Ever since James Kunkle took over the West York girls' basketball program, there was one important date on his mind — Monday, Jan. 8.
That was the day when his Bulldogs were scheduled to travel into Adams County to take on New Oxford — the team that Kunkle coached for the past two seasons.
Kunkle was looking forward to seeing many of the Colonial players and parents that he forged relationships with while helping lead the team into the second round of the PIAA Class 5-A state playoffs last year.
Kunkle’s big day, however, will have to wait a little longer. Because of weather concerns, the contest has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan 31.
“I knew that some of the girls, like Kaelynn Long (class of 2017) and others, would have been there (Monday), because they are on break from college," Kunkle said. "But now that (the game) has been pushed back toward the end of the month, I won’t get to see them.”
Kunkle, who went 37-18 during his short stint at New Oxford, pointed out several players on the current roster, such as Daelyn Stabler, Presley Berryhill and Jayla Brown, as girls he was excited to catch up with as well.
Kunkle has led West York to a 7-3 start this season. New Oxford is 3-6.
District 3 snapshot: If the District 3 playoff were to begin today, a total of 12 York-Adams area girls' programs would qualify.
Unfortunately for a few — three in particular — that is not the case. That trio includes a pair of programs that everyone figured would be virtual locks for postseason play — York Catholic and Dover.
After suffering a defeat to rival Delone Catholic last week, the Irish fell to 3-6. That setback dropped York Catholic to seventh in the District 3 3-A power ratings — a class where only the top six teams qualify.
Dover has hit a bit of a rough patch after defeating the Irish last month. Since then, the Eagles have dropped three of their last four.
Those setbacks coincide with a big shake-up in the team’s coaching staff. Kevin Glover has reportedly been suspended, as has an assistant coach. Even worse, senior Rajah Fink, the league’s top scorer this year, missed the squad’s last game against Spring Grove. It's unclear if Fink’s absence was related to an injury or the coaching situation.
Dover (4-5) is 18th in the 5-A ratings, with only the top 16 making the bracket.
Another traditional power, Red Lion, is 2-8 and is No. 22 in 6-A, where only 12 teams qualify for districts.
Following is the list of teams currently in position to qualify, with rating, class and record:
►Christian School of York (fifth, 1-A, 8-2).
►Delone Catholic (second, 3-A, 9-1).
►Hanover (fifth, 3-A, 6-3).
►Kennard-Dale (sixth, 4-A, 5-3).
►York Suburban (seventh, 4-A, 5-4).
►Eastern York (ninth, 4-A, 5-5).
►Susquehannock (third, 5-A, 8-1).
►Spring Grove (sixth, 5-A, 9-1).
►West York (eighth, 5-A, 7-3).
►South Western (11th, 5-A, 6-4).
►Central York (fourth, 6-A, 8-2).
►Dallastown (eighth, 6-A, 6-3).
Free-throw woes: There have certainly been a number of positive developments throughout the York-Adams League in girls' basketball already this season.
The list includes the resurgence of teams such as Spring Grove and Kennard-Dale, as well as a very competitive race in Division II.
While those are the positives, there are a few negatives, none of which is more glaring than free-throw shooting. The season is nearing the midway point with seven girls' programs shooting under 50 percent at the charity stripe.
For comparison, over the past four years no more than four programs have hit less than half of their attempts for a season.
So what gives?
Most coaches that were polled had a similar take — players look to play in actual games, be it at the youth or summer league levels, instead of practicing on specific skill sets.
With that said, nine players with at least 10 attempts are shooting at least 80 percent so far this season as of Jan. 7:
►Colleen Anderson (Delone, 14 of 16, 87.5 percent).
►Lily Jamison (Dallastown, 13 of 15, 86.7 percent).
►Madison Wisensale (South Western, 15 of 18, 83.3 percent).
►Abby Pilkey (York Catholic, 15 of 18, 83.3 percent).
►Sarah Berman (Central York, 10 of 12, 83.3 percent).
►Allie Godfrey (Central York, 9 of 11, 81.8 percent).
►Jaden Walker (Susquehannock, 42 of 52, 80.8 percent).
►Presley Berryhill (New Oxford, 16 of 20, 80.0 percent).
►Cat Tillotson (York Catholic, 8 of 10, 80.0 percent).
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.