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Baseball Field Rededication Slated April 17, 2017

Former players, coaches and family of Harold "Pete" Suter are cordially invited to the rededication of the Solanco varsity baseball field on Friday, May 5, at 3:30 p.m. A permanent sign will be placed on the backstop and a plaque will be on permanent display in the concession stand. Athletic Director, Anthony Hall, and the Baseball Boosters will provide refreshments prior to and after the brief ceremony. If planning to attend you are asked to contact Coach Hall at 717-786-2151, ext. 8200.

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Softballers Go 2-2 in Four Game Week April 17, 2017

Facing four straight games last week with a pitcher dealing with a sore foot issue, the softball team came away with two wins against two losses and fell to 3-3 in Section Two behind CV (4-1), Garden Spot (4-2) and Elizabethtown (3-2).

"Offensively and defensively we need a more consistent team effort from the first pitch to the last," said head coach Brett Miller.

Monday the Mares used a four-run fifth inning to extend a 2-1 lead into a 6-1 victory over visiting Ephrata.

"We got the result we were looking for," said Miller. "We had to adjust to the pitching and Liz Mowrer and Lindsey Lane showed maturity in hitting the ball."

Mowrer went 2-4 with 3 RBI and Lane was 3-3 with one RBI. Both contributed to that fifth run inning as Mowrer singled in both Katelyn Sheaffer and Randi Rambo. Hanna Phillips singled in Mowrer and Kara McClune and Lane singled in Phillips as the Mares collected five of their nine hits that inning.

Phillips struck out 13, scattered four hits and gave up one earned run in the victory.

Despite out hitting Elizabethtown 7-4, Solanco dropped a 7-6 thriller Tuesday afternoon in their second of four home games.

The Mares jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning with back-to-back hits by Alli McDowell and Alyssa Henretty. A throwing error on E-town's rightfielder plated McDowell. Abby Heidelbaugh drew a walk and Henretty scored on a wild pitch. Sheaffer followed with a base hit and Kayla May singled in Heidelbaugh.

They made it 4-0 in the fourth when Heidelbaugh singled in McDowell and looked poised to pull off the victory. The Bears, however, plated three runs on no hits, including plating two runs with two outs. Phillips gutted out a cut on her foot but walked two, hit two and gave up one run on a passed ball before working a strikeout to end the inning.

Two innings later, the Bears, with one out, not only loaded the bases, but took advantage of an error, a walk and a grand slam by No. 5 hitter Sadie Seaman to push the lead to 7-4. Phillips worked two more strikeouts to end the frame but the damage was done.

In attempting a comeback, Heidelbaugh (2-2, 1RBI) worked a leadoff walk and, with one out, Rambo crushed a ball over left field for a two run homer, cutting the lead to 8-6. A lineout to third and a popup ended the game.

"You can win games and lose games in different ways," said Miller. "And we tried to do both in the same game. This was a character builder," he continued. "We were given opportunities to win and we have to reduce the opportunities to lose."

Phillips finished with ten strikeouts but gave up five walks and eight hits.

One day later the Mares regrouped, connected for ten hits, played flawless defense and handed Conestoga Valley an 8-1 loss.

"I was encouraged by the way we responded after the E-town loss," said Miller. "Abby, a four-year starter, got us going with a leadoff home run. She and Alli McClune (2RBI) went 3-4 and paced our offensive output."

Up 4-0 after three complete, Lane added a second homer for the Mares to keep the pressure on the Bucks. Henretty followed with a base hit and McClune doubled in a second run, pushing the lead to 6-0.

CV prevented the shutout with a single run in the top of the fifth but Solanco came back with a two spot in the bottom half, taking advantage of three walks, a double by Mowrer and a base hit by Kayla May.

"We moved Kayla to third and Alli McClune up in the batting order," said Miller. "We're still tweaking the lineup, both in the field and at the plate."

Phillips piled up 13 strikeouts, walked three and scattered five hits in the win.

Thursday's outing started crossover action against Section One teams and put the Mares opposite Penn Manor, the team that knocked them out of the District tournament, 1-0 last year. This one featured another battle, unfortunately the Comets prevailed, 5-3.

Heidelbaugh opened with a solo homer for the second game in a row. Manor, however, countered with a two out, three run homer by cleanup hitter Morgan Yingling in the top of the third.

Not to be outdone, Solanco, with no outs, knotted the score in the fourth on a Mowrer home run that plated Rambo who opened with a base hit. Comet pitcher Brittney Hook fanned the next three batters to get out of the inning.

The very next inning, with the bases loaded, Manor worked another two out hit, this one plated two runs and put the Comets in front for good.

Solanco threatened with two runners in the seventh but couldn't get the key hit.

"We finished the week against a quality pitcher," said Miller of Hook's 10 strikeouts. "But we had good at bats up and down the lineup and showed some defensive promise. Sometimes the ball just doesn't go your way and a weak hit gets through and others find their way.

"Hanna (13K) threw well enough to win," he continued. "That one hit in the fifth inning just got through. She finished with seven walks and four of them were what we were looking for."

BASEBALL

While the baseball team went 1-2 last week, head coach Tom Fish was not disappointed.

"I told the guys, I could not have been more proud of how we bounced back after a disappointing effort at E-town (10-0 loss)."

Last Monday the team traveled to Ephrata for a typically tough outing and came home with an 11-0 loss.

"It's always the toughest game of the year," said Fish. "We learned a lot under the lights at their place. We learned how to compete in all phases of the game. Ephrata did everything right and beat us. But, even in the loss, we could take away some positives," he continued. "Mike Worthington had his first two hits of the season. Josh Kreider bounced back and got us out of a jam on the mound and Koby Nerys made his varsity pitching debut and pitched a solid inning.

"We talked a lot after the game about how we were going to get better and came back with two great efforts."

In Wednesday's slugfest, the Mules fought off two ties and came back from an 8-7 deficit to top CV 14-10 in a game that featured 31 total hits.

Up 7-5 in the top of the fifth, CV rallied with four runs in the bottom half to retake the lead, 9-7.

"We pulled starting pitcher Gabe Horn," said Fish. "He pitched fine. It was a challenging day to be on the mound with the wind blowing straight out. CV's offense responded with four runs."

Clutch hits by Joel McGuire and Colin Ewaka tied the game in the top of the sixth.

"Now we turn to Corey Stively," said Fish. "He was the first pitcher for either team to shut down their opponent. He struck out four guys in two innings, earning his first of many expected wins."

Solanco picked up the win with five runs on two outs in the top of the seventh. John Murray's double off the wall broke the tie. Ewaka's double plated Tim Fetterman who reached on an error that scored Murray and Joel McGuire and Trent Myers added base hits to push across insurance runs.

Murray went 4-5 with two doubles, 2 RBI. Fetterman reached base four times and scored four runs. Leading hitter Ewaka had three hits and 2 RBI while McGuire and Myers also finished with three hits as Solanco scored in all seven innings.

Thursday in Millersville the team traveled to Penn Manor for a rematch of last year's L-L League Championship game. This time however, the Comets prevailed, 5-2.

A RBI base hit by Fetterman and a RBI groundout by Ewaka plated Worthington and Sam Buckwalter who both singled to start the game. The Comets, however, took the lead for good with a four spot in the bottom of the second inning.

"Both teams played a solid game with Penn Manor taking advantage of our only mistake in the field," recalled Fish. "Our defense, led by Worthington (SS), Buckwalter (3B), Dawson Kreider (2B) and Ewaka (1B), has been a real highlight and a joy to watch."

Worthington pitched five innings and Hayden Fox relieved in the sixth.

TRACK

With three more wins in the jumps, senior Robbie McHugh remains undefeated on the dual meet season. His efforts helped the Mules defeat Elizabethtown last Monday afternoon 97.5 - 52.5.

McHugh cleared 6-0 in the high jump, went 18-10 in the long and added a 40-6 triple jump to finish as Solanco's leading scorer.

Also in the field, the throwers came up big, sweeping the javelin and the shot put. Dylan Sheaffer led the way, grabbing first in the shot (46-9) and the discus (127-5). Logan Yaletchko was second in the shot (42-5.5) and Ben Martin was third (41-5). In the discus, Gabe LaMonoca was second (106-10).

They also swept the javelin behind the team of Alex Hindman (137-9), Harrison Bauer (133-11) and Dylon Sturgill (132-9).

"The throwers had a great effort," said head coach Ivan Haines. "They gave up only one point to the opposition."

The pole vaulters also went 2-3. Aaron Jones was second, clearing 10-0, and Billy Maeda was third (9-6).

On the track, the Mules got a double win effort from Brit Yoder who led a sweep in the 100 (24.0). Eric Hopkins was second (24.5) and Tyler Williams third (24.6). Hopkins also anchored the winning 4x100 relay with Will Paredes-Jimenez, Kyle Dombach and Alex McDonald. He was also second in the 100 (11.7) behind Paredes-Jimenez (11.5) and ahead of McDonald (11.9).

Yoder capped his double with a first in the 400 (53.5) with Colin Althoff taking second (54.3) and Alex Monro won the 800 (2:08.9) with Christian Stead grabbing third (2:14.3).

"The boys earned a nice win despite having people injured," said Haines. "It's nice to see the number of talented underclassmen picking up seconds and thirds. The boys' continued to improve. They have not yet reached their potential."

The girls team found themselves in a tight race with the Lady Bears but, despite winning 10 of the 18 events, they fell a little short in the depth department, taking just five of 15 second places and fell short 79-91.

"The girls matched up pretty well in all areas except the jumps," noted Haines, "where we earned just seven points."

Jen Eberly led the scoring with three individual wins and teamed with Cortney Johnson, Kerith Paine and Alana Yoder to win the 4x400 relay. She opened her day with a 17.1 to win the 110 hurdles and clocked a 48.0 to take the 300's. In the field, the senior went 15-11 to lead the long jumpers.

Also in the field, the shot putters swept the competition with Anna Cooney (36-3.5), Troyana Miller (32-5.5) and Katelyn Teaman (28-11.5) securing the top three spots.

Lydia Fetterman added a win in the javelin (95-4) and Kelly Cook settled for thirds in the high (4-8) and triple (29-4) jumps.

"The throwers did an outstanding job, earning firsts in all three events," said Haines. "Anna and Troyana have qualified for districts in the shot put."

Back on the track, Paine earned a win in the 400 (53.7) and Hanna Sweda and Morgan Perry went 1-3 in the 3200. They also teamed with Johnson and Aubree Roop to win the 4x800 relay.

Yoder contributed seconds in the mile (5:09.3) and 200 (27.5) while Sophia Baker was second in the 110 hurdles and third in the 300's.

"It was nice to see Kerith and Hannah earn their first win of the season," Haines noted.

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McHuge Wins 3 Events in Win Over Pioneers April 4, 2017

After capping a 6-1 record last season, Solanco's boys' track team opened its 2017 campaign with an 82-68 victory over visiting Lampeter-Strasburg on an unusually warm March 27th Monday. With first place finishes split down the middle at nine each, the Mules gained the advantage by winning two of three relays and then extended their lead when they doubled the Pioneers in second place points, 30-15.

Alec Munro, Dom Messano, Christian Stead and Ben Stickler clocked an 8:54.6 to claim the opening 4x800 relay and four events later, Will Paredes-Jamenez, Kyle Dombach, Mike Grech and Eric Hopkins added a win in the 4 x400 baton exchange.

Hopkins, a district sprint qualifier last year, and Paredes-Jimenez also finished second and third in the 100 while Messano picked up a second in the mile and was third in the long jump.

"The relay wins, with just one senior on each team, were a highlight," said head coach Ivan Haines.

While the Pioneers won 7 of the 11 events on the track, Solanco kept pace in the field where Robbie McHugh dominated the jumps, winning the long (20-2.5), the triple (39-9) and high (6-0). While Ryan Yaletchko and Aaron Jones went 1-2 in the pole vault, both clearing nine feet.

"Robbie started off where he left off last year, jumping over 20 feet and clearing six feet," noted Haines.

Also in the field, Logan Yaletchko tossed the shot put 43-8.75 to hold off teammate Ben Martin (40-11.75). They also got a second from freshman Gabe LaMonaca (105-8) in the discus and Harrison Bauer added a third in the javelin (132-3).

Back on the track, Brit Yoder clocked a 53.3 to win the 400 and fell into second place in the 200 (24.4) by three tenths of a second and Conner Neaves secured a career first victory in the 3200 (11:08.2), holding off teammate Ian Brown with an 11:28.5.

Also securing points in two events was Dan Siegrist with a third in the 100 hurdles and a second in the 300's, finishing ahead of Jacob Rose.

"Behind seniors like Brit Yoder, Ryan Yaletchko, Dan Siegrist, Connor Neaves, Robbie McHugh, Alec Munro and Eric Hopkins are a great group of underclassmen who earned many seconds and thirds," noted Haines. "We will count on them to continue to do this for a successful year."

The girls' team also split first places finishes with the Pioneers but didn't have the depth to pull off a victory. L-S secured nine of 15 second places and all but two third place points to pull away 83.5 - 65.5.

Senior Jen Eberly was the standout performer for the Mares, clocking top times in the 100 hurdles (17.1), the 300's (48.9) and adding a first in the long jump (15-8).

Freshman Alana Yoder was almost as impressive. She took the 400 (1:00.7) and the 200 (27.8) after warming up with the opening leg of the winning 4x800 relay where Hannah Sweda, Cortney Johnson and Alexis Jackson contributed. Johnson went on to win the 3200 (12:44.5) and Jackson was tops in the 800 (2:37.9). Both are seniors.

Also placing in two events was Troyanna Miller. The sophomore won the discus (101-3) and was second in the shot put (33-6.5).

Second place winners included Sweda in the mile, Aubree Roop in the 3200, Nathaly Molinarez in the javelin, Jacque Groff in the triple jump and Allyson Osborne in the pole vault. Third place point getters included Anna Cooney in the shot and Lydia Fetterman in the javelin.

"L-S is a well-rounded team and outscored us 2-1 in the jumps," said Haines. "It was nice to see Alana Yoder, a freshman, pick up two firsts. She is going to be a girl to watch this year.

"Once the girls get some experience and good practice time, they will be a team that will surprise their opponents," he added.

SOFTBALL

With the weather playing havoc with the spring sports schedules, the softball team was fortunate to get one game in last week. Thursday, despite some spotty drizzling, the Mares collected seven hits, scored runs in three different innings and topped visiting Wilson 5-0.

"For the first game out, and not having much time on our infield, the girls were a bit jittery to start," said head coach Brett Miller. "But it worked out and we made the plays."

Kara McClune's two run single that glanced off the third baseman, gave Solanco the lead in the first inning. Abby Heidelbaugh led off with a base hit to right field and moved up on a fielder's choice. Liz Mowrer reached on an error at third and both scored on McClune's timely hit.

Heidelbaugh's two out double plated Alli McDowell, the No. 8 hitter, who reached on a walk in the second inning.

Solanco capped the scoring three innings later. Katie Sheaffer worked a walk and moved up on Randi Rambo's single up the middle. Both scored when Mowrer, batting cleanup, cracked a double down the left field line.

"That was a good swing with two strikes," recalled Miller.

Wilson's lineup had no answer for Hanna Phillips. The sophomore hurler recorded 14 strikeouts, scattered three hits and gave up one walk in the complete game season opener. Wilson advanced just two runners to second base the entire game.

"They got two of those hits in the last inning," Miller remarked, "but Hanna remained focused. She has made the necessary improvements but is still working on her pitch command. She's only a sophomore

but she battles out there.

"And our junior catcher, Lindsey Lane, threw a runner out at second."

The defending Section Two champ Mares went 13-3 in league play and were 17-6 overall last year, having dropped their final game of the year by a 1-0 count to Penn Manor. They graduated left fielder Cate Armstrong, catcher Bekah Borcky, first baseman Sydney Sturgill and third baseman Kalyn Burger.

"The seniors that graduated carried some big bats," stated Miller, noting Armstrong's over .400 average. "We have three sophomores on the field so we're still a young team, though we do have a core group back. I expect us to be competitive in the league but we need to get playing time as quickly as possible."

BASEBALL

With just three returning starters from the team that won the Lancaster-Lebanon League championship a year ago, the baseball squad has some big holes to fill.

"We lost a lot of seniors and experience from that team," said head coach Tom Fish. "We are pretty young this year and could run out as many as six or seven sophomores in the starting lineup."

Senior shortstop Mike Worthington, senior first baseman Colin Ewaka and sophomore outfielder Joel McGuire return from that championship team. Ewaka was an all-star pitcher last year but, after suffering an arm injury in the fall, will be unable to return to the mound. "We are lucky to have his strong bat in the lineup," said Fish. "Hayden Fox, who pitched in some really big games for us last season, is back," he added. "He is our returning pitcher with the most experience."

Dodging the raindrops, the Mules, in a back-and-forth affair, got in one game last week and came away with a 7-5 victory over West York. Solanco broke a 1-1 tie after two innings with a three spot in the third and never relinquished the lead.

Worthington was hit by a pitch to open the game. After advancing to second and stealing third, he scored on a base hit by Ewaka for the early lead. Ewaka finished with two hits on the day and reached base three times.

"Tim Fetterman added two RBI groundouts to help us build an early lead (4-1 in the top of the third)," noted Fish. "Clutch RBI hits by sophomores Sam Buckwalter, Hunter Shaw and John Murray later in the game kept West York at arm's length."

The Mules led 4-3 after three complete and we up 5-4 with two innings left to play. Solanco scored once in the top of the sixth and West York got one back in their half of the seventh.

"We also had one incredible defensive highlight," recalled Fish. "In the second inning, Joel McGuire, with two men on that would have easily scored, made a full out diving catch in centerfield. Highlight reel stuff that only an extremely athletic kid could even attempt. It really stopped West York's momentum, and picked up our team."

On the mound, Gabe Horn, a junior, got the start and pitched into the fourth inning. He finished with four strikeouts and no walks.

With two outs in the fourth, and the tying run in scoring position, senior Josh Kreider came on in relief. "He retired West York's top hitter during a grueling, eight pitch at bat," noted Fish. "Josh did not give in and was able to get us out of the jam. He pitched a scoreless fifth inning before Hayden Fox came in and got the save. Gabe was in control and kept West York's hitters off balance and Hayden looked very sharp.

"I'm proud of the effort and work ethic this group is putting in," he continued. "Starting with our seniors, (including Worthington, Ewaka, Kreider, Koby Nerys, Cameron Colvin and Ben Harvey) this group has been willing to put the time in and do all the things they need to do to get better."

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Root, Wilson Represent Solanco in States March 13, 2017

Solanco had two chances to grab a PIAA wrestling medal this past weekend at the Giant Center in Hershey but neither came to fruition. But not for lack of effort.

"The competition is extremely tough this year," said head coach John Little. "AJ Wilson and Ben Root both wrestled well. It's always an accomplishment just to get to states," he continued. "And both are underclassmen so this was a great experience. Hopefully they'll qualify again and get through next year."

Wrestling at 152, Wilson (18-4) opened with a bye Thursday and then lost to Cannon-McMillan freshman Gerrit Nijenhuis via fall in 5:10. Nijenhuis was the eventual third place finisher. Wilson then came back with a 6-1 loss to Mt. Lebanon freshman Luke Stout (33-5).

"For AJ to come back and qualify for states, after being injured early in the season, is a great accomplishment," said Little.

Root (37-9), like Wilson, is a junior who also finished third in the district tournament. He opened action in the 170-pound bracket with a tight 4-3 loss to North Allegheny senior Sean Hoover (18-5), giving up an escape and a takedown in under a minute. He came back with a 1:58 fall over Kyle Homet, a junior from Waynesburg Central and the District 7 Section Four champ. On Saturday he battled Bethlehem Liberty senior Gunner Anglovich and earned a 6-3 decision. Root scored a first period takedown and pushed the lead to 5-1 with an escape and takedown in the second period.

His season ended in the third round of consolations opposite Wilson's Tommy O'Brien. Root (39-9), winning 2-1 in the third period, gave up an escape late in the bout and eventually lost 4-3 in an ultimate tie breaker. O'Brien (34-7), a senior, was the eventual fifth place finisher.

"Ben was winning both of the bouts he lost," noted Little. "This was his first ultimate tie breaker but we do prepare for that. He was one match from placing.

"Last year Ben finished sixth in the district meet and the top five advanced to states."

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Wilson, Root Advance To PIAA Championships February 27, 2017

After wrapping up a third place team finish in the District Three 3A Section Two tournament, four Solanco grapplers continued their season this past weekend at the District Three Class AAA Championships held this year at its new venue, the Giant Center, leaving its former home, the iconic Hersheypark Arena. AJ Wilson, Ben Root, Josh Weder and Grayson Charles all made the journey to Hershey in hopes of punching their ticket to the PIAA Championships. Wilson and Root, both juniors, both extended their seasons with third place finishes.

Wrestling at 152, Wilson got off to a strong start, using four takedowns and three nearfall points to drop Gettysburg's Dan Ziegler 12-2 in the opening round. Unfortunately, his journey to a gold ended when Chambersburg's Drake Brenize used a five point move in the third period to advance with a 6-3 victory.

Wilson regrouped in the consolation bracket, winning four straight bouts to grab the bronze medal. He controlled Wilson's Dawson Comoh, using six nearfall points in the second period en route to an 11-1 major decision and followed that up with a 1:26 fall over Spring Grove's Anthony Hinson.

In the consi semis, Wilson, leading 2-1 in the second period, used and escape and a takedown in the final period to post a 5-1 decision over Matthew Danner of East Pennsboro, setting up a rematch with Brenize for the District bronze.

Scoreless after two periods, Wilson chose bottom to start the third and escaped for the victory.

"There may not have been a lot of scoring but there was a lot of action in this one," said head coach John Little. "AJ had a solid tournament and made the adjustments he needed to as he went."

Root, at 170, also dominated early. He jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two periods and advanced with an 11-2 opening round major decision over Kyle Swartz of Northern York. He advanced to the semifinals with another solid bout, this one a 2:26 fall over Governor Mifflin's Dalton Gockley.

In the battle to get to gold, Root suffered a 5-4 heartbreaker to Wilson's Tom O'Brien, the eventual second place finisher. Root led 4-2 after two periods but could not score in the third.

Struggling to bounce back, Root fell behind 1-0 after two periods but worked a pair of escapes, gave up a takedown and took advantage of a stalling point to tie things up at 3-3 against Harrisburg's Neamiah Diggs.

In sudden victory overtime, Root's takedown at the edge of the mat secured the 5-3 decision and pushed him into the third place bout where he dominated Big Spring's Britain Shields 11-5. Root held a slim 4-3 lead after two periods but used two escapes, a takedown and three nearfall points to pull away in the third.

"Both AJ and Ben lost because they were trying to protect their lead and eased up," said Little. "Never let up when you're ahead and never give up when you're behind. I must say that a hundred times a day in the wrestling room," he added.

Solanco's third junior making the trek to Hershey was Charles. A second place finisher at the sectional tournament, Charles jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and went on to work a 12-1 major decision over Chance Jackson of Spring Grove. His quarterfinal opponent, Gary Clark of Garden Spot, used four takedowns and an escape and advanced with a 9-2 decision.

With a come-from-behind 4:33 fall over Milton Hershey's Adrian Rosario, Charles advanced in the consolations. He was behind 4-1 after two periods before pinning Rosario.

One bout from the consi semis, Charles dropped a tight 3-1 result against Central Dauphin's Joey Stoak. An escape in the third period was all the offense he could muster.

"That was a tough one," said Little. "Grayson got a takedown and was close to back points but was called for a potentially dangerous move and didn't any points. That could have been a four-point move."

Weder was the final Mule in the hunt for the gold and a chance to get to states. His tournament had a pin or get pinned theme. The senior 195-pounder, down 2-1 in his opening bout against Cole Forrester of Shippensburg, the eventual fourth place finisher, was pinned in 2:43. He came back strong, decking Corey Eaton of Northeastern in 1:35 but saw his season come to a close against Seth Egolf, of Waynesboro, suffering a 57 second fall.

"He scored by the sword and died by the sword twice," said Little. "Everyone looked good on the mat. They brought their best games but you never know what's going to happen. You see good guys go down the tubes all the time," he continued. "Everyone's record is 0-0 and you're just happy to get here. We're happy to have two move on to states and it's nice that they're both juniors."

Last year Wyatt Jennings was Solanco's lone PIAA qualifier. Wilson and Root will compete in the PIAA tournament March 9, 10 and 11 back at the Giant Center.

BOWLING

Randi Rambo, competing without the support of a team from Solanco, competed in the District Three Bowling Championships this past Saturday at Clearview Lanes. Thirty-six girls from Lancaster-County qualified for the event. Rambo finished in 27th place with a 999 qualifying round total. Cedar Crest's Allison Hresko earned the top score in the qualifying rounds, a 1279 and then finished second to Elizabethtown's Olivia Farwell in the championship match.

SWIMMING

Despite Solanco not having a swim team, junior Wyatt Urbine will swill swim the 50 freestyle this Friday at Cumberland Valley High School in the District Three Championships.

Since Solanco does not have an officially organized swim team, Urbine was granted permission by the Solanco School board to swim on behalf of Solanco.

For the past three years he has been swimming in meets at other schools in the Lancaster-Lebanon League to earn qualifying times. For the past two years he has qualified for the League meet in the 50 and 100 free. This year with a time of 22.84 seconds, he qualified in the top 32 in District Three for the 50 free.

"We are very excited and proud of Wyatt for qualifying for such a competitive meet," commented his mother and swim coach, Diana Urbine. As a non-swim school, Solanco students who are granted permission to swim are required to have a coach on deck. As a result, Wyatt parents have filled that role.

Urbine trains 12-15 hours a week and also competes at Jennersville YMCA. He started his swim career as a summer swimmer with the SECA Sharks swim program in Quarryville at the age of 5 and continues in that program each summer.

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Wilson, Root Win Gold At Sectionals February 20, 2017

Solanco's matmen returned to action this past Saturday at Hempfield High School, competing in the realigned District Three 3A Section Two tournament. Central Dauphin, Lower Dauphin, Milton Hershey and Palmyra moved in and Conestoga Valley, Cedar Crest and Ephrata moved to Governor Mifflin.

As expected, Central Dauphin and Lower Dauphin flexed their muscles and earned the top two spots in the team standings with 200 and 165 points, respectively. And in an unexpected result, Solanco grabbed the third team spot with 140 points, well ahead of fourth place Donegal (115) and Manheim Central (107). Almost every one of the 13 Mule matmen competing contributed at least one win on the day. Seven of them secured two or more wins and four of them punched their ticket to the District Three Class AAA tournament this weekend in Hershey.

Top seed AJ Wilson and Ben Root rose to the occasion and earned gold medal finishes while Grayson Charles and Josh Weder settled for second place.

Wilson, a junior competing at 152 pinned his way to the finals. After opening with a bye, he barely broke a sweat in pinning Lampeter-Strasburg's Jeff Elser in 35 seconds and then putting Penn Manor's Tom Aston to his back in just 23 ticks to get to the finals. Even that didn't go the distance. Wilson, with three takedowns and five nearfall points, pushed out to an 11-1 lead after two periods and settled for an 18-3 technical fall in 5:47. He advances with a 13-1 record.

At 170, Root, who was third last year, also dominated. After a bye, he pinned Donegal's Kyle Bixler in 1:58 and then posted a 16-1 (5:06) tech fall over Manheim Township's Carter Hasson in the semifinals. He battled McCaskey's Carlos Lugo in the finals and recorded a 1:57 fall to grab Solanco's second first place finish on the day.

Seeded third at 138, Grayson Charles (21-4) settled for second place after suffering a 1:49 fall to Lower Dauphin's Clayton Ulrey in the finals. The junior opened the tournament with a 35 second fall over Palmyra's Tyler Shiffler and then used five near fall points to break open a 3-1 second period lead over Hempfield's Luke Granbois in the quarterfinals.

He reached the finals with an even tighter semifinals win, edging Manheim Central's Jack Zeamer 3-2 on the strength of a third period escape.

Also advancing to the finals but coming up short was senior 195-pounder Josh Weder. The top seed dominated early, pinning both Central Dauphin's Krisjan Urich in 2:35 in the quarterfinals and Manheim Central's Elliott Martin in 2:23 in the semis to get to Donegal's Keegan McCord. Wilson scored the first takedown of the bout and led 2-1 in the first period. A second period escape put him in front 3-1. The Donegal sophomore, however, used a third period reversal and a late takedown to pull out a 5-4 victory and left Wilson with the silver medal.

The Mules also had two sixth place finishes. Joey Vandegriff (132) used a third period reversal to pull out a 2-0 decision over Hershey's Hayden Angello only to suffer a 1:22 quarterfinals fall against Lower Dauphin's Christian Vaughn. The freshman regrouped in the consolation bracket and turned a 7-0 lead into a 2:50 fall over Donegal's Jared Brown. In the consi semis, however, he was pinned in 38 seconds by E-town's Justin Shelley and then lost the battle for fifth place to Penn Manor's Alex Laughlin via fall in 4:10.

At 220, Kaleb Tucker also earned a sixth place finish. After pinning both Palmyra's Garrett Miller in 1:49 and Donegal's Cael Rapp in 1:57, Tucker was knocked to the consolation bracket with a 13-7 semifinals loss to Lower Dauphin's Hunter Harnish. Then, in the consi semi, tied at 2-2 in the second period, the junior gave up a reversal with time running out and suffered a hard-fought 5-4 defeat to E-town's Connor Gill. Difficult to recover from, Tucker dropped a second one-point loss, this time in a rematch with Rapp. Holding a 4-3 lead after two periods, Tucker gave up an escape and a takedown as his season came to a close.

Going 2-2 on the day was Billy Maeda. The 145-pound senior pinned Donegal's William Small in the opening round and E-town's Jovan Thomas in the consolations. In between he was pinned by LD's Christian Vaughn and then suffered a fall to Central's Ryan McKee in the consi semis.

Picking up opening rounds wins before suffering back-to-back losses were Sheldon Peiffer (120), Chase Charles (126), Tucker Pierson (160), Nick Yannutz (182) and Averex Grant (285).

Peiffer topped Hershey's Ha-Jong JHun 11-1 before bowing to eventual champ Chris Wright, of Central Dauphin, and then eventual third place finisher Jordan Harsh, of Penn Manor.

Charles advanced with a double OT 3-2 thriller over Manor's Nick Fafel but then lost to the eventual 126-pound second place finisher Austin Burkholder, of Donegal, 4-1 and the fifth place finisher John Pacheco of McCaskey, 10-4.

Pierson, a sophomore, worked a 3:43 fall over E-town's Hunter Spigelmeyer but came up short against Township's Jose Lao-Cooper and LD's Etwarth Bernal-Noriega.

Down 5-0 in the first period, Yannutz, a freshman, closed the gap with a reversal in the second period and used a takedown and two nearfall points with time running out to sneak past E-town's David Rich. His season ended with a loss to the eventual second place finisher Brendan Shaffer of LD, and CD's Mitchell Talbot.

Grant posted a 3:25 opening round fall over Lampeter-Strasburg's Owen Hess before losing to eventual second place winner Evan Childs, of CD, and then to Hempfield's Zach Thomas.

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Hoop Teams Finish Seasons With 11-11 Records February 12, 2017

Solanco's hoop teams wrapped up their respective seasons with mixed results last week. The girls' team hosted and swept the series against Garden Spot with a 58-41 final while the boys' team dropped their last game on the road by an almost identical score, 57-39. Both squads finished at 11-11 overall.

"We got off to a slow start but we kept our composure," said head coach Chad McDowell. "We showed some resiliency and got back into the game. This is a tell-tale sign of the growth we have made as a team throughout the season."

The Spartans jumped out to a 9-4 lead but five straight points by the Mares, including a bucket by Nikki Boultinghouse, tied the game at 9-9. Two free throws by Jess Cabrera and a three-ball by Aleska Burger put the Mares in front 16-12.

Solanco started to take charge in the second quarter, using a 9-0 run (seven by Grace Kreider), to push out to a 25-12 lead with 6:25 left in the half. Cabrera and Jenna Dombach also dropped in big threes as the Mares outscored the Spartans 17-10 for a comfortable 33-19 lead at the break.

"Grace was definitely a spark in that second quarter," noted McDowell. "For a two or three minute span she just took over and gave us the positive momentum we needed.

"And Jess and Jenna hitting those threes at crucial times is deflating to the other team's spirits. They also complimented Grace's performance," he added.

Both teams, however, struggled after the break as turnovers and missed shots were in great supply. The Spartans gained a little ground, outscoring the hosts 12-8 and cutting the lead to 41-31.

"That third quarter was definitely sloppy," said McDowell. "We just could not hit shots. We got some good looks, especially inside, but the shots wouldn't fall."

Burger's triple to open the fourth quarter lifted the home team out of its funk. They put together a 10-1 run, and outscored the Spartans 17-10 to improve their overall record.

With a trio of double-digit scorers, the Mares improved to 6-7 in Section Two. Cabrera hit 7-of-8 free throws and matched Garden Spot's Abi Fricke for game-high honors with 15 points. Boultinghouse followed with 13 points, six in the first half, and Kreider dropped in an even dozen.

"Having a balanced scoring attack is important for the success of our team," said McDowell. "When we play unselfishly, distribute the basketball, and don't get concerned with who scores the points, we are a really good team.

"We played a complete game from start to finish tonight and executed our game plan," continued McDowell. "It was a great game to end our season and shows the growth we have made as a team. It was also a great way to send off our seniors as Nikki Boultinghouse, Jen Eberly and Elaina Daily played their last home game. I cannot say enough about the dedication these three young ladies have given to our Solanco girls' basketball family over my three years as their head coach. They are part of our foundation and all of our future success. They will be missed."

Burger chipped in with seven points and led with eight rebounds. Kreider and Boultinghouse each grabbed seven caroms and Liz Mowrer came off the bench with six boards and four points.

Dombach netted five points and matched Burger with a pair of assists while Eberly's two points rounded out the scoring.

"Liz, Jenna and Katie Sheaffer each gave us a spark off the bench," stated McDowell. "All season long I have been pleased with our bench support. Every player that has been called upon has been vital to our success."

In JV action, the Mares notched a 32-25 win over the Spartans and improved to 16-3 on the year, including an undefeated mark on their home court.

Mackenzie Gladfelter led a balanced attack with 7 points. Alyssa Henretty added 6 and both Hanna Phillips and Liz Mowrer chipped in with 5 each. Kara McClune (4), Sheaffer (3) and Alana Yoder (2) rounded out the scoring.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

Going into New Holland Tuesday night, the Mules were confident, knowing they defeated the Spartans 70-50 in their previous meeting. Unfortunately, the home team, looking to move up in the District Three 5A power rankings, wanted to even the score. And they did just that, handing the Mules a season-ending 57-39 loss.

"Garden Spot is a good team and currently ranked 11th in the district," noted head coach Scott Long. "We did not shoot the ball well and had too many turnovers. We were 2-for-15 from three-point range through the first three quarters," he continued. "Garden Spot did a nice job of taking away stuff around the rim and forcing us to take shots outside."

The Spartans, fueled by a 15-5 run in the first quarter, led from start to finish. They held the Mules to single digit scoring in each of the first three quarters, pushing out to a commanding 44-20 cushion.

Solanco did put together a fourth quarter rally, scoring almost as much as they did in the first three quarters combined, and cut into the lead by 6 points with a 19-13 advantage. But it was too little, too late.

"Dawson Kreider, Aaron Constein, Carson Kilgore, Braden Redcay, Jon Rush and Jack Boomsma played heavy minutes in the second half and I thought they competed hard," noted Long. "I am really excited to see how this group progresses through the off-season."

Garden Spot's Brendan Bradley tossed in 20 points, including four of their nine three-balls, to lead all scorers. Constein led the Mules with 10 points while Dylan Hastings, the team's leading scorer (18.77 average), and Kreider netted 6 points each. Kilgore (5), Robert McHugh (4), Dan Siegrist (3), Rush (2), Redcay (2) and Kilgore (1), also contributed to the scoring totals.

The loss leaves the Mules at 5-9 in Section Two. The Spartans will continue their season with a 14-8 record.

The JV team, behind a team-high 9 points by Carson Kilgore, closed its season Tuesday with a 48-34 loss to the young Spartans. Dawson Kreider followed with 8 points. Zach Wiker (6), Boomsma (4), Tom Broomell (3), Jay Boule (2) and Jake Zook (2) rounded out the scoring. The Mules cap the season with a 6-13 record overall.

"Carson was our leading scorer this year," noted coach Zac Bauermaster. "Dawson, Jack and Dom Messano also contributed in the scoring department.

"Dom and Jalen Henry were our freshmen this year and we are excited to see them grow as players. Jake Zook worked hard defensively and brought a lot of energy to our team during games and day in and day out at practice," he added. "Zach Wiker gained confidence throughout the year shooting the basketball and hit a lot of three's down the stretch. Tom and Jay rotated in at the post and worked hard to do the "little things" that we emphasize at practice.

"Although the record isn't exactly what we set out to do, we took some positive steps in establishing our culture with the boys program and are excited about where we are headed," Bauermaster commented. "Our goal at this level is to help players develop and gain repetition to compete at a high level on the varsity team."

WRESTLING

In a tune-up for the Sectional Tournament which will be held Saturday, February 18 at Hempfield High School, the golden Mule grapplers improved to 6-3 overall with a 30-28 victory over Manheim Central, Friday, February 10.

Winning seven of the 13 bouts contested, the Mules fought off a 16-12 deficit with four straight wins. Ben Root (170) started the run with a 2:55 fall over Isaac Dorwart and Nick Yannutz (182) followed with a tight 4-2 nod over Nick Brown. Josh Weder's 1:32 fall over Mitchell Himelright pushed the led to 27-16 while Kaleb Tucker's 7-2 overtime win over Elliot Martin at 220 sealed Manheim's fate.

"Brown pinned Nick in the league championships," noted head coach John Little. "So that was a big win. And Tucker's win was a lot closer than that final score."

The Baron's capped the evening with forfeit points at 285 and an 11 second fall at 106 only to fall short.

After a no contest at 113, the Barons opened the scoring with a 6-3 decision over Sheldon Peiffer. Chase Charles (126) knotted the score at 3-3 with a 6-0 decision over Jared Groff.

As the match went back-and-forth, Manheim gained a major decision at 132 before Grayson Charles pulled out a 9-6 decision over Zack Zeamer.

"Grayson's bout was a big one," stated Little. "He used a five-point move to win and Zeamer was favored. He beat Grayson last year for the sectional title."

The Barons forged ahead with a fall at 145 only to see AJ Wilson (152) keep the pace with a 3:08 decking of Mitchell Wagner, pulling Solanco within one, 13-12.

Manheim took its largest lead of the night with a 6-2 decision over Tucker Pierson, setting the stage for Solanco's four bout rally.

"The guys really shocked me," said Little. "With our heavyweight out with the flu and forfeiting at 113, we knew everything had to go our way. The guys did a great job.

"I'm just elated," he added. "We finished the regular season 6-3 and with the holes in our lineup and our inexperience, that was better than what I had hoped for. This was a great win to end the regular season."

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Hastings Goes Over 1,000 Career Points Mark February 6, 2017

Dylan Hastings needed just 14 points last week to hit the 1,000 career point mark. He scored nine in a 55-42 loss at Ephrata Tuesday and went over the monumental mark in Friday's 64-41 home win over Donegal, helping to move Solanco's Section Two mark to 5-8. They are 11-10 overall.

Friday's victory was a sweep for Solanco, who defeated Donegal 55-54 on January 10. Hastings, who became the seventh Mule to reach the milestone, led a trio of double digit scorers with a game-high 18 points. Colin Kilgore netted 14 points, including four three-balls, and Aaron Constein bucketed 11 with a pair of threes as Solanco hit a season-high 11 times from behind the arc.

"Dylan got his 1,000 point in the second quarter," recalled head coach Scott Long. "I called a timeout and set up a quick hitter just to get him a 1-on-1 opportunity in the post. He took it from there."

Zac Bauermaster was the last 1,000 point scorer for the Mules, going over the mark in 2005.

Mike Worthington, also with a pair of threes, finished with 8 points. Jake Zook added three points and Robert McHugh, Braden Redcay and Dan Siegrist all contributed two points each.

"Colin had perhaps his best game as a Solanco basketball player," lauded Long. "He hit 4-of-5 threes, was solid on defense and did a great job in not turning the ball over."

The Mules took control early, outscoring the Indians 17-10 in the first quarter and pulling away in the second, doubling the visitors 20-10 for a commanding 37-20 advantage at the break.

"The guys came out ready to play defensively and we shot the ball well, hitting seven of our 11 threes in that first half," said Long.

The third quarter was back-and-forth before Solanco extended the lead with a 15-8 fourth quarter effort.

Three point goals were the difference in this one. The Mules racked up 33 points there and the Indians just 3.

Earlier in the week Solanco hit the road to Ephrata looking to split the series but instead came home with a 13 point loss. Tied at 14-all at the half, the Mounts surged ahead, winning the third quarter 14-6 and the fourth 17-12. They are currently in a three-way log jam at the top of Section Two, tied with Manheim Central and Lampeter-Strasburg with 10-3 records.

"Ephrata started the second half hitting threes on back-to-back possessions," said Long. "They are very solid and physical defensively so once they got the lead, we struggled. We did manage to get it to six with four minutes to go but missed a layup."

McHugh was the only double digit scorer for the Mules, netting 10. Hastings, who went 5-for-6 from the foul line, added 9. Worthington also hit 5-of-6 free throws and had 8 points. Redcay (6), Constein (4), Siegrist (3) and Neil Munro (2) also scored.

"Worthington had a great game," said Long. "He had eight points but more importantly played great defense and didn't turn the ball over."

In JV action, the Mules dropped a heart-breaker, 49-47 against Ephrata, giving up the game-winning bucket with two seconds left.

"We were down 12-3 in the first quarter but cut the lead to 19-13 at the half," said coach Zac Bauermaster. "The second half was back-and-forth."

Dawson Kreider led the way with 12 points, Jack Boomsma added 11, Zach Wiker had 10 and Carson Kilgore chipped in with 8.

Friday night the Mules notched a 58-53 come-back win over Donegal. "We held a 25-18 lead at the half but Donegal had a huge third quarter to take an 8 point lead into the fourth," noted Bauermaster. "Freshman Dom Messano led the comeback, scoring 14 of his 19 in the second half. The guys did a nice job of responding to adversity and staying poised throughout."

Boomsma hit for double figures with 10, Kilgore added 8, Kreider chipped in with 7 and Jake Zook netted 6 in a balanced attack.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The girls' basketball team posted mixed results last week and remained in fourth place in the Section Two standings with a 6-7 record behind Lampeter-Strasburg (12-1), Cocalico (11-2), and Donegal (10-3).

The Mares opened the week against visiting Ephrata. After a three-point win (45-42) in their first meeting, Solanco expected a battle as the Mounts looked to split the series. Instead, they set the tone early, pushing out to a 31-12 halftime advantage and then surviving Ephrata's attempt at a comeback.

"Our confidence level is high and when we play as a team, we can compete with any team in the league," said head coach Chad McDowell. "We raced out to a 10-0 lead. A quick start is always important against a rivalry team.

"In the second half, they hit some shots (nailing five of their six threes) and we became a little passive," he continued. "They went to a trapping half-court defense that took us out of our offensive flow for several possessions. Once we made a few adjustments, we were fine. Being a young team, we are still learning to make adjustments on the fly.

"Ephrata never really threatened," he added. "The closest they got was nine points."

Jess Cabrera (15 points) and Aleksa Burger (13 points) led the offense and sparked the first half, combining for 21 of the team's 31 points. Defensively, Jen Eberly (10) and Burger (8), who combined for four steals, also contributed to the first half lead as the Mares controlled the boards.

"Being able to control the boards also gave us a spark," noted McDowell.

Nikki Boultinghouse chipped in with 9 points and Grace Kreider, hitting 4-of-7 attempts, finished with 8 points and also led with five steals.

In JV action, the young Mares won a 27-24 thriller. Tied at 24-all with five seconds remaining, Alana Yoder, fouled on a drive to the basket, connected on both free throws for a 26-24 lead. On Ephrata's ensuing inbounds play, Hanna Phillips intercepted the long pass and also was fouled. She hit one-of-two attempts with 1.9 seconds left to help secure the win.

Yoder scored a team-high 13 points. Kara McClune followed with 5, Phillps added 3 and Mackenzie Gladfelter, Katie Sheaffer and Alyssa Henretty chipped in with two points each.

Friday the Mares traveled to Donegal, the third place team in Section Two, and suffered their most lopsided loss of the season, 77-46.

The Indians set the tone early, sprinting to a 21-8 first quarter lead. Not to be out done, the Mares racked up 22 second quarter points, but they gave up 18, only cutting the lead by three. The hosts, however, controlled the second half, outscoring the visitors 19-9 in the third and 19-7 in the fourth.

"They got some easy baskets in the first and we missed some easy shots that could have swung that quarter into a different result," said McDowell. "We switched up our defense and created some turnovers in the second quarter and were able to get the ball inside to Nikki who had 11 of her 14 points that frame.

"But Donegal has three quality players that can score. We did a decent job containing Robinson and Baughman (12 points each) but Diffenderfer stepped up and netted 24," he added.

Backing Boultinghouse in the points department was Burger with 7, Jenna Dombach with 6 and Cabrera and Liz Mowrer with 5 points each. Kreider, who led with 5 steals, added 4 points and matched Burger with 5 rebounds. Eberly continued to anchor the defense and was tops with 6 rebounds.

The JV team, after topping Donegal 37-23 in their first meeting, suffered its third loss of the season, falling 45-28. McClune hit for double figures with 10. Sheaffer, Montana Lockhart, Yoder and Mowrer added 4 points each and Phillips had 2. The team is 15-3.

0

Mares Battle Pioneers, Sweep Lebanon January 31, 2017

In Quarryville last Tuesday night, a pesky Solanco squad, despite not quite being 100%, looked to upset Section Two leader Lampeter-Strasburg. Solanco's presence in the paint, Nikki Boultinghouse, was battling a cold and was rotated in and out of the game regularly and leading scorer Jess Cabrera missed the entire fourth quarter with a suspected concussion.

That didn't seem to faze the Mares who managed a 28-25 point lead at the half, fought off a dismal third quarter, and cut the lead to five early in the fourth before bowing out 57-46.

The first quarter was tied at 6-6 and again at 11-11 before LS went up 14-12 at the end of the quarter.

Solanco rallied from an 18-14 deficit early in the second quarter with a 6-0 run for a 20-18 edge. Lampeter forged ahead 25-20 before the Mares ended the frame with back-to-back three's from Cabrera and Jenna Dombach and a bucket in the paint from Aleksa Burger for a 28-25 lead at the half.

Turnovers, however, plagued the third quarter and the Pioneers converted. Nevin Hoenninger, who went over the 1,000 career point plateau late in frame, poured in 10 of her 21 game-high points and L-S outscored the hosts 22-8 in what could have been a runaway second half.

"That third quarter was the difference," said head coach Chad McDowell. "LS turned up their defensive intensity and forced us into several possessions where we did not execute. They turned our mistakes into easy transition points."

Determined, the Mares battled back from a 47-36 deficit when Dombach splashed in two straight triples that closed the gap to 47-42. But it wasn't enough. Lampeter outscored Solanco 11-4 over the final 5:30 to maintain pace with Cocalico on top of the section standings.

"Since we beat them pretty easily in our first meeting, I did not want to take them lightly on their floor," stated Pioneer head coach Tony Fink. "They have some good guards and we did not close out on Jenna Dombach and she hurt us."

Dombach finished with a team-high 12 points, all from three point range.

"Jenna had a nice shooting game," said McDowell. "She works hard on her shooting and it showed.

"The 12 point loss is not indicative of how close the game was. We did have opportunities late in the fourth, within five with under 2:00 to play," he added. "We had some empty possessions and they made their free throws to extend the game."

Boultinghouse backed Dombach with 11 points and Burger chipped in with 8, hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds and snagged 4 steals. Cabrera finished with 7 points and 3 assists and Grace Kreider hit for 6 points and added 8 rebounds. Jen Eberly also grabbed 5 rebounds, an area where the Mares held a 33-32 advantage.

"Our confidence level was higher this time around," noted McDowell. "The girls are starting to believe in themselves and that they can compete with anyone. We are getting closer and closer. We just need to get over the hump and get a signature win over a solid program."

The JV team avenged a 12 point loss to the Pioneers with a 36-29 victory. Alana Yoder led the way with 10 points. Mackenzie Gladfelter and Kara McClune finished with 8 points each and Hanna Phillips added 5.

Friday the Mares improved to 5-6 in section play, 9-10 overall when they swept the series against Lebanon, pouring in a season-high 66 points and giving up just 34.

Cabrera deposited a game-high 23 points, including 14 in the first quarter that sparked a 22-9 advantage. Burger added six points in each of the first two frames and finished with 14. They combined for 20 of those 22 first half points and six triples. Cabrera was 4-for-4 from three-point range with three in the first quarter. Burger was 2-for-3 from behind the arc. They were a combined 14-for-22 in two-point field goals.

Kreider finished with 8 points and Dombach and Yoder netted 6 each.

"It was senior night so we had a continual rotation and were able to get a lot of the girls into the game," said McDowell. "Seniors honored were Nikki Boultinghouse, Elaina Daily, Jen Eberly, Ashley Mundorff (scorekeeper) and Erika Wilson (videographer). They have all played a vital role in the development of our program and are all about putting what is best for the program first."

WRESTLING

The grapplers opened a busy week Wednesday night with their last match of the regular season opposite visiting Hempfield and met little resistance. The Mules won all but four bouts and benefitted from three forfeits in a lopsided 50-18 victory.

"They're a little down this year," said head coach John Little. "We had the upper hand with personnel and experience."

The Mules opened the evening celebrating their two seniors, Billy Maeda and Josh Weder and then got to work. After two forfeits, a double forfeit and a fall against the Mules at 285, Solanco led 12-6.

Hempfield's Jared Loose, a state qualifier, cut the lead to 12-9 with a tight 5-0 decision over Sheldon Peiffer (120) but Solanco rallied with three bonus point wins.

Chase Charles (126) pinned Tyler Buthdy in 2:58, and Joey Vandegriff (132) and Grayson Charles (138) worked back-to-back major decisions.

Hempfield won its third bout of the night with a 55 second fall and after forfeiting the 152 bout eked out a 2-1 decision over Tucker Pierson.

Ben Root (170), Nick Yannutz (182) and Josh Weder (195) wrapped up the scoring with three straight falls, with Root pinning in 20 seconds.

With the Mules finishing the Section Two season with a 4-3 record (behind Penn Manor, Cocalico and CV all at 6-1), their focus on the post-season got underway last Friday and Saturday at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships at Garden Spot where they finished in fourth place. Their 145 team points put them ahead of both Penn Manor and CV. Northern Lebanon took the team title with 260 points. Cocalico (230) was second and Manheim Central, whom the Mules face on February 9, took third.

"I thought we wrestled well," said Little, "but not above what we expected."

The Mules earned one gold medal finish, two silver, two bronze and one eighth place medal.

Top seed Ben Root made quick work of his opponents, working two falls in just under two minutes before notching an 18-3 tech fall over N. Lebanon's Ethan Herb in the semifinals and then pinning McCaskey's Carlos Lugo in 2:59 to earn the gold at 170.

Grayson Charles (138), also a top seed, didn't quite match his billing, settling for second after dropping a 6-2 decision in the finals against Garden Spot's Gary Clark. He, like Root, opened with a pair of falls in a combined 3:03 and then worked a 10-2 semifinals decision over Hempfield's Luke Granbois.

Weder (195) came in as the No. 3 seed and exceeded those expectations with a second place finish. Weder blanked Lampeter's Jack Eckman 11-0, dominated Donegal's Keegan McCord 12-5 and advanced to the finals with a 3-1 decision over Central's Elliot Martin. In the championship round he met, for the third time this year, Cocalico's Ben Fromm and fell short, 12-4.

Wilson grabbed a third place finish with his second win over Warwick's Luke Hirtzel, this time 10-1. He blanked Hirtzel 15-0 after opening the tournament with a 44 second fall over Elco's Greg Onlsa. Wilson's road to the finals ended with a 5:39 fall to the eventual champ, N. Lebanon's Blaise Bressler.

Also taking third was Kaleb Tucker, the second seed at 220. Tucker pinned CV's Yodhe Desta in 1:45 and then defeated Cocalico's Austin Shaver 11-3 before getting knocked to the consolations with a hard-fought 11-10 loss to N. Lebanon's Hunter Wallace, the eventual second place finisher. He rebounded with a 4:12 fall over E-town's Connor Gill and grabbed the bronze with a 1:41 fall over Shaver.

Sheldon Peiffer (120), after a bye, went 2-3 and finished in 8th place.

"That was a tough weight class," said Little of the 120-pound class. "He injured his shoulder in his second bout and couldn't finish but came back and was able to place.

"We also had five guys, Chase Charles, Joey Vandergriff, Tucker Pierson, Nick Yannutz and Averex Grant who were all one match away from being able to place," he continued. "They've shown a lot of improvement from where they were at the start of the season to where they are now.

"Now we hope to continue to improve and move some guys through sectionals," he added. "That will be tougher this year with the addition of Central Dauphin and Lower Dauphin."

BOYS' BASKETBALL

With the post-season creeping closer, the Mules were looking to sweep last week but instead were dealt a pair of losses and fell to 4-7 in Section Two and 10-9 overall.

Tuesday the Mules traveled to Lampeter looking avenge a six point loss in their first meeting, 67-61. Unfortunately, a 20-4 run by the Pioneers in the second quarter provided enough momentum for them to sweep the series, 62-47.

Solanco won the second half, 33-28 but that 34-14 first half hole was too deep to dig out of.

"We just had a lack of focus defensively in that quarter," said head coach Scott Long. "We gave up too many layups and made it easy for them. And offensively, we didn't move the ball well at all. When we did move the ball, we got layups, unfortunately, it wasn't often in that second quarter."

Looking on the bright side, Aaron Constein deposited a team and season-high 19 points.

"Aaron is looking for his shot more and is being more aggressive," noted Long. "I want to see him take 10-15 shots a game and he has been able to do that in back-to-back games. He is also working hard to be a better defender, and, like all of us, has room to grow in that area, but he is heading in the right direction. I was happy with his focus and effort. He was a bright spot for us."

Dylan Hastings added 15 points and was 7-for-10 from the free throw line.

If Tuesday's outing was disappointing, Friday's was a heart-breaker. After overcoming a 14 point deficit with a season-high 31 point fourth quarter, Solanco came out on the short end of a 64-60 overtime final against Elizabethtown, thus splitting the series.

"The guys had a sense of urgency in the second half that we have been missing," said Long of the fourth quarter effort. But we only scored three points in the overtime period and turned the ball over three times."

Constein (10) and Hastings (11) fueled that fourth quarter run with Colin Kilgore's 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in regulation sending the game to overtime.

"We did not do a great job of making our layups early in the game and it proved costly," said Long. "We also missed Jon Rush (ankle injury). He would have added some extra scoring to the mix. We not only hit shots but they missed a ton of free throws in the fourth quarter to let us get back in the game."

Hastings racked up a game-high 30 points, Constein hit for 15, including three treys, and Rob McHugh added 10.

Solanco currently sits 19th in the District Three 5A power rankings. The top 16 qualify.

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Mares Battle in Back-to-Back Overtimes January 23, 2017

In the first half of Section Two play the Mares defeated all four teams that fall behind them in the standings (Ephrata, Central, Garden Spot and Lebanon). They were hoping to repeat those efforts as well pull off an upset of a team seated above them (LS, Cocalico and Donegal).

Tuesday night, however, did not finish the way they had hoped as Manheim Central not only battled back to tie the game but dominated the extra period 12-3 and avenged their first half loss (60-48) with a hard-fought 54-45 win.

"We turned the ball over on several possessions, missed some defensive assignments, and missed some easy shots that could have changed the flow of the overtime period," said head coach Chad McDowell.

The Barons actually held a 14-12 edge in the first quarter before Solanco tied the game at 21-21 by halftime. The visitors forged ahead 33-30 after three quarters and then managed to knot the score at 42-42 to force the extra period.

With the game tied at 40-40, Solanco worked the ball inside to Nikki Boultinghouse who eventually made it to the free throw line, connecting on both attempts to push the lead to 42-40 with 10.6 ticks left.

"After a timeout, they took the ball down the left side where Kassidy Michael tried to make a cross court pass," recalled McDowell. "Jen Eberly deflected the pass but the ball ended up back in Michael's hands. She got a shot off from under the basket that wrapped around the rim and fell in, tying the game with 3 seconds left. It was a tough shot and the ball just bounced their way."

Aleksa Burger led all scorers with a season-high 18 points. Jess Cabrera followed with 11 and Jenna Dombach added 10 points and 5 rebounds.

"Aleksa does a lot of the little things that make a big difference," said McDowell. "She works hard on defense, usually guarding our opponents' best player and she does a great job on the offensive and defensive boards. She had 10 rebounds, 6 steals and 2 assists."

Grace Kreider finished with just two points but grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out a team-high 6 assists.

The JV team got 11 points from Liz Mowrer and 6 each from Alana Yoder and Kara McClune in a 41-23 defeat of the Barons.

On the road Friday night, it took Cocalico, tied for the section lead with L-S, three overtimes to survive the visiting Mares, 52-49.

Tied at 39-39 at the end of regulation, both teams locked in and a defensive struggle ensued. The game was tied at 42 at the end of the first OT, and 44 after the second.

"Both teams had a chance to win in the second OT," noted McDowell.

Cocalico missed a shot with 8.6 left. Berger rebounded, fired to Cabrera who raced for a contested layup that also rimmed out. Eberly snagged that rebound but couldn't get enough of a handle for the putback.

"They scored right away in the third OT and that was a big momentum swing," said McDowell. "They made some free throws down the stretch to win."

The Mares led by five, 35-30 late in regulation before the Eagles not only tied but took the lead, 37-35.

"We had to start fouling to stop the clock," said McDowell. "Fortunately, they missed their free throws and we were able to capitalize and made a few shots to tie the game at 39."

Solanco, behind a combined 10 points by Kreider and Boultinghouse, opened with a 16-10 first quarter surge but Cocalico regrouped and won the second frame 12-3 to take a 22-19 lead at the break.

The pesky Mares, with a seven point effort by Burger, took the third quarter as well, 13-8, and held a 32-30 edge heading into the final frame.

Cabrera matched Lyndsay Engle for game-high honors with 16 points. Burger matched Samantha Klumpp with 15 each and Kreider equaled Emily Fassnacht with 11 points. The difference in scoring was Cocalico's depth. Three other Eagles combined for 11 points, while seven points from Boultinghouse wrapped up Solanco's scoring.

Not quite 24 hours later, the Mares managed a 38-32 victory over hosting Kennard-Dale.

"We got off to a slow start, as I expected, but used some defensive energy in the second quarter to push a 9-8 lead to 21-12 at the break," noted McDowell. "From that point on, we did what we needed to do to win."

Cabrera was tops for the Mares with 12 points, Kreider and Liz Mowrer added 6 each, Boultinghouse and Burger each netted 5, and Jenna Dombach hit for 4.

WRESTLING

It's been a long time coming but the Penn Manor wrestling team finally topped Solanco. The result leaves them at 5-1 in Section One behind Cocalico (5-0). The Mules fall to 3-3.

"It's been over ten years since we've beaten them in a dual meet," said Comet boss Mike Fowler of Wednesday night's 49-21 victory in Quarryville. "We expected it to be close, but then we moved some guys around and were able to get a few more wins."

"I thought it would be a lot closer," agreed head coach John Little. "We have a lot of inexperience in the lineup but I thought we'd do better. Penn Manor went right after us. They wrestled a better match and were more aggressive."

The match started at 138 and favored the Mules right away as Grayson Charles opened with a 3:43 fall.

At 145, Manor's Nick Baker broke a scoreless first period with a second period escape and takedown over Billy Madea and went on to win 7-3.

Solanco's AJ Wilson squashed that momentum, turning a 10-1 first period advantage into a second period fall at 2:41 but the Comets quickly turned the tables as Tom Aston posted a 1:09 fall over Tucker Pierson at 160 to cut the lead to 12-9.

Manor's Jonah Barley led from start to finish at 170, stopping Ben Root with a 9-3 decision that knotted the score at 12-12.

"Root is a tough wrestler," said Fowler. "We felt that if we won this one, we had a good chance at winning the match."

"Ben was coming off a 5th place finish at the Escape the Rock tournament," noted Little. "He was a little sore and tired and we considered moving him up. This was a good under pressure match for him."

Manor took its first lead of the night with a Dante Jones 2:30 fall over Nick Yannutz (182) but Solanco's Josh Weder barely broke a sweat in tying things up at 18-18. He recorded a 24 second fall at 195.

The Mules went back in front with a 6-1 decision by Caleb Tucker at 220 but that was their last lead of the night as the visitors rallied with bonus points in four of the last six bouts wrestled.

Averex Grant held a 3-2, first period lead over Ben Ruth but got turned in the second period.

"Grant has been wrestling well," said Little. "We didn't expect that result."

Owen Rohrer (106) turned a 5-0 first period advantage into a 2:58 fall over Thomas Steinhauer and a forfeit by the Mules at 113 extended the lead to 33-24.

"Thomas really fought hard to stay off his back," Little stated. "He keeps improving."

The Comets' Jordan Harsh (120) led 6-1 over Sheldon Peiffer in the second period and settled for a 7-3 decision while Nick Fafel turned a 6-0 first period lead over Chase Charles (126) into a second period fall to ice the victory.

Alex Laughlin capped the evening with a 13-2 major over Joey Vandergriff.

"We're still learning," Little said. "We still have a lot of work to do."

In non-league action Saturday morning, the Mules used four falls and took advantage of three forfeits to secure a 48-27 victory over visiting Kennard-Dale.

The Rams opened the scoring with an 8-2 decision over Tucker Pierson at 160 and then the two teams traded falls. Root (170) decked Troy Jones in 5:45 only to see Austin McNamee come back to pin Yannutz in 26 seconds for a 9-6 advantage on the scoreboard.

The Rams forfeited at 195 and Tucker added a 1:02 fall over Jaylen Kennedy for a quick 12 points and a lead they would never relinquish.

K-D pinned at 285 and both teams traded forfeits at 106 and 113 but the Mules rallied down the stretch, winning five of the last six bouts to finish on top. Peiffer started the run with a 1:45 fall while C. Charles (126) and Vandergriff (132) added back-to-back decisions. G. Charles (138) put Nick Bradley to his back in 2:16 of and Wilson capped the scoring, accepting a forfeit at 152.

BOYS BASKETBALL

After suffering its most lopsided league loss against the Barons, 78-42 back on December 16, the boys basketball team was determined to not let that happen again. D-1 recruit Taylor Funk dropped in 19 points that game and led a trio of double digit scorers.

Last Tuesday, however, Funk came up big again, this time racking up a game-high 28 points and five triples, four in the first quarter that fueled a 16-6 run for a lead the visitors never relinquished. Manheim outscored the Mules 32-17 in the first half en route to a 58-45 victory and improved to 7-1 in Section Two.

"Central is currently ranked second overall in District 3 5A," noted head coach Scott Long. "They are a very good team but we did not execute our game plan defensively and did not work to get high percentage shots on offense."

The Mules were 7-of-11 from the free throw line in the second quarter but managed just two field goals, one by their own D-1 recruit Dylan Hastings and the other by Colin Kilgore. Manheim, however, netted 16, eight from Funk, to take a commanding lead to the locker room.

Rob McHugh sparked a 10-point third quarter, netting 6 of his 10, but Solanco didn't gain any ground as the Barons matched that 10-point effort.

Hastings netted half of Solanco's 18 fourth quarter points and finished with a team-high 18 on 10-of-14 shooting. He also hauled in 14 rebounds. Kilgore and Aaron Constein both finished with 7 points.

"I was disappointed that we did not play with confidence and attention to detail," added Long.

The JV Mules also fell short, bowing to the visitors 46-29. Solanco got off to a strong start, draining four 3's in the quarter for a 14-11 advantage. Manheim rallied with an 18-2 second quarter effort and never looked back.

Freshman Dom Messano led the way with 9 points on three triples. Jay Boyle added 6 and Jake Zook, Carson Kilgore and Zach Wiker each added three.

"We did finish with five three's in the game," noted coach Zac Bauermaster. "But we lost Carson, our leading scorer, to an injury early on which definitely had an impact on our play."

Friday, in a tight game throughout, the Mules secured a 50-47 victory over visiting Cocalico. Tied at 14 all in the first quarter, Solanco (4-5, 10-7) extended the lead over the middle frames, winning 9-5 and 17-12 for a comfortable 40-31 advantage. The Eagles, however, went on a fourth quarter run, winning the frame 16-10 but not the game.

"Our largest lead of the night was 12," said Long. "The guys did a great job on defense and Cocalico did not shoot a single free throw in the game. I think our size made their guards hesitant to attack."

McHugh, with 11 points in each half, notched a season-high 22. Constein, who dropped in three treys in the third quarter, followed with a season-high 16 and Hastings added 11 to round out the double-digit scorers.

"Robbie went 5-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter," noted Long. "On a night where we did not shoot free throws well (14-for-28), he did. And Aaron did a great job being aggressive and looking for his shot."

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