Lebanon continues to play ‘unselfish’ basketball, girls extend winning streak to 14-0 after beating Hershey 71-30

Lebanon girls’ basketball knows what Hershey’s going through.

A few years ago, the Cedars weren’t flashy. They didn’t have a deep bench. And, they had more blind spots than open shots.

The matchup Monday between the two District 3 squads was a lopsided affair. Lebanon, Class 6A, defeated Hershey, Class 5A, 71-30.

Lebanon remains undefeated at 14-0. Hershey is 0-14.

“Honestly, as a team, that’s just how we play,” sophomore point guard Kailah Correa said after the game.

Correa had a game high of 24 points. She said her team thrives on having energetic practices, so that their efforts also show up in a game.

“I’m not trying to expose our plays, but we like a fast-paced game,” she said.

Starting off the season as strong as they are, Correa said she and her teammates want to make it farther in the postseason than they did last year.

“We go out to restaurants and people are noticing us,” she said. “They’re recognizing our hard work.”

The Cedars scored 39 of their points in the first half. They outsized the Trojans, who are in a rebuilding year. Despite not having equal abilities, the Trojans performed as best they could, considering how young and inexperienced they are.

“I just think we play really unselfish and that’s what helps us a lot,” senior point guard Aaliyah Ferrer said. Ferrer, who not only scored 14 points, was the team’s mastermind. She stole the ball several times only to turn around and assist her teammates on fast breaks.  

“Like, certain games like these, where it’s like, I have an open shot, and I think, ‘I’m just gonna shoot, shoot, shoot,’” she said. “Well, you can get those shots any time. So, we like to look for our teammates to help them get those points as well.”

Correa, Ferrer, and Liliana Harrison, a sophomore, put up 49 points combined. Harrison, a powerhouse under the basket, consistently pulled down offensive and defensive rebounds.


“I have to push them back, don’t let them get around me,” Harrison said. Lebanon’s coach said her sophomore standout has a “knack for being around the basket.”

“She does a good job of knowing where she is and knowing how to command the post,” Jaime Walborn said. “She knows that her job out on the floor is to grab rebounds. In a game like tonight, where there’s not a lot of height on the floor, she knows that that’s her strong suit. And, she does a great job not only of getting rebounds but finding her teammates ahead of her. And, then she gets the ball out quickly. We’re just very unselfish, our team right now. We just do a good job of finding open people.”

Just over four minutes into the game, the score was 13-2. And, while the Trojans were trailing the entire game, they were putting in work to improve.

Lebanon was able to put in less experienced players after halftime.  

“I just told them in the locker room, when we have a big lead, it impresses me that we still celebrate other teammates and things that they do,” Walborn said. “Especially kids who don’t see a whole lot of varsity minutes. They get in there, and they’re clapping them up, cheering them up, and building them up. We continue to be a team, which is why we’ve been successful.”

There are only two options remaining for the Cedars, Ferrer said. Either the second half of the season could go positively or negatively. She said Lebanon wants to take the “positive route.”

Hershey’s girls were close to igniting a run when one of them landed a 3 or a hook shot. Among the eight players who scored, Irmarie Rodriguez, who had 10 points on the night, wasn’t giving up.

“We have six freshmen on a varsity squad, which is a little unfair to them, but they’re stepping up, playing hard, and learning the game of basketball,” Coach Christopher Ruff said. “And, we’re improving all the time.”

Both small victories and growing pains will be worth it for the younger athletes in a few years, he said. And, while they’re quickly adapting to a learning curve, Ruff said he’s trying to accelerate their learning also for the juniors and seniors.

“One of these games we are going to come out on top,” he said. “But, at this point, it’s the small victories that I’m proud of – the offensive rebounds are better than what we’ve had all season. We were reluctant to take shots earlier in the season. They are now, when they’re open, they’re taking shots. In the varsity game, it’s such a faster pace, and they’re starting to learn that. It’s a pleasure to see them. In the next couple of years, when they get to be juniors and seniors, it will be an entirely different ball game for the young ones. At the same time, we’re not giving up on the seniors and juniors that we have now.”

Cedars: 20-19-15-17 – 71

Correa, 24; Ferrer, 14; Harrison, 12; Zariyah Whigham, 10; Jaelyana Burrus, 5; Olive Brandt, 4; Makenna Robb, 2

Trojans: 9-6-7-8 – 30

Rodriguez, 10; Lauren Yazinski, 5; Lauren Richards, 3; Clara Ruff, 3; Eva Carlson, 3; Olive Ober, 2; Lilly Weiler-Timmins, 2; McKenna Felix, 2

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