The next few weeks should be fun. Then the YAIAA tournament will be even better.
Here are the YAIAA boys' basketball power rankings at the regular season's midway point with analysis on what we've seen through the first half of the league schedule:
1. Northeastern (11-0) -- The Bobcats will be put to the test Monday night as they play host to defending league champion Central York. The key to Northeastern's first 11 wins has been defense and the ability to knock down 3-pointers. Even 6-foot-5 center Derrick Hoffman got into the act last week from beyond the arc. What makes Northeastern so difficult to defend is its length. The Bobcats have 6-4 Michael Coleman and 6-5 Kobi Nwandu on the perimeter. In Class AAAA for the first time, there are second in the District 3 ratings.
2. William Penn (11-3) -- The Bearcats' three losses were tall orders: Reading, Chester and D.C.-based Capitol Christian Academy. Chester and Capitol Christian were each just one-point setbacks. The next week could provide a chance to rejoice for William Penn, as coach Troy Sowers is just two wins away from 200 victories at the school, junior guard Montrel Morgan is 12 career points short of 1,000 and senior forward Jahaire Wilson is only 50 points away from the milestone.
3. Central York (8-4) -- Central also has some close losses to District 3 frontrunner Cedar Crest (by two) and Carlisle (in overtime). The Panthers' impressive win Friday against Spring Grove is a sign they still will be a force as February approaches.
4. Hanover (11-1) -- The Nighthawks opened at No. 3 in the first District 3 ratings for Class AA. Halfway through the regular season, they are unbeaten in YAIAA Division III play and convincingly beat York Catholic to set the tone for that race. Hanover's 6-5 Dylan Krieger had much to do with the result in that game and, as of last week, led the YAIAA in scoring.
5. West York (10-2) -- Things get tricky here. The Bulldogs have two considerable losses to Northeastern
and Dover. The Eagles could have a claim to be ranked higher, but West York's consistency over the course of the season gives it the nod. A similar dilemma comes up in the six-through-10 portion: Dallastown just beat Red Lion, which has been much more consistent so far.
In contention: 6. Spring Grove (6-4), 7. Dover (8-5), 8. Red Lion (9-5), 9. Eastern York (7-5), 10. Gettysburg (7-5).