Matchups set for local teams in state basketball tournaments
The York-Adams League will be represented by 13 total teams at states, but only four have home games this weekend.
They call it “March Madness,” and while it won’t be on national TV and the number of filled-out brackets won’t climb into the millions, the Pennsylvania high school basketball state tournaments are set to generate plenty of excitement in their own right.
The York-Adams League will be represented by nine girls’ teams and four boys’ squads as PIAA tournaments in six classifications tip off Friday and Saturday. Add in two more York County girls’ teams and there’s plenty of basketball for local fans to look forward to. It won’t be easy, though, as only four of these groups — all District 3 silver medalists — will open the single-elimination draw at home.
All 12 brackets of 32 teams were officially released Sunday. For those who advance, the second round is set for next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 14 and 15. The state quarterfinals will follow on the 17th and 18th, with the semifinals on the 20th and 21st before a two-day championship marathon at the Giant Center in Hershey on the 24th and 25th.
Friday: Central York’s girls are the only York-Adams team with a home game, as the District 3 No. 2-seed Panthers (23-4) will host 21-5 Souderton, District 1’s seventh seed (denoted as 1-7), for a 7 p.m. start. Central is coming off a 47-37 loss to undefeated Cedar Cliff in last Thursday’s district final.
Two other YAIAA Division I girls’ teams will be in action in Class 6A, as Red Lion (18-9, sixth in District 3 tournament) visits District 1 champion Perkiomen Valley (27-1) and Dallastown (19-10, fourth in D3) travels to 1-3 Spring-Ford (24-5). In Class 3A, York Catholic (17-9, fourth) visits District 6 champ River Valley (25-2).
The boys’ squads from Littlestown and Eastern York have Class 4A road games against District 4 teams. The Thunderbolts (20-6, third in D3) will visit 4-2 Lewisburg (16-9) and the Golden Knights (18-8, fifth) will take on 4-1 Danville (19-7).
Saturday: A staggered slate of games is headlined by a doubleheader at Delone Catholic High School, as the boys’ team (17-8) tips off against District 4 runner-up North Penn-Mansfield (24-3) at 12:30 p.m. and the girls (24-3) battle District 1 finalist MaST Charter at 2. The Squire boys pulled off a pair of road upsets in districts before falling to Trinity in the final, while the Squirettes saw their bid for a fourth consecutive District 3 crown fall short against Wyomissing last Thursday.
York Suburban’s girls earned District 3’s second seed for the Class 5A state tournament after a surprise run to the final against Greencastle-Antrim. The Trojans, though, will be without senior Alyssa Dougherty, who broke her right arm in the district semifinals, and junior Janay Rissmiller is still recovering from a toe injury. Still, Suburban (18-9) will enjoy home support against 7-6 Mars Area (17-8) for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
MORE:York-Adams League coaches select 2022-23 boys' basketball all-stars
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Other girls’ games Saturday include 3-7 Susquehannock at 1-1 West Chester Rustin at 2 p.m., 3-4 Northern York at 7-3 McKeesport at 2 and 3-8 West York at 7-1 South Fayette at 4:30 in Class 5A; 3-4 Eastern York at 11-1 Allentown Central Catholic at 3 p.m. in Class 4A; and 3-3 Christian School of York at 1-2 Jenkintown at 4 p.m. in Class 1A.
Central York’s boys, who placed fifth in District 3 Class 6A, will visit District 1 runner-up Spring-Ford at 3 p.m.
ON THE MATS
The Pennsylvania high school wrestling postseason is an odyssey of its own. It started at the end of January with district team tournaments and continued with states the following weekend. The individual tournaments began two weeks later, beginning at sectionals and rolling into districts. And while local wrestlers from Class 3A schools got a breather before states, Class 2A grapplers faced one more round of cuts over the weekend.
Three YAIAA athletes advanced to states with top-six finishes at the PIAA South East AA Regional in at Bethlehem Freedom High School. Bermudian Springs freshman Hayden Yacoviello-Andrus finished third in the tournament at 127 pounds; Littlestown’s Cameron Mingee placed fifth at 139; and Biglerville’s Joey Ney was sixth at 145. Just missing out were Biglerville’s Devan Ponce (seventh at 139) and Littlestown’s Tanner Rock (eighth at 172).
The District 3 Class 3A tournament at Spring Grove from Feb. 24-25 doubled as the South Central AAA Regional, with top-four finishers advancing to states. Central York’s Elias Long and York Suburban’s Tyler Adams captured gold medals at that meet, while Central’s Macon Myers claimed silver at 172. Also in the state bracket are Spring Grove’s Teague Conover (215) and Michael Hershey (285); Central’s Wyatt Dillon (145) and Northeastern’s Elijah Hewitt (121).
With all tournaments at the Giant Center, action will be spread out across three days. The opening rounds are set for Thursday, brackets will continue Friday and champions will be crowned Saturday.
Spots in the swimming and bowling state championships were also awarded over the weekend. It was a busy Friday and Saturday for local swimmers at the District 3 championships at Cumberland Valley, while the Eastern PA Regional bowling tournament saw a local champion in Lancaster.
Only one York-Adams League swimmer — Susquehannock’s Jacob Wade — earned an automatic berth at states with a district title, but plenty more individuals and relay teams will compete from March 15-18 at Bucknell University. Girls’ district diving champions Taelyn Thomas (West York) and Taylor Tuohy (Dover) will also vie for state championships next week.
Central York bowling, which captured the York-Adams League’s only state title in 2022, will have a chance at repeating after a championship performance at regionals that surprised even head coach Julie Carson. In addition to the Panthers’ advancement as a team, Central’s Kamryn Brenneman and York Tech’s Mason Smith will compete for individual girls’ and boys’ state titles March 17.
STAGGERING INTO SPRING
Next week marks a soft start of the spring sports season, as boys’ tennis action starts Tuesday, March 14, and continues throughout the week. A handful of local baseball, softball and lacrosse teams begin their season next Friday. The boys’ volleyball and outdoor track and field campaigns go off the following week.
For athletes and schools still contending for winter titles, outdoor sports may still be an afterthought. For others, though, new seasons and fresh starts allow precious optimism to fill the warming air.