YAIAA boys' basketball power rankings, Jan. 26
Two huge boys' games on the docket Friday, both of which will have serious implications on division title races. William Penn visits South Western in a much-hyped Division I clash, while upstarts Bermudian Springs try to take down Division III favorites York Suburban.
And wouldn't you know it ... all four of those teams figured into our power rankings this week. Check out the jump to see where they landed.
Last week's rankings here.
1. South Western (1) -- The Mustangs (17-1) have gotten a bit of a reprieve lately; they've played just one game in the last eight days, a 70-30 trouncing of Spring Grove. In other words, South Western should be well-rested Friday for it's home showdown with William Penn. The Mustangs' goal will no doubt be to replicate the methodical, defense-oriented style they used to topple the Bearcats' in the teams' first meeting. We know about standout junior forward Parker Bean, but the real key to the Mustangs' offensive success this season has been balance: Four South Western players are averaging at least nine points per game.
2. William Penn (3) -- It's been mostly smooth sailing for the Bearcats (13-4) since that three-game losing streak at the beginning of the month. William Penn has won seven in a row, and seems to be playing some of its best basketball of the season. Junior Derek Wilson has added an extra dimension to the Bearcats' play since being inserted into the lineup, both on the defensive end and as a high-rising finisher on offense. Big two days ahead, with a showdown with South Western on Friday followed by a showcase game with Penn Wood, the same team that ousted the Bearcats from the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs last season.
3. York Suburban (2) -- As I wrote for Friday's paper, the Trojans' success this season goes beyond the consistently stellar play of senior Ted Hinnenkamp. York Suburban (14-3) has shown depth -- in addition to its starters, Lucas DuMars and Isaiah Randall have both provided crucial contributions off the bench. A win Friday would not only give the Trojans the inside track to a Division III title; it would also set them up to potentially grab a No. 1 seed in the upcoming YAIAA tournament.
4. Bermudian Springs (5) -- The Eagles (14-3) haven't lost since that 62-51 defeat to York Suburban on Jan. 3. Bermudian will get another shot Friday, when it travels to what should a gym jam-packed with Trojans fans. The Eagles will once again have to make up for a serious height disadvantage against Suburban's pair of 6-5 forwards, Hinnenkamp and Jacob Castaldi. But if Bermudian can slow the game down and continue to play lock-down defense, it should have a chance come the fourth quarter.
T-5. Dover (T-4) -- Bit of a reality check for Dover (13-6) on Wednesday, when it dropped a defensive struggle to Mid-Penn foe Cumberland Valley. This a night after the Eagles earned a huge Division II victory over West York. You have to wonder if fatigue becomes a factor at some point. Dover doesn't go very deep on its bench, and its starters have already logged a ton of minutes this season. Luckily, the Eagles have a four-day break before their next game against New Oxford on Tuesday.
T-5. Northeastern (T-4) -- Still too close to call between the Eagles and Bobcats, who appear as if they may battle it out for the Division II title. The two teams play next Friday at Dover, but the Bobcats cannot afford to look too far ahead to that showdown. Northeastern plays Kennard-Dale on Friday and Shippensburg on Saturday, before a big home game Tuesday against West York. Khalid Nwandu (17 ppg), Elijah Cooper (15.5) and Chris Nwandu (15.4) continue to share the scoring, with Cooper closing in on 1,000 career points.
In the hunt (alphabetical order): Central York (10-7), Dallastown (10-7), Delone Catholic (11-6), New Oxford (8-7), West York (9-8), York Catholic (10-6)