Winter is here and the opening weekend tip-off tournaments are in the books. Biglerville, Delone Catholic and New Oxford all won the tip-off tournaments they played in, and the Hanover-area had two other teams that made it to championship day.
Let's take a look at 10 things we learned from opening weekend...
DESPITE LOSSES, DEFENSE SHOWS UP FOR EAGLES: Despite losing both games this weekend in the Northern York Tip-Off Tournament, the Bermudian Springs defense put together two strong performances.
Head coach Kari Cover said before the season season started that because of a lack of size, defense needed to be a hallmark of the Eagles this year.
In eight quarters of play, the defense only allowed double-digit points twice, including holding Littlestown scoreless for a quarter.
The Eagles struggled offensively despite having four starters returning. It was evident they missed the presence of senior Shannon Kuhn who is out until January recovering from ACL surgery.
Gabby Emeigh led the way, scoring 17 points in two games but will need some help if the Eagles hope to contend in Division III.
CANNERS IN MIDSEASON FORM: Biglerville showed they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in Division III.
They pulled out a close 56-52 win over Hanover in the opening round that saw Rebecca Isaac score a team-high 24 points including four 3-pointers.
In a night that saw an incredible back-and-forth battle between Isaac and Hanover's Soukaina Tracy, the difference was Liz Burke who chipped in 17 points.
The Canners won their second close game in as many days by defeating Boiling Springs 41-38. Isaac again led the way with 20 points and Burke chipped in with 11.
Everyone knows Isaac will get her points, but the key to Biglerville's season will be the level of contribution they will get from the players around her.
Another positive to pull from the Canners 2-0 start is that they went 27-for-34 from the free throw line. Getting it done from the charity stripe will go along way in Biglerville's success this year.
COMLY HAS HELP: The big question for Delone as they entered the season was who
would replace Mary Gingrow, the teams second leading scorer from last year. This weekend, the Squirettes saw two different players step up as they won the St. Maria Goretti Tip-Off Tournament.
In the opening round Comly scored 21 points in a blowout win over Grace Academy (MD). junior guard Ally Shipley was not far behind with 19 points. In all, 11 players scored for the Squirettes.
In the championship game, it was Jill Novak stepping up and chipping in 17 points to pair with tournament MVP Comly who had another game-high 24 points.
The Squirettes have two big tests this week as they face Hanover on Tuesday, and Biglerville Friday.
TOUGH LUCK LOSSES: When you first look at Fairfield's 0-2 record at the Harrisburg Christian Tip-Off Tournament, you may think, 'Here we go again'. After looking a little deeper at their weekend, you see the Green Knights lost by a combined five points and Abby Herring and Annie Roberts scored double-digits both games.
While coaches will say there are no moral victories, the fact that the Green Knights were in both games is a good sign. Last year after the first two games, the Green Knights had been outscored, 136-46.
One thing the Green Knights will have to shore up is their free throw shooting as they went 5-for-16 from the line.
LOOSE BALL: Gettysburg High head coach Casey Thurston knew that her team was going to young this year. She also knew that they were athletic but that with their youth there were be ups and downs.
That youth was evident during the New Oxford Tip-Off Tournament as the Warriors turned the ball over 34 times in a season opening 58-16 loss to New Oxford.
The Warriors rebounded in the consolation round but fell short in a double overtime loss to Shippensburg 55-52. Junior forward Devetche Johnson had a breakout performance with 27 points and 21 rebounds.
TRACY ON FIRE: One of the most impressive individual performances from this
weekend was from Hanover's Soukaina Tracy.
Despite the Hawkettes losing both games in the Lady Canner Tip-Off Tournament, any concerns over Tracy's recovery from ACL surgery are put to bed. She scored 37 points in an opening night loss to Biglerville and then 21 the next day in a loss to William Penn.
The Hawkettes need someone to step up and help Tracy with the scoring. If she has an off night or gets in foul trouble, Hanover will be in trouble. She is an incredible player, but cannot win the game on her own. As the season continues, I am sure one or two of the other players will step up as they gain more confidence in their new roles.
BOLTS WIN: Two years removed from a winless season, Littlestown head coach Chris Myers was extremely optimistic coming into this year that his Thunderbolts squad was going to surprise people.
After dropping their season opener 37-24 to Northern York in the Northern York Tip-Off Tournament, the Bolts came back in the consolation round and defeated Bermudian Springs 25-19.
While their offensive production numbers are low, if the Bolts can continue to play stingy defense all season long, they will stay in games and give themselves a chance to win.
Ball hawking defense: Head coach Mike Sanders could not have asked for a better start to the season for his squad.
The Colonials captured the New Oxford Tip-Off Tournament in dominating fashion.
In their season opener, New Oxford forced 34 Gettysburg turnovers in a dominating 58-16 win. In the championship game, the Colonials suffocating defense was right back at it, forcing 21 turnovers in a 43-26 win over York Suburban.
The Colonials received good production up and down their roster and appear to have some much needed depth. They will definitely be a fun team to watch this year.
SHE'S BACK: South Western sernior Kayleigh Thomas was injured in the first game last year and ended up missing the rest of the season. Fortunately for the Mustang faithful she is back full force. She scored 14 points in a season opening loss and then shipped in another 10 points in their 50-45 win against Big Spring in the consolation game of the Big Spring Tip-Off Tournament.
The Mustangs had to be thinking here we go again after losing their opening game by four points. OLast year they lost a handful of games by six points or less. Fortunately, they turned it around in game two. Thomas might just be that boost they need this year.
MIXED EMOTIONS: Spring Grove could not have asked for a better start to their
season than the 17-4 run in their first game which was a 42-32 win over Carlisle in the first round of the Spring Grove Tip-Off Tournament. To make the situation even better, freshman Ashton Ball started and scored the teams first five points. The Rockets rely heavily on the presence of Ashley Caster and on her leadership.
They fell in the second game to a Mechanicsburg team that possessed a 6-foot-3 Cecily Carr who is committed to American University. The Wildcats were the better team and it showed. It will be interesting to see how Spring Grove rebounds from the loss.