Basketball season is finally here! Here are ten must-see games in the Hanover-Adams area for the upcoming season:
Dec. 9: South Western at Spring Grove--Why not start off division play by facing your biggest rival? These two teams split last season's series and both are expected to be much-improved. An early-season win against a rival could set the table for the victor.
In a battle of strong backcourts, keep an eye on the Brock Geiman (6-0, jr., G, 13.6 points) vs. Eli Brooks (6-0, so., G, 13.8 points) matchup.
If the South Western-Spring Grove football, wrestling and Twitter rivalry extends to the basketball court, then this one should be an early-season treat.
Dec. 12: Gettysburg at West York-- Welcome to the YAIAA, Gettysburg. Now go play on the road against the defending division champs in the first week of the season. How's that for an early-season test?
The Warriors went 5-1 against Y-A teams last season on their way to a 15-8 overall record. The game at West York will be the second of three road games in six days for Gettysburg.
This game will serve as a measuring stick to see just how good these two teams are.
Dec. 16: Bermudian Springs at York Catholic-- When asked who would be the Division III favorite this season, the coaches were split between these two teams and Hanover. After dominating the division in 2013, the Eagles return just one starter. The Irish will have first-year head coach Ryan Luckman at the helm, so there are plenty of question marks surrounding both teams.
Besides the division implications, what also makes this one interesting is the contrast in styles. Luckman wants the Irish to be an up-and-down, fast-paced team while the Eagles are almost the exact opposite. Which style wins out?
Bermudian defeated the Irish, 56-37, at home last season. Expect this one to be closer.
Dec. 23: New Oxford at Central York-- On paper this one doesn't look all that thrilling. New Oxford won just five games last season (despite being competitive in many more) and Central played well into the postseason. What makes this pre-holiday matchup intriguing? The Colonials are a young, inexperienced team trying to prove themselves in a new division. You want to prove to the league that you're a team to be reckoned with? Go beat the big dogs (or cats in this case) in their house.
Central won by 30 in New Oxford last season. If I'm head coach Sean Bair, that might be something I bring up to the Colonials in the pregame huddle.
Jan. 6: Hanover at Bermudian-- Both won their divisions last season. Both are expected to compete for the division crown this season. With the division realignment, they get to play twice a year now. This one will be the first of two between the Carlisle Pike rivals and a perfect opportunity to send a message.
Bermudian won at Hanover, 56-50, last season.
Hanover at Delone Catholic -- The Squires swept Hanover, 3-0, in 2012. The Nighthawks swept Delone, 3-0, in 2013 including a memorable overtime victory in districts. These cross-town rivals are no strangers. This won't be the first time they meet since that playoff game but this one will have more division implications late in the season than their December matchup.
Delone will be in the midst of playing four games in eight days. A big game-changer could be the potential return of Devon Moore, who led the Squires in scoring last season. Moore is expected to return from an ACL injury sometime in January, according to head coach Lawrence Williams.
Williams expects his young team to play loose and aggressive. A win over Hanover in front of the Squire Nation would be big for Williams in his first season.
Jan. 21: Fairfield at Biglerville-- Again, not one that stands out on paper, but there are some underlying, potential storylines here. Both are upstart teams, who could be dark horses to sneak into the top three in the division. If either team is still in the race at this point, this rivalry game becomes that much more important.
The Canners swept Fairfield last season.
The Noah Ayers (5-9, so., G, 9.9 points) vs. Mason Flickinger-Michael Quealy duo should be fun to watch and can Biglerville match up with Fairfield's front court duo - Nick Grams (6-0, sr., F, 9.4 points) and David Riley (6-1, sr., F, 10.0 points)?
Jan. 24: YAIAA vs. Mid-Penn Conference Showcase at Gettysburg-- Normally, the Mid-Penn invites teams from Maryland up for this showcase. This year it will be YAIAA teams, instead. Bragging rights are on the line as several teams take a brief respite from division play. Five of the six Y-A teams competing are from the Hanover-Adams area (Spring Grove, South Western, Gettysburg, New Oxford and Bermudian Springs). The Mid-Penn will counter with Waynesboro, Red Land, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg and Boiling Springs.
Jan. 27: Delone at York Catholic-- This one is a natural rivalry and provides several fun matchups to keep an eye on.
Jimmy O'Boyle, Tavian Dorsey and possibly Devon Moore going up against Paul Martello, Andrew Forjan and Zack Echevarria on York Catholic's senior night should provide plenty of entertainment.
Oh, and Delone swept the Irish last season. Not that York Catholic needed to be reminded of that.
Feb. 3: William Penn at South Western-- The regular season finale presents another chance for the young Mustangs squad to prove themselves. The Bearcats are a perennial powerhouse and should only get better this year.
Can South Western surprise them at home like they did last season? I'm sure the Bearcats do not want to get upset on the road again, so expect them to have this one circled on their calendar and who knows? Maybe a playoff spot will be on the line.