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LAMPETER — After spotting Lampeter-Strasburg an 8-0 lead, Big Spring responded with an 8-0 run and later took its first and only lead, 17-15, midway through the second quarter.

But the host Pioneers (No. 2, 21-3) closed the first half on an 11-0 run and opened the second half on a 8-0 run that ultimately proved too much for the Bulldogs to overcome, winning the District 3 Class 5A opener 50-37 at Lampeter-Strasburg High School on Monday night.

The playoff appearance is Big Spring’s first since 2012.

L-S sank 10 3-pointers on just 21 attempts from beyond the arc against the Bulldogs’ usually tough zone defense.

“That’s our main defense,” Big Spring head coach Jason Creek said. “We were holding teams to 49 points a game in the Mid-Penn. That put us in the top-three defense in the Mid-Penn. Coming into this game we said if we held them to 10 3s or less, that’s 30 points, we will be fine if we rebound the basketball. We held them to 10 3s. And the magic number we thought was 50 points. We held them to 50 points. But we did not have a good offensive game.”

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Big Spring Lampeter-Strasburg
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Big Spring Lampeter-Strasburg
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Big Spring Lampeter-Strasburg
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Big Spring Lampeter-Strasburg

No. 15 Big Spring (13-9) missed 20 attempts from within 3-point range, with freshman leading scorer Matthew Ward held scoreless and 6-foot-5 junior forward Davin Pritchard battling foul trouble for much of the night.

“Matthew Ward is a big part of our offense and they did a good job face-guarding him and taking him away,” Creek said. “Got in a little bit of foul trouble with our bigs. That shakes up our lineup a little bit. Offensively, it was a struggle for us tonight. Credit to them. They played a great game. They did a good job defensively tonight. Defensively we played a good game.”

Pritchard and sophomore forward JT Kuhn each scored 12 points to pace the Bulldogs, who now go to the 5A consolation bracket needing to win its next three games to qualify as one of D3’s nine teams in the PIAA tournament.

“We liked our opportunity coming in here tonight,” Creek said. “The guys are pretty down. But you have a freshman (Ward), a sophomore (JT Kuhn), a junior (Gavin Pritchard) and you got another sophomore (Jack Shulenberger). We’re young. This was the first taste of playoffs in a long time. Only the 10th time in school history we were in the playoffs. Last time we were in was 2012. So we’re trying to keep them positive.”

The Bulldogs travel to No. 10 Milton Hershey (16-7) at 7 p.m. Thursday in a must-win game. L-S hosts No. 7 Muhlenberg (16-8) in the quarterfinals.

Local sports results for Feb. 18

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The Sentinel contributed to this report

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