Heading into the championship round of the District 3 basketball tournament this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the best possible scenario for York County teams was to go 4-0.
The county put four teams into four different championship games, while the York-Adams League also had four teams in three different games, including Division III rivals York Catholic and Delone Catholic going head-to-head in the girls' 3-A title game.
And wouldn't you know it, perfection is exactly what the final outcome was, with all four York County schools taking home district gold.
Thursday: Beginning on Thursday, two York County teams took the Giant Center court in search of district supremacy.
First up was the York Country Day boys', who aren't a member of the Y-A League, looking to defend its Class 1-A title. Facing a tough Lancaster County Christian side, the Greyhounds were in a fight through the first half, but opened up a huge lead by the end of the third quarter thanks to a 14-0 run coming out of the break.
The win provided some hardware for a challenging season on YCD, one that included a bulked up schedule and midseason coaching change. The Greyhounds were led in the game by the trio of Jordan Ray, DeAireus Brown and Jalen Gorham, with the three combining to score 81 of the team's 85 points in the victory.
That win by YCD got things for York County programs off to a winning start, with the Fighting Irish and Squirettes up immediately after in the girls' 3-A championship.
The two Catholic school rivals were the cream of the crop in Division III this year and entered the district tournament as the top-two seeds, so it was more expected than a surprise that they'd square off for a third time. Just like in the first two meetings, it was York Catholic who got the better of Delone Catholic, winning 57-46, to capture the program's 11th District 3 crown in the last 12 years.
It went without saying what or who the difference was in the game, as Fighting Irish junior Katie Bauhof led her team's charge with a game-high 26 points, including 13 in the final quarter to help seal the victory.
After the second of four days of championship basketball, York County was 2-for-2 in capturing district gold.
Friday: Friday night was, arguably, the premier game for York County fans.
That pitted the Northeastern boys' in the 5-A championship game against Mechanicsburg, the top-two teams in the class. The Bobcats dealt with foul trouble for the entire first half, but kept the game within reach and, by the fourth quarter, Northeastern went on one of its patented runs to not only take the lead, but pull away from the Wildcats. A game that was once a close contest for three and a half quarters turned into a 61-44 rout.
The district title was the first in program history for the Bobcats and was just the second time the team had ever taken part in the championship game, with the first coming back in 2004.
With York County 3-0, it was all up to the Susquehannock girls on Saturday to try and make it a perfect championship weekend.
Saturday: The Warriors didn't let down the rest of the county.
Facing top-seeded Harrisburg, No. 2 Susquehannock used the heroics of sophomore Jaden Walker to also grab the program's first district crown.
Walker knocked down a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds left in the game to give the Warriors a 44-42 lead, one that held up as the final after the Cougars' last-second halfcourt heave clashed off the backboard.
Susquehannock trailed for the majority of the game, twice grabbing one-possession leads in the opening half and then didn't take a lead until the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter, again coming on clutch play by Walker, who scored on a drive to the hoop to put the Warriors ahead by two. Between the layup and the two free throws, Walker scored the final four points of the game for Susquehannock.
With the win by the Warriors, it capped a perfect championship weekend for York County basketball and that wasn't lost on Susquehannock head coach Dave Schreiner, who knows all about the strength of the league and area.
"York County, in general, is a strong lead across the board," he said. "...York County, in general, helped prepare us for this tournament."
Now, it's time to try and replicate those same accomplishments at the state level, beginning next weekend.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com