York County girls' basketball standout commits to play for area NCAA Division III power

  • Emma Bell has committed to play basketball for Messiah University.
  • Bell is a 6-foot, 2-inch senior forward at the Christian School of York.
  • Bell enters her senior season with 1,017 rebounds, 893 points and 285 blocked shots.
Christian School of York's Emma Bell, right, has committed to play college basketball at Messiah.

A York County girls' basketball standout has announced her decision to join a regional NCAA Division III powerhouse.

Emma Bell, a 6-foot, 2-inch forward from the Christian School of York, has committed to Messiah University in Grantham, Cumberland County. She plans to study English secondary education.

Bell will enter her senior season for the Defenders with some impressive statistics, including: 1,017 rebounds, 893 points and 285 blocked shots. Last season, she recorded 21 double-doubles.

She's twice been named a first-team All-Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference performer.

Last season, Bell helped CSY to its first league title in 23 years, a third-place finish in the District 3 Class 1-A playoffs and a state berth. The Defenders finished 24-4.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, she was selected to the Mid-Penn Motion Elite team that was set to play a national schedule.

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She chose Messiah over six other offers.

Messiah has become a national D-III power under Hanover High School graduate Mike Miller, who has compiled a 676-242 record with the Falcons over 34 years.

Last year, Messiah finished 25-4 and won a fourth consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth crown. The Falcons advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 before the pandemic ended the season.

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Miller is fourth among active coaches in D-III women's basketball wins. Over the last 20 years, Messiah has reached the NCAA D-III playoffs 19 times.

Another York County product, Spring Grove High School graduate Haley Wagman, is listed on the 2020-21 Messiah roster. Wagman is a freshman.

Wagman averaged 13 points per game, hit a league-high 73 3-pointers and was a York-Adams Division I first-team all-star as a senior.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.