The hoops season isn't even a week old yet, but it's never too early to kick-start our basketball power rankings. We'll try to make these a weekly thing, posting a boys' and girls' edition every Wednesday.
Because I'll be doing two power rankings every week instead of one, these will be slightly more abbreviated than their football counterparts. Instead a top ten, we'll do a top five, with a list of other teams "In the hunt."
We'll start with the boys' version. I'll try to post the girls' rankings some time later today.
Note: Because they haven't played yet, I've omitted South Western from consideration for the top five. They could certainly factor into this as the season goes on, however.
1. William Penn -- The defending District 3-AAAA champions (2-0) got off to fast start, using double-digit wins over South Philadelphia and Williamsport to take the Bearcat Tip-Off Tournament. This will be a guard-based team that should be fun to watch, with a slew of players capable of scoring in bunches. Dejian Williams, Collin Smith, Na'Shon DeShields, Tavon Parker ... all can hit a big jumper or slice into the lane. Keep an eye on 6-foot-5 junior Derick Gonzalez, perhaps the Bearcats' only true big man. He is raw still, but the hunch is that -- as he keeps improving -- he could end up playing big minutes for this team.
2. Central York -- The Panthers (2-0) picked up a pair of quality to wins to start the season, handling Susquehanna Township and Bishop McDevitt to win its own tip-off tournament. Lot of pieces to like here: You have the experienced point guard (Jalil Ford), the outside threat (Tremaine Bowman) and the lynchpin forward (6-6 senior Spencer Ortmyer). Central will got a good test Wednesday, when it hosts a Northeastern coming off an opening-night loss. I'll in attendance ... excited to get my first look at both these teams.
3. Dallastown -- The Wildcats (2-0) toppled Kennard-Dale and York Suburban en route to the Trojans' tip-off tourney crown. I caught both those wins, and while there are certainly areas Dallastown could improve, its sheer size and physicality make it a tough matchup for anybody. Plus, you have to think starting forward Nick Russel (6-2) and Chris Robertson (6-6) are only going to get better as they get more varsity playing time under their belts. Add in a do-everything guard like senior Judd Gemmill and you've got a potential division title contender.
4. Dover -- So much for easing into a season. The Eagles (3-0) have already played a tournament at Bermudian Springs and trekked out to Waynesboro for a nonleague game. So far, the results have been impressive. The guard trio of Jerell Figueroa, Brandon Smith and Connor Snyder give Dover a great foundation, and junior forward Josh McMahon has shown promise early. He dropped 25 points and 17 rebounds in his first varsity start. The Eagles have an intriguing matchup tonight, when they visit South Western. That should be a stern early-season test for both teams.
5. York Suburban -- Don't let the 1-1 record fool you, the Trojans stuck with Dallastown for four quarters, before the Wildcats finally pulled away. This is a team with plenty of depth and a couple of players getting their feet wet at the varsity level, so a tight game like that was probably a good litmus test. The Trojans have a go-to scorer in 6-6 senior Ted Hinnenkamp, who should put up some impressive scoring numbers as the season goes on. Point guard Ryan Donahue looks like he's improved, and junior Evan Eberhardinger has the potential to develop into a solid second scoring option. Next up: An enticing matchup with a revamped York Catholic team. Lots of good ones on the docket Wednesday.
In the hunt (alphabetical order): Delone Catholic (1-1), Hanover (2-0), New Hope Academy (3-0)*, Northeastern (0-1), Red Lion (2-0), South Western (0-0), West York (0-1), York Catholic (1-0)
* -- In the interest of covering all our local basketball teams, I've decided to include New Hope in my consideration for these rankings, even though they're not in the YAIAA.
What say you all? Who would your top five be at this (very early) stage?