Choi added.

"Last year they put up 55 points on us," he said. "Those of us who were here haven't forgotten last year's game."

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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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