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A look ahead to girls' basketball state tournament

Patrick Strohecker
505-5402/@P_Strohecker
  • Susquehannock, York Catholic and Delone Catholic will all open up their state tournaments with games at West York High School on Saturday night.
  • Central York looks to find its scoring touch again after averaging more than 60 points per game in the regular season, but averaged just 36 in districts.
  • York Suburban has grabbed 11 of its 14 wins this season over the last two months, playing some of its best basketball of the season right now.

Of the 13 York-Adams League basketball teams that qualified for the PIAA state tournament, eight of them were girls' teams.

Anna Mahan (45) and Susquehannock will take on New Oxford at 7 p.m. Wednesday at West York in a PIAA Class 5-A second-round game.

With the competition getting underway this weekend, that will lead to a busy Friday and Saturday night for local hoop fans.

While most of the girls' teams from the Y-A League won't get started until Saturday, a couple will begin on Friday night.

Here's a look at some things to watch in the opening weekend of the state tournament on the girls' side:

Can the Panthers find their offense?: The Central York girls' dominated most of its competition in league play this year in large part because of its relentless offense.

The Panthers led the league by scoring more than 60 points per game, far and away the best in the league, helping the program grab the Y-A League tournament championship. They entered the District 3 6-A field as the No. 4 seed, eventually booking a spot in the semifinals. However, losses to No. 1 Cumberland Valley and then No. 2 Cedar Crest in the third-place game see Central enter the state tournament as the fourth seed out of District 3. A huge reason for that is because, in the district competition, the Panthers' offense disappeared. They averaged just 36 points in their three district games, a far cry from the regular season.

Facing the third-place team out of District 1, Central Bucks West, whether or not Central York continues its season past Friday night will all hinge on whether or not its offense reappears.

Offensive woes for Teirra Preston and Central York plagued them in the district tournament. The Panthers will need to find their scoring touch quickly if they want to make a long state tournament run.
Dawn J. Sagert photo

Will Trojans continue playing good basketball: A favorite in Division II entering the season, a slow start set York Suburban behind the eight ball.

However, the Trojans are peaking at the right time, grabbing 11 of their 14 wins this season since the start of the new year. This is the time of year that you want to be playing your best basketball and Suburban has been for a while. Unfortunately, the Trojans only nabbed a six seed in districts and that led to a quarterfinal loss to Bishop McDevitt. But, Suburban worked its way through the consolation bracket and secured the sixth and final seed out of District 3 4-A.

The Trojans' reward for fighting their way back from a slow start and earning a state berth is a first round contest against District 4 champion Montoursville on Friday night.

Local teams find out first round state tournament match-ups

Tripleheader at West York HS: With both Central York and York Suburban kicking things off relatively far away from home on Friday night, Saturday's slate will be the chance for local fans to check out the area teams in action.

The benefit of winning or coming in second place in your district means that you will earn yourself at least one game close to home. Three Y-A League squads will play at West York High School on Saturday night, providing the league with its best chances to put teams through into the second round of competition.

First up will be District 3 5-A champion Susquehannock against District 1's Radnor at 5 p.m. The Warriors earned the program's first ever district title with a win over top-seeded Harrisburg last weekend. Despite a youthful group, Susquehannock has the talent and prides itself on strong team defense.

York Catholic's Teslyn Stener (25), watch as teammates Kady Rader (30) and Gina Citrone (4) celebrate after defeating Delone Catholic 57-46 in the District 3 Class 3-A girls championship game Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the Giant Center in Hershey. Amanda J. Cain photo

Following that contest will be District 3 3-A runner-up Delone Catholic at 6:30 p.m.

The Squirettes were knocked off by Catholic-school rival York Catholic in the 3-A championship game last Thursday. Despite not winning the championship, Delone actually gets a more favorable draw in the state bracket, getting placed in the half where only three of the state's top-10 teams reside, while the other half will have the other seven top-10 teams. The Squirettes will face District 12 third-place finisher Thomas Mastery Charter-South.

Capping off the tripleheader will be the same Fighting Irish bunch that defeated Delone in the District 3 3-A gold medal game.

After taking a one year break atop the 3-A mountain in District 3, York Catholic notched its 11th title in 12 seasons with a win over its Division III rival. Now, it's rewarded by getting a close home game in front of, what should be, a partisan crowd. Being the third of three local teams to play on Saturday night, most neutral fans just interested to check out some local teams should stick around to support the Fighting Irish. While York Catholic will face the third-place team out of District 4, Loyalsock, in the opening round, it'll also be in the half of the draw that boasts seven of the state's top-10 teams. This game is set to begin at 8 p.m.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com