Scott Wisner stepped away from coaching the Central York varsity girls' baskeball team five seasons ago, but he never left the game.

Since then, Wisner has coached the Central freshman girls' team and helped out with the Panthers' varsity boys' team.

This season, Wisner is back with the Central varsity girls' program as head coach.

During his first stint with the Panthers, Wisner compiled an impressive 207-140 record and directed the team to the District 3-AAAA title in the 1998-99 season.

Wisner retains the same passion for basketball that he had growing up in Hanover.

"I love the game, and I like the competitive level of varsity basketball," he said. "My daughter is still playing (Kelsey Wisner is a junior guard on this year's team), but that's not the only reason I returned. I hope to be here as long as I can."

The change in coaches will mean a switch in styles.

"Coach (Andrew) Stiffler was more methodical in his approach," Wisner said. "I'm an aggressive, pressure-oriented coach. I want an up-tempo, fast-paced game."

Wisner's affinity for the fast-paced game was developed at an early age.

"I played at Hanover under Frankie Noonan, and up-tempo, that's what I grew up with," he said. "Plus, two of the teams in our division (York-Adams Division I), Red Lion and West York, they've been very successful with pressure and an up-tempo style."


Advertisement

Wisner's team features six players who either started or played significant minutes last season.

Kelsey Wisner, Kelsey Shifflett, Alexis Balanda, MacKenzie Windsor, Alexis Cash and Lydia Shellenberger are the veterans. Balanda averaged 11 points a game last season.

The Panthers have played just two games so far this year, winning both of them in capturing the Penn Manor Tip-Off Tournament.

"Winning the tournament was really nice because no one on this team had won a tournament," Wisner said. "We played a much more efficient game in the championship game. We were kind of helter skelter the first night."

The Panthers are off to a good start, but they're heading into an extremely challenging series of games.

"We have Dover (Tuesday), Wedneday, we're at Northeastern, we're at West York on Friday, and we have Red Lion next Monday," Wisner said. "The overall strength of our league is amazing. Along with the games against teams in Division I and II, we have crossover games with Eastern and York Catholic."

Central, for the most part, is a young team. Eight of the 12 players on the varsity squad will be eligible to play again next year.

The focus, though, is on the present, not the future, as Central seeks to bounce back from last year's 7-15 finish.

"We're talking about having belief in ourselves," Wisner said.

Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolinda@yorkdispatch.com.