Achille and Sandberg lead boys basketball team out of 15-point deficit to win by 11

Down 19-4 early in the second quarter, it looked like an abysmal night for the Pioneers’ boys basketball team, which hosted Lancaster Catholic in its home opener Friday night. Sloppy offense, turnovers, and traveling calls characterized the first quarter, and it was three quarters of the way through the first half until the Pioneers had six points on the board.
Ben Sandberg was key to allaying the
slumping Pioneers' offense

But then junior Ben Sandberg made a lay up.

And senior Matt Achille swiped a steal and was fouled, making two free throws.

Then, after a Catholic timeout, Achille nailed a baseline jumper.

Suddenly, L-S was back in the ball game late in the first half.

Another clutch three pointer from Sandberg cut the deficit to seven -- 22-15 -- at intermission.

And the Pioneers came out in the second half with resolve. 

Senior Connor Brown, who did not score at all in the first half, made two baskets in the first two minutes of the quarter. Achille drove into the lane and made an easy layup. Senior Luke Beers scored his first basket, a three-pointer. Achille scored on a pretty shot in transition. Brown made a free throw. Achille created another offensive opportunity with scrappy defense, and hit a layup.
Connor Brown scored four pivotal points right out of the gate
in the second half

Finally, with 37 seconds to go in the third quarter, Luke Beers drove into the lane, drew a foul, absorbed the contact, and made the basket as well as the subsequent free throw to give the Pioneers a 32-30 advantage, one they did not relinquish.

Sophomore Isaac Beers launched a pair of three-pointers and Achille added a pair of two-pointers to widen the advantage, and then the deal was sealed on an alley-oop dunk for Sandberg with 1:50 to play. 

The dunk electrified the gymnasium, which had a solid crowd for the home opener, including a large sea of white apparel, the student section. During the ensuing timeout, the student section led the venerable “I believe that we will win” chant, and ultimately, the Pioneers did.

A sequence of foul shots for both teams at the end proved ineffectual, and ultimately the Pioneers came back from a 15-point deficit to win 55-44.

Achille led the way with 18 points (not to mention tenacious defense); Sandberg also compiled 18. The Beers brothers each had six. Overall, it was a solid come-from-behind win for the Pioneers, who did the same thing to beat Warwick in overtime earlier in the week.

The team is now 4-0, and 1-0 in league play.

Additional photos from Lauren Mast's collection available via Google Photos

--Benjamin Pontz, Editor-In-Chief; Photos by Lauren Mast, Sports Reporter

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