Northeastern girls' basketball standout Payton Hauck and Dallastown's Amari Johnson both expect great things from their high school teams this winter.
Entering their senior campaigns, Hauck and Johnson can see themselves with shiny York-Adams League playoff gold medals around their necks.
While those thoughts are just dreams in August, both know for sure that they'll play basketball at the highest college level next year.
Johnson recently accepted an offer to play at Rhode Island, while Hauck did the same at Boston University. Both are NCAA Division I schools.
Those two, who coincidentally, play together on the same Central PA Elite AAU basketball team over the summer, weren't the only York-Adams girls' players to commit to D-I programs this summer. Delone Catholic standout Maddie Comly recently announced her decision to attend Fairleigh-Dickinson University, in the suburbs of New York City, next year as well.
Johnson and Hauck were happy to make their decisions before the season. And they were both complimentary of one another as well.
"She's just amazing," Hauck said of Johnson. "She has the dedication and is always working hard. She's a great team player. It's just really fun to play with her."
"She is very strong," Johnson said of Hauck. "And quick too. Payton is just a nice all-around player. She can play offense and has a good shot. And she can drive in occasionally and if she needs to post up, she can do that too. So I'd say that she's like the perfect player. You can't ask more from a girl like Payton because she's just able to do everything."
Johnson, at 6-foot-1, felt right at home the moment she stepped on campus at Rhode Island.
"They gave me a tour of the campus and then I checked in with the head coach (Daynia La-Force) and she's like a mom ... always checking up on me every now and then to see how I'm doing, even after I already committed there," Johnson said. "So I felt welcome on campus and it was like a family environment there. And the players were so nice. They welcomed me and I hadn't even committed there yet."
Hauck, at 5-foot-9, has always been a fan of the city of Boston.
"I like Boston overall, as a place," said Hauck, who averaged 14.8 points per game last season and helped the Bobcats to a 13-11 record. "I haven't really met the whole team yet. I met like five of them and they were all awesome. But the coaching staff was definitely my favorite part. They were great and friendly."
Hauck figures to play either at the point or at shooting guard for the Terriers, who have a new head coach this season in Katy Steding. It's not as clear for Johnson, who can play almost any position on the court. The Dallastown standout, however, sounded a little relieved to find out she likely won't have to play center often, if at all.
"I will most likely be playing at the 2 or 3, or maybe a little 4 if I need to," said Johnson, who pumped in 12.2 points per game last season for the Wildcats, who finished 16-8. "We already have another recruit that is 6-5 and she's coming in my year. So she's going to be a freshman when I come in. So she's definitely going to be the 5."
While both players dream of the future and success, they wouldn't mind the thought of one day squaring off against one another at the next level. Rhode Island and Boston University aren't too far away from each other. They play in different conferences — BU in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10.
"I don't think they play regularly, but I know that this year they play," Hauck said. "So there's always a chance we might face each other again."
The 5-7 Comly, meanwhile, averaged 18.4 points per contest for the Squirettes, who ended up 21-6. FDU plays in the Northeast Conference.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.