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PIAA State Girls Basketball Tournament : Cedars Battle to Finish, but Peters Township Prevails


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After securing 3rd place in the District 3 Championship Tournament, the Cedars faced off against Peters Township in the first round of the PIAA State Championship Tournament. The Indians, hailing from McMurray in Washington County, earned their spot in States by finishing third in the District 7/WPIAL Tournament. The backbone of their success was the stellar performance of senior guard Gemma Walker, who is set to join Saint Francis next year, and junior big Natalie Wetzel, who has already received over twenty Division I offers. With such formidable opponents, the Cedars were in for a fiercely competitive match to kick off States.

In the 1st quarter, both teams were in a process of trial and error to find their winning strategies. Lebanon’s Liliana Harrison‘s strong presence in the paint limited the Indians’ scoring opportunities. Harrison and Kailah Correa each contributed 4 points, bringing the quarter to a close with Peters Township holding a narrow 9-8 lead.

The 2nd quarter saw the game’s intensity continue. Harrison led the Cedars with 7 points, bringing her total to 11 in the 1st half. The Indians, on the other hand, focused their defense on Correa, holding her to just 2 points in the quarter. Peters Township managed to maintain a slim 23-20 lead at halftime, thanks to a late three-pointer that broke the tie.

In the 3rd quarter, Peters Township re-emerged having made halftime adjustments that was aided by hot shooting. In addition, foul trouble limited Lebanon’s ability to respond. The Indians hit four three-pointers in the quarter as Peters Township outpaced Lebanon 25-12 to bust out to a 48-32 lead.

In the 4th quarter, Lebanon responded with an aggressive defense in an attempt to chip away at the deficit. Olive Brandt scored 10 points, and Correa added 5. However, the defensive intensity resulted in Harrison fouling out, along with Brandt, Correa, and Jae Burrus to each play with four fouls. While the final eight-minute stretch was the most successful for the Cedars from an offensive standpoint, it would not be enough to pull off the comeback.

Harrison led the Cedars on the offensive end, finishing the game with 16 points. Brandt scored 14, all of which came in the 2nd half and included going 6-6 from the free throw line. Correa scored 11 points for Lebanon, a testament to the tough defensive the Cedars faced. Peters Township’s Walker and Wetzel combined for 51 points between them.

The loss ends Lebanon’s 2023-2024 season. The Cedars finished with a 24-5 record, which included their third straight Lancaster Lebanon League Section title.

Following the game, we caught up with Lebanon coach Jaime Walborn, who expressed her thoughts about the season:

I’m really proud of our team. I thought we fought very hard tonight, and all season long. We fell short of some things we wanted to accomplish during the season, but didn’t fall short on the experience we had as a group. We won our section, made it to LL Championship, qualified and finished 3rd in the Districts, and hosted a first round state game- and won 24 games. They should be proud and I couldn’t be more proud of them.” 

While it’s tough to predict the future, with only one senior in the starting line-up (Zariyah Whigham) it is very likely that the Cedars will be able to build upon their experience and grow together as a unit.


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Lebanon 8 12 12 17 49
Peters Twp 9 14 25 21 69

Lebanon Scoring: L. Harrison (16); O. Brandt (14); K. Correa (11); Z. Whigham (8)

Peters Township Scoring: G. Walker (30); N. Wetzel (21); B. Morreale (8); M. Khalil (6); D. Radulovic (4)



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