You'll be hard-pressed to find another Saturday of local high school boys' basketball like the one about to hit York and Lancaster counties this weekend.
All day Saturday, West York will play host to the War of the Roses Showcase at the high school, while Manheim Central will simultaneously host the Lancaster-Lebanon Section II vs. York-Adams League Division II Showcase at its high school.
In total, there will be 11 games pitting York-Adams teams vs. Lancaster-Lebanon teams.
War of the Roses Showcase: The idea for a cross-river showdown between teams from York and Lancaster counties was a plan originally drummed up by former Bulldogs' head boys' coach Bill Ackerman.
He started tossing around the idea to other Y-A League and L-L League teams about coming together for a midseason showcase featuring non-league games between schools from the two rival District 3 leagues. Even though Ackerman is no longer the head coach for West York, his vision came to fruition, with this Saturday being the inaugural event.
"We put feelers out," West York athletic director Frank Hawkins said about how they set the field. "...Obviously, with the classification change, we want to match teams up to match up with their classification or plus or minus one. We don't want a 6-A going up against a 2-A or 3-A. We want to match up teams based on their classifications, and also showcase the talents of both of the schools (playing in the games)."
The War of the Roses Showcase will feature six games, with Y-A League teams being represented from all three divisions, while teams from Section I and Section III of the L-L League will be represented. The first game of the day will begin at noon, featuring Warwick vs. Eastern York, and the last game of the event is set for 7:30 p.m. between Manheim Township and the host Bulldogs.
According to Hawkins, proceeds from the day's events will be disbursed among several different cancer foundations, as well as community organizations.
At halftime of the Blue Streaks vs. West York game, Hawkins said that there will be a youth game scrimmage between players on local youth basketball teams.
Hawkins also hopes this is the first of many showcases between the two leagues, with the 2018 version already in place. He also hopes that as it gains traction, it eventually expands.
"We hope to grow it," he said. "Not only on the boys' side, but also on the girls' side."
Cost of admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students, but once a fan buys a ticket, it's good for the entire day.
L-L Section II vs. Y-A League Division II Showcase: Across the river, teams from Section II of the L-L League and Division II of the Y-A League will square off in a showcase of their own.
There will be five games at this event, beginning with Elizabethtown vs. York Suburban at 1:30 p.m. and finishing up with the host Barons taking on Dover at 7:30 p.m.
All teams taking part in this event are Class 5-A schools in District 3, with the exception of Kennard-Dale, which is 4-A.
Schedules: Below are the schedules and expected start times of all games at both showcases. All records are through Wednesday.
War of the Roses Showcase
At West York
Warwick (5-5) vs. Eastern York (7-1), Noon
Penn Manor (4-6) vs. Dallastown (7-2), 1:30 p.m.
Hempfield (6-3) vs. Red Lion (1-7), 3 p.m.
Lancaster Catholic (9-0) vs. York Catholic (8-1), 4:30 p.m.
Conestoga Valley (1-9) vs. Central York (5-4), 6 p.m.
Manheim Township (4-4) vs. West York (5-4), 7:30 p.m.
L-L Section II vs. Y-A Division II Showcase
At Manheim Central
Elizabethtown (1-8) vs. York Suburban (2-7), 1:30 p.m.
Garden Spot (4-6) vs. Susquehannock (3-7), 3 p.m.
Lampeter-Strasburg (6-4) vs. Kennard-Dale (4-7), 4:30 p.m.
Ephrata (8-2) vs. Gettysburg (1-9), 6 p.m.
Manheim Central (7-0) vs. Dover (7-2), 7:30 p.m.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org