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BLOG: Breaking down the District 3 basketball playoffs
Starting next Monday, the District 3 basketball playoffs will commence.
It will start with 116 total teams (58 in both the boys' and girls' brackets) spread over the six classes.
In a few weeks, 12 teams will be left standing and able to boast they are district champions.
Monday, the official pairings were announced, with dates, times and locations now set in stone.
A total of 24 teams from the area qualified for district action, with 12 making it on each the boys' and girls' sides.
Following is a breakdown of all the opening games for the local teams.
6-A: In the largest class, where six teams will qualify for the state tournament, Central York (16-7) and Dallastown (14-8) qualified out of the Y-A League.
The 6-A tournament won't begin until next Tuesday, with the top four seeds receiving byes into the quarterfinals. Unfortunately for both the Panthers and Wildcats, they won't be getting an automatic spot in the quarterfinals. Instead, they'll be in action on Tuesday in the first round.
No. 9 Central York will travel to No. 8 Cedar Crest (15-7) at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will face top-seeded Reading and its superstar, Lonnie Walker, next Friday.
Meanwhile, Dallastown enters as the No. 12 seed and will visit No. 5 Carlisle (14-7) at 7 p.m., with the winner booking a date against No. 4 Harrisburg on Friday.
5-A: This is the class where the Y-A League will have the most participants with four. A total of 16 teams made the field, also the largest of the six classes, and 10 will make the state tournament, which means, yes, two teams can lose their first-round games and still make the state tournament through the consolation bracket.
Northeastern (21-2) owns the top seed in the class and will host No. 16 Exeter (11-11) at 7 p.m. Monday. The next highest seed is No. 4 Spring Grove (18-5), which will play host to No. 13 seed and Division I rival New Oxford (11-10) at 7 p.m. Monday. Spring Grove beat New Oxford twice in the regular season. Dover is the lowest seed in the field from the league, entering at No. 14. The Eagles (14-9) will travel to No. 3 Palmyra at 7 p.m. Monday.
4-A: In the 10-team Class 4-A field, three Y-A teams qualified. The top-five teams from the field will qualify for states and two of the three local district qualifiers earned byes into the quarterfinals, meaning they'll only need one win to advance to states.
No. 5 Eastern York (14-9) and No. 6 Littlestown (15-8) both secured first-round byes. The Golden Knights will visit No. 4 Middletown (18-4) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals, while the Thunderbolts will travel to No. 3 Bishop McDevitt (16-6) at 7 p.m. Thursday. Biglerville (13-9) earned the No. 9 seed in the field and will have to go on the road for the first round at 7 p.m. Monday vs. No. 8 Schuylkill Valley (14-8). The winner of that game will earn the right to face top-seeded Berks Catholic in the quarterfinals.
3-A: Both York Catholic and Delone Catholic made the six-team field, with the top four teams advancing to states.
The Fighting Irish (21-1) wrapped up the No. 2 seed and earned a bye into the semifinals, already securing a spot into the state tournament. The Squires (12-11) earned the sixth-and-final seed in the tournament and will have to travel to No. 3 Lancaster Mennonite (20-2) at 7 p.m. Monday. The winner will face York Catholic in the semifinals at Red Land at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
2-A: Fairfield is the only Class 2-A team from the Y-A League and didn't qualify for the four-team tournament, so no Y-A teams will be in the 2-A playoffs.
1-A: For the second consecutive season, York Country Day enters the 1-A field as the top seed.
The Greyhounds, who are the reigning district champ from the class, earned a bye into the quarterfinals in the 10-team field. YCD (16-4) will host the winner of No. 8 High Point Baptist (11-6) vs. No. 9 Carson Long Military (11-5) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
6-A: As with the boys, Central York and Dallastown were the only two girls' teams to make the 12-team field in the largest class, where the top seven teams make states.
The Panthers (21-2) earned the No. 4 seed in the field and also secured a first-round bye into the quarterfinals. Central will play host to the winner of No. 5 Cedar Cliff (17-5) vs. No. 12 Wilson (12-9) at 7 p.m. next Thursday. The Wildcats (12-11) enter as the No. 11 seed and will travel to Gov. Mifflin to face the No. 6 Mustangs (16-6) at 7 p.m. Monday. The winner of that game will take on No. 3 Central Dauphin on the road at 7 p.m. Thursday.
5-A: Unfortunately for the girls' teams in this class, they don't have the luxury that the boys' teams will have. In 5-A boys, the first-round losers can still make states. That's not the case in 5-A girls. Only the top eight will qualify for the state girls' tournament, so an opening-round loss means elimination.
Four Y-A teams are in the bracket, with No. 2 Susquehannock (19-4) entering as the area's top seed. The Warriors will host No. 15 Mechanicsburg (11-11) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. New Oxford (18-5) earned the No. 3 seed and will host No. 14 Muhlenberg (14-7) on Tuesday. Dover (17-6) will also host a playoff game on Tuesday as the No. 7 seed, welcoming No. 10 Fleetwood (17-4) for a 7 p.m. date. No. 9 West York (15-7) will travel to No. 8 Greencastle (18-4) for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday.
4-A: Two teams from the Y-A League made the 10-team field, where the top six will qualify for states. Both Eastern York and York Suburban earned byes into the quarterfinals.
The Golden Knights (14-9) enter as the No. 5 seed and will visit No. 4 Lancaster Catholic (18-3) at 7 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, the Trojans (13-9) will travel to Bishop McDevitt to face the third-seeded Crusaders (18-4) at 7 p.m. Friday.
3-A: Of the six teams to make up this bracket, half of them hail from the Y-A League.
York Catholic (18-5) is the top seed, earning a bye into next Friday's semifinals. The Fighting Irish will face the winner of No. 4 Hanover (12-10) vs. No. 5 Pequea Valley (9-13), which will be played at Hanover at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Both semifinal games will take place at South Western. On the other side of the bracket, Delone Catholic (18-5) grabbed the No. 2 seed and also earned a bye into the semifinals. The Squirettes will face the winner of No. 3 Middletown vs. No. 6 Tulpehocken. Both York Catholic and Delone don't necessarily have to win their semifinal games, with the top three teams earning state bids, meaning one district win advances them past the district level.
2-A: As with the boys, no girls' teams qualified for the four-team district tournament in 2-A.
1-A: Of the 10 teams that make up this field, only Christian School of York qualified from York County.
The Crusaders (16-4) earned a first-round bye as the No. 5 seed and travel to No. 4 Lebanon Catholic (16-6) at 7 p.m. next Friday in the quarterfinals. The top six teams will advance to states, so CSY isn't eliminated from the tournament with a loss.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org