L-S plays its game in second half to overcome Gettysburg in district quarterfinals

For much of the second quarter, L-S looked out of sorts. Rock solid from the foul line all year long, it missed each of its three attempts. Typically able to find good looks offensively, it struggled to find a rhythm. And usually dominant on defense, it fell victim to extended possessions from Gettysburg that allowed the Warriors to control the tempo and enter halftime with a two-point lead.
Luke Beers' veteran presence helped
pace the Pioneers to victory

In the second half, however, L-S found itself.

Isaac Beers took an excellent pass from Matt Achille to nail a three-pointer, and after getting a stop on defense, Connor Brown laid one in off a crisp inbound pass. Then, Ben Sandberg drilled two consecutive threes, and the Pioneers had recaptured the style of game they wanted to play.

Ultimately, the second quarter proved to be a momentary lull for the Pioneers, although one that included four ties and three lead changes. The team opened the game with a prototypical first quarter in which three different players made three-point shots, and Darren Metz made an easy layup to open an 11-8 lead.

Balance was key for the Pioneers offensively; six different players scored once before any player scored twice. At halftime, Matt Achille led the team with just five points.

As the third quarter progressed and L-S played the game it is equipped to play, Matt Achille and Ben Sandberg spread their wings, and finished with 14 and 10 points respectively. The trio of Luke and Isaac Beers and Connor Brown each contributed seven points.

In the final period, L-S held onto a lead that ranged from two to six points, but could not open a large advantage. With three minutes remaining, Gettysburg had committed only one foul, and thus turned up the heat defensively with aggressive play and attempted steals. L-S withstood the pressure flawlessly, and handled the ball deftly while spreading the floor to eat the clock.

Down the stretch, the team -- much more characteristically -- made its free throws, and closed out the 53-45 victory.

It was quite the atmosphere at the Giant Center in Hershey. L-S students traveled in large numbers (some aboard a spectator bus sponsored by the school), and participated in a "blue out" in a modified student section. Several members of the girls basketball team were in attendance along with several L-S administrators and a host of L-S fans. Even the student section's favorite sports reporter -- LNP's John Walk -- was covering the action.

Essentially, Hershey became Lampeter north.

It will be interesting to see if the community can maintain that atmosphere during weeknight games next week. The Pioneers will take on Bishop McDevitt -- which defeated Cocalico in an earlier game -- Monday at 6:30 PM at the Giant Center in the District 3 AAA semifinals. The Pioneers will look to beat a pressure defense in a game that will certainly test their offensive precision as well as their conditioning.

Check out a full gallery of Lauren Mast's photos via Google Photos.

--Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief

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