Girls’ basketball in the York-Adams League this season has been very interesting to watch.
It has also been equally difficult to predict, especially in Division I and Division II.
While the favorites coming into the campaign — Central York (D-I) and Susquehannock (D-II) — are currently atop the standings, their margins are as thin as they come. In both instances, the Panthers (12-4 overall, 6-2 D-I) and Warriors (12-2 overall, 7-2 D-II) lead by just a half game entering play this week.
Central’s position is the most precarious. Three teams — Spring Grove (10-3, 5-2), Dallastown (9-5, 5-2) and South Western (10-4, 4-2) — are ready to jump over the Panthers if they slip up once.
Susquehannock holds its slim lead over a York Suburban squad that handed the Warriors a 32-30 setback back on Tuesday, Jan 16. The Warriors won the first showdown in OT, so these two will only see one another this year in the postseason.
Behind those two, however, are five other programs looking to capture a berth in the league tournament. West York (8-7, 4-5) is one of those in the chase along with Dover (8-7, 5-3), Kennard-Dale (7-6, 4-4), Eastern York (7-8, 4-5) and Gettysburg (8-7, 4-4).
Big win for Bulldogs: After getting off to a 7-3 start overall and 4-1 in the division, the Bulldogs struggled recently, dropping four games in a row heading into a non-league battle with Dallastown.
Perhaps coach Jay Rexroth and his team thought they were in a good position to take advantage of West York’s woes on Saturday, Jan 20. The Wildcats, after all, were coming off a pair of huge victories over previously unbeaten Manheim Township and Central.
James Kunkle’s West York squad highlighted perhaps the biggest theme of the league so far this year — anyone can beat anyone on any given night. Sure enough, the Bulldogs returned home for the first time since Jan. 2 while playing their best basketball since the new year.
Using a variety of different defenses to confuse the Wildcats, who defeated West York, 48-37, at the Lower Dauphin Holiday Tournament in December, Kunkle’s squad pulled off an impressive 52-47 triumph to end its losing streak.
“The girls have been playing tight lately,” Kunkle said in reference to the losing streak that was all against D-II squads. “It has really been a bit of a mental game for them so we mixed some things up on defense. We were constantly flipping things around and they enjoyed it. So I guess we’re going to move forward with it.”
The slate doesn’t get any easier for Kunkle and his crew. A home game against Susquehannock Tuesday, Jan. 23, is followed by a road game at York Catholic the next night. The week is capped with another showdown against Suburban.
Girls’ basketball showcase next year: With all of the top teams in D-I and D-II beating up on each other so far this season, the biggest question around the league about who is the best team is still wildly up for debate.
Unlike in boys’ basketball, where the York-Adams League has two weekend showcases against Mid-Penn and Lancaster-Lebanon League foes, there is no such thing for the girls.
Kunkle has already worked with West York athletic director Frank Hawkins to host a showcase the next two seasons against the better teams in both the Mid-Penn and L-L.
“I just told (Frank) that I would love to do a showcase here at West York,” Kunkle said. “We have a great facility. I want to get at least five games, but I’m actually trying to get a couple more. We have York Catholic, Delone Catholic, Eastern York, Spring Grove, New Oxford and us so far, and I’m not sure of all of the other teams but I know we’ll have Manheim Central and maybe Solanco and Conestoga Valley.”
Until then, everyone will just have to sit back and enjoy all of the drama around the league before the playoffs come around.
Irish suffer another non-league loss: York Catholic's struggles against a brutal non-league schedule continued with a rare Sunday contest.
The Lady Irish fell to unbeaten Archbishop Ryan 62-51 in Philadelphia. Ryan improved to 17-0.
York Catholic fell to 6-9 overall, which includes an 0-8 record outside of D-III play. The Irish are 6-1 in the division, one game behind Delone Catholic (13-1, 7-0).
York Catholic currently sits in seventh in the District 3 Class 3-A power ratings. Only the top six teams will make the district 3-A field.
The Irish have won 11 district titles in the past 12 seasons.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.