Central York's Allison Wagner shines in relative obscurity for Panthers girls' hoops team

Ryan Vandersloot

For most of her athletic career, Central York High School girls' basketball senior guard Allison Wagner has been overlooked.

Central York's Allison Wagner's skills as a passer have made her a valuable member of the Panthers girls' basketball team as it prepares for the upcoming PIAA Class 6-A tournament. DISPATCH FILE PHOTO

Be it by her two older brothers — Tyler and Jared — or by her teammates on the Panthers girls' basketball squad — namely former CY standout Emma Saxton as well as current teammates Nikson Valencik and Teirra Preston — Wagner seems to fly under the radar.

And, truth be told, that suits her just fine.

"I never minded it," she said. "I'm obviously more of a passer and they (Valencik and Preston) are more scorers so I will willingly pass them the ball. So I never minded it."

The days of Wagner going unnoticed, however, are over.

The senior, who averages a shade under six points per game, has proven to be an valuable key as Central York claimed a share of the York-Adams League Division I title, the league playoff crown and a runner-up finish in last week's District 3 tournament.

"Allison is a focused player who does what the team needs," Central York coach Scott Wisner said. "She has been a key to our success this season and she's often overlooked because she isn't typically a high scorer."

he Panthers (23-4) will take on Plymouth-Whitemarsh (22-5) in the first round of the PIAA Class 6-A tournament Friday night at Northern York High School at 7:30 p.m. Plymouth-Whitemarsh is the sixth seed out of District I.

Remarkable rise: Wagner's ascension through the Panthers program is actually quite remarkable.

She barely played at all during her freshman year on the JV team. But instead of getting overly discouraged about it — she freely admits it was a tough time for her — she just worked harder and harder to get to where she is today.

"I never started; the whole season," Wagner said. "And, basically, I never played much in 10th grade either because of all the people we had on the team. But at every practice I would try really, really hard and try to push myself. I've had to work for everything I've got, that's for sure."

Allison Wagner of Central York goes to the hoop unrestricted during the District 3 girls' basketball at the Hershey Giant Center, Monday, February 26, 2018. John A. Pavoncello

Brotherly advice: Wagner can thank her brother Jared for helping his little sister out. After a successful run with the Central boys' team in high school, Jared Wagner has become a standout with the Capital Athletic Conference champion York College men's team.

"He coaches me a lot," Wagner said of her brother. "He tells me things I did good and other things that I should keep in mind. He's very supportive of me."

To no one's surprise, Allison models her game after Jared's.

Jared hasn't been called upon to be the leading scorer at York his first two seasons. Instead he's known to be an adept passer with strong defensive skills.

"She's really developed into a multi-dimensional player that does a lot of things well," Wisner said of Allison. "Her greatest strengths are her defensive positioning and her ability to see the floor."

Catching the coaching bug: Wagner, who is committed to attend and play basketball next year at Lycoming, knows that her basketball days as a player will end someday in the future. So the 5-foot-6 guard has already given some thought to the next stage of her basketball career – coaching.

That, too, should come of little surprise as her brother Jared is blazing along that trajectory himself already.

“He’s actually coaching his own team this year for the York Ballers,” Allison said of Jared. “And I feel like I already have that too. I know that I would love to coach and my AAU coach actually asked if I wanted to help her out this summer with ninth grade girls and I would probably do something with that.”