HEISER: There's lots of tasty holiday morsels to feast on for York County basketball fans

Steve Heiser
York Dispatch
  • York-area basketball teams will be involved in multiple tournaments from Wednesday through Saturday.
  • The Panther Christmas Tournament will feature four girls' teams with a combined record of 19-4.
  • The 29th annual Robert H. Griffith Holiday Classic will be held. The boys' event is at York Tech.

OK, you’ve just come out of your sugar coma, you’ve seen more than enough of your relatives and you’ve overdosed on “A Christmas Story.”

At this point, you may be in serious need of a little holiday-week diversion.

Central York head coach Scott Wisner will lead his Panthers as they attempt to win their own holiday girls' basketball tournament this week against some rugged competition. JOHN A. PAVONCELLO photo

Well, the York-Adams League high school basketball teams may offer just the entertainment options you need between Christmas and the new year.

That’s because most of the York County teams will compete in some sort of tournament from Wednesday through Saturday.

The most notable area absence from the holiday basketball madness is probably the most high-profile team in the York-Adams League — the Northeastern boys’ squad.

The Bobcats are on a rare, two-week, midseason sabbatical. Jon Eyster’s boys improved to 7-0 after beating South Western on Friday, Dec. 22. They aren’t scheduled to play again until Friday, Jan. 5, at Spring Grove.

Just because the Bobcats aren’t playing, however, doesn’t mean there aren’t some tournaments worth watching. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are just a few of the tasty holiday offerings to satisfy the cravings of any local basketball fan:


Panther Christmas Tournament: Central York High School will feature the top girls’ tournament of the week.

The combined record of the four teams in the Panther Christmas Tournament is 19-4. That’s not too shabby.

The opener at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, pits Mid-Penn power Cedar Cliff (6-1) against perennial District 3 power York Catholic (3-2). At 7:30 p.m., there’s also an all-York County pairing of Susquehannock (5-0) vs. Central York (5-1).

Susquehannock is the defending District 3 Class 5-A champion and York Catholic is the defending District 3 3-A champ. Central York, meanwhile, is the defending York-Adams League champ.

This a true battle of regional girls’ basketball titans. It should be fun.

Eastern York Holiday Tournament: It may not have quite the same firepower as the Central girls’ tournament, but the Eastern York Holiday Tournament likely features the biggest surprise girls’ team in the entire York-Adams League.

Spring Grove stands at 7-0 after a 9-56 mark the previous three seasons.

Haley Wagman and the Spring Grove Rockets will take a 7-0 record into the Eastern York Holiday Tournament. YORK DISPATCH FILE PHOTO

The Rockets are the only team in the Wrightsville affair with a winning record, so there’s a good possibility they could improve to 9-0 by the time the week ends.

Spring Grove opens the tournament vs. Garden Spot (3-4) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, followed by Eastern York (2-3) vs. Conrad Weiser (1-4) at 7:30 p.m.

York Suburban Holiday Tournament: Folks may also want to keep an eye on the girls’ action at York Suburban.

The York Suburban Holiday Tournament features Manheim Central (2-4) vs. South Western (4-3) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by York Suburban (4-2) vs. perennial District 3 power Cedar Crest (4-2) at 7:30 p.m.

Suburban has one of the best defenses in the York-Adams League, while South Western has one of the best players in the league in Taylor Geiman.

Lower Dauphin Holiday Tournament: The final girls’ tournament to watch will take place in Hummelstown.

Two York County teams will square off in the first round of the Lower Dauphin Holiday Tournament when West York (4-2) takes on Dallastown (3-2) at 6 p.m. Wednesday. That will be followed by Greencastle (4-1) vs. Lower Dauphin (5-1).

West York and Dallastown both figure to be contenders to make the York-Adams League girls’ playoffs. The winner of that game will face a formidable foe for the title on Thursday, no matter who wins the Greencastle-Lower Dauphin contest.


Robert H. Griffith Holiday Classic: The 29th annual Robert H. Griffith Holiday Basketball Classic has become a York County boys’ tradition over the past three decades.

The event, played at York Tech, benefits Special Olympics of York County.

York Catholic's D'Andre Davis will hope to lead the Fighting Irish to a second straight Robert H. Griffith Holiday Basketball Classic championship.  DAWN J. SAGERT photo

In Wednesday’s first round, York Suburban (0-5) battles Bethlehem Catholic (4-1) at 6 p.m., followed by York Catholic (3-2) vs. Danville (4-0).

The Fighting Irish beat Bethlehem Catholic in last year’s title game, marking the first time in 11 years that the Irish took the tournament crown.

Hagelgans & Veronis Tornado Classic: The York High boys will venture across the Susquehanna River to Lancaster McCaskey to compete in an event with some major talent.

The Bearcats, despite a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss to Central York on Friday, are off to an encouraging 5-2 start this season after an 8-14 campaign the previous season. In Wednesday’s first round, York High faces Oxon Hill (3-1), a Maryland school which is coming off a win over traditional District of Columbia power Dunbar.

York High's Clovis Gallon Jr. and his Bearcat teammates will compete in a holiday tournament at Lancaster McCaskey this week. YORK DISPATCH FILE PHOTO

The other first-round match-up is McCaskey (2-4) vs. Philadelphia’s John Bartram (3-3).

If York High and McCaskey hope to renew their long rivalry in Thursday’s title game, they’ll have to play seriously well to survive the rugged first-round match-ups.

Hempfield Holiday Tournament: The Central York boys (3-2) will surely get tested when they venture to Lancaster County for the Hempfield Holiday Tournament.

In Wednesday’s first round, the Panthers face Berks power Wilson (4-1) at 6 p.m. If the Panthers survive that test, unbeaten Hempfield (7-0) will likely await. Hempfield battles West Philadelphia (1-7) in the other first-round contest.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.