Boys hoops: Who's standing out so far
The success of a season is never determined in its first week.
That’s a good thing for a number of basketball teams in Adams County, which have struggled since the season began last Friday. Right now, only Hanover (3-1) and Gettysburg (4-1) have winning records
Other teams like South Western, New Oxford, Delone Catholic and Bermudian Springs have gotten off to tougher starts. Some schools (like Bermudian Springs) are clearly rebuilding, while others (like Delone Catholic) have solid talent but are still looking for cohesion. Regardless, it's still too early to get a true picture of how good every team is.
That doesn't mean we haven't seen some impressive individual performances so far. Here's a look at some local players that stood out this week.
Dillard proving to be reliable piece for Gettysburg
Entering the season, the Warriors knew they'd need some new faces to excel if they wanted to return to the state tournament for the second straight season.
Returning starters Marquise Camel and Max Lampe were both back, but Gettysburg had few other players with varsity experience after losing three starters to graduation.
So far, junior forward Ravaughn Dillard has proven himself to be a much needed contributor. That was particularly evident on Friday, when he led the Warriors with 15 points as they cruised past Susquehannock 74-51. He also scored 12 points to help Gettysburg beat York Suburban, 76-70, on Tuesday.
One of the Warriors' most athletic players, Dillard will likely need to continue to be a reliable scorer if Gettysburg expects to go far this season. Camel and Lampe have also both played well, but they won't be able to win games by themselves.
Krout bringing leadership skills to the court
Kyle Krout is used to having the ball in his hands.
After all, the Hanover senior has been a four-year starter for the basketball team as well as a standout quarterback who led the Nighthawks to a 9-2 record this fall. But this basketball season has presented Krout with a new challenge.
With the Nighthawks having graduated three starters including the program's all-time leading scorer Dylan Krieger, Krout has been counted on more than ever. So far, the senior has lived up the challenge.
The catalyst for the Nighthawks during their 3-1 start, Krout played particularly well this week, scoring 21 points in Tuesday's 67-59 win over Biglerville and 16 on Friday in a 37-24 victory against Bermudian Springs.
More impressive than his scoring has been the leadership Krout has given to an inexperienced team in need of it. That was especially evident Friday, when he hit five second half baskets that helped turn a three-point deficit into an eventual 13-point win over the Eagles.
Although Krout has some talented teammates including Will McQueen and Hunter Martz, look for him to continue to be Hanover's go-to guy.
Topper displays clutch play, toughness for Littlestown
Being a leader isn't much of a choice for Littlestown's Brady Topper.
As the only senior on the Thunderbolts roster, Topper is clearly the player teammates look to for guidance. On Saturday against Bermudian Springs, he showed why coach Scott Motter has so much faith in him.
With the score tied, 34-34, and just two seconds remaining, Topper found himself on the free throw line with the chance to win the game. Although his first shot just missed, he nailed the second, giving Littlestown (2-2) a dramatic one-point win.
Topper finished the game with a team-high 11 points. But what really stood out was the toughness he showed after an elbow to the face gave him a bloody nose, which forced him to leave the game with under four minutes to play.
Although Topper admitted afterwards that he gets nosebleeds frequently, he still returned to the game and made the deciding play to secure the win. No matter how many games Littlestown wins this season, that one will be worth remembering.
Duvall shines despite Colonials’ struggles
It’s certainly been a rough stretch recently for New Oxford. Since joining Division I last season, the Colonials have yet to win a division game and are 4-22 overall after Friday's 64-58 loss to Red Lion dropped them to 0-4 on the season.
While the Colonials are struggling as a whole, senior Devon Duvall has remained a force. The 6-foot-4 forward scored 19 points in the Colonials' loss to Central York on Wednesday despite being in early foul trouble, and averaged 23 points per game during the season's first three games.
A classic back-to-the-basket big, Duvall plays with an energetic style and is also the Colonials best rebounder. Although his aggressiveness has also led to a number of fouls, it has yet to affect his scoring.
Head Coach Sean Bair is hoping the rest of the Colonials can take after Duvall. New Oxford may struggle to win a lot of games this season, but Duvall should be a player to watch regardless.