HEISER: Gettysburg boys, Delone girls to put perfection on the line during Y-A playoffs

  • The Gettysburg boys and Delone Catholic girls each have 22-0 basketball records.
  • They are the only two unbeaten teams in the York-Adams League basketball playoffs.
  • The York-Adams basketball tournaments start this weekend with quarterfinal action.
Senior Brooke Lawyer is a big reason the Delone Catholic Squirettes have gone 22-0 this season.
Sophomore Giana Hoddinott, front, is one of the leaders on the unbeaten Delone Catholic girls' basketball team.

Only two teams will enter the 2020 York-Adams League basketball playoffs with perfect records.

If those same two teams exit the tournament with their unblemished ledgers intact, some league history will have been made.

The Gettysburg boys and Delone Catholic girls carry impressive resumes into the quarterfinals, which start this weekend.

Both are 22-0.

Both sit in the No. 1 spots in their respective classes in the District 3 power ratings.

Both are ranked among the very best teams in the state in their respective classes.

Both, however, are also swimming against a historic tide.

The Gettysburg boys’ team is trying to become the first public school from Adams County to win the league basketball championship.

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In fact, since the Y-A playoffs were reestablished in 1995, only one Adams County school has managed to win league playoff titles — the Delone boys in 2000 and the Delone girls in 2001.

The fact that the Delone girls have earned just one league playoff crown is rather surprising, especially considering that the Squirettes have earned four state championships (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2019) in the last two decades. In each of those state title-winning seasons, the Squirettes left the Y-A playoffs empty-handed.

This year, the Warriors and Squirettes are hoping things will be different. They’re both hoping to cut down the nets at York College’s Wolf Gym when the playoffs conclude.

Quadir Copeland, seen here at left in a file photo, is averaging more than 23 points per game this season for the 22-0 Gettysburg Warriors.

There’s little doubt that both teams have the talent to win 2020 Y-A crowns.

The Gettysburg boys: Gettysburg is ranked No. 2 in the state in 5-A in the latest Trib/HSSN poll and may very well have the best player in the league in 6-foot, 4-inch junior Quadir Copeland, who is averaging more than 23 points per game and has been stuffing the stat sheet on a nightly basis all season long.

The Warriors also already own wins over several of the teams in the Y-A tournament, including season sweeps of Division II rivals West York and York Suburban. Gettysburg also captured an early-season, five-point win over D-I co-champion New Oxford and a seven-point win vs. D-III champ Littlestown.

Gettysburg has also shown an uncanny ability to come through in the clutch, winning eight games by seven points or fewer.

The Delone girls: Delone, meanwhile, is an entirely different story. The Squirettes have been dominant with a capital “D” en route to earning the No. 1 ranking in the Trib/HSSN 3-A state poll.

Only one of the Squirettes’ wins has come by fewer than double digits — an eight-point victory over Pennridge, a District 1 Class 6-A school.

Delone Catholic girls' basketball head coach Gerry Eckenrode reacts during his team's game against Bermudian Springs on Monday, January 20, 2020,
John A. Pavoncello photo

Delone’s D-III schedule was not exactly taxing. Only two other teams in the division have winning overall records — Bermudian Springs (18-3) and York Catholic (12-10). Coach Gerry Eckenrode made up for that by loading up Delone's nonleague slate.

In addition to sweeping a strong Bermudian team and an improving York Catholic outfit, Delone has  powered to easy nonleague wins over Linden Hall (16-2), West York (19-3), Trinity (15-4), Downingtown East (15-6), Pennridge (11-9) and Berks Catholic (13-7).

The athletic Squirettes have been powered by a simple but successful formula — a balanced offense led by sophomore Giana Hoddinott and senior Brooke Lawyer, combined with a suffocating pressure defense. Lawyer is the only senior starter on a team dominated by sophomores.

No easy path for Delone: Still, the one missing piece on the recent Delone girls’ resume is the league championship.

Last year, en route to the state title, the Squirettes were ousted in the first round of the league tournament by Gettysburg, 54-47. That just happens to be the same Gettysburg program that Delone will open up with this year at 6 p.m. Saturday at Dallastown.

The Warriors will present Delone with a formidable test right off the bat after compiling a 20-2 mark en route to a D-II co-championship this season. Adding a little intrigue to that matchup is the fact that one of Gettysburg’s top players, Camryn Felix, was a key contributor for Delone last season as a freshman before transferring to the Warriors in the offseason.

If Delone can get past Gettysburg, it will face either D-I champion Central York (18-3) or Eastern York (16-6) in the semifinals. The other side of the girls’ bracket features Bermudian, West York, Red Lion (18-4) and defending league champion Dallastown (15-7). So, if Delone reaches the final, another rugged foe is sure to await.

The Gettysburg gauntlet: The Gettysburg boys will face a similar gauntlet.

The Warriors meet defending league champion York High (15-6) in its opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday at West York. A win there will likely earn the Warriors a semifinal berth vs. a surging New Oxford team (19-3) that has won 11 straight. That assumes, of course, the Colonials get by Hanover (13-9) in their opener.

The other side of the boys’ bracket includes Central York (18-3), West York (13-9), Littlestown (18-4) and York Suburban (16-5). It would be a surprise if Central didn't emerge from that side of the bracket.

They’ll have to earn it: So, neither the Gettysburg boys nor the Delone girls will have any “gimmes” in the league tournaments.

If they want to continue their perfect runs, they are definitely going to have to earn it.

Of course, if you ask the Warriors or the Squirettes, they probably wouldn’t want it any other way.  

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


The York-Adams League basketball playoffs start this weekend with quarterfinal doubleheaders. Here are the official pairings for both the boys' and girls' tournaments:


Friday's Quarterfinals

Division I No. 1 seed Central York (18-3) vs. Division II No. 3 seed West York (13-9) at Red Lion, 6 p.m.

Division III No. 1 seed Littlestown (18-4) vs. Division II No. 2 seed York Suburban (16-5) at Red Lion, 7:30 p.m.

Division I No. 2 seed New Oxford (19-3) vs. Division III No. 2 seed Hanover (13-9) at West York, 6 p.m.

Division II No. 1 seed Gettysburg (22-0) vs. Division I No. 3 seed York High (15-6) at West York, 7:30 p.m.


Saturday's Quarterfinals

Division I No. 1 seed Central York (18-3) vs. Division II No. 3 seed Eastern York (16-6) at Dallastown, 7:30 p.m.

Division III No. 1 seed Delone Catholic (22-0) vs. Division II No. 2 seed Gettysburg (20-2) at Dallastown, 6 p.m.

Division I No. 2 seed Red Lion (18-4) at Division III No. 2 seed Bermudian Springs (18-3) at Dover, 6 p.m.

Division II No. 1 seed West York (19-3) at Division I No. 3 seed Dallastown (15-7) at Dover, 7:30 p.m.