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Three of Thursday's District 3 basketball title games feature York-Adams League teams

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

After two frantic weeks of PIAA District 3 playoff basketball, three York-Adams League girls’ teams will play for gold medals on Thursday in Hershey.

Delone Catholic will seek its fourth Class 4A district title in five years when it opens a six-game slate at the Giant Center with an 11 a.m. tipoff against Wyomissing. York Suburban will play for the 5A title against Greencastle-Antrim at 2:30 p.m., and Central York is set to battle Cedar Cliff for the 6A crown at 6.

This week’s 12-game schedule in Hershey included six games Tuesday, with Delone Catholic’s boys falling to Trinity in the Class 3A final. In total, the YAIAA accounted for four of 24 district finalists but also had the two lowest seeds — Delone’s No. 5-seed boys and the No. 6 York Suburban girls — to reach Hershey.

York Suburban's Alyssa Dougherty (11) against Greencastle-Antrim's Shainia Overcash (31)  during their girls basketball game in Spring Garden on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023.

Will any local teams be celebrating at the end of Thursday, though? All three battles will be tough, as the championship opponents will enter Hershey with a combined four losses all season. Here’s a quick look at each matchup.

Class 4A: No. 1 Delone Catholic vs. No. 3 Wyomissing, 11 a.m.

The top-seeded Squirettes (24-2) haven’t exactly coasted to this point, but the defending district champions kept their distance down the stretch against both No. 8-seed Trinity and No. 4 Eastern York. Delone used a second-quarter run to separate from the Shamrocks in a 39-25 victory, then held off the Golden Knights 46-39 on Monday.

Central York's Jazmine Parker (40) against Delone Catholic's Megan Jacoby (22) during their girls basketball semifinal in York on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.

A district final is nothing new for this program, which has won three in the last four years, but head coach Gerry Eckenrode has made it back with a new cast of characters. Six seniors graduated after last season, five of which are playing in college. But sophomore point guard Megan Jacoby (12.7 ppg) has taken command of the offense, while juniors Brielle Baughman (10.1 ppg) and Kaitlyn Schwarz (9.0) and freshman Reece Meckley (8.6) have helped lead a balanced attack.

Wyomissing (25-2) hasn’t lost since Jan. 21 at Bishop McDevitt, with a Berks County championship and two district tournament wins included in its nine-game hot streak. The Spartans reached the final with a 24-23 win at No. 2 Berks Catholic, last year’s district runner-up. Sophomore Amaya Stewart, the Berks League Player of the Year, hit the game-winning triple with eight seconds left and tallied 13 points in the contest. 

Class 5A: No. 6 York Suburban vs. No. 1 Greencastle-Antrim, 2:30 p.m.

These teams met just three weeks ago, with the Blue Devils (22-2) holding on for a 52-48 road win. The Trojans’ loss dropped them to 15-7 in the regular season, and they fell to Central York three nights later in the York-Adams League tournament. But it’s been a brilliant run through districts — Suburban knocked off No. 11 Shippensburg 47-37 at home Feb. 21, then earned back-to-back road wins over No. 3 Manheim Central (44-40 last Friday) and No. 2 Northern York (38-33 on Monday).

York Suburban's Lydia Powers (12) against Greencastle-Antrim's Rylee Henson (14) and Haley Noblit (1) for the basketball during their girls basketball game in Spring Garden on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023.

Junior Janay Rissmiller has been the clutch-time leader for the Trojans (18-8), as her 3-point play with 16.9 seconds left pushed Suburban past Manheim Central and her six fourth-quarter points Monday helped put away Northern. Senior Alyssa Dougherty, back from last season’s torn ACL, averaged 10.2 points this season, while Lydia Powers has chipped in 9.7 points per contest.

Greencastle junior Haley Noblit led all scorers with 28 points in these teams’ previous meeting. Mia Libby, the Devils’ leading scorer for the season, had a team-high 12 points in Monday’s semifinal victory over Mechanicsburg, while Shainia Overcash added nine.

Class 6A: No. 2 Central York vs. No. 1 Cedar Cliff, 6 p.m.

The Panthers’ brilliant season on the court hasn’t come without its challenges. Central York has played since mid-January without head coach Scott Wisner as the program’s longtime leader battles an illness. Interim coach Sean Potts and a close-knit group of players have maintained a high standard, though, with the “Win for Wiz” shirts emblematic of their rallying cry.

Central York against Delone Catholic during their girls basketball semifinal in York on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.

Central York (23-3) has earned a pair of revenge victories in districts thus far. The Panthers beat Manheim Township 60-49 in the quarterfinals after losing to the Blue Streaks in the regular season, then rode a hot start Monday to a 48-34 victory over Dallastown — which had beaten Central twice, including at the buzzer in the county final. Multiple Panther seniors reached this stage as freshmen in 2020 and are back this year.

On the other side, the 25-0 Colts are the last unbeaten girls’ team in all of District 3 (Linville Christian’s boys reached 22-0 by winning the Class 1A title on Tuesday, while Reading’s __ boys will play for the 6A title after this game). Cedar Cliff’s resume against local teams includes a 51-17 win over West York in early December, a 44-39 escape against Red Lion on Jan. 7 and a 48-25 district quarterfinal victory over York High.

Plenty of eyes will be on the backcourt matchup of Central’s Bella Chimienti, a Shippensburg signee, against Colts seniors Sydney Wyant (Susquehanna) and Taylor Ferraro (Penn soccer). Cedar Cliff’s front court stable of 6-foor-2 junior Kathryn Sansom, 6-2 senior Alexis Buie and 5-10 senior Jaelyn Brown will present a challenge to Mackenzie Wright-Rawls, Jazmine Parker and the Panther forwards. 

Central York celebrating their win over Delone Catholic after their girls basketball semifinal in York on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.


Class 4A: No. 1 Berks Catholic vs. No. 2 Fleetwood, 12:15 p.m.

Class 5A: No. 1 Manheim Central vs. No. 3 Exeter Township, 4:15 p.m.

Class 6A: No. 1 Reading vs. No. 2 Cumberland Valley, 7:45 p.m.