ARMOLD: York County down to final four district title contenders in boys' basketball
- York-Adams foes Northeastern (24-2) and York High (15-9) will meet in the District 3 Class 5-A semis.
- The Kennard-Dale Rams (19-6) are playing in the Class 4-A semifinals.
- York Country Day (13-5) is in the Class 1-A semifinals for the third straight season.
As March approaches, York County is down to its own "final four" of teams still alive for a District 3 boys’ basketball championship.
They’ll all hit the court Monday as part of week chock full of important games that could see the league nab as many as three boys' titles.
The week gets started with a huge heavyweight bout Monday on the big stage at Hershey’s Giant Center.
In the Class 5-A semifinal set to tip at 7 p.m., defending 5-A champion and No. 3 seed Northeastern (25-2) will battle Y-A Division I rival and No. 10 seed York High (15-9). This clash will no doubt yield a high-energy atmosphere. The two teams boast devoted fan bases.
The Bearcats and Bobcats split their regular-season contests, with the Bobcats taking a 75-53 decision on their court. The Bearcats later handed the Bobcats their first loss of the season after an 18-0 start by taking down Northeastern at home, 72-64, in overtime later in the year.
The Bearcats are in Monday’s semifinal on the strength of their 53-50 semifinal upset of No. 2 Greencastle-Antrim.
Northeastern faces a York-Adams foe in the semifinals for the second straight year, having dispatched Spring Grove in 2017 before winning the school’s first district title.
Monday: The week also begins with a pivotal game for the Kennard-Dale Rams (19-6), the No. 4 seed in Class 4-A. The team is set to take on No. 9 Bishop McDevitt (13-11) at 8 p.m. Monday at Penn Manor in a semifinal.
McDevitt stunned top-seed Lancaster Catholic, 47-43, last week to clinch a spot in the PIAA tournament.
The Rams locked up their PIAA bid with a 72-59 home victory over Littlestown in the quarterfinals. That will mark the Rams’ first trip to states since 1996.
The Rams, however, are focused on ending an even longer drought, one that hasn’t seen them capture a District 3 title since 1993.
Rounding out Monday’s slate of championship chasers is the 1-A semifinal that sees No. 4 York Country Day (13-5) taking on No. 1 Berks Christian (22-4) at Lower Dauphin at 8 p.m.
The Greyhounds are in search of their third-straight 1-A title. They’ve already punched their PIAA ticket courtesy of a 59-48 triumph over High Point Baptist. Berks Christian beat YCD in mid-January, 55-47.
Wednesday: A win Monday would make the Greyhounds the headliner for Wednesday’s action, which includes the Class 1-A third-place game at East Pennsboro at 5 p.m. The 1-A title game is 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Giant Center.
No matter what happens Monday, Wednesday will have a York-Adams participant in the 5-A third-place game at East Pennsboro at 8 p.m. With the top 10 teams in 5-A earning PIAA berths, the Bobcats and Bearcats assured themselves of state spots with first-round victories last week.
If Kennard-Dale should fall on Monday, the Rams would play in Wednesday’s 4-A third-place game at West York at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Thursday could see another crowning achievement. Either the Bobcats or the Bearcats will play for the 5-A title at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Giant Center vs. the winner of No. 8 Lower Dauphin (19-5) vs. No. 5 Milton Hershey (21-3).
Should it be the Bobcats, they’ll look to continue their dominance of 5-A. If the Bearcats advance, York will try to capture its first district crown in 5-A and its first overall district title since 2015 in 4-A.
Potentially making the day even more special for the league would be an appearance by K-D in the 4-A title game, slated to go off at 7 p.m. at the Giant Center.
Trying to keep their seasons afloat: While not alive for district gold, there are plenty of other district games of note this week. They involve York-Adams teams fighting to keep their seasons alive and earn state spots.
Monday, Littlestown (15-8) will attempt to keep its year going in the 4-A consolation semifinals against Lancaster Catholic (22-4) at East Pennsboro at 6 p.m. The winner moves to Wednesday’s 4-A fifth-place game. Only the top five teams in 4-A advance to states.
Monday will also see New Oxford (18-8) take on Conrad Weiser (16-10) for a spot in Wednesday’s 5-A ninth-place game. More importantly, it gives the winner a 5-A state spot. That game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip-off at Lebanon.
Tuesday has Dallastown (14-10) taking on Cedar Crest (18-6) for a spot in Thursday’s 6-A fifth-place game. With the top six teams in 6-A advancing to states, Tuesday’s winner adds at least two more games to its season. The Wildcats and Falcons will tip off at 7:30 p.m. at Hershey.
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.