York County basketball official Kevin Lawrence wears a microphone to show what it's like to be a youth official. York Dispatch
The drive between the York Suburban and York High gyms is fewer than three miles.
Despite that fact, the Trojans and Bearcats have rarely met on the boys’ basketball court in recent years.
In fact, the neighboring schools haven’t faced off in boys’ hoops since 2011 in a York-Adams League playoff game — a contest won by the Bearcats, 65-54.
That’s nearly a decade without a Suburban-York High boys' contest.
That hiatus is about to end.
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The District 3 playoff pairings came out over the weekend, with York High (16-7) earning the No. 7 seed in Class 5-A and York Suburban (17-5) getting the No. 10 seed. Since 5-A features a 16-team bracket, the No. 10 seed is designated to play at the No. 7 seed in the first round, meaning Suburban will play at York High at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17.
The neighborhood battle between York High and Suburban is just one of the more intriguing story lines to emerge from the district playoff pairings.
There’s another interesting district plot involving York High. The Bearcats, if they beat Suburban in their district opener, could face New Oxford for a fourth time this season. York High and New Oxford split their Division I regular-season contests, and the Colonials beat the Bearcats, 60-54, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Y-A semifinals at Red Lion. If the second-seeded Colonials (21-3) win their district opener vs. 15th-seeded Big Spring (12-9), their quarterfinal foe would be York High (if the Bearcats beat Suburban), at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at New Oxford.
And who knows, New Oxford and York High could even meet for a fifth time, either in the district consolation bracket or in the state playoffs.
Here are some other notes of interest about the upcoming district tournament:
No. 1 seeds looking to rebound: Two Y-A teams earned No. 1 seeds. Both enjoyed unbeaten regular seasons. And both are looking to rebound after first-round league playoff losses.
The Gettysburg boys (22-1) are the No. 1 seed in 5-A, but the Warriors are coming off a disappointing 59-46 loss to York High.
The Delone Catholic girls, meanwhile, are also 22-1 and the No. 1 seed in 3-A. The Squirettes, however, are coming off a second straight first-round league playoff loss to Adams County rival Gettysburg, 46-37.
No. 2 seeds to enjoy home cooking: The area boasts five No. 2 seeds — three girls’ teams and two boys’ teams.
One major benefit of being a No. 1 seed or a No. 2 seed is that those teams won’t have to play a true road game during the district playoffs.
The better-seeded teams will play at home throughout the district playoffs until the championship games, which will all be played at a neutral site, namely the Giant Center in Hershey.
The local No. 2 girls’ seeds are Gettysburg in 5-A, York Catholic (12-10) in 2-A and the Christian School of York (20-2) in 1-A.
The Y-A boys’ teams to earn No. 2 seeds are Central York (19-3) in 6-A and New Oxford in 5-A.
Crowded Class 5-A: In all, 25 Y-A teams earned district playoff berths — 13 girls’ programs and 12 boys’ programs.
Forty percent of those teams will compete in 5-A, which features the largest bracket on both the boys’ and girls’ sides at 16 teams.
The boys’ 5-A field includes six Y-A teams. Gettysburg, New Oxford, York High and York Suburban were mentioned previously. The others are No. 9 seed Northeastern (14-8) and No. 14 seed West York (13-10). If Northeastern and Gettysburg win their openers, they’d meet in the quarterfinals.
Gettysburg beat Northeastern in the regular season, 63-60.
The girls’ teams in the 5-A district field are Gettysburg, third-seeded West York (19-4), fifth-seeded Spring Grove (16-6) and seventh-seeded York Suburban (15-7).
Gettysburg and Suburban could meet in the quarterfinals. The Warriors swept the Trojans in the regular season.
It’s rather remarkable that Spring Grove was good enough to earn a No. 5 district seed and Suburban was good enough to get a No. 7 seed, but neither could manage to earn a Y-A playoff berth. That speaks loudly about the quality of Y-A girls’ teams this season.
Back in districts: The Susquehannock boys’ team (12-10) has earned a district berth for the first time in 14 years.
The Warriors are a No. 8 seed in 4-A and will even get to play a home game in the first round on Monday, Feb. 17, against No. 9 seed Octorara (14-8).
Others in districts: The other teams in the district field that we haven’t yet mentioned are: Littlestown (No. 5 seed in 4-A boys), Eastern York (No. 6 seed in 4-A boys), Hanover (No. 7 seed in in 3-A boys), York Catholic (No. 4 seed in 2-A boys), Central York (No. 3 seed in 6-A girls), Red Lion (No. 5 seed in 6-A girls), Dallastown (No. 9 seed in 6-A girls), Eastern York (No. 3 seed in 4-A girls), Bermudian Springs (No. 5 seed in 4-A girls), Kennard-Dale (No. 9 seed in 4-A girls) and Hanover (No. 6 seed in 3-A girls).
The Eastern boys will enter on a six-game winning streak.
The Hanover boys, meanwhile, will enter with a new coach. The Nighthawks’ first-year head coach, Bart Gibbon, has resigned for family reasons. Assistant coach Jared Peterman will lead Hanover in the district playoffs.
The Dallastown and Red Lion girls could meet for a fourth time this season, but each must win two games to set up an all-Y-A semifinal. The two teams split in the regular season and are set to meet Wednesday in a league semifinal.
— Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.