Pioneers Dominate Eagles on Remembrance Night

 It’s safe to say Lampeter-Strasburg is the powerhouse in Section 3. They’d won five straight section titles from 2016 to 2020, until Cocalico ended the reign last year. The Eagles defeated the Pioneers twice, winning 45-43 at home and 49-43 in Lampeter. 

The Pioneers have steamrolled through the competition in the early season, earning an 8-0 record and is ranked the 4th best 5A team in the state by Trib HSSN. The Eagles have had a rough go to start the season, entering Wednesday’s game with a 3-5 record. 

The game itself was never even close to competitive, with the Pioneers shooting lights out from the get-go and playing strong defense. The story of the game was the ones who were no longer with us. Prior to the game, Jim “Pops” Anderson was honored. Pops was a diehard Pioneer fan, hardly ever missing a baseball, football, or basketball game. Most of the time, he also had a scorebook in hand. At halftime, 2018 graduate and 1000 point scorer Ryan Smith was honored. Smith died in March of last year after a 19-month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. 

“I mean Ryan Smith, he was the ultimate student-athlete… put a lot of time and effort into his game and it showed. That’s a great message to be sending anybody in our basketball program,” commented 6th-year L-S skipper Ed Berryman. Both schools elected an orange theme for their student section in support of Smith. 

Ben Wert and Berkeley Wagner split honors as the game’s leading scorer with 15 points each. Wert, a junior, has been a revelation for the Pioneers this week. He scored a career-high 26 points on Monday night against Lancaster Mennonite and is also creating havoc at the other end. 

“He’s getting confidence now. He knows that he could miss a shot or two and can still keep going… I have confidence in him and his teammates have confidence in him. When that shot is there, we want him to knock it down.” added Coach Berryman. 

On Friday (weather impending), the Pioneers will look to move to 10-0 in New Holland against Garden Spot, while the Eagles will host a red-hot Manheim Central team. 

By Logan Moyer, LS News Editor-in-Chief

Photos by Logan Thompson, LS News President and Cam Reynolds, LS News Photographer

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