BASKETBALL

York-Adams League big picture: Hoops teams speeding through packed schedule

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the postponement of Central York's girls' basketball game at State College on Monday.

The Pennsylvania high school basketball season is always a sprint, as teams often cram as many as two dozen games into a 10-week window. From the division gauntlet to midseason tournaments and showcases, there’s little time to let up.

The Central York girls’ team has spread out the workload as evenly as possible, playing two games each week since the winter season began Friday, Dec. 2. But the Panthers’ 12 games have still included three back-to-backs, two of which came in two-day tournaments. Over the weekend, they hosted South Western in a division game at 7:30 p.m. Friday and welcomed Cumberland Valley at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

None of it has made any difference thus far. Central is 12-0 overall and 5-0 in its division. The Panthers led 27-1 after the first quarter Friday and cruised to a 46-14 win, then shut down the visiting Eagles 43-27 just 19 hours later. They’ve won every game by double digits thanks to a dominant defense and a balanced offense, both signs of a cohesive unit.

Central York against Cumberland Valley during their girls basketball game in Springettsbury on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023.

“To win in this league, you have to have everybody on board,” Panthers assistant coach Sean Potts said Saturday. “And right now we have everybody focused on what (head coach Scott Wisner) wants to do, and there’s never a doubt in their mind. It’s fun.”

Central York was set to face a different kind of test Monday night with a two-hour bus ride to play State College. However, the contest was postponed earlier in the day, according to the team's online schedule. The Panthers' next game will be Friday against divisional foe New Oxford. Barring a schedule change, Wisner's team has nine games remaining in the regular season's last four weeks.

There are many ways to build a schedule, of course. Eastern York’s boys, the York-Adams League’s only other unbeaten squad, have played just eight games thus far — three in Y-A Division II (a fourth was postponed), four from a pair of tournaments and one other home contest in December. But the Golden Knights are about to get busy.

Eastern York's Carter Wamsley delivers the ball to the basket during YAIAA boys' championship basketball action against West York at York County School of Technology in York Township, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. West York would win the game 56-45. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Head coach Justin Seitz’s team has two division home games this week — against York Suburban on Tuesday and Kennard-Dale on Friday — with a Wednesday visit to Donegal in between. They then have a showcase game Saturday against Berlin Brothersvalley in Chambersburg. Next Monday’s home tilt with Dover will be Eastern’s fifth game in seven days, and they also visit New Oxford next Wednesday. 

“It’s a war as far as these guys staying healthy and doing everything they’ve got to do,” said Seitz, who likened the upcoming slate to an NBA team’s West Coast road trip, “but our depth is really going to help us get through this.”

No matter how the schedule plays out, every team shares the goal of preparing itself for the playoffs. Only time will tell who did it best.

HARDWOOD HURRY-UP

The first round robin of York-Adams division play wraps up this week, although a handful of games that were postponed on Dec. 23 due to subfreezing temperatures have not yet been made up. Here’s a look at how the races stand and some games to watch for this week.

Boys: Central York improved to 5-0 in Division I with a 100-61 rout of South Western on Friday, and the Panthers close the first half of their division schedule this Friday at Northeastern (1-3). York High (3-1) hosts Spring Grove (2-2) and visits South Western (0-3) this week. Dallastown is 2-2 with its only losses to the Panthers and Bearcats; Red Lion is 1-3 with defeats against those two and the Wildcats.

Eastern York took first place in D-II with its Friday road win at West York. Behind the Golden Knights (3-0) and Bulldogs (4-1), there’s a three-way tie for third. Two of those 2-2 teams will meet Tuesday as New Oxford visits Susquehannock. The other, Kennard-Dale, hosts Dover (0-4) on Tuesday before visiting Eastern York on Friday. York Suburban (1-3) also visits Eastern and hosts Dover this week.

This week brings the season’s first meeting between Division III frontrunners York Catholic and Littlestown, both of whom are 5-0. The Irish visit the Thunderbolts on Tuesday and will host them Jan. 31. Delone Catholic (3-2) closes the first half of its division slate at Bermudian Springs (2-3) and against Hanover (1-4). York Catholic visits York Tech (2-2) on Friday, while Littlestown is at Biglerville (1-3). Fairfield sits in last at 0-5 but has home games against York Tech and Bermudian Springs this week.

Northeastern against York Suburban during their girls basketball game in Spring Garden on Friday Jan.6, 2023.

Girls: Central York hasn’t been threatened by anyone, much less stumbled in Division I play. Trailing the 5-0 Panthers are 3-1 Dallastown and 2-2 Red Lion and Spring Grove. York High, who’s 0-3 in D-I but 8-3 overall, has a crucial week ahead — the Bearcats visit Spring Grove on Tuesday and New Oxford (1-2) Thursday (a makeup game from Dec. 23) before hosting South Western (0-3) on Friday.

Northeastern reached 3-0 in Division II with a 39-36 win at York Suburban (2-2) on Friday, while Susquehannock is 3-1 after handling Dover. Those two teams are set to clash Tuesday in Glen Rock. Eastern York is 2-1 after holding off West York (3-2), while one of Kennard-Dale (0-3) and Dover (0-4) will enter the divisional win column when they meet Tuesday.

Delone Catholic improved to 3-0 in D-III with last Friday’s 72-2 rout of Fairfield (1-4), but York Catholic also remains 4-0 in the division as the teams have yet to make up their postponed Dec. 23 contest. The Squirettes host third-place Bermudian Springs (3-1) on Tuesday and visit Hanover (2-2) on Friday. The Irish host Littlestown (0-4) on Tuesday. Biglerville is 1-3 in the division.

DUELS IN DUALS

Local wrestling teams scattered around the region for dual events over the weekend, including at the Canner Duals in Biglerville. Six teams participated Saturday morning and afternoon, with Biglerville going 4-1 against all five visitors. The hosts’ only loss was to Gettysburg, 51-12; the Warriors went 5-0 on the day. South Western, Delone Catholic, Northeastern and Shippensburg rounded out the field.

Spring Grove finished third at the Rage in the Cage tournament at Garnet Valley, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Sun Valley but beating Pennsbury for third place. The Rockets are now 9-3 overall.

New Oxford went 3-2 at the Octorara Duals, with senior Jerry Dattoli (127) going 5-0 individually. Bermudian Springs was 3-2 in the Blue Streak Duals at Manheim Township, with Nathan Keller (160) and Brennon Ault (189/215) posting perfect records.

Dallastown went 3-2 Littlestown was 1-4 at the Hamburg Hawk Duals, while York Suburban went 2-3 in the Grizzly Duals at Elizabethtown.

New Oxford’s Chance Lawyer against Red Lion’s Owen Smith during their 152lbs wrestling match in New Oxford on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

The week ahead: Division matches resume this week as the standings continue to take shape. The headliner comes Thursday in Division I, where New Oxford visits Spring Grove with both teams boasting 3-0 league records. 

There are also two matchups between the four unbeaten teams in Division II — York Suburban (3-0) at Northeastern (2-0) and West York (2-0) at Eastern York (2-0). And Division III leaders Hanover (1-0) and Bermudian Springs (2-0) square off in York Springs.

In addition to Thursday’s division slate, Littlestown and Biglerville have a D-III bout Tuesday. New Oxford visits West York in a cross-divisional contest that evening, while Central York hosts 6-1 Boiling Springs.

The weekend tournament schedule includes multiple events in York and Adams counties. New Oxford hosts the Dave Conaway Memorial Duals; Dallastown hosts the Dallastown Duals; Red Land will host Central York and York Tech among others at the Patriot Duals; and Red Lion and Bermudian Springs are in the field at the Gettysburg Duals. Elsewhere, Spring Grove and Biglerville will be at the Mifflin County Duals and West York will be at the Dutchmen Duals at Annville-Cleona.

POOLSIDE PASS

The South Western Diving Invitational took place Saturday, with Dover’s Taylor Tuohy narrowly edging Susquehannock’s McKenna Porter for first place in the girls’ event (346.5 points to 346.1). York Suburban’s Brynn Neidigh and York Tech’s Gabby Duke placed third and forth, respectively, among 15 competitors. No YAIAA athletes competed on the boys’ side.

On the swimming front, the first six Y-A division matches of the season are in the books, and the slate continues this week. Dallastown and Central York will meet Thursday with both boys’ and girls’ teams 1-0 in Division I. South Western’s boys and girls will also take 1-0 records into their Thursday meet against Spring Grove. 

Tuesday features Red Lion at Northeastern in D-I and York Suburban at West York in D-II. New Oxford visits Susquehannock on Thursday for its division opener. Dover is idle in D-II this week after its teams beat West York last Thursday.

REMATCH IN THE ALLEY

Spring Grove remains atop the York-Adams League standings at 4-0, with defending state champion Central York right behind at 4-1. The teams are set to square off at 3 p.m. Thursday at Colony Park North — officially a home match for Spring Grove, which beat the Panthers 4-1 on Dec. 12.

Dallastown remains in third place at 3-2, with its only losses coming to the top two. The Wildcats will look to keep pace this week against New Oxford (Wednesday) and York Tech (Friday).