After checking out the Boys' Class AAAA bracket before the start of the PIAA State Basketball Tournament, York High head coach Tory Sowers discussed the strong challenges at every stop on the road to the state final in Hershey.
"If we win our first game (against Methacton), then we might have to play St. Joseph's Prep, and they have one guard going to Notre Dame another guard going to Wake Forest," Sowers said. "If we win that game, there's possibly Coatesville, or maybe McCaskey again, and after that is Chester. That's Quad-A basketball in Pennsylvania."
York High passed its first Class AAAA test with a 67-63 victory over Methacton.
Next up is the team with the two NCAA Division I college recruits.
The Bearcats (27-3) will take on St. Joseph's Prep (22-5) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Coatesville High School. The Hawks, from Philadelphia, defeated Abington, 48-33, in the first round of states.
Stephen Vasturia led St. Joseph's in the victory over Abington by pouring in 27 points. A 6-foot, 3-inch senior, Vasturia is a Notre Dame recruit.
The Hawks' Miles Overton, a 6-4 senior, is headed to Wake Forest next year. Vasturia's and Overton's teammate, P.J. Kelly, a 5-10 senior, finished with 10 points against Abington.
York High features three players in double figures, with Tavon Parker leading the way at 20.6 points a game. He's followed by Derek Wilson (13.3 ppg) and Ramel Stephens (10.7 ppg). Jahaire Wilson, Derek's younger brother, is just under 10 a game at 9.8. Parker has connected on 58 3-point shots.
The St. Joseph's Prep head coach is the legendary Speedy Morris, who's won more than 900 games at the high school and college level. Former Temple coach John Chaney nominated Morris for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Hawks certainly provide a huge test for the Bearcats.
However, York High knows all about tests. They've played Harrisburg (twice), Lancaster McCaskey (twice) and Williamsport, among others, this season.
The Bearcats are one of five York-Adams teams still competing in the state playoffs.
Following are capsulized looks at the other games:
TUESDAY'S GAMES Girls' Class AAAA
DOVER (26-3) VS. NA ZARETH AREA (24-4) AT READING HIGH SCHOOL, 5 P.M. After securing its first-ever state tournament victory in dramatic fashion (overcoming a 16-point deficit against West Chester Bayard Rustin), Dover prepares to take on the District 11 champion.
The Blue Eagles' defense was on point in their opener, a 41-28 victory over Pennsbury. Kassie Behler and Morgan Calabrese combined for 27 points in Nazareth's 50-43 triumph over Pocono Mountain West in the District 11 title game. The Blue Eagles defeated Parkland, 49-41, in the district semifinals behind the 23-point performance of Molly Calabrese, Morgan's sister.
Alayah Hall is the Dover's leading scorer at 15.2 points a game.
Girls' Class AA
DELONE CATHOLIC (20-7) VS. ST. BASIL ACA DEMY (17-8) AT COATES VILLE HIGH SCHOOL, 6 P.M. Delone Catholic should have plenty of momentum heading into this game following an impressive 72-48 victory over District 2 runner-up, Holy Cross.
The Squirettes' Maddie Comly (14.3) and Abbey Sponseller (10.5) team for 24.8 points a game.
St. Basil, the District 1 champion, moved to Class AA this year from AAA. The Panthers crushed High School of the Future, 69-29, in their state opener. Kalee Fuegel, a junior guard, led St. Basil with 16 points.
YORK CATHOLIC (26-2) VS. DUNMORE (21-6) AT MARTZ HALL, POTTS VILLE, 6 P.M. This will be fourth state tournament meeting in the past five seasons between the Fighting Irish and the Bucks.
York Catholic won the three previous clashes, rallying from eight points down in the third quarter to win last year's game, 54-41.
Molly Burke, Kayleigh Semion and Mariah Maciejewski are key players for Dunmore. Burke scored 20 points in last season's game.
Morgan Klunk, who had 15 points for the Fighting Irish in the 2012 Dunmore game, is the York-Adams League's third-leading scorer at 17.4 points a game. Hannah Laslo, a 6-1 sophomore, supplies 11 a game for York Catholic.
Boys' Class AA
DELONE CATHOLIC (18-9) VS. CONSTITUTION (17-9) AT GOV. MIFFLIN INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL, 7:30 P.M. Constitution, a member of the Philadelphia Public League, counts on its pressure defense.
The Generals blitzed District 11 champion Notre Dame Green Pond in the first round, forcing 19 turnovers in a 66-28 romp. Kimar Williams, Floyd Preito and Ahmad Gilbert are players to watch for Constitution, which moved from Class A to AA this season. The Generals won the state title last season, but four of the five starters from that team graduated, including UNLV recruit Savon Goodman.
Delone Catholic, which secured its second-straight District 3 crown this year with a victory over Trinity, features a balanced offense and a defense that is yielding just 48.3 points a game. Sophomore Devon Moore is the Squires' top scorer at 15.3 points a game. Brett Smith is close behind at 14.1, and Andrew Austin is providing 11.6 a game. Moore and Jake Wiles have combined for 75 3-point baskets.
-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com.