The semifinals of the York-Adams basketball tournaments present a stark contrast.
It's easy to pick a favorite in each of the two boys' games, but extremely difficult to do the same in the girls' games.
York High, which has played in the last four boys' title games, gets the call over Northeastern, if for no other reason than that the Bearcats won decisively, 91-46, when the teams met in the regular season. Since losing to Lancaster McCaskey, 79-65, on Dec. 28, York High has recorded 15 straight victories.
For Northeastern to have a shot, the Bobcats have to find a counter for York High's defense, which forced 19 Bobcats' turnovers in just one half of the first game.
Tavon Parker, at 19.6 points a game, is the leading scorer on a balanced Bearcats' team. Northeastern's Khalid Nwandu is the league's top scorer with a 21.3 points-per-game average.
South Western and Dallastown clashed twice in the regular season, and the Mustangs triumphed both times, although neither game was exactly a blowout (52-47 and 58-56). Still, the nod goes to South Western with the one-two punch of Parker Bean (19.6) and Mike Duffy (15.0). Ethan Sutton (14.0) and Ben Doorn (10.7) are one and two on Dallastown's scoring list this season.
Girls' semifinals: Two of the title contenders on the girls' side did meet previously this season.
Dover edged Dallastown, 43-40, on Jan. 16. The Eagles outscored the Wildcats, 18-15, in the fourth quarter after the teams played to a standoff through three quarters.
On paper, the teams are an almost even matchup.
Unbeaten Dover leads York-Adams teams in defense, allowing just 33.6 points a game. Dallastown is close behind at 36.7 points a game.
The Wildcats are scoring 48.7 points a game, and the Eagles come in at 47.6.
Each team has a player averaging in double figures. Alayah Hall leads Dover with a 14.7 points-per-game average, and Shae Grim is Dallastown's leader at 11.5.
So give Dover a slight edge going into Tuesday's semifinal. However, only a slight one. Dallastown is coming off an impressive 58-46 victory over Delone Catholic in the quarterfinals and is quite capable of reversing the outcome of the first game.
The second intriguing girls' matchup features Division I regular-season champion West York and Division IV regular-season champion York Catholic.
The Bulldogs and the Fighting Irish did not meet during the regular season.
York Catholic's offense is No. 1 in the league at 60.1 points a game. West York is sixth at 51.7.
The Bulldogs continued to play at a high level despite losing their leading scorer, Sarah Shearer, to a knee injury. Shearer was averaging 13 points a game when she was injured on Jan. 18.
Kari Lankford leads West York in scoring with 11.2 points a game.
York Catholic's Morgan Klunk is the York-Adams League's third-leading scorer at 18 points a game. She delivered a huge performance in the quarterfinals, scoring 28 points in a 55-48 victory over Red Lion.
The Fighting Irish are riding a 22-game winning streak. They dropped their first game of the season to Trinity, 50-45.
West York beat the same Trinity team, 64-41, so maybe that gives the Bulldogs a bit of an edge in the semifinals.
But a slim advantage, for sure.
Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolin firstname.lastname@example.org or at 505-5407.
Wednesday at Red Lion
---South Western (16-6) vs. Dallastown (14-9), 6:30 p.m. South Western's leading scorers: Parker Bean (19.6), Mike Duffy (15.0). Dallastown's leading scorers: Ethan Sutton (14.0), Ben Doorn (10.7).
---York High (21-2) vs. Northeastern (16-6), 8 p.m. York High's leading scorers: Tavon Parker (19.6 ppg), Derek Wilson (13.3), Ramel Stephens (10.8), Jahaire Wilson (10.0). Northeastern's leading scorer: Khalid Nwandu (21.3).
Tuesday at Central York
---Dover (23-0) vs. Dallas town (17-6), 6:30 p.m. Dover's leading scorer: Alayah Hall (14.7). Dallastown's leading scorer: Shae Grim (11.5).
---West York (20-3) vs. York Catholic (22-1), 8 p.m. West York's leading scorer: Kari Lankford (11.2). York Catholic's leading scorer: Morgan Klunk (18.0).