The loss of two starters doesn't seem to have slowed down the Northern Lebanon girls' basketball team too much.

The Vikings, playing without the injured Emily Brandt and Morgan Phillips, won for the fifth time in six games Thursday night and opened up a two-game lead for second place in Section Three with a key 47-38 triumph over Garden Spot in New Holland. The victory improves Northern Lebanon's overall record to 13-6 while it is now 10-3 in league play, two game better than Elco, which lost to front-running Lampeter-Strasburg on Thursday night.

Against Garden Spot, the Vikings ran out to a 13-3 first-quarter lead and held on from there to post the win. The Spartans closed to within 33-27 by the start of the fourth quarter but couldn't complete the comeback.

NL put three players in double figures, a list that included Mariah LiBrandi (14 points), Taylor Smith (12) and Kristen Lessing (11).

Elsewhere Thursday night:




  • Annville-Cleona 44, Pequea Valley 28: In Annville, the Little Dutchmen opened up a three-game lead for second place in Section Four with three games to play by taking care of the Braves. A-C ran its record to 11-8 overall and 8-5 in league play with the win.

    Locked in a 10-10 game, the Dutchmen grabbed a 23-17 halftime lead and were still in front 34-25 by the start of the fourth quarter when they ended the game with a 10-3 run. Elaina Wanamaker netted a game-high 16 points for A-C, while Alex Siebecker added 10.


  • Solanco 42, Lebanon 40: In Quarryville, the Cedars let a 25-22 halftime lead get away in the third quarter when they were outscored 11-4 and lost to the Golden Mares. The loss makes Lebanon 8-11 overall and 5-8 in Section Two.

    The Cedars trailed 33-29 entering the fourth quarter and stayed with Solanco before falling. Shaela Shellehamer paced Lebanon with three 3-pointers and 11 points. Solanco's Gillian Glackin was 11-for-11 from the line and hit for 31 points.

  • Hempfield 47, Cedar Crest 33: In South Lebanon, the Black Knights built up a comfortable 30-16 halftime lead and cruised to the victory over the Falcons, who dropped to 6-12 overall and 5-8 in Section One.

    Nikki Wagner hit on three 3-pointers and scored 22 points in the loss.

  • Lampeter-Strasburg 51, Elco 28: In Lampeter, the Raiders were held to just nine first-half points and fell two games behind second-place Northern Lebanon in the battle for a league playoff berth. Elco dropped to 11-8 overall and 8-5 in Section Three, while first-place L-S is now 17-1 and 12-1.

    Cheyenne Hassler topped the Raiders' scoring chart with nine points.

  • Lancaster Catholic 64, Lebanon Catholic 43: In Lebanon, the Section Four champion Crusaders ran their record to 17-0 with a decisive victory on Assumption Hill. The loss makes the Beavers 9-9 overall and 5-8 in league play.

    Leading 17-9, Lancaster Catholic put the game away with a 25-11 spurt through the second quarter to build up a 42-20 halftime lead. Holly Marinkov led the Beavers with 15 points, while Abby Shay (14) and Helene Reist (10) also hit for double figures.

  • Mount Calvary 56, New Covenant 34: In Elizabethtown, the Flames were outscored 24-13 in the second quarter and fell into a 34-19 halftime hole it could not dig out of. The loss makes New Covenant 7-5 overall.

    Marcia Copenhaver led the Flames with 17 points.