One season ends, another begins.
While football may have gone on hiatus for a while here in York and Adams Counties, the winter sports season is never far behind. High school basketball tips off next Friday. Wrestling and swimming will get going soon, too.
In effort to get you ready for the hoops season, here's part one of a two-part series, in which we ponder the five biggest questions heading into next weekend. First up, the girls.
1. Can Delone Catholic finally overtake York Catholic?
This Division IV rivalry has tipped in the Fighting Irish’s favor in recent years, thanks in no small part to the nonpareil play of guard Kady Schrann. York Catholic has won the last five District 3 Class AA titles, and has taken its last fives games against Delone.
The Squirettes may take on the “favorite” mantle this season. Schrann has graduated and moved on to Vanderbilt, while Delone brings back its top player, Duke-bound senior Sierra Moore.
It may not be that simple though. While Schrann’s loss leaves a huge void, York Catholic does bring back its other four starters, led by guards Rachel Forjan and Karli McFatridge. And games between these two rivals are always closely contested.
2. Will Moore take over as the YAIAA’s all-time leading girls’ scorer?
It seems likely. The uber-athletic senior guard enters her final high school season with 1,869 points. That puts her 435 behind the current leader, former Northeastern standout Autumn Lau (2,304).
Moore averaged 23.4 points per game last season. If she continued at that pace, it would take her about 18 games to break Lau's record. In other words, you have to like her chances.
3. Can anybody hang with Red Lion in Division I?
Good luck. The now 11-time defending division champions have once again reloaded.
This year’s team should be led by a strong frontcourt duo of Erica Maciejewski and Jenny Horvatinovic. Maciejewski, a senior, averaged 11.7 points last season. Horvantinovic, a junior who transferred from Dallastown, led the Wildcats with a 8.6 per game average last winter.
Still, there are holes for the reigning District 3-AAAA champions to fill after the gradution of three seniors, including current Illinois-Chicago guard Gisselle Truiett. And teams like New Oxford, Central York and Dallastown should all be improved.
4. Which team will survive a muddle Division II?
This may be the toughest division to call. Each team, it seems, has enticing qualities. The defending division champion, Spring Grove, returns five starters from last year’s 12-11 squad. Kennard-Dale may have the division’s best player, in forward Sara Tarbert. Dover has an impressive group of underclassmen, led by sophomore Alayah Hall. West York rallied behind its young core to earn a district playoff berth last season. And even Northeastern returns some experience under new coach Joe Sinkovitz.
My early read? Give the defending champion Rockets a slight edge, with Dover right on their heels.
5. Any other breakthrough candidates?
Eastern York (19-7 last season) will once again be a team to watch, thanks to returning core that features the frontcourt partnership of Morgan DeRemer and Liz Myers. Both averaged a double-double last season.
But as far as true breakout candidates? Keep an eye on Susquehannock, which returns four underclassmen starters who should be exciting to watch. The Warriors do have to replace 1,000-point scorer Chloe Mistovich, however.
Then there’s Hanover, which also returns four starters and added forward Stormie Hibshman, a former Delone player. Competing in a division with the Squirettes and York Catholic will make matters difficult, but there is certainly some potential for improvement.