PV's Miller Takes PIAA Silver March 15, 2019
Pequea Valley's Gabe Miller brought home the silver medal from the PIAA Class-AA wrestling championships, which were held at Hershey's Giant Center, Thursday through Saturday, March 7-9.
In the championship match of the 145-pound weight class, Miller lost to Andrew Cerniglia of Notre Dame Green Pond by a 14-0 count
Miller opened the tournament with a convincing 9-3 defeat of Jake Pall from Freedom Area.
His next opponent was Kameron Kline of Midd-West, whom he pinned 3:27 into the quarterfinal match.
Miller kept on pouring on the points against Nicholas Rosengrant of Saucon Valley. He blanked the SV senior 8-0 to earn a shot at the title.
Joey Coblentz, who wrestled at 220, also opened with a victory, registering a 6-2 win against T.J Meehan of Lake-Lehman.
Derry Area's Dominic DeLuca, who was the Southwest Regional champ and eventual second-place finisher at states, pinned Coblentz, sending the PV senior into the consolation brackets.
In his wrestleback attempt, Coblentz lost to Kolby Frank of Wilson Area. He finished the season with a 37-12 record.
Sophomore Jace Beegle, who had finished fourth in the District Three 2A Southeast Regionals, lost a close 6-5 decision in the preliminary round to Nate Yagle of McGuffey.
In the consolations, David Kreider of Central Catholic won another close one over Beegle, beating the PV sophomore 3-0.
Miller Wrestles to District Fourth Place March 8, 2019
Pequea Valley's wrestling team was represented by four tough competitors at the Southeast Regionals of the PIAA Class 2A wrestling championships. The regionals took place at Wilson High School on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2.
Gabe Miller, a senior with a regional championship already among his career achievements, wrestled his way past some formidable foes as he went on to win the title at the 145-pound weight class. Meanwhile, Jace Beegle finished fourth at 113, also earning a trip with Miller to the PIAA 2A state tournament at the Giant Center.
In addition, Dylan Jackson and Joey Coblentz wrestled at Wilson, with the latter making it to the quarterfinals of the 220-pound class.
Miller pinned Andrew Cerniglia of Notre Dame Green Pond late in the third period of the title match. Cerniglia held a lead for much of the match until Miller pulled even and finally registered the pin at the 5:39 mark of the match.
In the quarterfinals on Friday, Miller held on for a 9-4 victory over Jordan Rosengrant of Saucon Valley and started his wrestling on Saturday with a narrow 5-4 decision against Nathan Haubert of Palisades in the semis.
Significant in the championship for Miller, who had earned last years' title at 132, was that he toppled the top three wrestlers from District Eleven.
Beegle won a pair of matches on Friday at 113. He had a technical fall in the first round and a third-period pin in the quarterfinals, where he downed Christian Doi of Camp Hill at the 5:30 mark.
Beegle advanced to the semis with Miller. In Saturday's semifinal, Adam Jacob of East Pennsboro managed to eke out a 4-0 victory, forcing Beegle into the consis where he faced a familiar foe. Beegle pinned Matthew Inman of Annville-Cleona early in the match, needing only 1:15 to notch the fall.
That victory advanced Beegle to the third-place match where Luke Fegley of Middletown came up with a narrow escape, topping the Pequea sophomore 1-0.
At 220, Beegle came up short against Tyrone Fowler of Bishop McDevitt in the fifth-place match on Saturday.
His quest in the regionals began with an 11-1 major decision on Friday, downing Patrick Whittle of Lower Moreland. Suffering a pin in the quarterfinals to Jim Thorpe's Ethan Mordaunt caused him to wrestle back in the consolations with a vengeance, notching a pin against Susquenita's Slade Figard 4:15 into that bout.
He also had a 3-1 decision in overtime, defeating Donny Gelnett of Upper Dauphin. But a tough 9-4 loss to Ethan Rode of Newport in the next round sent him to the fifth-place match.
Ryan Vulakh of Pope John Paul II earned a second-period pin over Jackson at 152. Jackson had to forfeit at the consolations.
Miller Wins 145-pound District Crown March 1, 2019
Pequea Valley advanced four wrestlers to the District Three Class-AA championships, including Gabe Miller, who won the145-pound weight class title in the Regionals that were held on Friday and Saturday, February 22-23.
Miller, who had a bye in the first round, continued to dominate just as he had the previous week at the sectionals held at Central Dauphin East. In this championship, he pinned Tyler Wright of Upper Dauphin in the quarterfinals and posted a second-period pin against Reese Bruner of Halifax in the semis.
Miller went on to claim the title with a pin that came 1:39 into the championship bout with Sean Getty of Camp Hill
The other wrestlers were Dylan Jackson, Jace Beegle and Joey Coblentz
Jackson was injured but managed to finish sixth in the 152-pound class. Suffering a loss to Dan Kosinski of Trinity sent Jackson to the consolation brackets, where he first handled Central York's Nate Robbins with a 13-5 major decision.
He worked a 7-2 decision of Aaron Shriner of Fairfield before his advance to the third-place match was stopped. Jackson had to forfeit the fifth-place match due to injury as Darien Wiest of Upper Dauphin claimed that spot.
Beegle took third at 113. The Pequea Valley sophomore's first win was a major decision, winning 15-4 against Andrew Degiglio of Newport. He posted another major, this one by a 14-1 count against Brennan Schisler of Bermudian Springs.
Luke Fegley of Middletown halted Beegle in the semis. Following Beegles' 4-0 win in the consolation semis, he lost to Matt Inman of Annville-Cleona in the third-place match with Inman winning a 6-2 decision.
At 220, Coblentz earned a first-round bye and then came through with a solid 7-0 decision over Quincy Reinnagel of Middletown. Don Gelnett of Upper Dauphin, the eventual second-place finisher, defeated Coblentz in a tough 5-2 semifinal match.
The Pequea senior responded with a 16-0 technical fall and took the third-place position with a 4-2 defeat of Zach Ruffner from Tulpehocken.
Lady Braves Fall in District Three Playoffs February 22, 2019
The Pequea Valley girls' basketball team reached the District III Class-AAA playoffs and traveled to Susquenita for the opening round Tuesday, February 19. The Braves came in with a 16-5 mark and seeded fifth in the 3A brackets.
It was a back-and-forth contest with the Braves coming out of the locker room trailing the Indians by only two points to start the second half, 20-18. Though Susquenita outscored the visitors 16-8 in the third quarter, Pequea put up a strong fight in the fourth, finally coming up short, 45-43. The Indians improved to 21-2 while the Braves wrapped up the season at 16-6.
"We started the game really well, but struggled in the second and third quarters, missing some layups," head coach Jason McDonald remarked. "We were amazing in the fourth quarter. Our press caused turnovers and we were hitting our shots. In the fourth we made a big comeback.
"It's not how you want to go out," he added. "We played hard and that's all you can ask for."
Marlena Ferry led the Braves in scoring with 15 points, including three three-pointers. Abbey Leslie, who also had three long-range baskets, finished with 14 points. Caroline Horst finished with six points.
Ferry had 19 points in the Braves' previous game - an opening-round loss to Lampeter-Strasburg in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs on February 7.
The Pioneers, who were runners-up in Section Three of the L-L League - like the Braves being runners-up in Section Five - posted a 50-41 victory. They took a six-point lead into the fourth and hung on, despite Ferry finishing with five three-pointers. Leslie scored seven for PV.
Jackie Martin and Emma Gochnauer each scored 13 for the Pioneers.
The team wrapped up an exciting 2018-19 campaign and will see seniors Ferry and Kyrstin Jarvis moving on.
"Marlena really played well down the stretch," McDonald said. "She has started for us since midway into her freshman year. Kyrstin was the perfect sixth man, coming off the bench to do whatever we asked her to do - rebound, play defense, make a shot. We'll still be tough, but we will miss those two.
"Overall we had a great group of kids this year," continued the coach. "They gave it everything they had. They were a fantastic group to coach."
The Braves had five wrestlers earn medals at the District Three Class-AA Section 2 sectionals on Friday and Saturday, February 15-16 at Central Dauphin East. Among them were two seniors earning first in their respective weight classes - 145-pound champ Gabe Miller and 220-pound weight class champion Joey Coblentz
In addition, senior Dylan Jackson (152) finished second while sophomore Jace Beegle earned third at 113.
"Jace has had a good season so far," head coach Rob King remarked. "He had a slow start, but once he got started, he battled hard and made solid improvements. We are looking for him to advance deep into the post-season and be a leader for our future wrestlers."
Aidan Cooke earned sixth in the 160-pound bracket. Following a pin against Steelton-Highspire's Luke McHugh, the PV junior came up short against Clay Frymoyer of Wyomissing.
In the consolations, Cooke grilled his first two opponents, registering a pin and later a technical fall against Annville-Cleona's Evan Heilman before suffering a loss via pin to eventual third-place finisher Ethan Herb of Northern Lebanon.
"Aidan is a determined young man," King commented. "I am excited to have him on our team. He has been dedicating himself to becoming a better wrestler."
Unfortunately, in the fifth-place match, Cooke had to forfeit due to injury.
Coblentz, who had a first-round bye, pinned Ben Bomberger of Northern Lebanon in merely 20 seconds. He won via forfeit in the semis and registered a pin in the championship match, making Zack Ruffner of Tulpehocken his victim at the 2:39 mark.
"Joey is a wrestler who just flat out enjoys the sport," King said. "He is always looking forward to the next event and his next challenge. Joey is expected to wrestle deep into the post-season. This is his senior year and we will definitely notice his absence in the wrestling room next year."
Beegle's pin against Octorara freshman Ty Walton came in the third period of the second round. He suffered a close 3-1 loss to Matt Inman of Annville-Cleona in the semis, but bounced back in the consolation semis with a 7-5 win and a pin 1:54 into the third-place bout.
Miller wrestled barely three minutes for the entire championship tournament. After a bye, he needed 1:16 to pin Kai Whitman of Northern Lebanon, pinned Mason McClair of Lancaster Catholic in only 32 seconds and claimed the title with a pin 1:11 into the championship bout, taking down Sean Getty of Camp Hill.
"Gabe has worked tirelessly on his skills and has been a mentor to younger wrestlers on the team," King said. "Currently, he is the most winning wrestler in Pequea Valley history and arguably one of the all-time greats. He is going to set records here that will last a very long time."
Jackson registered a pin in just 50 seconds before notching a 5-3 decision over Parker Rice of Camp Hill and an 8-5 win against Carson Neil of Eastern Lebanon. In the title bout, he fell to Northern Lebanon junior Nick Winters, who posted a pin for the championship.
"Dylan just works hard every day," said King. "Any obstacle that is in his way, he will brush aside and get back to work. He has been an asset to Pequea wrestling."
In addition, freshman Bobby Broomell won his opening-round match in the 285-pound bracket, posting a 1-0 decision. He suffered a loss to eventual champ Nick Goodyear of Northern Lebanon.
Before he was done, Broomell pinned Daniel Davies of A-C in the consolations but lost to Elijah Hernandez of Steelton on a fall.
Sophomore Dustin Huber (138) had two wins and two defeats on the weekend. He won his opening bout in a close 2-1 decision, topping Keegan Donmoyer of Eastern Lebanon - an opponent who had come in with a 29-7 record compared to Huber's 10-19 mark.
Following a loss to Mike Trainor of Octorara, Huber won a consolation match on a third-period pin before coming up just short in a 4-2 decision against Jake Caskie of Brandywine Heights.
PV Wraps Up Second Place in Section Five February 8, 2019
Pequea Valley wrapped up the regular season with a solid second-place finish in the Section Five standings. The Pequea girls upped their league record to 8-2 with victories over Columbia and Lancaster Country Day.
The victories sent the Braves into the L-L League playoffs, which tipped off on Thursday, February 7.
In that first-round playoff contest, the Lampeter-Strasburg Pioneers prevailed 50-41, getting out to a 33-21 lead at the half and managing to hold off the Braves, who had a third-quarter comeback.
The Braves' 8-2 league mark had them second in the Section Five standings. The Pioneers (9-4) were the runners-up in Section Three, setting up the playoff meeting at Garden Spot High School.
Marlena Ferry of Pequea Valley scored a game-high 19 points, scorching the net from three-point range with five long-distance jump shots. Abbey Leslie scored seven points.
Jackie Martin and Emma Gochnauer led the Pioneers with 13 points each.
The Braves' fast start carried up to halftime. The home team held a 36-21 edge at the midway point over the Crimson Tide. Pequea put up 18 points in each of the final two stanzas for a 72-46 win.
Abbey Leslie, Marlena Ferry and Caroline Horst each scored 15 or more points for Pequea Valley. Ferry's 17 points came mostly on three-point shots, making five from long-range. Leslie led all scorers with 25 points, including three treys and a 6-for-6 night at the foul line. Horst scored 15.
Also chipping in for the Braves' offense was Clara Neff (8 pts) and Bethany Bills (5 pts).
Janeah Neal scored 15 to lead Columbia. Mackenzie Burke scored 13 - nine from three-point land.
The Braves won a wild overtime game at Lancaster Country Day on Tuesday night, outscoring the Cougars 12-8 in the extra period for a 61-57 win.
Pequea Valley's section foe fell to 6-4 in the league (16-4 overall) with the loss. The Braves improved to 16-4 and wrapped up the regular season with a fifth-place ranking in the District Three Class-AAA power rankings.
It was a tough second quarter for the Braves following an 11-3 Cougars run leading up to halftime. Trailing 26-22 at intermission, the Braves outscored the home team 27-23 over the next two periods, forcing overtime.
The steady barrage of points by Pequea helped this team stay in the hunt during a competitive, close contest. Horst had 17 of PV's 61 points while Ferry drilled four treys on a 16-point night. Bills and Leslie each scored 12 points.
The two top scorers in the game were wearing Lancaster Country Day uniforms. Ashanti Duncan and Annabelle Copeland scored 22 and 20 points, respectively.
The Braves battled a pair of Section Five rivals this past week, facing Columbia and Lancaster Country Day on back-to-back nights of boys' basketball action.
In the Tuesday night game at Kinzers, the Braves fell behind to the Cougars as LCD came away with a 55-37 win.
The loss dropped Pequea Valley's record to 0-21 and to 0-10 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
Head coach Thad Rittenhouse explained that Pequea's lack of roster depth eventually led to the team not being able to keep up with the Cougars, who improved to 15-4 (6-3, league).
"We lost Nevin Stoltzfus early in the game to an injury and Sean Liney got in some foul trouble," Rittenhouse said. "That hurt us because of our limited numbers.
"We were forced to play jayvee players the whole game," he added. "We didn't have the depth to keep up with them. That has been the challenge all year."
The Cougars led by only seven points heading into the second quarter. However, a 20-7 run before halftime helped the visitors take a 37-17 lead by intermission.
The Braves, who were led by Devon Colyer's 11-point performance, actually outscored the Cougars 20-18 in the second half.
Tyrell Stoltzfus made a pair of three-point field goals and finished with eight points on the night. Liney scored seven while Antonio Lazar chipped in with five points.
"It was an all-around good scoring effort for the team," Rittenhouse remarked.
Bradley Fry scored 12 to lead LCD. Lance Lennon scored nine points.
Rittenhouse was asked about the team exercising discipline and managing to stay in the game.
"We've been preaching discipline all year long," replied the coach. "It wasn't about wins and losses this year; it was about learning the game and relying on one another as a team. You're going to learn a lot from losses."
The Braves suffered a 75-42 loss to league rival Columbia the night before. Pequea kept pace at Columbia, trailing by only one basket heading into the second quarter and by a mere nine points at halftime.
"We actually hung in there, especially in the first half," said Rittenhouse. "In the second half, it got to a point where it was hard for our boys to keep up with the pace. All year, I've not pressed though as a coach I've done that for years. Columbia had a full-court press in the second half. We struggled and they put us away."
Devon Colyer scored 18 to lead the Braves. Colyer, who recorded three treys, tied Matt McCleary of the Crimson Tide for the games top total in points. Nevin Stoltzfus poured in 10 points while Lazar scored six.
"When things don't go well, it can show character," Rittenhouse said. "These boys have been battling all year."
Miller Claims L-L League Gold at 145 February 1, 2019
Pequea Valley's Gabe Miller claimed the championship for his weight class at the L-L League Wrestling Championships, which were held at Garden Spot on January 25-26. The senior earned the gold in the 145-pound class, registering a technical fall and three consecutive pins.
On the opening day of the championships, Miller topped Clint Herr of Solanco with a 20-4 technical. He then notched a second-period pin in each of his next three bouts - Joel Dionne of Hempfield, Anthony Glessner of Penn Manor and finally Bradley Cunningham of Lampeter-Strasburg, whom he pinned in 3:23.
Joey Coblentz, another senior, claimed third place at 220. Coblentz bounced back from a 7-2 loss to eventual champion Dustin Swanson of Garden Spot in the semifinals and soared into the consi-semis where he blanked Hempfield's Luke Dreyer 5-0 and went on to top T.J. Moore of Cedar Crest in the third-place match.
On the first day of the championships, Coblentz pinned Matt Busby of Octorara in only 1:33. He followed that with a 1-0 defeat of Warwick's Hayden Benner before suffering the loss to Swanson.
These two finishes, along with other strong placements by Pequea wrestlers, helped the Braves finish 12th in the team standings with 81 points.
Jace Beegle earned a fifth-place finish in the 120-pound class with a 10-3 decision over Elizabethtown's Cam Olson in the fight for fifth. On Friday, Beegle triumphed over Hunter Focht of Octarara in an 8-3 decision. He then edged Olson 8-7 before eventual champ Will Betancourt of Manheim Central pinned the PV sophomore.
Following a tough 8-6 loss to Tanner Stefanick of Penn Manor, Beegle registered his second victory over Olson.
Dylan Jackson claimed seventh place at 160. It was a championship quest that started and ended with the same opponent.
Jackson had to fight hard in the wrestle backs after an opening-round 7-1 loss to Hempfield's Dylan Bard.
In the first consolation match, Jackson pinned Evan Heilman of Annville Cleona at the 4:59 mark. He then topped Hunter Hockley of ELCO by an 8-2 score.
Jackson's quest ended thanks to Ethan Walmer's 11-4 victory, sending the PV senior into the seventh-place match were he exerted revenge on Bard, wining 3-1 in overtime.
Coming up short in the seventh-place consolation match was Tyler Anderson. His first match in the 132-pound brackets was a solid 19-2 technical against Nick Gilbert of Lebanon. However, a very formidable foe in the person of David Dariychuk pinned Anderson, sending him to the consolations.
Anderson's rebound included registering a pin, victimizing Adriel Merjudo of Annville-Cleona. He followed that with an 8-4 victory before Seth Fischer of Northern Lebanon earned an 8-3 win.
Dariychuk also made it to the seventh-place match and was again pitted against Anderson. In another close battle, the Conestoga Valley standout eked out an 11-8 win to take seventh.
Aidan Cooke wrestled at 152, posting a 6-2 win over E-town's Cole Rice on Friday. He suffered a pin in the second round, losing to eventual runner-up David Over of Manheim Township.
In the consis, Cooke was ousted by Donegal's Mason Ober.
The Pequea girls played two non-league games against York County teams this past week, coming away with a split decision. In raising their overall record to 14-4, the Braves found themselves fourth in the District Three Class-AAA power rankings as January drew to a close.
In the York Catholic game, which was played at Kinzers on Saturday, January 26, the Braves tried to battle back from a nine-point halftime deficit. The home team outscored the Fighting Irish 14-10 in the third period and shaved off another point from the lead before coming up short 48-44.
Bethany Bills finished with a game-high 16 points. Abbey Leslie scorched the net four times from three-point range for 12 points while Caroline Horst scored 10.
The Braves unfortunately had a poor shooting percentage from the free throw line, going 1-for-9.
"We missed foul shots and missed a few layups," head coach Jason McDonald noted. "Those came back to haunt us."
Pequea Valley defeated a Class 5A opponent on Monday, lighting up the scoreboard for 21 first-quarter points at York Suburban en route to a 59-44 victory.
"We were very aggressive and attacking the basket in the first quarter," said McDonald. "We weren't turning the ball over.
"In the second quarter we had some turnovers, but we were still making our jump shots," continued the coach.
The Braves still held that 11-point lead at the midway point and extended it to 16 by the time the fourth quarter got underway.
There were five Pequea players with double-digit totals in points. Clara Neff and Horst each scored 13 with Neff going 4-for-4 at the line and making a three-pointer in the process.
"We were playing well and getting contributions from everybody," commented McDonald. "We were running the floor and playing with confidence."
Marlena Ferry had an 11-point game, which included three treys. Bills and Leslie each scored 10.
"Caroline leads us in scoring, rebounds, blocked shots and assists," McDonald noted. "Bethany is our second-leading rebounder. She and Abbey Leslie are right in there and very close as second-scorer."
In a non-league game against Linville Hill Christian, the Pequea Valley boys' basketball team came close to earning its first win of the season.
On Monday night, the Braves battled to overcome a 19-11 deficit, which they faced after one period. They came back with a strong third quarter and hung tough in the fourth stanza only to come up short 59-50.
The trio of Pequea players who finished with over 10 points were Devon Colyer (15), Nevin Stoltzfus (14) and Sean Liney (12). The scoring by Stoltzfus included pair of treys and a 2-for-2 night at the foul line.
Chandler Petersheim of Linville led all scorers with 21 points.
The Braves, who fell to 0-19, were coming off a non-league loss the previous Saturday at Octorara. The Octorara Braves extended a 14-point halftime lead by coming out strong in the third quarter, going on a 24-7 run. They topped PV 84-45.
Though Octorara's Keith Lamber was the game's leading scorer with 21, Colyer finished with an impressive 20 points, including two treys. Liney finished with 16.
Braves Fall to Blazers, Now 6-2 in Section 5 January 25, 2019
The Pequea Valley girls' basketball team faced Section Five leader Lancaster Mennonite on the road Tuesday night. The Blazers, with a strong second period, pulled ahead of the visiting Braves 28-17 by halftime and went on to post a 50-37 victory.
The Braves fell to 6-2 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League while the Blazers, whom they were chasing in the section standings, improved to 8-0. Pequea Valley's 13-3 overall mark, however, has the team fourth in the District Three 4A power rankings.
Pequea went into the second period trailing by only three points. The Blazers, who were led by Mariah Wilson's 22-point scoring effort, went on a 15-7 run, but were held in check for the third quarter. The eight-point deficit grew in the fourth quarter, however as the Braves' comeback bid fell short.
Marlena Ferry and Bethany Bills each scored 13 for Pequea. Ferry's scoring included three baskets from three-point range. Clara Neff finished with six points.
The Braves finish out their regular season schedule with two more league games and three more against non-league opponents.
The boys' basketball team made it close against section rival Annville-Cleona on Friday, January 18, before coming up short 61-43.
The Braves not only battled back from a 15-6 deficit at the start of the second quarter, they took a halftime lead at 26-23 and carried it into the third quarter.
"We were actually winning in the third quarter," said head coach Thad Rittenhouse, whose squad fell to 0-7 in the L-L League. "We worked the ball well and made it a good game for three quarters. In that game, we were able to run our plays and hit the open shots, which always helps.
"We had two injuries in the second half - Nevin Stoltzfus retweaked his hamstring," Rittenhouse noted. "Also, Devon Colyer got hurt. Two injuries in the second half made it tough for us to compete."
The momentum swung in favor of the Dutchmen, who scored 22 points in the fourth quarter. Colyer finished with a team-high 14 points. Sean Liney scorched a pair of three's and finished with 11 points. Stoltzfus scored all nine of his points from beyond the arc.
"Nevin came in off the bench and hit three three's right away for us," said Rittenhouse.
Section rival Lancaster Mennonite came to Kinzers on Tuesday night and took advantage of the hobbling Braves in an 82-15 victory.
"We went into the Mennonite game and struggled setting up and running our offense," explained Rittenhouse. "Mennonite is an extremely talented team with a lot of depth on the bench and they're aggressive. We are not deep. We had six guys that we were running out there for varsity."
Elijah Bynum and Cole Fisher led the Blazers with 12 points each. Colyer led PV with 10 points.
The Blazers improved to 10-8 (7-1 league) while the Braves fell to 0-17, 0-8.
PV's Young Hoopsters Gaining Experience January 18, 2019
For the Pequea Valley boys' basketball team, the main problem this season has simply been numbers.
Numbers in terms of how many players the varsity squad has been able to send onto the court throughout the season, thus leading to a difficult 0-6 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
"We are very young," explained head coach Thad Rittenhouse. "We had several individuals who were seniors who couldn't come out for various reasons. We are virtually playing our junior varsity team at the varsity level. We had to put these guys right into the fire. We're probably the youngest team in the L-L League. Out of our 13 players, eight are freshmen and three are sophomores."
The team's most recent game was a visit to Kennard-Dale for a non-league game on Tuesday night. The Rams took advantage of a low percentage of converted shot attempts by the Braves and won the game 64-25.
"We just didn't shoot the ball well," said Rittenhouse. "We had a lot of open looks in the game. We couldn't hit any buckets. If we had, it would've been a closer game. They have a team with a lot of juniors and seniors."
Sophomore Devon Colyer led Pequea with 15 points, including a three-point jumper. Antonio Lazar added seven.
"Antonio Lazar has been a pleasant surprise," Rittenhouse remarked. "And Devon is pretty much our leading offensive player," Rittenhouse said.
"We are facing a challenge of getting out in man-to-man defense," he added. "Some of our guys get burned out by the second half.
"We are a small team, but we are trying to learn to help each other on defense," continued the coach. "Team defense is what we've been pushing all year.
"We are continuing to build our program," he added. "The guys are going to stick with it. They love the game of basketball."
The Braves, who are 0-15 overall, will close out the regular season with four league games out of the remaining six.
In girls' basketball action, Pequea Valley defeated Kutztown and Kennard-Dale in consecutive non-league games. The victories over the Cougars and the Rams raised the Braves' record to 12-2, which is also good for third in the District Three Class-AAA power rankings.
Asked if the non-league wins helps act as a barometer for post-season potential, head coach Jason McDonald replied, "This is definitely one of those games. Plus, our stretch of games over the next two weeks is tough. We're playing teams that are going to challenge us. In the post-season, we'll be battle tested.
"Kennard-Dale is a very tough team," he added. "They have good outside shooting as well as their inside game. They play very good defense and finish well around the basket.
"We hit some big shots," McDonald noted. "We played patiently on the offensive end and locked down on defense, especially in the second half."
The 50-44 victory at home on Tuesday included a lock-down defense that allowed the Rams only eight fourth-quarter points. Pequea came back from a 36-35 deficit.
Abbey Leslie scored a game-high 18 points. She sized up her shots from long range, making three treys and was a perfect 3-for-3 at the charity stripe.
"She had a great game, hitting a couple of big three's to help us get the lead, to propel us," McDonald noted. "She's passing the ball, scoring and playing great defense."
Caroline Horst added 11 points and provided great defense as well.
"On defense she has also been playing very well," added the coach.
Bethany Bills tacked on nine points while Marlena Ferry and Clara Neff each scored six. Ferry's six points came courtesy of two three-pointers.
The Kutztown game, which the Braves won on the road on Saturday, January 12, was not as close. Pequea posted a 74-32 win with Leslie scoring 22 points - 12 of which came from three-point baskets. Horst scored 16 while Ferry (11), Neff (9) and Bills (7) contributed to the dominant win.
"Kutztown couldn't handle our defensive pressure," McDonald explained. "We press all over the floor. Our defense leads a lot to offense.
"Our speed of the game also helps and teams aren't used to that," continued the coach. "On defense we were playing well in this game. We were hitting shots and moving the ball on offense. We were getting rebounds, making the passes.
"Caroline kept attacking the basket and they couldn't stop her," said McDonald.
In a Section Three match against Elco on Wednesday, the Braves came up short in a 57-24 final. The Raiders improved to 3-2 in the league while the Braves fell to 2-4.
The fact that Pequea forfeited at three different weight classes did not help the cause. The 18-point swing was difficult to overcome.
The Braves got off to a 6-0 start with Gabe Miller posting a pin at the 152-pound weight class. He did so 1:37 into the match. Elco's Carson Nell returned the favor, earning a pin in exactly the same amount of time at 160, followed by consecutive PV forfeits, giving the Raiders a 24-6 lead.
Joe Coblentz put Pequea back on the board with a pin, maneuvering Baily Beamesderfer onto his shoulders 4:37 into the 220-pound battle.
The two teams traded pins, including Jace Beegle's pin for Pequea at 120.
The Braves suffered a close loss at 132 where Elco's Trenton Brubaker eked out a 3-1 overtime victory over Tyler Anderson.
With the team up 45-24, the Raiders earned two more pins in the final bouts.
Lady Braves Win 5 of 6 League Games, 10-2 Overall January 11, 2019
The Pequea Valley girls' basketball team is off to a fast start, winning five of its first six league games and building a 10-2 overall record. Part of the reason this team is dominating Section Five of the Lancaster-Lebanon League is the tandem of juniors averaging over 12 points per game.
On Tuesday night while hosting Lebanon Catholic, the Braves weren't converting shots in the early going and went into the second quarter trailing the Beavers by a 7-2 score. However, Abbey Leslie and Caroline Horst, the aforementioned leading scorers, as well as senior Marlena Ferry led a strong surge that resulted in a 52-44 comeback win.
"Caroline Horst does a lot on the floor for us," head coach Jason McDonald stated. "She rebounds, plays defense, scores. Abbey is a high motor shooter and plays great defense."
McDonald addressed the slow start on offense.
"We did not shoot the ball very well," he said. "It was one of those nights where we didn't get it going until the second quarter.
The Braves scored 22 points in the second quarter alone, taking 24-18 lead into the locker room. They kept up the scoring with an 18-10 third quarter.
"You get it going and get into a rhythm," McDonald said. "They [Beavers] played pretty good defense too, so you have to give them credit."
Leslie scored 13 while Ferry, who drilled a pair of three-pointers, finished with 12. Horst had 10 points as did Clara Neff, who also made a pair of three's and went 2-for-2 at the foul line.
"We have five kids that can put the ball in the basket on any given night," said McDonald. Caroline, Clara Neff and Bethany Bills are our top rebounders. But it has been a collective effort."
Asked what the team needs to do in order to keep its momentum heading into a more steady slate of L-L League games, McDonald replied, "We just need to keep playing our style - pressuring teams and making them turn the ball over; also, the transition game and finding open shooters for layups. We play our style and we'll be successful."
In a section where Northern Lebanon is undefeated against league opponents, the PV wrestling team suffered a loss to the first-place Vikings, who improved to 4-0 with a 61-15 defeat of the Braves on Wednesday. Northern Lebanon improved to 4-0 while Pequea fell to 2-3 (4-7 overall).
Returning senior Gabe Miller claimed six of Pequea's points with a pin at the 145-pound weight class. It stopped the Vikings' run of 31 straight points.
Trevor Huber wrestled a tough match and won by a close 4-3 decision at 160. He did not give up as he topped Nick Winters despite the insurmountable team score.
Another one of the experienced seniors on this squad posted a pin for Pequea. Joe Coblentz turned in a pin 1:27 into the 220-pound battle.
In their previous outing, the Braves battled the Wilson Bulldogs in a Saturday match. The Bulldogs finished on top 57-21 with Aiden Cooke (152) recording a pin for the Braves followed by Miller's 7-0 shutout of Anthony Micci at the 160.
Along with a Wilson forfeit at 106, the Braves earned six more points on Jace Beegle's pin at 120.
Playing two games on consecutive nights, the Braves came up short against both Lebanon Catholic and Brandywine Heights. The boys' basketball team fell to 0-13, and 0-6 in league.
In Tuesday's game, the Beavers went on a tear in the second quarter, turning a tie game into a 36-18 halftime advantage. The Braves' defense held strong in the second half, but the visitors weren't able to erase enough of Catholic's lead in the 50-34 loss.
Devin Root and Sam Heagy led the Beavers in scoring with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Antonio Lazar poured in 12 points for Pequea Valley. Tyrell Stoltzfus sank a pair of three-pointers for his six points, and Andrew Sudbrack also scored six.
Brandywine Heights used a balanced attack to top Pequea 62-23 in a non-league game on Wednesday. John Buddock's 11 points led the Bullets and Jimmy Ludwig added 10 more.
Pequea's Lazar had the game's top scoring total with 12 points. Sudbrack added five more.
Lady Booters Top Wyomissing, Fall to Elco October 28, 2018
The Pequea Valley girls' soccer team opened its District Three Class-AA playoffs with a 4-1 win at home, defeating Wyomissing on Tuesday night. By beating the 10th-seeded Spartans, the No. 7 ranked Braves advanced to the District quarterfinals with a date at Lancaster-Lebanon League foe Elco on Saturday.
The Braves jumped on the scoreboard right away, taking advantage of an own goal by Wyomissing (10-6-3). Brittany Shirk doubled that slim lead in the 32nd minute of the game.
Following intermission, Baleigh Henshaw took matters into her own hands..., or feet, rather. She struck two shots into the Spartans' net - both goals coming three minutes apart from each other. Meanwhile, Alyssa Yoder and Grace Martin each recorded an assist on the night.
The Braves, who improved to 12-4-3, allowed only seven shots on goal. Kyrstin Jarvis grabbed six saves while anchoring a strong defensive effort.
In Saturday's second-round game, the Raiders demonstrated the offensive fire power that had helped them achieve an unbeaten record through the regular season and the L-L League playoffs. The team that had registered shutouts in nine of its final 10 regular season games blanked the Braves 7-0 as Natalie Swingholm put up a hat trick and Tanisha Grewal added two more goals.
The Braves' record fell to 12-5-3.
Pequea Valley played its first match in two weeks as it visited Fleetwood in the first round of the District Three Class-AA boys' soccer playoffs. Entering the playoffs as the sixth-ranked team at 14-3-2, the Braves visited the Tigers on Saturday night under brisk, rainy conditions.
Despite trailing at halftime and again falling behind by a 3-1 score in the second half, the Braves battled back only to have a late Fleetwood goal end their season at 14-4-2.
"It was frustrating," said PV head coach Peter Bennett. "It was 3-3 and both sides were pushing to get the game-winner in the final 10 minutes. Unfortunately, they got behind us and were able to finish with about two or three minutes left.
"They're a good team with some good offensive players," he added.
The Tigers scored the only goal of the first half and padded the lead early in the second half.
"In the beginning of the game, they came out ready to go," Bennett remarked. "They had a couple of chances early on. They had an early goal eight minutes in. We worked our way back into the game and it was a tight match. It was 1-0 at halftime."
Elijah Elkins scored the Braves' first goal of the game, cutting the deficit to 2-1. The Tigers reclaimed the two-goal lead only to see the Braves erase the huge advantage by scoring the next two goals.
"It is something that I've been proud of this team all season - our ability to weather adversity," Bennett said. "It would've been easy when it was 2-0 or 3-1 to pack it in. Our guys did well to rally and keep doing what has been successful for us. I thought we played better in the second half."
With a foul on Elkins in the penalty box, Joshua Heinrich stepped up and scorched the penalty kick into the Tigers' goal to make it 3-2. Brandon Ratjavong scored the equalizer minutes later.
With players like Elkins and Ratjavong, who are juniors, as well as sophomore goalie Nehemiah Glick, the head coach anticipates continued success in the future.
"We have a lot of players coming back," he said. "We have a big class of juniors coming through. For them to show that fight certainly bodes well for the future."
The beleaguered Pequea Valley offense was unable to score against Lancaster Catholic on Friday night. The Braves suffered a 37-0 Lancaster-Lebanon League loss to the top team in Section Three. It was a Goliath of an opponent for the Braves, who were hosting a team that had outscored opponents 327-82 in its previous nine games. The Crusaders (10-0) had averaged 36.3 points per game and just about matched that on Friday night in Kinzers.
The Braves, who fell to 0-9 in league play (0-10 overall) kept it close for the first half. At intermission, it was 16-0 Lancaster Catholic with the first two points of the game coming on a safety.
"We played a really good team with some great, well-coached athletes," said head coach Mike Choi. "I'm very proud of the way our guys played."
Choi emphasized the strong defensive effort that kept the Crusaders' offense to only two touchdowns, especially with injuries to four defensive starters.
"We had two linebackers out, a defensive end and a cornerback," he said. "We had guys learning new positions this past week in practice. It was a challenge to get them ready to play a fundamentally sound game.
"What they did in the first half defensively was to slow them down," continued the coach. "We slowed them down and forced them to make some adjustments. Catholic went more for throwing the ball. When you take the powerhouse that they are and force them to make adjustments, that's something to be proud of."
One of Lancaster Catholic's second-half touchdowns did come in the air. Quarterback Gavin Sullivan finished with 129 passing yards.
Nevin Roman made it 23-0 with a three-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Philip Bomberger caught a five-yard TD toss from Sullivan later in the period - Sullivan's second TD pass of the game.
Roman then capped the scoring on a 33-yard fourth-quarter dash to the end zone.
Though he didn't score, Malkam Lawrence led the Crusaders in rushing with 117 yards on 15 carries. Jeffrey Harley gained 87 yards on the ground. One of his nine carries was a touchdown in the second quarter.
Not giving up throughout the game, the Braves' rushing attack was led by Dylan Jackson. The senior running back, playing his final game at PV, gained 75 yards on 16 carries. The Crusaders shut down the Pequea passing attack, allowing only 12 yards on three completions.
"You don't usually give game balls on losses," said Choi. "I gave it to Dylan Jackson for this game. He was a stalwart on defense and an outstanding leader. He plays for the love of the game; he played for his teammates."
Choi has emphasized his pride as a takeaway throughout the season.
"These guys came out for practice this week, not even thinking about our 0-9 record," he said. "Whether we're winning or losing, what our guys are going to remember is the experience. High school football is about the memories you build and the meaningful times aren't always what you see when you look up at the scoreboard.
"We had a really young team that took on a ton of experience," he added. "Sure, you have to take bumps and bruises in the game of football to go along with the experience. But the kids know they just have to get stronger and better. The experience will motivate them to get better."
Short-Handed Braves Bow to Ephrata October 21, 2018
In a clash of two Lancaster-Lebanon League football teams, the Ephrata Mountaineers came out on top Friday night at Pequea Valley, defeating the Braves 45-0.
The Mountaineers, who had been in a number of high-scoring games this year, evened their L-L League record at 4-4 and improved to 4-5 overall. The Braves suffered their eighth league loss and fell to 0-9 overall.
It was the second game in a row that the Braves were blanked. The previous week they suffered a 34-0 loss that was deceptive in that the Elco Raiders scored 20 of those points in the fourth quarter.
"Against Elco, we had three series that were first-and-goal and we didn't get it done," noted head coach Mike Choi.
The big handicap to overcome against the Mountaineers was the loss of workhorse running back Brandon Hershey, who was hurt prior to the game.
"We kept him out for precautionary reasons," Choi explained. "When you only have 20 players on the roster and you're facing a team with 43 players, then you take a two-way starter out of the game, it's not like you can just patch things together. It's tough.
"Early in the game we lost Luke Brown, our middle linebacker, and offensive lineman to a knee injury," he added. "We were really scrambling after losing two two-way players."
The Mounts first scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Caden Keefer to Trent Martin. Two big rushing touchdowns followed - a 35-yarder by Miracle Watto and a 58-yard run by Keefer for the first score of the second quarter.
Keefer finished with seven completions for 91 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 95 yards on seven carries. Brandon Walton gave Ephrata 54 rushing yards on 12 carries, including two touchdowns.
They carried a 35-0 lead into the second half. Kai Mast, who converted all six of his PAT kicks, added a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Choi was asked to comment on the mental make-up of the Pequea Valley Braves, who come into games over-matched in terms of roster size and flexibility of personnel.
"I wish more people saw how special these kids are," he said. "They come out knowing they have to play a full 48 minutes on both sides of the ball. Some kids don't get to come off the field. We even play against some teams with platoons at positions.
"When you're facing a team like Ephrata or Annville-Cleona, you tend to wear down without many people on the sidelines, who are ready to go in," said Choi. "Our kids are incredible as far as their efforts. You come out for a football team, understanding that there are going to be some challenges. You're not looking at the scoreboard, the wins and the losses; you look at the efforts they give. They've learned a lot of life lessons sticking together and picking each other up on the field."
PV Lady Booters Sit 6th in District Rankings October 14, 2018
The Pequea girls' soccer team sits in sixth place in the district power rankings. The team completed the regular season with an 11-4-2 record (7-3-1 in league). The Braves, who finished third in Section Four and didn't qualify for the league playoffs, faced Middletown in a non-league game on Monday.
It was a game of comebacks and endurance. The teams traded leads until the score was tied after regulation play. Middletown's Camryn Russ finally ended the match in its 98th minute, which came in the second overtime period.
Grace Martin's goal 70 minutes earlier had given PV a 1-0 advantage, which carried into the second half. Six minutes into the second half, the Blue Raiders tied the score on Hayli Akakpo-Martin's goal and took the lead eight minutes later on Sarah Miscevich's goal.
Brittany Shirk tied it up again, scoring in the game's 68th minute. It stayed tied for 30 minutes of play.
For the Pequea Valley boys' soccer team, it's a wait-and-see situation in terms of who will be the Braves' next opponent. After securing the Section Four title with a 10-1-1 league record, the Braves, who are 14-3-2 overall, now wait to see who their opponent will be in the District Three Class-AA playoffs. Currently the team is sixth in the district's power rankings.
The final week of the regular season had its ups and downs, including an opening-round loss to Warwick in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.
"You never like to lose in the playoffs," head coach Peter Bennett stated. "Given that they're Section One co-champions and in the top-five of 4A rankings in the district, for us to walk out with a 1-0 final bodes well with what we'll be up against in districts. We have to wait until Thursday to see who we'll be matched up against."
Taking a defeat with a positive note - the thinking that it brings a team something to learn from - was what happened earlier in the week to the Braves. The team faced Lancaster Mennonite on Monday in a non-league road game. The Blazers blanked the Braves 2-0 as Mesa Dula and Shota Totani scored off assists by Ben Lefever and Tyler Wagner.
"The Lancaster Mennonite game was also a good non-league game for us to see what we'll be up against in districts," Bennett said. "It was also a preparation for us to be disciplined and ready against another good team. It was frustrating to lose, but we learned a lot from it."
That other good team was the one on the Braves' schedule for the regular season finale. The Braves did respond in positive fashion by defeating Lancaster Catholic on the road Thursday afternoon. After falling behind 1-0 to their league rivals, the Braves came back for a 3-1 victory.
"It hasn't happened very often that we've had to come from behind in a match," Bennett said. "But it tells you a lot about our maturity. We did not get flustered; we stayed the course.
"We took care of our business throughout the season," continued the coach, "and we put ourselves in a position to go there and get a win. I'm proud of how the boys overcame the deficit."
Only six minutes after Catholic had taken the lead, the Braves tied the game on a free kick which resulted in an own goal by the Crusaders' defense.
The tie score stayed until 19 minutes into the second half where Josh Gingrich scored off a Bennett Nordhoff assist. Nordhoff would go on to assist on PV's third goal as well.
"Bennett has been a nice player for us in the back line," said the coach. "We sort of moved him into the midfield. His vision and flexibility - going out of defense to midfield - certainly gave us a lift."
That third goal came courtesy of Brandon Ratjavong in the final minute of the match - Pequea's 13th shot on goal.
"Brandon scored with about 30 seconds left to put the game out of reach," Bennett explained. "It got crazy in the last couple of minutes. I was glad to see we didn't just pack it in and defend. It was nice to see him break through for one more goal."
Goalie Nehemiah Glick anchored the defense. Glick, who had four saves in each of the shutout losses this week, recorded seven saves against the Crusaders.
In the L-L League Flight Championships at Conestoga Valley on Monday, the duo of seniors Sophia Weaver and Naomi Feister came in second at the Flight One doubles. Isabel Midcap and Riley Smith came through with 6-0, 6-0 victories.
In singles competition, Weaver finished fifth in Flight One singles with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
In District Class-AA competition, Weaver faced Kendall Kubis of Lancaster Country Day in the opening round on Friday at the Hershey Racquet Club. Kubis made it through to the second round with a 6-4, 6-0 win.
In Thursday's District Three 2A team championships at HRC, the Braves lost to Wyomissing 5-0.
Weaver suffered a 6-0, 6-0 defeat in the first singles while Feister came up short in a 6-1, 6-1 final at second singles and sophomore Adalie Clemmer lost a tough 6-4 set at third singles.
In doubles, Hope Fisher and Ryleigh Kurtz suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss while Caroline Bragg and Kristin Huenink were on the short end of a 6-1, 6-2 final.
The Elco Raiders intercepted three passes and recovered a Pequea Valley fumble in Friday night's L-L League Section Three clash at home. They went on to defeat the Braves 34-0, and improved to 7-1 (6-1 league) while Pequea fell to 0-7 in league play, 0-8 overall.
It was a fairly close game, however, until the fourth quarter. The Braves were within two touchdowns heading into the final period. Elco scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Braden Bohannon to Erik Williams in the second quarter and held only a 6-0 halftime lead. Bohannon ran for the Raiders' next TD from four yards out in the third quarter and moments later found Ethan Kissinger in the end zone for a two-point PAT pass play, making it 14-0.
However, three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter put the Braves' comeback hopes out of reach. The three scores included a five-yard fumble return by Austin Sprenkle.
Braves quarterback Collin Bailey did complete 14 passes for 113 yards. Dylan Jackson carried the ball seven times for 84 yards and caught two passes for 12 more yards.
Dalton Temple was on the receiving end of six passes for a total of 32 yards while Carter Rohrer caught an 18-yarder from Bailey.
Bohannon ran for 147 yards on 25 carries and the rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Luke Williams ran for 90 yards on 17 carries and the games' final score.
The Braves' next game will be at home against Ephrata
Lady Braves Blank A-C, Currently 5th in Districts October 7, 2018
With a scoreless draw and a 6-0 victory, the Pequea Valley girls' soccer team improved to 6-3-1 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and upped its record to 10-3-2 overall.
The Braves head into the final week of the regular season, battling for second place in a tough Section Four. Lancaster Catholic (10-0-0) has clinched the section while Annville-Cleona is one game ahead of the third-place Braves. Regardless of how things shape up for the league playoffs, Pequea Valley finds itself fifth in the District Three Class-AA power rankings while Eastern Lebanon County and Lancaster Catholic - two unbeaten teams - occupy the top two spots.
The Braves faced Annville-Cleona on Monday. Despite 80 minutes of play in regulation time plus two overtime periods, neither side was able to score. The Braves registered 24 shots on goal and Dutchmen goalie Alyssa Ulrich turned away all 24. Meanwhile, Krystin Jarvis needed to make only four saves to keep the opposition scoreless as well.
Instead of 24 shots all being for naught, the 23 shots on goal at Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday afternoon netted six goals for the Braves. Alyssa Yoder scored two of those goals while fellow seniors Katelyn Keen and Lindsey Hoover as well as sophomore Megan Yoder each registered one goal and one assist. Megan Rogers also scored while Baleigh Henshaw chipped in with an assist.
For Jarvis, the job was even easier in this match as she snagged one save for a shutout.
In boys' soccer action, Pequea Valley earned three crucial victories in the L-L League and managed to stay atop the Section Four standings as the season headed into its final two games. Nehemiah Glick earned two shutouts as Pequea Valley won at Annville-Cleona by a 5-0 score and blanked Lebanon Catholic 7-0 back at Kinzers. The Braves improved to 13-1-2 overall (9-1-1 league) by wrapping up the week with a 5-1 victory at Lancaster Country Day.
"We've been focused on each game and have had success so far to have us in line to win the section," head coach Peter Bennett said. "We're pretty much tied with Lancaster Catholic who's 8-1-1."
Glick had four saves in the Annville-Cleona game on Monday and needed to snag only one shot away from the crossing the plane in Wednesday's home game.
"We've been trying a couple of new things offensively, but you have to make sure your defense in order," Bennett said. "It's going to get tougher from here on out."
On offense, T.J. Hershey scored twice at A-C, registering both of his goals before the match was five minutes old. He went on to assist on two more goals as Elijah Elkins, Josh Gingrich and Nevin Stoltzfus each scored once - all of which came in the first half. Bennett Nordhoff registered an assist.
The Lebanon Catholic game featured a host of PV teammates earning points on both goals and assists. Gingrich and fellow junior Johan Gomez-Mendez each had one goal and two assists while Josh Bailey scored twice - once in each half.
"Johan is one of our junior varsity players," Bennett explained. "We've been having enough success to have our jayvee guys get some experience here and there. You need to rely on that depth as you're getting into the post-season."
Hershey, Josh Heirich and Evan Johns each had one goal and one assist while Dylan Ratjavong chipped in with one assist.
With a 3-0 halftime lead in Friday's match, the Braves cruised to a win at LCD. Hershey scored early in this game also, putting PV up 1-0 less than two minutes into the game. He scored again at the midway mark of the first half. Bailey scored a quick two minutes following Hershey's second goal while Heinrich added two second-half goals. He and Bailey each notched an assist as well.
It was senior Rafael Juarez keeping the Cougars in check. The goalie recorded two saves in the win.
The final two games on the Braves' schedule include a showdown with Section Four foe Lancaster Catholic in Thursday's regular-season finale. The Crusaders (12-1-1) ended the week with an 8-1-1 league mark and are on Pequea's heels.
Also, as the post-season draws closer and closer, the Braves find themselves fourth in the District Three Class-AA power rankings behind Lancaster Mennonite, Greenwood and Fleetwood while Lancaster Catholic is eighth.
Pequea Valley hosted an Annville-Cleona football team that had outscored its opponents 212-109 in its previous six games, compiling a 4-2 record (2-1 in league). The Little Dutchmen had also been involved in a few high-scoring contests and Friday's Section Three game was another one in which they succeeded in doing so, defeating the Braves 54-18.
Pequea Valley fell to 0-7 on the year (0-6 in LL League) while the Dutchmen improved to 5-2, 5-1.
Annville-Cleona quarterback Jeremy Bours ran for two touchdowns, gaining 77 yards on the ground Friday night, while completing seven passes for 105 yards. Caleb Tuner was the game's leading rusher with a 100 yards and scoring twice.
"What makes them explosive is that they're good in all phases and their precision on offense makes them tough to play against," said head coach Mike Choi. "You have to play disciplined football. You have to know what you're looking at in order to play at a high level."
As is often the case in high school football, a momentum swing just before halftime becomes a critical turning point. This was the case with A-C ahead 26-6 following Macrae Plummer's second field goal of the game, the Dutchmen kicked off with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter.
The Braves' miscue on the return attempt, however, turned into the break the Dutchmen needed to ride the wave of momentum into the locker room.
"They kicked the ball off with less than a minute left and we fumbled it," Choi explained. "They got a short field and scored a back-breaking touchdown. It took the momentum away from us.
"We had made some adjustments on defense and thought we would get out of the half down 26-6," he added.
On the second play of the short drive, Bours scored with a two-yard quarterback keeper, making it 33-6.
Choi started Colin Bailey at quarterback. He connected with Dalton Temple on a 50-yard touchdown pass for the Braves' only touchdown of the first half. Dylan Jackson, who finished with 81 yards rushing on 10 carries, scored twice in the second half, including a 56-yard dash.
"Colin Bailey started and called a really good game for a first start," Choi commented. "We had another near miss where if we had gotten the play off, we might have had a touchdown. But one of our guys was called for being off sides.
"You learn to focus more at moments like these as you gain more experience," Choi added.
Bailey had six completions, including the TD to Temple. He compiled 73 yards in the air and only one interception, which came early in the second half.
"It was just underthrown to our tight end," said Choi. "If we complete that pass, he could have run for another 20 or 30 yards. It was the first play of the second half."
The Dutchmen scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, including rushing TD's of six and 23 yards by Turner.
The Braves' next game will be at Elco.
"Last year we broke a string of 15 straight wins by Elco," Choi noted. "We hadn't beaten them in 15 years. We pulled it out on the last play. It has been a good rivalry for all the years I've been here.
"They're very talented with an incredibly gifted quarterback," he added. "Their coaching staff has done a good job. Last year they were a team with some inexperienced players just like we are this year. They have turned it around."
Choi did go on to emphasize that despite the "W" column failing to show a more favorable integer, he has seen tremendous efforts by the Braves.
"I'm proud of our team, to be honest," he said. "This isn't a season where you feel down about what you're doing. We're gaining as much experience as possible. We have a young team. They keep plugging away no matter what type of adversity we face. We may not be as experienced as some of our opponents, but we keep fighting for each other."
In the Class-AA quarterfinals of the L-L League Flight Tournament, Sophia Weaver came up short in a 6-1, 6-1 final on Thursday. Earlier in the day, she had posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory to reach the quarterfinals of Flight One singles.
In Flight Three quarterfinals, Adalie Clemmer won 6-4, 6-7, 11-9. The sophomore's path to the quarterfinals was also challenging as she made it through the first round with a 2-6, 6-4, 10-5 win.
In Flight Four singles, Ryleigh Kurtz played a tough match, finishing on the short end of a 7-6(3), 6-3 result. In Flight Two, PV's Naomi Feister suffered a 6-2, 6-1 defeat.
In Flight One doubles, Weaver and Feister were winners in the quarterfinals. Kurtz and Hope Fisher won an 8-2 set in the first round of Flight Three doubles while Clemmer and Kristin Huenink lost by the same margin at Flight Two doubles.
In a non-league road game, the Braves suffered a 6-0 defeat to Tulpehocken on Monday. The goalie tandem of Jordan Melson and Maria Gregory made seven and nine saves, respectively as Tulpehocken recorded 23 shots as a team.
The Braves' next two contests ended in defeat by the identical score of 8-0. Pequea Valley hosted Octorara on Thursday and traveled to Elco the following afternoon. Melson's tenacious goal keeping racked up 22 saves in the Octorara match while she added 10 more saves versus Elco with Gregory recording three more.
PV Girls' Soccer Extends Winning Streak to 4 September 30, 2018
The Pequea girls' soccer team extended its winning streak to four games, claiming that fourth consecutive win on Saturday at Berks Catholic, topping the non-league opponent 2-1. The Braves improved to 9-3-1 overall. Given that two of the four victories were against league opponents, the team improved to 5-3-0 in the L-L League.
The win streak, which dates back to the previous week, was extended to two games in a 1-0 win at Northern Lebanon on Tuesday afternoon. The Braves topped their league foe in overtime thanks to Megan Yoder breaking the scoreless deadlock.
Kyrstin Jarvis helped keep the Vikings off the board, recording 10 saves in the marathon match. The Braves out-shot the Vikings 12-10.
In another league match, the Braves' offense got out to a quick start and kept the proverbial "foot on the accelerator" in a 5-1 victory at Lebanon on Friday afternoon. Twenty-four shots on goal included two goals by Grace Martin and one each by Dana Diluzio, Jasmyn Stoltzfus and Emily Diller, who also had one assist. Gweneth Markell also provided an assist while on the defensive side of the pitch Jarvis and Maddy Weaver each notched one save.
The victory at Berks Catholic was in double overtime, actually. Kalyn Keen scored in the 92nd minute of a match where the Braves had to battle back for a win.
The Saints had taken a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the second half. Baleigh Henshaw scored the equalizer in the 62nd minute. Yoder and Brittany Shirk each dished out an assist in the win.
Jarvis once again was reliable in goal, making 12 saves in the 92-minute affair.
The Pequea Valley field hockey team faced Lancaster Mennonite on Monday. The Blazers were coming off a tight 2-1 defeat of Lancaster Catholic the previous week.
The Braves were unable to hold off the Mennonite attack as the visitors pulled off a 6-0 Lancaster-Lebanon League win, scoring three times in each half.
Rebecca Lane scored twice - one in each half - as the Blazers recorded 21 shots on goal.
Pequea's Jordan Melson and Maria Gregory were relentless in front of the cage, making seven and eight saves, respectively.
The Braves fell to 0-9-0 in the L-L League (0-10-0 overall) while Mennonite improved to 5-3-0 in the league.
Emily Ammon scored off an Emily Bologa assist at the 24:45 mark of the second half on Wednesday at Annville-Cleona. However, it was all A-C the rest of the way in an 8-1 league win for the Dutchmen. Three different A-C players scored two goals each.
The home team had 35 shots on goal with Melson making 24 saves and Gregory notching 11 more.
Gregory handled the goal keeping duties and recorded 18 saves at Lancaster Country Day on Saturday afternoon in a 6-0 league loss.
Pequea Valley is in the hunt for Section Four boys' soccer title, as well as league and District Three playoff aspirations.
"One of our things is to keep building with each game," said PV head coach Peter Bennett.
"Each game grows increasingly difficult - especially difficult," Bennett added, referring to upcoming games with section contenders Lancaster Country Day and Lancaster Catholic, who are 6-1-0 and 6-0-1 in the league, respectively, and only percentage points ahead of the 6-1-1 Braves. "We have big matches coming up that have both section and district seeding implications."
The Braves (10-1-2 overall) opened their week with a 15-0 defeat of Northern Lebanon on Tuesday. They had 29 shots on goal, scoring seven times in the first half.
"We've gotten to the point where we're pretty settled in to the way we're playing and what we're trying to do," Bennett said. "We played our game as a team and good things happened for us."
Josh Heinrich had an amazing day, scoring five of the 15 goals. He had a hat trick before the match was so much as 10 minutes old. Brandon Ratjavong also notched a hat trick, scoring two goals within two minutes of each other in the first half and adding a third in the second half.
Dylan Ratjavong also scored a goal while Evan Landis and Clint Landis both scored in the final 10 minutes of the match.
"It was nice seeing the two sets of brothers each score," Bennett remarked. "We ended up getting a lot of our junior varsity players into the game. Anytime I can do that, I'm happy to do so. It gives the younger players experience and helps build their confidence for the future."
Other scores came from Nevin Stoltzfus, Mason Smucker, Josh Gingrich and Johan Gomez-Mendez.
Goalie Nehemiah Glick notched a shutout as well as another on Thursday against Lebanon. The Braves limited the Cedars to only one shot on goal in the 4-0 victory.
Heinrich, and T.J. Hershey scored in the first half, with Hershey scoring twice and adding an assist on the day. Kyle Diller added another goal in the second half.
The Pequea scoring was also aided by Nevin Stoltzfus and Winston Thomas, each of whom recorded an assist.
"The Northern Lebanon match felt like we couldn't do anything wrong," Bennett said. "It was good to return on Thursday, especially with the rain and the uncertainty of the weather, and see everyone play our game. The guys didn't take anything for granted [after the 15-0 win] and didn't feel like they deserved anything."
The Braves played host to Middletown in a non-league game on Saturday night. The offense was again potent, scoring eight times in an 8-3 victory.
Glick came through with four saves after the defense cooled off the opposition following halftime. The Braves actually trailed 3-2 at the midway point.
Hershey scored four of PV's goals, scoring three times in the second half. Stoltzfus and Heinrich each notched one goal while Elijah Jenkins netted two more.
Hershey and Heinrich, each had one assist as did Josh Bailey, Brandon Ratjavong and Josh Jarvis.
Along with the offensive firepower, the goal tending of Glick has helped keep Pequea hot all season long.
"Nehemiah has done well for us," Bennett said. "We didn't have a goalie at the start of the season but he stepped up.
"As a collective group, the defense has done well," he added. "Winston Thomas has been our vocal leader there."
Pequea Valley came up short in a 20-6 contest on Friday night at Northern Lebanon. The Vikings held off the Braves in the second half after taking that same 20-6 lead into the locker rooms at the half.
The Braves fell to 0-6 (0-5 in league) while the Vikings (1-4 league) notched their first win of the season.
John Smith scored the Braves' lone touchdown on a one-yard quarterback keeper in the second quarter.
The Vikings scored their touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams, meaning that the PV defense once again played an impressive contest. Alex Folmer's 20-yard rushing TD was the only touchdown allowed by the PV defensive unit. They limited the Vikings to only 85 aerial yards on seven completions. Ethan Herb, NL's leading rusher, only gained 34 yards while Folmer ran for 31.
The Braves' comeback attempts were foiled by the Vikings defense, which limited Smith to six completions on the night for 63 yards. Dylan Jackson ran for 36 yards on 11 carries to lead Pequea's rushing attack.
Pequea Valley topped Kutztown in a non-league girls' tennis match on Wednesday afternoon. The Braves posted a 5-0 win. They followed that with a Section Two battle against Lancaster Country Day on Friday afternoon at home. The Cougars prevailed 4-3 in a close battle.
In the defeat of Kutztown, Hope Fisher and Ryleigh Kurtz combined for a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles followed by Caroline Bragg and Kristin Huenink posting a 6-0, 6-1 win.
Sophia Weaver (6-2, 6-1), Naomi Feister (6-4, 6-3) and Adalie Clemmer (6-0, 6-1) all won straight sets in singles play.
Weaver and Feister were a formidable pair at number one doubles against LCD. They won by an 8-0 score. Clemmer and Huenink came up short in an 8-4 match but Kurtz and Fisher claimed a team point at number three doubles, winning 8-3.
In singles play, Clemmer won 7-5, 6-0 as the Braves finished the regular season at 12-2 (4-2 in league).
Henshaw Notches Game-Winner Against Blazers September 23, 2018
The Pequea Valley girls' soccer team played through two low-scoring Lancaster-Lebanon League matches before facing Octorara in a Saturday afternoon game.
Sophomore Baleigh Henshaw's goal in the 34th minute of the match was all the offense Pequea needed in a 1-0 defeat of league rival Lancaster Mennonite on Wednesday. The match was played a day late after rain caused the postponement of the game at Kinzers.
Henshaw scored off an Alyssa Yoder assist. It was one of only six shots on goal by the Braves.
On the Pequea side of the pitch, meanwhile, Kristen Jarvis made certain that the low-scoring was enough scoring. She made 10 saves to preserve the shutout.
Pequea improved to 3-2-0 in the L-L League and 4-2-1 overall.
Also on Wednesday, Lancaster Catholic was busy pouring in nine goals in a 9-0 defeat of McCaskey. The following day, that same offense was able to score only once against Jarvis and the PV offense.
However, the Crusaders limited the Braves to only two shots on goal in a 1-0 victory in Lancaster. Camille Zapata scored 18 minutes into the second half off a Hannah Schmidt assist. Jarvis saved the other four shots launched in her direction.
Jarvis recorded six more saves in the 1-0 defeat of Octorara on Saturday afternoon. Megan Yoder's goal in the 27th minute came off an Alyssa Yoder assist, giving PV a 1-0 lead, which stood for the final margin.
The Braves and the Braves battled it out on the gridiron in what has become known as the annual Brave Bowl.
In this year's showdown, which was held at Kinzers, the Octorara Braves topped the Pequea Valley Braves 19-6. What made this different this year was that for the first time it was played as a league game.
Octorara held off a Pequea drive in the waning seconds of the first half and headed into the locker room leading 7-0.
Dalton Temple capped a successful drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, pulling Pequea Valley to within a point, 7-6. The visiting Braves, however, went on to put up 12 more points in that stanza while the defenses fought the rest of the way in a 19-6 Octorara victory.
The win improved Octorara's record to 2-3 (2-2 in league) while Pequea Valley fell to 0-5, 0-4.
Head coach Mike Choi commented on how pleased he was with his defensive unit.
"I saw a lot of improvements," he said. "We had to implement a sophisticated game plan to stop their offense.
"They do three things off the jet series or they'll fake the jet," continued the coach. "Either someone goes in motion to the wide side of the field and they'll have the inside receiver go in jet motion with the quarterback and either hand it off to him, sweep to the outside, or pull the linemen to give the quarterback to run it inside the tackle.
"He's reading the defensive linemen and if there's a hole there, he'll run it through," Choi explained. "You have to be consistent in defending the quarterback and the run. They can also fake the sweep and step back and throw to one of their receivers."
Given the youth and relative inexperience of this young PV squad, it was a phenomenal display of disciplined defense on the gridiron. It did not go unnoticed by the opposing sideline.
"Their coach Jed King shook my hand after the game and told me our defense played a fantastic game," Choi added. "It's really nice when the other team's coach comes over and compliments your defense."
As for the low-scoring affair, the Octorara side scored on a defensive touchdown in the first quarter before the aforementioned drive by PV ended inside the red zone.
That Pequea Valley drive ended at the Octorara two-yard line when quarterback John Smith's dash was stopped short of the goal line as the halftime whistle sounded.
"We drove the ball well from 20 to 20," Choi commented, referring to the yard markers on the field. "We did it efficiently. And that's when you have to put points on the board. They tightened up the defense and we made mistakes.
"On that play, at about the four-yard line, John could have either put his shoulder down and tried to get into the end zone or try to get out of bounds, which could have given us two seconds for a field goal on fourth down. It would have been nice to get the field goal and when we scored first in the second half, we would have been up 9-7. But they tackled him at the two-yard line."
Pequea Valley earned 145 yards of rushing offense shared between Temple, Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey.
"They're the three-headed monster for our rushing game," Choi said. "Dylan had another big run called back on a penalty. Dalton was fantastic, using his ability to find open holes in the field. He also had a nice interception in the end zone and had a catch on a third-and-long, setting us up inside the 20."
Following Temple's touchdown, the visiting Braves went up 13-6 on quarterback Nick Mattingly's 68-yard dash to the end zone. Mattingly later connected with Jansen Schempp on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
Hershey ran for 59 yards on 17 carries. Jackson had 28 yards on eight rushes while Temple was handed the ball eight times for 46 yards of real estate. He also had five receptions for 30 yards.
"Two of their jet series plays resulted in touchdowns," Choi said. "We missed a couple of tackles on one play as their quarterback did a fantastic job breaking some tackles.
"We had a breakdown in the secondary and it might have been fatigue in the second half," Choi added, referring to the pass to Schempp.
Octorara improved to 6-3 in the Brave Bowl history.
Pequea Valley's next game will be at Northern Lebanon as both teams will be going for their first win of the season.
The stellar goal tending of Jordan Melson was just what this Pequea Valley field hockey team needed in Friday's road game at Section Three rival Lebanon. Melson faced 16 shots on goal and finished the day with 15 saves a in a close 1-0 loss to the Cedars.
The Cedars kept the Braves out of the crease and denied the Pequea offense. The only goal came at the 20:22 mark of the first half - off the stick of Giahny Correa, who took an assist from Kayla Rohner.
Pequea Valley fell to 0-7-0 on the year (0-6-0 in league). The Braves were coming off a 6-0 loss to Lancaster Catholic.
In its quest to claim a league playoff berth, the boys' soccer team played to a 1-1 draw with Lancaster Catholic on Thursday and defeated Octorara 2-1 on the road Saturday.
The Braves' record improved to 7-1-2 (4-1-1 league).
Nehemiah Glick was solid in goal for both games, recording four saves in Thursday's draw and three more in PV's victory.
Josh Heinrich came through with the equalizer against Catholic, scoring 28 minutes into the second half. Chris Richards had given the Crusaders the 1-0 lead just before halftime.
Despite 10 shots on goal, the Braves were able to only get Heinrich's shot past Crusaders keeper Ben Ryan.
PV needed extra time to top Octorara on Saturday afternoon. In the defensive battle, T.J. Hershey put PV up 1-0 at the midway point of the first half. Octorara tied it in the second half and with only three minutes gone in the first overtime, Winston Thomas scored the game-winning goal. Josh Gingrich provided an assist.
Pequea Valley finished a close third to Lancaster Country Day in a Section Four golf match at Crossgates on Tuesday afternoon. The Lancaster Mennonite team finished first with 322 team points while LCD took second (373). The Braves were only three strokes behind the Cougars at 376.
Josiah Nissley was sixth overall with a score of 82. LCD's Nickolas Hooper was the top golfer of the day with 75.
Taking ninth and 10th were Tyrell Stoltzfus and Austin DeForest with respective scores of 93 and 95.
Parker Allain gave PV another spot in the top-15 with a score of 106.
With this match in the books, Pequea's record goes to 16-9 on the year. Lancaster Mennonite improved to 25-0 while LCD improved to 19-6.
Following a 5-2 defeat of L-L League foe Elco on Tuesday, the Pequea Valley girls' tennis team continued its busy week by beating Linden Hall at home in a non-league match the following afternoon.
The team played two more league matches before closing out the week - all victories. The successful run improved PV's record to 11-1 overall (4-1 in league).
The Elco match featured a sweep in the doubles competition, including 8-0 victories by Adalie Clemmer and Kristin Huenink at number one doubles as well as Hope Fisher and Ryleigh Kurtz at number three doubles. At number two doubles it was Sophia Weaver teaming up with Naomi Feister for an 8-4 victory.
Feister and Clemmer also won their singles matches with Clemmer doing so in 6-4, 6-0 straight sets and Feister bouncing back from a 6-2 setback at the second set to win the tiebreaker 10-3.
Following the 4-1 win over Linden Hall, the Braves visited Annville-Cleona for a section match on Thursday. They blanked the Dutchmen 7-0, including straight set victories by Weaver (6-0, 6-0), Kurtz (6-2, 6-0) and Huenink (6-0, 6-0) in the first three singles matches. Caroline Bragg grabbed a 6-4 opening set win at number four singles. After a 6-1 setback, she battled to a 12-10 tiebreaker triumph.
In doubles it was Weaver and Feister winning 8-0 while the duo of Fisher and Kurtz posted the same winning margin of 8-1 as the twosome of Clemmer and Jessica Hurst.
There was more dominance on Friday as the Section Three match was played on Pequea's home court. The Braves downed Columbia 7-0, including straight set wins by Kalexsia Lassak (6-0 6-2) and Hurst (6-0, 6-1). Hurst and Lassak also teamed up for an 8-0 win at doubles.
Fisher and Kurtz won the other two singles matches and teamed for an 8-0 doubles win.
Braves Play 4 Games in 6 Days, Improve to 6-1-1 September 16, 2018
The past week was a busy one for the Pequea Valley boys' soccer team. The Braves played four matches in a span of six days, outscoring opponents 21-3. It wasn't all W's for PV, however. One of those matches proved to be a low-scoring one as Lancaster Country Day edged Pequea 2-1 at Kinzers on Friday.
The week began with a Lancaster-Lebanon League opponent visiting Pequea Valley on Monday night. The Annville-Cleona Little Dutchmen couldn't plug up the holes in the dam as the Braves scored seven times in a 7-1 victory.
One of the offensive weapons for Pequea was Josh Heinrich. The senior scored four times, including a hat trick before the first half was even at its midway point.
"He has come in very determined and wants to lead us to big things this year," said head coach Peter Bennett. "He has scored in various ways - headers, breakaways, and such. He and T.J. Hershey have been leading our offense."
Evan Johns added another goal in that early blitzkrieg of soccer balls blasting toward the A-C net.
In addition, Heinrich had one assist. T.J. Hershey, who had two assists in the game, scored a second-half goal as did Josh Gingrich.
"T.J Hershey plays hungry," said the coach. "His speed up top helps us go forward fast. He starts the play for us by breaking up the opponent's play.
"Josh Gingrich is a smart player and gets himself in positions where he can finish our offensive plays," commented the coach.
Nehemiah Glick made one save.
The offensive power was showcased once again at Lebanon Catholic two days later as the Beavers could not work quickly enough to build a defense against the strong current of goals by Pequea. With a hat trick by Hershey and two more goals by Heinrich, the Braves went on to post a 9-0 win.
The goals came early as well as consistently. Heinrich and Hershey scored in the first 10 minutes of the match. Heinrich made it 3-0 while an own goal by the Beavers and junior Brandon Ratjavong's shot in the 31st minute gave the Braves a 5-0 lead before halftime. Ratjavong also had an assist in the game as did his freshman brother Dylan Ratjavong along with Heinrich, Johns, and Nevin Stoltzfus.
In the second half, Hershey scored his second and third goals of the game. Dylan Ratjavong and Bennett Nordhoff capped the scoring.
"We have a nice group of upperclassmen who have been doing a great job," Bennett noted. "In games like this when we can play some of the younger guys, I'm very pleased to do that. Hopefully building guys like Dylan Ratjavong for the longer picture."
Glick recorded four saves to claim the shutout.
Lancaster Country Day earned only its third league victory of the season in the 2-1 double overtime defeat of the Braves. Matt Gerace scored in the 95th minute to give the Cougars the win. The visitors, who were held to only three shots on goal in 95 minutes, tied the score on a penalty kick with three minutes left in regulation. Heinrich scored an unassisted goal for Pequea in the first half.
The Braves bounced right back with a 4-0 shutout of Wyomissing in a non-league game on Saturday evening.
Hershey and Heinrich (1 assist) scored two goals each. Bennett Nordhoff also provided an assist.
The Braves went ahead in the seventh minute on Heinrich's first goal. In the 24th minute Hershey doubled the lead before Heinrich made it 3-0 five minutes prior to halftime.
Glick claimed another shutout, making five saves.
The Braves improved to 6-1-1 overall.
The final score of Friday night's football game against Columbia was 25-13 in favor of the Crimson Tide. Columbia put up two fourth-quarter touchdowns and held off the Braves, improving to 1-2 in Section Three (1-3 overall) while the host Braves fell to 0-3 (0-4).
That may have been what the scoreboard and the eventual result in the standings said. However, Pequea Valley head coach Mike Choi felt that his squad's and coaching staff's feeling was that things could have gone the other way.
"We lost the game because we gave it away on penalties, with fumbles and interceptions," said Choi. "In our first five drives, we stopped ourselves.
"There was no doubt on our sideline that we were going to win that game," he added. "We kept driving down, but would either turn the ball over or shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties. We would break out with a 20-yard run but have it called back with a 10-yard penalty. So instead of a first-and-10 on their 20-yard line, for instance, it would be first-and-20 farther back."
Matt McCleary, the Columbia quarterback, threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns on 14 completions. He connected with Demetrius Diaz twice for TD's, including a 67-yard score in the second quarter.
"Besides the broken plays on defense where we allowed their receivers to get behind us, they only had about 80 yards of offense," Choi noted. "Not taking anything away from their quarterback; he was poised. We put pressure on him the entire game and he stood right in there.
"Overall, I was thrilled with our improvement on defense - running pursuit angles, making tackles," Choi continued. "We just need to play assignment football on every snap."
Pequea Valley scored in the first quarter on a 14-yard run by quarterback John Smith. The 5-foot-11 junior also completed seven passes for 113 yards, which included a fourth-quarter 44-yard scoring pass to Dalton Temple. Smith also ran the ball eight times for 37 yards.
McCleary also hit Justin Elliott on a 17-yard touchdown toss. One of Smith's passes was picked off by Matt Gambler, who went 40-yards the other way for a Columbia defensive touchdown.
As always, the running attack for the Braves was shared by Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey.
"Dylan Jackson and Brandon Hershey each ran for over 60 yards," Choi noted. "Jackson had 45 yards taken away for penalties. We could have had two 100-yard rushers in the game if it weren't for the penalties."
The next game for Pequea Valley will be a home game against Octorara. This has become known as the "Brave Bowl" as both teams have the same moniker for their sports teams. This year, however, Octorara is in the L-L League.
"They have a good program," Choi said. "It's going to be a very exciting game and we expect both schools will be well represented."
Pequea Valley improved to 4-1-1 on the year, playing a three-game stretch over a course of three days. The games included the Braves' first loss of the year - a 1-0 setback at Section Three foe Annville-Cleona on Thursday.
The loss was sandwiched between victories over Lebanon Catholic and Lancaster Country Day.
In an 8-0 thumping of the Beavers on Wednesday, as one might expect, there was a hat trick to Pequea's credit. As part of the 19-shot attack, Brittany Shirk scored twice in the first half and added another score in the second half while also registering an assist.
Grace Martin and Alyssa Yoder also scored first half goals as Pequea finished with four goals per half.
Megan Rogers, who also had one assist, scored in the 56th minute. Megan Yoder and Emily Diller each added a late goal.
Kalyn Keen, Megan Yoder and Diller each notched an assist. Krystin Jarvis and Maddy Weaver each had one save in the shutout.
Gweneth Markell's goal in the 22nd minute of Friday's game at Lancaster Country Day was all the Braves needed to put a 1-0 win in the books. With Krystin Jarvis in goal and making two saves, the defense held off the Cougars.
In a Wednesday afternoon game at Iron Valley, the Braves battled Lancaster Mennonite, Lancaster Country Day, Lebanon Catholic, Annville-Cleona, and Lebanon, finishing a close third.
Pequea finished with 383 points to LCD's 370. Mennonite won the match with a 362.
Josiah Nissley led Pequea, shooting an 88 on the day. He finished fourth overall. Matt Berkenstock and Nick Hooper of LCD finished atop the field, each shooting 80.
Tyler Stoltzfus recorded a 92 and PV teammate Austin DeForest shot a 95 while Parker Allain came away with a108.
The Braves' overall league record goes to 13-7 on the year.
Pequea posted two more victories and improved to 7-1 on the year. The girls' suffered a 7-0 loss to league rival Lancaster Catholic on Wednesday, slipping to 1-1 in league play.
In a 5-0 defeat of McCaskey on Thursday, Hope Fisher came through in singles and doubles competition. She paired up with Ryleigh Kurtz for a 3-6, 6-3 (10-6) win at first doubles. She also won her match at number two singles by straight set scores of 6-2, 6-1.
In second doubles it was Kristin Huenink and Caroline Bragg winning 6-3, 6-3. Sophia Weaver came through 6-2, 6-0 at number one singles. Adalie Clemmer gave PV another team point at number three singles, winning by the same scores in straight sets.
Fisher, Clemmer, Weaver and Naomi Feister were multiple winners in the 7-0 win at Penn Manor on Friday. Clemmer and Kurtz took the first doubles by an 8-3 count while Weaver and Feister, at second doubles, and Fisher and Bragg, at No. 3, both won by 8-1 counts.
The Braves won all four singles in straight sets. Fisher (6-4, 6-1) took the first singles while Clemmer (6-1, 6-0) won at number two singles. Feister's 6-1, 6-1 third singles and Weaver's 6-3, 6-3 fourth singles wrapped things up in the shutout.
The Braves suffered a pair of league losses last week, falling to 0-4 in L-L League play (0-5 overall). In Wednesday's 6-0 loss at Lancaster Mennonite, goalkeeper Jordan Melson came through with 18 saves while Olivia Ammon and Camryn Bailey each notched one save. The Blazers pounded out 26 shots with Rebecca Lane scoring twice.
Melson had seven more saves in the loss to Elco on Friday afternoon. In the Raiders' 18-shot attack, Alicia Yoh and Anya Kissinger each notched a hat trick.
Maria Gregory also helped out in front of the Braves' cage, making two more saves.
Pequea Valley Tennis Tops Blazers, Now 5-0 September 9, 2018
In a Section Three match against Lancaster Mennonite, the Pequea Valley girls' tennis team cruised to a 7-0 victory, winning its first league match of the season. The Braves improved to 5-0 overall.
Each of the three doubles pairings worked in Pequea's favor as Sophia Weaver and Naomi Feister first posed an 8-1 victory followed by Adalie Clemmer and Kristin Huenink, who won the second doubles by an 8-0 margin. Ryleigh Kurtz and Hope Fisher were just as dominant, defeating Kate Hoober and Olivia Beiler 8-1.
Weaver came away with straight set wins at number one singles (6-1, 6-1) Fiester won the second singles while Clemmer (6-2, 6-0) took the number three singles. Kurtz made it a singles sweep with a defeat of Elleah Stillman.
The Pequea Valley Braves faced a relentless barrage of shots in their Wednesday afternoon Lancaster-Lebanon League field hockey match with Annville-Cleona. With 35 shots on goal, the Little Dutchmen posted a 10-0 victory, highlighted by hat tricks from Grace Renninger and Emily Brightbill.
In addition to the hat tricks, Lauren Schrader came through with three assists for the visitors. Pequea Valley fell to 0-2 on the year.
Goalkeeper Jordan Melson came through with 25 saves in a match that would have been overwhelming for most keepers.
The Braves are looking to find the scoring groove early in this 2018 campaign. Their only other match of the season thus far was a 7-0 setback against league foe Lancaster Country Day, which was played on Friday at Kinzers. Two more league games are scheduled in this coming week - Lancaster Mennonite and Elco.
Sometimes a victory isn't what is tallied in points on the scoreboard at the end of a game; it can be an effort that boosts a team's morale and gains momentum into its next game.
The Pequea Valley football team came into Friday night's L-L League game having scored only six points in its first two contests.
The Braves were trailing Lebanon 37-0 at halftime as Isaiah Rodriguez had thrown touchdown passes of 37 yards and 52 yards in addition to Jahlil Young breaking through the Braves' defense for a 70-yard scamper to the end zone.
The Cedars (1-2; 1-1 in league) added to that lead with a 57-yard fumble return by Andrew Bowers.
"We were down 44-0 in the second half," head coach Mike Choi pointed out. "It's easy to feel sorry for yourself and not go out to give maximum effort. But our guys realized they had an opportunity to play a tough second half. They believed in themselves, the coaches and the program to come out and play the way they did. We played better defense too. I'm proud of our guys."
From that point on, the Braves outscored the Cedars 26-14. The final score of 58-26 dropped Pequea's record to 0-3 (0-2 in league). But the offense started to fire on the right cylinders.
The Braves first scored on Dylan Jackson's 10-yard run. Following another big play score by the Cedars, which came in the form of Leighton Rivera's 61-yard run, Brandon Hershey powered his way over the goal line for another PV touchdown.
"Brandon had 130 yards rushing," Choi pointed out. "He is our power back. He's going to hit the hole going hard and run with authority.
"Dylan Jackson is very dangerous," continued the coach. "He has the ability to elude tacklers. You can't get a square tackle on him. He has incredible vision.
"Having those guys play off each other helped keep the defense off balance," said Choi. "I'm excited to see how those two will help our offense going forward. They are the motor that makes our offense go."
Jackson scored two more touchdowns and was on the receiving end of a two-point PAT. He had a five-yard rushing TD followed by the two-point conversion - a pass from John Smith. He also caught a four-yard TD pass from Smith, the junior quarterback.
Choi talked about how the growing process involves both players and coaching staff.
"We only had one scrimmage game and we had an earlier start to the season," he pointed out. "Offensively, in the first half, it takes a little from the coaching staff to understand what you have - what the players are good at. You usually get it by the second or third game.
"We started to figure out who we are in the second half of this game," he added.
The understaffed Braves, who dressed only 24 players for the game and lost a player to injury early on, will host Columbia this Friday night.
"We don't have a ton of depth but we go out and give a strong effort each and every game," said Choi.
Heading into the weekend, it was feast or famine for the boys' soccer team. The Braves pounded league opponent Lebanon 7-0 on Friday afternoon, scoring four times in the first half alone as they directed 20 shots on goal in the match. On Saturday, the squad played to a scoreless draw with Tulpehocken in a non-league road game with Nehemiah Glick saving seven shots to help the Braves (3-0-1) earn at least a draw.
The victory over the Cedars improved the Braves' L-L League mark to 2-0-0. T.J. Hershey was the offensive hero, recording a hat trick. Josh Gingrich came away with two goals while Josh Bailey and Nevin Stoltzfus each netted one goal. Brandon Ratjavong and Josh Heinrich each came through with an assist while Glick made five saves to record a shutout.
The Braves had outscored opponents 18-2 coming into the Tulpehocken game. Half of those goals came in a 9-1 defeat of Northern Lebanon on Wednesday. Pequea's offense was efficient with nine scores coming on 15 shots on goal.
Hershey's goal came just 3:00 into the game and Elijah Jenkins, who also had an assist on the day, made it 2-0 in the 10th minute.
Heinrich, who finished with a hat trick and two assists, made it 3-0 prior to the midway point of the first half. He scored two quick goals in the 43rd and 46th minute of the match with Hershey's second goal of the game sandwiched in between. Gingrich also scored one of the four first-half goals while Josh Jarvis and Ryan Stoltzfus each added one in the second half. Nevin Stoltzfus had an assist while Winston Thomas dished out two assists.
Glick faced only two shots on goal and claimed one save.
In girls' soccer, Pequea Valley (2-0-1) claimed its first league win with a 4-0 shutout of Lebanon on Friday. In the home game against the Cedars, the Braves had one goal each from four different goal scorers - Megan Rogers, Brittany Shirk, Alyssa Yoder and Abby Stoltzfus.
The Braves were in attack mode for much of the game, recording 25 shots on goal. Lebanon goalies Shannon Simmons and Makayla Gingrich had 10 and eight saves, respectively.
Meanwhile on the other side of the pitch, Krystin Jarvis needed to make only two saves to claim a shutout.
In addition to their goals, Rogers, Shirk and Yoder each assisted on a score.
Jarvis had another shutout in Saturday's non-league game against Tulpehocken.
The Trojans out-shot the Braves 8-7 and had four corners to none by Pequea. However, it was Yoder's overtime goal off a Rogers' assist that clinched the victory for the Braves. Yoder scored seven minutes into the extra period to give Jarvis (6 saves) and the Braves a shutout victory.
Braves Fall in District Three Opener Against A-C May 24, 2018
The Pequea Valley softball team managed to start the District Three Class 3A playoffs on Wednesday afternoon at home - one day following the originally scheduled date for the match against Annville-Cleona.
The Little Dutchmen, whom the Braves had played twice during the regular season, took advantage of walks, fielding errors and timely hitting to post a 5-0 victory, ending Pequea Valley's 2018 campaign at 13-8.
"It was a disappointing loss," said head coach Doug High. "I feel bad for the girls because they wanted to win. They only had four hits, but we gave them a lot of base runners on walks, hit batters and a couple of errors."
Singles by Sophia Weaver and Katelyn Smoker were all the offense the Braves could muster. Smoker also stole a base.
"Kate Smoker, in her first year, had a tremendous season in the outfield," said High. "Our whole outfield was very talented."
"Statistically this was probably the most talented unit I've been associated with in 16 years at Pequea Valley," continued the coach. "Best defensive unit and one of the top offensive groups I've coached."
The Dutchmen scored twice in the first three innings off PV starter Sarah Moore. She only gave up four earned runs on the day, striking out three batters.
Annville leadoff hitter Lauren Schrader was on base all three times she batted. Desiree Loy had a big triple in the Dutchmen's three-run seventh inning.
The Braves were coming off a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff loss the previous week where the Garden Spot Spartans won a bizarre 12-9 ballgame in the opening round of leagues.
"We had 12 base runners and scored nine runs," High recalled. "I was proud of them. They didn't give up. We were down 6-0, got two runs and battled back to 8-7. They just kept battling."
Garden Spot had 18 hits. However, Pequea Valley pitcher Olivia Ammon and her teammates in the field made the Spartans earn their runs
"We didn't have any errors," High noted. "Olivia struck out three."
The Braves took advantage of some sloppy play by the Spartans to plate a few of its runs. The Braves only had five hits in the game.
Caroline Bragg was a big spark in Pequea's offense. She had two hits, two walks, three stolen bases and scored four times.
"She was on fire," said High. "She also drove in two runs. She did a great job."
Claudia Schaubach had two hits and three runs batted in.
As the league's post-season play started, the all-star selections came out. Schaubach, Moore, third baseman Maggie Johnson and shortstop Makenzi Dienner were named first-team all-stars. Smoker was named Honorable Mention.
Braves Win Five Straight, Clinch Section 4 Title May 11, 2018
The Braves needed to keep on winning.
Annville-Cleona was one game behind Pequea Valley with the Lancaster-Lebanon League softball schedule nearly wrapped up. The Little Dutchmen won seven of their final eight games, including six straight league victories. The Braves bounced back from a 3-1 loss to A-C in late April by winning five straight L-L League games and clinching Section Four's pennant.
This past week, victories over Columbia and Elco helped Pequea finish the regular season at 13-6 (12-4 league).
"We finished fourth in the District Triple-A rankings," said head coach Doug High. "As of Wednesday, we are playing Annville-Cleona at home in the first round."
It will be the third meeting between the two teams, who split their regular season games in Section Four head-to-head action.
"It isn't the first time we've played them in the post-season," said High. "Sometimes we even play them for the section championship and again get them in districts."
Asked how the Braves were able to stay on course and record the wins necessary for a section crown, High simply replied, "Good pitching, defense and offense."
Olivia Ammon pitched the Braves to victory in a 6-3 win against Elco in the regular season finale on Tuesday. She struck out 11 batters.
"They scored all of their runs in the final inning and we got out of it with the bases loaded," said High.
Maggie Johnson drove in two runs and Sarah Moore slugged a home run.
Moore was coming off a winning performance the previous day at Columbia. She pitched the Braves to victory on a day the head coach was resting some of the starters.
"We weren't generating any offense in the first few innings, so I put the starters back in," he said. "We did give the younger kids some reps."
Senior Alexis Melson went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in.
"She was already 2-for-2 and she was up in a sacrifice situation," High explained. "I let her swing away and she got hit to help us out."
High hopes that Pequea can turn its fortunes around for the 2018 playoffs.
"We have been district runners-up two years in a row," he pointed out. "Maybe this year we'll break that pattern and be district champs. Only the top two teams from Triple-A make it to states."
Last year the Braves suffered a first-round loss in PIAA's.
Brady Burns came into last week's District Three Class-AA singles championships as the third seed. The freshman made his way to the district semifinals before having to settle for fourth place at the Hershey Racquet Club.
Burns battled by Quin Bucheit of Hamburg by scores of 6-3, 7-6 (4) and played another tough match against Will Schreck of Wyomissing, posting scores of 7-5, 3-6 and 6-4.
Second-seeded Johan Rebert of Lancaster Country Day defeated Burns 6-4, 6-4 in the semis, sending the Pequea underclassman to the consolation match where he suffered a close defeat at the hands of York Suburban's Parker Lando, 4-6 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3).
In the District Three Class-AA Team Championships, which began on May 3, the Braves advanced to the second round only to suffer a 5-0 loss to top-seeded Wyomissing on Tuesday evening at HRC.
Burns suffered a 6-2, 6-3 setback at number one singles. Fellow freshman Nehemiah Glick lost 6-2, 6-1 at third singles.
In doubles competition, Hunter Winey and Josh Gingerich fought a closely-contested match, only to be on the short end of 7-5, 6-4 sets.
In the prior week, the Braves' opening-round victory came against York Suburban with Winey and Gingerich posting a 6-2, 6-3 win while Malachi Clark and Josh Heinrich came back to win the first doubles 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Burns was a 7-6(5), 6-2 winner in singles and Devon Clemmer a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 winner at third singles while Elliot Esh came up just short against Liam Waterbury in 6-3, 6-2 straight sets.
The Braves do play in the third-place consolation match for a chance to make the PIAA's as the third-seeded team from District Three.
Adryan Yothers pitched six strong innings and combined with senior Joe Olonovich for a shutout on Monday afternoon in a Section Four ballgame against Columbia.
"Adrian was mowing them down," said head coach Dwayne Reiter. "He had 12 strikeouts - was doing a really good job throwing strikes and overpowering them. He didn't need to use his off-speed stuff."
The Braves had entered the game with a .500 record (9-9), thus finishing the season at 10-9, which included a 9-6 league mark. They claimed third place in Section Four.
Reiter pointed to a game the previous week against Section champ Lancaster Catholic - a heartbreaking 5-3 loss at home in extra innings.
"The loss to Catholic was a hard one to take," he said. "These boys gave 110 percent. We knew we had to win out the season to put us in good position for district playoffs.
"They boys played well the second half of the season" he added. "Watching that game slip away at the end was tough. We played better in the second half of the season and it showed."
The Braves won eight of their last nine games.
"We were better than our record showed," said Reiter.
Part of the offensive punch all year has been Ryan Lockhart. The junior slugged a two-run triple and finished with three runs batted in. Senior Terrell Stoltzfus went 2-for-3 with a double and scored two runs while Dalton Temple had a hit and stole three bases.
"We got two runners on base in the first inning and Ryan came through with a nice triple," Reiter said. "That was all we needed."
Zach Lynch had a double and Yothers and Olonovich each had a stolen base.
Yothers allowed only one base hit Olonovich came on in relief and allowed two base hits.
"Joe came in to close out the last inning with what could be his last career game here," said the coach.
Brady Burns Wins Class AA Singles Tennis Title May 4, 2018
In Monday's Lancaster-Lebanon League Tennis Championships, there was a repeat champion and a first-time champion in flight one of singles.
While Cedar Crest's Jackson Muraika, who's a junior, claimed the Class-AAA crown for a second straight year, Pequea Valley's Brady Burns won the Class-AA singles for his first time.
First time only?
Oh yes, Burns happens to be a freshman.
He played an impressive tournament and capped it with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lancaster Catholic freshman Brendan McNamara on the court at Conestoga Valley.
Even more impressive was the fact that Burns and teammate Devon Clemmer paired up for a doubles championship at 2A. Clemmer, who also competed at flight four singles, and Burns gave the audience their money's worth, playing an intense match versus Dawson Smith and Mason Bennetch of Elco, the latter of whom placed third in 2A singles.
The Pequea pair posted a 6-2 win and won the tiebreaker 10-5 after Bennetch and Smith had opened with a 6-2 victory of their own.
With victories on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Pequea baseball team extended its winning streak to eight games, which included seven straight over L-L League opponents.
The Braves topped Elco and Lebanon Catholic on the road, defeating the Raiders 9-3 on Tuesday and blanking the Beavers 7-0 the following afternoon.
In the victory at Elco, the Braves stroked eight hits and took advantage of seven walks to manufacture runs. The slugging included doubles by Ryan Lockhart, Zachary Lynch, and Brody Mann.
Pequea Valley scored early in this contest, going up 3-0 before the Raiders cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. The Braves promptly put up three more runs and an additional pair in the sixth.
Lockhart and Lynch each drove in two runs. Lynch and Logan Beegle each scored twice. Dalton Temple was a solid 2-for-3 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot. He also came on to relieve starter Adryan Yothers in the seventh inning. Yothers struck out four batters and walked three, allowing only two runs on four hits through the first six innings.
For the Raiders, Joe Ginder went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run.
Playing three games in as many days, the Braves allowed the tying run in the sixth inning of Thursday's league game. The Crusaders evened the score at 3-3. They added two runs in the top of the eighth to post an extra-inning win at Kinzers.
The loss dropped the Braves' overall mark to 9-9 and to 8-6 in league play..
The Pequea Valley softball team bounced back from a 3-1 loss on the road to league rival Annville-Cleona by winning three straight league games - two of which saw them score 10 or more runs.
Saturday, April 28 saw the Braves let A-C climb closer to the top of the Section Four standings. However, the three-game win streak which followed kept Pequea (9-5, 10-6 overall) a game ahead of Annville-Cleona.
"We put up a lot of runs on Annville the first time we played them," said head coach Doug High, referring to the 10-0 win on April 10. "But we couldn't hit against them in our last game - same pitcher."
Pequea came back with a 10-2 victory over Lancaster Mennonite with Sarah Moore picking up the win.
Moore went four innings, struck out three and walked four, allowing a run on four hits.
Freshman Olivia Ammon came in to pitch the next three innings. She was impressive in relief with five strikeouts and no walks, allowing a run on three hits.
High was asked if the consecutive days of playing games had anything to do with relieving Moore.
"Neither of them pitched the next game," replied the coach. "I was just keeping them sharp by giving them work."
On offense, Claudia Shaubach went 3-for-4 with a triple. Katelyn Smoker added two RBIs.
"Sophia Weaver had two walks and went 1-for-2," High noted. "She scored three runs.
"Third inning was the big one," he added. "We scored five runs.
"The Annville game was just one where nothing worked," continued the coach. "We just didn't get on base."
As for the hits falling in place and the runs coming in double digits, High said it was a team effort to catch that spark.
"It's contagious," he said. "The mood is positive. Everybody starts swinging the bat well and making contact. Five different kids had base hits."
As for the base hits coming, they certainly didn't come that often in the 13-0 victory over Lebanon Catholic on Wednesday.
What if a team had 13 runs and less than 10 hits? Possible?
What if the team had 13 runs on fewer than five hits?
"As a team we had four hits," said High. "We had 13 runs on four hits. Yvonne Beiler had a double and a triple and she was our offensive spark. She scored twice - once after a leadoff triple - and hit a two-run double."
As for the base runners who resulted in the parade of runs, High explained that the team took advantage of poor control by the Beavers' pitching staff.
"They had 14 walks," he noted. "Leadoff batter Makenzi Dienner walked four times and scored twice."
As for the shutout pitching, it came from freshman Chloe Colburn, who tossed a no-hitter.
"She pitched a great game," said High. "She had struggled the night before in the junior varsity game. But she felt good and I was happy to see that for her. She had four walks, which isn't normal for her. This was her second start of the year."
Thursday's victory was a big one as the Braves posted a 9-1 defeat of Lancaster Catholic on the road. They stayed a game ahead of the A-C Dutchmen.
"We needed to win this one," said High. "Well, we need to win them all. These guys scored six runs against us the first time. They have some hitters."
Ammon held the Crusaders to a run on only three hits, striking out five.
"We played good defense behind her - no errors," said the coach.
Maggie Johnson and Abigail Tobelmann each drove in a pair of runs. The eight Pequea hits came from eight different batters.
"We also scored a couple of runs on passed balls," High pointed out.