Week one of basketball: Who is trending up or down?
It's a bit too early to start hammering out some power rankings (they'll come later this week), but today we take a look at which boys basketball teams in the Hanover-Adams area are trending up or down so far this season? Which teams are we buying, which are we selling? Enjoy.
Don't look now but there could be a good team up there in Canner Country. Biglerville is off to a 4-0 start, good enough for first place in the division.
We named Noah Ayers, who is averaging 20 points a game, to our preseason all-Division III team (we'll pat ourselves on the back now). Mason Unger and Jon Borth have defended the paint and rebounded well. In the preseason rankings, we mentioned that if Ayers could step up his scoring and someone else could contribute on the offensive end, then the Canners could be a dark horse to contend in the division. Well Ayers has doubled his scoring average from last year and freshman Cody Shaffer has been a pleasant surprise.
The Nighthawks have one of the most complete lineups in the league and they're at their best when they can turn a game into a track meet. As a team, they're averaging 72.5 points per game so far.
They have three guys who are averaging in double figures - Will McQueen, Kyle Krout and leading-scorer Dylan Krieger, who has scored 77 points in three games. McQueen has been steady and smooth while handling the ball and running the offense. Krout scores in transition and knocks down jump shots. Krieger has the ability to take a game over. Jacob Rhodes has manned the paint and provided a nice balance of scoring and rebounding. Cam Bosserman has been the "glue guy" as head coach Nathan Myers called him, guarding the opponent's best player on most nights and fighting for every 50-50 ball.
-The Eli Brooks-Darin Gordon duo
Spring Grove head coach James Brooks gave fair warning in the preseason that his junior forward (Gordon) and sophomore guard (Brooks) would be relied on for most of the Rockets' scoring.
Well Brooks is averaging 22 points a game and Gordon is adding 18 per game. On Tuesday, they scored 43 of the team's 46 points in a win over South Western and their head coach spoke at length about the chemistry they have developed already this season.
Both are knocking down their jump shots and both have proven they can attack the rim and either score or get to the charity stripe. They can carry Spring Grove to quite a few wins this season.
Student sections have been impressive so far. Hanover's created a Twitter page and packed the gym during tip-off weekend.
Spring Grove's organized a "Silent Night", dressed in Christmas-themed clothing, helped run a Toys for Tots drive and sang Christmas carols in the fourth quarter. Keep it up, fans.
Besides Biglerville and Hanover (7-0 combined), the other six teams in the division are a combined 2-14. That's not good. Fairfield and Littlestown are young and still trying to establish themselves. They will have an uphill battle this season. Delone has already been crippled by the injury bug, but the Squires are still competing. Bermudian is trying to gain its footing as it replaces 80 percent of the Eagles' scoring from last season.
Speaking of the Eagles....
Yes, they're replacing A LOT. But the Eagles, who finished at 22-5 last season, were blown out by Kennard-Dale on opening night after the Rams went 0-22 last season. Then the Eagles were blown out by Dover on Saturday.
They did earn the 400th win in program history on Tuesday, but number 401 could be a challenge. Coach Tom Flaherty will have his hands full trying to have his offense gel in time to make a run toward the postseason. Tuesday's win was a good sign though, so keep an eye on the Eagles.
-New Oxford and South Western.
The Mustangs' body language did not look good after their 46-40 loss to Spring Grove made them 0-3. Noah Staub and Drew Hartlaub didn't come out for the team, which left the Mustangs without two potential contributors who were expected to play as off the preseason.
Darius Rowlette has doubled his scoring average and complemented Brock Geiman well, but a third scorer and some better interior defense could do wonders for South Western. They have hung in their games and competed well, so we're not writing them off just yet.
The Colonials are young and trying to replace four starters. They have lost their first three games by an average of 26 points.
The good news is that these two teams play each other this week, so one team is guaranteed to walk away with its first win.