With end of York-Adams boys' basketball regular season looming, playoff field nearly set
- Northeastern (19-2, 11-2) is the York-Adams League Division I champion.
- Dover (17-3, 11-0) is the Division II champion.
- York Catholic (14-7, 11-2) and Littlestown (14-5, 11-2) appear headed for a split title in Division III.
With the field basically set for the 2018 York-Adams League boys’ basketball playoffs, all that’s really left to play for, as the regular-season wraps up, is seeding.
Tuesday night’s action will be a lot less about last-day drama and more about teams that have turned around their seasons. In some cases, those turnarounds earned those teams playoff berths.
With that in mind, here’s who will likely be taking part when tournament action begins on Friday.
Division I: Northeastern (19-2, 11-2 D-I) used an impressive 16-0 run to start the season to capture the Division I title and No. 1 seed. Central York and New Oxford, meanwhile, have already locked up playoff spots as well.
The only thing left to be decided here is who will be the No. 2 seed out of D-I and who will be No. 3. That will get decided Tuesday when the Colonials (16-5) travel to Central York (13-7). Both teams enter with matching 9-4 division records.
New Oxford is one of the aforementioned teams that needed a midseason adjustment to get on course.
After a stretch that saw it lose four of six games, putting its playoff prospects in doubt at 9-5 overall, New Oxford responded with a seven-game winning streak that saw it pick up its two biggest victories of the season last week.
First, the Colonials took down York High for a victory that proved key to their playoff participation. Next, New Oxford rattled a reeling Northeastern, handing the Bobcats their second straight loss. Beating the Bobcats was not only crucial for division standing, but also to providing a boost of confidence as the playoffs near.
York High (12-9, 8-5) finishes against Red Lion (10-11, 6-7). The Bearcats controlled their playoff destiny after handing Northeastern its first loss of season on Jan. 30, but a loss to the Colonials two nights later halted their league playoff hopes.
Although a win by the Bearcats and a loss by the Colonials on Tuesday would see them finish with identical 9-5 division records, New Oxford owns the tiebreaker. New Oxford swept fifth-place Red Lion, while York dropped an 81-63 decision to the Lions on Jan. 5.
If the Panthers lose Tuesday, and the Bearcats win, they'll also both finish 9-5, but again Central owns the tiebreaker, thanks to a regular-season sweep of York.
Division III: There’s still a division title to be decided in Division III — sort of. It’s more a matter of teams tied for the division lead taking care of business.
After Littlestown’s upset of York Catholic on Friday night, the Thunderbolts and Irish both enter Tuesday’s regular-season finales with 11-2 division records. Tuesday, York Catholic is at Delone Catholic, while Littlestown plays host to Bermudian Springs.
If both win Tuesday, they’d be co-division champs, with the Irish taking the top seed for the tournament out of D-III. Littlestown (14-5 overall) stands to be the division’s second seed by virtue of having lost to third-place York Tech, a team the Irish swept.
A loss by one would see the victor finish as the outright division champ and top seed with the other team in second. Of course, losses by both see the same scenario play out as victories by each.
Then there’s Tech (13-8, 10-3).
The Spartans' resurrection goes beyond just a hot stretch during this season. This a story about turning around a program that hasn’t seen a winning season since 1989.
The Spartans will be the third-place team out of D-III no matter the outcomes of the finales.
A loss by the Thunderbolts and a Spartans' win still sees Littlestown ahead of Tech by virtue of Littlestown’s victory over York Catholic. A loss by the Irish and a Spartans win would still have York Catholic ahead thanks to the Irish having swept the Spartans.
If Tech can maintain its lead on West York in District 3 ratings points, the Spartans would grab the league’s final playoff spot. Tech enters play Tuesday night with a 0.579811 rating. The Bulldogs come into the final night with a 0.504969 rating.
Division II: This division offers the least in terms of closing intrigue, with the top two spots set. Division champ Dover (17-3, 11-0) is the top seed out of D-II, and Kennard-Dale is the No. 2 seed.
The only mystery will be whether West York can defeat non-league foe East Pennsboro and if that will be enough to earn the league’s final playoff spot over Tech.
Even if Eastern York (9-11, 5-6 D-II) beats Gettysburg (11-10, 4-7 D-II), the Bulldogs (9-11, 6-6 D-II) hold the tiebreaker over the Golden Knights courtesy of a regular-season sweep.
The Rams are the compelling club this division, completing a reversal of fortune that sees K-D (15-5, 8-3 D-II) with its first winning season since 2010.
K-D created some early buzz by getting off to a 5-0 start before a tough 2-4 stretch saw them suddenly at 7-4. That created questions about their playoff potential. Since then, the Rams have won nine of the last 10, including their current seven-game winning streak, to secure their spot in the league tournament.
Guessing the pairings: With the Central-New Oxford game the only one left that makes any sort of difference, here’s a look at the potential first-round pairings.
Northeastern (D-I No. 1) is likely to take on Tech (DII-III No. 3). York Catholic (D-III No. 1) vs. Kennard-Dale (D-II No. 2) seems like a good bet.
The Central York/New Oxford winner (D-I No. 2) could get Littlestown (D-III No. 2), and the Central York/New Oxford loser (D-I No. 3) will most likely face Dover (D-II No. 1).
Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com.